Grab and Move


Rules Discussion


A situation occurred in my past game. A large monster with improved grab and burrow speed was able to hold to one of the PCs and began to sink into the sand carrying the PC. We were in a desert region with dunes. Due to my carelessness, I did not notice the restrictions between grabbing and moving. The fight continued to be very tense until one of the players alerted me to the mistake I was making. We ended up losing most of the session by discussing rules.

My question is this ...

Even a huge creature, which does not have the ability to swallow, will never be able to grab and carry a small creature?


The Giant Eagle and the Gogiteth (and presumably others?) both have abilities that say they can move while having a creature grabbed. So unless a creature has an ability that grants the ability to do that, it seems otherwise impossible.

I use house rules to allow a very limited form of movement while grabbing, but within the rules we'll need some sort of feat to make it generally possible. And even then creatures will usually need a special ability to make it work since they don't have feats the way players do.


As far as I can tell, a Gargantuan creature can't carry off a tiny creature after grabbing it unless it has an ability that specifically allows movement with a grab.


This is a rough part of the design of PF2... a general rule (you can't just grab a smaller creature and carry it off) is only made apparent by the existence of specific rules that create exceptions to it.

There "should" be a drag action that functions similarly to the shove action so that normal creatures can handle actions like hauling an unwilling but still conscious creature to the door of a tavern without that being just a serious of Strides and Shoves linked together that hopefully all happen before the creature in question gets to take a turn and undo all progress without any kind of a check.


graystone wrote:
As far as I can tell, a Gargantuan creature can't carry off a tiny creature after grabbing it unless it has an ability that specifically allows movement with a grab.

Correct, and I am sure designers are aware of that but somehow don't want to address it. They addressed the conversion from stealth to encounter rules in GMG but not dragging. IDK why.


Maelorn7 wrote:
Correct, and I am sure designers are aware of that but somehow don't want to address it.

Or the way they addressed it was to leave it up to DM fiat like a LOT of the game. ;P

thenobledrake wrote:
There "should" be a drag action.

It's an easy houserule to do: roll for shove and add 5' for each size smaller than yourself: so a Gargantuan creature that grabs a tiny creature can move up to 25' on a success or up to 30' on a crit with the creature.


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Given some PF1 shenanigans, I can understand the change. In a struggle among enemies within "normal" level range of each other, carrying somebody does represent significant dominance which may be unjustified w/o a special ability. And there are a dozen or more monsters that have some way to carry you off, so while PCs can't do it, they can expect it to experience it.
For narrative purposes, the person/monster could knock out the target first. Until then, their victim's just struggling too much to easily carry.

If you're dominant enough, you could shove & grab each round to move your opponent somewhere.
Shove/Shove/Grapple
When you consider how brief rounds are, this is decent progress with a struggling victim. Then they Ready to move when you Shove, so you slap them into compliance or Ready to grab them when they try to dash. Pretty iconic skulduggery there.

For Gargantuan vs. Tiny, shoving will often be simple since the power levels will be so different. The Gargantuan guy may not be able to fully pick up the critter, but they can slap them around and corral them.

I might allow a rare case of Restrained allowing you to carry off somebody, yet I'd be wary about the ramifications, more for the PCs' sake!

Starting to appreciate Whirling Throw a bit more now.


Castilliano wrote:

Given some PF1 shenanigans, I can understand the change. In a struggle among enemies within "normal" level range of each other, carrying somebody does represent significant dominance which may be unjustified w/o a special ability. And there are a dozen or more monsters that have some way to carry you off, so while PCs can't do it, they can expect it to experience it.

For narrative purposes, the person/monster could knock out the target first. Until then, their victim's just struggling too much to easily carry.

If you're dominant enough, you could shove & grab each round to move your opponent somewhere.
Shove/Shove/Grapple
When you consider how brief rounds are, this is decent progress with a struggling victim. Then they Ready to move when you Shove, so you slap them into compliance or Ready to grab them when they try to dash. Pretty iconic skulduggery there.

For Gargantuan vs. Tiny, shoving will often be simple since the power levels will be so different. The Gargantuan guy may not be able to fully pick up the critter, but they can slap them around and corral them.

I might allow a rare case of Restrained allowing you to carry off somebody, yet I'd be wary about the ramifications, more for the PCs' sake!

Starting to appreciate Whirling Throw a bit more now.

Thanks , i think your reply is very reasonable.

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