Consequences for failing a tumbling check?


Rules Questions


9 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the errata.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So if you make an Acrobatics check against a threatening creature's CMD, you can move through that creature's threatened area without provoking an Attack of Opportunity. Normally this causes you to move at half speed, but you can move at full speed by raising the DC by 10. That's all pretty clear.

So what happens if you fail? I could have sworn there was a rule that if you fail your check get hit with an AoO, you get knocked prone. Or maybe you're just stuck in your square without moving, or something. But now I can't figure out where I got that idea from. The rule for using Acrobatics to move through treatened squares doesn't mention anything about failure.

It seems strange for there to be no downside to failing the roll. There would be no reason ever to NOT roll Acrobatics, even if you don't have any ranks in it, every time you want to/have to move through a threatened square.

Does anyone else remember if there are consequences to failing an Acrobatics check this way? Am I just not looking in the right place?


Mmmh from memory : your movement end in the square just before the square with the monster you were trying to pass by (and by end of movement I mean end of your current movement action, the only way to move again is by taking another movement action). I'm pretty sure you're not prone but can't remember if you take an attack of opportunity or not...


Michael Gentry wrote:
Does anyone else remember if there are consequences to failing an Acrobatics check this way? Am I just not looking in the right place?

The first part of the Acrobatics rule states:

"If you take damage while using Acrobatics, you must immediately make another Acrobatics check at the same DC to avoid falling or being knocked prone".

Since that sentence doesn't say "using Acrobatics in this way" as the sentence just before it does, but simply "using Acrobatics", it should apply to all Acrobatics checks.

Then, the table for Acrobatics to move through a threatened square or an enemy's space says:
"This DC is used to avoid an attack of opportunity due to movement. This DC increases by 2 for each additional opponent avoided in 1 round."

So, to sum up: If you fail the Acrobatics check to move through such squares, you get hit with an AoO. If you take damage from the AoO, you must make a second Acrobatics check to avoid falling prone.

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Are wrote:
So, to sum up: If you fail the Acrobatics check to move through such squares, you get hit with an AoO. If you take damage from the AoO, you must make a second Acrobatics check to avoid falling prone.

Yup, that's how I'd run it. Naturally, if a character had Mobility, they would still receive their +4 AC against the AoO to begin with.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Michael Gentry wrote:

So if you make an Acrobatics check against a threatening creature's CMD, you can move through that creature's threatened area without provoking an Attack of Opportunity. Normally this causes you to move at half speed, but you can move at full speed by raising the DC by 10. That's all pretty clear.

So what happens if you fail? I could have sworn there was a rule that if you fail your check get hit with an AoO, you get knocked prone. Or maybe you're just stuck in your square without moving, or something. But now I can't figure out where I got that idea from. The rule for using Acrobatics to move through treatened squares doesn't mention anything about failure.

It seems strange for there to be no downside to failing the roll. There would be no reason ever to NOT roll Acrobatics, even if you don't have any ranks in it, every time you want to/have to move through a threatened square.

Does anyone else remember if there are consequences to failing an Acrobatics check this way? Am I just not looking in the right place?

The way I would handle it is to revert to what happens without acrobatics at all. Character X has attempted to use acrobatics to pass through Character Y's square without provoking an attack. He fails the roll, so he has effectively entered an opponent's square without any advantage of the skill. This results in Y getting an attack of opportunity against X, for attempting to enter his space, and then X stops short outside the opponent's square.

Quote:


You can't move through a square occupied by an opponent unless the opponent is helpless. You can move through a square occupied by a helpless opponent without penalty. Some creatures, particularly very large ones, may present an obstacle even when helpless. In such cases, each square you move through counts as 2 squares.

And although it doesn't say anything else in movement about attempting to enter a space you know you can't enter, there's this in the section on creature sizes:

Quote:


[Tiny creatures]must enter an opponent's square to attack in melee. This provokes an attack of opportunity from the opponent.

So I would say the penalty is that he stops short and gets attacked. It would be the GM's call there as to whether or not X could use the remainder of his movement for the round, but I don't see why not.

For instance, if X were adjacent to a medium-sized enemy Y, and attempted to move through him at full speed, his difficulty is 15+DCV of Y. He fails the roll. So X spends 5 movement making the attempt (and 5' of movement getting pushed back out?) and Y gets a swing at him. X decides to go around instead, so he takes the remaining 20' of his movement around Y, not provoking another attack from Y even if Y has Combat Reflexes, because Y already made his attack for X's movement.

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Are wrote:


The first part of the Acrobatics rule states:
"If you take damage while using Acrobatics, you must immediately make another Acrobatics check at the same DC to avoid falling or being knocked prone".

That's a good catch. I would not invoke that part of the skill, however, if I were running the game. The sentence before the one you quote DOES say "using Acrobatics in this way" (as you point out) and I think it was an editing decision not to say it again. I also feel that it only applies to the balance usage of Acrobatics because of the legacy system, which had that exact phrase in the Balance skill, but not in the Tumbling skill. I realize that that is meta-information not contained within the PFSRD system, but when I run across oversights like this that I feel Paizo didn't anticipate, I generally rule in favor of legacy rules. Except when I don't.

