Grappling Monk


Advice


I'm working on a build for a grappling specialist, Monk with the Tetori archetype. Have you seen or played a build like this? Understanding that I don't expect this character to keep up with Falchion Fred or a God Wizard, is it a viable strategy?

Thanks for any input!

Some handy links: Monk, Tetori Archetype, Grapple


Would the Tetori Monk's ability to deal grapple damage twice in one round also apply to neckbreaker, allowing 4d5 damage to STR or DEX in a single round?

Round 1 = Grapple, Pin
Round 2 = 2d6 ability damage, 2d6 ability damage

Sovereign Court

Blueluck wrote:

I'm working on a build for a grappling specialist, Monk with the Tetori archetype. Have you seen or played a build like this? Understanding that I don't expect this character to keep up with Falchion Fred or a God Wizard, is it a viable strategy?

Thanks for any input!

Some handy links: Monk, Tetori Archetype, Grapple

I play two grappling characters (1 in PFS and one in campaign) and this is my honest take on grappling.

First, as a grappler, you don't really come to fruition until level 6+. At low levels, it's often more efficient to just do straight attack rolls for damage. For example, if my party is fighting 6 2HD zombies, grappling wouldn't be efficient. In two rounds I can flurry 1 zombie and take it out rather than lock myself up wasting two rounds to move, grapple and then pin. There will be many instances like that.

The time when grappling does shine is when your party comes across two-handed weapon wielding big bad guys and grappling can neutralize those attacks. At low levels, you might have a difficult time grappling that big bad single boss especially if he is a large beastie. Every failed grapple attempt is potential damage you could've contributed.

Bear in mind, at all levels, you will come across things that cannot be grappled. These are things like incorporeals (some undeads), amorphous oozes, certain elementals, npc casters with blink/freedom of movement, linnorms and other things that slip my mind atm. Anything that gives concealment will screw with you.

At high levels, as a grappler, you will be eating alot of damage if you are tending to take down beasties (dragons, giants, etc). There are alot of tactical decisions to be made. At the start of combat, assuming you win initiative...

You move to the opponent (move) action and grapple (standard action) and your turn is done.

On the enemies turn, you need to survive that full attack, and if it's say a dragon, you are looking to soak 6 natural weapon attacks vs. your low tetori AC. Chances are it will hit and you will be hurting.

Next round you better make sure you succeed on your pin because if you don't, and it gets another full attack off, you will be a dead tetori. It's a deadly gamble against high CMD huge+ CMD creatures.

So my overall experience is that you will only be grappling 33% effectively during your character's career. And if you are aiming for something like neckbreaker, that is what is referred to as an endgame build. Chances are you don't have much play time left until character retirement (unless you are part of a long term home game).

For this reason, it's not efficient to focus 100% on grappling. You need some versatility. The characters I made turned out to be strikers/grapplers (kinda MMA). I found myself tactically striking 66% of the time in organized play. For really dangerous encounters, the quick and dead condition is better than grappled condition.

The perks...you will kickass 1v1 especially if there are martial arts competitions/duels in your campaign. Moreover, a grappler is one of the few character types that can solo a single encounter more powerful. So when your party runs away from that dragon fear leaving you behind and you choke out that dragon by yourself, revel in those moments. It's the coolest feeling ever...selfishly worth the moments your grappling is gimped.

What it boils down to is the type of campaign will determine what kind of encounters you come across which will determine how often you find yourself grappling. So design your character appropriate to the setting.

Blueluck wrote:

Would the Tetori Monk's ability to deal grapple damage twice in one round also apply to neckbreaker, allowing 4d5 damage to STR or DEX in a single round?

Round 1 = Grapple, Pin
Round 2 = 2d6 ability damage, 2d6 ability damage

Yes. That's pretty much the gist of it. The neckbreaker is made as part of the "maintain grapple" action to damage option (after you pin). By then as a tetori, you will have rapid grapple so that is actually 3 grapple checks you can make in your turn.

What I don't find efficient about this is the damage you can do with a pinning knockout (which you will have at 9th) will pretty much end the fight. 3 Pinning KO checks will pretty much take most creatures out. Your party members members will get their shots in as well. That is why chokeholds (except against casters), sleeper holds, etc are pretty much obsolete unless you plan to torture the enemy in your grasp. The fight will be over in a few rounds. Wasted feats in my opinion unless you planning to wrestle some 500 hitpoint creature.


