Acrobatics (ex-Tumble ) - new AoO definition?


Skills & Feats

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Liberty's Edge

Spotted in the Changes thread:

Mosaic wrote:
p.54 - the DC for Acrobatics to avoid an AoO when moving through a threatened square is now based on the opponent's BAB (15 + BAB) rather than a flat DC 15.

In 3.5, attacks of opportunity were provoked by the character doing something "reckless" i.e. dropping his guard or moving out of/through threatened squares.

I don't recall the skill of the enemy playing a role in the occurrence of the AoO in 3.5.

The current Acrobatics rule tends to indicate that the better your enemy is with weapons the more likely you are to fail at moving carefully and the more likely you are to provoke an attack of opportunity.

The immediate issue is that the new rule creates an inconsistency with the Mobility feat and with the casting on the defensive action, which do not scale with the BAB.

The broader issue is that the core definition of the conditions that make an AoO possible is modified.

Scaling the DC based on the enemy's skill, size etc. has been discussed extensively here and here .

Suggestion: drop the BAB criterion and scale the difficulty of the action using BAB-independent criteria which directly affect the difficulty of the action (just like the spell level for casting on the defensive):
+1 to the DC if the acrobat is larger than the enemy.
-1 to the DC 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 etc.


Well, it certainly increases the value of the Mobility combat feat, that for sure.

I do like that the BAB of the opponent does play a role in avoiding AoO.

To me, what this says, the skill is pitted against the combat expertise of your opponent. meaning you will certainly have a harder time tumbling past a fighter, as opposed to a wizard or sorc.

My only reservation is that perhaps the base DC is to high. Perhaps starting the DC at 10+BAB would be more appropriate.


Pathos wrote:

My only reservation is that perhaps the base DC is to high. Perhaps starting the DC at 10+BAB would be more appropriate.

I agree. 10+BAB sounds better. (And incidentally, that's what I use as house rule)


I agree the starting dc should start 10 rather than 15.

Liberty's Edge

Should casting on the defensive scale with the spell level and the BAB of the enemy?


Locworks wrote:
Should casting on the defensive scale with the spell level and the BAB of the enemy?

Personally?

I would say yes.

Of course, since the Concentration skill is no longer and Jason has not provided an alternative to "Casting on the Defensive", I am beginning to wonder if that aspect has been dropped.

Liberty's Edge

Should a spellcaster be able to use his BAB as bonus to his casting on the defensive check?

Sovereign Court

I preferred a straight 15. keep it simple.


Locworks wrote:
Should a spellcaster be able to use his BAB as bonus to his casting on the defensive check?

I don't think that would be necessary.

Even at 1st level, casting a first level spell would have a DC of 17 (10+1+1[BAB]).
Assuming a 16 Int a wizard would be starting out with a Spellcraft of 7 (1+3 {class skill bonus]+3 [int bonus]). A 50% chance of success.
Add in Skill Focus-Spellcraft and Combat Casting feats, his Spellcraft skill jump up to 14.

Moving this forward to 20th lvl, with full enhancements to his Int from level (+5), enhancement tome( +5), and item (+6). Our Wizard would be sitting with an Int of 32, with a total of 41 (20/level + 3/class skill bonus + 7/feats + 11/Int Bonus) ranks in Spellcraft.

Attempting to cast a 9th lvl spell against a 20th lvl fighter would have a DC of 44 (15/base+9/level+20/BAB). The wizard would fail his check on a 2.

Now if our wizard had started with a 20 Int at first level (such as an elf), bringing his Spellcraft to a 46, he wouldn't need to worry most likely. But then this would be a fight between "equals".

In an actual adventure, the BBEG he would be facing would certainly be in epic levels, however the chance of an automatic sucess is no longer there, allowing for the possability that he can still be interupted by an opponent on par with what he is capable of facing with his party.

By allowing BAB to influence the DC, it scales the threat of possibily being distracted. So the threat no longer becomes a non issue.


BTW... sorry for the thread-jack... *blush*

Liberty's Edge

Pathos wrote:
BTW... sorry for the thread-jack... *blush*

I think it's still very much on topic. :-)

My concern is consistency within the rules.

Using BAB to scale the difficulty of a check which aims to avoid AoO should apply for all situations where such a check is made (Acrobatics, Casting on the defensive). Either an opponent's BAB makes it harder not to slip up or it doesn't.

I'm unhappy with Mobility which short-circuits the scaling by making the character immune to [b]any AoO regardless of the number of opponents or their skill.

I don't think that the enemy's BAB should affect the DC of the check and I am very unhappy about giving big bruisers additional out-of-turn attacks against the party.


Locworks wrote:
I'm unhappy with Mobility which short-circuits the scaling by making the character immune to any AoO regardless of the number of opponents or their skill.

I'm with you somewhat on this one also. How the feat has been rewritten really does seem to have trivialised Acrobatics and those that have put levels and ranks into consistanly avoiding AoO's. It really should go back to the +4 AC dodge bonus.

