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I am creating my very first character for Pathfinder. I decided to make a summoner with frontline Eidolon, heavily inspired by Shaman King series. It is a half-elf spirit summoner on level 2, focusing on the use of magic devices and diplomacy.

I have always enjoyed the idea of constricting enemies with chains and fell in love with grappling weapons like kusarigama and grappling hook. I am a little worried about the low probability for the grapple. Even with improved critical, it would be only a 10% chance to grapple an enemy with the chain. Can I somehow increase this chance even further? Can I somehow constrict my enemy with chains by forfeiting the attack and just regularly initiating the grapple with the chain?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it necessary to have the ability to Grapple at reach, in your mind? (ie from the Grapple weapon ability, "though you do not have to be adjacent to the creature to continue the grapple. If you move far enough away to be out of the weapon’s reach, you end the grapple " or would it be acceptable to retain the restriction on regular Grapple checks of bringing your target adjacent to you? \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Apr 8 at 1:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, how open is your GM to the optional rules to customizable things? Looking specifically at Creating New Weapons \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Apr 8 at 1:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ErinB If there's a generic solution, then it's workable for Eidolons and will be a good answer AND usable by more people. If there's an Eidolon-specific solution, then requiring generic answers will reduce the usefulness to the asker. The Stack works best when providing actionable solutions to the specific problems people are really facing. Good answers show their work enough to be generalizable whenever possible, but forcing a question to generalize often leaves us with watered-down generic answers that aren't as useful to anyone. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Apr 10 at 9:32
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Focus on using the Hook Fighter feat

You don't need to rely on weapons with the grapple property. They are not a reliable way to grapple opponents since they only grapple on critical hits, and being piercing weapons mostly, they only crit on a 20.

The Hook Fighter feat opens up a lot of possibilities when using a Grappling Hook as a weapon, allowing you to use it as a reach, tripping or disarming weapon.

But Hamatula Strike would allow you to grapple the enemy without actually requiring the grapple quality or wasting a Standard Action to initiate a grapple, but it has heavy requirements (3 feats and BAB +7). It is also the only way to initiate grapples on manufactured weapon attacks, all other methods require natural attacks.

There are other weapons that serve a similar purpose as well, like the Chain Spear. The Kyotetsu Shoge is a dagger tied to the end of a long rope but is not exactly a chain. There's also methods to turn a Spiked Chain into a reach weapon, using Dance of Chains for instance.

However, considering the minimum level to get Hamatula Strike (9th), Id work with Hook Fighter at first and trip my opponents instead of grappling them. Otherwise, you will have to rely on critical hits with a grapple weapon or spend a Standard Action to initiate a grapple.

Also, keep in mind that Grappling is not exactly constricting. Constricting usually means they cannot take actions, and is defined as being Pinned instead. While Grappled they simply cannot move away from you. There are several feats that help with how quickly you can Pin an opponent (see Greater Grapple), just make sure it's the thing you really want, as weapons with grapple will not let you pin your enemies:

While you grapple the target with a grappling weapon, you can only move or damage the creature on your turn.

Of course, you could always design a new weapon by working the details with your GM. But other than designing a Kusarigama-ish weapon that deals piercing instead of slashing damage, I don't see any possible outcome that will help your eidolon.

Magic items

Finally, what you describe is something similar to what the Blades of Binding does, which is a magical weapon. But there is one magic item that will automatically grapple a foe when you attack, the Steadfast Grapple, a magical grappling hook:

This iron grappling hook is attached to a 50-foot length of silk rope. When a steadfast grapple is thrown, it automatically hits and attaches to any targeted object or structure within range of its rope. Against creatures, the wielder must make attack rolls as normal. Once attached, a steadfast grapple can only be removed with a DC 30 Strength check, the command word, or magic such as dispel magic.

Note that the description of the item is rather poor (it was published in an old adventure), and it doesn't explicitly say you get to automatically grapple the target. However, I do believe that was the design intent, otherwise it would be no different from every other grappling hook against creatures and that part of the description would be redundant.

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This is possible later on with a chain weapon.

They key feat to this build is Hamatula Strike:

Prerequisites: Improved Grapple, Strength 13, Base Attack Bonus +7.

Benefit: Whenever you damage an opponent with a piercing weapon, you can immediately make a grapple check; success means the opponent is impaled on your weapon and you both gain the grappled condition. While the opponent is impaled, as an attack action you may make a grapple check on your turn at a -4 penalty to damage the opponent with your weapon, even if your weapon cannot normally be used in a grapple.

This means our weapon needs to deal piercing damage, which a grappling hook does, but a kusarigama does not. However, there is a way to get any weapon to deal piercing damage with some investment, and that is Weapon Versatility.

Prerequisite(s): Weapon Focus, base attack bonus +1

Benefit(s): When wielding a weapon with which you have Weapon Focus, you can shift your grip as a swift action so that your weapon deals bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage instead of the damage type normally dealt by that weapon. You may switch back to the weapon’s normal damage type or another damage type as a swift action.

This allows you to deal piercing damage with a kusarigama, or any other weapon you grab weapon focus for, allowing us to use Hamatula Strike with it.

Notes:

  • Since an eidolon has effectively 3/4 bab, it won't be able to get Hamatula Strike until level 9.
  • Both feats have a prerequisite feat in order to be able to take them. This means that for this build to work it requires a minimum of 2 feats for Hamatula Strike, and at least 4 for both (more if you want to use weapon versatility with more than one weapon). This means all of the Eidolon's 4 feats at level 9 will be used for this.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ notably: "later on" i.e. not level two. \$\endgroup\$ – Erin B Apr 9 at 20:27

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