Can you Weapon Finesse a Grapple Attack?


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Ok, I have a single question on grapple. I’ve seen multiple posts on this and they get bogged down in minutia. I want a simple straight forward YES or NO.

Can you apply your dexterity modifier with weapon finesse to your CMB in place of your strength modifier when making a grapple attack?

I believe that you should be able to because weapon finesse states that natural attacks are considered light weapons and that you deliver the grapple attack with your hand.

Under the combat section it states that when you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects. These bonuses must be applicable to the weapon or attack used to perform the maneuver. The DC of this maneuver is your target's Combat Maneuver Defense. Combat maneuvers are attack rolls, so you must roll for concealment and take any other penalties that would normally apply to an attack roll.

Further under the grapple entry it states that humanoid creatures without two free hands attempting to grapple a foe take a –4 penalty on the combat maneuver roll. This illustrates my argument that the grapple attacks is delivered with your hand.

I’ve heard the argument that Agile Maneuvers grants you this bonus so Weapon Finesse shouldn't. That’s a false line of logic otherwise known as a logical fallacy (i.e. if A is true then B is must be false). Just because one may grant the bonus it doesn’t mean the other couldn’t or shouldn’t grant the identical kind of bonus. I don’t care if it makes Agile Maneuvers worthless; I care about the logic of the rules.

Paizo Employee Sean K Reynolds Designer, posted that disarm, sunder, and trip are normally the only kinds of combat maneuvers in which you’re actually using a weapon (natural weapons and unarmed strikes are considered weapons for this purpose) to perform the maneuver, and therefore the weapon’s bonuses (enhancement bonuses, feats such as Weapon Focus, fighter weapon training, and so on) apply to the roll.

However, when asked if a monk’s Weapon Focus (Unarmed Strike) and Amulet of Mighty Fists +1 would affect the Combat Maneuver for Grapple?
Sean responded saying “I'd file that under "the GM is free to rule that in certain circumstances, a creature can apply weapon bonuses for these maneuvers."

This leaves open the door that unarmed attack modifiers may, at least in theory, modify your grapple CMB.

What do you think?


Weapon finesse does not allow you to use your dexterity bonus in a grapple. When making a combat maneuver you are using your CMB. The rules clearly state that your CMB is Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + special size modifier . Weapon finesse does not affect your CMB so does work with grapple or any other combat maneuvers.


You can use Weapon Finesse for specific Combat Maneuvers such as Disarm, Trip, and Sunder (as you already listed). Anything using a weapon.

Grapple is not one of them.

Now, some people feel that creatures using a Natural Attack with Grab or Unarmed Strike should benefit from Weapon Finesse and other feats that affect the Natural Attack/Unarmed Strike when Grappling. However, that is not in the rules and you would have to house rule that in.

- Gauss


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Weapon Finesse
With a light weapon, elven curve blade, rapier, whip, or spiked chain made for a creature of your size category, you may use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on attack rolls. If you carry a shield, its armor check penalty applies to your attack rolls.
Special: Natural weapons are considered light weapons.

It says attack rolls not cmb or anytime you are using the weapon.

You said
Under the combat section it states that when you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus.

So I would think you would add your dex to the attack then replace that with your CMB then add any for the other stuff.

So no.


Azouth, not entirely accurate.

FAQ regarding Weapon Finesse

FAQ regarding Weapon Finesse wrote:

Weapon Finesse: If I have this feat, can I apply my Dex bonus to my combat maneuver checks instead of my Strength bonus?

It depends on what combat maneuver you're attempting. Disarm, sunder, and trip are normally the only kinds of combat maneuvers in which you’re actually using a weapon to perform the maneuver, and therefore the weapon’s bonuses apply to the roll. Therefore, if you're attempting a disarm, sunder, or trip maneuver, you can apply your Dex bonus instead of your Str mod on the combat maneuver check (assuming you're using a finessable weapon, of course). For other combat maneuvers, you use the normal rule for determining CMB (Str instead of Dex).

The Agile Maneuvers feat applies to all combat maneuvers, not just disarm, sunder, and trip, so it is still a useful option for a Dex-based creature that uses combat maneuvers.

In short, the OP is correct regarding Disarm, Sunder, and Trip. The problem is that the FAQ states "using a weapon to perform the maneuver" which leads some to believe that if you are using a weapon to grapple with then you should be able to apply Weapon Finesse.

- Gauss


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Weapon finesse does not allow you to use your dexterity bonus in a grapple. When making a combat maneuver you are using your CMB. The rules clearly state that your CMB is Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + special size modifier . Weapon finesse does not affect your CMB so does work with grapple or any other combat maneuvers.

