Ape animal companion: Improved Unarmed Strike needed for Improved Grapple?


Rules Questions


Does my APE animal companion need to get Improved Unarmed Strike before getting Improved Grapple, or are they already considered to have it? (Their unarmed strikes do lethal damage to begin with, and they are always unarmed, unless they have a weapon feat.)


Rules as written... yeah. It's a prerequisite. Which makes the grapple feat chain really annoying. Thing is, it's still worth it!

A kind DM might allow you to bypass that requirement though, if you cite the fact that the ape essentially already has the basics of Improved Unarmed Strike. I couldn't get that past my DM for my Serpentine Eidolon, sadly.


Technically, ape animal companions have bite and claw attacks, not improved unarmed strike attacks. So, RAW, it would need to take IUS as a prerequisite for Improved Grapple.

However if I was the GM, I would houserule to allow the ape to take Improved Grapple without IUS.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

With feral combat training, he can take a better advantage of the improved unarmed strike feat. He can later take things that would otherwise effect his unarmed strike, to affect his natural weapons.


Here is where I disagree.

You are skilled at fighting while unarmed.
Benefit:You are considered to be armed even when unarmed—you do not provoke attacks of opportunity when you attack foes while unarmed. Your unarmed strikes can deal lethal or nonlethal damage, at your choice.
Normal: Without this feat, you are considered unarmed when attacking with an unarmed strike, and you can deal only nonlethal damage with such an attack
.

The “Normal” does not apply to the Ape, and is not the “Case A” for which a new “Benefit:” (Case B) then becomes the norm. The ape already meets the conditions that are the 'Benefit' and therefore the conditions which are a prerequisite for Improved Grapple are already met.

The 'Feat Name' "Improved Unarmed Strike" is simply a (name) 'wrapper' for an ability (do lethal unarmed damage) that must be had in order to use Improved Grapple.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

All creatures with a physical body can make an unarmed strike, and having the improved unarmed strike feat represents a improved understanding of using your body as a weapon. Having the feat as a prerequisite is fitting, as grapple is a use of the body as a weapon.


Chovesh wrote:
Does my APE animal companion need to get Improved Unarmed Strike before getting Improved Grapple, or are they already considered to have it?

They do not have the feat, they must take the feat to meet the prerequisite for Improved Grapple. Otherwise every monster with a grab attack would take the Improved Grapple feat to get the bonus on grapple rolls.


Chovest, I like your argument. I'm just not convinced that there is anything in RAW to support it. I do feel that there should be though.


After looking through other feats and their descriptions, I'm now convinced that he would have to get IUS first

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