When you are controlling a grapple, you have the ability to deliver an automatic hit to whats being grappled. There are a few things I am wondering about this.

  • Is it possible to crit on this hit?
  • If you have sneak attack damage and somehow have a condition to deal it, would that apply?
  • Are you allowed to power attack on this hit?
  • Is this attack a standard action and thus open for vital strike?

1 Answer 1


The rules sayeth,

You can inflict damage to your target equal to your unarmed strike, a natural attack, or an attack made with armor spikes or a light or one-handed weapon. This damage can be either lethal or nonlethal.

You can't crit because you're not rolling to hit (see Critical combat maneuver?).

Sneak attack works as none of it applies to the attack roll per se ("The rogue's attack deals extra damage...")

You can use power attack, and the to-hit penalty applies to the grapple check ("When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects.")

The attack is not a separate attack action, it's part of the grapple check which is a standard action, so no vital strike etc. that change/apply to the actual attack action type.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You would somehow need to qualify for sneak attack though, since just grappling won't automatically do it for you. \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Sep 26, 2017 at 21:06

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