Initially I looked at the PFSRD online, and it refers to the different uses of Acrobatics as "distinct" uses, which would make it clearer that statements in the balance usage doesn't apply to the tumble usage... except I can't find that word anywhere in the Paizo rules for Acrobatics.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Are wrote:
Michael Gentry wrote:
Does anyone else remember if there are consequences to failing an Acrobatics check this way? Am I just not looking in the right place?

The first part of the Acrobatics rule states:

"If you take damage while using Acrobatics, you must immediately make another Acrobatics check at the same DC to avoid falling or being knocked prone".

THAT'S right. Confusing, because it's actually in the subsection about crossing narrow or uneven surfaces.


Im glad I read this thread, my rogue player wil not like this the next time we game.


I think you do not have to make an Acrobatics check to avoid falling prone if hit by an AoO unless you are also balancing and the DC being against the balancing DC not the tumbling DC. I do not see any compelling reason to rule otherwise, the tumbling DC is tricky enough as it is.

FAQ'ed it anyway


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Remco Sommeling wrote:
I think you do not have to make an Acrobatics check to avoid falling prone if hit by an AoO unless you are also balancing and the DC being against the balancing DC not the tumbling DC. I do not see any compelling reason to rule otherwise, the tumbling DC is tricky enough as it is.

It's not really a matter of the DC being too hard or too easy. The DC is just fine, I think.

The problem (assuming you feel like it's a problem) is that if there is no additional consequence to failing the Acrobatics roll, then there is no reason not to try to tumble every time you move through a threatened square, even if you don't have any ranks in Acrobatics.

So you're wearing plate mail and your Dexterity is 7? Maybe your opponent will turn out to have a low CMD, and maybe you'll get lucky. The consequences for making an Acrobatics check and failing are identical to the consequences for just moving through the space normally and soaking up the AoO. So as long as you suspect there might be even a 1 in 20 chance of success, you might as well roll, even if your roll sucks, because there's no reason not to.

In other words, if this is indeed the rule, then making an Acrobatics check is not really a tactical choice. It is (or might as well be) a routine and required part of moving through a threatened square. Which, in addition to potentially slowing down combat, just seems odd to me.

(*Actually, there is one tactical choice you can make: you can raise the DC by 10 in order to use your full movement speed. But again, there seems to be no real consequence for failure. Presumably, if you raise the DC by 10 and fail, you draw an AoO but still get to move using your full movement. The rules do not suggest otherwise.)

It's certainly possible that Paizo intended for this to be the case, I suppose. I'll be interested to hear the developers' reasoning if/when they get around to answering the FAQ.


I wouldn't count on hearing anything official about it anytime soon, this question has been asked a dozen times or so in the past and nobody has ever officially weighed in.

The way we play this is a bit of a mishmash of house rules. If you fail an acrobatics check to get by an opponent, you provoke an AoO and need to make an acrobatics check (DC damage dealt) to remain standing. Reasoning is that someone swinging a weapon at you while you're trying to get past them is disrupting enough to stop your movement, but if they only barely scratch you (or miss on the AoO), there's no reason that you should end up on your butt.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
vip00 wrote:
The way we play this is a bit of a mishmash of house rules. If you fail an acrobatics check to get by an opponent, you provoke an AoO and need to make an acrobatics check (DC damage dealt) to remain standing. Reasoning is that someone swinging a weapon at you while you're trying to get past them is disrupting enough to stop your movement, but if they only barely scratch you (or miss on the AoO), there's no reason that you should end up on your butt.

I like that reasoning.


You get to keep moving if you make the second check. You end up prone in the square where you provoked the AoO if you fail it.

By 3.5 rules, you just got to keep moving if you failed the check and it was a non-choice as pointed out above. By strict reading of the pathfinder rules, you automatically get stopped whether or not you make the second check (check determines if you're standing or not). We take the middle ground, mostly out of the consideration of how much harder they made the check to tumble in the first place, so you only stop if you take a decent amount of damage and fail your check (imagine someone clotheslining someone trying to sneak by).

Sorry if I was unclear in my first post.

Dark Archive

vip00 wrote:
...By strict reading of the pathfinder rules, you automatically get stopped whether or not you make the second check (check determines if you're standing or not).

Can you point me to the rules that state that you automatically get stopped when you fail (even if you make the second check)? I am missing seeing them in the book.

After an AoO, if you are able to finish the action, you do. At least from what I am reading.


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Michael Gentry wrote:
The problem (assuming you feel like it's a problem) is that if there is no additional consequence to failing the Acrobatics roll, then there is no reason not to try to tumble every time you move through a threatened square, even if you don't have any ranks in Acrobatics.

Tumbling means you move at half speed. That's a hefty penalty for doing the manuever. Making the DC +10 higher to tumble at full speed is moreorless an auto failure for anyone that isn't concentrating on the skill.

The skilled tumbler is also being penalized by 1 skill point per level just to keep up equivalent tumbling against foes as CMD goes up with BAB increases for free.

Tumbling precludes a 5 foot step in your turn since it is movement.

That's enough penalties for me without tacking on more.

