Shouldn't Tumble DC be based on the target CMB like a Combat Maneuver?


Skills & Feats


Why not use the same technique than the Special Manoeuver to set the DC of a tumble check?

If you want to tumble then you have to beat a 15+CMB Difficulty check with your accrobatic check. The difficulty increases by +2 for each enemy threatening your starting space.

It has always struck me as weird that it was as easy to tumble away from a clumsy opponent as from one which is supoernaturally agile.

Liberty's Edge

TabulaRasa wrote:

Why not use the same technique than the Special Manoeuver to set the DC of a tumble check?

If you want to tumble then you have to beat a 15+CMB Difficulty check with your accrobatic check. The difficulty increases by +2 for each enemy threatening your starting space.

It has always struck me as weird that it was as easy to tumble away from a clumsy opponent as from one which is supernaturally agile.

This works like casting a spell while on the defensive, in that it doesn't distinguish between opponents.

I don't think you can turn the Acrobatics check into a combat maneuver. Combat maneuvers in Alpha 2 are something you do to an enemy or the items he carries. Acrobatics used to move through a threatened area or to move through an enemy's space are a defensive action. I don't feel that the mechanism should use your own CMB against a DC. After all, your BAB or your STR don't make you harder to hit.

What I could envisage is to apply modifiers to the check:

-1 size penalty if the acrobat is larger than the enemy.
-1 size penalty if the acrobat is smaller than the enemy.
+4 bonus to the check if the acrobat has the Mobility feat (applies only to movement through an enemy's space)
+2 to the DC if the enemy has the Combat Reflexes feat.
+2 to the DC if the enemy has a reach weapon which is able to strike adjacent squares


Can anyone tumble now?

I have always thought that tumble was too easy a way to avoid attacks of opportunity. Since you roll against a fixed DC under the current rule, I believe that after a while you can pretty much ignore attacks of opportunity if you have invested enough ranks in the skill. I think that a system where the DC scales up with your opponent would work better.

Liberty's Edge

This is a good idea I'd like to see. Having a base DC has always sat a little wrong with me. I've tried patches but nothing to my satidfaction yet.

Adding it as part of the CMB thing sounds really smooth. Good idea.

-DM Jeff

Dark Archive

TabulaRasa wrote:

Why not use the same technique than the Special Manoeuver to set the DC of a tumble check?

If you want to tumble then you have to beat a 15+CMB Difficulty check with your accrobatic check. The difficulty increases by +2 for each enemy threatening your starting space.

It has always struck me as weird that it was as easy to tumble away from a clumsy opponent as from one which is supoernaturally agile.

I'll be honest, I've playtested this (well Tumble DC 10 + CMB), and it feels a little weird. I'm still using it, but big brutes are hard to tumble by.

My group encountered an owlbear skeleton, which had a fairly high CMB for 2nd-3rd level characters, and they had a hard time tumbling by it.

I'll continue to experiment, of course ...


Rather than CMB, I've been using in my game a scaling DC with BAB; 10+ for tumbling past, 20+ for tumbling through. DC scales for anyone with Combat Reflexes, increasing the DC of anyone tumbling by/through them by their Dex bonus.

Shadow Lodge

I like this idea. It will also help tone down rogues a bit (a good thing IMHO), better reflects the difficulty of tumbling by an opponent with substantial size and combat skill and makes the Spring Attack feat more appealing.

Liberty's Edge

TabulaRasa wrote:
Can anyone tumble now?

Apparently, Acrobatics is not a Trained only skill anymore. (Alpha 2, p38 and 39)

TabulaRasa wrote:
I have always thought that tumble was too easy a way to avoid attacks of opportunity. Since you roll against a fixed DC under the current rule, I believe that after a while you can pretty much ignore attacks of opportunity if you have invested enough ranks in the skill. I think that a system where the DC scales up with your opponent would work better.

The Mobility feat and the casting on the defensive action allow you to ignore AoO regardless of the opponent's level. Do you think these should be changed as well?

Please note that (as far as I understand) Acrobatics doesn't allow you to disengage, i.e. start from a threatened square without drawing AoO. That is covered by the Withdraw action.

Liberty's Edge

Alpha 2, p. 39.
This skill can also be used to move past or through opponents without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Am I correct in thinking that it's a matter of not letting one's guard down? If it's the case, the opponent's skill (BAB, HD, etc.) only comes into play if the acrobat has not been careful enough and created an opening for the enemy to exploit. If the acrobat has been agile and careful enough, there is no call for an AoO, which is an out-of-turn action. We can work on the actual DC by incorporating situational modifiers, but bigger and badder opponents' skill and actions do not make you less careful, since they are out of turn.