Yes, I saw that calculation in the combat section. However, it also states that when you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects. These bonuses must be applicable to the weapon or attack used to perform the maneuver. The DC of this maneuver is your target's Combat Maneuver Defense. Combat maneuvers are attack rolls, so you must roll for concealment and take any other penalties that would normally apply to an attack roll.

Since you use your hands to execute a grapple attack-and hands are considered light, natural weapons–you have the option of using your dexterity modifier per the Weapon Finesse feat on the grapple combat maneuver. I say this because the hands are intrinsically part of the grapple attack.


No you dont use unarmed strikes for a grapple. Except fir a few cases grapple is a weaponless maneuver. You need to take agile maneuvers.

Sczarni

You can only use weapon focus/finesse/etc if you're actually using a weapon to perform that manuever. So if you want to apply finesse, weapon focus, to trip, disarm, and grapple... look no further than the wonderful whip!


NO


I'm leaning pretty heavily towards no.

Grand Lodge

You cannot use Weapon Finesse for Combat Maneuvers. There is a Feat in the Core Book called Agile Maneuvers that allows you to use your DEX in place of your STR when rolling to preform Combat Maneuvers.

Weapon Finesse only allows you to use your DEX in place of your STR when making Weapon Attack rolls.


DarkKnight27, have you read the FAQ I posted in this thread? You can clearly use Weapon Finesse for *some* combat Maneuvers. Namely: Disarm, Trip, and Sunder.

- Gauss


I'm still waiting to be persuaded by logic. I see lots of no's, but no explanation as to why a grapple maneuver which is executed with your hands could not take advantage of weapon finesse as it would be consider a light, natural attack and thus allow the substitution of the Dexterity modifier.

In the post I cite that discusses using weapon focus (unarmed strike) to modify the grapple CM Sean K Reynolds states that in certain circumstances, a creature can apply weapon bonuses for these maneuvers (the example asked mentions a monk who uses a feat that is for unarmed strike) to modify his grapple CM bonus.

The point I'm making is that a grapple attack is executed with your hands (i.e. a light, natural attack) and as such would be subject to weapon finesse.


ucobronco wrote:

I'm still waiting to be persuaded by logic. I see lots of no's, but no explanation as to why a grapple maneuver which is executed with your hands could not take advantage of weapon finesse as it would be consider a light, natural attack and thus allow the substitution of the Dexterity modifier.

In the post I cite that discusses using weapon focus (unarmed strike) to modify the grapple CM Sean K Reynolds states that in certain circumstances, a creature can apply weapon bonuses for these maneuvers (the example asked mentions a monk who uses a feat that is for unarmed strike) to modify his grapple CM bonus.

The point I'm making is that a grapple attack is executed with your hands (i.e. a light, natural attack) and as such would be subject to weapon finesse.

I think Sean's post made it pretty clear. Only trip, sunder, and disarm attempts can use weapon bonuses *unless the GM says circumstances dictate otherwise.* So ask your GM, or if you are the GM, make a ruling. There is no hard and fast rule on this.

Also, it's unrealistic expect a post to be that long and detailed and not get bogged down in minutiae. You said you wanted a simple yes or no (which some people gave), but when people said "No", you demanded reasons after others already gave numerous reasons which contradicts your demand for a simple answer.


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ucobronco wrote:
I'm still waiting to be persuaded by logic. I see lots of no's, but no explanation as to why a grapple maneuver which is executed with your hands could not take advantage of weapon finesse as it would be consider a light, natural attack and thus allow the substitution of the Dexterity modifier.

Because you do not grapple with your hands. You grapple with your entire body.

I can see your point, but

1)there is no actual "grapple" weapon
2) we had three combat maneuvers called out as eligible and grapple wasn't one of them
3) There is an agile manuvers feat to do what you want.

Sczarni

Am I the only one that checks the FAQs first?

Quote:

Weapon Finesse: If I have this feat, can I apply my Dex bonus to my combat maneuver checks instead of my Strength bonus?

It depends on what combat maneuver you're attempting. Disarm, sunder, and trip are normally the only kinds of combat maneuvers in which you’re actually using a weapon to perform the maneuver, and therefore the weapon’s bonuses apply to the roll. Therefore, if you're attempting a disarm, sunder, or trip maneuver, you can apply your Dex bonus instead of your Str mod on the combat maneuver check (assuming you're using a finessable weapon, of course). For other combat maneuvers, you use the normal rule for determining CMB (Str instead of Dex).

The Agile Maneuvers feat applies to all combat maneuvers, not just disarm, sunder, and trip, so it is still a useful option for a Dex-based creature that uses combat maneuvers.

—Sean K Reynolds, 10/03/11

Quote:

Trip Weapons: If you want to make a trip combat maneuver, do you have to use a weapon with the trip special feature?

