I was reading the Player's Handbook I of D&D 4e and couldn't find any mention of grapple.

How does grapple work, if at all? Please give examples.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Grappling was nerfed between 3e and 4e because threatening to grapple someone resulted in an automatic surrender from the opponent (to avoid looking up and trying to understand the ruels). It was just too powerful and had to be taken out for balance. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 11, 2012 at 3:08

1 Answer 1


There is no concept of grappling in 4e.

The concept is replaced with the grab action which inflicts the grabbed condition. Which is defined thusly:

  • The creature is immobilized.
  • Maintaining this condition on the creature occupies whatever appendage, object, or effect the grabber used to initiate the grab.
  • This condition ends immediately on the creature if the grabber is subjected to an effect that prevents it from taking actions, or if the creature ends up outside the range of the grabbing power or effect.

Breaking a grab is accomplished by spending a move action to attempt to escape, being pushed pulled or slid out of reach or by teleporting out of the grab. Escape attempts vs monsters are either set by a DC (can be different depending on whether athletics or acrobatics are used to escape), or by the monster's defenses (Fortitude for Athletics, Reflex for Acrobatics). When a PC grabs there is no DC and the character's defenses are used.

To update this to actually answer the question as now posed:

The basic action to grab someone is a standard action in which you make a strength attack against your enemy's Reflex. You are required to have a freehand, and your enemy cannot be more than one size larger than you. If you hit then you are grabbing your enemy. You may sustain this action with a minor and it may be sustained until it is escaped, you choose to release it as a free action, or you are rendered incapable of taking opportunity actions (dazed, stunned, unconscious, surprised, etc) Or you move away from the creature you are grabbing.

There are a few more rules related to the grabbed condition, but this is most of the stuff you need for play.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You know what book introduced it? \$\endgroup\$
    – user4000
    Sep 11, 2012 at 11:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ It should be in Player's Handbook 1. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ravn
    Sep 11, 2012 at 12:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Grab action is covered in PHB1, PHB3, and the Rules Compendium. The grabbed condition is covered in MM2, the Rules Compendium, and MV:Threats to Nentir Vale. Escape is covered in PHB1 and the RC. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Sep 11, 2012 at 12:11

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