How does Steadfast Grapple work when used on a creature?


Rules Questions


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Steadfast Grapple

Steadfast Grapple wrote:
This iron grappling hook is attached to a 50-foot length of silk rope. When a steadfast grapple is thrown, it automatically hits and attaches to any targeted object or structure within range of its rope. Against creatures, the wielder must make attack rolls as normal. Once attached, a steadfast grapple can only be removed with a DC 30 Strength check, the command word, or magic such as dispel magic.


Bump?


I can't read the specifics on the exotic weapon grappling hook (I'm going by the PFSRD and links you posted). There may be a more specific description of it in the Pirates book. For all I know that exotic hook is specifically made to be able to grapple opponents. Otherwise, I would have to assume that the steadfast grapple is otherwise identical to a standard grappling hook as described in adventuring gear.

As such, it would count as an improvised weapon and I don't think it would have the grappling quality. Again, that's assuming the exotic grappling hook isn't described as just being a normal grappling hook (or whether you need an Exotic Weapon (hook, grappling) feat to be able to treat any grappling hook as having the grappling quality.

Otherwise I see nothing that says it can attach to a creature, only objects and structures. From the way the wording is, it seems like it should be possible, but really, who writes out such poorly thought-out items. The description at first seems simple, short, and clean, but then just putters out.

A DC 30 Strength check to remove!? You'd need a Strength of 30 and a natural 20 to get it unhooked from yourself if that was the case. Sure, you could cut the rope, but never be able to remove the hook, that makes no sense.

As a rule, until someone specifically fixes the wording, I would have to say it does not 'attach' to an opponent (since that's the wording it uses and does not say it can attach to creatures only attack them), only hits them for damage.

I believe the part about requiring an attack against creatures is merely to indicate that attacks are not auto-hits, not that it can 'attach' to them. As such, it does not use 'grappling' because it is not a grappling attack > since it is not a grappling weapon > since it is not the exotic grappling hook described in the Pirates book (though it might do the same damage).


I think Pizza Lord's interpretation is excessively conservative. The steadfast grapple is a magical grappling hook that does exactly one thing, it magically attaches to stuff. While we can agree that the item description is terrible (how did the this get past and editor?) I think it's pretty clear how the item was intended to work: when the grapple hits something, creature or object, it remains stuck to them until the listed conditions are met. If it's thrown at an object, it hits automatically. If it's thrown at a creature, it requires an attack roll (which really seems like it should be a touch attack, but eh).

The reason I don't accept Pizza Lord's interpretation is because of that third line: "Against creatures, the wielder must make attack rolls as normal." If the only effect of the grapple were to stick to objects and no part of it's magic had any affect on creatures, there would be no reason to additionally describe the means by which a creature may be struck with one. Lyre of Building doesn't have a line saying "attacks on creatures within 300' are unaffected" and Chime of Opening doesn't feel the need to specify that "creatures targeted by the chime are unaffected." The presence of that third line makes it clear that the item is expected to be thrown at and magically interact with creatures.

And even with Pizza Lord's interpretation, a character can still use it against a creature so long as that creature has equipment of some kind. The text does not specify that the object targeted must be unattended. I've played a fighter that used this grapnel on the end of a magically-treated adamantine chain to great effect, and I actually did target the opponent's armor to avoid having to make an attack roll.


When dealing with such a poorly-written item or ability, it's best to be conservative. Otherwise you'll have people trying to do abusive things like attack creatures and attach to them by 'attacking the ring on his finger' so they can get an auto hit when clearly it is not intended to allow automatic attacks against creatures.

I mean, it's great that your GM let's you do that, and he lets you have a custom item, with a 100-feet of length instead of 50-feet, and that he lets you have not only an adamantine chain, but a magically-treated one to make it even more impossible for a foe to break free (because requiring a Strength of 30 and a natural roll of a 20 isn't enough.)

Maybe the fact that it doesn't say 'unattended objects' isn't because it's intended for you to abuse the item with auto-hit, no miss attacks, but instead because it's actually poorly-written and designed... which means it should be handled conservatively, not blatantly open-ended and abusively.

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