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View Full Version : Natural Attacks, Grappling, and Provoking AoO's (3.5)



Swiftest
2010-05-24, 08:39 AM
A couple questions about natural attacks and grappling. I searched the board a bit for this and couldn't find the exact answer that I need, so please forgive me if I somehow missed something obvious:

I've had it in my mind for some time now that any creature that has a natural attack (such as, say, a troll) can make a melee touch attack to begin a grapple without provoking an AoO, even if it doesn't have the improved grapple feat. Is this correct? I feel like I've heard this referenced many times on these and other boards. I think this is because the creature is considered 'armed (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/actionsincombat.htm)' with it's natural weapon since it's automatically proficient, and therefore doesn't provoke an attack of opportunity for making an unarmed attack as, say, a human (sans improved unarmed strike) would were he trying to grapple. Can someone clear this up for me and point me to any relevant rules?

Secondly, how does grapple work when a creature has multiple natural attacks and improved grab and wants to grapple multiple opponents? Say the dire bear hits a medium opponent with a claw. He now gets a free grapple via improved grab. Lets say he succeeds. Is his full attack finished, or can he now claw another opponent and potentially even get a free grapple versus that opponent? According to my understanding he could only do that if he took a -20 on his check to use 'just his paw' to grapple the first target, thus not being technically involved in a grapple himself and free to grapple the second.

Lastly, is the number of grapple attempts per round limited by a creature's number of attacks from BAB, or can a creature (even one without improved grab) use each of it's natural weapon attacks to make grapple attempts? I.e. could said dire bear use its two claw attacks and its bite attack to make one grapple attempt each? If he uses just one, can he continue his full attack with the other two should the first attempt fail? What if the dire bear was advanced and had 6+ BAB and was thus due an iterative attack? Could he use both of those to make grapple attempts by making one claw attack at +(his max bonus to hit) and one at + (his max bonus to hit - 5)?

Thanks for your wisdom, Playgrounders!

unre9istered
2010-05-24, 08:58 AM
The AoO from grappling doesn't come from the touch attack. It comes from the attempt grappling. A monk with out improved grapple still proves AoO's from grappling why would claws make a difference. I would say that a creature with a natural attack wouldn't need to take improved unarmed strike to take improved grapple though.

You have it correct for the grappling multiple creatures. I thought I saw a feat to make the penalty only -10 somewhere, but that might have been a special ability of a specific monster.

The number of grapple attempts are based off of BAB unless it has improved grab.

Swiftest
2010-05-24, 09:04 AM
Thanks for the reply. So if that dire bear chooses to make his grapple attempt with improved grab (but does *not* take the -20) and succeeds, then he is now grappling and his full attack action is over, correct? No more claws/bites for him?

Also, given your answer an advanced +6 BAB dire bear could make not one but *two* grapple attempts in a given round, correct?

Curmudgeon
2010-05-24, 09:21 AM
You may be thinking of Improved Grab (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#improvedGrab), which basically initiates a grapple in reverse: i.e., pulling the creature to your square instead of entering theirs.

Nihb
2010-05-24, 09:34 AM
As far as I know, you can only grapple one creature, and a creature may be grappled by up to one creature of the same size (smaller counts for 1/2 creature, bigger counts for 2).

Some creature may have a special ability that work in a different way, but that's how it would work for, say, a troll.

unre9istered
2010-05-24, 09:52 AM
So if that dire bear chooses to make his grapple attempt with improved grab (but does *not* take the -20) and succeeds, then he is now grappling and his full attack action is over, correct? No more claws/bites for him?

Also, given your answer an advanced +6 BAB dire bear could make not one but *two* grapple attempts in a given round, correct?

A regular dire bear can make two grapple attempts, they have a +9 BAB. If a bear succeeds on grappling someone then it can make a natural weapon attack at a -9 (-5 for second attack, -4 for being in a grapple) to deal damage. Also, it does "unarmed strike" (not a natural attack, this is subdual for a bear) damage when it succeeds on grappling in the first place.

Also I never noticed this before:

You provoke an attack of opportunity from the target you are trying to grapple. If the attack of opportunity deals damage, the grapple attempt fails.

Greenish
2010-05-24, 10:02 AM
it can make a second grapple attempt at a -9 (-5 for second attack, -4 for being in a grapple) to deal damage with one of its natural attacks.That'll not be a grapple attempt, but a normal attack.

unre9istered
2010-05-24, 12:14 PM
That'll not be a grapple attempt, but a normal attack.

Woops, you are correct. Fixed.

krazedkoi
2010-10-17, 01:01 PM
If a Tiger charges a target and uses Pounce, how many attacks, including rakes, may it make if it succesfully hits with all natural attacks?
The entry states - it may make a full attack including two rake attacks.
So, can it make 2 claws, a bite and 5 rake attacks? (3 rakes from improved grab+2 from pounce)

In my understanding of grappling, it would have to strike and grapple multiple foes to gain the second rake and take a penalty on the second target grappled http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Improved_Grab
Otherwise, subsequent attacks made on a single target are just normal attacks and do not initiate new instances of grapple.

Urpriest
2010-10-17, 02:20 PM
Explain how you get 3 rakes out of improved grab, and that will answer some questions.

