Animal companion Snake (constrictor) = attack special ability???


Advice


Hi all!
Need you help with a little strange for animal companion snake (constrictor) attack special ability step by step...

Animal companion snake (constrictor) from 1-st lvl has Attack bite (1d3 plus grab) - if the attack is successful companion provide grab against enemy's CMD WITHOUT provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of the maneuver (because HAVE attack plus grab) and if succesful again enemy is grappled.

On 4-th level animal companion has only Attack bite (1d4) and special attack (constrict) with damage 1d4. No info that Attack bite on 4-th level has plus grab/
So on after 4-th level Animal companion snake (constrictor) can use grab? but with following details...
- if the attack is successful companion provide grab against enemy's CMD WITH provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of the maneuver (because HAVEN'T attack plus grab)and if succesful again enemy is grappled. And when enemy grappled animal companion can use special attack constrict with ONLY 1d4 damage (without plus Strength modificator) as it write in universal monster rules for Animal companion snake (constrictor)...

Do I understand correctly?

I have next argument for my point of view...
In universal monster rules for Animal companion snake (constrictor) listed that attack+grab he has only on 1-st level, on 4-th level he has only bite with growing damage and addition special attack constrict.
For example:
- Animal companion Snake (poison) have attack+poison on 1-st and 4-th level whith growing damage (that listed in universal monster rules for Animal companion).
- Animal companion Wolf have attack+trip on 1-st and 4-th level whith growing damage (that listed in universal monster rules for Animal companion).
- Animal companion Cameroceras have attack+grab on 1-st and attack+grab on 4-th level whith growing damage and addition special attack constrict (that listed in universal monster rules for Animal companion).

Please, answer what you think about this because I think that my point of view is correct but my players say that its very strange that snake has grab on 1-st level and lose it on 4-th...


The advancement line shows what gets added/replaced. Anything not listed the animal companion keeps at whatever it had it at before.

from Archives of Nethys

Snake, Constrictor wrote:

Starting Statistics: Size Medium; Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.; AC +2 natural armor; Attack bite (1d3); Ability Scores Str 15, Dex 17, Con 13, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 2; Special Attacks grab; Special Qualities low-light vision, scent.

4th-Level Advancement: Size Large; AC +1 natural armor; Attack bite (1d4); Ability Scores Str +8, Dex -2, Con +4; Special Attacks constrict 1d4.

So, based on the above entry at 4th level its base stats and abilities are:

Size Large; Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.; AC +3 natural armor; Attack bite (1d4); Ability Scores Str 23, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 2; Special Attacks constrict 1d4, grab; Special Qualities low-light vision, scent.

It doesn't lose the grab ability any more than it loses low-light vision and scent, nor does its bonus to natural armor drop from +2 to +1.


LordKailas wrote:

The advancement line shows what gets added/replaced. Anything not listed the animal companion keeps at whatever it had it at before.

from Archives of Nethys

Snake, Constrictor wrote:

Starting Statistics: Size Medium; Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.; AC +2 natural armor; Attack bite (1d3); Ability Scores Str 15, Dex 17, Con 13, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 2; Special Attacks grab; Special Qualities low-light vision, scent.

4th-Level Advancement: Size Large; AC +1 natural armor; Attack bite (1d4); Ability Scores Str +8, Dex -2, Con +4; Special Attacks constrict 1d4.

So, based on the above entry at 4th level its base stats and abilities are:

Size Large; Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.; AC +3 natural armor; Attack bite (1d4); Ability Scores Str 23, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 2; Special Attacks constrict 1d4, grab; Special Qualities low-light vision, scent.

It doesn't lose the grab ability any more than it loses low-light vision and scent, nor does its bonus to natural armor drop from +2 to +1.

Then why for Snake (poison) and many others animal written that they have attack plus something both on 1-st and 4-th level?

Examples of that strange things I show in my first post...


Koraxs wrote:

Then why for Snake (poison) and many others animal written that they have attack plus something both on 1-st and 4-th level?

Examples of that strange things I show in my first post...

Poor editing?

Keep in mind that sometimes poorly written language slips though. Also, different authors wrote up different animal companions. So, while Author A felt it was important to restate things, Author B didn't.

This can result in all kinds of strange things, some of which are more egregious than others. Look at Big Cats for example. They get a Rake attack at level 1, but don't pick up pounce or grab until level 7. This means they have an attack that for 6 levels that is nearly impossible for them to actually use. Rake can only be used during pounce or when grappling. However, it can't pounce yet and since it doesn't have grab it can't grapple without provoking.


LordKailas wrote:
Koraxs wrote:

Then why for Snake (poison) and many others animal written that they have attack plus something both on 1-st and 4-th level?

Examples of that strange things I show in my first post...

Poor editing?

Keep in mind that sometimes poorly written language slips though. Also, different authors wrote up different animal companions. So, while Author A felt it was important to restate things, Author B didn't.

This can result in all kinds of strange things, some of which are more egregious than others. Look at Big Cats for example. They get a Rake attack at level 1, but don't pick up pounce or grab until level 7. This means they have an attack that for 6 levels that is nearly impossible for them to actually use. Rake can only be used during pounce or when grappling. However, it can't pounce yet and since it doesn't have grab it can't grapple without provoking.

Thanks for your point of view.

Little more question...