Wow, thanks for the thorough answer! What you describe is pretty much what I expected and feared. I think the main thing that makes grappling so good against PCs, yet bad against the enemies of PCs is the option of a grappled creature to make a full round attack with light or one-handed weapons. Lots of PCs either cast spells or use 2-handed weapons, while NPC enemies (especially "monsters") tend to use more natural weapons and Su/Ex abilities. The "grappled" condition that really sucks for most PCs is merely a -2 to hit for most of the Bestiary.

The other culprit is that first round, the one in which you have to move up to the enemy and establish a grapple, but in which there is no time to get a pin. A Haste effect won't solve that problem, since you're not taking a full round attack . . .

Would [http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/snapping-turtle-clutch-combat]Snapping Turtle Clutch[/url] help?
"Whenever an opponent misses you with a melee attack while you are using the Snapping Turtle Style feat, you can use an immediate action to attempt a grapple combat maneuver against that opponent, but with a –2 penalty."

Grapple rules:
"Once you are grappling an opponent, a successful check allows you to continue grappling the foe, and also allows you to perform one of the following actions (as part of the standard action spent to maintain the grapple). [Move, Damage, Pin, Tie Up]"

So, fighting in Snapping Turtle Style for extra AC, the enemy takes a full round attack at you while grappled. You're at +2 AC from the style, and the enemy is at -2 to hit from being grappled. The first miss they roll, you get a chance to pin them, ending their attack routine.


You can't use Neckbreaker twice in a round since it is a Stunning Fist attempt, and you can only use Stunning Fist once a round. Though, you can use Neckbreaker, and then deal damage. Additionally, Neckbreaker lowers their CMD against your future pin or damage attempts.


So here's the thing about Snapping Turtle Style: It's not actually that great for grappling.
STS requires you maintain one free hand, and grappling takes a penalty if you don't use both hands (-4 to your grapple checks).
So your total gain/loss is going to be +2AC but at a cost of -4 to grapple checks. You gain the benefit of getting a potential extra grapple check, but this grapple is made at an additional -2 (-6 total). It's definitely not worth 3 feats, that's for sure!
(I don't think whoever came up with STS remembered grappling without a penalty takes two hands. =( )

As far as grappling in general as a theme, there's a few things to consider, and J Nakagawa mentioned most of them:
Grappled foes can full attack with most weapons. This sucks for you, since you'll pretty much always have to eat a full attack (the only way you won't is if you have Greater Grapple and can start your turn adjacent to your opponent, before they get a chance to act. ie, not very often!)
Tetori can grapple incorporal foes! The downside? Not until level 17! (As in, your game is probably over before you ever get there, unless you're playing into high levels.)
Chokehold is an awful feat. Go read the rules for holding your breath/suffocation. A creature with a con of 10 is holding it's breath for 10 rounds if it takes a standard or full-round action every round, and double that if it doesn't act. 10 rounds can easily make or break a fight.

On the lighter side of things however:
Pinning Knockout turns you into a nonlethal damage dealer, but it also effectively doubles your damage. That's pretty awesome considering you keep your Monk UAS increase going as you level!
Stunning Pin turns a hard-to-land ability into a Save-or-Suck effect. And the best part? It only takes up a swift action instead of a standard! (Forget Snapping Turtle, go Mantis!)
Neckbreaker is amazing. You get it extremely late (lvl 18) but you can wreck things pretty fast once you're dealing 2d6 Str or Dex damage every round (obviously you want to pick the one that hurts your target's grapple checks.)

It can be a very rewarding playstyle, as long as you remember that your job isn't to kill things - It's to control them. You can be deadly, but if deadly is your goal, you're probably looking at the wrong style.

Sovereign Court

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Correction in my above post. Pobbes is right. Something I overlooked. You can only make one stunning fist attempt per round, thus one neckbreaker attempt. And as Neo said, the Tetori can grapple incorporeals but not until late late in your character's career when you are about to retire. If this character is for PFS organized play, you will never see it used.

My take on Snapping Turtle...I concur with Neo, not that great. The condition is IF the enemy misses you. With your low AC, chances are you will get hit by that full attack when grappling (unless the enemy botches with a 1). At really high levels, just about everything will hit you. It's just not worth 3 feats to get that clutch.

