I built a creature with 16 limbs and a focus on grappling. However I could not find any bonus to grapple for having extra limbs. Searching online I found a few forum posts but they seemed primarily opinion based with no sources backing them.

From what I can tell having multiple arms grants NO bonuses to grapple at all. This seems like an oversight as it should be obvious that a creature with many limbs should be able to grapple with bonuses.

What are the bonuses to use the grapple maneuver for a creature having multiple arms? Please include sources.

If there are no bonuses is there a common house rule adding a bonus?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Pathfinder is not a simulation, it is an approximation. Extra limbs alone should not give you better grappling. Your strength is added to grapple checks and represents your full body strength. In this case, each of your 16 limbs is less strong than each of the limbs on a creature with 2 limbs but an equal strength score. \$\endgroup\$
    – Colin D
    Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 15:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ColinD I know it is not a simulation. I didn't think about the stat like full body strength but that makes sense. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aaron
    Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 16:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ColinD what about the simple idea that you can tie up someone's 2 significantly stronger limbs with 12 of yours, use 2 to choke the person and 2 to gouge out their eyes? \$\endgroup\$
    – user11839
    Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 16:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kelvin those would all be separate actions (combat maneuvers), of which you only get a limited number of tries per round in combat (usually 1) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 14:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @David Wilkins Respectfully, if you're grappling with someone you're shifting around and trying to gain advantage on them using leverage and body mechanics. At the end of the day you are trying to tie them up. I understand the game is only approximation, but at some point it has to be at least somewhat reminiscent of the act its describing. \$\endgroup\$
    – user11839
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 17:07

2 Answers 2


No, I could not find a bonus to multiple limbs in the rules.

If you're looking for a house rule, you could say you get a +2 to CMB for every additional limb beyond 2 (like animals get to CMD for being on all 4's).

However, if this is an eidolon or a creature you're defining, adding the Grab ability and MultiAttack monster feat would be hugely beneficial:

Grab (Ex) If a creature with this special attack hits with the indicated attack (usually a claw or bite attack), it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. Unless otherwise noted, grab can only be used against targets of a size equal to or smaller than the creature with this ability. If the creature can use grab on creatures of other sizes, it is noted in the creature's Special Attacks line. The creature has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use the part of its body it used in the grab to hold the opponent. If it chooses to do the latter, it takes a –20 penalty on its CMB check to make and maintain the grapple, but does not gain the grappled condition itself. A successful hold does not deal any extra damage unless the creature also has the constrict special attack. If the creature does not constrict, each successful grapple check it makes during successive rounds automatically deals the damage indicated for the attack that established the hold. Otherwise, it deals constriction damage as well (the amount is given in the creature's descriptive text).

Creatures with the grab special attack receive a +4 bonus on combat maneuver checks made to start and maintain a grapple.

Format: grab; Location: individual attacks.

Emphasis mine.

Source: Paizo


Consider using the race creation rules to make your new race. One of the race creation rules is "Grabbing Appendages" which represents a group of arms used in grappling:

Grabbing Appendages (6 RP)
Prerequisites: Any type except humanoid, Large size. Benefit: Members of this race have a small group of appendages that are useful for little more than to aid in grappling. Members of this race gain Improved Grapple as a bonus feat, and can maintain a grapple and still make attacks with their main appendages.

More arms normally equates to more and better weapon attacks, which are valued extremely highly by the developers. It should be noted that your arms are not individually weaker than 2-armed people with your strength score arms (you still add your StrX1.5 to two handed attacks, you are equally as good in arm wrestling, etc). You just get no grapple bonus RAW.

Multi-armed creatures are themselves fairly uncommon, so there is no common houserule.


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