Uses for Jumping in Combat


Advice


I'm running a monk and just hit 5th level, gaining the High Jump class feature. I've been putting a rank into Acrobatics each level and combined with that fact, my DEX bonus and the bonus from 40' base movement, I get a +20 on Acrobatics checks to jump and can do so from a standstill. Yay me.

What I'm trying to figure out is what this gains me. I had assumed that it was partly to go with the mobile combatant that monk seems directed to be. But, although my gut tells me that combat jumps ought to be useful, I can't see any official justification for this.

I had hoped that I would be able to, for example, jump over an enemy combatant or two and land to provide (and gain) flanking advantages, to alter or disrupt the flow of combat on the battlefield. But it would seem that the combination of the very high DC's for gaining any vertical distance, necessary to clear an enemy sufficiently to avoid jumping through a threatened zone, would make such jumps difficult even with the high monk bonuses.

Aside from contrived scenarios like fighting on 5'x5' platforms on poles or something like that, in just a normal straight up fight, is there ever a reason where jumping in combat would make sense? Moreso than simply moving and using Acrobatics to avoid Attacks of Opportunity? After all, with a jump, wouldn't you not only need to make the jump check but also still need to make AoO Acrobatics checks if you also jumped through the same threatened zones?

In short, is combat jumping justifiable in typical combats?


Jumping is good for getting to hard-to-reach bad guys. Personally, I'd probably allow using it for pole-vaulting over a bad guy. I'd treat it like you would Tumbling through an opponent's square (vs CMD) and maybe throw in a feint attempt or some way to distract the baddie since he's too busy watching you leap over him. Of course, that is in the realm of house rules...


The one time I've seen it used was by a monk who jumped up a wall and used that to jump and grab onto a flying enemy who'd been blasting us poor fellows without flying spells badly. Worked quite well there and without it we would have been in trouble; but the fact is she could easily have been much further away around out of reach.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In a flat, empty room there isn't much use for jumping at all. However, these kinds of boring layouts should be the exception. If there's high ground to jump from (a table will add a good 4 feet or so to your verticle distance) then that may let you clear obstacles that might otherwise be too difficult. If there's some sort of barricade or difficult terrain you can jump over it where a fighter might have to go around or hack through it.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Higher Ground bonus?


Difficult terrain skipping can be nice. If a flying creature ignores is so does a jumping one. Your score is good enough to skip over 3 squares with a take 0.


I saw a Monk jump over a grease spell once to simply avoid having to take the effects. Also, if you have a +20 to Acrobatics flat that means you can do a standing Long Jump of 20 feet without having to worry about it much. Something to think about.


As you have pointed out, jumping comes with no immunity to AoOs and it also doesn't generally increase your move distance (I haven't done all the math but I don't think it's mathematically possible to jump farther than one's base move, but maybe it might be).

Even if you jump over land behind an enemy to provide flanking, just landing there moved through his threatened squares and provokes from him - remember that threatened squares exist in all three dimensions, and any medium creature threatens two vertical squares (more with reach), so as you land at ground level behind him, you had to "fall" through the square right above that one - and he threatens that square too.

So unless there is a reason that makes it impossible to simply move around the battlefield like everyone else, such as the afore-mentioned elevated platforms, or jumping from one side of a cliff to the other, or whatever, there is really no benefit.

I suppose with good magic items and/or a Haste spell, you might actually get enough vertical distance to jump entirely over an enemy AND his threat range, land behind him beyond his threat range, then still have enough movement left to move normally into the space behind him - all without provoking. So maybe.

Another consideration is large groups of enemies. You might be able to get into the middle of them by jumping over some front ones, (take the AoOs, and get your flanking position or get next to their leader or a spellcaster or other juicy target) and it might be fewer AoOs than if you tried to simply run past them at ground level.

Otherwise we're back to using it to be flashy, or to get places that you cannot get to without jumping.


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I know of only 2 rules benefits to jumping.
Janni style: Janni Rush allows you to roll your unarmed strike twice if you make a jump as part of a charge. Honestly, 3 feats just to be able to do unarmed damage twice is not worth it at all. You might be able to combine it with dragon style to get a bit better effect, still not good :P

The barbarian (so not affecting you in this case) can get a rage power called Bestial leaper that allows you to take your standard action at any point in your move, kinda like mounted combat. So you could leap at your target, attack him and keep sailing on or leap at him, attack, then roll away. I like it with vital strike :)

As BBT said, you could claim a bonus for being on higher ground (+1 to hit) because you are 'attacking from above' but it would have to be a GM call as there is no rules defining "higher ground." Generally quite minor but it does open up 2 feats (one 3PP)
Death from above grants you +3 to hit for charging from higher ground and the feat attack from above allows you to make an attack at the end of a fall and add damage from the distance you fell. This last feat is 3PP so take it with a grain of salt.


