View Full Version : [Pathfinder] Grapple questions

2010-02-25, 03:17 PM
In explaining Grapple to my players, I found myself coming up with a few questions about this Combat Maneuver that weren't fully clear in its (or related) entries. In these questions, the attacker is the one who initiates the grapple and the defender is the target of the grapple.

1) From what I understand, a humanoid attacker takes a -4 penalty if two hands aren't free. Does this penalty only apply to the grapple check to initiate the grapple? Or does it apply to every every grapple check made by the attacker? And if so, does it also apply to grapple check made by the defender?

2) If the attacker succeeds, and the defender does not break the grapple, the attacker receives a +5 circumstance bonus on grapple checks in the next round, and every round after until the grapple is broken. Also, the attacker can release the grapple as a free action. What if the grapple is reversed? A defender who reverses a grapple becomes the grappler. I assume this means the defender now gains all the benefits given to the attacker who initiated the grapple, and that the attacker loses these same benefits. However, the entry specifically mentions one benefit switch (who can release the grapple as a free action) but says nothing about the other benefit (+5 circumstance bonus on subsequent checks). Is my assumption correct, or is the one benefit purposefully omitted because it doesn't change?

3) Can the attacker or defender in a grapple help an ally flank? The reason I wonder is because in 3.5, it states specifically that those in a grapple do not threaten squares (plus, they are in the same square), but in Pathfinder, those in a grapple are in separate squares, and it says that those with the grappled condition cannot make attacks of opportunity, but it doesn't say they lose the ability to threaten... which I know doesn't mean much if you aren't able to make an AoO... but being able to threaten is all that is needed to flank.

2010-02-25, 11:26 PM
Wow - I thought Pathfinder was supposed to clarify and/or fix the rules. I am disappoint.

2010-02-25, 11:41 PM
It does. CMB vs. CMD runs way smoother than opposed grapple checks with their own modifiers.

1) If it's harder to make the grapple with one arm, it should be harder to hold on to the enemy with one arm.

2) I would say reversing the grapple is the same as if you had broken the grapple and succeeded in grappling the other creature in the same action. You would get the +5 if the former grappler failed to break free of the grapple on its next turn, and you would be able to make standard actions to maintain it.

3) While it's written funny, being unable to make attacks of opportunity while grappled certainly nullifies your ability to threaten squares.

2010-02-26, 12:55 PM
Thanks Caphi! All this makes sense to me but wanted to double check with others. And I agree that Grapple and other Combat Maneuvers do run smoother and simpler in Pathfinder than they did in 3.5.