Why don't Rangers get Acrobatics?!


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Can anyone explain why a Barbarian would get acrobatics but not a Ranger?

I really like the concept of the Urban Ranger (as I think Rogues being the only people to detect and disable traps is pretty lame) but Ranger's don't get acrobatics and their is no trait to make it a class skill. Was this some type of balance issue?

Grand Lodge

Same reason not everyone gets perception. Apparently not everyone can see, hear, or look through a box.

It's also the same reason paladins can't climb.


Wisdom in the Flesh (LN): Your hours of meditation on inner perfection and the nature of strength and speed allows you to focus your thoughts to achieve things your body might not normally be able to do on its own. Select any Strength, Constitution, or Dexterity-based skill. You make checks with that skill using your Wisdom modifier instead of the skill's normal ability score. That skill is always a class skill for you.

Liberty's Edge

The only penalty to not having it as a class skill is missing out on a +3 bonus. Nothing is keeping rangers from taking it or at being good at it.

Sovereign Court

I think these skill exceptions (tiny as they are in PFRPG) exist for a similar reason to the one that gives elves immunity to ghouls and free sword skills... balance.

Now, obviously I've typed a dangerous word here and expect to be squished into little bits by a deluge of posts about 'balance' so I apologise if I have ruined the thread but the point still stands.

It's also the reason why those clever, studious wizards only get a few skill points each level.


For the same reason the Ranger has the profession skill and the Barbarian doesn't.

Shrug.

Grand Lodge

ShadowcatX wrote:
The only penalty to not having it as a class skill is missing out on a +3 bonus. Nothing is keeping rangers from taking it or at being good at it.

But that +3 bonus can really add up, especially if you have a low modifier (like 0 or a negative).

Liberty's Edge

Deyvantius wrote:

Can anyone explain why a Barbarian would get acrobatics but not a Ranger?

I feel the same way. In fact, when I wrote the Spell-less Ranger for Kobold Quarterly #11, I made sure that the class DID have Acrobatics as a class skill.


sheadunne wrote:
Wisdom in the Flesh (LN): Your hours of meditation on inner perfection and the nature of strength and speed allows you to focus your thoughts to achieve things your body might not normally be able to do on its own. Select any Strength, Constitution, or Dexterity-based skill. You make checks with that skill using your Wisdom modifier instead of the skill's normal ability score. That skill is always a class skill for you.

Wow, never saw this trait. Thanks for posting.

@Shadowcat

You act as if a +3 bonus is not huge. Regardless, it was more about principle with me. I just don't see why a "somewhat" Dex based class wouldn't have access to acrobatics - especially when the Barbarian gets it.

@Geraint

Yeah I figured it might be balance, but I couldn't see how Acrobatics was that unbalancing.

I'm not trying to jump through threatened squares but a Ranger should be pretty adept at fricking jumping

Liberty's Edge

At first level +3 can be important, but over the course of 20 levels it doesn't matter all that much.

If you'll look up what acrobatics is rather than just how it is used in the game, the average ranger shouldn't really have it though neither should said barbarian but even if they do take time to learn it, say running along fallen logs, etc. they should be as good at it as the more urban classes who practice acrobatics as a major part of their way of life, after all balancing walking across across a fallen tree isn't the same as balancing walking a tight rope between buildings. All IMO at least.


Deyvantius wrote:
Can anyone explain why a Barbarian would get acrobatics but not a Ranger?

Before the skill system was invented, jumping was a Barbarian class ability.

Rangers have much less need to jump.

I wouldn't think it would cause any balance issues if you changed it.


Viktyr Korimir wrote:
Deyvantius wrote:
Can anyone explain why a Barbarian would get acrobatics but not a Ranger?

Before the skill system was invented, jumping was a Barbarian class ability.

Rangers have much less need to jump.

I wouldn't think it would cause any balance issues if you changed it.

Why, pray tell, do Barbarians need to jump any more than Rangers?


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I expect it's because Conan probably jumped once, whereas Aragorn just walked everywhere


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Why barbarians and not rangers? Legacy issues. Barbarians in 1e were pretty accomplished jumpers and so when Jump was incorporated into Acrobatics, Barbarians got Acrobatics as a class skill. By comparison, it was never a major part of the ranger's mojo.

Given my druthers, I would have lumped Climb, Jump, and Swim into a single skill called Athletics or Brawny Movement and made it a class skill for Barbarians, Druids, Fighters, Monks, and Rangers.


Pual wrote:
I expect it's because Conan probably jumped once, whereas Aragorn just walked everywhere

Conan also uses Stealth all the time...


Maerimydra wrote:
Pual wrote:
I expect it's because Conan probably jumped once, whereas Aragorn just walked everywhere
Conan also uses Stealth all the time...

Conan was a multi-classed monstrosity....rogue....fighter....barbarian...etc.

I don't get why people put conan up as some barbarian paragon...he probably only dipped into it for the extra movement and rage...;)


I only dipped into it for fast movement and Acro training...


