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Acrobatics to move through an enemy's square?


Rules Questions

The Exchange

i know in 3.5 it used to be that if you tried to tumble through an enemies' square , and you failed your tumble check, you were attacked, rebuffed and couldn't get past them.

i tried to look quickly last night while at the table in Acrobatics, and while I knew it was CMD + 5 to move through. there was not list of the consequences of failing your Acrobatics roll in the skill section of the book.

Does anyone know ifs mentioned elsewhere in the book ? or if the player just fails, gets an attack of opportunity on them, but can move past the enemy ?

The Exchange

I don't have my book in front of me, but I'm 99% sure that you provoke an AoO and do not move past the foe.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Seraphimpunk wrote:

i know in 3.5 it used to be that if you tried to tumble through an enemies' square , and you failed your tumble check, you were attacked, rebuffed and couldn't get past them.

i tried to look quickly last night while at the table in Acrobatics, and while I knew it was CMD + 5 to move through. there was not list of the consequences of failing your Acrobatics roll in the skill section of the book.

Does anyone know ifs mentioned elsewhere in the book ? or if the player just fails, gets an attack of opportunity on them, but can move past the enemy ?

On page 193 it states: "Tumbling: A trained character can attempt to use Acrobatics to move through a square occupied by an opponent (see the Acrobatics skill).[emphasis added]"

To me, at least, that makes it seem like a failed acrobatic check will stop the character's move. It doesn't say attempt to avoid the AoO for moving through the square, but rather attempt to move through an an enemy occupied square.

Not a slam dunk in any case.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Let's muddy the waters even further:

In the Acro skill description, it says "...you can move through a threatened square without provoking an attack of opportunity from an enemy by using Acrobatics." This is the introductory sentence in the paragraph, and so it seems that whatever follows is subject to it - seemingly, that the Acro check is only to avoid provoking, not to move in the first place.

Unfortunately, moving through the enemy's space isn't mentioned anywhere else in the text! It's only listed in a table - the DC is listed as CMD+5, and the heading for the DCs has an asterisk stating "This DC is used to avoid an attack of opportunity due to movement." which seems to imply that success or failure merely determines whether or not you provoke, not whether or not you move.

So this seems strongly on the side of "you can still move on a failure", yet Tim's quote seems to say the opposite... yet also references the part I cited ("see the Acrobatics skill", it says).

So... GM call?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Tumbling got very confused in the rules in the edit from 3.5. "tumble" itself was taken out, and is not explicity in acrobatics. The DC in the chart that references is asterixed to note that the DC is just to avoid attacks of opportunity, indicating that it's not the DC to move through an enemy square you couldn't otherwise move through, rather its the DC to avoid an attack of opporunity when you move through enemy sqares which you can move through anyway (for example from a successful Overrun combat manuver, or where the enemy is three sizes larger, or tiny or smaller). Contradicting this there's leftover 3.5 language in the rules in the combat section, referencing "tumbling" to move through an enemy square then telling you to look in acrobatics (which doesn't mention tumbling).

In a post asking what happens if you tumble past two people but get stopped by the third, James Jacobs posted that you can tumble, but also said you'd land prone in the second guy's square - This contradicts the movment rules, since the rule is you can't end movement in an illegal opponent square unless you're Helpless (not just prone), so seems he was thinking 3.5 when he answered that, so it's still not 100% clear.

One interpretation that does square with all the rules, is you can't 'tumble' through a barred enemy square at all anymore. You can use acrobatics to avoid an attack of opporunity running between the dragon's legs (three size categories larger), or when pushing aside the line backer to get to the end zone (overrun), OR you can dive over the defensive line using acrobatics (5' Jump is a DC20 with a running start, then a second acrobatic check to deny the attack of opporunity as you dive over him) but you can't just cartwheel your way though that 5' space blocked by the opponent that's about your same size.

Closest thing to the old 3.5 tumble would be the Jump option. If you mess up the jump, since you're not grabbing for a ledge, you fall prone, and by the rule on ending up in an illegal space, you land prone in the nearest adjacent free space, determined randomly.


We've had this very issue come up as well. We've determined the rules to be clear as mud as well on this issue. We've ruled conservatively on this one, and denied my character through and gave the enemy an AoO, though no matter how many times we read it, we came up with the same shrug of an answer.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Seems that the general consensus is that the rules are unclear. Know what that means?

Hit the FAQ button! :D

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm personally of the opinion that overusing the FAQ button everytime something can be interpreted more than one way results in a flood of information that the Devs can't handle due to the noise to signal ratio. To each their own, tho.