There's been three effective tactics I know at the top of my head to avoid that killer full attack. I will share this with you.

1. Like Neo said, use Mantis with Stunning Pin as a swift action - and pray the enemy fails it's save. If it's one of those huge beasties with a good fort save. Odds are against you. If it's an enemy caster, then you gtg. But at high level, enemy casters usually are pre-buffed with some sort of concealment spell.

2. The Trip/Grapple combo - If you can find a way to get Improved Trip it's a popular tactic with a binding throw which allows you to get a swift action grapple attempt. If the enemy tries to full attack you, he will be debuffed at -4 to hit you from prone in addition to grapple penalties. If you have vicious stomp, you can use that AoO to pin, thus neutralizing any attacks against you.
The bad - you will need Improved Trip, Ki Throw, Binding Throw, Vicious Stomp to pull this off. (People I've seen this with had to multiclass)Also anything that can't be tripped like serpents, swarms, flying creatures, incorporeals, etc will render this tactic useless.

3. My favorite tactic that I use that has been efficient - Spring Attack!

Round 1 - Spring Attack and move back to starting position. The good 1) at the start of combat, you are already contributing to party DPS (at high level, every round matters) 2) You avoid the full attack 3) You don't provoke vs. enemies with reach (something that is common).

Enemy's turn - It moves up and attacks you once as a standard action and it's done. You only have to soak one hit from that enemy. Best of all, the enemy now is in position for your full round attack next round.

Round 2 - strike & grab (standard action), pin (move action per greater grapple), Pinning KO (swift action per rapid grapple). If the party spikes the enemy while it's pinned, it should be out. At 15th level, with constrict, it's goodnight, you don't need neckbreaker or STS.

Round 3 - If its that 300+ hp single creature that is not immune to nonlethal, 3 pinning KOs + your constricts to finish it off.

The good: You not only minimized damage to yourself, you contributed damage and control. You contributed the best you can in 2 rounds.
The bad: The mobility feat tax (dodge is useful since you need it to up your CMD). But this is minor.


im playing a grappler in PFS right now, he kicks ass. a dwarven monk, with

16 str
16 dex
15 con
8 int
15 wis
5 cha

a +9 to grapple at level 3 and a + 26 cmd (3+3+3+3+2+1+1)
im playing turtle style chain, with dodge, mobility, improved grapple, and greater. im ignoring neckbreaker, as its a trap feat, focusing on grapple pin, and losing out on dealing damage, i let my teammates coupe de grace my grapple targets. it has done so well im excited to see how he does at 7th when he has a +20 to his CMB rolls and a CMD of about 35.

im thinking about trying to do hamatulu strike with EWP harpoon for my ranged attacks. but i havent decided if im going that route. if you havent already then you need to check out the Ultimate Equipment for all the amazing grapple buff items they have in it. also decide if you want to use armor and get a mithril armored coat for brawler and adhesive qualities (an extra +4 to grapple)

*and get the belt of... i cant remember the name, it lets you gain constrict as a magical effect.


Neo2151 wrote:

So here's the thing about Snapping Turtle Style: It's not actually that great for grappling.

STS requires you maintain one free hand, and grappling takes a penalty if you don't use both hands (-4 to your grapple checks).
So your total gain/loss is going to be +2AC but at a cost of -4 to grapple checks. You gain the benefit of getting a potential extra grapple check, but this grapple is made at an additional -2 (-6 total). It's definitely not worth 3 feats, that's for sure!
(I don't think whoever came up with STS remembered grappling without a penalty takes two hands. =( )

there are a few things wrong with this advice.

1A. STS (as abreviated above) ony needs one hand free for the bonus to ac. the things is that grappling doesnt require 2 hands once the initial grapple is successful. its only to initiate the grapple that requires 2 hands. "Humanoid creatures without two free hands attempting to grapple a foe take a –4 penalty on the combat maneuver roll"
it does not apply to the maintain roll.

1B. STS does not require you to have one free hand at all times, you only need the free hand to gain the benefit of the ac, not the provoke of a grapple.

2. as a result of number 1 there is no penelty on the grapple check.

3. you forget that with a high ac, which monks excell at, you are also adding +4 to confirm crits against that monk. this is a very useful tool for defensive players. (+6 total)

Dark Archive

Why can't you grapple something with concealment? Can't you grapple them if you pass the miss chance?

