Interaction of Blink and Grab?


Rules Questions

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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

So the blink spell defines what ethereal can and can't do, including what it overcomes. Such as the 20% miss chance on attacks, which grapples are.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
So the blink spell defines what ethereal can and can't do, including what it overcomes. Such as the 20% miss chance on attacks, which grapples are.

No, a blink spell tells you what you can do when you rapidly shift back and forth from ethereal to normal.

Since it doesn't say you can maintain a grapple while becoming ethereal, why would you think that you can?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Because it says you can make attacks, of which grapple is one.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Because it says you can make attacks, of which grapple is one.

I'm not talking about making a CMB check when it's your turn. I'm talking about maintaining a grapple when it isn't your turn.

That isn't an attack, is it? If someone turns a grappler ethereal, he loses his grapple, as you already have admitted. Blink has no rule that sidesteps this fact.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
So the blink spell defines what ethereal can and can't do, including what it overcomes. Such as the 20% miss chance on attacks, which grapples are.

and blink say you pass half your time in the ethereal plane, and you got 6 second per round which mean you are 3 second per round in the ethereal plane, the reason you have 20% miss chance is that you don't know when you will be blinking into the ethereal plane, you can attack and have a 20% chance that your attack is done at the same time you blink for 3 second into the ethereal plane, and 3 second is very long in a battle, you can easily put yourself out of harm during the time he can't do anything to you during those time

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
_Ozy_ wrote:

I'm not talking about making a CMB check when it's your turn. I'm talking about maintaining a grapple when it isn't your turn.

Unfortunately, you DON'T have to maintain a grapple when it isn't your turn.

While it is realistic that a blinking creature can't continue to grapple a creature over the course of the round, there is no allowance in the rules for creatures to suddenly be unable to continue grappling. An unconscious or blinking grappler still inflicts the grappled condition on the target until it either fails to maintain on its turn or the grappled target breaks the grapple on its turn.

Find me the rule that says characters can become ungrappled between participants turns, and I will concede the point.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

I'm not talking about making a CMB check when it's your turn. I'm talking about maintaining a grapple when it isn't your turn.

Unfortunately, you DON'T have to maintain a grapple when it isn't your turn.

You don't have to make a check to maintain a grapple, but you certainly can't maintain a grapple if, when it's not your turn:

you get teleported
you turn ethereal
you fall unconcsious
etc...

Do you disagree?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

I'm not talking about making a CMB check when it's your turn. I'm talking about maintaining a grapple when it isn't your turn.

Unfortunately, you DON'T have to maintain a grapple when it isn't your turn.

but the other can make a escape artist of grapple check to set themself free but if you are ethereal can they make such a check to get themself free from something that they can't touch while the thing can't also touch them while being ethereal, i would say since they can't touch each other they are both no longer in grapple


TriOmegaZero wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

I'm not talking about making a CMB check when it's your turn. I'm talking about maintaining a grapple when it isn't your turn.

While it is realistic that a blinking creature can't continue to grapple a creature over the course of the round,

That's not 'realism', that's applying a modicum of common sense to a rules set that is not comprehensive enough to handle every single edge case.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
_Ozy_ wrote:
That's not 'realism', that's applying a modicum of common sense to a rules set that is not comprehensive enough to handle every single edge case.

Since grappling is not defined as having the target in a solid grip the entire time, I see no problem with the target having to try to escape from a randomly shifting grappler for the entire round and not just instantly being un-grappled the moment the grappler blinks.

Your definition of common sense is not necessarily common.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
That's not 'realism', that's applying a modicum of common sense to a rules set that is not comprehensive enough to handle every single edge case.

Since grappling is not defined as having the target in a solid grip the entire time, I see no problem with the target having to try to escape from a randomly shifting grappler for the entire round and not just instantly being un-grappled the moment the grappler blinks.

Your definition of common sense is not necessarily common.

So, according to you, an grappler is teleported away, target still has the grappled condition.

A grappler is turned ethereal, target still has the grappled condition.

A grappler is killed, target still has the grappled condition.

I'm pretty sure my sense is a bit more common than yours.


-There is a material difference between being ethereal and being ethereal some of the time. Blink does not "make you ethereal".

