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D&D 5E Grappling with Mirror Image

tglassy

Adventurer
I've been trying to find information on this, but everyone always asks about grappling someone else who is using Mirror Image, or being grappled while using Mirror Image. I want to know how effective it would be to grapple while using Mirror Image.

So you cast Mirror Image, then you Grapple someone. Let's say you manage to shove them prone as well. My thoughts on this are that they would then have disadvantage on attacks against you, and even if they hit, you could potentially direct the attack to one of the images.

One thing I've seen people point out is that if the attacker can perceive with something other than sight, then Mirror Image has no effect, and if you're Grappling, then they are "touching" you, thereby perceiving with something other than sight, but that doesn't make sense to me. A grapple could just be grabbing someone's wrist. The Mirror Image could show four people grabbing your wrist, all moving around confusingly. Only one is actually touching you, but unless you close your eyes, you'd get confused and just start hitting.

The character I've built already has Enlarge/Reduce and Expertise in Athletics. Mirror Image has no concentration, so it can work alongside Enlarge/Reduce. I just might not be able to get War Caster, and I'm looking for ways to avoid being hit after grappling to avoid loosing Concentration.
 

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jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
One thing I've seen people point out is that if the attacker can perceive with something other than sight, then Mirror Image has no effect, and if you're Grappling, then they are "touching" you, thereby perceiving with something other than sight, but that doesn't make sense to me. A grapple could just be grabbing someone's wrist. The Mirror Image could show four people grabbing your wrist, all moving around confusingly. Only one is actually touching you, but unless you close your eyes, you'd get confused and just start hitting.
I would rule that since you are touching the grappled creature, it can indeed rely on a sense other than sight. But I don't think the rules are clear cut about it, so you'd have to see what your DM thinks.
 

Nebulous

Legend
I would rule that since you are touching the grappled creature, it can indeed rely on a sense other than sight. But I don't think the rules are clear cut about it, so you'd have to see what your DM thinks.

Yeah, if you closed your eyes and fought against the only physical thing grappling you, it wouldn't matter if there were illusory fake ones. DM call though.
 

Grappling is not just grabbing someone's wrist. Grabbing someone's wrist does not restrain them will all the penalties of the condition. You can grab someone's wrist no doubt, but that's not "grappling".

Grappling is effectively a two arm grab and nearly a hug. If their is any separation between the two bodies, it is minimal and intermittent. Meaning if you are being grappled, their is no doubt who is grappling you and where they are.
 

tglassy

Adventurer
No, all Grappling does is reduce their speed to 0, and you only need one hand to do it. Grabbing someone's wrist most certainly IS grappling. Restraining, however, is something different, and can only be done with the Grappler Feat.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
While it is true that grappling doesn't restrain, I think it is debatable whether it is as simple as grabbing someone's wrist. Arguably it would be hard to keep hold of someone if you only had them by one wrist. I usually picture it as a bit more than that.
 

tglassy

Adventurer
Regardless of how we see it, holding someone by the wrist would reduce their speed to 0. That's all Grappling does. And the fact that you can grapple as many people as you have hands. it doesn't stop them from attacks, or give them disadvantage on anything. It just stops them from moving.
 

Regardless of how we see it, holding someone by the wrist would reduce their speed to 0. That's all Grappling does. And the fact that you can grapple as many people as you have hands. it doesn't stop them from attacks, or give them disadvantage on anything. It just stops them from moving.

No it wouldn't. Hold onto my wrist and prevent me from running circles around you. Nope.
 


jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
Um...yep. I'm pretty sure that's called a "Strength check to break the grapple". If I roll higher than you, I most certainly stop you from running circles around me, lol.
Well that's the question, does it require a Strength check to make someone let go of your wrist? Does it matter if you are using your whole body and they can only touch you with that one hand? The rules don't get into that level of detail.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Whether grappled or not, the enemy can always shut their eyes and attack blindly into your space. If they do, they don't have to contend with mirror image, but they do suffer disadvantage on the attack due to blindness, and they grant advantage to anyone attacking them.

If they're prone, they have disadvantage on the attack and grant advantage to melee attackers anyway. The only drawback at that point is that they would grant advantage to ranged attackers as well (canceling out disadvantage from being prone).
 


tglassy

Adventurer
Well that's the question, does it require a Strength check to make someone let go of your wrist? Does it matter if you are using your whole body and they can only touch you with that one hand? The rules don't get into that level of detail.


Yes it requires a strength (Athletics) check to make someone let go of your wrist if they don't want to let go of your wrist. Or a dexterity (Acrobatics) check.

Let me put it this way.

If someone is holding your wrist, and you want them to not, you have to try to break their grip, either by pulling away, or by twisting it so they can't hold on. However, if they do not want to let go, they will attempt to hold on by using more Strength. This is called a Contest between two people, and therefore we need to see who wins the contest.

In the real world, the one who wins is the one who either used more strength, or the one who successfully twisted and broke the grip using manual dexterity.

In the game, this is settled by ROLLING DICE. The Grappler has to use Strength (Athletics) as a bonus, and the Defender gets to choose either Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics).

