Suppose a druid wild shapes into a giant toad. The giant toad's statblock states:

[...] The toad makes one bite attack against a Medium or smaller target it is grappling. If the attack hits, the target is swallowed, and the grapple ends. The swallowed target is [...]

Can the druid bite the grappled target again and not swallow the target? Would the toad have to release the target before biting again? And if so, are there any advantages/disadvantages for the target or toad?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take some time to take the tour if you haven't already. Does this help answer your question? What happens after T-Rex Grapples a creature in its mouth? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 16:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ In your second question, are you asking "Does the Toad have to release the target (from it's stomach) before biting again?" or "Does the Toad have to not be grappling (either release from grapple or swallow it's current foe) before biting again?"? \$\endgroup\$
    – GreySage
    Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 16:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GreySage, At the point of that question, the toad bit and grappled the target. The target is still outside the toad. It would then have to bite again for the swallowing attack. Can it bite again without swallowing? \$\endgroup\$
    – B540Glenn
    Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 17:24

2 Answers 2


Yes, the toad can bite the target they're already holding.

The attacks listed in a monster statblock represent separate options that it has.

If the Swallow attack succeeds, the toad must swallow the victim. It says, very plainly, "if the attack hits, the target is swallowed."

However, it still has the Bite attack, which has a 5' reach (which the victim is definitely inside) and this restriction:

Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the toad can't bite another target.

This implies that it can bite the target it's already holding (and in fact it has to in order to swallow them, since that uses a bite attack). This attack would have advantage since the target is restrained.

Note that even if one ruled the other way (that using Bite against an already-grappled target would automatically be an attempt to Swallow), the toad could still just release them and immediately Bite again. However, in that case the creature wouldn't be restrained.

Note also that if the toad bites a creature too big for it to swallow, it does still get to grapple and restrain it, and could bite it again on subsequent turns.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can a swallowed creature (restrained/blinded) still make attacks against the Giant Toad with disadvantage? I don't know if you could incorporate this into the answer please. \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 11:42

Bite and Swallow are separate Attack options

Nothing prevents the toad from making a second bite attack against a grappled and restrained creature. If a Bite hits, the target is grappled but can try to escape using grappling mechanics on its turn. This same bite attack could be repeated indefinitely. The only limitation to bite is that the Toad cannot bite a different creature than the one that is grappled.

Swallow is a separate attack option. It can (not must) be used against a grappled creature. Note that the Toad has an animal's Intelligence of 2, so advanced combat tactics are probably not its forte. Against normal creatures it would probably swallow them. It would probably release a Fire Elemental that it bit (well, if you could actually grapple a Fire Elemental, but you get the idea).

Note also that the Toad also doesn't have to maintain the grapple. The grapple-ending condition by a grappler is (from the Basic Rules):

you can release the target whenever you like (no action required).

  • \$\begingroup\$ The text says “ Swallow. The toad makes one bite attack against a Medium or smaller target it is grappling.” This means to use the attack, the target has to be grappled. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 9, 2020 at 21:17

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