Light Steps - Can it be used under water?


Rules Questions


For reference, I will post the relevant sections:

"As a full-round action, she can move up to twice her speed, ignoring difficult terrain. While moving in this way, any surface will support her, no matter how much she weighs."

One of my players is playing a Ninja in the Skull and Shackles Adventure Path we are running and brought this up last night during an underwater dungeon. He brought up two points:

1 - Does being in contact with water count as having a "surface" under his feet? IE, if fully submerged, can he move up to twice his speed through the water?

2 - If the above does not work, can he swim to the bottom and use that as a "surface" effectively allowing him to bypass the restrictions of underwater movement and move at twice his normal speed while avoiding having to swim?

My ruling was a resounding NO to both of the above. I ruled that the ability does not function at all underwater. I do sympathize with him though because under water, 90% of his tricks and abilities are completely useless (Invisibility doesn't function properly, and it's very difficult to flank when you have to make swim checks in combat to move 5 feet in a round, or take a full round action to move 15 feet past creatures that can make multiple AOO's in a round and have a 60 foot swim speed) and this was a particularly difficult dungeon that cost numerous Hero Points and resources just to survive. Still, there is a limit to the shenanigans I will allow people to pull.

Thoughts?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Re-reading the Aquatic terrain rules, I'd say you were in the right. I don't see anything saying that being underwater counts as 'difficult terrain'. IF he wants to bob to the surface and move, that would count. (being underwater is not a 'surface')

As for walking on the bottom the chart in the core rulebook has this:

Pathfinder RPG, pg 433 wrote:
Creatures have firm footing when walking along the bottom, braced against a ship’s hull, or the like. A creature can only walk along the bottom if it wears or carries enough gear to weigh itself down: at least 16 pounds for Medium creatures, twice that for each size category larger than Medium, and half that for each size category smaller than Medium.

Then he could use the ability to move double speed, halved again because of water. (i.e. normal speed)


the first question is actually two I believe
Yes you can walk on water, it counts as a surface.
I doubt that while submerged you can treat some water as surface and other like anything else. Plus I think you need a real swim speed to really "move" like that, being submerged is not difficult terrain but swimming. This answers question 2.

But feel free to houserule otherwise, I'm not that sure with the rules or if they even exist and giving "weak" classes a little bit extra is never wrong.


Matthew Morris wrote:

Re-reading the Aquatic terrain rules, I'd say you were in the right. I don't see anything saying that being underwater counts as 'difficult terrain'. IF he wants to bob to the surface and move, that would count. (being underwater is not a 'surface')

As for walking on the bottom the chart in the core rulebook has this:

Pathfinder RPG, pg 433 wrote:
Creatures have firm footing when walking along the bottom, braced against a ship’s hull, or the like. A creature can only walk along the bottom if it wears or carries enough gear to weigh itself down: at least 16 pounds for Medium creatures, twice that for each size category larger than Medium, and half that for each size category smaller than Medium.
Then he could use the ability to move double speed, halved again because of water. (i.e. normal speed)

He was not carrying anywhere near enough weight for that, but I do like that interpretation. If he can weigh himself down, he could move along the bottom at his normal speed, but it might hinder him if he tried to swim normally. I think I'll allow that in future sessions because it seems like an acceptable compromise.

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