Grappling: How does it work exactly in Starfinder?


Rules Questions


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So I have read the grappling rules and I thought I understood them, but as I've read some peoples posts relating to grappling they seem to have a different understanding than I do about how it works.

If someone(s) could go through and do a brief tutorial on how this particular maneuver works that would be greatly appreciated. I am particularly interested in the action economy of maintaining a grapple and what a person in control of a grapple can and can't do. Thanks everyone.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

. . . you make a KAC +8 attack roll, and if you succeed, both you and your target gain the Grappled state? I'm not sure what you are really asking.


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You choose an opponent within your reach. I assume that doesn't count reach from a reach weapon that doesn't have a special property. So, you can't grapple at 10' reach with a tactical pike. This last is not spelled out in the rules, however.

You make a melee attack against the target's KAC + 8. Again, I assume you can't use bonuses that apply to a melee weapon, like a plasma sword, to make a combat maneuver to, say, grapple or bullrush. Its not spelled out in the rules, but that's how I would run it.

As per the core rule book, if you hit:

"You hold the target in place. You must have at least one hand free to perform a grapple combat maneuver. Your target has the grappled condition, meaning she can’t move from her current space and takes further penalties until she either uses a standard action to attempt a grapple combat maneuver to grapple you (giving you the grappled condition) or uses the escape task of the Acrobatics skill to break free."

This means that the *target* gains the grappled condition. You do not.

You have to have a free hand, and as long as you keep grappling that free hand is now in use. Kasatha, Shobdads, Wychwyrds, and some cyborgs don't care that much.

The grappled condition is a pretty good thing to impose on a target. If you are grappled:

"You can’t move, and you take a –2 penalty to your Armor Class, attack rolls, Reflex saving throws, initiative checks, and Dexterity-based skill and ability checks, except those made to grapple your opponent in
turn or to escape a grapple (see Grapple on page 246). In addition, you can’t take actions that require two hands (or other limbs) to perform. You can’t make attacks of opportunity.You can’t use Stealth to hide from the creature grappling you, even if a special ability allows you to hide when you normally couldn’t. If you become invisible, through a spell or other ability,you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your check to escape beinggrappled, but you receive no other benefit."

On the target's turn, they can attack your KAC + 8. If they hit (at -2 because they have the grappled condition) they grapple you, which ends the grappled condition on them and puts it on you.

Instead of trying a grapple combat maneuver to break the grapple and grapple you, the target can attempt use the Acrobatics skill to escape from your grapple. To escape, the target takes a standard action and rolls Acrobats vs 10 + your KAC (at -2 because they are grappled). If they are successful, they end the grappled condition on themselves.

If you are still grappling the opponent at the start of your turn, you have to decide if you want to try to maintain the grapple. If you don't try to maintain the grapple, at the end of you turn, the target loses the grappled condition and you gain the use of 1 hand. If you do, you must use an action to make a melee attack against KAC + 8. Remember they have -2 AC because they are grappled, so its now a little easier.

If you move out of reach of the opponent, the grapple ends. For example, if you took a standard action to grapple someone, succeeded, then moved away from them, the grapple would automatically end.

Note that one thing you can do *after* you have grappled someone, when you would normally attempt to keep grappling them, is to *instead* take something from them that you can easily reach. For example, I grapple a three eyed, six legged saber-toothed cat that has a mind control gem plugged into a cybernetic socket in its forehead. On the cat's turn, it tries to bite me (dead soldiers don't maintain grapples), but misses. Poor kitty. On my turn, I roll vs the cat's KAC + 8 - 2 (it's grappled) = +6 to maintain the grapple. I hit! Instead of keeping the cat grappled I choose to pluck the mind control gem from its head. The cat is no longer under the evil influence of the Elder Things. Also, at the end of my turn it is no longer grappled. It starts purring, and licks my forehead. Good kitty.


