[RPG] Are monks able to substitute Dexterity for Strength when making Grapple checks


From the following excerpts:

Monk class Feature – Martial Arts

You gain the following benefits while you are unarmed
or wielding only monk weapons and you aren’t wearing
armor or wielding a shield:
• You can use Dexterity instead of Strength for the
attack and damage rolls of your unarmed strikes and
monk weapons.


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 o f them.
The target o f your grapple must be no more than one
size larger than you, and it must be within your reach.

Using at least one free hand, you try to seize the target
by making a grapple check, a Strength (Athletics)
check contested by the target’s Strength (Athletics) or
Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (the target chooses the
ability to use). If you succeed, you subject the target to
the grappled condition (see appendix A). The condition
specifies the things that end it, and you can release the
target whenever you like (no action required).

Escaping a Grapple. A grappled creature can use its
action to escape. To do so, it must succeed on a Strength
(Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check contested by
your Strength (Athletics) check.

Are monks able to substitute Dexterity for Strength when making Grapple checks?

Best Answer

No, your Dexterity bonus can't be used for grapple checks instead of Strength.

You don't get the swapping benefit for everything you do unarmed — being unarmed is just the first condition of the ability. You get the effect, when unarmed, for "unarmed strikes and monk weapons."

Starting a grapple isn't striking (aka hitting to deal damage), it's grabbing them to hold on.

The basic principle is that not all melee attacks in the game involve actually hitting someone in the "striking" sense. There are lots of melee attack rolls called for in the rules that are there to resolve something other than a strike.

Now, if you want to throw someone in a martial-arts style after a successful grapple, or grab someone to throw them instead of to impose the Grappled Condition, that's an entirely different ball of wax because grappling doesn't offer that option, but there is another rule that does.

For that you actually want to look at the improvisation rules (PHB, p. 193), which invoke the DM's Contest rules (DMG, p. 238), in order to resolve a throw. If your throw technique involves speed and agility to maximise leverage to use the opponent's own mass and strength against them instead of using your own Strength, that would reasonably qualify as a Dexterity Check for your half of the Contest.