Can a Trox, which is a large monstrous humanoid, use his grabbing appendages to grab another large creature, all the while beign able to swing his weapon; or if using his grabbing appendages, against a large creature, since they are defined as smaller than his main arms , does he take a size penalty like if he was a medium creature?

Grabbing appendages (6 RP) Trox have a small group of appendages that are useful for little more than to aid in grappling. They gain Improved Grapple as a bonus feat, and can maintain a grapple and still make attacks with their main appendages. Trox Page


  1. How are the Trox Grabbing appendages defined, medium or large?

  2. Are the Trox Grabbing appendages usable to grab 10ft away, as are his main arms?

  3. Does the line "small group of appendages that are useful for little more than to aid in grappling" mean that, because they are weaker or because of their reduced reach potential?

P.S. The way that I personally see it is that since the Grabbing appendages, in this rule, are the apparent reason why this creature has Improved Grapple, this should mean that they are usable to grab as if you where using your main arms.


3 Answers 3


The rules text tells you exactly how they are used - they only help you with grapples. That is represented by having Improved Grapple as a feat and by not needing to forgo attacks to maintain grapples (the ability isn't that well written when you apply it to PCs, but it seems that the intent was to make maintaining the grapple a free(?) action - 6 RP is a lot).

That doesn't mean you get a second set of arms to grab separately - you just increase the functionality of your main appendage set. You can visualise that as those appendages being used to hold the target after you successfully grabbed it with your main limbs.


1) none, you can't use them separately;

2) you can only grab with your main arms, grabbing appendages only give bonuses to that action;

3) this isn't really spelled out. Based on the picture in the book, I would say they are both weaker, shorter, and probably less coordinated, as Trox lack the Multi-Armed trait. But you probably could persuade your GM to allow some out-of-combat unstatted usage of those limbs (for example, to carry something without using your main arms).

  • \$\begingroup\$ RE: "[A]nd by not needing to forgo attacks to maintain grapples." I'm struggling with the grabbing appendages ability because it seems extremely underwritten. I can't tell if the ability's supposed to let the trox maintain a grapple without taking actions or if the ability only, like, allows the trox to make attacks of opportunity while grappling or something else entirely. Is this answer gravitating toward the maintaining a grapple is not an action for a trox or something like that? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 7:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan No. In Pathfinder rules, as long as you are grappled, you can only use light or one-handed weapons, as the grappler uses one appendage to hold the target. I'm thinking that this ability allows Trox to use these smaller limbs to hold the target, while using both main arms to fight (for example, to use a two-handed weapon). Not terribly useful unless you also get Greater Grapple (to maintain grapple as move action, and use that standard action for more interesting things); also probably too costly (kasatha get 2 actual hands for 8 RP, this option costs 6). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 8:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan cont.: but now that you brought it up - the static bonus feat costs 2RP for one feat with no prerequisites (i.e. Improved grapple... although that one does have prereqs). That leaves 4 RP for the vague second part of the ability, so maybe it was supposed to make maintaining grapple a shorter action... not that it's clear from the actual wording. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 8:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ I started an answer and couldn't parse the ability, and the message boards are shockingly silent about it. I was hoping you knew more. :-) That said, if the appendages can be used to maintain a grapple without it taking the trox's standard action and the trox can still make full attacks (?) or take its full turn's worth of actions (?), that sounds to me like a 6-point ability, but I have no idea if the appendages are supposed to do that! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 8:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan actually, now that I've read up on them, I'm fairly certain that it is true. The problem is that the racial ability wording was copied word-for-word from the monster's stat block (literally "see stat block above"), and what worked pretty simple for a creature which only had a single attack with a warhammer doesn't quite work that well for a PC. I'll edit it in my answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 8:37

I've rephrased the issues the question raises to emphasize the game's mechanics. I hope that's okay. To be clear, though, the extraordinary ability grabbing appendages (as a racial ability search this page) of the trox (and, as a monster, here) is vastly underdetailed and rarely discussed, making any conclusion reached about it subject to substantial GM intervention.

  • Can a trox use its grabbing appendages to grapple a Large foe and, while maintaining the grapple, attack the grappled foe or other foes outside the grapple? Ask the GM. This reader hopes that your GM says yes. (See below.)

  • Is a trox that's maintaining a grapple with its grabbing appendages treated as a creature that's littler than Large because the appendages are littler than its normal limbs? This reader says no. For this reader, for that kind of exception to apply the description would have to say so explicitly.

  • Are the trox's grabbing appendages Medium or Large? Typically, this isn't a thing. That is, a creature's limbs don't usually have size categories—size categories are for entire creatures (and objects). A human arm, for example, isn't a different size category from the human to which its attached (even if the human's unarmed strike is treated as a Tiny weapon).

  • Can the trox use its grabbing appendages to initiate then maintain a grapple against a foe within its reach in addition to using its normal limbs to initiate then maintain a grapple? This GM would say no. If a typical giant octopus—that possesses the extraordinary ability grab—struggles to maintain a grapple against multiple foes simultaneously (see this question), then, in this GM's opinion, there's no way for the typical trox to maintain a grapple against multiple foes simultaneously. However, another GM's opinion may differ, and the house rules necessary to make the ability grabbing appendages worth the price might allow it. (See below.)