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John Kretzer wrote:
Maerimydra wrote:
Pual wrote:
I expect it's because Conan probably jumped once, whereas Aragorn just walked everywhere
Conan also uses Stealth all the time...

Conan was a multi-classed monstrosity....rogue....fighter....barbarian...etc.

I don't get why people put conan up as some barbarian paragon...he probably only dipped into it for the extra movement and rage...;)

Because Conan is the archetypical barbarian and the class was strongly (but not entirely) inspired by him. For example, barbarians get Uncanny Dodge because Conan does. But you're right, Conan is also a Rogue, a Ranger, a Fighter and a King, but that's another story. :)

Liberty's Edge

New Trait:

Parqour: You have trained to move in ways not many can, in either urban or naturally difficult areas, allowing you to land better after a fall and make longer jumps. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Acrobatics skill checks and Acrobatics is always a class skill for you.


Marc Radle wrote:
Deyvantius wrote:

Can anyone explain why a Barbarian would get acrobatics but not a Ranger?

I feel the same way. In fact, when I wrote the Spell-less Ranger for Kobold Quarterly #11, I made sure that the class DID have Acrobatics as a class skill.

And, as an aside, I'm having a blast playing one. Even found a file someone made of the class for HL.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Because if barbarians and rangers had the exact same skill list, that'd be boring.


Bill Dunn wrote:
Why barbarians and not rangers? Legacy issues.

Read: Stupid reasons.

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:
Because if barbarians and rangers had the exact same skill list, that'd be boring.

Interesting thought: What about a PRD repository for things you find on the website that you guys think is interesting. You could attribute it to the poster who suggested it and put it up verbatim. It could just be whatever Paizo thinks should go in there.

Take the above trait and put it in one of the upcoming books so it ends up on PFSRD, Archives of Nethys, or the PRD so that it is at least an option.


ShadowcatX wrote:

At first level +3 can be important, but over the course of 20 levels it doesn't matter all that much.

If you'll look up what acrobatics is rather than just how it is used in the game, the average ranger shouldn't really have it though neither should said barbarian but even if they do take time to learn it, say running along fallen logs, etc. they should be as good at it as the more urban classes who practice acrobatics as a major part of their way of life, after all balancing walking across across a fallen tree isn't the same as balancing walking a tight rope between buildings. All IMO at least.

Right, because a tight rope is securely fastened at both ends, whereas a fallen tree could shift and roll at any moment. Go watch a couple episodes of Axe Men and then come back and make this argument.


I've always wondered why all the classes aren't given some flexible skill choices, as seen in various other games.

You would always have the skills listed, plus 'x' more of a list of optional choices.

Seems to make tailoring easier and adds variants to the same, ol' classes.


MultiClassClown wrote:


Right, because a tight rope is securely fastened at both ends, whereas a fallen tree could shift and roll at any moment.

What? No. A fallen tree has branches and a root system. It is not going to shift or roll anywhere. A perfectly cut log might.


Noah Fentz wrote:

I've always wondered why all the classes aren't given some flexible skill choices, as seen in various other games.

You would always have the skills listed, plus 'x' more of a list of optional choices.

Seems to make tailoring easier and adds variants to the same, ol' classes.

I like this idea. It would be nice to have some flexablity. Maybe each class get to choose one or two skills as class skills.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I'm really beginning to think that class skill lists should go.


GeraintElberion wrote:
It's also the reason why those clever, studious wizards only get a few skill points each level.

Actualy this always made sense to me....as low skill point class seem to study alot of things outside of the skill ranges....while more skill based classes part of their class are those skills.

The one it does not make any sense is the sorcerer who does not have to devote study to anything...

Liberty's Edge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
I'm really beginning to think that class skill lists should go.

Yeah, I'm kind of verging on that opinion as well. Not quite there though.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Studpuffin wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I'm really beginning to think that class skill lists should go.
Yeah, I'm kind of verging on that opinion as well. Not quite there though.

I'm definitely not there. I like the class skill list to provide distinction between classes.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Cartigan wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
Why barbarians and not rangers? Legacy issues.
Read: Stupid reasons.

I emphatically disagree. One of the reasons I appreciate Pathfinder as much as I do is how it treats many of the long-standing traditions and legacies of the game that come from previous editions. If I thought that was a stupid reason for things to be as they are, I'd be happier with 4e than I am (which is not very happy at all).

I think the problem here is a clunky folding of Jump into Acrobatics when I think it would have done better in another grouping.

Liberty's Edge

Bill Dunn wrote:
Studpuffin wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I'm really beginning to think that class skill lists should go.
Yeah, I'm kind of verging on that opinion as well. Not quite there though.
I'm definitely not there. I like the class skill list to provide distinction between classes.

Then why not go the other way and go back to some exclusives? I actually did like it when their were Thief only skills. Perhaps some more complexity: more skill points, but divide the skills up into different subsets you can only spend certain amounts of skill points on. That'd let you customize your character and keep some ability to differentiate.

Just throwing stuff out in the dark here and seeing what I hit. I'm cool with different options for characters.


Cartigan wrote:
MultiClassClown wrote:


Right, because a tight rope is securely fastened at both ends, whereas a fallen tree could shift and roll at any moment.

