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msherman
Sibeccai
(8/24/03 8:07 pm)
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Attacking while grappling with a Tentacle Rod?
I thought I'd seen this come up in the past, but I searched the FAQ, and couldn't find the Tentacle Rod mentioned.

If a rogue has a Tentacle Rod in one hand, and a sword in the other, can he grapple with the rod in round 1, and then in round 2, instead of commanding the rod to do squeeze damage, can he sneak attack the grappled person with his sword (hitting multiple times with a full attack)? If so, that's a truly nasty combo.

Infiniti2000
Verrik
(8/25/03 6:21 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Attacking while grappling with a Tentacle Rod?
The problem is if he needs to continue commanding the rod to grapple. Let's say he grapples a victim with one or more tentacles. The opponent then attempts to escape and fail. Next round, he sneak attacks the victim with his off-hand (he must be holding the rod in the primary hand, right?). When the victim acts next, does he automatically break free because the rod released its hold? If not, that means the rod can act on its own and continue grappling, inflicting constrict damage and special abilities.

I think that's more powerful than the intent of the rod. The primary benefit, I think, is that the holder of the rod is not considered grappled, but cannot take other standard actions. I think this is a good FAQ question though, so once we get consensus, maybe you should post it there, with the summary answer.

msherman
Sibeccai
(8/25/03 6:27 am)
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Re: Attacking while grappling with a Tentacle Rod?
Thanks, I2k. Your reply raises two different issues.

1) Does he in fact need to command the rod to keep grappling? I think it's clear that he couldn't command it to do squeeze damage or grapple with another tentacle if he's attacking with his sword. But does it need a command just to stay grappling (which doesn't require a grapple check)? I'm not sure. Any other opinions on this one?

2) Does 3.5 still have a concept of "off-hand"? I think with the elimination of Ambidexterity and the simplification of TWF, it doesn't -- you take a penalty if you attack with two weapons in a single round, but if you're only attacking with one weapon, there's no penalty, regardless of which hand you're using.

Infiniti2000
Verrik
(8/25/03 6:35 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Attacking while grappling with a Tentacle Rod?
1. It still needs to make an opposed grapple check if the victim wants to escape/break out of the grapple. If it's not being commanded, do you think it would just let go? If not, what happens when the holder of the rod goes unconscious? Does the rod continue to function? How do you get it off then?

2. My point was that I think you are "attacking" with the rod as the primary weapon, and the sword would be the secondary weapon. I suppose you could do the reverse, but then the grapple check should probably suffer the off-hand penalty. This, of course, assumes you need to continue commanding the rod, and that in this case it is not a standard action to command it.

Cordo Crowfoot
Litorian
(8/25/03 7:53 am)
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Re: Attacking while grappling with a Tentacle Rod?
I disagreed with I2K when this was brought up before, and I still disagree. I don't think once a tentacle successfully grapples someone that the wielder should have to continue to use standard actions to keep it grappling.

These rods aren't cheap so I don't think they need to be weak, and if the wielders had to keep using their standard actions I don't think the Clerics would ever pull them out.

It would be great to get Monte's take on it as this has come up several times.

Kenmis
Faen
(8/25/03 2:42 pm)
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I agree
I agree with Cordo, i don't think the Tenticle rod is very good at all unless it can be used to keep a melee fighter busy while the cleric does other things, especialy considering how much one costs.

I'd say that the weilder must keep ahold of the rod for it to continue functioning, and s/he must also stay concious. Also, i put in my vote that the rogue would have off-hand penalties (or whatever they are calling it in 3.5) for attacking with his sword in his other hand.

smetzger
Faen
(8/26/03 5:13 am)
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My Thoughts
Ok, here is how I read it.

The description says the tentacle rod does the actual grappling and the user is not considered grappled. It also says the rods attacks count as a standard action for the weilder.

Therefore, it takes a standard action to initiate a grapple attack using the rod or have another tentacle start a grapple or (once a grapple has been started) to do any number of the grapple actions.

However, if you already have a person grappled with the rod; you could hold the rod in one hand and attack or cast a spell or whatever with your other hand. It doesn't take any actions for someone to maintane a grapple, so you just forfeit any actions on the rods part. The person grappled would still need to win opposed grapples to free themselves.
Also, since your not really weilding the rod at this point I would even say that you aren't using the Two-weapon fighting rules. So you could hold it in your off hand and attack with your primary hand with no penalties.

Grumgarr
Giant
(8/27/03 7:06 am)
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Re: Attacking while grappling with a Tentacle Rod?
I wrestled with this one myself :)

I'd say once a grapple is established the rod can maintain it without the need for further 'actions' on the part of the wielder - but they still have to hold onto it. And the rod doesn't 'do' anything other than just hold on - no further damage etc.

So yep, a rod-wielder could sneak attack to their heart's content IMC. Or their rogue buddy could do it for them.
Or they could cast a nasty evil cleric spell at their grappled victim, which is the true purpose of the rods IMO. :evil

Grumgarr

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