You normally cannot move through an opponent's square. Acrobatics lets you attempt to do so. If you fail, you don't move through the square and you provoke an AoO. I maybe reading the text in light of the 3.5 precursor, but I don't have a problem with that. YMMV.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Howie23 wrote:

I'm personally of the opinion that overusing the FAQ button everytime something can be interpreted more than one way results in a flood of information that the Devs can't handle due to the noise to signal ratio. To each their own, tho.

You normally cannot move through an opponent's square. Acrobatics lets you attempt to do so. If you fail, you don't move through the square and you provoke an AoO. I maybe reading the text in light of the 3.5 precursor, but I don't have a problem with that. YMMV.

Could be my tone made me sound a bit FAQ-happy. To be clear, I agree with you Howie that disagreement =/= FAQ-worthiness. I could probably think of lots of rules where a vocal minority stubbornly refuses to "be wrong" despite total clarity in the rules (two jump to mind immediately).

I do, however, think that this particular issue is left unaddressed in the RAW and requires fuzzy inference or reference to non-PF material to make a judgment, and when you have to do that, clearer language is needed.

Shadow Lodge

Howie23 wrote:

I'm personally of the opinion that overusing the FAQ button everytime something can be interpreted more than one way results in a flood of information that the Devs can't handle due to the noise to signal ratio. To each their own, tho.

You normally cannot move through an opponent's square. Acrobatics lets you attempt to do so. If you fail, you don't move through the square and you provoke an AoO. I maybe reading the text in light of the 3.5 precursor, but I don't have a problem with that. YMMV.

I agree strongly with both views expressed in this post.

I might deviate slightly and suggest that since it's not specified, if you fail to move through an opponents space you would default to the normal Attack of Opportunity rules. Though it could be argued that when you attempt to move through a creatures space you have to enter it and that itself would provoke... Either way failing is going to mean you don't get to the other side.

Shadow Lodge

Jiggy wrote:
Howie23 wrote:

I'm personally of the opinion that overusing the FAQ button everytime something can be interpreted more than one way results in a flood of information that the Devs can't handle due to the noise to signal ratio. To each their own, tho.

You normally cannot move through an opponent's square. Acrobatics lets you attempt to do so. If you fail, you don't move through the square and you provoke an AoO. I maybe reading the text in light of the 3.5 precursor, but I don't have a problem with that. YMMV.

Could be my tone made me sound a bit FAQ-happy. To be clear, I agree with you Howie that disagreement =/= FAQ-worthiness. I could probably think of lots of rules where a vocal minority stubbornly refuses to "be wrong" despite total clarity in the rules (two jump to mind immediately).

I do, however, think that this particular issue is left unaddressed in the RAW and requires fuzzy inference or reference to non-PF material to make a judgment, and when you have to do that, clearer language is needed.

There needs to be a flag for "Yes, with a little sleuthing we figured out what you mean but it but really this should be written more clearly".

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

0gre wrote:
There needs to be a flag for "Yes, with a little sleuthing we figured out what you mean but it but really this should be written more clearly".

As awesome as that sounds, it would get overused even more than the FAQ button. "I failed to read the description of X and therefore don't know how it works, so I should click that button."


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Seems to me when something can honestly be interpreted in more than one way is exactly when you need the game's designers to clear up the ambiguity.

In this case Acrobatics does NOT define a way to attempt to pass through an occupied square you couldn't otherwise move though (It gives the DC to avoid an attack of opporunity for passing though an occupied square you CAN move though - e.g where theres a big size difference, or in an overrun). The combat section lists Tumbling, saying Tumbling is defined in acrobatics, but it's actually not. Read Acroabtics skill carefully (especially the asterix on what the DC means in the chart) and you'll see.

Tumbling was in 3.5, so it's not clear if they meant to take Tumbling out (which is why it's not in acrobatics), and someone messed up leaving a referece to it in the combat section, OR they meant to leave it in, and someone messed up not defining it properly in the skills section. Either way it's erratta, so I think it's fair nudge Paizo to erratta it.

In the meantime, my vote goes for out. Makes more sense to do it through overrun and jump, anyway.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Since the FAQ button isn't exactly the Bat-Signal, I don't think people are getting too FAQ-happy. I image a post with only 1-2 FAQs doesn't even pique the developers curiosity. If you don't think it deserves a FAQ attention don't do it. That's the whole point of a vote system. Those that more people think are worthy will get noted.