The idea, to me, that a feat you can gain at 1st level to avoid AoO's reguardless of the opponent's level does border on broken. That is what Spring Attack if for. Even then, in 3.5, a dedicated tumbler could achieve roughly the same level of competence as when Spring Attack became available. That's no longer the case here it seems.

And to me, that is a shame.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think that one of the restrictions built into mobility is that it is a combat feat, and thus while it can help you avoid AoOs, in doing so you cannot perform any other combat feats in that turn.

-Tarlane

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

It was changed to BAB so that Acrobatics doesn't fall into the 3.5 hole. Jason doesn't want Acrobatics to reach the point that once your bonus reaches a certain point, you don't have to increase it anymore. You'll always be able to "tumble" through a square and only get hit on a really bad dice roll.

15 + BAB is very important.

A rogue starts off at level 1 with +4 (assuming he takes a rank in tumble.) If he takes skill focus, that's now a +7. If he gets silly, he can take the Acrobatic feat and it's now +9. So basically he has to roll a 7, 9, 12 or better depending on the build.

Seems to me it's just right.

Decreasing it to 10 or using some static bonus just means he can stop increasing acrobatic.


SirUrza wrote:

It was changed to BAB so that Acrobatics doesn't fall into the 3.5 hole. Jason doesn't want Acrobatics to reach the point that once your bonus reaches a certain point, you don't have to increase it anymore. You'll always be able to "tumble" through a square and only get hit on a really bad dice roll.

15 + BAB is very important.

A rogue starts off at level 1 with +4 (assuming he takes a rank in tumble.) If he takes skill focus, that's now a +7. If he gets silly, he can take the Acrobatic feat and it's now +9. So basically he has to roll a 7, 9, 12 or better depending on the build.

Seems to me it's just right.

Decreasing it to 10 or using some static bonus just means he can stop increasing acrobatic.

After doing my spiel with Spellcraft and using DC 15 + spell level + BAB, and seeing the caster could keep up with a full BAB opponent, I do agree with a DC 15 base being very appropriate. As such, I do retract my comment about reducing it to a base of 10.

Liberty's Edge

SirUrza wrote:
It was changed to BAB so that Acrobatics doesn't fall into the 3.5 hole. Jason doesn't want Acrobatics to reach the point that once your bonus reaches a certain point, you don't have to increase it anymore.

Could you point to me the thread where he wrote that?

Would the "3.5 hole" be the situation when a character becomes good enough to automatically succeed on a task which used to be challenging?

Sovereign Court

Locworks wrote:


Would the "3.5 hole" be the situation when a character becomes good enough to automatically succeed on a task which used to be challenging?

Ayup yes indeedy

Liberty's Edge

lastknightleft wrote:
Locworks wrote:


Would the "3.5 hole" be the situation when a character becomes good enough to automatically succeed on a task which used to be challenging?
Ayup yes indeedy

Cheers. Wouldn't that affect all checks with fixed DCs and all attack rolls against a given AC? I mean, with a bit of training the cleric will succeed on all his Heal checks made to stabilize the dying and the fighter will hit all AC 14 opponents.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Locworks wrote:
SirUrza wrote:
It was changed to BAB so that Acrobatics doesn't fall into the 3.5 hole. Jason doesn't want Acrobatics to reach the point that once your bonus reaches a certain point, you don't have to increase it anymore.

Could you point to me the thread where he wrote that?

Would the "3.5 hole" be the situation when a character becomes good enough to automatically succeed on a task which used to be challenging?

Is this really a problem? Shouldn't some actions become routine for characters who have invested in the abilities and skills used to achieve those actions?

I've always seen the static DCs of some skills as a plus in the skill system. It meant that I could take my scarce skill points and start picking up ability in something else once I got my core competencies developed.

I also still really don't like BAB being the scaling factor. The idea of an ogre zombie being harder to move around than an ogre skeleton (given their relative speeds in general) doesn't sit right with me. Nor does having an easier time dancing around a stone giant (with combat reflexes) than a greater stone golem.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think the difference in this is that these two have always been static checks in situations that aren't really very static. Having someone make a heal check to cure a disease is always going to be the same for that type of disease because in game terms that type of disease is always identical. However, if he was dealing with a more potent disease it -would- get harder because he rolls his heal check against the higher DC.

I know thats a slightly different example of heal then what you had mentioned, but I think the difference is that if you are bleeding, the game views that as being the same type of effect no matter whether you have 50 hp left or are at -9 no matter what you are dealing with the same thing, just like in the above example the DC will always be the same for the same disease.

Now, with acrobatics the reason I feel that having it opposed by a BaB makes sense is because, just like more potent diseases become harder to make the heal check against, more powerful foes are harder to avoid. BaB is a representation of a lot of things, and one of those things is knowing how to get past your opponents defenses(much like AC is a representation of knowing how to keep up those defenses, among other things).