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My group has interpreted the "high ground" modifier for leaping attacks, so at the very least if you jump to the square 5 feet above the enemy's space, that's a +1 to attack rolls. The feat Death From Above works nicely with this.

The interesting (and balancing, and realistic) part of this is that after the attack you fall to the ground. This counts as leaving a threatened space, so the enemy gets an Attack of Opportunity. This makes sense if you've ever seen someone taken out of the air on a jumpkick (or even a sloppy side kick). Mobility helps.

Also, in order to satisfy charge conditions for Death From Above, the first point in the leap must be above the enemy elevation.

Just some interesting rules interpretations we have going.


Evil Lincoln wrote:

My group has interpreted the "high ground" modifier for leaping attacks, so at the very least if you jump to the square 5 feet above the enemy's space, that's a +1 to attack rolls. The feat Death From Above works nicely with this.

The interesting (and balancing, and realistic) part of this is that after the attack you fall to the ground. This counts as leaving a threatened space, so the enemy gets an Attack of Opportunity. This makes sense if you've ever seen someone taken out of the air on a jumpkick (or even a sloppy side kick). Mobility helps.

Also, in order to satisfy charge conditions for Death From Above, the first point in the leap must be above the enemy elevation.

Just some interesting rules interpretations we have going.

For what it's worth, the Fly skill description describes what happens if you take damage while in flight, namely you drop 10'. It states that doing so does not trigger AoO. Extrapolating to falling in general could suggest that your fall there at the end does not actually trigger an AoO. Just food for thought.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback. We're still fairly low level, so flight hasn't been a factor. Most of our fights have actually been of the somewhat vanilla "stand up in a flat boxed in area with no difficult terrain" variety. We did have a multi level area recently but we held at the door to funnel them into a tight space and I just flurried with shuriken from behind the paladin and barbarian in the front rank.

In any event, I'll keep an eye out for situations where I can jump to gain an advantage. :)


Quintessentially Me wrote:
For what it's worth, the Fly skill description describes what happens if you take damage while in flight, namely you drop 10'. It states that doing so does not trigger AoO. Extrapolating to falling in general could suggest that your fall there at the end does not actually trigger an AoO. Just food for thought.

That's a really good point. I think we discussed that briefly, but we hung our interpretation on the language "as part of normal movement" and the notion that your last 5 feet of jump isn't "falling" so much as landing. You don't ordinarily take damage for landing from a standing jump (I don't think!) and the jumper is intending to move that distance. I suppose that might affect whether or not it counts against your movement for the round...

Even so, if the AoO is out that just makes the higher ground attack an even better option. And charge attacks with DFA are still great. The air is full of open charge lanes. In practice, we've found the AoO makes sense in limiting jump attacks to folks who really should be using them (mobility folks and people assured of killing the target with the attack)

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

The best use for High Jump in combat is to take the Qinggong archetype and replace it with barkskin as a ki power.


Usefulness of jump is completely dependent on the terrain your DM puts you in.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Usefulness of jump is completely dependent on the terrain your DM puts you in.

This. Assuming that the DM doesn't give you a lot of interesting terrain though, I agree with Rainy Day Ninja that Barkskin is much better in this situation.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Usefulness of jump is completely dependent on the terrain your DM puts you in.

Well, I don't know. That higher ground thing... we're only debating whether there's a slight consequence (AoO) or no consequence at all.

Which means the jump skill can become a +1 to all melee combat rolls. Without terrain.


Jumping over the bad guy instead of tumbling through his square, I'd just say is refluffing the tumble.

"no no I don't tumble through his square, i JUMP over him! It looks more awesome that way"
"fine, fine, roll the die.. if you pass the tumble check you jump over him. sheesh."

As for Jump being useful..

Jump over the slime.
Jump over the pit.
Jump over the rubble.
Jump over the half-wall the wizard put up to hide behind.
Jump over the tower shield the fighter thinks he's hiding behind.

Jump over and/or onto the table in the middle of the room. (Dancing a jig while there- optional.)

Jump onto the chandelier and swing across the room. (whee!)
Jump as you do an unarmed strike and declare it to be a jump kick.
"you just rolled 6 attacks. what do you mean the last one is a jump kick?"

Jump as you do all your unarmed strikes and declare them to be part of a spinning jump kick. (what, you are a monk. DO IT!)

Doesn't all have to be about bonuses and such.. Just have some fun with it.

