Midair grapple


Rules Discussion


I've been working with a scenario, and it has caused me to form countless questions. Situation: A monk uses wing jump in order to close in on a flying succubus. The monk decides to grapple the succubus (yes, that old joke, but it is actually a good example).

Wind jump doesn't keep you in the air past your turn (excluding an acrobatics check when heightened). As such, there is nothing from the monk keeping him up.

Rule Questions:
1. Do you just hang onto the creature you grappled? Or do you fall?
2. If you hang onto the creature, could encumbrance issues cause a problem with flight? This is where the succubus part of the question is important- it has 7 carry capacity (low str, human size/shape), and the medium monk weights 6. It would be easy to go over if they are wearing clothes and other items (a stretch in this scenario, but for discussion's sake).
3. Grappling gives you the immobilized condition. So is the succubus going to fall to the ground regardless since they can use various flight related actions?
4. Would the monk benefit from any flight effects that protect the succubus from fall damage?

While there are other situations that could bring these rules up (grabbing a flying creature when falling off a cliff, etc), a wind jumping, grappling monk seems like one of the easiest things to replicate in real play scenarios.

How effective is this as an antiflyer option?


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First off - I am not sure about the rules site (or if there is anything at all about it) but this is how I would do it:
(or rather, what I would my players let get away with)

1. as long as the grapple is maintained you hold on. If the creature shakes you off -> you fall

2. Grappling a succubus mid-air? sounds like fun :P As general rule of thumb I would say if the creatures are of the same size category (and the grappler is not obvioulsy much heavier) the creature can stay airborne (if it wants). If the grappled creature is bigger it should be no problem at all, if the grappled creature is smaller, well you might want to rethink the grapple (depending on the height)

3. I would let the players tell me HOW they grapple. Wings free? everything is fine. Wings held? Falling like a stone. One should be careful, a free-winged succubus might try to fly higher and then shake you off. On the other hand if you wall straightup it will most likely hurt you too

4. no, not at all - if they can reasonably turn the succubus to the ground while staying above them (which should be possible, it is in their name after all) one could argue the succubus body softens the blow. Depending on the height that might not make that much of a difference

As Antiflyer option it is probably very effektive (if the grapple has a reasonable chance of course) but it is very risky (mostly the risk of injury with a minor chance of broken pride)


lemeres wrote:

1. Do you just hang onto the creature you grappled? Or do you fall?

2. If you hang onto the creature, could encumbrance issues cause a problem with flight? This is where the succubus part of the question is important- it has 7 carry capacity (low str, human size/shape), and the medium monk weights 6. It would be easy to go over if they are wearing clothes and other items (a stretch in this scenario, but for discussion's sake).
3. Grappling gives you the immobilized condition. So is the succubus going to fall to the ground regardless since they can use various flight related actions?
4. Would the monk benefit from any flight effects that protect the succubus from fall damage?

While there are other situations that could bring these rules up (grabbing a flying creature when falling off a cliff, etc), a wind jumping, grappling monk seems like one of the easiest things to replicate in real play scenarios.

How effective is this as an antiflyer option?

Per RAW:

1. You fall and it ends the grapple. I think it's a good place for a houserule, as it's quite funny and logical to grab a creature and try to stick to it.
2, 3 and 4. Because it's a houserule, you can rule it the way you want.


I think moving ending a grapple is an extremely calculated rule meant to avoid the 5E shenanigans of grappling, flying straight up, and then dropping the foe, doing absurd amounts of fall damage, making that the default strategy for anyone who can fly. I'd be extremely careful about changing that.


The basic success of a grapple is a minimal condition, Grabbed, like when wrestlers first grab an opponent, hindering them. You might have some hair, a wrist, an ankle, etc.
As in, grabbing an opponent doesn't give you a bear hug. Nor would I automatically assume it'd bear your own weight.

Unfortunately the upgrade, Restrained, skips the middle ground and goes right to pinning!

So, given that PF2 is not a grappling-martial arts simulation game, but rather a high fantasy, the ability to leap and hang on to an unwilling flyer should be possible. And without maximal control, which implies a simple grapple success should be enough.

So now what?
I do think encumbrance should play a part. Dragging a flying person down to your mutual doom is also a thing. The flyer might have to make an Athletics (lift) or Acrobatics (stabilize) check, but as Aratorin mentioned, be wary of the precedent of a flyer being able to carry a person. Default grappling was toned down for a reason in PF2.

As for fouling up their wings, that sounds like a bit more control, more in line with a pin (or a Felling Strike variant). I wouldn't allow that, as that's like passing out Felling Strike for free. Yet the PC would be present to attempt again each action to apply that Restrained condition.

And I'd likely make the PC flat-footed, dangling w/ little support as they are. It'd be akin to climbing. Might even have a secondary Athletics check, though maybe after the target struggles.


Now if this person is a level 10 Monk with Sleeper Hold, and they get a Crit Success, that works amazingly. :)


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Don't forget you have Grab an Edge should you slip! XD


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1. The creature gains the grabbed condition and as such is flat-footed and immobilized, therefore, the creature falls. Presumably with the grappling character.