S. J. Digriz wrote:


The grappled condition is a pretty good thing to impose on a target. If you are grappled:

"You can’t move, and you take a –2 penalty to your Armor Class, attack rolls, Reflex saving throws, initiative checks, and Dexterity-based skill and ability checks, except those made to grapple your opponent in
turn or to escape a grapple (see Grapple on page 246). In addition, you can’t take actions that require two hands (or other limbs) to perform. You can’t make attacks of opportunity.You can’t use Stealth to hide from the creature grappling you, even if a special ability allows you to hide when you normally couldn’t. If you become invisible, through a spell or other ability,you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your check to escape beinggrappled, but you receive no other benefit."

Actually, Digriz, note that the opponent does *not* take a penalty to their escape artist check to escape the grapple, nor do they take a penalty to their attack roll to grapple the grappler. They do take a -2 penalty to their AC when the grappler makes a roll to maintain the grapple.


Ok, so there is no way to maintain a grapple and attack the target of a grapple. That's what I though I had read. This is disappointing as it forces you to rely pretty heavily on your team members if grappling is you"thing" as you can't actually hurt your opponent while grappling them.

Or am I missing something?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
baggageboy wrote:

Ok, so there is no way to maintain a grapple and attack the target of a grapple. That's what I though I had read. This is disappointing as it forces you to rely pretty heavily on your team members if grappling is you"thing" as you can't actually hurt your opponent while grappling them.

Or am I missing something?

Pretty much, although I do have a grapple Solarion in the home game I'm running who uses Corona and radiation, and grapples opponents so they cant move out of the effects.


baggageboy wrote:

Ok, so there is no way to maintain a grapple and attack the target of a grapple. That's what I though I had read. This is disappointing as it forces you to rely pretty heavily on your team members if grappling is you"thing" as you can't actually hurt your opponent while grappling them.

Or am I missing something?

Your grapple ends at the end of the round that you would use to maintain the grapple, so you could take a full attack action on that turn to attack twice (they would be at -2 AC) instead of maintaining the grapple.

Note that a creature with the grab special ability can attack and re-grapple (if they hit KAC + 4).


Bit of a thread necro, but this is a top search result so wanted to add one thing.

Quote:
If the result of your attack roll equals or exceeds the target’s KAC + 13, the target is instead pinned for the same duration, and she can’t take any actions that involve moving her limbs other than to attempt to escape.

The pinned condition is much more severe than the grappled condition and, unlike grappled, applies penalties to attempts to break free of the grapple.

Quote:
While you are pinned, you can’t move and are flat-footed. You also take an additional –4 penalty to your Armor Class, attack rolls, Reflex saving throws, initiative checks, and Dexterity-based skill and ability checks (these penalties replace those from the grappled condition and also apply to attempts to grapple your opponent or free yourself; see Grapple). You are limited in the actions that you can take. You cannot take any action that requires the use of any of your limbs, but you can always attempt to free yourself, usually through an attack roll or Acrobatics check. You can’t make attacks of opportunity while you are pinned, but you can still take verbal and mental actions, such as Spellcasting.

So pinned is functionally a -6 to AC, making it much easier to maintain, and a -4 to attempts to break free.

Silver Crusade

Do weapons with the Grapple quality deal their damage when grappling with them? I had assumed that yes, they did, as it seems odd to have red-hot gauntlets that don't deal damage when grappling with them.


Nope.

They allow you to grapple without a free hand (whether a gauntleted hand is free is a bit of a debate) , with a +2 bonus and a chance of applying their critical effect. As the rules for the property state.
So, on a lucky shot you'd set them on fire, but otherwise I guess you turned the heat off. Not unreasonable, from my very limited understanding of the art.
You could always just flamepunch them, but they'd get free at the end of your turn, as pointed out above.

Throttle weapons, however, do apply their damage to every successful grapple check. They're probably the way to go for a grapple specialist ?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

We have reached the point in this topic where I would totally post the "Magnets, how do they work?" GIF.

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