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I'm playing a monk grappler for a home campaign, and I need help clarifying the wording on the Grappler feat.

Grappler

  • You have advantage on attack rolls against a creature you are grappling.

  • You can use your action to try to pin a creature grappled by you. To do so, make another grapple check. If you succeed, you and the creature are both restrained until the grapple ends.

The problem I'm running into is how to interpret the first bullet of the feat, specifically the phrase "a creature you are grappling."

Does this wording suggest that I get advantage on the attack rolls against a creature I'm grappling regardless of who initiated the grapple?

The only reason this occurred to me is because the wording of the second bullet is very specific to only apply to "a creature grappled by you." If the first bullet was worded the same way, it would be much clearer, but the current wording seems to imply I get advantage on attack rolls even if a creature grapples me.

In the context of the feat, this interpretation makes sense to me. A creature grapples me, not knowing that I'm a skilled grappler, and I'm able to exploit the situation, making it pay for grappling me in the first place.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ By the way, Grappler is a bad feat for a grappler - see enworld.org/forum/… \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Mar 31 '18 at 21:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, it is simpler to just grapple than trip as they cannot get up anymore due to having 0 movement from grapple \$\endgroup\$ – Garret Gang Apr 1 '18 at 21:18
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Grappling is not two-way

When someone grapples you, they are not automatically also grappled by you.

Using at least one free hand, you try to seize the target by making a grapple check [..] If you succeed, you subject the target to the grappled condition (PHB 195)

Note that only the target gains the condition.

Thus both bullet points of the feat refer to the same situation: when you have successfully grappled a creature and they have not escaped yet.

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