I learned this yesterday. The GM may opt to rule in the creature's favor and allow try to escape before to use the necessary fly action (even to hover) on its turn. But this whole question is solved by the rules on flying. You don't need even to solve the other bullet points proposed here.

Both would take damage, probably, since the succubus doesn't take damage if it's descending to make a controlled landfall (this, I'm not sure because I don't know anything about the monster other than it flies) not just falling without control with someone holding on to it. Unless it has a special ability that renders it immune to fall damage like Catfall.


Lightning Raven wrote:

1. The creature gains the grabbed condition and as such is flat-footed and immobilized, therefore, the creature falls. Presumably with the grappling character.

I learned this yesterday. The GM may opt to rule in the creature's favor and allow try to escape before to use the necessary fly action (even to hover) on its turn. But this whole question is solved by the rules on flying. You don't need even to solve the other bullet points proposed here.

Both would take damage, probably, since the succubus doesn't take damage if it's descending to make a controlled landfall (this, I'm not sure because I don't know anything about the monster other than it flies) not just falling without control with someone holding on to it. Unless it has a special ability that renders it immune to fall damage like Catfall.

Except this is wrong. The flying creature would not fall until its own turn. The Monk falls at the end of its turn, at which point the grapple ends, because the Monk moved. By the time the flying creature takes its turn, its not grappled.


Wait, you mean that the Monk succeeds in a grapple, but by the end of their own turn it fails the grapple and falls? Then the creature is free to do as it pleases?

If it's that so, then you just need to be tripping the flying creatures and never bothering to grapple a flying creature. Is simpler and more effective.


Lightning Raven wrote:

Wait, you mean that the Monk succeeds in a grapple, but by the end of their own turn it fails the grapple and falls? Then the creature is free to do as it pleases?

If it's that so, then you just need to be tripping the flying creatures and never bothering to grapple a flying creature. Is simpler and more effective.

The Monk doesn't auto-fail, they auto-fall.

That movement then ends the grapple.
That is, unless the GM/Paizo rules that grappling the opponent gives enough purchase to remain in the air. Maybe one's even using "Grab an Edge" on an opponent (which for a Mu Spore, I'd totally allow!)


But if you are grabbing a creature, which is the success state of a grapple, why would your character simply let go and fall?
Because that's what auto-failing means. The monk was successful, now he's grappled with the enemy. Either the creature shakes it off and remains flying, or both are going down.

I would say that since you're immobilizing a creature, the you have enough to make it stop moving, don't you think?

Maybe the successful grapple making it fall in the round of the grappling creature is wrong, but I think that the grappling creature auto-failing at the end of the round is wrong as well and doesn't make any damn sense.

Regardless, my Monk will be tripping flying creatures from now on to avoid these pointless rulings. Instant benefit and no adjudication necessary.


Lightning Raven wrote:

Wait, you mean that the Monk succeeds in a grapple, but by the end of their own turn it fails the grapple and falls? Then the creature is free to do as it pleases?

If it's that so, then you just need to be tripping the flying creatures and never bothering to grapple a flying creature. Is simpler and more effective.

True, though the flying creature could then use the Arrest a Fall Reaction.

Now if you're a Giant Instinct Barbarian who has grown to Huge size, you might be able to Grapple it from the ground and prevent it from moving.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I thought flying creatures were immune to trip.


Ravingdork wrote:
I thought flying creatures were immune to trip.

I can't find anything in the base rules that says that. What is the source?


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I might be misremembering from 1E.


Ravingdork wrote:
I might be misremembering from 1E.

I mean I expected such a rule to exist, but I couldn't find one prior to posting. Tripping a flying creature does feel odd, but then again, so does tripping a Gelatinous Cube, but I can't find anything that would prevent it.


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Aratorin wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I might be misremembering from 1E.
I mean I expected such a rule to exist, but I couldn't find one prior to posting. Tripping a flying creature does feel odd, but then again, so does tripping a Gelatinous Cube, but I can't find anything that would prevent it.

So you are saying that there are still ways for a halfling monk to jump into the air and pile drive dragons into the ground without the need for more specialized feats.


lemeres wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I might be misremembering from 1E.
I mean I expected such a rule to exist, but I couldn't find one prior to posting. Tripping a flying creature does feel odd, but then again, so does tripping a Gelatinous Cube, but I can't find anything that would prevent it.
So you are saying that there are still ways for a halfling monk to jump into the air and pile drive dragons into the ground without the need for more specialized feats.

If the Dragon manages to fail a DC 15 Athletics Check to Arrest a Fall and that's how you flavor it, yes.


Ravingdork wrote:
I thought flying creatures were immune to trip.

NOpe. In this edition is the very opposite. You get tripped in the air you fall.


lemeres wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I might be misremembering from 1E.
I mean I expected such a rule to exist, but I couldn't find one prior to posting. Tripping a flying creature does feel odd, but then again, so does tripping a Gelatinous Cube, but I can't find anything that would prevent it.
So you are saying that there are still ways for a halfling monk to jump into the air and pile drive dragons into the ground without the need for more specialized feats.