What? No. A fallen tree has branches and a root system. It is not going to shift or roll anywhere. A perfectly cut log might.

No, not every fallen tree still has its root system and branches intact. Sure, many do, but trees fall over for a number of reasons, and many of htem -- rot and lightning strikes, for example, cause the trunk to break, leaving the roots in the ground. trunks lying on the forest floor last long after their branches are broken away, rot off, etc. many larger trees of specific species have bare trunks forthe lower 20 feet or more of their length. I spend most of my time throughout my high school days traipsing around the backwoods of Oregon, and I can assure you, fallen logs, be they cut my humans or downed by nature, acan be very dangerous, especially when combined with mountainous terrain. And that terrain also has to be taken into account -- cliffs, rocky slopes, boulders, canyons, creek beds -- unless you're just taking a leisurly stroll on a groomed hiking trail, moving cross-country through the woods can be extremely treacherous. Acrobatics as a class skill for Rangers makes perfect sense. If the argument is about game balance, fine. But don't try to justify it by saying an urban environment is more prone to breed acrobatics than a rural one would. That's completely asinine.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Studpuffin wrote:


Then why not go the other way and go back to some exclusives? I actually did like it when their were Thief only skills. Perhaps some more complexity: more skill points, but divide the skills up into different subsets you can only spend certain amounts of skill points on. That'd let you customize your character and keep some ability to differentiate.

Because I think Paizo's middle way - carving out areas where classes will excel more than others will because the skill is part of their core concept - is better than having exclusives or complicated buying costs and limits. We had those with 3e, effectively, and Paizo's skill costs are, I think, much easier to deal with.

Liberty's Edge

Bill Dunn wrote:
Studpuffin wrote:


Then why not go the other way and go back to some exclusives? I actually did like it when their were Thief only skills. Perhaps some more complexity: more skill points, but divide the skills up into different subsets you can only spend certain amounts of skill points on. That'd let you customize your character and keep some ability to differentiate.
Because I think Paizo's middle way - carving out areas where classes will excel more than others will because the skill is part of their core concept - is better than having exclusives or complicated buying costs and limits. We had those with 3e, effectively, and Paizo's skill costs are, I think, much easier to deal with.

Well, what role has people jumping and tumbling differently while wielding weapons? I'm still a little confused in the case of Acrobatics specifically, others like Diplomacy yeah, but Acrobatics?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I made a half-elf wannabe-Legolas ranger for a one-shot, and just put my bonus Skill Focus feat into Acrobatics.

It worked out pretty well...well, it worked and I fell down a well...that I had jumped on top of, thinking it had a floor-like top....


SmiloDan wrote:

I made a half-elf wannabe-Legolas ranger for a one-shot, and just put my bonus Skill Focus feat into Acrobatics.

It worked out pretty well...well, it worked and I fell down a well...that I had jumped on top of, thinking it had a floor-like top....

Maybe a couple extra points into perception woulda served him well, huh? ;-)


They should remove skills from classes and make them background dependent and allow races to have certain bonuses.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Bill Dunn wrote:
Studpuffin wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I'm really beginning to think that class skill lists should go.
Yeah, I'm kind of verging on that opinion as well. Not quite there though.
I'm definitely not there. I like the class skill list to provide distinction between classes.

I would suggest class features accomplish that. If there's not enough distinction between fighters and barabarians, I don't think the skill lists will help that. ;)

Sovereign Court

Argh, ninja'd by TriOmegaZero...nevermind, what he said.

Class features are there to provide distinction between the characers, and the disparity between class skills and cross-class skills is even lesser in pathfinder than it was in D&D. Now you don't get half a point, you get a full point. The only difference is that on some of those skills you get a +3 bonus because you're naturally inclined to be better at them.

I would do away with class skills and allow every class to pick several skills i which they are particularly talented and gain a +3 bonus.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Personally, I think it would be cool if you got the option to add a new class skill at levels 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18. Those are "non-class-related dead levels." You get non-class feats at the odd levels, and ability score boosts at 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20, so it would be nice to get SOMETHING at 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18. I think those levels would be nice for race-related features, non-class skill options, and similar non-class related, non-feat-based character growth.


Not sure it helps, but :

I put Jump and Climbing in one skill (athletics) and gave the barbarian that instead, thematically it fits better. The barbarian only got to be a proficient tumbler and balancer by accidental mixing of skills by upgrading to pathfinder anyway. Only little problem with it is that it does not use the same ability score.

I still do not give it to rangers by the way, so yea it prolly does not help, but at least the rangers doesnt quite feel inferior to the barbarian in that regard. I felt there was a bit too much going on in the acrobatics skill anyway.


It doesn't make sense for Jump to solely be in Acrobatics to begin with.

Sovereign Court

Athletics...i like the idea...i might use it for my group.

Liberty's Edge

Hama wrote:
Athletics...i like the idea...i might use it for my group.

We do, but we only combined climb and swim, we're still using acrobatics for jumping.

It's pretty nice, actually.

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