Considering how often this skill is used in-game versus how often some things that are in FAQ occur, this question is practically screaming out for clarification. Although because it's so common, I image every group has already decided how they handle it.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Some call me Tim wrote:
Although because it's so common, I image every group has already decided how they handle it.

Problem is, for some people their only "group" is PFS, where you could potentially have a different GM every week, and therefore everything is supposed to be "by the book" so that you have consistent games - no getting your feat choices neutered one week and seeing that which you passed up getting buffed the next.

So every time someone shrugs and says "just ask your GM before you make your character", a PFS player cries.

And possibly kills a kitten. Or maybe that was something else.

The Exchange

Aside:
in a higher level game ( 14/15th ) when the CMD's of monsters was approaching 35-45 range, someone pointed out: you shouldn't tumble anymore, to the monk. You should jump. When you jump to a square in back of the dragon, you don't move at half speed. you don't need a running jump ( because the summoner was talking to a high enough level monk ). and could spend a ki point for a +20 to the "jump" check. and you gain +4 to the jump check for every +10' of extra movement. ... the monk ended up with about a 50 on his check. and while i don't quite agree with it RAW, i wasn't the GM in that case. They were using acrobatics, and the check was well over the monster's CMD, so they ruled that it was a bit crouching tiger- hidden anime, but hand waved it so it worked.

So now when the monk needs to flank. he jumps. he doesn't tumble.

On topic:
ok, i see the section on moving through enemy squares in the combat section. its bad that it says you can attempt to move through an enemy's square with an acrobatics check, and then says to see the acrobatics skill. while the skill makes no mention of moving through the enemy, just gives the DC.

I guess you can interpret it that you make your check. succeed and you can get past your opponent. fail and you provoke an opportunity and are rebuffed. but yeah its ambiguous. gone are the 3.5 touches - you're moved back to the next open space or you're prone, squeezing, in the square in front of the guy you just tried to duck past. And yeah I need to heavily infer from old rulesets to get this interpretation. if i'd never played before, and PF was my first ruleset, i'd be stymied as a GM.

for now I'm going to try and apply some real world logic, and assume that yeah, you can get past the enemy, but you avoid the attack of opportunity. which is enough of a penalty for the attempt.

Liberty's Edge

Jiggy wrote:
Some call me Tim wrote:
Although because it's so common, I image every group has already decided how they handle it.
Problem is, for some people their only "group" is PFS, where you could potentially have a different GM every week, and therefore everything is supposed to be "by the book" so that you have consistent games - no getting your feat choices neutered one week and seeing that which you passed up getting buffed the next.

I'm not sure what the reference is about feats with regard to this, but expecting complete consistency in PFS is unrealistic. There are different kinds of rules interpretations, some of which are very important, some so-so, and some are just a matter of table variance. There is a difference between excluding houserules from organized play vs. accommodating variances of interpretation. Table variance is a fact of life in organized play and isn't, in itself, a rationale for calling for developer every time there is a difference of opinion. :)

Interpretations that PFS or other organized play needs clarity on are matters that affect character build. These generally relate to equipment and feats, where the investment is spent and then odd interpretations make the expenditure wasted.

When stuff is so-so, such that a given selection is subject to a well-known split, players need to be aware of it, know that it might work differently at different tables, and either accept either version or decide that the interpretation that they don't care for isn't so horrendous or common that they're willing to make the decision knowing that it might come up.

Other stuff is transactional. Some rule it one way, others rule it another. Which ever it is, it isn't a big deal. You make your decision about whether to take the action accordingly. This is one of those cases. "GM...I'm thinking about doing this. How do you rule on it? Hmm..ok, I'll go for it."

(suggest any further discussion on this move to PFS forums)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

@Howie:

I was really only speaking generally, in an attempt to discourage the "if it's easy to houserule, then it doesn't need attention" mindset that pops up every now and then. However I am flattered by the attention and word count that you have devoted to my edification, oh wise goat. :)

Liberty's Edge

Jiggy wrote:

@Howie:

I was really only speaking generally, in an attempt to discourage the "if it's easy to houserule, then it doesn't need attention" mindset that pops up every now and then. However I am flattered by the attention and word count that you have devoted to my edification, oh wise goat. :)

Ya gotta watch out for goats. Just like goats in RL will eat anything, this goat will talk about anything. And, it seems like I have a way of writing 50 words where 15 would do. ;)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Howie23 wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

@Howie:

I was really only speaking generally, in an attempt to discourage the "if it's easy to houserule, then it doesn't need attention" mindset that pops up every now and then. However I am flattered by the attention and word count that you have devoted to my edification, oh wise goat. :)

Ya gotta watch out for goats. Just like goats in RL will eat anything, this goat will talk about anything. And, it seems like I have a way of writing 50 words where 15 would do. ;)

This causes me to wonder whether I may, in fact, be a goat unknowing.