Tumbling against a static DC seems like something you would do in training when you are practicing moving around a swinging weight or the like to keep yourself light on your feet, but in a real fight even if you know how to keep your guard up a trained fighter is going to be trying to get you to drop it, whether its with feints or pressing an attack when you are by a root so you stumble and drop your guard when you are dancing out of the way of the blow.

I don't have a problem with a rogue being so good with acrobatics that they wouldn't have a chance of failing against some foes, it is a clear distinction in their skills. But I do think that the difference between tumbling around a child with a stick and a 20th level fighter isn't just a matter of the rogue knowing his stuff, its a matter of him knowing how to move so the enemy won't hit him. And after time in combat a fighter learns how to counter these things as well.

What I really want is to get past the point where a rogue can eventually get just enough ranks in tumble that he can hit a 15 on a 1 and know that he can get past anyone.

-Tarlane

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bill Dunn wrote:

Is this really a problem? Shouldn't some actions become routine for characters who have invested in the abilities and skills used to achieve those actions?

I've always seen the static DCs of some skills as a plus in the skill system. It meant that I could take my scarce skill points and start picking up ability in something else once I got my core competencies developed.

I also still really don't like BAB being the scaling factor. The idea of an ogre zombie being harder to move around than an ogre skeleton (given their relative speeds in general) doesn't sit right with me. Nor does having an easier time dancing around a stone giant (with combat reflexes) than a greater stone golem.

The first part of this argument doesn't really sit well with me. This isn't the idea of someone being able to pop a lock everytime because they are practiced at it. This is interacting with another person while in combat, and things then should always be somewhat dicey. This to me seems in tune with the idea that a fighter who has greater weapon focus should automatically hit on his attacks since he has taken his scarce feats and devoted them into raising his ability to hit and it should eventually become routine.

The second part I can see as more of an argument, though I still think BaB is a pretty good baseline for these things. The stone golem may be less speedy then the giant, but he has a higher BaB because he knows how to land blows and find those openings even when he doesn't have as long to do so.

I still strongly lean towards the BaB idea, but if you are thinking that its all based on how nimble the person being tumbled past is, perhaps the idea of something like opposed acrobatics checks(or to save on some extra dice rolling, maybe DC is 10+Acrobatics of the opponent?)

-Tarlane


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Tarlane wrote:


The first part of this argument doesn't really sit well with me. This isn't the idea of someone being able to pop a lock everytime because they are practiced at it. This is interacting with another person while in combat, and things then should always be somewhat dicey. This to me seems in tune with the idea that a fighter who has greater weapon focus should automatically hit on his attacks since he has taken his scarce feats and devoted them into raising his ability to hit and it should eventually become routine.

It's true that you are interacting with another character, but the fundamental test is whether or not the moving tumbler manages to stay focused on his own defense to the point where he doesn't provide a sucker hit as he moves.

By the way, a fighter's attacks DO eventually become routine against particular types of armor or other bonuses of defense that have nothing to do with the target's BAB or level. The main pseudo-level dependent aspect of a fighter's ability to hit (barring the action of a feat like combat expertise) is the increased availability of defensive items that experienced characters get. Technically, that's not really level-dependent since any lower level character could conceivably use them if they had some unusual source of wealth (or looted a mentor or something like that).

In addition, just like the ever-popular held action to stymie a defensive caster, creatures who think someone might move around them can hold an action, thus negating the value of the acrobatic check entirely and bringing their own BAB to bear. Not necessarily an efficient use of an action, but food for thought.

As I've said before, I prefer a feat option for characters who want to be particularly good at countering the tumbling movement. I'd add maybe +5 to the DC of the Acrobatic check if the creature has Combat Reflexes. I'd also add a feat, with Combat Reflexes as a prerequisite, that allows the creature to make that AoO even if the moving PC successfully makes the Acrobatics check. The feat options require the creature to tailor their skills toward stopping the tumble rather than just have buttloads of hit dice.

Liberty's Edge

Tarlane wrote:
Now, with acrobatics the reason I feel that having it opposed by a BaB makes sense is because, just like more potent diseases become harder to make the heal check against, more powerful foes are harder to avoid. BaB is a representation of a lot of things, and one of those things is knowing how to get past your opponents defenses(much like AC is a representation of knowing how to keep up those defenses, among other things).

Knowing how to get past your opponents defenses kicks in only when there is someone to hit i.e. when it's your turn to attack in the initiative order or when an opponent drops his guard (AoO).

By definition, you do not act when it's your opponent's turn. The exceptions to this rule are very precisely defined (opposed rolls, immediate actions, spell durations, readied actions).

Tarlane wrote:
Tumbling against a static DC seems like something you would do in training when you are practicing moving around a swinging weight or the like to keep yourself light on your feet, but in a real fight even if you know how to keep your guard up a trained fighter is going to be trying to get you to drop it, whether its with feints or pressing an attack when you are by a root so you stumble and drop your guard when you are dancing out of the way of the blow.

