5E Off hand grappling?

Valdier

Explorer
If a character grapples someone with the on hand and fails, can they bonus action to grapple off handed? I am assuming so based on the wording of the off hand attack. If so, do they suffer a loss of stat bonus when using the off hand? I know they do normally for damage, but is there any penalty for grappling off handed (or any reason not to)?
 

Jediking

Explorer
No, they only get one chance to grapple unless there is a specific rule that states otherwise.

Grapple or Pushing takes the Attack action and does not deal damage, so the off-hand stat bonus does not matter - this is not part of two-weapon fighting.

A character with the Extra Attack feature can replace one attack to make a grapple attempt (specifically called out), so you can make two grapple attempts when taking the Attack action (but still not as a bonus action).
 

Adamant

Explorer
You can't use 2 weapon fighting to grapple, because in order to make the off hand attack you must attack with a light melee weapon. There is also a restriction on what you can do with the bonus action attack, it must be made with a light melee weapon as well. Grappling isn't a light melee weapon despite being a special attack, so you don't get the bonus action. Grappling itself also specifies that it uses the attack action, with the grapple replacing 1 attack if you have extra attack, so again you can't do it as a bonus action. As far as I know, the only way to grapple as a bonus action is with the Tavern Brawler feat, which specifically allows it if you meet the conditions.

TLDR: There are multiple things that prevent you from grappling with 2 weapon fighting rules.

Edit: Ninja'd. That's what I get for looking things up and going into unnecessary detail.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
If a character grapples someone with the on hand and fails, can they bonus action to grapple off handed? I am assuming so based on the wording of the off hand attack. If so, do they suffer a loss of stat bonus when using the off hand? I know they do normally for damage, but is there any penalty for grappling off handed (or any reason not to)?
I’m going to assume you’re talking about 5th edition, since you didn’t specify otherwise, and some of the language you’re using (e.g. “bonus action”) sounds like it’s from 5e.

So, there are no rules surrounding main and off hand attacks in 5th edition. The rules do not distinguish between which hand you use to attack. The two-weapon fighting rules specify that “When you take the attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon that you’re holding in the other hand. You don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack unless that modifier is negative.” It doesn’t matter which hand either of those light melee weapons is in, the one you attack with using your action gets your ability mod to damage, the one you attack with using your bonus action doesn’t.

The rules for grappling specify that “When you want to grab a creature or wrestle with it, you can use the attack action to make a special melee attack, a grapple. If you’re able to make multiple attacks with the attack action, this attack replaces one of them.”

So, in order to use two-weapon fighting, you must use the Attack action to make an attack with a light melee weapon you are holding in one hand. In order to grapple, you must use the Attack action to make a special melee attack, a grapple. Since a grapple is not an attack with a light melee weapon you’re holding in one hand, making a grapple attack does not allow you to use the two-weapon fighting rules. If you do use the Attack action to make an attack with a light melee weapon you’re holding in one hand, you can’t use a bonus action to make a grapple attack, because a grapple attack is not an attack with a different light melee weapon you’re holding in your other hand.
 

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