Keld Denar
2010-10-17, 03:21 PM
Its actually funny, since the rules of rake contradict themselves.



Pounce (Ex)
If a lion charges a foe, it can make a full attack, including two rake attacks.



Rake
A creature with this special attack gains extra natural attacks when it grapples its foe. Normally, a monster can attack with only one of its natural weapons while grappling, but a monster with the rake ability usually gains two additional claw attacks that it can use only against a grappled foe. Rake attacks are not subject to the usual -4 penalty for attacking with a natural weapon in a grapple.

A monster with the rake ability must begin its turn grappling to use its rakeóit canít begin a grapple and rake in the same turn.


So...yea. The rules on using natural weapons in a grapple are similarly bad. They were designed primarily for characters with BAB. They just don't handle creatures that have multiple natural attacks or how damage with natural attacks during a grapple get resolved. Why would an animal deal UAS damage with their natural attacks? Doesn't make sense.

Urpriest
2010-10-17, 03:44 PM
Its actually funny, since the rules of rake contradict themselves.




So...yea. The rules on using natural weapons in a grapple are similarly bad. They were designed primarily for characters with BAB. They just don't handle creatures that have multiple natural attacks or how damage with natural attacks during a grapple get resolved. Why would an animal deal UAS damage with their natural attacks? Doesn't make sense.

They're not contradictory. The rules of rake says they usually can only be used in a grapple. The description of Pounce says such a creature can use its rake attacks.

As for grapple checks dealing unarmed strike damage, most monsters don't squeeze you to kill you, they hold you down and tear you up with their natural weapons/rake attacks. The monsters that are intended to damage via grapple checks have the constrict ability with which to do it.

Keld Denar
2010-10-17, 04:00 PM
The thing is, if an animal has 10 sets of claws, but only a +5 BAB, while its holding you down and "tearing you up" as you say, it only get one attack per round. Likewise, a creature with only 1 natural attack, like, say a giant crocodile, if you advanced it up to a couple dozen HD, would get MULTIPLE grapple actions with its one natural attack, simply due to BAB. It makes very very very little sense.

Also, reread that 2nd quote, specifically the last line of "A monster with the rake ability must begin its turn grappling to use its rakeóit canít begin a grapple and rake in the same turn."

You can pounce, and pounce gives you rake attacks, but you can't rake on the round you start a grapple (as part of the pounce), and you can't pounce if you are already grappling someone. So...how the heck is that supposed to work?

krazedkoi
2010-10-17, 04:28 PM
Sorry, with improved grab, since you can make essentially a free grapple check for each successful hit, can you re-grapple the same opponent? If you CAN, then you can make 3 grapple checks with a claw+claw+bite. This would trigger put to 3 rakes But, again, I don't think so?
THEN
If you read Pounce's description under the lion or tiger description - it says "make take its full attacks -including- two rakes"
This can be taken as: claw+claw+bite and up to two rake attacks if grapple checks succeed. OR claw+claw+bite+2 rakes and up to three rake attacks if grapple checks succeed.

In the case of the first, thats a lot of damage, and how does the second rake trigger?
In the case of the second, thats just gross lol

Urpriest
2010-10-17, 04:47 PM
Sorry, with improved grab, since you can make essentially a free grapple check for each successful hit, can you re-grapple the same opponent? If you CAN, then you can make 3 grapple checks with a claw+claw+bite. This would trigger put to 3 rakes But, again, I don't think so?
THEN
If you read Pounce's description under the lion or tiger description - it says "make take its full attacks -including- two rakes"
This can be taken as: claw+claw+bite and up to two rake attacks if grapple checks succeed. OR claw+claw+bite+2 rakes and up to three rake attacks if grapple checks succeed.

In the case of the first, thats a lot of damage, and how does the second rake trigger?
In the case of the second, thats just gross lol

Once you grapple the guy successfully he's grappled. You can't just stop grappling and attack again. You attack with claw+claw+bite, and if you successfully start a grapple on any one of them then you stop attacking and start grappling, getting your two rake attacks next round (since rake attacks from grappling can only be made if the creature began the round grappling the target). If you also have Pounce, you attack with claw+claw+bite+rake+rake on a charge, and if you succeed on starting the grapple then you stop attacking and start grappling.

@Keld: Pounce gives an alternate condition for rake. A creature with Pounce can rake if one of two conditions holds: either they began their turn grappling the opponent, or they charge the opponent. There is no contradiction, they're two different triggers. The description of rake refers to rake attacks gained via grappling, the default method. Your argument is like saying that because a spell's description says it takes a standard action to cast it cannot be used with Quicken Spell.

Also, I challenge you to find a monster that has, as you put it, 10 claw attacks and a +5 BAB, but that is designed to grapple. Monsters that are intended to grapple their prey don't do so through a giant pile of natural attacks, they do so via grapple-enhancers. If you're a monster with 10 claw attacks but you don't have rake, constrict, etc., then YOU SHOULDN'T BE GRAPPLING. If you have rake, then you get extra attacks while grappling and all is well. If you have constrict, then you deal damage with your natural attacks on grapple checks and all is well. Otherwise, why assume the monster is meant to grapple?