No. When making a trip combat maneuver, you don't have to use a weapon with the trip special feature--you can use any weapon. For example, you can trip with a longsword or an unarmed strike, even though those weapons don't have the trip special feature.
Note that there is an advantage to using a weapon with the trip special feature (a.k.a. a "trip weapon") when making a trip combat maneuver: if your trip attack fails by 10 or more, you can drop the trip weapon instead of being knocked prone.

On a related note, you don't have to use a weapon with the disarm special feature (a.k.a. a "disarm weapon") when making a disarm combat maneuver--you can use any weapon.

Note: This is a revision of this FAQ entry based on a Paizo blog about combat maneuvers with weapons. The previous version of this FAQ stated that using a trip weapon was the only way you could apply weapon enhancement bonuses, Weapon Focus bonuses, and other such bonuses to the trip combat maneuver roll. The clarification in that blog means any weapon used to trip applies these bonuses when making a trip combat maneuver, so this FAQ was updated to omit the "only trip weapons let you apply these bonuses" limitation.

—Sean K Reynolds, 03/15/11

then there's this source

Quote:

Page 199 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook says, “When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects. These bonuses must be applicable to the weapon or attack used to perform the maneuver.” That last sentence implies that some weapons apply their bonuses on combat maneuver checks, and some do not. So how do you know which weapons do? The answer depends on what kind of combat maneuver you’re attempting, and in some cases what kind of weapon you’re using.

Disarm, sunder, and trip are normally the only kinds of combat maneuvers in which you’re actually using a weapon (natural weapons and unarmed strikes are considered weapons for this purpose) to perform the maneuver, and therefore the weapon’s bonuses (enhancement bonuses, feats such as Weapon Focus, fighter weapon training, and so on) apply to the roll.

Grand Lodge

Gauss wrote:

DarkKnight27, have you read the FAQ I posted in this thread? You can clearly use Weapon Finesse for *some* combat Maneuvers. Namely: Disarm, Trip, and Sunder.

- Gauss

No, I didn't. This is one of the reason's why I dislike FAQ's. If people badger the right people enough or ask their question in just the right way to the right person they can have the rules bent anyway they want. As quoted above the entry for CMB, it clearly says that:

"When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects. These bonuses must be applicable to the weapon or attack used to perform the maneuver.

So you roll your CMB in place of your normal attack role when performing a combat maneuver. Your CMB is = to your BAB + STR + Size Modifier. You then add any BONUSES you are getting on attack rolls from spells, feats, etc. I don't believe that Weapon Finesse is a BONUS to your attack roll. If it is then you should be adding your BAB + STR + DEX to get your CMB when using Weapon Finesse, which is obviously NOT the intent.

Now if the intent was that Weapon Finesse not only allows you to use your DEX in place of your STR for normal attack rolls but also allows it on CMB rolls then it should have said that and then there would be no need for the Agile Maneuver feat.

But Weapon Finesse doesn't say that and there is a feat called Agile Maneuvers that specifically says you add your DEX to CMB in place of your STR.

The rules are clear enough as written and if they wanted to remove Agile Maneuvers from the Core Book and combine it with Weapon Finesse then they should have done that instead of trying to make Agile Maneuvers useless because of a poor FAQ ruling.

Liberty's Edge

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ucobronco, I question your intentions here. You said:

"I want a simple straight forward YES or NO."

You were given that. In this *and* in the (admittedly accidental) duplicate post.

So you changed the goalposts:

"I'm still waiting to be persuaded by logic. I see lots of no's, but no explanation as to why a grapple maneuver which is executed with your hands could not take advantage of weapon finesse as it would be consider a light, natural attack and thus allow the substitution of the Dexterity modifier."

It appears you want to "get bogged down in minutia" which you initially asserted was what you did not want.

At any rate, if you want to argue from "logic", then obviously you know that the person making the positive claim bears the burden of proof, not the other way around.

----

I agree with all of the noes, for all of the reasons they have already listed. The simple straight forward answer as requested in the OP is "NO".

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

An unarmed strike is considered a light weapon.
A Grapple uses your hand, but NOT an unarmed Strike.
yes there is a difference. I use my hand scratch my family jewels. I most certainly do not unarmed strike them.
Logic. If the OP keeps going, he doesn't want an answer, he want an agreement.


Trip, Sunder, and Disarm involve striking particular parts of the target; their legs, their equipment, their wielded weapon. You're actually "attacking" those parts in a way that's somewhat analogous to a "called shot". Bull Rush, Grapple, Drag, Reposition, and Overrun, however, don't work this way. You're not just "smacking them" in a different part of their body. The closest example would be Bull Rush since you are hitting them in their everything but you're also using your everything which I doubt would involve finesse of any sort. Yes, Grappling uses your hands... well, so does Drag and Reposition, but those don't get the benefit because it involves grasping rather than striking. By this logic, I wouldn't even say that Weapon Finesse applies to a Grab attempt because, while Finesse might apply to the attack used, the grapple check is separate and, again, involves grasping rather than striking; the target has already been struck, now you're attempting to overpower them into a grapple. I could see a Reposition attempt with a tripping weapon using Finesse if the weapon is finesseable because tripping weapons can be used to reposition. That's why finesse (and weapon focus and weapon enhancement bonus) only apply to Trip, Disarm, and Sunder; those are the maneuvers that most closely resemble the normal use of the weapons being used... swing and strike. If you want to grapple agilely, pick up Agile Maneuvers.


lantzkev wrote:

Am I the only one that checks the FAQs first?

