Grappling Creature vs Party


Advice


The grappling advice thread got me to thinking - some large (or bigger) creatures are excellent grapplers, and some can even grapple more than one at a time, making action economy less of an issue. Without going overkill, what creatures could handle a four or five character party with grappling options, with an appropriate build?

I can envision strangling one, while pinning another, and still able to be ready to grab a third and fourth, but what creatures with what builds?

I'm not sure what level this works best with, but I'd like to see it at the lower-mid levels (maybe CR 5-10).

Intelligent giant octopus immediately comes to mind...


Even if you grapple the whole party, unless your PCs don't have one handed weapons to use to fight it, it will still die pretty quickly.

Single enemy encounters just don't work.

But encountering a group of enemies that like to grapple like intelligent ocutpus people...underwater....that could be interesting.


Claxon wrote:

Even if you grapple the whole party, unless your PCs don't have one handed weapons to use to fight it, it will still die pretty quickly.

Single enemy encounters just don't work.

But encountering a group of enemies that like to grapple like intelligent ocutpus people...underwater....that could be interesting.

Oh, I don't expect it to last too long, but still, reducing heavy fighters to light weapons and making every spell require concentration, it could get interesting.


Giant Crabs have Grab, and because they are Aquatic, I could easily see a Giant Crab pulling a party member back into the water to drown it (That's what crocodiles do.), so it would be a race to rescue the party member quickly before the PC gets pulled under.

Giant Octopi have 8 Tentacle Attacks all with Grab and Constrict, but if they are fighting multiple opponents, they'd Grapple more in a Catch-and-Release Style.

The Froghemoth has 4 tentacles, a tongue, and a mouth that all have Grab, and they have Swallow Whole. They should be able to simultaneously Grapple multiple party members while digesting another.

When a White Haired Witch Grapples you, they are not Grappled themselves. A WHW who is a good Grappler and has Great Cleave could be absolutely devastating.


Froghemoths are SO weird.

Thanks for the input. :)


EldonGuyre wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Even if you grapple the whole party, unless your PCs don't have one handed weapons to use to fight it, it will still die pretty quickly.

Single enemy encounters just don't work.

But encountering a group of enemies that like to grapple like intelligent ocutpus people...underwater....that could be interesting.

Oh, I don't expect it to last too long, but still, reducing heavy fighters to light weapons and making every spell require concentration, it could get interesting.

Except what will probably happen, unless you enemy also just surprises the party when they're standing next to each other, is that at least 2 people aren't grappled because they're too far away and kill the NPC before it can really be threatening.


Claxon wrote:
EldonGuyre wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Even if you grapple the whole party, unless your PCs don't have one handed weapons to use to fight it, it will still die pretty quickly.

Single enemy encounters just don't work.

But encountering a group of enemies that like to grapple like intelligent ocutpus people...underwater....that could be interesting.

Oh, I don't expect it to last too long, but still, reducing heavy fighters to light weapons and making every spell require concentration, it could get interesting.
Except what will probably happen, unless you enemy also just surprises the party when they're standing next to each other, is that at least 2 people aren't grappled because they're too far away and kill the NPC before it can really be threatening.

Yes, I get that it can go badly. I'm looking for ways to help it to work.


EldonGuyre wrote:
Claxon wrote:
EldonGuyre wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Even if you grapple the whole party, unless your PCs don't have one handed weapons to use to fight it, it will still die pretty quickly.

Single enemy encounters just don't work.

But encountering a group of enemies that like to grapple like intelligent ocutpus people...underwater....that could be interesting.

Oh, I don't expect it to last too long, but still, reducing heavy fighters to light weapons and making every spell require concentration, it could get interesting.
Except what will probably happen, unless you enemy also just surprises the party when they're standing next to each other, is that at least 2 people aren't grappled because they're too far away and kill the NPC before it can really be threatening.
Yes, I get that it can go badly. I'm looking for ways to help it to work.

The easiest way is to use multiple enemies. Honestly, a combat with a grappler for each party member could be really terrifying for the party.


A Cavalier member of the Order of the Penitent who has Greater Grapple could Grapple and Tie Up an opponent in a single round: Initiating the grapple as a Standard Action, then Tying Up the PC as a Move Action.

If that Cavalier also had a fast getaway, such as Boots of Teleportation, She could pick off your party 1-by-1, and the party would never stand a chance.

Members of the Order of the Penitent are under a vow to never kill, though. You would use an NPC like this to apprehend the party or certain party members if they were fugitives or something.


Giant Octopus and Kraken can grab/constrict 8 people at a time. A squad of 8+ Squid or Vampire Squid could do the same.

Shrroth Demons can grab/constrict 6 at a time.

Tentamorts have 2 tentacles that grab and usually ambush in groups of 3-6.


Thanks for the feedback. Hmmm. Maybe an awakened giant octopus with a few levels in a good grappling class and a few feats? I'm running a campaign in a huge string of islands, but I'll need to make sure the party won't just drown. I'm not looking for a tpk, just a single creature that will prove challenging by grappling.


At low levels, half a dozen Giant Crabs are exposed as the waves recede from the beach. Each one grabs a different player and attempts to drag them into the ocean.

A few levels later, as they navigate the slippery rocks near the beach, they happen upon a tide pool. As they look at it, it looks at them! A mating pair of Giant Octopuses starts menacing the party, trying to keep them grappled as the tide comes in.

At higher levels... the Kraken.


EldonGuyre wrote:
Thanks for the feedback. Hmmm. Maybe an awakened giant octopus with a few levels in a good grappling class and a few feats?

Or a Druid that is Wildshaped into a Giant Octopus...


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
EldonGuyre wrote:
Thanks for the feedback. Hmmm. Maybe an awakened giant octopus with a few levels in a good grappling class and a few feats?
Or a Druid that is Wildshaped into a Giant Octopus...

Cool. I hadn't thought about that. Could be very interesting...maybe a sea elf druid...or a deep one druid. I have a perfect place for that!


Ok, as much as I love druids, wildshape has always been a weak point for me. It seems as if the druid will have to be at least 8th level, to cover the poisonous bite. Can he then become a huge giant octopus? What about multiattack? I don't see that anywhere.


@EldonGuyre

Kraken Caller is an archetype of Druid that would be perfect for what you're trying to do.


Ryze Kuja wrote:

@EldonGuyre

Kraken Caller is an archetype of Druid that would be perfect for what you're trying to do.

Thanks, I did look at it, and you're right, but it sacrifices wildshape, and for now, I'm trying to explore that option. I may yet use it, though, it has amazing flavor!


It doesn't sacrifice wild shape, it just alters it. You can still use wild shape to turn into any aquatic creature, OR, you can make tentacles come out of the druid while in human form.

Give your Druid a Kraken as an Animal Companion and let her ride it with her tentacles out, and then when excrement hits the proverbial fan, wild shape into a Giant Octopus or Kraken yourself :D


Ryze Kuja wrote:

It doesn't sacrifice wild shape, it just alters it. You can still use wild shape to turn into any aquatic creature, OR, you can make tentacles come out of the druid while in human form.

Give your Druid a Kraken as an Animal Companion and let her ride it with her tentacles out, and then when excrement hits the proverbial fan, wild shape into a Giant Octopus or Kraken yourself :D

I re-read it. You're absolutely correct. Mind you, I'm looking for a CR of 7-10, so actual kraken animal companions and wildshapes are a bit much, but the giant octopus is right in there. Sadly, it's not in pcgen (the version that actually works on my computer... :p ), so I'll have to do it manually, but no biggie.

Could you look at him as a standard druid in my new thread? I'd love feedback.

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