The feat is called Titan Wrestler, which allows you to do combat maneuvers against creatures up to 2 sizes above you. Which for a Halfling will only go up to Large, which some dragons will be, but others will not. Nothing that a Enlarge Person wouldn't prevent, though.

But yes,the last paragraph of the Prone condition read as follows:
"If you would be knocked prone while you’re Climbing or Flying, you fall (see pages 463–464 for the rules on falling). You can’t be knocked prone when Swimming."


Lightning Raven wrote:
lemeres wrote:
So you are saying that there are still ways for a halfling monk to jump into the air and pile drive dragons into the ground without the need for more specialized feats.

The feat is called Titan Wrestler, which allows you to do combat maneuvers against creatures up to 2 sizes above you. Which for a Halfling will only go up to Large, which some dragons will be, but others will not. Nothing that a Enlarge Person wouldn't prevent, though.

But yes,the last paragraph of the Prone condition read as follows:
"If you would be knocked prone while you’re Climbing or Flying, you fall (see pages 463–464 for the rules on falling). You can’t be knocked prone when Swimming."

Well, skill feats are easy to write off. Heck, I feel you HAVE TO grab them to fill out the general feat slots, since there are just not enough of them yet (and pretty low quality when you remove the skill feats).

I was more worried that I would need some specific class feats (which can be a heavy price when you also have stances and ki powers to worry about.


I think you are severely undervaluing General Feats.

Canny Acumen, Fleet, Untrained Improvisation, and Diehard are all amazing for any character.

Numb to Death is fantastic if you can manage the rather extreme prerequisites.

For a lot of Ancestries, there aren't really enough good Ancestry Feats to last all the way to 20, so Adopted Ancestry to gain access to useful Ancestry Feats is also great.

Also, now I can't stop picturing Rock Lee fighting a Dragon and wishing there was some kind of Ki Overload Feat for Monks that Doubles their Damage, AC Bonuses, and Speed for 1 minute, but with the drawback that every time they deal damage, they take damage equal to their own damage modifier, and after the minute, they become Dying 3 and Drained 3.


Aratorin wrote:

I think you are severely undervaluing General Feats.

Canny Acumen, Fleet, Untrained Improvisation, and Diehard are all amazing for any character.

Numb to Death is fantastic if you can manage the rather extreme prerequisites.

For a lot of Ancestries, there aren't really enough good Ancestry Feats to last all the way to 20, so Adopted Ancestry to gain access to useful Ancestry Feats is also great.

Also, now I can't stop picturing Rock Lee fighting a Dragon and wishing there was some kind of Ki Overload Feat for Monks that Doubles their Damage, AC Bonuses, and Speed for 1 minute, but with the drawback that every time they deal damage, they take damage equal to their own damage modifier, and after the minute, they become Dying 3 and Drained 3.

Wait... no, you are right. I thought we got more general feats than we do. I thought it was at the rate of skill feats, rather than every 4 or so levels, and assumed I could grab most of the good ones early on. Sorry, still getting my four different feat sets mixed up- too many resources going at their own rate.

Still, I do stand by the fact that the general feats are not that transformative. Almost half of the feats you listed are straight number feats (highly important in this system's tight math, but hardly exciting), and untrained improvisation is out done by the pathfinder dedication in the same role.

Compare that to the skill feats, where you can get free turn 1 intimidation, multi target and easily repeatable healing, and stealth that can bypass various senses. Such feats can define an entire playstyle.


The new feat-writing paradigm has changed, so don't look forward for Weapon Focus, Power attacks, deadly aims and other straight up better than other feats like before. So all General feats will either give some kind of utility, reduce one of your weaknesses or maybe add a little bit of options to your base class (Armor proficiency, for instance).

Also, the best ones are toughness,incredible initiative and feather step, if you want for good options for any character. Fleet takes precedence if your class has low movement speed due to armor or ancestry.


For me it’s the kind of things that I do with Hero Point. I mean from a RAW perspective you fall back so your Grapple end. But it’s kinda lame because it was a good cinematic move. So I will allow it for an Hero point to stay.

And to know if the Succubus fly higher with him or go down with him, I would make her a Athletics check against the Fortitude DC of the Monk I think. If she fails, they go down, if she succeed, they go up.

As a rule of thumb, hero point are good for this kind of scenarios. When you are unsure of a rule interaction, or rules are not on the cool side of things, but you don’t want to allow something that will become the default strategy, allow it but with an hero point.


RKO outta nowhere!


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SteelGuts wrote:

For me it’s the kind of things that I do with Hero Point. I mean from a RAW perspective you fall back so your Grapple end. But it’s kinda lame because it was a good cinematic move. So I will allow it for an Hero point to stay.

And to know if the Succubus fly higher with him or go down with him, I would make her a Athletics check against the Fortitude DC of the Monk I think. If she fails, they go down, if she succeed, they go up.

As a rule of thumb, hero point are good for this kind of scenarios. When you are unsure of a rule interaction, or rules are not on the cool side of things, but you don’t want to allow something that will become the default strategy, allow it but with an hero point.

I don't know know... It's sees way more reasonable to me assume that a successful grapple would already count as holding on to the creature and this would be the situation to GIVE a hero point, not use one.

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