Quote:

Weapon Finesse: If I have this feat, can I apply my Dex bonus to my combat maneuver checks instead of my Strength bonus?

It depends on what combat maneuver you're attempting. Disarm, sunder, and trip are normally the only kinds of combat maneuvers in which you’re actually using a weapon to perform the maneuver, and therefore the weapon’s bonuses apply to the roll. Therefore, if you're attempting a disarm, sunder, or trip maneuver, you can apply your Dex bonus instead of your Str mod on the combat maneuver check (assuming you're using a finessable weapon, of course). For other combat maneuvers, you use the normal rule for determining CMB (Str instead of Dex).

The Agile Maneuvers feat applies to all combat maneuvers, not just disarm, sunder, and trip, so it is still a useful option for a Dex-based creature that uses combat maneuvers.

—Sean K Reynolds, 10/03/11

Quote:

Trip Weapons: If you want to make a trip combat maneuver, do you have to use a weapon with the trip special feature?

No. When making a trip combat maneuver, you don't have to use a weapon with the trip special feature--you can use any weapon. For example, you can trip with a longsword or an unarmed strike, even though those weapons don't have the trip special feature.
Note that there is an advantage to using a weapon with the trip special feature (a.k.a. a "trip weapon") when making a trip combat maneuver: if your trip attack fails by 10 or more, you can drop the trip weapon instead of being knocked prone.

On a related note, you don't have to use a weapon with the disarm special feature (a.k.a. a "disarm weapon") when making a disarm combat maneuver--you can use any weapon.

Note: This is a revision of this FAQ entry based on a Paizo blog about combat maneuvers with weapons. The previous version of this FAQ stated that using a trip weapon was the only way you could apply weapon enhancement bonuses, Weapon Focus bonuses, and other such bonuses to the trip combat

...

I like this answer. Its researched :)

I need to go back and read these posts on the FACs section. When I originally reviewed a related post (which I posted at the top) the way Sean explained his example left open the possibility of a situation where weapon focus and amulet of mighty fists could actaully adjust the CM of a grapple attack.

If I'm reading Agile Maneuvers this applies to any CMB maneuver, for example I could use a pole arm to trip you and use my dex. Weapon finesse would allow me to do this but only with the weapons specifically mentioned in the Weapon Finesse feat. My arguement is since your using your hands (although really any part of your body is considered a light, natural attack under the rules) you could use the feat to switch out to your dex modifier.


Daethor wrote:
ucobronco wrote:

I'm still waiting to be persuaded by logic. I see lots of no's, but no explanation as to why a grapple maneuver which is executed with your hands could not take advantage of weapon finesse as it would be consider a light, natural attack and thus allow the substitution of the Dexterity modifier.

In the post I cite that discusses using weapon focus (unarmed strike) to modify the grapple CM Sean K Reynolds states that in certain circumstances, a creature can apply weapon bonuses for these maneuvers (the example asked mentions a monk who uses a feat that is for unarmed strike) to modify his grapple CM bonus.

The point I'm making is that a grapple attack is executed with your hands (i.e. a light, natural attack) and as such would be subject to weapon finesse.

I think Sean's post made it pretty clear. Only trip, sunder, and disarm attempts can use weapon bonuses *unless the GM says circumstances dictate otherwise.* So ask your GM, or if you are the GM, make a ruling. There is no hard and fast rule on this.

Also, it's unrealistic expect a post to be that long and detailed and not get bogged down in minutiae. You said you wanted a simple yes or no (which some people gave), but when people said "No", you demanded reasons after others already gave numerous reasons which contradicts your demand for a simple answer.

Well I want a simple yes or no, but I would like it grounded in logic so that could complicate my question :)


The Shining Fool wrote:

ucobronco, I question your intentions here. You said:

"I want a simple straight forward YES or NO."

You were given that. In this *and* in the (admittedly accidental) duplicate post.

So you changed the goalposts:

"I'm still waiting to be persuaded by logic. I see lots of no's, but no explanation as to why a grapple maneuver which is executed with your hands could not take advantage of weapon finesse as it would be consider a light, natural attack and thus allow the substitution of the Dexterity modifier."

It appears you want to "get bogged down in minutia" which you initially asserted was what you did not want.

