Greater Grapple question


Rules Questions


PRD wrote:

Greater Grapple (Combat)

Maintaining a grapple is second nature to you.
Prerequisites: Improved Grapple, Improved Unarmed Strike, base attack bonus +6, Dex 13.
Benefit: You receive a +2 bonus on checks made to grapple a foe. This bonus stacks with the bonus granted by Improved Grapple. Once you have grappled a creature, maintaining the grapple is a move action. This feat allows you to make two grapple checks each round (to move, harm, or pin your opponent), but you are not required to make two checks. You only need to succeed at one of these checks to maintain the grapple.
Normal: Maintaining a grapple is a standard action.

A player of mine is playing a grappling Barbarian guy, and we're having a little debate about how it works. I've bolded the main bit that we're talking about, and hoping to have it resolved before he hits the level where he starts using it.

Let's assume that he rolled his Move action grapple and decided to Damage the monster. Now, he wants to Damage the monster again. Does he

A) Have to make another roll to do the second Damage. This is my opinion, since it says that it allows for two grapple checks to be made.

B) Automatically does the second Damage. This is his opinion, since it says that you aren't to make required to make two checks and only need to roll one to maintain.

Thanks for helping clear this up, in advance. :)


Two rolls. Only one need succeed to maintain the grapple, but moving/damaging/pinning is part of a successful grapple check, and you can't have a successful grapple check without, well, a grapple check.


When you are the grappler, on your turn, you must either let the victim go or make ONE check as a standard action to maintain the grapple (at +5 since you grappled him last round and he didn't escape). If you succeed, you can do ONE effect (move, pin, damage, etc.). Period.

Now, add this feat and nothing changes, except that you can choose to use a move action instead of a standard action, if you want to. If not, then you do exactly what you could do without the feat: Standard Action, ONE check, ONE effect.

Now, if you DO choose to use a Move action to make a check to maintain the grapple, you ALSO have the option to make the usual Standard Action check as well. Both require one action (Move and Standard), both require one check, and both allow you to do one effect.

Finally, if just ONE of your two checks is successful, you maintain the grapple and apply ONE effect. If both are successful, you maintain the grapple and apply two effects. If neither is successful, then you fail to maintain the grapple and apply no effects.


Yep, Blaphers and DM_Blake are are correct. Although what DM_Blake said about using a standard and a move action for checks in subsequent rounds is slightly off. It is just two move actions, though there isn;t any real substantive difference.

The wording comes off as a bit weird, but what it is really saying is this:

You can make a check to maintain a grapple as a move action.
You still only need to make one such check each turn to keep the grapple going. Full Stop

It does not mean that you can get two effects with one check.

Greater Grapple also allows a character to use a standard action to initiate a grapple and then a move action to maintain it on the same turn (allowing, for example, a check to grapple and then a check to deal damage).

The idea of a check to "maintain" can be a bit misleading. Ultimately there are only two types of grapple checks: a check to initiate the grapple, which does just that and then checks to maintain the grapple which covers everything else you can do once you have a grapple started.

In other words, that second check is also the same check to pin, move or damage the opponent. It is called a check to maintain because normally, with one check, that is what it is doing.... but any check you make after initiating is a check to maintain.

So, with Greater Grapple you can make two checks per round. With rapid grappler, if any of the move action checks to maintain are successful, you can make a third check.

It is important to note, however, that the +5 bonus that one gets for maintaining a grapple only applies to checks made "in subsequent rounds" so even though a character with greater grapple could initiate and maintain in the same round with a standard and a move action, they do not get the +5 until the next round.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

There are a lot of options once Greater Grapple is available. One of my favorites is to Grapple a target on the first round with one hand (at -4)then the next round maintain as a move action, use that action to drag to a different target and grapple them as a standard. Next round maintain 2 grapples (1 on each target, note here a failed check will release the target) and pin them both.


So if you do your first grapple check and succeed and you do your second grapple check and fail are you still in a grapple and just can't take another action or does the grapple fail?


The grapple is still maintained.

Dark Archive

I have two words regarding this thread: Train Suplex

Join me in laughter at the fact that a grapple-centric medium monk can pin a colossal great wyrm with minimal effort.


Cool, thanks everybody.


Taenia wrote:
There are a lot of options once Greater Grapple is available. One of my favorites is to Grapple a target on the first round with one hand (at -4)then the next round maintain as a move action, use that action to drag to a different target and grapple them as a standard. Next round maintain 2 grapples (1 on each target, note here a failed check will release the target) and pin them both.

Please tell me this is legit? Please help me find the RAW references that will help me convince my group I'm not just making this up!


It's legit afaik. You can make and maintain a grapple with 1-hand. You just take a -4 to the checks. I haven't seen anything anywhere that disallows what Taenia suggests.


What's described sounds an lot like grab. A special ability with much higher penalties.


Grab is something different. With that -20 thrown in, you don't gain the grapple condition yourself.

Grappling 1-handed is only at -4 but you still gain the grapple condition. You don't escape getting the condition this way.

Dark Archive

Elbedor wrote:
It's legit afaik. You can make and maintain a grapple with 1-hand. You just take a -4 to the checks. I haven't seen anything anywhere that disallows what Taenia suggests.

Actually she isn't completely accurate, this 1 hand penalty only applies to humanoids, so if your a tiefling or Assimar, there is no penalty at all!


Breakdown of what happens with Greater Grapple:

1) Make a grapple check to maintain the grapple (move action).
If successful apply one of the maintain options (such as damage) and go to "2a"
If failure go to "2b".

2a) You now have a standard action available. You can use it to perform another grapple check to perform one of the maintain options or you can use it to do something else entirely (such as an attack, cast a spell, etc).

2b) Make a grapple check to maintain the grapple (using your standard action as a move action).
If successful apply one of the maintain options (such as damage). Your major actions (standard + move action) are now completed.
If failure then you failed to maintain the grapple this round.

Edit: Bah, I just noticed this was a necro thread. :)

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