Do grapple attempts benefit from flanking?


Rules Questions


Do you get any flanking bonus when attempting a grapple? It looks to me like you should not, since flanking specifies that it applies to melee attacks, and grapple does not appear to be a melee attack. Though by the same logic, flanking also shouldn't affect disarm/trip/sunder since they also don't appear to be melee attacks, they only take the place of a melee attack.

Flanking wrote:
When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature on its opposite border or opposite corner.

The combat rules seem to imply that combat maneuvers aren't melee attacks, as specific combat maneuvers are called out as "taking the place of a melee attack"

Attack Action wrote:

An attack action is a type of standard action... You can apply these to any combat option that takes the place of a melee attack made using an attack action (such as the trip combat maneuver), though options that increase damage don’t cause attacks to deal damage if they wouldn’t otherwise do so (such as Vital Strike and trip).

Melee Attack: While a melee attack isn’t an action type itself, many options and other rules affect melee attacks. Some combat options (such as the disarm and sunder combat maneuvers) can be used anytime you make a melee attack, including attacks of opportunity. These options can’t be combined with each other (a single melee attack can be a disarm or sunder combat maneuver, but not both), but they can be combined with options that modify an attack action or are standard or full-round actions.

However, there's a counterexample in that the feat Dirty Fighting implies that combat maneuvers do benefit from flanking:

Dirty Fighting wrote:
Benefit(s): When you attempt a combat maneuver check against a foe you are flanking, you can forgo the +2 bonus on your attack roll for flanking to instead have the combat maneuver not provoke an attack of opportunity. If you have a feat or ability that allows you to attempt the combat maneuver without provoking an attack of opportunity, you can instead increase the bonus on your attack roll for flanking to +4 for the combat maneuver check.

But then it gets more complicated, like, if combat maneuvers benefit from flanking does that mean they are considered melee attacks? If so, could you use a maneuver like Dirty Trick at the end of a charge? Or is there a separate rule that allows combat maneuvers to benefit from flanking, even though they are not melee attacks?

Charge wrote:
After moving, you may make a single melee attack.

If so, what is the benefit of the feat Kitsune Style?

Kitsune Style wrote:

Prerequisite(s): Int 13, Combat Expertise, Improved Dirty Trick.

Benefit(s): While using this style, you can attempt to perform a dirty trick in place of an attack at the end of a charge.

So, a few related questions:

1) Do trip/disarm/sunder benefit from flanking?
2) Do other combat maneuvers like grapple and dirty trick benefit from flanking?
3) Are all combat maneuvers considered melee attacks?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

"When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects."

So:
1) yes
2) yes
3) no, but they get bonuses that an attack roll would normally get.


Thanks, that's the passage I was missing!

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