Question about maintaining grapple


Rules Questions


At the moment, I'm the master of a game in which I plan to put the players in an arena in which they'll be up against a Tyrannosaurus, such as this one.

They're 6 8th-level PCs, including an (evil) priest, a monk and a fighter, among other spellcasters. I have several questions, I delved into the grapple rule (once more) and I'm still in doubt.

Tyrannosaurus have the grab special monster ability, which allows him to attempt a free grab on a successful hit. On the 2nd round, the monster can make his check without triggering an AoO since grappled condition removes all AoO.

But what happen if the monster take damage while grappling ? I don't see anything written about that but it would be legit that the creature doesn't maintain grapple so easily after an axe went 3 inches into his neck. Did I miss a rule somewhere ?

Otherwise I don't see how any 8th or even 9th level player without any spell can escape the grapple of a 39 CMD creature, unless they have some compulsion spells (which they don't have). Even if the whole party try to aid another ... 39 CMD !


taking damage while grappling does not end the grapple (unless specific rules from special abilities\feats etc etc say so).

remember that others can team up on one in a grapple (each giving +2 i think with aid other .need to re-read that part in grappling). also escape artist or a grapple check can get you out of a grapple. and there are some abilities and spells that give a bonus to it (or make one immune to being grappled such as freedom of movement). and that net 20 is an auto success. (in the grapple attempt check, not skill check like escape artist).

and yes the T-rex is a very strong grappler. it's one of it's main threats. hence the swallow whole part. on the other hand anyone with flying can rain death on it with ease. at level 8-9 i would assume some of them can fly...


zza ni wrote:

taking damage while grappling does not end the grapple (unless specific rules from special abilities\feats etc etc say so).

remember that others can team up on one in a grapple (each giving +2 i think with aid other .need to re-read that part in grappling). also escape artist or a grapple check can get you out of a grapple. and there are some abilities and spells that give a bonus to it (or make one immune to being grappled such as freedom of movement). and that net 20 is an auto success. (in the grapple attempt check, not skill check like escape artist).

and yes the T-rex is a very strong grappler. it's one of it's main threats. hence the swallow whole part. on the other hand anyone with flying can rain death on it with ease. at level 8-9 i would assume some of them can fly...

We have a sorcerer that can fly at will but she specialized into wind so she has rather low damages. Our Kineticist has some ranged damage but that'll be far from enough.

I figured that since AoO damage apply as a penalty to a CMB check, there was maybe a rule somewhere stating that damage taken while you check to maintain a grab also apply as a penalty. And it would make sense. Can't see anything written about that tho.


no - only starting a grapple provoke in this case. and that is if they don't use improved grapple or the grab ability. the t rex won't provoke if he hits with a bite and then grab. and not when he use a standard action to continue the grapple (and probably swallow).

mirror image\invisibility or other concealment should aid a bit.
also debuffing. it's will is impressive but anything with dc 20 has 50% chance to lend on it.

high ac also work. my level 8 unchained monk has ac 41 with crane style. that mean the t-rex would only hit him on a net 20, and if he use total defense that mean that one attack is also negated with the 3rd crane feat. (heaving only one attack a round suck against it).

cast ant haul on sorcerer and have him carry the kinetikist who then blast the t-rex. problem solved .

'Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure!'


zza ni wrote:
no - only starting a grapple provoke in this case. and that is if they don't use improved grapple or the grab ability. the t rex won't provoke if he hits with a bite and then grab. and not when he use a standard action to continue the grapple (and probably swallow).

I know that, what I meant is that since AoO damage does apply as penalty, it would have make sense that other damage coming during the monster's turn (such as readied attacks for example) would also apply as penalty, the same way a readied attack apply penalty to a caster's concentration check.

zza ni wrote:

mirror image\invisibility or other concealment should aid a bit.

also debuffing. it's will is impressive but anything with dc 20 has 50% chance to lend on it.

Yep I told them that the sorcerer should get some spells to aid the party but they didn't really account for it :/

The sorcerer is a very selfish sylphe so that makes sense, tho not the best to optimize a party and not easy for a GM to make encounters at their CR that won't outright stomp them hehe.

zza ni wrote:
high ac also work. my level 8 unchained monk has ac 41 with crane style. that mean the t-rex would only hit him on a net 20, and if he use total defense that mean that one attack is also negated with the 3rd crane feat. (heaving only one attack a round suck against it).

Yes I loved crane style on monk, it was so stupid to have so much AC with no armor at all ^^ our monk have a decent AC so if they can help him a bit and if he plays on defensive it can work.

zza ni wrote:
cast ant haul on sorcerer and have him carry the kinetikist who then blast the t-rex. problem solved .

That would be funny as hell although is it really possible for him to attack while being carried that way ? Idk if there's a rule covering that but if there's not I'd apply a serious penalty to attack rolls ^^

Overall I know there are solutions, in cases in which I'm not too sure I always play an NPC that can help turn the tide if they were clever but unlucky on dices.

I was just wondering if there are other solutions than just "aid another" and spells to help vs grab.

I also remember that there were some rules covering "melee" with multiple people trying to grab multiple people, but can't recall exactly what it says.


the aoo damage is not a grapple thing. it's any menuver thing.
taking damage from aoo while grappled, if the aoo was not for starting a grapple doesn't effect the grapple.

the aoo for starting a grapple without improved grapple is actually an aoo for anyone who try a maneuver without the improved 'x' feat - provoke an aoo and damage done is added to said maneuver dc. it's the same for trip\sunder\disarm etc.
it's not like concentrating on a spell which need constant concentration and any damage might negate it it. it's dropping your guard down to try and do something you won't usually do in a fight,unless trained, so you provoke an attack.(same reason you provoke for standing up or moving etc. but in this case the damage is applied as penalty to the thing you were trying to do). after it's done there isn't any more openings to exploit.

as for multi grapple, from the combat>combat maneuvers>grapple rules:

"Multiple Creatures: Multiple creatures can attempt to grapple one target. The creature that first initiates the grapple is the only one that makes a check, with a +2 bonus for each creature that assists in the grapple (using the Aid Another action). Multiple creatures can also assist another creature in breaking free from a grapple, with each creature that assists (using the Aid Another action) granting a +2 bonus on the grappled creature’s combat maneuver check."

interesting thing here. the aid an other here is can be done retroactive. as you see that the first to start a grapple is the one who roll.
so one roll then everyone who help roll vs dc 10 and if he get it then the first roll is adding +2 to it and checked again (until they succeed or all fail\ stop. like in football when more and more players tackle the same guy with the ball). same for releasing some1 from grapple. one try then each and every1 who help and roll over 10 add +2 to the trapped guy's roll.


True it's not only a grapple thing, but since maintaining is a CMB check it could be the same.

And yes there's the aid another but the thing doesn't cover what happens if you attempt to grab someone who's already grabbed by someone else (and not just aid), ar you grabbed aswell, does the target needs to make 2 escape rolls, etc. I think there are special rules for this case but I'm not sure.


do you mean if two people trying to grapple the same target but not help each other? (each orc want the hobbit for themselves?).
unless one move the grappled away from the other i would say they all just gain the grappled condition. and when one try to break free he roll once and check against the cmd of both. if he get past both he's free. if not then anyone he failed still grapple him.

on that note. moving the grappled target might prove a lot easier then breaking the grapple directly. teleportation magic might help or not. depend on the kind used.

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