I have a creature that has a 15' reach. It's attack can also grapple. Currently it's grappling a creature with a 5' reach.

I have several questions about this situation.

  1. Can the grappled creature always attack the creature that is grappling it, even if it's held at 10'?
  2. Can the creature that's grappling the other creature choose to let it go anywhere within it's 15' reach?
  3. Does releasing the creature allow for an oppertuniy attack if the creature being released has a reaction? Even if it's released at 15'? (if this is possible)
  4. What sort of action is required for releasing a creature? A bonus action?

1 Answer 1

  1. Strictly RAW (Rules As Written) you cannot attack a creature which grapples you unless they are within your reach, or the appendage they are grappling you with is part of the creature's statblock as is the case with the Roper monster:

    The roper can have up to six tendrils at a time. Each tendril can be attacked (AC 20; 10 hit points; immunity to poison and psychic damage).

    However the intent, as confirmed be lead rules designer Jeremy Crawford in this tweet, is that:

    A creature grappled by a giant octopus can attack the octopus via the grappling tentacle.

    Note that the giant octopus has tentacles, but they do not have their own statistics (HP and AC) so this would extend to other creatures with reach grapples where the appendage being used does not have statistics.

  1. (also 3) The rules on "Grappling" state:

    The condition specifies the things that end it, and you can release the target whenever you like (no action required).

    This allows us to conclude that you can release the creature at any distance (as there is no restriction saying you cannot), and that doing so requires no sort of action whatsoever.

  1. The rules on "Opportunity Attacks" state:

    You can make an opportunity attack when a hostile creature that you can see moves out of your reach.

    Releasing a creature does not require the grappler to move, so no opportunity attack is triggered when releasing a creature.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @korvinstarmast How do I fix the bulleting so the opportunity attack section actually says "4."? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 24, 2019 at 14:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Hmm, it used to just "work" so let me fiddle a bit. I cheated. :) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 24, 2019 at 14:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ what about releasing the target at a different place from where it was grappled? Could the grappling creature move the grappled creature 10' and then let it go? \$\endgroup\$
    – martijn
    Aug 24, 2019 at 14:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @martijn That sounds like a wonderful question, and I couldn't find anything already on the site about it, though I may have simply missed it. You could open that as a new question if you wanted. Perhaps something like "How does moving a grappled creature with a reach grapple work?" \$\endgroup\$ Aug 24, 2019 at 14:17

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