Moving a Grappler


Rules Questions


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Assume the creature being moved is controlling the grapple. Then they get moved into another square.

Bull Rush, Reposition, Drag, Hydraulic Push, Force Punch, Awesome Blow, Create Pit, Reverse Gravity, and a lot of other abilities can move creatures around against their will. How do those abilities interact with Grappling?

Possible options-

1) The Grapple ends. No CMD/CMB check necessary. The grappler can't hold on so the grappled creature loses the grappled condition.
Precedent: If you are out of range of a grapple, you can't grapple. Simple as that. The movement takes precedence.

2) The Grapple does not end. No appropriate check to breaqk the grapple has been made, so the grapple continues and the creature being grappled goes along for the ride.
Precedent: The grapple rules state that creatures grappled at range are dragged to the grappler's closest available square. We can use this rule as a point of reference to understand how a grappled creature could be dragged around by a grappler.

3) Circumstantial. Because the rules are unclear this is entirely GM arbitration territory.
Precedent: None. That's the point.


Given the way the system is already slanted towards spell effects, I'd personally be inclined to rule that the grapple check doesn't end without an appropriate CMB/CMD check. It seems like bypassing the governing mechanic sets a bad precedent.

On the other hand, Freedom of Movement exists, so I'm not sure.


personally id end the grapple as a GM bt i dont have any argument for that aside from it feels right


The grappled condition is very specific. It only limits the actions a character with the condition can take. There is nothing in the condition that indicates that if a grappler is moved, those it is grappling with are also moved.

A case could be made for retaining the grappled condition despite being separated by a distance, as the rules don't call out ending the grappled condition in this situation. However, common sense should indicate that creatures must be adjacent to be considered grappling (and is somewhat supported by the "must be able to pull a creature adjacent to successfully start a grapple" quote)


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There is also nothing to indicate that if a grappler, or the person they are grappling, is moved that the grappler is forced to let go.

Consider this: A tetori monk grabs a wizard. The wizard's familiar uses Drag on the wizard. The wizard chooses not to resist the drag, setting the CMD for the drag arbitrarily low. The familiar drags the wizard out of grapple range. The Tetori monk goes and cries in a corner because it can't hang on to someone being pulled away by a house cat.

Does that seem right to you?


Doomed Hero: Actually, without a specific rule that states otherwise, you default to the generic case.
As being grappled says nothing about your inability to be moved (apart via your own locomotion), you default to that you CAN be... since that's the general case.

So yes, you can also be dragged or repositioned out of a grapple. Btw, there is a size limitation on these combat maneuvers which will generally prevent most familiars from using this tactic.

That being said, I sympathize with your argument. There are many situations where being pulled out of a grapple should be more difficult than it is. But this is a game; sometimes you just have to accept the rules as they are, even if they don't make perfect sense. (unless you have the liberty of creating house rules)


Byakko wrote:

Doomed Hero: Actually, without a specific rule that states otherwise, you default to the generic case.

As being grappled says nothing about your inability to be moved (apart via your own locomotion), you default to that you CAN be... since that's the general case.

So yes, you can also be dragged or repositioned out of a grapple. Btw, there is a size limitation on these combat maneuvers which will generally prevent most familiars from using this tactic.

That being said, I sympathize with your argument. There are many situations where being pulled out of a grapple should be more difficult than it is. But this is a game; sometimes you just have to accept the rules as they are, even if they don't make perfect sense. (unless you have the liberty of creating house rules)

There is one problem with that the grapple ending is the default case. The rules never say that a grapple ends when you move apart. It also has rules for placing an opponent adjacent to you on a successful grapple check. So you could just as easily say the rule is that the grapple doesn't end if they maintain the grapple during their next turn the opponent is placed next to them.


Jinjifra wrote:
Byakko wrote:

Doomed Hero: Actually, without a specific rule that states otherwise, you default to the generic case.

As being grappled says nothing about your inability to be moved (apart via your own locomotion), you default to that you CAN be... since that's the general case.

So yes, you can also be dragged or repositioned out of a grapple. Btw, there is a size limitation on these combat maneuvers which will generally prevent most familiars from using this tactic.