At any rate, if you want to argue from "logic", then obviously you know that the person making the positive claim bears the burden of proof, not the other way around.

----

I agree with all of the noes, for all of the reasons they have already listed. The simple straight forward answer as requested in the OP is "NO".

Argumentum ad hominem.

I really do have an interest in finding an answer and questioning my intentions doesn't answer the question. And while I do have a horse in this race that doesn't mean I can't be convinced I'm wrong. I've just tried to provide a logical argument citing rules and previous posts of designers to support by assertion. Which I think my arguement does bear some merit, otherwise why would we post about it :)


NO otherwise Agile maneuvers would be a wasted feat and its not suposed to be


ucobronco wrote:
I really do have an interest in finding an answer and questioning my intentions doesn't answer the question. And while I do have a horse in this race that doesn't mean I can't be convinced I'm wrong. I've just tried to provide a logical argument citing rules and previous posts of designers to support by assertion. Which I think my arguement does bear some merit, otherwise why would we post about it :)

To get the answer you want.

To be clear: while you could argue that you grapple with your hand (which can get a + to hit from weapon finesse) that is something of a gray area.

The Dev team has said no, that doesn't work. Grapple is not an unarmed strike, its a separate category from unarmed strike.

This is plain from the text of weapon focus.

Choose one type of weapon. You can also choose unarmed strike or grapple (or ray, if you are a spellcaster) as your weapon for the purposes of this feat.

Take the agile maneuvers feat, it exists for a reason

Your argument against that is to say that the dev team was jedi mind tricked into ruling against you, because my argument is so good!

Your argument is not that good.

Pony up for the agile maneuvers feat. Move on.


The usefulness or existence of Agile Maneuvers is irrelevant to the question.

I'm not trying to get the answer I want, I just would like you to make a more sophisticated argument other than saying I'm wrong :)

And where are you citing the example that the Dev team has said no? I'd like to take a look at that.


DakrKnight27, you see that Weapon Finesse does not apply based on what you quoted. However, others see that it does apply since it calls out that if your weapon applies to the Combat Maneuver any modifiers which apply to your weapon applies.

Thus, it is perfect for a FAQ. Yes, they intended Weapon Finesse to apply. It changes the modifier you are using for the weapon and thus a weapon-related Combat Maneuver. So, by the rules you quoted, it applies.

- Gauss


ucobronco wrote:

The usefulness or existence of Agile Maneuvers is irrelevant to the question.

I'm not trying to get the answer I want, I just would like you to make a more sophisticated argument other than saying I'm wrong :)

And where are you citing the example that the Dev team has said no? I'd like to take a look at that.

That's not really the point. Your initial post indicated you just want a straight-forward answer of either "yes" or "no". You were given that... the answer was "no". You asked for no mincing of words or complex logical bickering as to the how and why, you requested the bottom line. The bottom line was "no". Then you say, "But I want the answer to be 'yes' and your 'no' isn't logically backed up and I don't agree with it." So then, we logically back up the "yes" and you say, "I don't agree with that logic, therefore it's not enough to convince me that I'm wrong." Basically, you're not looking for a bottom-line answer of "yes or no", you're looking for a bottom-line answer of "yes".

In short, your initial request of a "bottom-line" answer of either yes or no was incorrect. That was not, in reality, what you were looking for. You were looking for validation of a preconceived idea. Now, I can't speak as to whether this was deliberate or inadvertent on your part... but that's the bottom line; you asked the wrong question. Given your responses, the question you should have asked was the following:

"I think Weapon Finesse should let me get Dex to attack on a Grapple. Can someone convince me wrong?"

While bringing in certain peripheral logical arguments may have been irrelevant to the "bottom-line" question, that was an irrelevent question to start with; it is most certainly relevent to convincing you that you are incorrect (which, BTW, you are).

So, what, exactly, do you want now? Validation or a correct "bottom-line" answer? If you want validation, you're not going to get it. Someone may come along and tell you you're right... but that won't make it so. If you're looking for a correct answer, the answer is "no".

Scarab Sages

I'll take a shot at a "logical" argument against.

When making a grapple attempt with hands/limbs, as stated previously by the developers feats/skills/abilities are written with humanoid characters in mind, you are not attempting to strike with your unarmed attack (which gets the bonus from weapon finesse), you are attempting to control the other person in some way by grabbing them or restricting their movement in some way (which means you may not be using your hands, exactly how a grapple occurs is highly dependent on the situation at hand). I agree there is some logic with dexterity being used for the initial grab, but part of the grapple is holding and controlling the person. Although a highly dexterous character may be able to wriggle and writhe out of a grapple more easily (as seen with escape artist), to actually hold and control a grapple without some specialized training (represented by agile maneuvers) is strength based.