Sovereign Court

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Actually in the Moving Through a Square rules it implies that you can only Tumble if you have ranks in Acrobatics. This may however be a copy/paste error from 3.5 where Tumbling was trained only.

PRD/Combat wrote:
Tumbling: A trained character can attempt to use Acrobatics to move through a square occupied by an opponent (see the Acrobatics skill).

A failed Acrobatics check normally means you take an AoO, but that's it. The only time you stop your movement is if you are attempting to tumble through an enemies space. The second roll to see if you fall or fall prone is only for Balancing. The three subsets of Acrobatics are seperate from each other.

--Vrock n' Roll


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Michael Gentry wrote:

The problem (assuming you feel like it's a problem) is that if there is no additional consequence to failing the Acrobatics roll, then there is no reason not to try to tumble every time you move through a threatened square, even if you don't have any ranks in Acrobatics.

So you're wearing plate mail and your Dexterity is 7? Maybe your opponent will turn out to have a low CMD, and maybe you'll get lucky. The consequences for making an Acrobatics check and failing are identical to the consequences for just moving through the space normally and soaking up the AoO. So as long as you suspect there might be even a 1 in 20 chance of success, you might as well roll, even if your roll sucks, because there's no reason not to.

It does state that "You cannot use Acrobatics to move past foes if your speed is reduced due to carrying a medium or heavy load or wearing medium or heavy armor." So only a 7th level or higher fighter, or a dwarf, could even attempt acrobatics while so encumbered. Which is kindof counter-intuitive (dwarfs tumble more than elves?)

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Bobson wrote:
Michael Gentry wrote:

The problem (assuming you feel like it's a problem) is that if there is no additional consequence to failing the Acrobatics roll, then there is no reason not to try to tumble every time you move through a threatened square, even if you don't have any ranks in Acrobatics.

So you're wearing plate mail and your Dexterity is 7? Maybe your opponent will turn out to have a low CMD, and maybe you'll get lucky. The consequences for making an Acrobatics check and failing are identical to the consequences for just moving through the space normally and soaking up the AoO. So as long as you suspect there might be even a 1 in 20 chance of success, you might as well roll, even if your roll sucks, because there's no reason not to.

It does state that "You cannot use Acrobatics to move past foes if your speed is reduced due to carrying a medium or heavy load or wearing medium or heavy armor." So only a 7th level or higher fighter, or a dwarf, could even attempt acrobatics while so encumbered. Which is kindof counter-intuitive (dwarfs tumble more than elves?)

Maybe the round little buggers just roll... :P


Bobson wrote:
It does state that "You cannot use Acrobatics to move past foes if your speed is reduced due to carrying a medium or heavy load or wearing medium or heavy armor." So only a 7th level or higher fighter, or a dwarf, could even attempt acrobatics while so encumbered. Which is kindof counter-intuitive (dwarfs tumble more than elves?)

Not really. An elf is more nimble, but being burdened is opposed to that nimbleness. A dwarf is more sturdy and untiring, so is just as effective burdened as unburdened. It makes perfect sense to me. Also, characters aren't always the same despite their race. Not all elves tumble very much, and not every dwarf is unlikely or unable to tumble.

Stop being so racist.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bobson wrote:
Which is kindof counter-intuitive (dwarfs tumble more than elves?)

I will argue that dwarves roll in plate-mail a hellova lot easier than elves, thank you very much.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bobson wrote:
It does state that "You cannot use Acrobatics to move past foes if your speed is reduced due to carrying a medium or heavy load or wearing medium or heavy armor." So only a 7th level or higher fighter, or a dwarf, could even attempt acrobatics while so encumbered. Which is kindof counter-intuitive (dwarfs tumble more than elves?)

Whoops, you're right. In trying to construct an egregious example I overstepped.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rory wrote:

Tumbling means you move at half speed. That's a hefty penalty for doing the manuever. Making the DC +10 higher to tumble at full speed is moreorless an auto failure for anyone that isn't concentrating on the skill.

The skilled tumbler is also being penalized by 1 skill point per level just to keep up equivalent tumbling against foes as CMD goes up with BAB increases for free.

Tumbling precludes a 5 foot step in your turn since it is movement.

These are all things that make tumbling difficult, but they're not penalties for failure. None of them are reasons to not tumble when you need to move through a threatened square.

(The 5-foot step is also not really an issue. Obviously, if you only need to move 5 feet, then you take a 5-foot step regardless of whether you have zero or a hundred ranks in Acrobatics. I'm talking about situations where you need or want to use Acrobatics, which automatically means situations where a 5-foot step is not feasible.)

As I mentioned before, I'm not concerned with how difficult tumbling is. (I'm not arguing that it's too difficult or not difficult enough or just right -- opinions vary and I'm okay with that.) I'm interested in whether the rules are intended to present tumbling as a tactical choice, or as something you should just automatically do whenever you try to move through a threatened space. If it's the former, then it seems to me that there should be some sort of penalty for failure, because otherwise there's no risk to offset the reward. It's just an automatic percent chance of avoiding the AoO -- which seems a bit superfluous, because that's supposedly what your AC is for.

Please note, all the things you said about tumbling are true and totally valid. But I'm talking about something specific and slightly different, and I want to make sure my arguments aren't misconstrued.