That being said, I sympathize with your argument. There are many situations where being pulled out of a grapple should be more difficult than it is. But this is a game; sometimes you just have to accept the rules as they are, even if they don't make perfect sense. (unless you have the liberty of creating house rules)

There is one problem with that the grapple ending is the default case. The rules never say that a grapple ends when you move apart. It also has rules for placing an opponent adjacent to you on a successful grapple check. So you could just as easily say the rule is that the grapple doesn't end if they maintain the grapple during their next turn the opponent is placed next to them.

Yes, this is true, and I actually mentioned that in the thread from which this one spawned. There's nothing that says a grapple ends if you're separated by a distance, it's merely implied.

However, note that the target is only pulled close on the initiation of the grapple, not on maintaining it.

So if you really want to enforce people being stuck in a grapple despite being separated by 50' of empty space... eh.... well... okay.


Byakko wrote:
So if you really want to enforce people being stuck in a grapple despite being separated by 50' of empty space... eh.... well... okay.

Who says they get separated?

Go grab onto someone.

Now have someone else try to drag you somewhere.

What happens?


Hey, I said I sympathized with your realism-based objections, but this is a game, and it isn't always a perfect match for real world physics.

I'd like to remind you that this is also a system where a rat can grapple a human and prevent them from moving.


Byakko wrote:

Hey, I said I sympathized with your realism-based objections, but this is a game, and it isn't always a perfect match for real world physics.

I'd like to remind you that this is also a system where a rat can grapple a human and prevent them from moving.

And then, if someone pulls that guy away from the rat, the rat doesn't go around for the ride?


Doomed Hero wrote:
Byakko wrote:

Hey, I said I sympathized with your realism-based objections, but this is a game, and it isn't always a perfect match for real world physics.

I'd like to remind you that this is also a system where a rat can grapple a human and prevent them from moving.

And then, if someone pulls that guy away from the rat, the rat doesn't go around for the ride?

That is correct.

It's probably best to think of grappling as a very loose grip, not a full on wrestler's grapple.


You realize that is very silly. right?


The rules are silent and I have not looked all of the abilities up but I as a general rule I would say the grapple continues.


The grapple continuing makes the most sense, but there's a lack of rules in this area. The rules don't say the grapple ends, but they also don't say what happens now that the grapplers aren't close to one another.


Byakko wrote:
Jinjifra wrote:
Byakko wrote:

Doomed Hero: Actually, without a specific rule that states otherwise, you default to the generic case.

As being grappled says nothing about your inability to be moved (apart via your own locomotion), you default to that you CAN be... since that's the general case.

So yes, you can also be dragged or repositioned out of a grapple. Btw, there is a size limitation on these combat maneuvers which will generally prevent most familiars from using this tactic.

That being said, I sympathize with your argument. There are many situations where being pulled out of a grapple should be more difficult than it is. But this is a game; sometimes you just have to accept the rules as they are, even if they don't make perfect sense. (unless you have the liberty of creating house rules)

There is one problem with that the grapple ending is the default case. The rules never say that a grapple ends when you move apart. It also has rules for placing an opponent adjacent to you on a successful grapple check. So you could just as easily say the rule is that the grapple doesn't end if they maintain the grapple during their next turn the opponent is placed next to them.

Yes, this is true, and I actually mentioned that in the thread from which this one spawned. There's nothing that says a grapple ends if you're separated by a distance, it's merely implied.

However, note that the target is only pulled close on the initiation of the grapple, not on maintaining it.

So if you really want to enforce people being stuck in a grapple despite being separated by 50' of empty space... eh.... well... okay.

It is the silliest ruling when compared to real life, but the strictest RAW reading is that you get pushed away and the grapple just continues. You are right that the pull only happens on initiation, but there is no where it is written that the grapple ends. If your saying its implied that it ends, anyone else can say that is implied that both are moved.

I think this is something that just isn't really covered in the rules and the GM should pick an answer to it. Maybe try clicking the FAQ button and hope to get an official answer?


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I don't think that there is any specific rules on exactly what would happen.

