[RPG] Can monsters with multiattack take grapple and shove actions


If lets say… an Owlbear which has the multiattack trait wants to knock someone down and grapple them. Can the owlbear replace the 2 attack actions covered under the multiattack with a grapple and a shove?

The MM says…

When a monster takes its action, it can choose from the options in the Actions section of its stat block or use one
of the actions available to all creatures, such as the Dash or
Hide action, as described in the Players Handbook.

So at this point it looks like monsters can indeed replace an attack action with something like a grapple.

Multiattack says…

A creature that can make multiple attacks on its turn has the
Multiattack ability. A creature can't use Multiattack when making
an opportunity attack, which must be a single melee attack

This seems to imply that some creatures can make more than one attack action per turn. Its worded similar to the player version…

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn

The snag for me comes up when reading the grapple action text that says..

If you’re able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this
attack replaces one of them.

The key word being "attack action". Does this mean that since multiattack seems to be a special feature and not the normal "attack action" that monsters may only replace their normal attack action (which they only have 1 of) with a alternate action type instead of replacing both attacks like a PC would be able to? ( Or at least I think PC's can)

Best Answer

No, even monsters only get one action per turn, and actions should not be confused with attacks. in the case of monsters that can attack multiple times, that's because Multiattack is one action, that just happens to result in attacking more than once. Each attack is not an attack action! Multiattack is also very specific about which attacks the action results in.

So an owlbear can indeed grapple or shove, but that grapple or shove is done by taking a normal Attack action, not a Multiattack action. The Attack action is general purpose and more flexible than Multiattack, but doesn't allow the owlbear to make more than one attack during the action.

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