Constriction and how Exactly Badtouch Works


Rules Questions


For sake of reference, I shall use the White Haired Witch as an example, as I am most familiar with the archetype, if you've seen me complain about it enough.

So. White Haired Witch. Great in concept. Become Sedusa, from the Powerpuff Girls. By RAW, big letdown in execution. Still willing to pay someone here to errata it and make it complete bs. Hint hint.

You have a hair attack, that deals 1d4+int. Meaning at best, that's 1d4+7 damage. That's pretty good, but past level four, the bloom on the rose fades when everyone else is able to pump out more damage than you by other means, either with more attacks, or with Power Attack. Or Piranha Strike if the DM rules that it counts as a proxy to Power Attack. Which it should, but moving one.

Level two, you gain constriction. Assuming a Dex of +2, you're human and take Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple and Agile Maneuvers at level three, with a king crab familiar, and taking Grab into account, that's a +10 to grapple someone, and begin making your DM very uncomfortable with how your hair gets everywhere on that orc. And you end up dealing 2d4+14 badtouch on your next grapple, if the orc doesn't break free and turn you into finger paint.

Now, questions at hand. How exactly does Constriction work when you apply the damage? Is it 2d4+14 as I said above, or 1d4+7 twice, meaning you end up dealing way less damage against DR? Does applying Power Attack, Piranha Strike, or even Vital Strike increase your constriction damage? What if you increase in size, or bite the bullet and take Improved Natural Attack? Does Constriction apply to coup de graces if you take throat slicer? What if I use a touch spell? Cast Frostbite, hit somebody with my hair. Connects, 1d4+7 hair with 1d6+2 cold. Does that get doubled too, to 2d4+14+2d6+4?

Any help is appreciated.

Grand Lodge

Constriction works whenever you successfully make a grapple check on a target with the limb/attack (in this case, the hair). So if a WHW attacks and hits a target with her hair, she deals 1d4+Int dmg and gets to make a grapple check thanks to Grab. If successful on the grapple, she immediately gets to constrict that same round, dealing an additional 1d4+Int damage. When her turn comes around again she can take the standard action to maintain the grapple and do one of the normal grapple actions when maintaining (pin, deal damage, or move at half speed, unless you have other abilities that grant more options). On a successful maintain, she also deals constrict damage. Meaning on a maintain to deal damage+constrict, she gets two separate damage rolls both at 1d4+Int.

Keep in mind the grapple checks use the WHW Int mod instead of the normal stat for the grapple check.

For this archetype it specifically states it uses the damage from the attack to determine the constrict damage. So if you have Power Attack as a feat, you can take the penalty to attack rolls (which includes your CMB, as that is an attack roll) to gain the bonus to damage rolls, and that damage would apply to your constrict. Vital Strike would not apply to constrict, as Vital Strike is something you can only benefit from as a standard action, and your grab/constrict are separate free actions after the original attack. Size increase and Improved Natural attack also increases the damage done on the constrict. Again, this is only because the WHW archetype states

Constrict (Ex): wrote:
At 2nd level, when the white-haired witch’s hair successfully grapples an opponent, it can begin constricting her victim as a free action, dealing damage equal to that of its attack.

As for coup de grace with Throat Slicer, your standard action to coup de grace is not also maintaining the grapple. Thus you need to first have Greater Grapple to pin as a move action (which gets the constrict damage) then the standard action to use Throat Slicer. Because you're not spending an additional action to maintain with your standard, you do not get constrict damage when using that feat (though if I were a GM I could probably be convinced you would get that bonus damage, considering you're using the hair attack to deliver the coup de grace in the first place. But I'm sticking with RAW as this is the Rules Questions forum)

While you can deliver touch spells using any natural attack and its reach, you are not quite using that natural attack, and thus do not get a grab attempt on a successful touch attack, even using your hair. Of course you can discharge the spell using a normal attack (the following round, unless you used a quickened/swift action spell) and then you would get the grab, but that's targeting normal AC, not touch.

