Casting spells while grappling


Rules Questions


So here is the issue. We recently had an encounter with a snake like creature the our DM refused to tell us what was. It grappled with our horse and our witch tried to cast cause fear on the snake, but we are unsure of how it would effect our horse. How does a non-attack spell effect a creature that is grappled with another creature? As well as can someone further explain grappling to me in general? Our whole team is having some issues understanding the rules of the grapple.


Githran wrote:
So here is the issue. We recently had an encounter with a snake like creature the our DM refused to tell us what was. It grappled with our horse and our witch tried to cast cause fear on the snake, but we are unsure of how it would effect our horse. How does a non-attack spell effect a creature that is grappled with another creature? As well as can someone further explain grappling to me in general? Our whole team is having some issues understanding the rules of the grapple.

I assume no one had Knowledge(nature) to identify the attacking animal.

From the body of your text I assume the caster was not in the grapple, although the title you have used certainly implies that the caster is IN the grapple.
The Witch could cast Cause Fear on the snake (it is the selected target) thus it rolls a Will save (if affected). The caster(witch) can choose the target. The only concern is if the Caster is in the grapple as then there are issues with concentration and provoking attacks. A Ray or a Touch spell would have other complications, but Cause Fear is pretty simple.

Caster's are assumed to be on stable, relatively non-moving footing. There are concentration checks for casting from sitting upon a running horse (or one in a grapple situation).

Grappling is complicated but less so than in 3.5(yay). The easy way is just to go get the two page Grapple Chart.

If you need to know what your class can do and you are unsure, ask your GM. For this he might ask for a spellcraft check to help him frame the answer for you as to what your character knows. As the witch can cast the spell it is assumed the witch is proficient with the spell.


Githran wrote:
So here is the issue. We recently had an encounter with a snake like creature the our DM refused to tell us what was. It grappled with our horse and our witch tried to cast cause fear on the snake, but we are unsure of how it would effect our horse. How does a non-attack spell effect a creature that is grappled with another creature? As well as can someone further explain grappling to me in general? Our whole team is having some issues understanding the rules of the grapple.

The grapple rules don't apply because the witch is not being grappled. The issue is concentration due to violent motion so the appropriate Concentration check needs to be made to get the spell off. If the check is made then the spell is cast normally.

Edit: due to the situation, I'd also mandate a Ride Check at DC 20.


Wow. No one at your table has a concept of grappling apparently. It really doesn't affect the spell in this instance. You're affecting the condition of the target, in this case a grappling snake. Grappling rules apply only if the caster is being held in the grapple. Rules for how each condition affects each situation are in the condition explanations. IE: Is the snake then scared enough to drop whatever it was holding and run?

I'd recommend looking up some grappling basics, rereading the CRB rules, or finding a set of Rules Reference Cards to help your table understand the grappling concept.


advice

if you and your pals are first level, the GM was being nice having the snake grapple the horse. Normally snakes lie in wait for a suitable target or try to Stealth up on a target they can swallow. Snakes don't attack critters they cannot eat unless they are threatened by them. A horse in a snake is gonna be a HUGE lump. lol...

so basically as I said above, review the grapple rules.

Someone in the party should invest at least one skill point in Knowledge(nature) or Knowledge(local). If you are doing a lot of outside adventuring then Survival is a good choice (boy scout/ranger skills). You want to survive don't you?

for combat, attacks are usually "to hit" types (with weapons, natural attacks, etc) vs AC, OR CMB types which go against CMD.
Sometimes you'll see riders(extra attacks/effects) on a monster like, "Melee bite +2 (1d6+1 plus trip)". So upon a successful "to hit" critter gets a CMB attempt to trip. Usually trip and grab are popular with monsters.

In general, casters avoid all kinds of combat, melee or CMB. They are usually not good at either and it is detrimental to getting a spell off. So your witch might want to think of a way to avoid or escape combat. Spells and skills like Acrobatics, Stealth, high DEX, magic items to boost AC, and such are their normal options. Simple spells like Obscuring Mist, Silent Image, Vanish, Grease, Create Pit, Expeditious Retreat, Mage Armor, Shield, etc can go a long way (yeah - those are from the Sor/Wiz spell lists).


Brother Fen wrote:
Wow. No one at your table has a concept of grappling apparently.

Actually, the main issue here is spell targeting, as in does a targeted spell like cause fear affect someone who isn't targeted. The answer being no, no matter how close they are to the target.

Grand Lodge

Further confusion ensues because there is a higher level spell, "fear", which is an area affect. But in this case, no, the horse need not save. Cause Fear will ONLY affect the target creature.


Brother Fen wrote:

Wow. No one at your table has a concept of grappling apparently. It really doesn't affect the spell in this instance. You're affecting the condition of the target, in this case a grappling snake. Grappling rules apply only if the caster is being held in the grapple. Rules for how each condition affects each situation are in the condition explanations. IE: Is the snake then scared enough to drop whatever it was holding and run?

I'd recommend looking up some grappling basics, rereading the CRB rules, or finding a set of Rules Reference Cards to help your table understand the grappling concept.

Be nice.

Grappling in d20 is infamously difficult to understand. In fact there is a Munchkin Pathfinder Card that says "Attempt to Grapple, go up a Level"!

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