EDIT:

Also, if you have a ghost touch amulet of might fists, or a ghost touch spiked gauntlet could you grapple incorporeal creatures?

Is it possible to get a weapon of spell storing and use it to targeted Dispel a caster's freedom of movement? Then you could full attack: Hit -> dispel, trip, binding throw.


Jupp wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:

So here's the thing about Snapping Turtle Style: It's not actually that great for grappling.

STS requires you maintain one free hand, and grappling takes a penalty if you don't use both hands (-4 to your grapple checks).
So your total gain/loss is going to be +2AC but at a cost of -4 to grapple checks. You gain the benefit of getting a potential extra grapple check, but this grapple is made at an additional -2 (-6 total). It's definitely not worth 3 feats, that's for sure!
(I don't think whoever came up with STS remembered grappling without a penalty takes two hands. =( )

there are a few things wrong with this advice.

1A. STS (as abreviated above) ony needs one hand free for the bonus to ac. the things is that grappling doesnt require 2 hands once the initial grapple is successful. its only to initiate the grapple that requires 2 hands. "Humanoid creatures without two free hands attempting to grapple a foe take a –4 penalty on the combat maneuver roll"
it does not apply to the maintain roll.

1B. STS does not require you to have one free hand at all times, you only need the free hand to gain the benefit of the ac, not the provoke of a grapple.

2. as a result of number 1 there is no penelty on the grapple check.

3. you forget that with a high ac, which monks excell at, you are also adding +4 to confirm crits against that monk. this is a very useful tool for defensive players. (+6 total)

Really, it's gonna be up to the GM. I'd think most GMs would go with the, "If you're not gaining the benefit, then you're not using the feat" line of thought, which would mean to gain the extra grapple, you'd need to be gaining the AC bonus as well.

Also, "attempting to grapple a foe" can be read as "any time you attempt a grapple check." It doesn't specify initiating.


yes you can with a ghost touch amulet of mighty fists.

also yes you can, but not as part of a grapple. a grapple does not make an attack with a weapon, so that means no spell storing dispell. what you could do is punch them in the face, cast the dispell, then grapple on the next turn.

Neo2151 wrote:


Also, "attempting to grapple a foe" can be read as "any time you attempt a grapple check." It doesn't specify initiating.

attempting to grapple and making a grapple check are clearly defined as different actions.

"As a standard action, you can attempt to grapple a foe, hindering his combat options. If you do not have Improved Grapple, grab, or a similar ability, attempting to grapple a foe provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver. Humanoid creatures without two free hands attempting to grapple a foe take a –4 penalty on the combat maneuver roll..."

if attempting to grapple is clearly defined in the text of "maneuver:grapple" so making a check is a different type of action not subject to the restrictions of needing 2 free hands. once i have you grappled im no longer attempting to grapple you, i have grappled you.

Dark Archive

Quote:
also yes you can, but not as part of a grapple. a grapple does not make an attack with a weapon, so that means no spell storing dispell. what you could do is punch them in the face, cast the dispell, then grapple on the next turn.

Oh, what i meant was if you had a spell storing weapon, you just full attack (assuming you have two or more iteratives), and use the first attack to hit with your spell storing weapon with dispel magic. Then the second iterative, you use to trip, which allows you to ki throw binding throw (assuming you have the feats). I guess it's not something everyone with grapple could do if they didn't build for the ki throw feats.

I don't understand the dispel rules (or a lot of rules about magic in general) to know if the Dispel Magic in a spell storing weapon could target the freedom of movement specifically.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, but one that is still bothering me: Does concealment stop you from grappling? Or can you successfully grapple if you just get past the miss chance?

Sovereign Court

Veldebrand wrote:

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, but one that is still bothering me: Does concealment stop you from grappling? Or can you successfully grapple if you just get past the miss chance?

Yes, you can successfully grapple if you make the miss chance. This was something that was discussed in another thread. The problem is you have to make the miss chance every grapple check during your maintain grapple action. It's just a pain to do and the odds of probability theory will stack against you. I'm not 100% certain, but I believe one fail and the target slips.

As for incorporeal creatures, ghost touched weapons will allow you to damage them fully, but grappling them has been a debatable issue.

Incorpeal (Ex) "...Incorporeal creatures cannot fall or take falling damage. Incorporeal creatures cannot make trip or grapple attacks, nor can they be tripped or grappled. In fact, they cannot take any physical action that would move or manipulate an opponent or its equipment, nor are they subject to such actions. Incorporeal creatures have no weight and do not set off traps that are triggered by weight."

