Grappling Incorporeal with Ghost Touch.


Rules Questions

Scarab Sages

Can a monk, with an amulet of might fist imbued with the ghost touch enchantment, be able to grapple an incorporeal creature?

Please explain why or why not? Specific in the rules please, not opinions.
Looking for a ruling once and for all.

Grand Lodge

Dwraith wrote:

Can a monk, with an amulet of might fist imbued with the ghost touch enchantment, be able to grapple an incorporeal creature?

Please explain why or why not? Specific in the rules please, not opinions.
Looking for a ruling once and for all.

I do not think you are going to find the concrete answer you are looking for. The only concrete answer I can give you is that sooner or later this is going to get moved to the rules forum as this is not a PFS specific question.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

From a cursory glance, it's looking like a no.

Bestiary, page 301 wrote:

An incorporeal creature’s attacks pass through (ignore)

natural armor, armor, and shields, although def lection
bonuses and force effects (such as mage armor) work
normally against it. Incorporeal creatures pass through
and operate in water as easily as they do in air. 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.

Nothing in the ghost touch property states that they can now be grappled, from what can see. However that is only from a 3-minute skim of the rules. Someone may correct me if I'm wrong.

Grand Lodge

I stand corrected. That looks pretty concrete to me.


Does a +1 AoMF give you a bonus to CMB for Grappling? If you can find a rule that indicates it does, then you would likely also be able to use Ghost Touch to Grapple.

The only section of the Grapple rules that mentions Unarmed Strike is in the damage section:

Quote:
Damage: You can inflict damage to your target equal to your unarmed strike, a natural attack, or an attack made with armor spikes or a light or one-handed weapon. This damage can be either lethal or nonlethal.

But note that this also mentions other weapons as well, which are not generally believed to be usable for Grappling (in fact, most impose a penalty for grappling without two hands).

Liberty's Edge

David Montgomery wrote:

From a cursory glance, it's looking like a no.

Quote:

An incorporeal creature’s attacks pass through (ignore)

natural armor, armor, and shields, although def lection
bonuses and force effects (such as mage armor) work
normally against it. Incorporeal creatures pass through
and operate in water as easily as they do in air. 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.
Nothing in the ghost touch property states that they can now be grappled, from what can see. However that is only from a 3-minute skim of the rules. Someone may correct me if I'm wrong.

This is also how I see it.

Liberty's Edge

redward wrote:

Does a +1 AoMF give you a bonus to CMB for Grappling? If you can find a rule that indicates it does, then you would likely also be able to use Ghost Touch to Grapple.

The only section of the Grapple rules that mentions Unarmed Strike is in the damage section:

Quote:
Damage: You can inflict damage to your target equal to your unarmed strike, a natural attack, or an attack made with armor spikes or a light or one-handed weapon. This damage can be either lethal or nonlethal.

But note that this also mentions other weapons as well, which are not generally believed to be usable for Grappling (in fact, most impose a penalty for grappling without two hands).

All non-weapon bonuses to attack or AC (unless you have a specific weapon that has an appropriate special quality) are added to CMB or CMD.

Since the AoMF adds bonus to natural weapons, and is not a generic attack bonus, and you don't use natural weapons to grapple, then AoMF would not apply based on how I interpret the rules.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Unless you have a special ability/weapon property specifically stating otherwise, grapple (along with most other combat maneuvers) does not use a weapon, and unarmed strikes count as "weapons" for this purpose. Thus, your grapple attempts are separate from your unarmed strikes and do not gain any of their benefits. This also means that if you have Weapon Finesse, your grapples will still be STR-based unless you also take Agile Maneuvers.
Source 1
Source 2

General summary:
Disarm, sunder and trip are weapon-based maneuvers and can employ a weapon you're wielding (gaining any relevant bonuses such as Weapon Finesse or Weapon Focus or masterwork or whatever). Weapons with the "trip" quality can also be used to perform a drag or reposition maneuver. No other maneuvers (such as grapple, dirty trick, bull rush, etc) employ a weapon at all (not even unarmed strike) unless you have a special exception allowing you to do so.

Scarab Sages

So what you're saying is that the rule for incorporeal trumps all other rulings for say,

A ghost touch weapon deals damage normally against
incorporeal creatures, regardless of its bonus. An
incorporeal creature’s 50% reduction in damage from
corporeal sources does not apply to attacks made against
it with ghost touch weapons. The weapon can be picked
up and moved by an incorporeal creature at any time. A
manifesting ghost can wield the weapon against corporeal
foes. Essentially, a ghost touch weapon counts as both corporeal or incorporeal.

Because the sentence stating " 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." So per that line of text, a incorporeal creature can never hold a ghost touch weapon.

Or

Ectoplasmic Spell (Metamagic)
Your spells breach the gulf between dimensions, sending
ghostly emanations into the ether.
Benefit: An ectoplasmic spell has full effect against
incorporeal or ethereal creatures. An ectoplasmic spell uses
up a spell slot one level higher than the spell’s actual level.

And with this feat, a caster could never cast Black Tentacle with ectoplasmic feat per "Incorporeal creatures cannot make trip or grapple attacks, nor can they be tripped or grappled"

Thank you for clearing this up for me....


The magic item "Force Net" from the Blood of the Night player companion can be used to trap incorporeal creatures. I think that's as close as you're likely to get to a grapple. I have no idea whether that's legal for PFS though, and it's a bit pricey at 10K gp.

Grand Lodge

Specific trumps general. The general rule is you cannot grapple incorporeal creatures. Nothing in Ghost Touch specifically over rides that. So by RAW you can't do it. RAI can be argued but that is opinion.

The Exchange

Dwraith wrote:

So what you're saying is that the rule for incorporeal trumps all other rulings for say,

A ghost touch weapon deals damage normally against
incorporeal creatures, regardless of its bonus. An
incorporeal creature’s 50% reduction in damage from
corporeal sources does not apply to attacks made against
it with ghost touch weapons. The weapon can be picked
up and moved by an incorporeal creature at any time. A
manifesting ghost can wield the weapon against corporeal
foes. Essentially, a ghost touch weapon counts as both corporeal or incorporeal.

Because the sentence stating " 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." So per that line of text, a incorporeal creature can never hold a ghost touch weapon.

Or

I have ruled that anything that a ghost is carrying that is a ghost-touch item can't pass through walls and such due it being "both corporeal and incorporeal". If a weapon is both it can't pass through a wall regardless of if the ghost wants it to or not IMO.

Grand Lodge

You can not use ghost touch AofMF to grapple an incoporial creature.You can grapple with Ghost spike Armor. It specifically states you can grapple an incoporial creature. It's a once a day ability which lasts for 1 min. Dirty Tactics Handbook page 24.

Bigfoot Joe


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I'd allow it. The AoMF isn't just about punching things - with ghost touch, it gives all unarmed attacks and natural weapons a chance against incorporeal creatures. If it didn't allow a grapple, it wouldn't allow improved grab and that would keep non-pouncing rakes from being of use. And I don't think that's part of the intent of how AoMF with ghost touch is supposed to interact with the regular incorporeal rules.


5 year necro, and ghost touch does not allow you to grapple incorporeal creatures.

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