This is definitely more in the lines of RAI than RAW, but I think it gives an adequate reasoning.

I think under some special circumstances however the weapon finesse could be applied to the roll, for example: If a character/NPC has an ability that grants a free grapple attempt upon a successful strike (similar to the monster ability Grab) then I would allow finesse for the attempt if it was applicable to the strike (not to maintain, just for the initial strike/grapple, it would still be strength based to maintain unless agile maneuvers is present). But I doubt all GMs would see it this way.


No. Unless you have Grab.

Sczarni

I forget where the source is for this quote so I wont attribute it but to summarize it, it said

Quote:
unless the weapon has that trait, trip, grapple, disarm, sunder, bull rush etc you're not using it for the maneuver

AOMF has no traits like that unless you somehow give it one.

And yes, agile maneuvers with correct itemization can be marginalized.

IE a pole arm fighter who also has whips and weapon finnesse


ucobronco wrote:
Daethor wrote:
ucobronco wrote:

I'm still waiting to be persuaded by logic. I see lots of no's, but no explanation as to why a grapple maneuver which is executed with your hands could not take advantage of weapon finesse as it would be consider a light, natural attack and thus allow the substitution of the Dexterity modifier.

In the post I cite that discusses using weapon focus (unarmed strike) to modify the grapple CM Sean K Reynolds states that in certain circumstances, a creature can apply weapon bonuses for these maneuvers (the example asked mentions a monk who uses a feat that is for unarmed strike) to modify his grapple CM bonus.

The point I'm making is that a grapple attack is executed with your hands (i.e. a light, natural attack) and as such would be subject to weapon finesse.

I think Sean's post made it pretty clear. Only trip, sunder, and disarm attempts can use weapon bonuses *unless the GM says circumstances dictate otherwise.* So ask your GM, or if you are the GM, make a ruling. There is no hard and fast rule on this.

Also, it's unrealistic expect a post to be that long and detailed and not get bogged down in minutiae. You said you wanted a simple yes or no (which some people gave), but when people said "No", you demanded reasons after others already gave numerous reasons which contradicts your demand for a simple answer.

Well I want a simple yes or no, but I would like it grounded in logic so that could complicate my question :)

Fair enough, but you ignored the other part of my post. Sean's post made it clear that weapon bonuses would only apply to grapple if the GM thought it was appropriate for a situation. He didn't just say that there were "certain situations," (which makes it sound like there's definite rules), you left out a crucial piece of his statement. He said it was up to the GM. Therefore, without GM permission, which it sounds like you don't have, you cannot apply weapon bonuses to grapple.


ucobronco wrote:

The usefulness or existence of Agile Maneuvers is irrelevant to the question.

I'm not trying to get the answer I want, I just would like you to make a more sophisticated argument other than saying I'm wrong :)

It was made. You ignored it. Repeatedly. Respond to it.

Don't expect a standard you yourself aren't living up to. Your idea that the dev team was jedi mind tricked is frankly, dross. You haven't responded to any of the counter arguments I've made. To reduce my argument to "saying you're wrong" is disingenuous enough to have me twitching for the ignore button.

Quote:

And where are you citing the example that the Dev team has said no? I'd like to take a look at that.

You've been shown it , repeatedly. Disarm sunder and trip are the only combat maneuvers that actually use a weapon. There is no weapon normally associated with a grapple, bullrush, or overrun maneuver.

Grand Lodge

Gauss wrote:

DakrKnight27, you see that Weapon Finesse does not apply based on what you quoted. However, others see that it does apply since it calls out that if your weapon applies to the Combat Maneuver any modifiers which apply to your weapon applies.

Thus, it is perfect for a FAQ. Yes, they intended Weapon Finesse to apply. It changes the modifier you are using for the weapon and thus a weapon-related Combat Maneuver. So, by the rules you quoted, it applies.

- Gauss

So then Weapon Finesse is a bonus to your attack roll like Weapon Focus and Bless and Haste are bonuses to your attack roll and your CMB should be calculated as BAB + STR + DEX + Size Modifier? The RAW say that your CMB is = to BAB + STR + Size Modifier. It doesn't make any mention of letting your DEX be used in place of your STR for any reason. Weapon Finesse doesn't say that you can use your DEX in place of STR for your CMB. The ONLY feat/rule in the game that says you CAN substitute your DEX for your STR when calculating your CMB is Agile Maneuvers.


DarkKnight27, it was a question where enough people asked, the Devs answered with the answer being that for the purposes of certain Combat Maneuvers it does, indeed, apply. So, it must not be all that cut and dry.

- Gauss


Could you do it with the Dan Bong, I now wonder?

Grand Lodge

Gauss wrote:

DarkKnight27, it was a question where enough people asked, the Devs answered with the answer being that for the purposes of certain Combat Maneuvers it does, indeed, apply. So, it must not be all that cut and dry.