Seraphimpunk wrote:

i know in 3.5 it used to be that if you tried to tumble through an enemies' square , and you failed your tumble check, you were attacked, rebuffed and couldn't get past them.

i tried to look quickly last night while at the table in Acrobatics, and while I knew it was CMD + 5 to move through. there was not list of the consequences of failing your Acrobatics roll in the skill section of the book.

Does anyone know ifs mentioned elsewhere in the book ? or if the player just fails, gets an attack of opportunity on them, but can move past the enemy ?

Side question to this:

In a hallway and a rogue leveled kobold tumbles through some allies successfully to flank. My character casts Unnatural Lust, secondary target a female kobold involved in the combat.

Table ruling: rogue tries to tumble through (again), provoked AoOs because he failed the roll, which killed him.

At the same time, there was no route without tumbling through. How does THAT interact? Is he forced to try to tumble? That was our assumption. Otherwise, the spell would have resulted in illegal moment.

Shadow Lodge

I think it's pretty consistently run in PFS where you can't tumble through a space. If someone is generous and lets you slide through regardless then thank them and move on.

People overplay the whole PFS needs exact rules thing.

Shadow Lodge

This is very unclear, in fact my husband and I had a long debate about this rule just yesterday. My take is that you start to move through the enemy square, which triggers an AOO. You use your keen acrobatics to avoid the attack. If your acrobatics are not so keen, then the attack takes place, stopping you before you can move fully through. Basically..a failed tumble means AOO and being stopped just adjacent to the foe, no moving through. That's how I run it at my table. My husband on the other hand runs his table that a failed tumble is simply a no move through, no AOO. It is his opinion that an acrobatics check eliminates the risk of AOO either way. What we do agree on is it is a matter of GM discretion and not defined in the rules one way or another.

The Exchange

0gre wrote:


People overplay the whole PFS needs exact rules thing.

what, its too much to ask that the rules don't reference material that doesn't exist in the book , or that one line in a table is elaborated?

I wanted clarity because this comes up in any game with someone with the acrobatics skill. and the answer isn't clear cut as to what happens.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Seraphimpunk wrote:
0gre wrote:


People overplay the whole PFS needs exact rules thing.

what, its too much to ask that the rules don't reference material that doesn't exist in the book , or that one line in a table is elaborated?

I wanted clarity because this comes up in any game with someone with the acrobatics skill. and the answer isn't clear cut as to what happens.

I didn't intend to suggested the rules shouldn't be clarified. I was speaking about the assumption that the Pathfinder Society needs to be a monoculture of identical stamped out GMs.

I love that each GM runs things slightly differently, it's fun to see how different people embrace the same words so uniquely. The game system has always been and I hope will always be shaped by the people who play it as much as by the rules on paper. That doesn't mean unclear rules shouldn't be clarified though. The game system should require sleuthing like this or knowing the context of the rule from 3.5 to run properly.

FWIW, Since day one of PFRPG I've pushed for more frequent incremental revisions to clean up the system and I would love to see that enacted.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd prefer a mechanic similar to other skill failures:

If you fail by 4 or less, you take the AoO and make it through; if you fail by 5 or more, you take the AoO, are stopped before entering the occupied square and if the square you entered the occupied square from is also occupied, you are knocked prone.


UntamedEnigma wrote:
This is very unclear, in fact my husband and I had a long debate about this rule just yesterday. My take is that you start to move through the enemy square, which triggers an AOO. You use your keen acrobatics to avoid the attack. If your acrobatics are not so keen, then the attack takes place, stopping you before you can move fully through. Basically..a failed tumble means AOO and being stopped just adjacent to the foe, no moving through. That's how I run it at my table. My husband on the other hand runs his table that a failed tumble is simply a no move through, no AOO. It is his opinion that an acrobatics check eliminates the risk of AOO either way. What we do agree on is it is a matter of GM discretion and not defined in the rules one way or another.

The acrobatics is not moving itself anymore than stealthing is. You can use acrobatics as a part of your move action at half speed.

