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?


1 Answer 1


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.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That is what I figured but wanted to be sure before running my Kraken boss fight! Thanks :) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 7, 2018 at 13:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does the opposition roll when the opponent makes a grapple check count I.e. If grappling a snake, and the other party makes a grapple check to do damage, and the snake wins so they don't do damage, does the snake then do more damage? Or does a successful check only mean grapple checks resulting in action being taken? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 4, 2019 at 14:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WannabeWarlock I have understood that to, absurdly, be the case, yes. Unfortunately, constrict is really, really vague about how it works; I’m actually kind of surprised that I answered this question so confidently, because I definitely don’t feel that confident about it. I’ll have to revisit this. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Sep 4, 2019 at 14:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think it's absurd. A character does not need to roll a grapple check to attack with a weapon, so in those cases where they are clearly outclassed by the grapple score of their opponent, they should fall back to simply attacking. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 4, 2019 at 17:52

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