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Can a Druid/Barbarian multiclass wildshaped into a giant constrictor snake use my Athletics skill in the place of the constrict attack?

A barbarian/druid multiclass can have a much better grapple than a lot of wild shapes have specialized grapple DC set to (especially when including feats like Prodigy to get expertise in Athletics).

Would I be resigned to using the animal's DC for those special attacks, or can I use an Athletics check instead?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Edited to clean up the question and to clarify things a little bit. Feel free to rollback the edit if you prefer. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Zastoupil Aug 22 '18 at 18:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ I changed “for the constrict Attack” to in the place of because the constrict Attack has a DC in place I don’t think there is any work around that, I just wasn’t sure how necessary a humanoid or hand-having body was when I asked the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Whichwitch'switch Aug 22 '18 at 18:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you trying to do a standard Grapple attack or the constrictor snakes special grapple attack? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 23 '18 at 0:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Standard grapple \$\endgroup\$ – Whichwitch'switch Aug 23 '18 at 0:01
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No, you can't use a Athletics check instead.

The Constrict attack must be used as is, since it is not a Strength (Athletics) roll, it's an attack. If you're interested in improving other Wild Shaped forms' ability to grapple, this information might come in handy.

The rules for the druid's Wild Shape feature say that:

Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast, but you retain your alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. You also retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature. If the creature has the same proficiency as you and the bonus in its stat block is higher than yours, use the creature’s bonus instead of yours.

So when making the Athletics check required by the grapple, you would use the Wild Shape form's Strength (Athletics) statistics, but if the creature did not have proficiency in Athletics (or has a lower proficiency), then yours would apply.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I used the giant constrictor snake in the title because it is an example of one of several animals that, although lacks hands, seems to have a natural affinity to grappling. But I see the hands thing is pretty hard line. I just wasn’t sure if retaining the skill proficiency would be enough. \$\endgroup\$ – Whichwitch'switch Aug 22 '18 at 18:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ A suggestion you could look into are apes (like Baboons) which don't have the same limitations. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Zastoupil Aug 22 '18 at 18:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was looking into keeping a desert motif (not that there necessarily would be a giant snake) but reptiles and scorpions and such, I also liked the huge size category but I understand you can’t always get what you want. I will look into that I haven’t started playing this character yet. \$\endgroup\$ – Whichwitch'switch Aug 22 '18 at 18:15
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No. The snake's Constrict attack works like it's a snake.

From the Wild Shape rules:

Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast, but you retain your alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores.

Note that you don't retain your Athletics skill, or your Strength score. The constrictor snake has Str 15.

You can’t cast spells, and your ability to speak or take any action that requires hands is limited to the capabilities of your beast form. ... You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so.

"Any action that requires hands" includes grappling.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Unsure if it was errata'd, but your first quote is missing this line at the end: "You also retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature." \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Zastoupil yesterday

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