Hope this answers all your questions!


This does help, but I believe I have seen somewhere on here that touch spells do activate Grab, but we'll ignore that for now.

I have three more questions.

>Is there a way to increase your constriction damage, outside of the Final Embrace tree?
>Since constriction applies the extra damage separately, it does much less damage than would be appreciated when manhandling someone with DR, correct?
>For the tiefling, of their "roll 1d100" abilities is to gain a tough, spiky skin, "dealing an extra 1d4 damage when grappling". Would this affect the extra damage from constriction?

Four questions, I lied. You did not answer about the spell damage applying to constriction?

Grand Lodge

Constriction is bonus damage that is tacked on a successful grapple attempt- it doesn’t get multiplied on a crit, and it is only added once per grapple check. If you are holding a spell like frostbite you don’t get double spell damage when grappling.

To increase your constrict damage, just increase your base damage with your hair. As far as I know there’s nothing else outside of Final Embrace.

DR is applied separately on constrict damage, unfortunately.

That extra 1d4 damage from the tiefling is tacked on to the constrict damage as well. Anytime you make a successful grapple check you get the bonus 1d4 damage and the constrict damage.

I’ve never seen it ruled that Touch attacks allow you to make grapple attempts if you have the grab ability. I could be wrong on that but if that’s the case it opens a whole new can of worms.


Ok, one last question, and I think I'm good to go.

Does Final Embrace give me another Constriction, or is it just redundant to my own and is just a stepping stone to Final Embrace Master?


OK, the answers Syries gave apply to the Universal Monster Rules version of Constrict(EX) which Final Embrace would give you.

It does not apply to the White Haired Witch version. The WHW gets an ex ability to do its melee attack damage to a grappled victim as a Swift action. That is very different than the Universal Monster Rules version of constrict. The default WHW is limited to doing constrict damage once a round because you only get one swift action per round.

So adding Final Embrace to your WHW will make a large change on how you do constrict damage. Lets walk through an example of each.

Base WHW: you make an attack. Each attack does 1d4+7 and gives you a free grapple attempt. None of this involves constriction damage, or damage from a grapple. As a swift action you make do 1d4+7 constrict damage to something you have grappled.

On the following round you will either choose to spend a standard action to maintain one of your grapples, or not. If you do make another grapple check at +5 to maintain and if you succeed you can move/damage/pin your opponent, and your opponent still qualifies for your switf action constrict ability.

Since your hair is a Natural weapon you do not get iterative attacks with it. You can do a weapon attack and then use the hair as a secondary attack (as a Full Attack action), but that takes a -5 to hit for the hair. That -5 applies to the grapple checks too.

With Final Embrace: Add an extra 1d4+7 constrict damage to your free grapple attempt and your standard to maintain a grapple. If you choose to Damage that means you do 1d4+7 and another separate 1d4+7 from the same action. You can still do the extra 1d4+7 as a swift action to one creature you have grappled.

Now how exactly you get Final Embrace is a better question. You'll need that 13 str and to either be a naga, serpantfolk, or have constrict as a racial ability. WHW doesn't qualify you for that feat. The more advanced versions have high strength and BAB restrictions. If you stay straight witch you get a BAB +9 at level 18. If you really want to make Final Embrace line of feats work for you I think you need to follow WHW up to level 8 and then change class to something that gives you full BAB.

Adding 5 levels of Monk would give you the +9 BAB needed at 13th level, but that stunts your casting ability at 8th level. With some feat support you could improve your hair's base damage to be equal to your monk unarmed damage.

If you take 1 level of some class that gives you proficiency with Martial weapons (and +1 BAB) you could take 4 more levels of Eldritch Knight and only drop 2 caster levels. Not really horrible and you qualify at 13th level and cast like an 11th level witch.

If you go WHW 5 and then switch to Evangelist prestige class you'll lose one level of Witch casting but switch to 3/4 BAB. At 15th level you'll have that +9 BAB and all of the abilities of a 14th level WHW.

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