The 3.5 casting on the defensive is a similar mechanism: it's a Concentration check against DC 15 + spell level. If the wizard or cleric is careful enough not to create an opening, the spell goes off.

Also, just like it was suggested in the Concentration while casting spells in threatened area thread, the enemy can ready an action to strike down the acrobat.

Dark Archive

CapriciousFate wrote:
Rather than CMB, I've been using in my game a scaling DC with BAB; 10+ for tumbling past, 20+ for tumbling through. DC scales for anyone with Combat Reflexes, increasing the DC of anyone tumbling by/through them by their Dex bonus.

Well, CMB is BAB plus a size and Strength modifier, so not much different in application, although without those bonuses, your Tumble is a little more difficult.


Tumble DC needs to scale, yes, but CMB isn't the right scaling factor, IMO. CMB includes size bonuses, and there's a couple reasons that that doesn't fit, IMO:

1. That means size double-dips on bonuses and penalties relating to tumbling. Larger creatures have more threatened squares, which means the tumbler has to move farther and (potentially) through more different creatures' threatened areas, which is already more costly. Adding in an additional penalty moves it too far towards a 'no-brainer' choice in the other direction (ie, no point in trying to tumble).
2. It just doesn't make sense. Creatures like Giants have massive CMBs, but how many different stories are there about clever smaller creatures darting between the legs of giants to avoid attacks and confuse their foes? Many times many.

Liberty's Edge

Zurai wrote:

Tumble DC needs to scale, yes, but CMB isn't the right scaling factor, IMO. CMB includes size bonuses, and there's a couple reasons that that doesn't fit, IMO:

1. That means size double-dips on bonuses and penalties relating to tumbling. Larger creatures have more threatened squares, which means the tumbler has to move farther and (potentially) through more different creatures' threatened areas, which is already more costly. Adding in an additional penalty moves it too far towards a 'no-brainer' choice in the other direction (ie, no point in trying to tumble).

I see what you mean. The distances for Acrobatics in melee are very short (3 squares for a move action, 6 squares for double move). Moving past the 2x2 square (f,g, j, k below) of a Large creature diagonally is already impossible as a move action if the acrobat starts in the m square, as the acrobat would end up on the g square occupied by the Large creature.

|a|b|c|d|
|e|f|g|h|
|i|j|k|l|
|m|n|o|p|

Zurai wrote:
2. It just doesn't make sense. Creatures like Giants have massive CMBs, but how many different stories are there about clever smaller creatures darting between the legs of giants to avoid attacks and confuse their foes? Many times many.

That's why I don't think the opponent's BAB, STR and other factors have an influence on the possibility of an AoO. An AoO is an out-of-turn attack targeting the careless or the distracted character.


It might be radical and unwelcome but:

Why not drop this whole "tumble against AoO" stuff at all and leave this to some nice feats like mobility or favored enemy?

Liberty's Edge

DracoDruid wrote:

It might be radical and unwelcome but:

Why not drop this whole "tumble against AoO" stuff at all and leave this to some nice feats like mobility or favored enemy?

Right now, anyone can fight defensively, all casters can try to cast on the defensive and everyone can try to move without drawing AoO.

Why would you like to make this type of action a special technique available only after special training?


Locworks wrote:
I don't think you can turn the Acrobatics check into a combat maneuver. Combat maneuvers in Alpha 2 are something you do to an enemy or the items he carries. Acrobatics used to move through a threatened area or to move through an enemy's space are a defensive action. I don't feel that the mechanism should use your own CMB against a DC. After all, your BAB or your STR don't make you harder to hit.

Well, Tumble is pretty much using it's own variant CMB (for the DC), except you only get to roll your own Tumble ranks, not based on your own CMB.

What I don't quite get is that Tumble to bypass an enemy/ move thru his square, is practically the same as the Combat Maneuver Over-run, right?, except that if you beat the DC by 5 or more in Over-Run, you can knock the guy prone as well (but then again, just attempting a Trip on him first would do the same thing, and I believe you can move thru a square of a prone opponent, certainly I would allow that as a DM if a player gave up their AoO for a Tripped opponent (if they rolled well enough).

I think it's kindof strange have two totally different mechanics, both roll-wise and skill/feat-investment wise, to achieve such similar things, especially since non-class skills are less problematic in Pathfinder. I guess the thing is Acrobatics doesn't let the opponent use STR or Defensive Training/ Size Bonuses to their actual CMB (Just BAB), but requires a constant point investment to scale with level, while Overrun means you only take one feat which scales with level, instead of using your skill ranks every level(good for low-Int/skill characters) and you can use your own STR as well(good for low DEX characters).