He can't act when it's not his turn to act, therefore he can't do anything of what you described.


(just stopping in, before my Friday night game, and this caught my eye...)

Bill Dunn wrote:
By the way, a fighter's attacks DO eventually become routine against particular types of armor or other bonuses of defense that have nothing to do with the target's BAB or level. The main pseudo-level dependent aspect of a fighter's ability to hit (barring the action of a feat like combat expertise) is the increased availability of defensive items that experienced characters get. Technically, that's not really level-dependent since any lower level character could conceivably use them if they had some unusual source of wealth (or looted a mentor or something like that).

*Highlighted the comment that struck out...

In a sense, not realy. When a fighter is making an attack against an opponent, he really cannot claim that an attack roll is not need, like a person making a know/static skill ckeck.

The main reeason being, unlike making a skill check, there is a deffinite down side to rolling the dreaded "1". Automatic failure.

Now, if skills reverted back to the 3.0 rule of 1 results in a -10 on the check, and a 20 results in a +10 on the skill check. Then, OK, I can see maintaining the previous DC's for skills such as Acrobatics and Spellcraft/Casting Deffensively. Because, then, just as with attack rolls, there are consequences for rolling exceptionally well or bad.

(Now, off to my game I go...) :o)

Liberty's Edge

Bill Dunn wrote:
In addition, just like the ever-popular held action to stymie a defensive caster, creatures who think someone might move around them can hold an action, thus negating the value of the acrobatic check entirely and bringing their own BAB to bear. Not necessarily an efficient use of an action, but food for thought.

I'd imagine an enemy's spellcaster's bodyguards being given exactly that instruction during the pre-combat briefing. :-)

Bill Dunn wrote:
As I've said before, I prefer a feat option for characters who want to be particularly good at countering the tumbling movement. I'd add maybe +5 to the DC of the Acrobatic check if the creature has Combat Reflexes.

This represents specific training at out-of-turn combat. The penalty should be playtested, but the principle is sound.

Bill Dunn wrote:
I'd also add a feat, with Combat Reflexes as a prerequisite, that allows the creature to make that AoO even if the moving PC successfully makes the Acrobatics check. The feat options require the creature to tailor their skills toward stopping the tumble rather than just have buttloads of hit dice.

Ooh, tactical!


The feat Close Quarters Defense allows someone to still get a AoO against someone using mobility.( Dragons 309 feat p.110 )

Liberty's Edge

Reddog wrote:
The feat Close Quarters Defense allows someone to still get a AoO against someone using mobility.( Dragons 309 feat p.110 )

Good catch. Extending this to allow AoO against the bouncing acrobats would be good.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Locworks wrote:

By definition, you do not act when it's your opponent's turn. The exceptions to this rule are very precisely defined (opposed rolls, immediate actions, spell durations, readied actions).

You do act when it isn't your turn. That's why you can threaten, provide flanks, get a Dex bonus to AC, make Reflex saves, make Spellcraft checks, etc. You aren't a statue when it isn't your turn. In any case, the turn-by-turn model in the rules is an abstraction, the events in a round are assumed to be more or less simultaneous, even though the model breaks them into phases. The best reference for this are unfortunately not in the SRD, but it can be found in the DMG (page 24, Simultaneous Activity). One can assume Pathfinder RPG isn't going to deviate from this aspect of D20.

It is true that AoOs happen when you "let your guard down" by the rules, so there is some validity to saying use of Tumble/Acrobatics should be static. However, it is also valid to argue that movement by default involves letting your guard down, and that it is harding to get around a skilled opponent without doing so than it is to get around an unskilled one.

Liberty's Edge

That twitching horse is flogged here too. :-)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Pathos wrote:

(just stopping in, before my Friday night game, and this caught my eye...)

Bill Dunn wrote:
By the way, a fighter's attacks DO eventually become routine against particular types of armor or other bonuses of defense that have nothing to do with the target's BAB or level. The main pseudo-level dependent aspect of a fighter's ability to hit (barring the action of a feat like combat expertise) is the increased availability of defensive items that experienced characters get. Technically, that's not really level-dependent since any lower level character could conceivably use them if they had some unusual source of wealth (or looted a mentor or something like that).

*Highlighted the comment that struck out...

In a sense, not realy. When a fighter is making an attack against an opponent, he really cannot claim that an attack roll is not need, like a person making a know/static skill ckeck.

The main reeason being, unlike making a skill check, there is a deffinite down side to rolling the dreaded "1". Automatic failure.

True, but that's an artifact of the dice rolling system. Both tasks become routine at a certain point, one has a resolution rule that includes auto-success and auto-failure while the other does not. It doesn't actually affect the difficulty issues and scaling.

Scarab Sages

Locworks wrote:


My concern is consistency within the rules.

