Pinned and Attacking: What are you allowed to do?


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

In the CRB pinned acts as an extension of the grappled condition. The rules for pinned are as follows:

Pinned Rules:
A pinned creature is tightly bound and can take few actions. A pinned creature cannot move and is denied its Dexterity bonus. A pinned character also takes an additional –4 penalty to his Armor Class. A pinned creature is limited in the actions that it can take. A pinned creature can always attempt to free itself, usually through a combat maneuver check or Escape Artist check. A pinned creature can take verbal and mental actions, but cannot cast any spells that require a somatic or material component. A pinned character who attempts to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level) or lose the spell. Pinned is a more severe version of grappled, and their effects do not stack.

It seems to disallow actions by omission here; by asserting that the pinned creature is limited to a set of actions and then proceeding to list actions that are allowed, by omission it is denying any other action. At least, that's one common perception of the rule as I've seen it asked.

So my question is as follows: Is a pinned creature allowed to attack? Are they allowed to do anything else that isn't listed under the pinned condition?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've been using the condition cards, and the one for being pinned phrases it as:
"You cannot move and are flat-footed. You take a -4 penalty to AC and can only take verbal or mental actions, except attempting to escape. You cannot cast spells that require somatic or material components, and must make a concentration check (as grappled) to case a spell."

From that, I'd say you can't make attacks, besides still spells and the like.

Liberty's Edge

It's very poorly worded but a pinned creature cannot attack or do anything other than attack or us purely mental abilities (like many SU abilities).

Liberty's Edge

The problem is that it IS poorly worded, and while Feral and Salbade's interpretations are what I personally use, I want it to be easier for those with the same problem in the future.

Has there been a formal clarification on the subject?

Scarab Sages

Stare lovingly into their attackers eyes or spit in their face...

Both useful if you have a gaze attack or poisonous spit.

Liberty's Edge

skyshark wrote:

Stare lovingly into their attackers eyes or spit in their face...

Both useful if you have a gaze attack or poisonous spit.

If you can spit, why can't you bite? This is the sort of clarification I want, you know?


I think, in this case, the list is exhaustive. You can think, you can talk, you can cast spells with no somatic components and you can try to free yourself.

You can't attack if the attack is not a combat maneuver to free yourself because is not an option included in your possibilities.

You can't spit, and can't use gaze attacks, it is my understanding that the creature who has pinned you, forces your body in a way you can't attack her, that's the whole point of 'pin', maybe forcing your face against the ground.


Feral Gnasher with Ankle Biter feat can bite you as swift action while he's Pinned. Probably he bite you "Down Under" since "No rules, just bite!"


CN_Minus wrote:

In the CRB pinned acts as an extension of the grappled condition. The rules for pinned are as follows:

** spoiler omitted **

It seems to disallow actions by omission here; by asserting that the pinned creature is limited to a set of actions and then proceeding to list actions that are allowed, by omission it is denying any other action. At least, that's one common perception of the rule as I've seen it asked.

So my question is as follows: Is a pinned creature allowed to attack? Are they allowed to do anything else that isn't listed under the pinned condition?

No they're not, which is why Pinned is a more severe condition than just being grappled.


skyshark wrote:

Stare lovingly into their attackers eyes or spit in their face...

If you are a succubus, your opponent still has the grappled condition :D

Hold me tighter big boy :)


Snowlilly wrote:
skyshark wrote:

Stare lovingly into their attackers eyes or spit in their face...

If you are a succubus, your opponent still has the grappled condition :D

Hold me tighter big boy :)

There is a whole thread for Succubus in a Grapple


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
skyshark wrote:

Stare lovingly into their attackers eyes or spit in their face...

If you are a succubus, your opponent still has the grappled condition :D

Hold me tighter big boy :)

There is a whole thread for Succubus in a Grapple

Yes, yes there is.


The list of what you are able to do while pinned is deliberately restrictive. The subject may be forced onto their face and arms twisted behind their back. It is more severe than grappled.

You are able to use a Supernatural ability if it is purely a mental or verbal action. Not all are (see discussion and last post). It depends on the description of the ability, and GM interpretation.

Other than that, I believe you are restricted to the list given. That is, for each action that is not a spell or SLA, you must ask: is the action purely mental or verbal? Attacking is physical, and does not fall into this category.

For spells and SLAs, you follow the rules given.

