Why was Jump bunched in with Acrobatics?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


I've always wondered why the Jump skill got lumped with Acrobatics when there're a lot of classes with Jump as a class skill that could use it (like Fighter) and there're a lot of abilities, items, etc. that relied on the Jump skill and not necessarily someone that was also as good flipping around. Balance and Tumble lumped made sense, but Jump, too?


Razz wrote:
I've always wondered why the Jump skill got lumped with Acrobatics when there're a lot of classes with Jump as a class skill that could use it (like Fighter) and there're a lot of abilities, items, etc. that relied on the Jump skill and not necessarily someone that was also as good flipping around. Balance and Tumble lumped made sense, but Jump, too?

Because it's a nonsense skill that overlapped with acrobatics.

"You fall down a shaft."
"Good thing I practiced jumping up and down all day!"

On top of that, this argument is a little silly. If your 3.0 fighter maxed out his ranks in Jump, he would have 10 at level 10. Now, if you max out your ranks in jump, you still have 10 at level 10. Ok, so you don't have 13 at 10, but anyone can still have 10 at 10.

My houserule, however, states that at character creation, you may choose to use strength instead of dexterity for acrobatics checks with respect to jump checks. Once chosen, this cannot be changed.


I was a little confused as to why swim, climb and jump didn't get rolled together, to be honest. To use the 4e skill name, Athletics were all the strength based physical things and acrobatics were a lot of the dexterity based ones.

Swim, climb and jump are rather circumstantial anyway and are very quickly obviated by low level spells. Making them a single skill and making it a class skill for fighters, paladins, barbarians and rangers (maybe rogues) just makes sense to me. Since fighters and paladins don't get many skills anyway, this would at least let one of them consider being good at those.


I do feel like acrobatics is a bit 'too good to pass up'
the skills rolled in together were quite decent already.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Remco Sommeling wrote:
the skills rolled in together were quite decent already.

Jump and Balance were not good skills.


I do not agree, balance was a skill used fairly often, though it had a special perk when you got 5 ranks in 3.5

jump was halfway decent and tumble was a great skill already.

swim was just.. not really, climb not any better than jump.. oh well thematically it fits ok I suppose.

The Exchange

why can barbarians cartwheel darn good and rangers CANT jump over streams.....

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Sneaksy Dragon wrote:
why can barbarians cartwheel darn good and rangers CANT jump over streams.....

Because stat checks don't work in 3e, so we need a skill for any ability you want to scale.


you do realize in PF class skills just note skills you are particulary good at, barbarians were always amazing leapers.. since well 2nd edition at least, but I think before as well, though they already get a bonus due to high movement, make for a net + 7 gain.

but a ranger can do well enough by just takiing the skills. just misses out on + 3

The Exchange

i have no problem with barbarians leaping and climbing better than anyone, the problem lays in the fact that they can balance on tree limbs and tumble past orc BETTER THAN RANGERS> sure rangers can put ranks in acrobatics and sure its only a +3 difference but its the differences that define a class>> the rogue is only +3 more sneaky than a paladin. its is a flaw not to have str based athletics as a skill (climb and jump with it being in class with barbarians)and a dex based acrobatics ( tumble and balance and in class for rangers) it is a flaw, but fortunately easily houseruled.


Sneaksy Dragon wrote:
i have no problem with barbarians leaping and climbing better than anyone, the problem lays in the fact that they can balance on tree limbs and tumble past orc BETTER THAN RANGERS> sure rangers can put ranks in acrobatics and sure its only a +3 difference but its the differences that define a class>> the rogue is only +3 more sneaky than a paladin. its is a flaw not to have str based athletics as a skill (climb and jump with it being in class with barbarians)and a dex based acrobatics ( tumble and balance and in class for rangers) it is a flaw, but fortunately easily houseruled.

yea I agree on that, I rather have climb and jump in an athletics skill package, I am just not sure it will lead to some weird mechanics since there is such a things as a climb speed, sure some climbers can jump well enough, but I don't think it goes for all.

That might be a reason to leave climb and swim skills to their own separate skills.

If you up the skillpoints for every class by 1 per level, I don't think anyone will complain much if you make jump it's own separate skill again, well barbarians might be a little crouchy, since it allows them to move through the battlefield fairly well...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Mauril wrote:
I was a little confused as to why swim, climb and jump didn't get rolled together, to be honest.

Because swim and climb are actual types of movement. They, plus Fly, get their own skills because they're actual different methods of movement. Jump, on the other hand, isn't a type of movement. You can think of Acrobatics as being the "land speed" version of Fly, Swim, and Climb, actually, in that Acrobatics governs all the tricky things you can do while using your land speed, be that jumping or balancing or tumbling or whatever.

The question folks SHOULD be asking is why there's no Burrow skill!

