All forms of offensive holding, including the ancient art of wrestling, are considered actions of the grapple type. These actions can bind up a dangerous opponent or subdue someone when normal combat methods are ineffective.

Grapple Checks
Repeatedly in a grapple, you need to make opposed grapple checks against an opponent. A grapple check is similar to a melee attack roll. Your attack bonus on a grapple check is: Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + special size modifier

Special Size Modifier:
The special size modifier for a grapple check is as follows: Colossal +16, Gargantuan +12, Huge +8, Large +4, Medium +0, Small –4, Tiny –8, Diminutive –12, Fine –16. Add this modifier to your Grapple checks.

Starting a Grapple
To start a grapple, you need to grab and hold your target. Starting a grapple requires a successful melee attack roll, not a grapple check. If you get multiple attacks, you can attempt to start a grapple multiple times, at successively lower base attack bonuses.

  • Step 1: Attack of Opportunity.
    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. (Certain monsters do not provoke attacks of opportunity when they attempt to grapple, nor do characters with the Improved Grapple feat.) If the attack of opportunity misses or fails to deal damage, proceed to Step 2.

  • Step 2: Grab.
    You make a melee touch attack to grab the target. If you fail to hit the target, the grapple attempt fails. If you succeed, proceed to Step 3.

  • Step 3: Hold.
    Make an opposed grapple check as a free action. If you succeed, you and your target are now grappling and you deal damage to the target as if with an unarmed strike. If you lose, you fail to start the grapple. You automatically lose an attempt to hold if the target is two or more size categories larger than you are. In case of a tie, the combatant with the higher grapple check modifier wins. If this is a tie, roll again to break the tie.

  • Step 4: Maintain Grapple.
    To maintain the grapple for later rounds, you must move into the target’s space. (This movement is free and does not count as part of your movement in the round.) Moving, as normal, provokes attacks of opportunity from threatening opponents, but not from your target. If you cannot move into your target’s space, you cannot maintain the grapple and must immediately let go of the target. To grapple again, you must begin at Step 1.

Grappling Consequences

While you are grappling, your ability to attack others and defend yourself is limited. You are using most of your concentration and every available limb to try and impede your opponent’s movements, making it very difficult to spare any attention or effort against any other foe.

No Threatened squares
You do not threaten any squares while grappling.

No Dexterity Bonus
You lose your Dexterity bonus to Active Defense against opponents you are not grappling. You can still use it against opponents you are grappling.

No Movement
You cannot move normally while grappling. You may, however, make an opposed grapple check (see the rules for doing so below) to move while grappling.

If You Are Grappling

When you are grappling (regardless of who started the grapple), you can perform any of the following actions. Some of these actions take the place of an attack, rather than being a standard action or a move action. If your base attack bonus allows you multiple attacks, you can attempt one of these actions in place of each of your attacks, but at successively lower base attack bonuses.

  • Activate a Magic Item:
    You can activate a magic item that you are holding or wearing. You do not need to make a grapple check to activate the item.

  • Attack Your Opponent:
    You can make an attack with an unarmed strike, natural weapon or light weapon against another character you are grappling. You take a –4 penalty on such attacks.

  • Pray For A Miracle:
    You can attempt to pray for a miracle while grappling or even while pinned (see below), provided the praying time is no more than 1 standard action. You must make a Concentration check (DC 20 + magical effect save modifier) or lose the prayer. You do not have to make a successful grapple check to pray for a miracle.

  • Cast An Eye Spell:
    The only spell you can cast while grappling is one of the variants on the evil eye, as it requires no hand gestures or material ingredients. You must still make a successful Concentration check (DC 20 + magical effect save modifier) or lose the spell.

  • Damage Your Opponent:
    While grappling, you can deal damage to your opponent equivalent to an unarmed strike. Make an opposed grapple check in place of an attack. If you win, you deal non-lethal damage as normal for your unarmed strike (1d3 points for Medium attackers or 1d2 points for Small attackers, plus Strength modifiers). If you want to deal lethal damage, you take a –4 penalty on your grapple check.

  • Draw a Light Weapon:
    You can draw a light weapon as a move action with a successful grapple check.

  • Escape from Grapple:
    You can escape a grapple by winning an opposed grapple check in place of making an attack. You can make an Escape Artist check in place of your grapple check if you so desire, but this requires a standard action. If more than one opponent is grappling you, your grapple check result has to beat all their individual check results to escape. (Opponents do not have to try to hold you if they do not want to.) If you escape, you finish the action by moving into any space adjacent to your opponent(s).

  • Move:
    You can move half your speed (bringing all others engaged in the grapple with you) by winning an opposed grapple check. This requires a standard action and you must beat all the other individual check results to move the grapple. Note: You get a +4 bonus on your grapple check to move a pinned opponent, but only if no one else is involved in the grapple.

  • Pin Your Opponent:
    You can hold your opponent immobile for 1 round by winning an opposed grapple check, made in place of an attack. Once you have an opponent pinned, you have a few options available to you (see below).

  • Break Another’s Pin:
    If you are grappling an opponent who has another character pinned, you can make an opposed grapple check in place of an attack. If you win, you break the hold that the opponent has over the other character. The character is still grappling, but is no longer pinned.

  • Use Opponent’s Weapon:
    If your opponent is holding a light weapon, you can use it to attack him. Make an opposed grapple check (in place of an attack). If you win, make an attack roll with the weapon with a –4 penalty (doing this does not require another action). You do not gain possession of the weapon by performing this action.

If You Are Pinning an Opponent
You can attempt to damage your opponent with an opposed grapple check, you can attempt to use your opponent’s weapon against him or you can attempt to move the grapple (all described above). At your option, you can prevent a pinned opponent from speaking. You can use a disarm action to remove or grab away a well secured object worn by a pinned opponent, but he gets a +4 bonus on his roll to resist your attempt (see Disarm). You may voluntarily release a pinned character as a free action; if you do so, you are no longer considered to be grappling that character (and vice versa). You cannot draw or use a weapon (against the pinned character or any other character), escape another’s grapple, pin another character or break another’s pin while you are pinning an opponent.

If You Are Pinned by an Opponent
When an opponent has pinned you, you are held immobile (but not helpless) for 1 round. While you are pinned, you take a –4 penalty to your Active Defense checks against opponents other than the one pinning you. At your opponent’s option, you may also be unable to speak. On your turn, you can try to escape the pin by making an opposed grapple check in place of an attack. You can make an Escape Artist check in place of your grapple check if you want, but this requires a standard action. If you win, you escape the pin, but you are still grappling.

Joining a Grapple
If your target is already grappling someone else, you can use an attack to start a grapple, as above, except that the target does not get an attack of opportunity against you and your grab automatically succeeds. You still have to make a successful opposed grapple check to become part of the grapple. If there are multiple opponents involved in the grapple, you pick one to make the opposed grapple check against.

Multiple Grapplers
Several combatants can be in a single grapple. Up to four combatants can grapple a single opponent in a given round. Creatures that are one or more size categories smaller than you count for half, creatures that are one size category larger than you count double and creatures two or more size categories larger count quadruple. When you are grappling with multiple opponents, you choose one opponent to make an opposed check against. The exception is an attempt to escape from the grapple; to successfully escape, your grapple check must beat the check results of each opponent.


Age of Heroes TolsimirWolfblood