Michael Gentry wrote:
These are all things that make tumbling difficult, but they're not penalties for failure. None of them are reasons to not tumble when you need to move through a threatened square.

People that could be attacked would obviously always take precaution to move thru the area with extra caution. It's quite realistic.

If anything, there should be a tactical manuever to move at half speed to avoid an AOO. And if you think about it, there is!

(the 5 ft step can be an issue since there is a feat called Step Up that negates the 5 ft step, does it negate the tumble?)


Rory wrote:

People that could be attacked would obviously always take precaution to move thru the area with extra caution. It's quite realistic.

If anything, there should be a tactical manuever to move at half speed to avoid an AOO. And if you think about it, there is!

(the 5 ft step can be an issue since there is a feat called Step Up that negates the 5 ft step, does it negate the tumble?)

I don't think there should be one to move at half speed to avoid an AoO. And no, a 5ft step is not one. It is only five feet. Much slower than half speed most of the time.

Regarding your Step Up question, you can easily check for yourself.

Benefit: Whenever an adjacent foe attempts to take a 5-foot step away from you, you may also make a 5-foot step as an immediate action so long as you end up adjacent to the foe that triggered this ability. If you take this step, you cannot take a 5-foot step during your next turn. If you take an action to move during your next turn, subtract 5 feet from your total movement.

It only works against the 5-foot step.


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In the corebook pgs. 87 and 88. RAW

"In addition, you can move through a threatened square
without provoking an attack of opportunity from an
enemy by using Acrobatics. When moving in this way,you move at half speed. You can move at full speed by increasing the DC of the check by 10. You cannot use Acrobatics to move past foes if your speed is reduced due to carrying a medium or heavy load or wearing medium
or heavy armor. If an ability allows you to move at full
speed under such conditions, you can use Acrobatics to
move past foes. You can use Acrobatics in this way while
prone, but doing so requires a full-round action to move
5 feet, and the DC is increased by 5."

Nothing in here says you get knocked prone as someone above me had stated. Failure only means you don't avoid the AoO but you still continue to move to where you wanted to in the first place.


Nigrescence wrote:
I don't think there should be one to move at half speed to avoid an AoO. And no, a 5ft step is not one. It is only five feet. Much slower than half speed most of the time.

There is one for "double movement". There is one for "5 ft step". Tumbling creates one for moving half speed and full speed, for lightly armored combatants. I do think the gambit is covered for certain.

Thanks for the Step Up clarification.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Nigrescence wrote:
Step Up wrote:
Benefit: Whenever an adjacent foe attempts to take a 5-foot step away from you, you may also make a 5-foot step as an immediate action so long as you end up adjacent to the foe that triggered this ability. If you take this step, you cannot take a 5-foot step during your next turn. If you take an action to move during your next turn, subtract 5 feet from your total movement.
It only works against the 5-foot step.

Right, so -- again -- we're talking about situations where a 5-foot step is not feasible. For whatever reason, you want to move normally through a threatened square, and you can either tumble, or not.

The question then is this: Does something bad happen if you try to tumble and fail? If the answer is "no" -- that is, if failing the tumble check simply means you draw an attack of opportunity and then continue moving -- then there is never, ever a reason to not tumble if you suspect there may be even a 1 in 20 success of succeeding. Because you are no worse off if you fail than if you didn't try, and trying costs you nothing.

However, if the answer is "yes" -- for example, if getting hit while tumbling knocks you prone -- then it becomes a tactical choice. "Hmm," says the player, "if I just move normally, then I may take some damage, but I'll still get to where I'm trying to go. If I tumble, I have a better chance of avoiding the attack, but if I blow the roll I could get knocked on my ass. Is the reward worth the risk? Or should I play it safe?"

Now, I don't really have a dog in this race either way. It seems like the rules probably say that there is no penalty, although there is a slightly weaker (but still reasonable) argument that there is a penalty. I think arguing about the rules' intent is ultimately fruitless, unless and until a developer pops in to tell us what that intent is. I do know which method I prefer, and I'm interested in how other GMs have interpreted it and how they deal with it in actual play.


Quote:
If the answer is "no" -- that is, if failing the tumble check simply means you draw an attack of opportunity and then continue moving -- then there is never, ever a reason to not tumble if you suspect there may be even a 1 in 20 success of succeeding. Because you are no worse off if you fail than if you didn't try, and trying costs you nothing.

Except it does cost you something. It costs you half your movement speed, unless you intend to take the -10 to move at full speed, and except for acrobatics specialized characters that's a tough (usually impossible, actually) roll. Usually, characters who can make these sort of acrobatics checks don't exactly want to get hit by an AoO, and most aren't going to reduce their chance of success by 50%.

A level 1 rogue with with a rank in acrobatics and 18 Dex still fails an accelerated acrobatics check 75% against an Orc, and their CMD is in the gutter.

So really, your options are:

1) Move at half and maybe take an AoO.
2) Move at full and almost assuredly take an AoO anyway, so the same base effect as just moving and taking the AoO anyway.

Characters who don't invest a substantial amount in acrobatics generally aren't even going to have a "1 in 20" shot at making the check to move at full speed.


