Maintaining a Grapple and Spellcasting


Rules Questions


If I am a spellcaster and I grapple my opponent can I, on the next round, choose to not maintain the grapple and instead cast a spell (and still be considered in the grapple)?

Put another way, if you choose to not maintain a grapple does the grappled condition go away at the beginning or end of your turn?

The issue, of course, is that maintaining a grapple is a standard action and casting a spell is not one of the options for grapplers who have maintained a grapple. Without proper feat investment, you can't grapple and cast a spell (though you can be grappled and cast a spell...).

The practical situation this came up in was in an underwater fight against a lacedon (I had touch of the sea and air bubble up), and it was decided a shocking grasp would dissipate/discharge when it touched the water. So, I decided it best to try to grapple the lacedon and then cast shocking grasp while already touching it.


Unfortunately, no.

"Although both creatures have the grappled condition, you can, as the creature that initiated the grapple, release the grapple as a free action, removing the condition from both you and the target. If you do not release the grapple, you must continue to make a check each round, as a standard action, to maintain the hold."


x93edwards wrote:

Unfortunately, no.

"Although both creatures have the grappled condition, you can, as the creature that initiated the grapple, release the grapple as a free action, removing the condition from both you and the target. If you do not release the grapple, you must continue to make a check each round, as a standard action, to maintain the hold."

I read that part, but it isn't explicit about when the choice is made to maintain or not.

I assume that would be at the beginning of the round, but I have nothing to back that up with but intuition.


if you do not maintain the grapple as a standard action, you have effectively made the free action to release the grapple. The choice can occur any time in your round that you decide to not spend your standard action maintaining the grapple.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Whale_Cancer wrote:
x93edwards wrote:

Unfortunately, no.

"Although both creatures have the grappled condition, you can, as the creature that initiated the grapple, release the grapple as a free action, removing the condition from both you and the target. If you do not release the grapple, you must continue to make a check each round, as a standard action, to maintain the hold."

I read that part, but it isn't explicit about when the choice is made to maintain or not.

I assume that would be at the beginning of the round, but I have nothing to back that up with but intuition.

It's not explicit, but it *is* able to be extrapolated. They key is that we have an "if/then" rule: If you don't release, then you MUST continue to make checks to maintain.

So the start of your turn comes. Do you release the grapple? No? Then you're required to make the check to maintain. At any point in time at which the condition is still true that you haven't released the grapple, the if/then is still applying and costing you your standard action. Thus, you can't spend your standard on anything else so long as the "haven't released the grapple" condition remains true. You have to release the grapple in order to no longer be under the continuous requirement of spending actions to maintain.

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