Using BAB to scale the difficulty of a check which aims to avoid AoO should apply for all situations where such a check is made (Acrobatics, Casting on the defensive). Either an opponent's BAB makes it harder not to slip up or it doesn't.

I'm unhappy with Mobility which short-circuits the scaling by making the character immune to [b]any AoO regardless of the number of opponents or their skill.

I don't think that the enemy's BAB should affect the DC of the check and I am very unhappy about giving big bruisers additional out-of-turn attacks against the party.

I agree that casting on the defensive should be treated much the same as tumbling. And I do see it as entirely consistent to include the defender's (person being tumbled past) ability in the DC of performing the manoeuvre - it's only dangerous because there is someone there. A narrow ledge, a slippery surface... these are all static. If you were trying to tumble past statues without touching them, then sure give it a static DC. However, with tumbling past a live opponent (or undead, as the case dictates :), there are many more factors involved which cannot be set at a static level to be consistent. The difficulty of keeping yourself in a position to not draw an attack of opportunity (which, keep in mind, isn't a single attack that either does or doesn't occur, but it's just one attack of many in a fluid fight that makes its way past your defenses) depends on the environment - and in the case of tumbling past an opponent the environment is variable and depends on the ability of the environment to make your life difficult. This is just a short way of avoiding a table which says:

Tumble past defender with BAB 1: 16
Tumble past defender with BAB 2: 17
Tumble past defender with BAB 3: 18
etc...

All of the other Acrobatic things you can do have DCs determined by the environment in which they are occurring... the trouble comes when that environment isn't static.

I'm all in favour of this 15+BAB to move through threatened squares.


To further the argument that basing the DC off the opponent's BAB is not a bad thing, consider the following example...

If the DC was set to a straight DC 15, the mid-level acrobat can tumble around an ancient dragon just as easily as a common kobold? The tumbler's experience tumbling past kobolds and goblins makes him/her automatically successful against ancient dragons? Does this even make sense?

Not many enemies you face actually have the acrobatics skill. It is *mainly* a player-only skill. If the game suddenly gave a majority of the creatures acrobatics, I have no doubt that there would be a lot of arguments by players as to why the creatures can tumble past them just as easily when the PCs were 1st level as they are now at 15th level. I can almost guarantee that with the shoe on the other foot, more people would be begging for acrobatics to be based off of BAB or similar mechanism.

Liberty's Edge

sciencephile wrote:
Not many enemies you face actually have the acrobatics skill. It is *mainly* a player-only skill. If the game suddenly gave a majority of the creatures acrobatics, I have no doubt that there would be a lot of arguments by players as to why the creatures can tumble past them just as easily when the PCs were 1st level as they are now at 15th level. I can almost guarantee that with the shoe on the other foot, more people would be begging for acrobatics to be based off of BAB or similar mechanism.

Acrobatics can now be used untrained. Now that the skills encompasses Balance, Jump and Tumble, the number of opponents with ranks in the skill will increase. If DMs choose to make combats more tactical (Acrobatics, combat maneuvers), fair play to them.

I simply love the idea of a few Medium Hunting spiders (+10 racial bonus to Jump checks).

Instead of begging, players can learn to ready attack, trip or bull rush actions against the acrobats.

Bill mentioned above a feat which would allow AoO against the acrobats who make their check.

Liberty's Edge

sciencephile wrote:

To further the argument that basing the DC off the opponent's BAB is not a bad thing, consider the following example...

If the DC was set to a straight DC 15, the mid-level acrobat can tumble around an ancient dragon just as easily as a common kobold? The tumbler's experience tumbling past kobolds and goblins makes him/her automatically successful against ancient dragons? Does this even make sense?

For me it does. AoO are provoked by the acting character, not by his opponents (see discussion above).

An ancient red dragon occupies a space of 4 squares by 4 (Gargantuan). It is therefore impossible to tumble through the dragon's space and attack in the same round.


D20 SRD wrote:

DC 15: Tumble at one-half speed as part of normal movement, provoking no attacks of opportunity while doing so. Failure means you provoke attacks of opportunity normally. Check separately for each opponent you move past, in the order in which you pass them (player’s choice of order in case of a tie). Each additional enemy after the first adds +2 to the Tumble DC.

DC 25: Tumble at one-half speed through an area occupied by an enemy (over, under, or around the opponent) as part of normal movement, provoking no attacks of opportunity while doing so. Failure means you stop before entering the enemy-occupied area and provoke an attack of opportunity from that enemy. Check separately for each opponent. Each additional enemy after the first adds +2 to the Tumble DC.
Accelerated Tumbling
You try to tumble past or through enemies more quickly than normal. By accepting a -10 penalty on your Tumble checks, you can move at your full speed instead of one-half your speed.

So, Rogue in light armor and light load can move 30' (6 squares) normally. Tumble reduces this to 15' (3 squares). For each enemy that threatens you the DC increases. 15, 17, 19, et c.