Grummik wrote:
Nothing in here says you get knocked prone as someone above me had stated.

No, not when you only include that specific section. If you read the first section of the Acrobatics rules, the text I quoted in my post above is included.

What is a point of contention is whether or not the last sentence in that section applies to all Acrobatics checks, or just those for balance. I think it does, by the way the sentence is written, but those who don't think it applies also have a valid argument.

Shadow Lodge

This is the first I've heard of this, the book certainly doesn't suggest a consequence for failure beyond taking the attack you are trying to avoid.

The only way I could see getting knocked prone is if you tried to move through a creature's space from an occupied space and failed, ending your turn in an illegal space.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Robb Smith wrote:

Except it does cost you something. It costs you half your movement speed, unless you intend to take the -10 to move at full speed, and except for acrobatics specialized characters that's a tough (usually impossible, actually) roll. Usually, characters who can make these sort of acrobatics checks don't exactly want to get hit by an AoO, and most aren't going to reduce their chance of success by 50%.

A level 1 rogue with with a rank in acrobatics and 18 Dex still fails an accelerated acrobatics check 75% against an Orc, and their CMD is in the gutter.

So really, your options are:

1) Move at half and maybe take an AoO.
2) Move at full and almost assuredly take an AoO anyway, so the same base effect as just moving and taking the AoO anyway.

Characters who don't invest a substantial amount in acrobatics generally aren't even going to have a "1 in 20" shot at making the check to move at full speed.

I'm guessing that if you're contemplating moving through a threatened area, you're probably trying to get somewhere specific. You either have enough movement to get there at half speed, or you don't. If you don't, then you take the +10 to DC and try anyway.

But -- once again -- all this does is make the Acrobatics check more difficult. And the difficulty is not the issue I am interested in. Because regardless of how difficult it is to make the check, the penalty for failure is never any worse than simply not bothering to roll. That's why, in the example above, if you can't reach your target at half speed, you might as well add +10 to the DC and roll. The worst that could happen is that you'll fail and expose yourself to an AoO...but that was going to happen anyway. Unless you know for a fact that the DC is completely out of reach, there's literally no reason not to make an Acrobatics roll if you're going to try to move through a threatened square.

I will try to make this clear one last time, and then I will let this thread go where it wants to go, I guess. What I am interested in is not how difficult the Acrobatics check should be. I'm interested in whether the check is meant to be a tactical choice, or if it is assumed to be an automatic roll for anyone moving through a threatened square. If something bad happens when you fail (like falling prone, or even just being prevented from finishing your movement), then it's the former. If failing has exactly the same effect as not bothering to roll, then it might as well be the latter.

Shadow Lodge

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Michael:

I don't think you are unclear, I just think your ideas aren't supported by the current rules. Nor is it particularly bothersome in play.

In most cases people aren't going to roll with the +10 DC because the chance of success is almost always zero unless you have invested a lot in acrobatics. There is no auto-succeed on a 20 so you don't even have a 5% chance, it's nothing.

So the only people rolling to avoid attacks at full speed are the people with a lot invested in the skill in the form of ranks/ feats/ high dexterity/ boots/ etc. Even then they aren't going to be succeeding against the +10DC unless it's against wimpy enemies or on a lucky roll. In that case it's a simple matter of someone being good at something and getting a benefit from it.

That's not a problem, it's the game system working.


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Michael Gentry wrote:

But -- once again -- all this does is make the Acrobatics check more difficult. And the difficulty is not the issue I am interested in. Because regardless of how difficult it is to make the check, the penalty for failure is never any worse than simply not bothering to roll. That's why, in the example above, if you can't reach your target at half speed, you might as well add +10 to the DC and roll. The worst that could happen is that you'll fail and expose yourself to an AoO...but that was going to happen anyway. Unless you know for a fact that the DC is completely out of reach, there's literally no reason not to make an Acrobatics roll if you're going to try to move through a threatened square.

I will try to make this clear one last time, and then I will let this thread go where it wants to go, I...

This is no different than a lot of things.

There's no reason not to TRY to make a ride check to fast dismount if you're getting off your horse.

There no reason not to TRY making stealth checks to move quietly.

The difference in all of these things is that most people don't try them all the time because they know that while there's no penalty for failure, there's also such an improbable chance of success for the average person that there's no point in bogging the game down in the rolls for these sort of things.

When asked for stealth checks, most fighters, paladins, and clerics I know just handwave the DM and say "clank clank clank".


Are wrote:
Grummik wrote:
Nothing in here says you get knocked prone as someone above me had stated.

No, not when you only include that specific section. If you read the first section of the Acrobatics rules, the text I quoted in my post above is included.

What is a point of contention is whether or not the last sentence in that section applies to all Acrobatics checks, or just those for balance. I think it does, by the way the sentence is written, but those who don't think it applies also have a valid argument.

The situation you're talking about is different than "tumbling" to avoid an AoO.

It only applies when you're taking it slow and careful, hence no dex bonus to AC while you're performing the balancing act. Much different than tumbling, jumping, diving, etc. to avoid an AoO and therefore the PC that is trying to move through a threatened square would not be knocked prone on a successful AoO nor would his movement be stopped. The only instance where his movement is stopped is if he were trying to move through an enemy occupied space.


