I find it unusual how a particularly dextrous adventurer is unable to hold on to and keep still a target purely because they lack the strength to do so, when there are cases in real life where dexterity is, possibly, more important. I have tried to come up with a feat that I hope will combat this, but because Dexterity is often seen as a power stat in 5e I have introduced some limitations.

The feat is as follows:

You have developed skills that allow you to use your natural agility to hold a creature in place. You gain the following benefits:

• When making a grapple you can use Acrobatics (Dexterity) instead of Athletics (Strength) for the contested check.
• If you are grappling a creature that is a humanoid, you can use an action on your turn to restrain the creature, which requires both of your hands. This effect ends when the grapple ends. If either of your hands are removed from the creature while this effect is in place, to attack or cast a spell for example, the restraining effect ends.

I was also considering the following for this feat.

  • giving +1 dexterity

  • adding a restriction to humanoids in the first bullet point

  • removing the restriction on humanoids in the second bullet point

I am hoping that by requiring the use of both hands in the restraining step that this is feat would be found in more supporting builds, as opposed to the Grappler feat which grants advantage to the grappler on a successful grapple. I expect this feat to be more commonly used on monks than other classes, or possibly used in conjunction with a fighter's action surge.

A good answer will consider other feats, and may come up with scenarios in which this feat is good or bad. Comparing the design of this feat to others (such as crossbow expert's feature which allows all ranged attacks to work within melee range) would also be beneficial, although not required.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ We have an excellent Meta question on How to Ask Homebrew Balance Questions.I strongly recommend that you read this and try to follow through with the content inside. I think it'll help you put together better homebrew, better homebrew questions, and give you results that you can use at your table. It'll also vastly increase the odds of a successful Q&A for you here. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Dec 6, 2018 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


At present, the best feat for a grappler build is Shield Master which allows you to Attack, initiate the grapple and then use your bonus action to shove your victim Prone. Prone gives almost the same advantages to the grappler as Restrained so its much of a muchness. However, requiring the use of two hands and limiting it to humanoids only makes this feat more limited - with Shield Master you can drop your shield and draw a weapon or initiate another grapple. As written, you have limited this to humanoids so I can't use it on humanoid-shaped things like giants, fey, outsiders etc - was this your intent?

At present, Strength is the second least useful stat in the game (Intelligence being the most useless unless you are a Wizard). It is only useful for martial classes focusing on Great Weapon Fighting or grappling. Dexterity is so much better for all other martial builds - it improves your AC, it is one of the most commonly used saving throws, it is used by a bunch of proficiencies and finesse weapons are almost as good as non-finesse. So now there is no reason for a grappler build to use it - if that's what I'm aiming for I'm taking this feat every single time. That suggests that its too good in context.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "so its much of a muchness" Uh... What? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Dec 6, 2018 at 22:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Don't shields take 1m to doff? \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Dec 6, 2018 at 22:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BlueMoon93 it's one action to don and doff \$\endgroup\$
    – L0neGamer
    Dec 6, 2018 at 22:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Dale M, my intention with limiting the restrain effect was both thematic and power level based. While strength grapples are mostly about grabbing and holding on, dexterous grapples, and this restrain effect, would be more about maneuvering into a position or lock that is hard to escape from. I can add this to the question if need be. \$\endgroup\$
    – L0neGamer
    Dec 6, 2018 at 22:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast "(much) of a much less" is a phrase meaning "similar", apparently \$\endgroup\$ Dec 7, 2018 at 1:08

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