(Answer: Because burrow's a pretty uncommon movement type and is the hardest one for PCs to get, and therefore a Burrow skill would only clutter up the skill list.)


James Jacobs wrote:
Mauril wrote:
I was a little confused as to why swim, climb and jump didn't get rolled together, to be honest.

Because swim and climb are actual types of movement. They, plus Fly, get their own skills because they're actual different methods of movement. Jump, on the other hand, isn't a type of movement. You can think of Acrobatics as being the "land speed" version of Fly, Swim, and Climb, actually, in that Acrobatics governs all the tricky things you can do while using your land speed, be that jumping or balancing or tumbling or whatever.

The question folks SHOULD be asking is why there's no Burrow skill!

(Answer: Because burrow's a pretty uncommon movement type and is the hardest one for PCs to get, and therefore a Burrow skill would only clutter up the skill list.)

lol I actually did say that in my first post the board ate, reading back I forgot to mention it in the 2nd draft :-)

BURROW skill brings me back to this episode of Dexter's Lab on cartoon network D&DeeDee, wonderful episode.. a halfling with special ability burrowing rocks ^^ I propose a change in the skill list :p

I did not link acrobatics to landspeed movement, that kinda makes sense I suppose. though maybe an idea to add it to the ranger list ?


James Jacobs wrote:
Mauril wrote:
I was a little confused as to why swim, climb and jump didn't get rolled together, to be honest.

Because swim and climb are actual types of movement. They, plus Fly, get their own skills because they're actual different methods of movement. Jump, on the other hand, isn't a type of movement. You can think of Acrobatics as being the "land speed" version of Fly, Swim, and Climb, actually, in that Acrobatics governs all the tricky things you can do while using your land speed, be that jumping or balancing or tumbling or whatever.

The question folks SHOULD be asking is why there's no Burrow skill!

(Answer: Because burrow's a pretty uncommon movement type and is the hardest one for PCs to get, and therefore a Burrow skill would only clutter up the skill list.)

Okay, so that does make a lot of sense. I hadn't thought to compare the skills to movement types. Climb and swim just come up so rarely in our games that no one bothers to put ranks in them (except maybe one to get the initial +4 total if it's a class skill).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Mauril wrote:
Okay, so that does make a lot of sense. I hadn't thought to compare the skills to movement types. Climb and swim just come up so rarely in our games that no one bothers to put ranks in them (except maybe one to get the initial +4 total if it's a class skill).

Well... even if no PC puts ranks in them, they're important skills for climbing and swimming monsters. Remember: More than PCs use those things! :)

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
Mauril wrote:
I was a little confused as to why swim, climb and jump didn't get rolled together, to be honest.

Because swim and climb are actual types of movement. They, plus Fly, get their own skills because they're actual different methods of movement. Jump, on the other hand, isn't a type of movement. You can think of Acrobatics as being the "land speed" version of Fly, Swim, and Climb, actually, in that Acrobatics governs all the tricky things you can do while using your land speed, be that jumping or balancing or tumbling or whatever.

The question folks SHOULD be asking is why there's no Burrow skill!

(Answer: Because burrow's a pretty uncommon movement type and is the hardest one for PCs to get, and therefore a Burrow skill would only clutter up the skill list.)

Or a Running skill, for those ground-pounders. Ideally, all of the movement types should have a skill, or none of them.

But that way lies GURPS, and madness. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Set wrote:

Or a Running skill, for those ground-pounders. Ideally, all of the movement types should have a skill, or none of them.

But that way lies GURPS, and madness. :)

All the things that you'd need to make a "Run" skill check for, though, are pretty much handled either by Acrobatics or the basic rules for movement.


Yeah it seemed kind of weird to me. I had PCs rank Jump and not Tumble because it was a class skill and they played a class wearing heavier armor. Now they feel weird doing it because it's like their Paladin, Knight, or Fighter that just wants to jump real far is also as good at Olympic gymnastics, that or it's not a class skill anymore cause it was lumped together.

Barbarian and Acrobatics I can see just fine, you have figures like Tarzan after all. Rangers, yeah, I always saw them needing good Balance and Jump but I knew a lot of Rangers investing in Tumble, a lot, also.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Razz wrote:

Yeah it seemed kind of weird to me. I had PCs rank Jump and not Tumble because it was a class skill and they played a class wearing heavier armor. Now they feel weird doing it because it's like their Paladin, Knight, or Fighter that just wants to jump real far is also as good at Olympic gymnastics, that or it's not a class skill anymore cause it was lumped together.

Barbarian and Acrobatics I can see just fine, you have figures like Tarzan after all. Rangers, yeah, I always saw them needing good Balance and Jump but I knew a lot of Rangers investing in Tumble, a lot, also.