For my 2 cents. The idea of being knocked prone, would probably hurt people trained in acrobatics more than people who use it untrained. Even people trained in acrobatics can fail a dc.
Prone is a bad condition to impose.

The 7th level fighter would be allot better served with mobility for the extra ac. The rogue would think mobility is his acrobatics. Sure a fighter wearing leather or a mithiril breast plate could tumble. Hell probably a couple fighters out there that may have mobility and acrobatics just for a great way to avoid AoO's.

Likely full BaB progression classes would want not to loose a full attack action by tumbling; and if they did it probably would be drastic. Where a rogue would rather loose his full attack to deliver a sneak attack.


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Michael Gentry wrote:

I will try to make this clear one last time, and then I will let this thread go where it wants to go, I guess. What I am interested in is not how difficult the Acrobatics check should be. I'm interested in whether the check is meant to be a tactical choice, or if it is assumed to be an automatic roll for anyone moving through a threatened square. If something bad happens when you fail (like falling prone, or even just being prevented from finishing your movement), then it's the former. If failing has exactly the same effect as not bothering to roll, then it might as well be the latter.

An acrobatics check to avoid an AoO is absolutely a tactical choice. I did that many times on my rogue to gain a flank and sneak attack damage, and was successful most of the time. You're correct, failing does have the same effect as not bothering to roll, you take the AoO either way.


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The untrained tumbler is of no consequence really ;

1) As I read it you can not tumble without training in the skill

2) You need to be unencumbered / wearing light armor, or have a special ability to try it. Most characters that fit in this profile will typically take acrobatics anyway.

3) You have to move half speed, the +10 DC to move at full speed makes it nearly always an automatic failure if you got little invested in the skill.

This just makes it a rare situation when somebody would try tumble if they do not have invested significantly into acrobatics and dexterity, it is just one of the skills you either max out or do not bother taking.

Shadow Lodge

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Exactly

Beating CMD + 10 is not just rare for an untrained character, it's impossible except against the very weakest of foes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Grummik wrote:
Michael Gentry wrote:

I will try to make this clear one last time, and then I will let this thread go where it wants to go, I guess. What I am interested in is not how difficult the Acrobatics check should be. I'm interested in whether the check is meant to be a tactical choice, or if it is assumed to be an automatic roll for anyone moving through a threatened square. If something bad happens when you fail (like falling prone, or even just being prevented from finishing your movement), then it's the former. If failing has exactly the same effect as not bothering to roll, then it might as well be the latter.

An acrobatics check to avoid an AoO is absolutely a tactical choice. I did that many times on my rogue to gain a flank and sneak attack damage, and was successful most of the time. You're correct, failing does have the same effect as not bothering to roll, you take the AoO either way.

The decision that you're making here is to move through a threatened square and risk an AoO in the first place. You're right, that is certainly a tactical decision -- it has a risk (getting smacked) and a reward (moving to an advantageous position), and you have to weigh the one against the other when you decide to do it.

However, once you've made that choice, making an Acrobatics check to avoid the AoO is not a tactical decision or really a decision at all. It's a forgone conclusion that you will make the Acrobatics check, because doing so maximizes your chances of avoiding an AoO without costing you anything. Sometimes (a lot of times?) the roll is unnecessary, because you know your chance of success is 0%. But under no circumstances is the roll risky.

That's what I've been drilling at. My original post was a rules question -- I thought I remembered that a tumbling check involved additional risk, but I couldn't find where that rule was. Now it seems that I was most likely misreading the rule in the first place. So then I was interested in whether the tumbling check was intended to be risky (consensus: probably not), and, going a bit further, whether the tumbling check ought to be risky (consensus: again, probably not).

I do appreciate the answers I've gotten from people like Ogre and Remco. The rest of you, I don't mean to be argumentative, I'm just trying to make sure you're answering the right question.

Dark Archive

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Sure, they have made the tactical choice to wear light or no armor, carry a light load at max, or be a class/race that is not effected (fighter, dwarf, etc) as badly by encumbrance (each with their own penalties). Also, to use it well, they have made the tactical choice to spend skill points in acrobatics and not other skills, or spent feats in buffing their acrobatics and not for other abilities.

Shadow Lodge

Happler wrote:
Sure, they have made the tactical choice to wear light or no armor, carry a light load at max, or be a class/race that is not effected (fighter, dwarf, etc) as badly by encumbrance (each with their own penalties). Also, to use it well, they have made the tactical choice to spend skill points in acrobatics and not other skills, or spent feats in buffing their acrobatics and not for other abilities.

I wouldn't call character planning a 'tactical' decision but there is definitely a decision and an opportunity cost involved.


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I guess the point I'm trying to make overall Mike is that the penalty you take is consciously deciding to limit yourself to half movement (as opposed to being able to change your mind if you decide after you take the AoO and it hits/misses.)

In regards for an additional penalty for failure.. There isn't one and there probably shouldn't be one. If you're going to invest points in acrobatics, you should be able to use it without fear of getting double-penalized. If you're not heavily invested, then you usually have no chance of making it anyway. Does this mean there's no reason not to try it? Sure, why not. The way I figure it, most people are trying to do everything they can to not get hit anyway.