This is literally, by definition, what it means to be grappled and try to break the grapple. If you cannot muster the strength or dexterity to break my grip when I am grabbing your wrist, you are going nowhere, and your "Speed" has effectively been reduced to 0.
 

tglassy

Adventurer
Whether grappled or not, the enemy can always shut their eyes and attack blindly into your space. If they do, they don't have to contend with mirror image, but they do suffer disadvantage on the attack due to blindness, and they grant advantage to anyone attacking them.

If they're prone, they have disadvantage on the attack and grant advantage to melee attackers anyway. The only drawback at that point is that they would grant advantage to ranged attackers as well (canceling out disadvantage from being prone).

This is the way to deal with Mirror Image period, and therefore is not relevant to the question. My question was on whether or not Mirror Image would work with a Grappled opponent. Any enemy could just close their eyes and have disadvantage, so that doesn't answer the question.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
If someone is holding your wrist, and you want them to not, you have to try to break their grip, either by pulling away, or by twisting it so they can't hold on. However, if they do not want to let go, they will attempt to hold on by using more Strength. This is called a Contest between two people, and therefore we need to see who wins the contest.
But you are just assuming that holding my wrist is a grapple. If you don't assume that then there is no reason to apply the grapple rules. It is not an unreasonable position, but it just says something about what you think a grapple means. If you replace "holding my wrist" with "touching my shoulder" then you could make the same argument, but you wouldn't because I doubt you think touching my shoulder counts as a grapple.

In the game, this is settled by ROLLING DICE.
Things are settled by rolling dice when the DM thinks the outcome is in doubt. If I tell the DM I want to break down a door with my pinky, he doesn't have to let me make a check, he can just say no, that doesn't work.
 

tglassy

Adventurer
But you are just assuming that holding my wrist is a grapple. If you don't assume that then there is no reason to apply the grapple rules. It is not an unreasonable position, but it just says something about what you think a grapple means. If you replace "holding my wrist" with "touching my shoulder" then you could make the same argument.


Things are settled by rolling dice when the DM thinks the outcome is in doubt. If I tell the DM I want to break down a door with my pinky, he doesn't have to let me make a check, he can just say no, that doesn't work.

No, holding someone's wrist is not like touching them in respect to grappling. I feel like I'm being trolled. If I grab your wrist and I am stronger than you and you can't make me let go, that is grappling. Ive done it with my brothers. If they can't make me let go, they aren't going anywhere, that is the literal definition of grappling. I don't understand what's so difficult to understand here.

In fact, in the rules it says "When you want to grab a creature" when referring to how to grapple. Grapple is just the word used when you've got ahold of someone to the point where they can't move.
 

Dausuul

Legend
This is the way to deal with Mirror Image period, and therefore is not relevant to the question. My question was on whether or not Mirror Image would work with a Grappled opponent. Any enemy could just close their eyes and have disadvantage, so that doesn't answer the question.
The question you asked* was how effective it would be to grapple while using mirror image, and you also specified that you were using grapple-and-shove to keep the enemy prone. The answer is: It's not very effective, because the enemy can just shut their eyes and ignore the mirror image. Normally, fighting blind is a hefty penalty in itself, but they're suffering most of those penalties already due to being prone.

[size=-2]*Technically, you didn't ask a question at all, but I assume that "I want to know" indicates the question here.[/size]
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
I guess the issue is that if I try to hold even a child's wrist with one hand and they try to get away, I cannot stop them without using more of my body than just my hand. I have done that experiment plenty of time with my kids. Therefore, if a player told me they wanted to grapple a creature using only their hand while keeping the rest of their body out of contact, I would simply say it doesn't work, a grapple requires more effort than that. I can't imagine a situation where that would come up other than this unusual mirror image question.

As you say, a grapple is the rules term for holding someone to the point that they can't move. I evidently have a higher bar for what that takes than you do.
 

tglassy

Adventurer
I guess the issue is that if I try to hold even a child's wrist with one hand and they try to get away, I cannot stop them without using more of my body than just my hand. I have done that experiment plenty of time with my kids.

All that proves is that their Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Strength (Athletics) check beat your Strength (Athletics) check. My daughter is 6. I can grab her with one hand, lift her off the ground and hold her over my head, even if I grab her by the wrist (I wouldn't do that, of course, it'd hurt her.)

A character with a 20 strength can do the same to someone who weighs 300 lbs. One hand, lift them off the ground. You're grappled. Period.

To rephrase the question because apparently details get in the way, if my character has a 20 strength, and grabs someone by the vest and lifts them off the ground, hand outstretched, and has Mirror Image on so that it looks like four different people are lifting him in the air by the same point, can the target automatically know, without closing his eyes, which one is the real one, or would the spell still confuse him?
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
All that proves is that their Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Strength (Athletics) check beat your Strength (Athletics) check. My daughter is 6. I can grab her with one hand, lift her off the ground and hold her over my head, even if I grab her by the wrist (I wouldn't do that, of course, it'd hurt her.)
I like the image of you holding your daughter by the hand, and her floating above you like a balloon, unable to touch your arm or body :)
 

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