The Harpoon has the grapple weapon quality. Does this allow the user to throw the harpoon and make a grapple attempt of a critical hit?

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    \$\begingroup\$ @AnneAunyme please don't answer in comments. If you have a constructive answer, you should write it as an answer. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude May 12 '16 at 16:48

Yes, that is what the weapon special quality grapple does:

On a successful critical hit with a weapon of this type, you can grapple the target of the attack. The wielder can then attempt a combat maneuver check to grapple his opponent as a free action. This grapple attempt does not provoke an attack of opportunity from the creature you are attempting to grapple if that creature is not threatening you. While you grapple the target with a grappling weapon, you can only move or damage the creature on your turn. You are still considered grappled, though you do not have to be adjacent to the creature to continue the grapple. If you move far enough away to be out of the weapon’s reach, you end the grapple with that action. (Source: D20PFSRD)

This says the weapon will give you a free CMB check to attempt to grapple on a critical hit.

Grapple says:

... If you successfully grapple a creature that is not adjacent to you, move that creature to an adjacent open space (if no space is available, your grapple fails)... (Source: D20PFSRD)

So, in effect, when you make a successful critical hit with a harpoon, then succeed on the subsequent CMB check, you grapple the target and move it to an adjacent open space.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Alright follow up, let's say there is a gap between the thrower and the target (ie. Space between two ships, chasm, pit, etc.) does the target move to you without regard to that area, or is it affected by being pulled out into open air? \$\endgroup\$ – 7seasJ May 12 '16 at 5:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm certain that the situation you describe is covered by "If you successfully grapple a creature that is not adjacent to you, move that creature to an adjacent open space." \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude May 12 '16 at 5:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay so just to make sure my understanding is correct, no matter what is in between the target and the thrower, the target is moved to the adjacent space. \$\endgroup\$ – 7seasJ May 12 '16 at 5:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, it doesn't sound like the Get over here! part of sticking a fool with a harpoon is mandatory. However, could we just have a moratorium on ranged grapples in d20 games until some designer rewrites the grapple rules from the ground up so they work at range and don't even mention the actual grapple rules? Please? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 12 '16 at 7:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ The rules are clear, however the DM really need to use his/her brain here. It's not likely that a creature grappled from across a chasm is going to appear on an adjacent square, however that creature (and weapon) are likely to be lost to those depths. \$\endgroup\$ – Escoce May 13 '16 at 15:59

RAW: Yes. You can throw a harpoon to someone 30 metres away and make him being magically pulled to an adjacent square. You are then considered grappled as described in the grapple weapon property text, ie you can only move or damage the creature. You can't for example get another weapon to replace the harpoon you have thrown.

Of course this is ridiculous and nobody will apply these rules as written. You can however make a houserule, here a few examples:

  • If you throw a weapon with the grapple property and you have tied a rope on if, in case you succeed a critical hit you can attempt a drag test to make the target come to an adjacent square. If it succeeds you can then attempt a grapple as a free action.

  • When you score a critical hit with a grappling thrown weapon, you can attempt a grapple check. If it succeed the target (but not you) get the grappled condition. The target can spend a standard action to remove the grappled status.

  • Thrown weapons don't trigger the grapple property


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