If there was a more severe penalty for failing tumbling than being limited to half movement and taking the AoO, I don't think anyone would realistically even attempt it except in the direst of circumstances. Given how difficult it became in pathfinder compared to the joke it was in 3.5, it becomes often becomes a 50/50 even when you're heavily invested.

Dark Archive

Robb Smith wrote:

Given how difficult it became in pathfinder compared to the joke it was in 3.5, it becomes often becomes a 50/50 even when you're heavily invested.

totally agree, there was almost no reason to not take a point or two of tumble in 3.5 if you had a halfway decent dex. Glad that Pathfinder allows everyone to try it, but only those who focus on it to do it well.


Happler wrote:
Robb Smith wrote:

Given how difficult it became in pathfinder compared to the joke it was in 3.5, it becomes often becomes a 50/50 even when you're heavily invested.

totally agree, there was almost no reason to not take a point or two of tumble in 3.5 if you had a halfway decent dex. Glad that Pathfinder allows everyone to try it, but only those who focus on it to do it well.
Happler wrote:
vip00 wrote:
...By strict reading of the pathfinder rules, you automatically get stopped whether or not you make the second check (check determines if you're standing or not).

Can you point me to the rules that state that you automatically get stopped when you fail (even if you make the second check)? I am missing seeing them in the book.

After an AoO, if you are able to finish the action, you do. At least from what I am reading.

Adding a spoiler of full skill text from book (with tables omitted)

Acrobatics:

Check: You can use Acrobatics to move on narrow
surfaces and uneven ground without falling. A
successful check allows you to move at half speed across
such surfaces—only one check is needed per round. Use
the following table to determine the base DC, which is
then modif ied by the Acrobatics skill modif iers noted
on page 89. While you are using Acrobatics in this way,
you are considered flat-footed and lose your Dexterity
bonus to your AC (if any). If you take damage while
using Acrobatics, you must immediately make another
Acrobatics check at the same DC to avoid falling or being
knocked prone.

In addition, you can move through a threatened square
without provoking an attack of opportunity from an
enemy by using Acrobatics. When moving in this way,
you move at half speed. You can move at full speed by
increasing the DC of the check by 10. You cannot use
Acrobatics to move past foes if your speed is reduced due
to carrying a medium or heavy load or wearing medium
or heavy armor. If an ability allows you to move at full
speed under such conditions, you can use Acrobatics to
move past foes. You can use Acrobatics in this way while
prone, but doing so requires a full-round action to move
5 feet, and the DC is increased by 5.
Finally, you can use the Acrobatics skill to make jumps
or to soften a fall. The base DC to make a jump is equal
to the distance to be crossed (if horizontal) or four times
the height to be reached (if vertical). These DCs double if
you do not have at least 10 feet of space to get a running
start. The only Acrobatics modifiers that apply are those
concerning the surface you are jumping from. If you fail
this check by 4 or less, you can attempt a DC 20 Ref lex
save to grab hold of the other side after having missed the
jump. If you fail by 5 or more, you fail to make the jump
and fall (or land prone, in the case of a vertical jump).
Creatures with a base land speed above 30 feet receive a
+4 racial bonus on Acrobatics checks made to jump for
every 10 feet of their speed above 30 feet. Creatures with a
base land speed below 30 feet receive a –4 racial bonus on
Acrobatics checks made to jump for every 10 feet of their
speed below 30 feet. No jump can allow you to exceed your
maximum movement for the round. For a running jump,
the result of your Acrobatics check indicates the distance
traveled in the jump (and if the check fails, the distance at
which you actually land and fall prone). Halve this result
for a standing long jump to determine where you land.
When you deliberately fall any distance, even as a result
of a missed jump, a DC 15 Acrobatics skill check allows you
to ignore the first 10 feet fallen, although you still end up
prone if you take damage from a fall. See the falling rules
on page 443 for further details.

Action: None. An Acrobatics check is made as part of
another action or as a reaction to a situation.
Special: If you have 3 or more ranks in Acrobatics, you
gain a +3 dodge bonus to AC when f ighting defensively
instead of the usual +2, and a +6 dodge bonus to AC when
taking the total defense action instead of the usual +4.
If you have the Acrobatic feat, you get a bonus on
Acrobatics checks (see Chapter 5).

"If you take damage while using Acrobatics, you must immediately make another Acrobatics check at the same DC to avoid falling or being knocked prone." (bolded in spoiler)

As opposed to the previous statement which does go out of its way to say that "While you are using Acrobatics in this way...", the statement does not specify as specific use of acrobatics to which it applies. Hence, whenever you take damage while balancing OR tumbling OR attempting to negate fall damage, you need to make another check at the same DC to avoid falling or being knocked prone.

That is the very strict reading of the rules to which I had referred. I guess it does not explicitly say that you stop even if you succeed the check, I was just taking the most harsh interpretation possible when illustrating the middle ground.