The Tetori's inescapable grasp is an exception because of the grab ability, but even that is not full-proof.

Inescapable Grasp: "....At 17th level, the tetori’s unarmed strike gains the ghost touch special ability, and an incorporeal creature that he strikes gains the grappled condition (Reflex negates, DC 10 + 1/2 the wrestler’s level + his Wisdom modifier)."

So if the incorporeal creature makes its reflex save, it doesn't get grappled.

As for the weapon of spell storing, that is a tactic that would work if you succeed on the dispel. You will have to strike to damage first as a standard action. If you can follow up with some combat manuever as a swift action or free action, even better (Hamatula Grasp). If not, the enemy will be one round ahead of you. Just don't bother trying that on a Linnorm and other creatures that have FoM has an (Ex) ability.


the great things about corporeal creatures with concealment, like invisibility, is negated when grappled. an amulet of mighty fists negates blink, incorporeal and other forms of concealment caused by entering the astral and ethereal planes, ghost touch negates the concealment from those planes as a result of them being "ghost realms".


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

While I agree that grappling is more effective the higher you are, by playing a 'non-grappler' grappling feated monk, it can be a nice tool to toss in on the bad guys.

A Qinggong monk that took 'improved grapple' feat and then at 4th level can take 'true strike' ki ability can apply that ki power to the attack roll for grapple. +20 added to the CMB + Die Roll can make you very effective to grapple. You're looking at 25 - 43 CBM per roll. At 4th level. Repeat for round 2 and you have something pinned and the GM ticked at you.

Add the Shirt of Immolation to enhance your grapples.

Shadow Lodge

Robin: "Negative necro batman this thread is over a year old !!!"

Batman: "shut up!"


J Nakagawa wrote:
3. My favorite tactic that I use that has been efficient - Spring Attack!

@J Nakagawa, you don't happen to have a sample of this build available for reference, do you?


iantruesilver wrote:
J Nakagawa wrote:
3. My favorite tactic that I use that has been efficient - Spring Attack!
@J Nakagawa, you don't happen to have a sample of this build available for reference, do you?

J Nakagawa has not posted to this thread in almost 6 years. It is entirely possible he will be able to answer your question. I am willing to share my ideas on building Grappling characters if you would like.

So, I should tell you that you did something that--I don't have a problem with this personally.--a lot of people consider impolite on this forum. It's called Necroing the Thread. The thinking I think is that the people you posted to this thread before have stopped following it themselves, and so can't be expected to speak to anything you might say. I guess it's sort of the debating equivalent to exhuming Oliver Cromwell's skeleton just to decapitate it.

I clicked on your name, and I see are very new to these forums, and I find it highly unlikely that you knew about necroing threads. Anyway, if you get a lot of negative responses, that's why.

Again, I am in disagreement with the rest of the community about this point of etiquette. I don't think you did anything wrong. And if you would like to hear about my ideas about building Grappling characters especially vis a vis Tetori, just let me know.

Spring Attack doesn't usually figure into my Grappling builds, but I did recently put together a mobile grappler if you'd like to see it. I guess Spring Attack could be worked in.


@Scott Wilhelm
Thanks for the heads up. Will be more mindful in the future.

That said, any thoughts you have on these builds (personally interested in something of a mix between unarmed/nonlethal martial arts and grappling takedowns) would be appreciated.


iantruesilver wrote:

@Scott Wilhelm

Thanks for the heads up. Will be more mindful in the future.

That said, any thoughts you have on these builds (personally interested in something of a mix between unarmed/nonlethal martial arts and grappling takedowns) would be appreciated.

Sure. I'm happy to help.

J Nakagawa wrote:
First, as a grappler, you don't really come to fruition until level 6+

J. is pretty much right. Having a powerful Grappling character without the Greater Grapple Feat is extremely difficult. I figured out a way to do it, but I don't think it's ideal.

J Nakagawa wrote:
it's not efficient to focus 100% on grappling. You need some versatility.

I agree. There are a lot of reasons why that have already been offered. I'll add another one. Grappling almost always works on only 1 opponent at a time. If a Grappler is fighting multiple opponents, he is probably in trouble. I have experienced this. I have developed some workarounds, though.