FAQ wrote:


Acrobatics: How does Acrobatics (Core Rulebook, page 87) work when you use it to avoid attacks of opportunity? When do you make checks? How many do you make?

Acrobatics allows you to make checks to move through the threatened area of foes without provoking attacks of opportunity. You must make a check the moment you attempt to leave a square threatened by an enemy, but only once per foe. The DC (which is based of the Combat Maneuver Defense of each foe), increases by +2 for each foe after the first in one round. The DC also increases by +5 if you attempt to move through a foe. In the case of moving out of the threatened square of two foes at the same time, the moving character decides which check to make first.

For example, a rogue is flanked by a meek goblin and a terrifying antipaladin. The rogue move away from both of them, provoking an attack of opportunity from both, but uses Acrobatics to attempt to negate them. She must move at half speed while threatened by these foes and can choose which to check against first. If she fails a check, she provokes an attack of opportunity from that foe. If she makes it, she does not provoke from moving through that foe's threatened space this turn.


My understanding was that the failed acrobat doesn't move out of the original square. Therefore the (lack of) movement doesn't provoke an AoO.


Axl wrote:

My understanding was that the failed acrobat doesn't move out of the original square. Therefore the (lack of) movement doesn't provoke an AoO.

You provoke for starting the action, not completing it. Remember the AoO interrupts the actions. Then once the AoO is resolved the action is resumed if possible. After you move it is to late for an AoO because the action has already taken place.

In short: When you attempt to move from square 1 to square 2 the AoO occurs in square 1.

prd wrote:
An attack of opportunity “interrupts” the normal flow of actions in the round. If an attack of opportunity is provoked, immediately resolve the attack of opportunity, then continue with the next character's turn (or complete the current turn, if the attack of opportunity was provoked in the midst of a character's turn).

I also just posted an FAQ from a developer that shows intent. :)


Okay, I see your point.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

This is from the FAQ on d20pfsrd.com

Quote:

If a character fails an Acrobatics (tumble) check when attempting to move through an opponents square, are they stopped, or do they get through and suffer an AoO?

A: (James Jacobs 3/26/10) If you fail an Acrobatics check to move through an opponent's square, you stop in the square you were left to make the attempt to go through that creature's square and your movement for that turn ends. If that square is occupied (say, you ran through three wererats in a narrow tunnel only to fail on the fourth), you fall prone in that square. If you have any more move actions left in a turn, you could try again, of course.

Original Source here.


Abciximab, thanks for that link. It's too bad that James Jacobs didn't explicitly answer the question of the AoO.


That FAQ is not official which is why I used the one for this site.

Once again
She must move at half speed while threatened by these foes and can choose which to check against first. If she fails a check, she provokes an attack of opportunity from that foe. If she makes it, she does not provoke from moving through that foe's threatened space this turn.

The space you occupy is an area you threaten. Click the link to go to the source.

The Exchange

the faq you linked to doesn't address what happens when you fail your check to move through a creature, i.e. where you end up. it just says that if you fail, you provoke.


In the PHB, there is a feat called stand still that lets you stop an enemy when he moves through your threatened square in the place of an attack. This implies that AoOs don't, by themselves, stop movement.

EDIT: One could rule that failing by 5 or more makes you fall prone, thus ending your movement.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

attacks of opportunity for leaving a threatened square don't end movement. that's what stand still is for.

but moving through a creature's square is still unclear. from the faq:

Quote:
She must move at half speed while threatened by these foes and can choose which to check against first. If she fails a check, she provokes an attack of opportunity from that foe. If she makes it, she does not provoke from moving through that foe's threatened space this turn.

it doesn't say, if she fails, she provokes an attack of opportunity and is stopped. it just says she provokes. so is it similar to overrun? where you're giving the enemy a choice of getting out of your way or taking an attack on you? then whether you pass or fail your acrobatics check, you end up moving through their square?

Contributor

FAQ!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
FAQ!

Before I even read the answer, thank you.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
FAQ!

Thanks SKR! Alas, the FAQ entry doesn't address a peripheral issue I've seen come up: can you even attempt to move through an opponent's square in the first place? Or is it just for when there's a major size difference?

The Exchange

what he said. and incidentally, in a "hallway" scenario.

xxuaoxx

where x are hallway squares, u is you, a is an ally, and o is the opponent.

if you try and tumble through the opponent's square, and fail. you don't get past him, and you provoke an attack of opportunity. are you then shunted back to your starting square? or prone in a's square?

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