Dark Archive

vip00 wrote:
Happler wrote:
Robb Smith wrote:

Given how difficult it became in pathfinder compared to the joke it was in 3.5, it becomes often becomes a 50/50 even when you're heavily invested.

totally agree, there was almost no reason to not take a point or two of tumble in 3.5 if you had a halfway decent dex. Glad that Pathfinder allows everyone to try it, but only those who focus on it to do it well.
Happler wrote:
vip00 wrote:
...By strict reading of the pathfinder rules, you automatically get stopped whether or not you make the second check (check determines if you're standing or not).

Can you point me to the rules that state that you automatically get stopped when you fail (even if you make the second check)? I am missing seeing them in the book.

After an AoO, if you are able to finish the action, you do. At least from what I am reading.

Adding a spoiler of full skill text from book (with tables omitted)

** spoiler omitted **...

but even that does not state that you have to stop your movement. with that reading, you only have to stop your movement if you fail 2 acrobatics checks, you are still good to continue your movement if you only fail the first.


vic18,

It is my belieft that this is an artifact from when the tumble skill was consolidated into Acrobatics. I definitely understand the point, however I believe that this is a situation where RAI has drastically eclipsed RAW, to the point where RAI is effectively "Rules as Run".

In two years of play under several different GMs, I have never experienced, observed, or even heard a story of a GM calling for a second acrobatics roll or fall prone after a failed attempt to move through threatened spaces.

Shadow Lodge

The way I see it the first paragraph is talking about "us(ing) Acrobatics to move on narrow surfaces and uneven ground without falling." The second paragraph is about a different use for acrobatics to avoid attacks, and the third paragraph is about using it to jump. For example, missing a jump check doesn't necessarily mean you wind up prone, it means you don't jump as far or as high as you tried to. In the books and in the PRD the sections are fairly significantly separated to reinforce this. It's also spelled out fairly clearly in the section on jumping when you would fall prone or not.

Any generic 'this applies to all acrobatics checks' should go below in the section where they talk about conditions that apply to all acrobatics checks rather than in a paragraph talking about one specific way you can use acrobatics.

*SHRUG*

That's the way I've read it and seen most people run it anyhow.


Also if you are untrained and you do try to use acrobatics, there is probably a point were you will auto fail against an enemy, lets consider a pladin with 0 dex bonus, full plate -6 ac pen shield -3. So even untrained he would likely fail. Even with a nat 20 penalties stack equal a dc of 11.


Michael Gentry wrote:
Grummik wrote:
Michael Gentry wrote:

I will try to make this clear one last time, and then I will let this thread go where it wants to go, I guess. What I am interested in is not how difficult the Acrobatics check should be. I'm interested in whether the check is meant to be a tactical choice, or if it is assumed to be an automatic roll for anyone moving through a threatened square. If something bad happens when you fail (like falling prone, or even just being prevented from finishing your movement), then it's the former. If failing has exactly the same effect as not bothering to roll, then it might as well be the latter.

An acrobatics check to avoid an AoO is absolutely a tactical choice. I did that many times on my rogue to gain a flank and sneak attack damage, and was successful most of the time. You're correct, failing does have the same effect as not bothering to roll, you take the AoO either way.

The decision that you're making here is to move through a threatened square and risk an AoO in the first place. You're right, that is certainly a tactical decision -- it has a risk (getting smacked) and a reward (moving to an advantageous position), and you have to weigh the one against the other when you decide to do it.

However, once you've made that choice, making an Acrobatics check to avoid the AoO is not a tactical decision or really a decision at all. It's a forgone conclusion that you will make the Acrobatics check, because doing so maximizes your chances of avoiding an AoO without costing you anything. Sometimes (a lot of times?) the roll is unnecessary, because you know your chance of success is 0%. But under no circumstances is the roll risky.

That's what I've been drilling at. My original post was a rules question -- I thought I remembered that a tumbling check involved additional risk, but I couldn't find where that rule was. Now it seems that I was most likely misreading the rule in the first place. So then I was interested in whether the...

umm I agreed with you. :) If you read the last line of what I wrote. It really depends on class. I've played a rogue, who performed Acrobatics all the time to avoid AoO. I've also played the slow-moving, heavily armored tank who couldn't avoid an AoO if he tried, so...I didn't even try rolling. I would just move to where I wanted, tell the GM to take his AoO and arrive where I wanted to be. :)

Scarab Sages

0gre wrote:

The way I see it the first paragraph is talking about "us(ing) Acrobatics to move on narrow surfaces and uneven ground without falling." The second paragraph is about a different use for acrobatics to avoid attacks, and the third paragraph is about using it to jump. For example, missing a jump check doesn't necessarily mean you wind up prone, it means you don't jump as far or as high as you tried to. In the books and in the PRD the sections are fairly significantly separated to reinforce this. It's also spelled out fairly clearly in the section on jumping when you would fall prone or not.

Any generic 'this applies to all acrobatics checks' should go below in the section where they talk about conditions that apply to all acrobatics checks rather than in a paragraph talking about one specific way you can use acrobatics.

*SHRUG*

That's the way I've read it and seen most people run it anyhow.

I agree with you, Ogre. Each paragraph defines a different way to use Acrobatics. And each paragraph defines the consequences of using Acrobatics in that way.

B

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