[RPG] Isn’t getting control over a grapple better than trying to escape


I'm looking at the Pathfinder rules for grappling, with the intent to use them instead of the usual D&D 3.X rules in future campaigns.
A flowchart on the unofficial prd page about combat tells me the controlling grappler can release the grapple at any time.
The second round flowchart tells me the non-controller might then try to gain control of the grapple or might try to escape it. Both take up the same action, both require the same checks.

Is there any reason a player who wants to escape should try to escape the grapple instead of controlling the grapple, then letting it go?
As far as I can parse the rules, trying to escape has the controller get a +5 to its rolls, while trying to gain control of the grapple does not, which makes it an easier check and has the same results.

Is this a bug, or is my logic (or the flowchart) wrong?

Best Answer

If You Are Grappled

If you are grappled, you can attempt to break the grapple as a standard action by making a combat maneuver check (DC equal to your opponent's CMD; this does not provoke an attack of opportunity) or Escape Artist check (with a DC equal to your opponent's CMD). If you succeed, you break the grapple and can act normally. Alternatively, if you succeed, you can become the grappler, grappling the other creature (meaning that the other creature cannot freely release the grapple without making a combat maneuver check, while you can).

You can do either with a successful CMB check. The +5 applies in either circumstance:

If your target does not break the grapple, you get a +5 circumstance bonus on grapple checks made against the same target in subsequent rounds.

That's "grapple checks" not "checks to escape a grapple." I know the flowchart says "to maintain," which is true but not complete, a flowchart doesn't mean you don't have to read the rules, and rules text always takes priority over tables or graphics (especially unofficial ones).

Yes, it's functionally equivalent when just grappled to escape, or to reverse it and then let go (barring other powers and abilities that proc in these situations). Also, if you're pinned, you can only try to escape, not reverse it.