See, and I always thought of Tarzan as more of a Ranger than an Barbarian. Mainly because of his animal companions, bonuses to traveling through the jungle, animal handling, etc. Just with his chosen enemy being humans. :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sneaksy Dragon wrote:
i have no problem with barbarians leaping and climbing better than anyone, the problem lays in the fact that they can balance on tree limbs and tumble past orc BETTER THAN RANGERS> sure rangers can put ranks in acrobatics and sure its only a +3 difference but its the differences that define a class>> the rogue is only +3 more sneaky than a paladin.

Only +3? you mean the rogue has crappy dex and is tromping around in plate armor like the pally as well?


That reminds me. I wonder how you'd figure out brachiation in Pathfinder... say I wanted to have a character who could leap/swing from branch to branch like a monkey or squirrel. What kind of skill check would that be (without overcomplicating things) and how fast could one move through the trees in a dense forest/jungle?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dork Lord wrote:
That reminds me. I wonder how you'd figure out brachiation in Pathfinder... say I wanted to have a character who could leap/swing from branch to branch like a monkey or squirrel. What kind of skill check would that be (without overcomplicating things) and how fast could one move through the trees in a dense forest/jungle?

I'd say a combination of Climb checks (for the vertical movememnt) and Acrobatics (for the running along branches, jumping from branch to branch, and swinging on vines).


Thank you sir! :-)

You think half movement would be a good speed for that?

(I'm thinking also something about a weight limit, though that's just common sense... *shudders, thinking of folks trying to leap from branch to branch in adamantine full plate*)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dork Lord wrote:
That reminds me. I wonder how you'd figure out brachiation in Pathfinder... say I wanted to have a character who could leap/swing from branch to branch like a monkey or squirrel. What kind of skill check would that be (without overcomplicating things) and how fast could one move through the trees in a dense forest/jungle?

You do realise that in most cases the full weight of a human much less armor would snap most vines, right? That's why you generally don't see animals much larger than monkeys do this in the wild.


I'm mainly thinking those dainty elves. It's a fantasy staple for elves to swiftly and silently move through the dense trees.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dork Lord wrote:

Thank you sir! :-)

You think half movement would be a good speed for that?

(I'm thinking also something about a weight limit, though that's just common sense... *shudders, thinking of folks trying to leap from branch to branch in adamantine full plate*)

I'd just go with the rules as written. Climb already halves or quarters speed, so that's done. And running along branches and vine swinging and all that should just use the character's normal speed; if the tree branches are particularly dense or sparse, I'd treat that as difficult terrain.

I also wouldn't really bother working weight into the thing, since weight and heavy armor already has the effect of slowing someone down and lowering both Acrobatics and Climb checks. No need to overcomplicate.

Dark Archive

This seems like a good thread to post this question: a couple of sessions ago we had a situation in which a player asked if he can charge or run in a forest without rolling an Acrobatics check. We checked, and it seemed that since it is below DC 10 you don't need to roll (although we did talk about tree roots, rocks and stuff and felt that it might have been more "realistic" to use Acrobatics checks in forest terrain). Last session the same thing came up in natural caverns, and I informed them that it is not possible to run or charge (a nice way to downplay dodge/mobility/spring attack -fighters :).

Did we get it right, i.e. you only need to roll if the modifiers (on top of DC 0) add to DC 10 or more?


It would depend on the situation. In most 'combat' situations taking 10 (or ignoring DCs under 10) isn't an option. If the character were just running through woods at speed for fun then it works (as long as there is no immediate danger or distraction).

In combat take a look at the minimum result 1 + Ranks(total score), as skills do not auto-fail on 1s any DC at or below the minimum passes (not counting situational modifiers and such)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I argued that all skills should be condensed into a single skill, "Doin' Stuff." But do they ever listen to me? Nooooo.


Vic Wertz wrote:
I argued that all skills should be condensed into a single skill, "Doin' Stuff." But do they ever listen to me? Nooooo.

Kinda like Castles and Crusades... except they have six sub-skills:

Doin' Stuff (Strength)
Doin' Stuff (Dexterity)
Doin' Stuff (Constitution)
Doin' Stuff (Intelligence)
Doin' Stuff (Wisdom)
Doin' Stuff (Charisma)


LazarX wrote:
Dork Lord wrote:
That reminds me. I wonder how you'd figure out brachiation in Pathfinder... say I wanted to have a character who could leap/swing from branch to branch like a monkey or squirrel. What kind of skill check would that be (without overcomplicating things) and how fast could one move through the trees in a dense forest/jungle?
You do realise that in most cases the full weight of a human much less armor would snap most vines, right? That's why you generally don't see animals much larger than monkeys do this in the wild.

There are all those tarzan movies. That stuff was real man.

Seriously though.... adventurers do 100 impossible things a day and you want to start nitpicking swinging on vines?

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Why was Jump bunched in with Acrobatics? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.