    Also, just to be clear, a typical attacker—including a trox—that initiates a grapple must "move [a nonadjacent] creature to an adjacent open space [of the attacker] (if no space is available, your grapple fails)." A typical creature can't maintain a grapple against a foe at a distance.

  • When the description of the grabbing appendages ability says that the grabbing appendages are a "small group of appendages that are useful for little more than to aid in grappling," what does it mean? Nobody outside the creator of the trox knows, and, to my knowledge, that developer hasn't clarified. (See below.)

More on grabbing appendages

The extraordinary ability grabbing appendages of the trox does two things. First, the ability is an excuse for the writer to have given the trox the bonus feat Improved Grapple. (The feat Improved Grapple is, by the way, different from a monster's extraordinary ability grab, and that grab ability was called in Pathfinder's antecedent D&D 3.5 the extraordinary ability improved grab; if you're coming from that earlier game, it's especially easy to confuse the two!)

Second, the ability allows a trox to "maintain a grapple and still make attacks with their main [i.e. not grabbing] appendages." What this means is incredibly unclear.

See, normally, if a creature initiates a grapple, each round it must take a standard action to maintain the grapple, and, if it does, it only also either moves, damages, pins, or—rarely—ties up the victim and doesn't really per se make attacks. Yet, because maintaining a grapple consumes the grappler's standard action, the typical creature, for example, can't take a standard action to maintain a grapple and also take a a standard action to make a standard attack or take full-round action to make a full attack. (Bear in mind that the typical trox has only the feat Improved Grapple and the grabbing appendages ability and not the monster ability grab!) Technically, it seems, based on the ability's language alone, the grabbing appendages ability does not somehow add to the number of actions a trox can take in a round, and that makes the ability—still technically, by the way—not particularly useful.

That is, what a trox can do under this strict reading of the grabbing appendages ability—and what other creatures that lack grabbing appendages can't—is make attacks of opportunity while in a grapple. Normally, creatures in a grapple can't make attacks of opportunity at all, but a trox can "maintain a grapple and still make attacks with their main appendages," and that should include—because of the specific-beats-general fashion that underlies the Pathfinder rules—making attacks of opportunity. (Attacks of opportunity fall outside the action economy, being unique and neither free, swift, immediate, move, standard, full-round, nor 1-round actions, even though attacks of opportunity remain attacks.) As written, this is, so far as this reader can tell, pretty much the typical trox's only option for making any attacks while a trox maintains a grapple.

However, read this strictly, there's just no way the grabbing appendages ability is worth the 4 race points that the trox was charged for it. (According to the guidelines for Creating New Races the grabbing appendages ability may've cost 2 points for the Improved Grapple feat then—for just that other ability—another 4 more points!)

Thus a more generous reading sees the GM read the ability, look at the price of the ability, say, "That's a lot of race points for a really niche ability," and rule that, for example, a trox that starts a grapple can maintain that grapple without taking a standard action and can also both make attacks of opportunity while grappling and—while the grapple's maintained—either take a standard action to make a standard attack or take a full-round action to make a full attack, either taken normally as if the trox weren't grappled.

This alternative reading makes the trox a more attractive option to players looking for a race that's good at rasslin', justifies the high race point cost of the grabbing appendages ability, and to this GM seems a reasonable accommodation. However, because this writer is just a random Internet stranger with an opinion and because folks just don't really discuss the trox ability grabbing appendages on messageboards, expect table variation as each GM reads the grabbing appendages ability differently. Just hope it's not strictly, or else there's probably a better mechanical choice for a rasslin' race than the trox.


How are the Trox Grabbing appendages defined, medium or large?

Appendages, no matter how small or big, are irrelevant for grappling rules. It's the creature's size that matters unless specified otherwise in the creature's ability description (see the Canopy Troll's Craddling ability). The Trox does not make an exception to this, and being large creatures, they grab as large.

Are the Trox Grabbing appendages usable to grab 10ft away, as are his main arms?

Again, no exception was made here. But note that those little arms are used to maintain a grapple, not to start one. The Trox will start a grapple normally, pull the creature as close as possible to them (as described under the grapple rules) and then use the smaller arms to claw at the target and hold her without using up the main arms.

In other words, if both of the Trox's hands are used (like wielding a two-handed weapon), he has to release one or both hands (-4 penalty on the check if only one hand is free), initiate a grapple, pull the target closer and then, on the next turn, they may maintain the grapple with the small arms and attack with the big arms freely.

Does the line "small group of appendages that are useful for little more than to aid in grappling" mean that, because they are weaker or because of their reduced reach potential?

Most likely because they lack opposable thumbs. Those four arms end in two claws each, with little articulation at all. Have you seen a Trox?

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    \$\begingroup\$ (I wrote my answer without having seen a trox. O, my.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 19:23

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