So in a way, I guess it's an artifact of the d20 system as opposed to a totally skilled based system... And having separate rules for Tumble and Over-Run lets both Rogues/skill monkeys and Fighers have good ways to get away with this sort of move...

I think I understand how it makes sense, but it's still too bizarre... :-)

Liberty's Edge

Quandary wrote:

I think it's kindof strange have two totally different mechanics, both roll-wise and skill/feat-investment wise, to achieve such similar things, especially since non-class skills are less problematic in Pathfinder. I guess the thing is Acrobatics doesn't let the opponent use STR or Defensive Training/ Size Bonuses to their actual CMB (Just BAB), but requires a constant point investment to scale with level, while Overrun means you only take one feat which scales with level, instead of using your skill ranks every level(good for low-Int/skill characters) and you can use your own STR as well(good for low DEX characters).

So in a way, I guess it's an artifact of the d20 system as opposed to a totally skilled based system... And having separate rules for Tumble and Over-Run lets both Rogues/skill monkeys and Fighers have good ways to get away with this sort of move...

The two actions are quite different.

In an overrun, you actually force (attack) the enemy to let you through. If you are strong enough, your attack trips him.
When moving through an opponent's space using Acrobatics, you wiggle and duck to actively avoid any contact with him.

Please also note the size limitation in overrun which does not exist for an Acrobatics check. A Huge opponent simply can't be overrun, while I'd give a +2 bonus to the Acrobatics check for the Medium acrobat.


This idea reminds me of counter-tumbling (Sword and Fist, IIRC).

The tumbling check is an opposed roll instead of a static DC. I've used that for some years, and it works just find. Those NPCs/PCs/creatures that are practiced at tumbling have an idea of how the tumbler will be moving, so have a better chance at making an AoO. Those without practice at tumbling, don't have an idea of how the tumbler would be moving to avoid AoOs.

It just involves making the die roll to counter-tumble accessible untrained. That gets rid of size and Str bonuses influencing the DC (except the Dex penalty associated with size changes, but that's already figured in).

That owlbear skeleton, for example, would set the DC at d20+2 (avg. 12.5). Since that creature has no practice tumbling, it's not good at anticipating how the PC would tumble, thus a mere +2. However, it would be a long time before the PC in question could automatically make the DC. Certainly higher level than just needing to make the DC 15. Honestly, most monsters don't even have tumble, and would be relying purely on Dexterity.


Locworks wrote:
DracoDruid wrote:

It might be radical and unwelcome but:

Why not drop this whole "tumble against AoO" stuff at all and leave this to some nice feats like mobility or favored enemy?

Right now, anyone can fight defensively, all casters can try to cast on the defensive and everyone can try to move without drawing AoO.

Why would you like to make this type of action a special technique available only after special training?

Well because being able to make rolls, flips and other stuff doesn't actually mean you can also use those effectivly IN COMBAT!

Why not combine both tumble and the mobility feat into a new one.
Something like:

COMBAT ACROBATICS (GENERAL)
Prerequisites: Dodge, 4+ ranks in Acrobatics (counting the class bonus too)
Benefit: When you only move at half your speed you don't provoke any (get a +5 AC dodge-bonus against) AoO via your actual movement.
Special: Both fighter and rogue can take this feat as one of their bonus feats.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I've been suggesting making Tumble a Combat Maneuver but after seeing some of the good agruments against, I am begining to dislike that option although creating another sub system is always a bad idea. I do beleive it should scale in some way, hopefully our game designers will come up with a good compromise.

Liberty's Edge

DracoDruid wrote:
Well because being able to make rolls, flips and other stuff doesn't actually mean you can also use those effectivly IN COMBAT!

That's a fair remark. I'd say that the fantasy acrobat would be able to use his skills in combat, but I can understand that you would rule that as impossible without additional training (feat).

DracoDruid wrote:

Why not combine both tumble and the mobility feat into a new one.

Something like:

COMBAT ACROBATICS (GENERAL)
Prerequisites: Dodge, 4+ ranks in Acrobatics (counting the class bonus too)
Benefit: When you only move at half your speed you don't provoke any (get a +5 AC dodge-bonus against) AoO via your actual movement.
Special: Both fighter and rogue can take this feat as one of their bonus feats.

You may have to add something for moving through spaces occupied by enemies. Mobility doesn't allow that.

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