- Gauss

Exactly, enough people badgered the developers about this that the developers folded and made something up that goes against the RAW just so they wouldn't be bothered any more. It's not that it's unclear, it's that these people didn't like having to take two feats to do what they wanted to do. So badger badger badger, ask the question this way and that way, twist the logic, use fallacious arguments and catch a developer who's not looking close enough and you get any rule you want turned into an FAQ.

I saw it happen with 3.0, I saw it happen with 3.5 and I'm seeing it happen with Pathfinder.


Rynjin wrote:
Could you do it with the Dan Bong, I now wonder?

Probably not. The dan bong just helps you grapple better, you don't make the grapple check with it technically.


DarkKnight27 wrote:


So then Weapon Finesse is a bonus to your attack roll like Weapon Focus and Bless and Haste are bonuses to your attack roll and your CMB should be calculated as BAB + STR + DEX + Size Modifier? The RAW say that your CMB is = to BAB + STR + Size Modifier. It doesn't make any mention of letting your DEX be used in place of your STR for any reason.

The devs didn't get jedi mind tricked into anything.

Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects. These bonuses must be applicable to the weapon or attack used to perform the maneuver.

While you can argue that having a +5 from your dex instead of a -2 from your strength isn't a bonus, it functionally is.


Based on the logic that if it is directly specified to affect the CMB then it counts, the Dan Bong would clearly count and would allow Weapon Finesse.

So it probably needs a FAQ incase it is a corner case.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
ucobronco wrote:

The usefulness or existence of Agile Maneuvers is irrelevant to the question.

I'm not trying to get the answer I want, I just would like you to make a more sophisticated argument other than saying I'm wrong :)

It was made. You ignored it. Repeatedly. Respond to it.

Don't expect a standard you yourself aren't living up to. Your idea that the dev team was jedi mind tricked is frankly, dross. You haven't responded to any of the counter arguments I've made. To reduce my argument to "saying you're wrong" is disingenuous enough to have me twitching for the ignore button.

Quote:

And where are you citing the example that the Dev team has said no? I'd like to take a look at that.

You've been shown it , repeatedly. Disarm sunder and trip are the only combat maneuvers that actually use a weapon. There is no weapon normally associated with a grapple, bullrush, or overrun maneuver.

I thought I did address it. All you really have to do is show that in some circumstances Agile Maneuvers would provide a CM bonus that Weapon Finesse wouldn’t (i.e. a CM executed with a polearm [a non-finesseable weapon]).

The post that I think you’re referring to states that if a weapon is involved to make the combat maneuver it may grant a bonus to execute the attack and they cite that disarm, trip, and sunder as the most common occurrences of that. There’s another post from a developer that I cite in my OP that shows the feat Weapon Focus (unarmed strike) and amulet of the mighty fist may modify a CM grapple check. This isn’t a jedi mind trick I’m citing a post from a developer.

I’m arguing that the weapon in this case is your body that is being used to execute the CM and should fall under the category of natural, light, finesseable weapons.

Honestly, using that logic, I can’t imagine-as long as you’re using your body to initiate the grapple-when it wouldn’t apply.


DarkKnight27 wrote:
Gauss wrote:

DakrKnight27, you see that Weapon Finesse does not apply based on what you quoted. However, others see that it does apply since it calls out that if your weapon applies to the Combat Maneuver any modifiers which apply to your weapon applies.

Thus, it is perfect for a FAQ. Yes, they intended Weapon Finesse to apply. It changes the modifier you are using for the weapon and thus a weapon-related Combat Maneuver. So, by the rules you quoted, it applies.

- Gauss

So then Weapon Finesse is a bonus to your attack roll like Weapon Focus and Bless and Haste are bonuses to your attack roll and your CMB should be calculated as BAB + STR + DEX + Size Modifier? The RAW say that your CMB is = to BAB + STR + Size Modifier. It doesn't make any mention of letting your DEX be used in place of your STR for any reason. Weapon Finesse doesn't say that you can use your DEX in place of STR for your CMB. The ONLY feat/rule in the game that says you CAN substitute your DEX for your STR when calculating your CMB is Agile Maneuvers.

Yes, I saw that calculation in the combat section. However, it also states that when you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects. These bonuses must be applicable to the weapon or attack used to perform the maneuver.


Unarmed strikes are a finessible weapon. "your body" is not a weapon.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Unarmed strikes are a finessible weapon. "your body" is not a weapon.

What does this term 'your body' have to do with anything? You use your hands to grapple as explained in the grapple rules. Hands are considered a close weapon(actually, any part of the body is, despite your claim to the contrary). A grapple is an attack role. Finesse allows you to sub dex on attack roles. Any distinction between disarm & grapple is purely arbitrary and I don't really see a reason to slap another feat tax onto a dex build just so they can try to be a dexy grappler, who will never actually hold anyone pinned, or do any damage once in a grapple...


