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Constrict is an extraordinary ability with the descriptor

A creature with this special attack can crush an opponent, dealing bludgeoning damage, after making a successful grapple check. The amount of damage is given in the creature’s entry. If the creature also has the improved grab ability it deals constriction damage in addition to damage dealt by the weapon used to grab.

Extraordinary abilities states:

Using an extraordinary ability is usually not an action because most extraordinary abilities automatically happen in a reactive fashion. Those extraordinary abilities that are actions are standard actions unless otherwise noted.

Is constrict considered an action and thus takes a standard action to use, or is it "automatic" and reactive, thus not taking an action?

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after making a successful grapple check

This is the “otherwise noted” for constrict, making constrict an automatic bonus after each and every grapple check, which in many cases adds up to a lot of damage, fast.

Constrict as a standard action makes little to no sense, seeing as you can attack or deal damage in a grapple without any special ability.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That is what I figured but wanted to be sure before running my Kraken boss fight! Thanks :) \$\endgroup\$ – Critical Crafting Mar 7 '18 at 13:43

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