When a creature is pinned, is the creature considered helpless and thus vulnerable to coup de grace?

Under the rules for helpless it says

A helpless character is paralyzed, held, bound, sleeping, unconscious, or otherwise completely at an opponent's mercy.

Would not being pinned (or maybe even grappled) be considered held?


No held in this context refers to spell effects like Hold Person, not to being held like hold me please.

A pinned creature is still capable of movement sufficient to potentially free itself and that is just enough to not give you a clear shot at the jugular.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thats what I was thinking, but wanted to make sure \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Jun 4 '16 at 23:21

No. But a pinned target can be tied up to become helpless

Just follow the logic bellow and necessary actions and your target can be pinned, bound and helpless.


You can give your opponent the pinned condition (see Conditions). Despite pinning your opponent, you still only have the grappled condition, but you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC.

Then followed by:

Tie Up

If you have your target pinned, otherwise restrained, or unconscious, you can use rope to tie him up. This works like a pin effect, but the DC to escape the bonds is equal to 20 + your Combat Maneuver Bonus (instead of your CMD). The ropes do not need to make a check every round to maintain the pin. If you are grappling the target, you can attempt to tie him up in ropes, but doing so requires a combat maneuver check at a –10 penalty. If the DC to escape from these bindings is higher than 20 + the target's CMB, the target cannot escape from the bonds, even with a natural 20 on the check.

And finally:

What does being tied up mean?

A creature that is tied up is "bound" which means it has the Helpless condition. A helpless target is treated as having a Dex of 0 (–5 modifier). Melee attacks against a helpless target get a +4 bonus (equivalent to attacking a prone target). Ranged attacks get no special bonus against helpless targets. Rogues can sneak attack helpless targets.


"Tie Up

If you have your target pinned, otherwise restrained, or unconscious, you can use rope to tie him up. This works like a pin effect...

I think that in this situation, you pretty much just tie up someone's legs and feet, in which case this someone can still "move" and dodge an attacker (enough to not get hit by a coup de grace). Your third paragraph implies that the target is completely tied up and that it absolutely cannot move or act physically, in my opinion.

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