Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a player who want to make a "tanky" build with a Synthesist Summoner (from Pathfinder APG).

The plan is as follows: The fused eidolon is a bipedal with dual claws. Evolutions are:

  • Bite, augmented by:
    • Grab
    • Reach
    • Trip

He also picked Combat Reflexes, granting him multiple AoOs.

To protect the people "in the back", the plan is to prevent monsters from passing him by using his reaching bite attack and grapple the opponents on hit, like this:

  • Monster tries moving past him: AoO with Grapple on hit. He is moved to the opponent's square, (isn't he?) as per grapple rules. He isn't, see the accepted answer.
  • Another monster tries to move past the (now grappled) Synthesist. He decides to take a free action to let go and follows up with reaching bite again and is moved to that monster's square if he hits.
  • repeat until all monsters have moved or no AoOs are left.

Aside from it being a nice idea for a character ("No one gets past me") that made me laugh IRL, does this even work?

share|improve this question
Related: What happens when I grapple as an attack of opportunity? Basically the same question, but for 3.5 rather than Pathfinder. Not sure off the top of my head if all the relevant rules are exactly the same or not, but it's a starting point. – KRyan Feb 21 '14 at 14:14
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The Rules as Written Prevent It...
A lot of grapple fun is quashed by a creature being unable to take free actions (except, most of the time, speaking) when it's not the creature's turn. It seems like--but I'll add it anyway, just in case--that you already know that, like it says here, "Grappled creatures cannot make attacks of opportunity." Finally, "If you successfully grapple a creature that is not adjacent to you," it says here, "move that creature to an adjacent open space (if no space is available, your grapple fails)"--this is a radical change from D&D 3.5 wherein the grappler enters the grappled creature's square.

...But House Rules Sometimes Allow Free Actions Off-turn
Then all bets are off, and it's a whole new game for your eidolon-wearing buddy.

share|improve this answer
It would be worthwhile to link to the existing question, even if it is 3.5. Can you speak to how Pathfinder has or has not changed the relevant rules? – KRyan Feb 21 '14 at 14:13
Thanks for clearing that up. – CONTRACT SAYS I'M RIGHT Feb 24 '14 at 11:20

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.