PRD wrote:


A pinned creature is tightly bound and can take few actions...A pinned creature can take verbal and mental actions, but cannot cast any spells that require a somatic or material component. A pinned character who attempts to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level) or lose the spell. Pinned is a more severe version of grappled, and their effects do not stack.

Casting Spells while Pinned: The only spells which can be cast while grappling or pinned are those without somatic components and whose material components (if any) you have in hand. Even so, you must make a concentration check (DC 10 + the grappler's CMB + the level of the spell you're casting) or lose the spell.

Liberty's Edge

SquirrelyOgre wrote:

The list of what you are able to do while pinned is deliberately restrictive. The subject may be forced onto their face and arms twisted behind their back. It is more severe than grappled.

You are able to use a Supernatural ability if it is purely a mental or verbal action. Not all are (see discussion and last post). It depends on the description of the ability, and GM interpretation.

Other than that, I believe you are restricted to the list given. That is, for each action that is not a spell or SLA, you must ask: is the action purely mental or verbal? Attacking is physical, and does not fall into this category.

For spells and SLAs, you follow the rules given.

PRD wrote:


A pinned creature is tightly bound and can take few actions...A pinned creature can take verbal and mental actions, but cannot cast any spells that require a somatic or material component. A pinned character who attempts to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level) or lose the spell. Pinned is a more severe version of grappled, and their effects do not stack.

Casting Spells while Pinned: The only spells which can be cast while grappling or pinned are those without somatic components and whose material components (if any) you have in hand. Even so, you must make a concentration check (DC 10 + the grappler's CMB + the level of the spell you're casting) or lose the spell.

It really does need a line of text that says something along the lines of "this list of actions is exhaustive". As it stands, many people interpret it differently and allow attacks and many other actions that are allowed during a grapple, but with the increased penalties imposed by pin.


CN_Minus wrote:
SquirrelyOgre wrote:

The list of what you are able to do while pinned is deliberately restrictive. The subject may be forced onto their face and arms twisted behind their back. It is more severe than grappled.

You are able to use a Supernatural ability if it is purely a mental or verbal action. Not all are (see discussion and last post). It depends on the description of the ability, and GM interpretation.

Other than that, I believe you are restricted to the list given. That is, for each action that is not a spell or SLA, you must ask: is the action purely mental or verbal? Attacking is physical, and does not fall into this category.

For spells and SLAs, you follow the rules given.

PRD wrote:


A pinned creature is tightly bound and can take few actions...A pinned creature can take verbal and mental actions, but cannot cast any spells that require a somatic or material component. A pinned character who attempts to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level) or lose the spell. Pinned is a more severe version of grappled, and their effects do not stack.

Casting Spells while Pinned: The only spells which can be cast while grappling or pinned are those without somatic components and whose material components (if any) you have in hand. Even so, you must make a concentration check (DC 10 + the grappler's CMB + the level of the spell you're casting) or lose the spell.

It really does need a line of text that says something along the lines of "this list of actions is exhaustive". As it stands, many people interpret it differently and allow attacks and many other actions that are allowed during a grapple, but with the increased penalties imposed by pin.

When considering any action, you are required to ask if it is purely mental or verbal, or if it falls under the spells or SLA ruling. It's permissive in that sense.

A Su ability that involves a touch attack for example, is obviously not going to be only a mental or a verbal action. It involves a physical action, so therefore is not available to the pinned creature, as SKR's post says.

Since he was the Paizo "rules guy" at the time of the posting, I am inclined to go with him.

EDIT:

From a thread in 2013:

lantzkev wrote:

Drakkiel, your rational is completely wrong. If pinned does not say you cannot attack, and conditions that give you the pinned condition do not say you cannot or can attack, but assume you to be able to... you don't immediately leap to "you cannot attack" as you have done. If the property of substitution can hold, you can use it.

However, I did get two emails that put this neatly to bed for me and my players.

Quote:

Sent 26 minutes ago

From Stephen Radney-MacFarland Add to Contacts
To lantzkev
Subject Re: one of my players, grappled
That is not the total answer I gave him. I referred him to the pinned condition on page 568 of the Core Rulebook and noted that the condition limits your actions with the following exceptions:

1) Escape
2) Mental actions (such as cast spell-like abilities)
3) Verbal actions (such as cast a V component only spell)

Pinned is not the same as helpless. Pinned is its own condition. You can do more things and suffer fewer penalties when your are pinned.

I hope that helps.

