I remember reading somewhere how the grappling rules are easily abused with the right character.

Something like:

  • 2 levels into Moon druid
  • 1 level into barbarian
  • Transform into Brown Bear
  • Multiattack means you can grapple+attack
  • Two arms means you can grapple two people
  • Knock prone using unarmed strike (with legs)
  • Use bite attacks while grappling two people
  • Enemies knocked prone and can't get up (can't spend half their speed to get up since grappled makes speed=0), can't hurt you or beat your athletics check (barbarian rage+ disadvantage from prone) while each of your attacks (and allies' melee ones) have advantage.

While ridiculous, does that have any RAW reasons it wouldn't work?


Yes and No

This works, but not at the levels specified since the Multi-Attack from bear form is not the same as Extra Attack (such as from 5th level fighter).

The main reason is that the multi-attack block for the bear requires that the multi-attack be a claw and bite as listed in the stat block. Grapple is therefore not an option with multi-attack. In order to grapple or knock prone, you must give up multi-attack and instead use the Attack (big 'A') action (per this answer), which at the levels indicated only allows you to take one attack (little 'a').

Additionally, you need a step somewhere in there that is "Rage".

It is also arguable that a bear's claw is ineffective at grappling, but that would be a DM call - RAW the text specifies having a "hand" free, so it depends on how pedantic one is feeling. Other than that though this appears to work.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ On the rage thing, I mean, it IS barbarian. It's kind of a given. The bear claw thing is a mentionable argument, but IIRC there was an official statement that said that a "grapple" was nothing more than a grab on the wrist or cuff. The question then becomes "Can bears grab stuff??" I might just hop onto youtube to find out later. \$\endgroup\$ – Man_Over_Game Jul 6 '18 at 22:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DanielZastoupil the rules say you need a hand to grapple which a paw is arguably not \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Jul 6 '18 at 22:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ You should mention how many rounds it would take with ans without Extra Attack \$\endgroup\$ – András Jul 7 '18 at 7:12

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