That, combined with the fact that you can't get Greater Grapple without a BAB +6, and you can't get that before level 6 at least, I prefer to build Grappling as a feature in a character. Develop something else first, then build to Grappling next.

J Nakagawa wrote:
Bear in mind, at all levels, you will come across things that cannot be grappled. These are things like incorporeals (some undeads), amorphous oozes, certain elementals, npc casters with blink/freedom of movement, linnorms and other things that slip my mind atm. Anything that gives concealment will screw with you.

Freedom of Movement completely undoes a Grappler. There is the Inescapable Grasp Tetori Class Ability, but you can't get that until you get 9 levels of Tetori. That's a long wait. You actually can grapple most oozes and elementals. Technically, the rules don't prevent this most of the time. On the other hand, the very idea is silly, and most GMs would punish you for trying to do it. PFS GMs are supposed to be bound by what is technically legal, but they often rebel against the rules to the detriment of the players. There are other reasons why you wouldn't want to, and I'm not sure what your endgame would be. I have some ideas. But every time I run into an ooze, I prefer to stand back and throw Alchemist fire and lamp oil at it.

The concerns about incorporeal undead are justified. I know of some workarounds. Some of them are not technically allowed, but many GMs would allow them. The proposal about Ghost Touch Amulet of Mighty Fists is problematic--it isn't for Grappling anymore, but it is entirely possible that it was still okay at the time the suggestion was proposed: there have been FAQs and rules updates. I had a lot to do with making them happen. I don't remember the timing of them vis a vis when these posts were made.

Grappling is certainly vulnerable to concealment, but so are most forms of attack. In general, I'd say that if you work out a method for dealing with Concealment, and there are many, and your opponents have not, then the Grappler should be the one bringing the Concealment, not the one hoping that it doesn't happen.

J Nakagawa wrote:

At high levels, as a grappler, you will be eating alot of damage if you are tending to take down beasties (dragons, giants, etc). There are alot of tactical decisions to be made. At the start of combat, assuming you win initiative...

You move to the opponent (move) action and grapple (standard action) and your turn is done.
On the enemies turn, you need to survive that full attack, and if it's say a dragon, you are looking to soak 6 natural weapon attacks vs. your low tetori AC. Chances are it will hit and you will be hurting.
Next round you better make sure you succeed on your pin because if you don't, and it gets another full attack off, you will be a dead tetori. It's a deadly gamble against high CMD huge+ CMD creatures.

Naka's concern here is completely justified. I have totally had this problem. There are tactics for mitigating this.


I have a build I posted on another thread recently.

This character starts out as a magical sniper that gets Sneak Attack Damage, turning Invisible, hiding, and picking off enemies one at a time, first by shooting them at low levels, but then at level 7, conbining Greater Grapple and Expert Captor to Grapple and Tie Up creatures in a single round.

It is possible--actually not that difficult--to raise your full-time Grapple Mod quite high. I had a Grappler with a GMB of +30 at level 9.

J Nakagawa wrote:

At high levels, as a grappler, you will be eating alot of damage if you are tending to take down beasties (dragons, giants, etc). There are alot of tactical decisions to be made. At the start of combat, assuming you win initiative...

You move to the opponent (move) action and grapple (standard action) and your turn is done.
On the enemies turn, you need to survive that full attack, and if it's say a dragon, you are looking to soak 6 natural weapon attacks vs. your low tetori AC. Chances are it will hit and you will be hurting.
Next round you better make sure you succeed on your pin because if you don't, and it gets another full attack off, you will be a dead tetori. It's a deadly gamble against high CMD huge+ CMD creatures.

This is a sneaky character. It might be likely that this character can sneak up on a large monster and wait unnoticed to attack the next round then Grapple and Tie Up the opponent. I did that once before--sort of--with success. Another option might be to get help from your party. You hold your action until the party Wizard Dimension Doors you on top of the beastie. Then you go to work.


I have another one.

This character starts out as a Ranger Archer, then develops into a Grappler at level 7. She then takes levels in Grenadier Alchemist, becoming a very powerful Grappler that shoots exploding arrows. Exploding arrows are cool.

So this character will either shoot her problems from long range or Tie them Up.


J Nakagawa wrote:
First, as a grappler, you don't really come to fruition until level 6+
I wrote:
J. is pretty much right. Having a powerful Grappling character without the Greater Grapple Feat is extremely difficult. I figured out a way to do it, but I don't think it's ideal.