1) In ability constrict writted that "amount of damage is given in the creature’s entry and is typically equal to the amount of damage caused by the creature’s melee attack."
So for the animal companion snake (constrictor) after 4-th level damage for constrict is ONLY 1d4, wright?
Because we have bickering with my players. They think that damage must be 1d4 plus Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + size modifier (like standart melee attack). I think that damage for constrict must be ONLY 1d4 because so written in the special attack for the snake (constrictor).
2) And tell me please, do you often have disputes with the GM. Or does everyone follow the rule, the GM is always right?)))


Koraxs wrote:

Thanks for your point of view.

Little more question...

1) In ability constrict writted that "amount of damage is given in the creature’s entry and is typically equal to the amount of damage caused by the creature’s melee attack."
So for the animal companion snake (constrictor) after 4-th level damage for constrict is ONLY 1d4, wright?
Because we have bickering with my players. They think that damage must be 1d4 plus Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + size modifier (like standart melee attack). I think that damage for constrict must be ONLY 1d4 because so written in the special attack for the snake (constrictor).
2) And tell me please, do you often have disputes with the GM. Or does everyone follow the rule, the GM is always right?)))

Sure thing!

1. Because the wording only specifies what "typically" happens then by the Rules as Written, it only does 1d4 damage. Now, that being said if we look at other creatures in the monster manual that do constrict damage we see that it includes the bonus from strength x 1.5, in cases where the creature's primary attack gets strength x 1.5 (eg. Constrictor). However, if the creature's primary attack gets its strength bonus x 1, then its constrict damage similararly gets strength x 1 (eg. Revenant)

So, in the case of the animal companion. Because by the rules it's primary attack gets a bonus to damage equal to 1.5 times its strength mod it's constrict attack should probably get the same bonus. But a DM would be completely justified in ruling that it only does 1d4 damage.

A side note though. You never have to roll to hit in order to do constrict damage, it either happens or it doesn't. So you would never add your base attack bonus or size modifier or anything else that adds to it's bonus to hit.

Constrict wrote:
A creature with this special attack can crush an opponent, dealing bludgeoning damage, when it makes a successful grapple check (in addition to any other effects caused by a successful check, including additional damage).

So, if the snake has an enemy grappled and it successfully maintains it's hold on the enemy at the start of it's turn the enemy immediately takes the constrict damage. Then it could choose to do damage or pin the creature. If it chooses to do damage it would deal it's normal bite damage to the enemy as well. Again without needing to make an attack roll, the damage just happens.

2. I try not to. If the DM has something wrong and its having a detrimental effect I will point out what the correct rule is (as I understand it). Heck, my current DM will even give me a hero point if the correct rule is in the monster's favor. If however, the DM insists that what they said is what happens then I'll just roll with it and adapt. Maybe there is an effect or ability I'm not aware of that's changing things. If it really bothers me I will bring it up again after the game. I will lay out my argument for why I think things should work a certain way and give the DM a chance to explain their position. If they still won't budge then I'll let it drop and won't bring it up again and just accept that this is the way it works in their game.

I went though the above process in a 4th edition game I was playing in. My rogue had an ability to do automatic damage to an adjacent enemy after moving up to 15 feet. I argued that since it said I could move up to 15 feet that I could still use the ability even if I didn't move at all, since moving 0 feet satisfied the requirements of the ability. The DM disagreed with me and would not even allow it to trigger if I moved and then moved again to end up where I started. Since that had the same result as me not moving at all. It sucked because it cut down on the usefulness of the ability but I just moved forward and adapted to the DMs interpretation of how the ability worked. The discussion overall was quite civil and she even offered to let me swap out the ability for something else if I wanted.

The DM always has final say in how things work even if they directly contradict the rules.


LordKailas wrote:
Koraxs wrote:

Thanks for your point of view.

Little more question...

1) In ability constrict writted that "amount of damage is given in the creature’s entry and is typically equal to the amount of damage caused by the creature’s melee attack."
So for the animal companion snake (constrictor) after 4-th level damage for constrict is ONLY 1d4, wright?
Because we have bickering with my players. They think that damage must be 1d4 plus Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + size modifier (like standart melee attack). I think that damage for constrict must be ONLY 1d4 because so written in the special attack for the snake (constrictor).
2) And tell me please, do you often have disputes with the GM. Or does everyone follow the rule, the GM is always right?)))

Sure thing!

1. Because the wording only specifies what "typically" happens then by the Rules as Written, it only does 1d4 damage. Now, that being said if we look at other creatures in the monster manual that do constrict damage we see that it includes the bonus from strength x 1.5, in cases where the creature's primary attack gets strength x 1.5 (eg. Constrictor). However, if the creature's primary attack gets its strength bonus x 1, then its constrict damage similararly gets strength x 1 (eg. Revenant)

So, in the case of the animal companion. Because by the rules it's primary attack gets a bonus to damage equal to 1.5 times its strength mod it's constrict attack should probably get the same bonus. But a DM would be completely justified in ruling that it only does 1d4 damage.

A side note though. You never have to roll to hit in order to do constrict damage, it either happens or it doesn't. So you would never add your base attack bonus or size modifier or anything else that adds to it's bonus to hit.

Constrict wrote:
A creature with
...

Thanks a lot for your advice and explain!)

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