This Just Amuses Me (Grippers)


Iron Gods


For reference:

PRD wrote:
Grippers are powerful, long-handled tools that resemble a blacksmith's tongs. Once they're set, they can be locked into place to grip an object. Used when attempting to pry open a stuck object (in a manner similar to the use of a crowbar), grippers grant a +2 circumstance bonus on Strength checks. When used to attach two devices, a set of grippers holds on with an effective Strength score of 24. Applying grippers to a creature and then locking the grippers to crush flesh and bone is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity and also requires a successful melee attack with an improvised weapon. Once locked, the grippers deal 1d4+7 points of damage.

One of my characters is playing a half-ling rogue specializing in improvised weapons. Took caught off guard and all that.

It's my interpretation that for most creatures applying the clamps with Caught Off Guard will no longer provoke (usually). So at least until the rogue gets some iterative attacks he will just be applying clamps as often as possible for better damage than his strength bonus and applying sneak attack.

So there is a half-ling going around applying auto grippers to sensitive areas of creatures over and over again.

Give him the clamps indeed.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm not sure Caught Off Guard works like that. I thought it was more about clubbing s~*#. Grappling might be the rules you're looking for.

Just don't give them to a Succubus...

Sovereign Court

Catch Off-Guard (Combat)

Foes are surprised by your skilled use of unorthodox and improvised weapons.

Benefit: You do not suffer any penalties for using an improvised melee weapon. Unarmed opponents are flat-footed against any attacks you make with an improvised melee weapon.

Normal: You take a –4 penalty on attack rolls made with an improvised weapon.

There's nothing in Catch Off-Guard about not provoking. This is because improvized weapons don't actually provoke; they just apply a -4 to hit. You may be mixing them up with un-improved unarmed strikes.

In the description of the grippers, they don't seem to actually cause a grappled condition, so grapple-related feats aren't applicable either.


My understanding of caught off guard is that it relates to using normal objects for attacking. I would allow COG to ignore the penalty for improvised weapons because catching someone's nether regions in blacksmiths tongs would definitively catch me off guard.

However I think the provoking AOO is more about the awkwardness of trying to use the grippers this way, as opposed to a normal attack. Also I would not allow improved grapple to apply as this isn't a grapple manoeuvre.

Just a few thoughts.


Ascalaphus wrote:

Catch Off-Guard (Combat)

Foes are surprised by your skilled use of unorthodox and improvised weapons.

Benefit: You do not suffer any penalties for using an improvised melee weapon. Unarmed opponents are flat-footed against any attacks you make with an improvised melee weapon.

Normal: You take a –4 penalty on attack rolls made with an improvised weapon.

There's nothing in Catch Off-Guard about not provoking. This is because improvized weapons don't actually provoke; they just apply a -4 to hit. You may be mixing them up with un-improved unarmed strikes.

In the description of the grippers, they don't seem to actually cause a grappled condition, so grapple-related feats aren't applicable either.

Applying grippers to a creature and then locking the grippers to crush flesh and bone is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity and also requires a successful melee attack with an improvised weapon.

I'll admit I'm interpreting things a bit with it, but CoG specifically says that if used against an unarmed target they are flat-footed, and flat-footed combatants cant make AoO's.

Also I don't know where the grappling comes in, I didn't say anything about grappling, lol.

Its one of the most amusing interactions I've run into in a while.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, I suppose that could work. However, in order for sneak attack to hit, the opponent would need to be unarmed. The vast majority of enemies are armed, and those that aren't have either natural attacks or Improved Unarmed Strike, meaning they don't count as unarmed. I fail to see how he could consistently get sneak attack off with this maneuver.

Sovereign Court

Yeah, Catch Off-Guard is not that easy to use outside of a bar brawl. You can get some mileage out of disarm perhaps but natural attacks make you sad.


I'm aware of that ruling, however I have chosen to interpret it on a case by case basis.

Considering its a Standard action to use i'm fine with it.

Plus it's amusing to me.

Can you ask for anything more?

Sovereign Court

My Warpriest of Gorum has taken Catch Off-Guard to use improvised weapons as his Sacred Weapon (in addition to my greatsword) and finding the grippers was serendipitous! But the number of creatures through two books that aren't armed or have natural attacks is small. I usually only get the benefit of Caught Off-Guard when my Swashbuckler or Rogue/Musketeer use disarm.

Now I have been using the grippers special attack on spellcasters or other more squishy creature types. While I'm doing 1d8+4 using them in melee via Sacred Weapon, we use the 1d4+7 damage each round when locking them on. Unfortunately, the grippers don't provide a means or mechanic for a creature to take them off (Strength check or Escape Artist DCs). I've been using the Escape Artist DC from a Bear Trap as a stand-in.

--Vrock'em Sock'em Robots

Grand Lodge

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When I ran through a slightly edited version of the first part of the AP during Hurricane Maria by the light of a jeweler's loupe, my players were more than happy with provoking AoOs so they could clamp those puppies on. They got real weird with it.

Sovereign Court

blackaeon wrote:
When I ran through a slightly edited version of the first part of the AP during Hurricane Maria by the light of a jeweler's loupe, my players were more than happy with provoking AoOs so they could clamp those puppies on. They got real weird with it.

Did you run them as doing damage only a single time or once locked they would damage each round?

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