Answer : No, except when the weapon being used has the Grapple quality and is a light weapon usable under the Weapon Finesse rules

Is Unarmed Strike a grappling weapon?
While you are generally using your hands to make the grapple, you are not using Unarmed Strike to effect the grapple and it is Improved Unarmed Strike which makes your hands a weapon. You do not gain a bonus to Climb or Craft just because you have Weapon Finesse and you use your hands for these purposes and as such you don't gain a Weapon Finesse bonus for Grapple.

Agile Maneuvers does give the same ability to use Dexterity for maneuvers and without the light weapon caveats. Use this if you want a Dex based grappler, but don't expect AoMF or weapon focus to apply.


Vestrial wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Unarmed strikes are a finessible weapon. "your body" is not a weapon.
What does this term 'your body' have to do with anything?

Its the difference between having a finessable weapon and making a combat maneuver check.

Quote:
You use your hands to grapple as explained in the grapple rules.

It says you need both hands, it doesn't say that's all you're using.

Quote:
A grapple is an attack role

No. Its a combat maneuver check. There's a difference.

Quote:
Finesse allows you to sub dex on attack roles. Any distinction between disarm & grapple is purely arbitrary

No, its about what you're using to disarm or grapple: all of you or just your weapon.

Quote:
and I don't really see a reason to slap another feat tax onto a dex build just so they can try to be a dexy grappler, who will never actually hold anyone pinned, or do any damage once in a grapple...

You can try that design philosophy over in the house rules.

Scarab Sages

Vestrial wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Unarmed strikes are a finessible weapon. "your body" is not a weapon.
What does this term 'your body' have to do with anything? You use your hands to grapple as explained in the grapple rules. Hands are considered a close weapon(actually, any part of the body is, despite your claim to the contrary). A grapple is an attack role. Finesse allows you to sub dex on attack roles. Any distinction between disarm & grapple is purely arbitrary and I don't really see a reason to slap another feat tax onto a dex build just so they can try to be a dexy grappler, who will never actually hold anyone pinned, or do any damage once in a grapple...

I don't see in the grapple rules where it states hands are the only way to grapple, it makes sense that a "grapple" could actually be done without the use of hands at all (although if your hands are not free you'd take a -4 penalty according to RAW anyway), legs locks, body blocks (effectively restricting the opponents movement enough to give the grappled condition). I could not find specifics on how a grapple occurs outside of specific abilities. Couldn't one essentially "trap" (note I did not use pin.. as that is a different condition ;) a person against an adjacent wall/pillar/obstacle restricting their movement to the point of a successful grapple, but never actually "grabbing" the opponent?

edit* Bah ninja'd by BNW and ayronc!


Hmm, I'm seeing a few errors in the discussion. Correction time.

First off, Combat Maneuver Rolls are a type of Attack Roll. However, "hands" is not a type of weapon. Unarmed Strike is a type of weapon, but "hand" is not. Technically, your whole body is your Unarmed Strike because you need not define what you're hitting with; it could be a punch, an elbow, a kick, a headbutt, or a vulgar pelvis thrust. Are you "hitting" someone with a grapple? Not in the strictest sense; well, maybe if you watch pro wrestling. But for real fighting, a grapple doesn't really involve "striking" so much as "grasping". Moreover, if Weapon Finesse applied to Grappling because it "uses your body" as a weapon (remember, Unarmed Strike = Your Body), then that also means that Drag, Push, and Reposition (which use "hands") as well as Bull Rush also qualify for it. What is the need for Agile Maneuvers, then, if everything it does can already be replicated by Weapon Finesse? Furthermore, what point is there in taking Weapon Focus (Grapple) if Weapon Focus (Unarmed) would already apply to a grapple?

Furthermore, the difference between a Grapple and a Disarm is hardly arbitrary. They may be similar, but disarming someone involves a lot more striking than grabbing hold of them. You may grab hold of the weapon afterwards (if you have a free hand), but if you're using a two-handed weapon to disarm someone, you're likely hitting them either in the hand or at a leverage point on the weapon. And, again, Disarm can replace a melee attack while Grapple cannot. While there are "quick" feats that allow you to perform various other maneuvers in place of a melee attack (ie. Quick Dirty Trick, Quick Steal, etc), there is no Quick Grapple; the best you can get is Rapid Grapple which makes it a Move action.

Dark Archive

The only way you can weapon finesse a grapple check without Agile Maneuvers is if you are:
(a) using the Grab ability (this method requires a natural weapon like a bite);
(b) using the special grapple granted by a weapon with the "grapple" property.

The former is limited primarily to monsters and certain spellcasters; the latter only works on a crit, so it's difficult to build around.

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