Three squares (2 diagonal for 3.5, 2.12 diagonal in real life) isn't very far. To go full speed those DCs are now effectively 25, 27, 29, et c. And really, you just want to go through you're opponent's square, requiring a DC of 25, plus additional rolls of 17, 19, et c. for each additional enemy. Again, if you really want to get somewhere you're looking at 35 and 27, 29, et c. Not very static (unless you always know you'll be fighting a single enemy).

Personally, I always preferred the Neverwinter Nights method to keep pumping points into tumble: for every 5 ranks you get +1 Dodge bonus to AC.
If you prefer the sticks to carrots, make the tumbler re-roll for each threatened square, with all penalties stacking (i.e. 15, 17, 19 for first square, and 21, 23, 25 for second, assuming three enemies threatening each square).


Hmmm... it appears that the new definition does not restrict you to half-speed when tumbling.
On the balance, that makes it easier to move full speed until level 10 (against full progression opponents). But you lose the flexibility of moving slower to make things easier.

EDIT: Okay, so +5 penalty to DC for moving "normal speed or greater" (penalty also applies to jumping, where you used to get a bonus for such things...). So, easier to move full speed until level 5, and easier to move greater than half but not quite full until 10 (vs. SRD). So, there is more flexibility than I originally saw, but only in that things are worse than I originally read...

Scarab Sages

sciencephile wrote:

To further the argument that basing the DC off the opponent's BAB is not a bad thing, consider the following example...

If the DC was set to a straight DC 15, the mid-level acrobat can tumble around an ancient dragon just as easily as a common kobold? The tumbler's experience tumbling past kobolds and goblins makes him/her automatically successful against ancient dragons? Does this even make sense?

Locworks wrote:
For me it does. AoO are provoked by the acting character, not by his opponents (see discussion above).

You must have missed my part of the discussion above where I described that the use of the Acrobatics skill and the DCs for it are all dictated by the environment. For a narrow or slippery surface, there is a set DC because the condition of the environment is static. When you're facing an intelligent (or at least reactive) foe and try to get past him, it's obviously going to be tougher because the greater skill of the attacker is going to require you to tumble "better" as it were to achieve the result you want. Picture this: you want to tumble past a statue with a sword. It's just standing there (but let's assume, for the example, that the statue could conceivably threaten the square through which you want to pass). You don't need much in the way of a tumble skill to get past this opponent as all it can do is swing the sword straight down and slowly. Now you're trying to get past the defender who is guarding the underground entrance to the Dwarven princess's rooms. He's a level 20 fighter. Can you as nonchalantly tumble past this particular foe? The environment has changed - the environment is now a more difficult one to navigate, and thus you should have a higher DC. Since the DC has to be based on the environment (narrow ledge, slippery surface, highly trained and intelligent opponent), the best way to indicate this is to add the ability of the opponent in to the DC.

As I said above, all this short formula does is negate the need for a chart that indicates a DC modifier for each BAB of possible opponents.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
hmarcbower wrote:


Now you're trying to get past the defender who is guarding the underground entrance to the Dwarven princess's rooms. He's a level 20 fighter. Can you as nonchalantly tumble past this particular foe? The environment has changed - the environment is now a more difficult one to navigate, and thus you should have a higher DC. Since the DC has to be based on the environment (narrow ledge, slippery surface, highly trained and intelligent opponent), the best way to indicate this is to add the ability of the opponent in to the DC.

As I said above, all this short formula does is negate the need for a...

Why should it be harder to tumble past the 20th level fighter if he hasn't specifically trained to deal with someone moving in such a way that they don't drop their guard? That's one of my main problems with using BAB. That BAB could be because the character is an experienced fighter, but it could also be simply because the creature is a hulking mass. Why should a hulking mass be any good at foiling a tumble, even if you do assume an experienced fighter should be?

Liberty's Edge

SamRoswell wrote:
EDIT: Okay, so +5 penalty to DC for moving "normal speed or greater" (penalty also applies to jumping, where you used to get a bonus for such things...)

That's a mistake, surely.

Liberty's Edge

hmarcbower wrote:
Since the DC has to be based on the environment (narrow ledge, slippery surface, highly trained and intelligent opponent), the best way to indicate this is to add the ability of the opponent in to the DC.

No, the DC is based on the task's inherent difficulty. Everything can be the "environment", which makes the concept too vague to be of any use.

For the purpose of AoO, either a square is threatened or not i.e. "difficult" to move through or not. It is not "more" or "less" threatened.

If you drop your guard, an unprepared and skilled opponent (the red dragon) will hit you more often and for more damage than an unprepared and less skilled one (lowly kobold).

A smart foe will ready an action or instruct his minions to do so to prevent you from tumbling.

A higher level of skill does not allow you to influence your opponent's actions when you are out-of-turn. That's derived from the core principle of the turn-by-turn action model used in the game. When you are out-of-turn, you can't act unless the rules make a specific exception.

