Rules of grapple state:

Requirements You have at least one free hand or have your target grappled or restrained. Your target isn't more than one size larger than you.

Obviously, animals don't have hands. Some (like snake) don't have paws at all. But at the same time - abilities of some of animal companions require to have opponent grabbed.

For example - snake has advanced maneuver "Constrict", that says:

Requirements The snake has a smaller creature grabbed.

Which implies an ability to grab enemy somehow.

Is there an official ruling about it?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Does this answer your question? What actions can animal companions take? \$\endgroup\$
    – Cellion
    Apr 29 at 13:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't believe this is a duplicate because it's talking about the specific requirement of the Grapple Action. The answer could be derived from the linked question by someone who is trying to extrapolate from it, but it's not necessarily accurate given the specifics. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Apr 29 at 17:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Cellion No, it doesn’t, since in answer to that question - there are no mentions of grappling and how it works (or not) with animal companions. And whether there was some errata regarding it or not. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sarge
    Apr 30 at 7:55

1 Answer 1


Technically, no

As you've noted, Animal Companions don't meet the basic requirements to perform the Grapple skill action.

But really... yes

Any and all GM's should interpret the Grapple rules by the obvious intent that creatures without hands, but other methods of Grappling, are still able to perform the action. See Ambiguous Rules

Sometimes a rule could be interpreted multiple ways. If one version is too good to be true, it probably is. If a rule seems to have wording with problematic repercussions or doesn’t work as intended, work with your group to find a good solution, rather than just playing with the rule as printed.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Requisite image number one Requisite image number two \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Apr 29 at 7:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. I was wondering if there are some obscure rules or errata or Twitter posts regarding this problem, which I’ve missed - but it seems that no one had addressed this problem, that appeared from the fact (I think) that whoever was creating animal companions cut off part of stat block of regular animal (regular snakes have grab as part of their attack) without thinking, which makes me sad. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sarge
    Apr 30 at 8:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sarge More likely, they made the stat blocks from scratch completely disregarding the normal animals and didn't consider the need for Grab (wanting to keep at least the initial animal companions in line with each other having super simple statblocks in general). I'm a little surprised they didn't give the snake AC Grab either automatically or as part of progression, anyway, but I could see why anyway. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    May 2 at 0:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's also likely they didn't want to give AC's automatic success abilities, which are generally very hard to come by. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    May 2 at 0:02

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