1Cavalier1: Order of the Penitent, Coordinated Maneuvers, Tactician, Challenge. Feat or 2

2C1Monk1: Unchained Monk, Unarmed 1d6, Flurry of Blows, Improved Grapple
3C1M1Witch1: White Haired Witch, Weapon Focus White Hair.
4C2M1W1: Expert Captor, Retrain to Feral Combat Training, White Hair.

This is the fastest way I know of to get a Grappler fast. White Hair is a Natural Attack that gives you a free Grapple with every hit. Feral Combat Training lets you Flurry of Blows with your Hair. Expert Captor lets you Tie Up an opponent you have Grappled--not Pinned--and without taking the normal -10 to do it. So this character can make multiple Hair attacks/round and on every other attack, Tie Up opponents.

I wrote:
The proposal about Ghost Touch Amulet of Mighty Fists is problematic--it isn't for Grappling anymore,

The wording of Amulet of Mighty Fists states that it provides bonuses for "unarmed and natural attacks." Grappling is done unarmed, and it is an attack, so it is an unarmed attack. But there was an official rules post declaring that the Amulet of Mighty Fists does not provide a bonus for your Grapple Check.

But there was another FAQ describing using magic weapons bonuses for your Combat Maneuver Checks. You are entitled to your Weapon Enchancement Bonus on your Combat Maneuver Check if you are using your weapon to make the Maneuver: Halberds are Tripping weapons. If you use a +1 Halberd to Trip someone, you get to use that +1. If you have the Shield Slam Feat, you get a free Bull Rush with every Shield Bash, and if you do this with a shield that has been enchanted as a +1 weapon, you get that +1 for your Bull Rush, too.

Well, White Hair is a Natural Attack. Amulet of Mighty Fists enhances Natural Attacks. If you are Grappling with your White Hair, you get to add the AoMF bonus to your Grapple Check. That's the way you can use a Ghost Touch AoMF to Grapple Incorporeal Undead. A related way would be to use a Tentacle such as from the Alchemist Discovery, which has the Grab Ability that works similarly to White Hair.

Another method would be if you were wearing Ghost Touch Armor, or if you were under the influence of a Mage Armor Spell. Both would give you normal AC protection against incoporeal undead, so in principle, your whole body covered with a Force or Ghost Touch dweomer should allow you to Grapple an Incorporeal monster. I don't know of any official rule allowing this, but most GMs I'vs asked about this say they would allow it.

Another thing that's nice about White Hair is that when you have someone Grappled in your White Hair, your victim is Grappled, but you are not. You still keep your Dex. You still Can make Attacks of opportunity. If the character build I just fleshed out were to take feats that give Attacks of Opportunity such as Broken Wing Gambit or Snake Fang, you could Grapple as an Attack of Opportunity anyone who attempts to free himself or attack you in some other way. Then Tie them Up.

I have 2 builds that use this idea here.


The builds I was offering so far use Grappling to Tie Up opponents. They barely inflict any damage at all. To use Grappleing to inflict damage, I like Armor Spikes. Armor Spikes do 1d6 points of extra damage on any successful Grapple Attack.

So, with your White Hair, you could be inflicting extra damage with every hit.

There is the Hamatula Strike Feat which gives you a free Grapple Attack with every hit with a Piercing Weapon. So you could take the Shield Brace Feat, fighting with Halberd (Nodachi is better) and Shield. You can use a 2 weapon fight with Spiked Shield, or you could 2 weapon fight with your Halberd and Armor Spikes, inflicting bonus damage with each hit.

The way to go ridiculous with this is with a Natural Attack character, though. Bite Attacks do Piercing Damage. So do Gore Attacks. Claws don't, but there are ways of getting them to.

There are ways of getting multiple natural Attacks. Tengu can start out with 2 Claws and a Bite. 2 magic items--the Animal Mask and the Helm of the Mammoth Lord--give you a Gore Attack. A level in White Haired Witch gives you a Hair Attack. I like the idea of then taking levels in Warpriest replacing the normal, low damage from all these attacks with Sacred Weapon Damage which gets better with levels.

Another way to get lots of natural attacks is with Druid Wild Shape. They're called Druidzilla characters. Druidzillas are very good at making enemies wash away in a hurricane of high-damage full attacks.

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