Whether the rules make sense or not, the fact remains that blink does not grant any special exception to the grappled condition beyond the stated miss chance.


dragonhunterq wrote:

-There is a material difference between being ethereal and being ethereal some of the time. Blink does not "make you ethereal".

Whether the rules make sense or not, the fact remains that blink does not grant any special exception to the grappled condition beyond the stated miss chance.

The only, and I mean only, difference between 'being ethereal' and 'being ethereal some of the time' is exactly that, the duration.

While you are ethereal 'some of the time' you cannot grapple a material creature while you are ethereal. Any condition which makes you unable to grapple a creature must remove the grappled condition.

Blink absolutely does not have to 'make a special exception' to lose the grappled condition, this is the default when you become ethereal. Instead, it needs to provide a special exception to allow the maintenance of the grappled condition when you become ethereal.

It does not provide this exception. Therefore, once you become ethereal, the grapple ends. I'm not sure why this is being debated.

When you become ethereal, you can no longer be grappling a creature. This is how the rules work. Blink does not provide any special exception to this rule.


_Ozy_: In the particular scenario that this dynamic arises - which caused me to make the original post - your interpretation would completely break (and render pointless) the entirety of one encounter. I understand that this doesn't mean your reasoning is wrong (although I think multiple posters have made convincing - at least to me - arguments for why, according to the pathfinder rules, the blink spell does not cause someone who is grappled to immediately lose the grappled condition), but it is worth recognizing that, at least in this one scenario, written by one of paizo's most established authors (Thurston Hillman), and developed by John Compton, they clearly did not agree with you (because if they did, the entire encounter as written would make no sense).

As I mentioned in the original post, my question was simply whether or not a Blinking creature with Grab would need to roll a miss chance twice to establish a grapple (once for the original attack, and once for the grapple attempt that comes from having grab); I'm now persuaded that they would have to do so (roll a miss chance for each of these attack rolls). Your argument would make the entire question moot, because you are arguing that a Blinking attacker who establishes a grapple automatically and immediately loses that grapple, due to the Blink effect. Multiple people have made reasonable rules arguments against that interpretation (though I certainly see the logic of your interpretation as well), and further, your interpretation would invalidate the encounter that prompted the original post. fwiw.

The Exchange

Did you try posting in the scenario thread? Others who have ran it might have good opinions.


Jeff Morse wrote:
Did you try posting in the scenario thread? Others who have ran it might have good opinions.

I didn't but that would have been my next step but I don't feel like it's necessary now because, as mentioned upthread, the question seems quite settled to me. Blink applies a miss chance to all attack rolls, the grapple attempt that comes from having grab is its own separate attack roll, hence it gets its own separate miss chance.


Again, the question is not the initiation of the grapple. Attacks that take but a moment obviously don't need the wielder to remain material.

However, once a grappler becomes ethereal, there is simply no question that the grapple ends. Blink provides no mechanism to avoid this fact. There are no rules that allow an ethereal person to remain grappled with a material opponent, they simply can't affect him. It's as if they are not even there.

The fact that a given scenario is written without this consideration is neither surprising, nor particularly relevant.


dragonhunterq wrote:

-There is a material difference between being ethereal and being ethereal some of the time.

Hmm, and I would have thought it was -

There is a ethereal difference between being material and being material some of the time.

The rules simply don't cover this edge case, but I have to agree with _Ozy_. If I am grappled, and dimension door away, I do not maintain my grappled status until the attackers turn when he is no longer able to perform a maintain grapple. I'm free as soon as DD goes off.

Now blink it a little harder, in that at some point I'm going to go ethereal again (and be free of the grapple), but we don't know WHEN that is going to happen precisely in a given round of 6 seconds.

Because there are no actual rules on this edge case interaction the GM has to improvise. We certainly know at the time the grapple attempt is made what the miss chance is. What needs to be improvised is at what point during the round the blink turns the character ethereal and removes the grappled condition. Since "...you spend about half your time on the Ethereal Plane..." it should happen before the grapplers next turn at a minimum.

Personally then I'd run it as each time a character acts in a manner that affects the blinking character (or when the blink character acts) roll the usual miss chance - if that triggers the grapple is broken. If a full turn passes without it being broken then it is broken by that point in time automatically. Everything else is Schroedingers grappler, but it doesn't really matter since the blinker isn't being effected.

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