My ruling would be that for an outside effect, both of the people in the grapple would effectively be a single target. Either they would both move, or neither of them would. Exactly what modifiers 'double target' would cause on the effects success or failure would probably vary depending on the circumstances, but in general, moving someone physically won't end a grapple.

A teleportation effect on someone would however end the grapple.

Another option would be a free grapple check on the part of the grappled to 'move' the person grappled along with them, but I suspect that this might have other unintended consequences and also be more complex then really needed.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'd rule either:

1. the grappled creature gets a free check to break the grapple, or
2. the controlling creature must make a drag maneuver check (with the grapple bonus)

to determine what happens, depending on which one was moved. I'd probably make anything attempting to move the grappled creatures more difficult as well.


These are all reasonable suggestions, but every GM is going to have their own creative way of dealing with these types of situations.

I believe part of the goal of the rule forum (and resulting FAQs and clarifications) is to come up with generic and standard solutions so that the game is consistent between tables.

FAQing for you.

Grand Lodge

At my table I rule that the grappler and the grapplee(?) function as a single unit in terms of being repositioned, bullrushed etc. and don't require another check from the grappler to 'hold on' while being moved.

When playing at other tables I leave it up to the GM and don't complain.

There are definately a lack of rules here that I would like to see clarified.

I am clicking to FAQ and I suggest everyone else does to!


If the grapple ends, that sets a very strange rules precedent.

Imagine a wizard gets grabbed by a giant snake. Suddenly, the best course of action is to have the barbarian bull rush the wizard.

The wizard can choose not to resist, setting their CMD extremely low (5 I believe).

Suddenly the barbarian just shoves the wizard out of the coils of a constricting snake.


Makes for an amusing metal image though.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

It seems to be the best recourse when doing a bull rush versus grapple is the Bull Rush is always between the higher of the two CMDs, either the grappled or grappler. This way the effective DC (the CMD that is) of the Bull Rush is the same as escaping the Grapple.


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Let me throw this at you.

What happens if a person is handcuffed to a wall, and his friend suceeds on the drag maneuver. Does the person get moved? Why or why not. What makes it different from being grappled by a grapple master?


Rogar Stonebow wrote:

Let me throw this at you.

What happens if a person is handcuffed to a wall, and his friend suceeds on the drag maneuver. Does the person get moved? Why or why not. What makes it different from being grappled by a grapple master?

At the above scenario involving the handcuffs, I would say that an immediate strength check would need to be made. Because that is what is called for. +2 for aid another(the one handcuffed). If magic was used, I would suggest a casting attribute check in place of the strength check.

Using the above as my basis for moving one who is grappled then I would submit that using an opposed check is the best choice. Sense we are talking about grappling then it is my opinion that an immediate check to beat the cmd of the grappler must be made. The grappled person can aid another. Magical CMB rolls are usually done with Caster LEVEL plus casting attribute, so that should suffice here.

Thoughts?

Grand Lodge

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Rogar Stonebow wrote:

Let me throw this at you.

What happens if a person is handcuffed to a wall, and his friend suceeds on the drag maneuver. Does the person get moved? Why or why not. What makes it different from being grappled by a grapple master?

This scenario brings up an excellent point and gives us a clear answer.

If you try to move someone who is being grappled, that person is torn in half. ~CASE CLOSED~

Grand Lodge

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...bump? I didn't mean to close the case....


Hmmm... in that instance I would say the grappler and grapplee get moved together as that is way too easy a way to completely invalidate a combat maneuver.

At most I would rule that the grappler would get an immediate "Maintain Grapple" check to hold onto the grapplee. If the grappler successfully maintains the grapple then the grapple continues and both subjects are moved, subject to normal rules for moving multiple targets (i.e. Bull Rush). If the grappler fails to maintain the grapple, then the grappler is moved as normal by whatever effect is being forced upon them and the grapplee is freed from the grapple.


How about this one:

Two characters are grappling a single orc.

The first performs a grapple to move the orc.

The second had a ready to grapple to move the orc in the opposite direction.

They both succeed on their checks.

------------

The grapple rules just aren't very clear and often require GM adjudication.
FAQ and move on, imho. -.-

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