I don't agree with the implicit exception introduced by the addition of the opponent's BAB to Acrobatics DC.

1. It modifies the way in which AoO work.

2. A scaling effect can be achieved with existing rules (ready action, existing penalties for Acrobatics checks, circumstance penalties) or easily reworked Combat Reflexes and derived feats.

3. It penalizes the players more than it penalizes the monsters.

4. It penalizes the players against the big bruisers by giving the hulks additional free attacks.

5. It discourages tactical play against tough opponents.


Locworks wrote:

I don't agree with the implicit exception introduced by the addition of the opponent's BAB to Acrobatics DC.

1. It modifies the way in which AoO work.

2. A scaling effect can be achieved with existing rules (ready action, existing penalties for Acrobatics checks, circumstance penalties) or easily reworked Combat Reflexes and derived feats.

3. It penalizes the players more than it penalizes the monsters.

4. It penalizes the players against the big bruisers by giving the hulks additional free attacks.

5. It discourages tactical play against tough opponents.

I agree with this.

My suggestion in the other thread was to give the Fighter an ability that makes his threatened area "difficult terrain", which would influence the Acrobatics skill checks appropriately. It can make thematic sense, and it works with the current Tumbling rules.

I like the idea of a Fighter that does this, but it should be a proactive, learned thing... not a "just cuz I can hit hard" thing like an advanced HD zombie (4 HD per CR, that's a lot of BAB). A blanket bonus for it like BAB makes those that shouldn't be good at preventing Tumbling, suddenly extremely good at it, and for a reason that breaks the thematic concept of AoOs.


Well, I put my two cents on the other thread, might as well say something on this one too....

For the example of the fighter: How much time do you think that an average mid-to-high level opponent has spent watching people tumble around him? Because surely, by the time he's reached that level even as an NPC, he's had to deal with some sort of monk or rogue or whatever tumbling past him. Eventually, even the dimmest of people will have spent enough time watching this to figure out where weak points are...and to hit them, now and again. Because it will be only occasionally. Skill modifiers are easier to jump up than BAB. A first level rogue with a 14 dex who invests in skill focus can have a +9 modifier to his tumble checks vs a DC 16 against a fighter type. If you want to tumble a lot, you still can. You just have to invest more in it.

And, honestly, the fact that I might fail isn't going to stop me from tumbling into melee. Because you know what? There's still a chance--a good one--that I'm going to not take an AoO, which makes tumbling still superior to normal movement.

To go back to the mention earlier, I think agree that if they're going to change tumble DCs, they should also change Casting Defensively DCs. The OP is right--they are very similar, and the DCs should remain accordingly similar for the same reason--the fighter whose taken the time to study tumbling so that he can occasionally get past its defenses is also going to have studied spellcasters so he can get past theirs occasionally as well.

I'm opposed to flat DCs for diplomacy too, in case anyone was wondering:)

Liberty's Edge

jennibert wrote:
To go back to the mention earlier, I think agree that if they're going to change tumble DCs, they should also change Casting Defensively DCs. The OP is right--they are very similar, and the DCs should remain accordingly similar for the same reason

Just so we're clear: I'm against using BAB to calculate the Acrobatics and the Casting on the defensive DCs. :-)


Locworks wrote:
jennibert wrote:
To go back to the mention earlier, I think agree that if they're going to change tumble DCs, they should also change Casting Defensively DCs. The OP is right--they are very similar, and the DCs should remain accordingly similar for the same reason
Just so we're clear: I'm against using BAB to calculate the Acrobatics and the Casting on the defensive DCs. :-)

I'm all for it - give better fighters a better chance to disrupt whatever is happening around them...

makes sense, imho (the tumblin' around and casting in the midst of melee has to be difficult)

EDIT: Oh, and I think it adds to the game for the rogue or wizard - because it is BORING to be always that good... and it is more rewarding to get that good in spite of the odds. I would prefer to have invested something, like skill focus and maxed ranks, to be able to do something than "Well, I can do this since level 8, and NEVER again shall I meet something I can't tumble (acrobate?) around..." On a related note, I houseruled in my campaigns a 1 on a skill check is always a failure, just for the thrills...


Fischkopp wrote:
Locworks wrote:

I'm all for it - give better fighters a better chance to disrupt whatever is happening around them...

makes sense, imho (the tumblin' around and casting in the midst of melee has to be difficult)

The highlighted line says it best, in a nutshell.

People should be having a "Oh S*&#" moment, if they get within reach of a high combat/BAB opponent.

EDIT for your EDIT: :oP
You are correct, feats that improve your combat casting/Spellcraft and Acrobatics do become much more appealing to take, and certainly pay for themselves more.

Liberty's Edge

Kaisoku wrote:
I like the idea of a Fighter that does this, but it should be a proactive, learned thing... not a "just cuz I can hit hard" thing like an advanced HD zombie (4 HD per CR, that's a lot of BAB). A blanket bonus for it like BAB makes those that shouldn't be good at preventing Tumbling, suddenly extremely good at it, and for a reason that breaks the thematic concept of AoOs.