(he did the last Grapple FAQ, player sent me an email stating an answer from him so I sent a confirm, prior to that I had sent one to Jason Buhlman)

Quote:

Aside from verbal and mental actions, the only action a pinned creature can usually take is to attempt to free itself. Attacks are not listed as an action they can take.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

So now they just need to put this into FAQ form and a problem is set to bed.

Liberty's Edge

Quote wrote:
Aside from verbal and mental actions, the only action a pinned creature can usually take is to attempt to free itself. Attacks are not listed as an action they can take.

Awesome. I'll be happy to tell my friend his grapple-based character is safe from most GMs saying their monsters can attack while grappled. He was already safe from me, as this has always been my interpretation.


CN_Minus wrote:
Quote wrote:
Aside from verbal and mental actions, the only action a pinned creature can usually take is to attempt to free itself. Attacks are not listed as an action they can take.
Awesome. I'll be happy to tell my friend his grapple-based character is safe from most GMs saying their monsters can attack while grappled. He was already safe from me, as this has always been my interpretation.

Grapples isn't the same as Pinned. A creature can attack when only Grappled (and not Pinned) IF:

* They are using a one-handed or natural weapon
* They attack at -2

So, a creature with natural attacks could use all of them at -2. Likewise, a guy with a dagger can stab away at -2, but the greatsword user is out of luck.

This is from: "In addition, grappled creatures can take no action that requires two hands to perform."

And: "A grappled creature takes a –2 penalty on all attack rolls and combat maneuver checks, except those made to grapple or escape a grapple."

Liberty's Edge

SquirrelyOgre wrote:
CN_Minus wrote:
Quote wrote:
Aside from verbal and mental actions, the only action a pinned creature can usually take is to attempt to free itself. Attacks are not listed as an action they can take.
Awesome. I'll be happy to tell my friend his grapple-based character is safe from most GMs saying their monsters can attack while grappled. He was already safe from me, as this has always been my interpretation.

Grapples isn't the same as Pinned. A creature can attack when only Grappled (and not Pinned) IF:

* They are using a one-handed or natural weapon
* They attack at -2

So, a creature with natural attacks could use all of them at -2. Likewise, a guy with a dagger can stab away at -2, but the greatsword user is out of luck.

This is from: "In addition, grappled creatures can take no action that requires two hands to perform."

And: "A grappled creature takes a –2 penalty on all attack rolls and combat maneuver checks, except those made to grapple or escape a grapple."

Thanks, I think. I thought that much was obvious, though. edit: I see why you posted what you did. I meant pinned. I took the post explaining the grappled condition as a provocation. My fault. On a related note, however, those that are grappled are able to make full attacks.

The misinterpretation doesn't come from failing to understand the clearly laid out, easy to read and impossible to misinterpret grapple rules, it comes from the vague and difficult-to-pin-down pinning rules.

The important thing is that people don't view the pinned condition as a slightly increased penalty version of a normal grapple. I've seen it described that way often and from various sources, which is why it's necessary to clear up the ambiguity.


CN_Minus wrote:
SquirrelyOgre wrote:
CN_Minus wrote:
Quote wrote:
Aside from verbal and mental actions, the only action a pinned creature can usually take is to attempt to free itself. Attacks are not listed as an action they can take.
Awesome. I'll be happy to tell my friend his grapple-based character is safe from most GMs saying their monsters can attack while grappled. He was already safe from me, as this has always been my interpretation.

Grapples isn't the same as Pinned. A creature can attack when only Grappled (and not Pinned) IF:

* They are using a one-handed or natural weapon
* They attack at -2

So, a creature with natural attacks could use all of them at -2. Likewise, a guy with a dagger can stab away at -2, but the greatsword user is out of luck.

This is from: "In addition, grappled creatures can take no action that requires two hands to perform."

And: "A grappled creature takes a –2 penalty on all attack rolls and combat maneuver checks, except those made to grapple or escape a grapple."

Thanks, I think. I thought that much was obvious, though. edit: I see why you posted what you did. I meant pinned. I took the post explaining the grappled condition as a provocation. My fault. On a related note, however, those that are grappled are able to make full attacks.

The misinterpretation doesn't come from failing to understand the clearly laid out, easy to read and impossible to misinterpret grapple rules, it comes from the vague and difficult-to-pin-down pinning rules.

The important thing is that people don't view the pinned condition as a slightly increased penalty version of a normal grapple. I've seen it described that way often and from various sources, which is why it's necessary to clear up the ambiguity.

Sorry. Never meant it that way. I just get stuck in robot mode after dealing with rulesmurk and forget to be a real person.

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