Arms and Grappling



Oct 06, 2006 10:35:06
One thing I have pondered but have found nothing to support my thoughts is how much more effective a creature with multiple grasping limbs (i.e. 3 or more hands) would be at establishing and maintaining a grapple.

I was wondering what the general thought on how much more effective they would be at grappling? Take a b'rogh or thri-kreen for instance - those dudes should get a bonus for having multiple limbs when making grapple checks. I can see why size matters in grappling, but so should the number of arms one has IMO.

What does everyone else think? And if there were to be a bonus, how much of one?


Oct 06, 2006 13:24:24
Although the grapple rules don't technically state it this way, I'd say that multi-armed creatures that have a natural attack with each limb can make more grapple attacks every round (one per "hand" or equivalent natural weapon capable of grappling), giving them more opportunities to pin the opponent, inflict damage with attacks (since claws are light weapons), break free of being grappled, etc. The rules for grappling are all based on your BAB, so this is probably more of a "house rule" thing than an actual rules interpretation, but if you run grappling this way then it also gives the multi-limbed grappler the benefit of have consistently high grapple check modifiers (since each attempt isn't at a -5 penalty from the previous attempt, as it would be if you were only using their BAB). If they take Multiattack then this'd give an even greater advantage. The other "house rule" I'd propose is that you allow the multi-limbed grappler to make an attack with each limb/natural weapon rather than being limited to only one (the grapple rules say that "you can only attack with a single light weapon, even if you have two").
By making this change I think you'd be giving kreen and other multi-limbed creatures a realistic benefit in grappling situations - they still aren't very likely to grapple opponents that are way better than them, or more precisely to hold onto those that they grapple (since a stronger/higher BAB opponent will break free on their turn), but when they are able to initiate and successfully begin a grapple they'll at least be more potent than most for that round.

Oh, and there's this thread already re: this subject:


Oct 06, 2006 13:57:18
Thanks Dirk00001

I knew I had seen that multi-limed creatures received a bonus for grappling - it was in the Sword and Fist book!

So here is a question - if it is not directly redressed in a 3.5 book, can an optional 3.0 rule still be called valid?


Oct 09, 2006 11:56:50
I don't have time to check at the moment, but I bet the hypertext SRD says something about it.

Also, if it was an "optional" 3.0 rule, then unless it has been made an official rule I don't see why you *couldn't* use it - after all it's optional, and for any optional rules, just like house rules, it's up to the DM and players to decide if it's best for their game.


Oct 09, 2006 12:11:48
hm don't you get a grapplee check for EACH attack you normally get? so with multi-limbed beings, that's more attacks so more grapple checks

PHB page 156
To start a grapple, you need to grab and hold your target. Starting a grapple requires a successful melee attack roll. If you get multiple attacks, you can attempt to start a grapple multiple times (at successively lower base attack bonuses).

thus thri-kreen etc would get more grapple checks, and thus chances to grapple/pin/damage per round of usccessful grapples etc


Oct 10, 2006 10:18:19
hm don't you get a grapplee check for EACH attack you normally get? so with multi-limbed beings, that's more attacks so more grapple checks

PHB page 156

Technically speaking this is not the case - thri-kreen have multiple *natural weapons* and the rule applies specifically to base attacks. On that same page (I think) - somewhere in the grapple rules at least - it mentions that characters wielding multiple weapons don't get to make additional grapple checks/light weapon attacks with them. Although this doesn't specifically mention multiple natural weapons, by the wording of the Grapple rules and without any 3.5e Errata on the subject that I'm aware of I'd rule that, under normal circumstances, that's not the case. See my first post on this thread about my proposed House Rules/clarifications for this.

On the other hand, there's the 'grab' creature ability that explicitly states that various natural attacks can each be used to initiate a grapple. It still doesn't fully jive with the way the PHB grapple rules are written, but it's just one more reason why I prefer my House Rule interpretation of this.