I think the bolded expression in the quote above sum up very well what's getting in the way when analyzing AoO vs regular attacks.

BAB defines how hard you hit when you are allowed to hit. BAB doesn't determine who or when you are allowed to hit.


Locworks wrote:

I think the bolded expression in the quote above sum up very well what's getting in the way when analyzing AoO vs regular attacks.

BAB defines how hard you hit when you are allowed to hit. BAB doesn't determine who or when you are allowed to hit.

BAB does increase the number of iterative attacks a character may have, and by extension, can show also how quickly a character my react in his alloted time.

Perhaps what we could look at is a modifier based on the number of attacks a creature could make in a round, instead of the BAB.


Fischkopp wrote:
EDIT: Oh, and I think it adds to the game for the rogue or wizard - because it is BORING to be always that good... and it is more rewarding to get that good in spite of the odds. I would prefer to have invested something, like skill focus and maxed ranks, to be able to do something than "Well, I can do this since level 8, and NEVER again shall I meet something I can't tumble (acrobate?) around..." On a related note, I houseruled in my campaigns a 1 on a skill check is always a failure, just for the thrills...

What you do at higher levels is tumble past more enemies, tumble through enemies, tumble at full speed, or some combination of the above. With the new rules what you will see is fewer people bothering; If you invest max ranks, you're matching the addition of the fighter's BAB to your DC (assuming opponents of the same level); that leaves your DEX+Class Skill Bonus (3)+Feats+d20 vs 15 (+ Environmental adjustments + 2N, where N is the total number of opponents you have attempted to tumble past). Assuming no feats, a DEX of 18, no environment penalties and only 1 enemy, you've got a 7+d20 vs 15. 8 or higher to win, or 65% chance of succeeding, always; subtract 10% for each additional enemy. Only to move through a threatened square. If you want to tumble through his square, to end up behind him, you've got a 40% chance, minus 10% for each enemy you've already tumbled past. Yes, you can invest in 1 feat to increase your odds by 15%, or two feats to increase your odds by 25%. Or you can invest in two different feats to increase your odds to 100%, and never have to worry about investing in Acrobatics at all, except for Balancing or Jumping purposes, both of which will be static DCs anyway. Use Mobility to get into place, then just stand there until your next turn and do a full round attacks until the monster is dead; Wash, rinse, repeat. Apparently it's what people want. True, you'll never get past the guys blocking the hall to take out the spellcaster in the back, but it's not important to kill him anyway; that's what your spellcaster is for...


If the main issue is that people can eventually perform Tumble actions (and Concentration/Spot/Listen/Search/Ride/Swim/Climb/Knowledge/Craft/et c.) without a roll, and others find that fact insulting, would it not be simpler, and more consistent, to (re-)introduce an automatic failure possibility into the skill roll mechanic? Roll a 1 on your skill check, no matter what skill, and you automatically fail.


SamRoswell wrote:
If the main issue is that people can eventually perform Tumble actions (and Concentration/Spot/Listen/Search/Ride/Swim/Climb/Knowledge/Craft/et c.) without a roll, and others find that fact insulting, would it not be simpler, and more consistent, to (re-)introduce an automatic failure possibility into the skill roll mechanic? Roll a 1 on your skill check, no matter what skill, and you automatically fail.

Well, imo, the static 5% Chance to fail all the time is not really that great as a mechanic for something that is not meant to be easy at all. Skill checks like Open Locks, it's ok, because if you've got time and the ranks you concentrate (aka take 10 or even 20) and voila, you can do it. All of the time. If there are circumstances, that prevent concentration, 5% fail is ok. No problem with that.

A melee fight on the other hand, means action, danger and the possibillity to get hurt. I didn't quite get the math behind your post above this one, but imagine this: There is the mean, bad, powerful fighter and there are his minions. Wich way do you tumble? Wich way should you tumble to be on the safe side, wich way if you think the danger of getting hit is acceptable relative to the reward (like being able to attack the wizard in second row) for doing it?
Ok, I thought a little bit about the math myself, and I looked up the BAB of a great wyrm red dragon (+40), that would be a 55 to tumble by (wich should be quite impossible for a nonepic rogue) I came up with this for a level 20 rogue:
ranks: 20
class skill: +3
Dex: +6 (or even more,depends, I'm gonna be a little bit conservative on this one)
skill focus: +3
magic item with skill bonus: +5
any other bonus: +2 (some feat or something other)
nets: 39
to use arobatics to tumble around a more than 1200 years old fighting machine, wich has seen generations of rogues to more or less unsuccessfull trying to tumble around it (unsuccessfull, because it is still alive...), is 16.
Sounds about right. Imo, at least. On the other hand, I'm more often the dm than a player, so maybe I'm a bit biased... ;p

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