-S


Jump in conjunction with the Spider Step feat can also be pretty for not only positioning/flanking, but the cinematics of being able to run on walls and ceilings or across water and tree limbs after a Hulk-esque jump, all Ang Lee style. :-D

Grand Lodge

Well this is pretty late in the game but there are 3rd party feats that go delightfully with characters bent on jumping. Leaping Strike lets you get those hard to get crits in the game and the delightfully named Flying Jump Kick gives even more bonuses to hit and extra damage. combine the two and you've got some major incentives to jump at your opponent. Also, Flying jump kicks extra damage can be argued to be multiplied on a critical hit, have fun!


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Jumping is pretty much its own reward, don't you think?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

It allows you to wear your pants backwards.


I always found it to be the result of wearing pants backwards.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

One thing I think a lot of people forget about is that jumping is A PART OF MOVEMENT and is subject only to your speed. That is, THERE IS NO LIMIT ON HOW MANY TIMES YOU CAN JUMP AS PART OF A MOVE ACTION.

In a losing fight and need to get some distance from the enemy? Jump up that nearby tree, branch by branch. If you have 50-foot movement speed, and the tree is only 50-feet tall, then you can likely get to the very top in a single move action (assuming the branches aren't terribly sparse and can hold your weight).

Far too many people think "the tree is 50-feet tall. I can't jump 50-feet straight up." The trick is realizing that you don't have to. Jump multiple times as part of your move action. You can do it. Totally legal.

In decent terrain, it's as good as flying, possibly better since trees give you cover (whereas most flyers don't realize just how exposed they really are).

Just don't fall and take damage. That makes you prone. Standing up from prone takes an action. Spending actions screws up your movement.

Have fun with it.

;)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Fly like the Hulk?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

As mentioned, Death from Above can be easily interpreted as applying to leaps at least 5 ft high (DC 20 check) against a Small or Medium humanoid opponent. Personally, I'd rule that to qualify against other opponents standing on the ground, the character has to jump at least as high as their natural reach (see Big and Little Creatures in Combat, Creature Size and Scale); Tiny and smaller opponents still require 5 ft of jumping height.

If you use the mythic rules, Death from Above gets even better. Especially with the Champion path abilities Aerial Assault and Impossible Speed. For instance, a barbarian (elemental kin) 4/oracle (Flame mystery, Lame curse) 2/rage prophet 6/champion 2 with Cinder Dance, Aerial Assault, Impossible Speed, maximum ranks in Acrobatics, and boots of striding and springing has an 80 ft move (assuming a base 30 ft move for the race) in any armor (Lame curse) and an Acrobatics check modifier of +12 (ranks) +20 racial (for movement of 50 ft more than 30 ft; see the Acrobatics description) +5 competence (boots) = +37 + Dex mod for leaping (modified for Armor Check Penalty). With as little as 14 Dex, that's 20 ft high on a 1 (or slightly higher with the Armor Check Penalty), plus an extra 20 ft by one use of mythic power with Aerial Assault = 40 ft high (for +4d6 damage); add mythic Death from Above and that's at +5 to the attack roll, the critical multiplier is increased by 2 (i.e., 15-20/x4 with a keen falchion/nodachi or falchion/nodachi with Improved Critical), and a free trip maneuver that doesn't provoke an AoO.


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Ravingdork wrote:

One thing I think a lot of people forget about is that jumping is A PART OF MOVEMENT and is subject only to your speed. That is, THERE IS NO LIMIT ON HOW MANY TIMES YOU CAN JUMP AS PART OF A MOVE ACTION.

In a losing fight and need to get some distance from the enemy? Jump up that nearby tree, branch by branch. If you have 50-foot movement speed, and the tree is only 50-feet tall, then you can likely get to the very top in a single move action (assuming the branches aren't terribly sparse and can hold your weight).

Far too many people think "the tree is 50-feet tall. I can't jump 50-feet straight up." The trick is realizing that you don't have to. Jump multiple times as part of your move action. You can do it. Totally legal.

In decent terrain, it's as good as flying, possibly better since trees give you cover (whereas most flyers don't realize just how exposed they really are).

Just don't fall and take damage. That makes you prone. Standing up from prone takes an action. Spending actions screws up your movement.

Have fun with it.

;)

I don't know if I should allow Mario 64 jumps


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Seeing as a successful jump should probably carry you at least one square, and since it's limited by your land speed, I doubt you will get anywhere near 64 "Mario jumps" anyways, so it shouldn't be much of an issue.

But, hey, if a warrior jumping from branch to branch in a tree really seems so ridiculous to you in a game full of fire-breathing dragons and flying wizards...you're welcome to house rule it however you want in your games.


I feel that, in combat, jumping is abstracted in with the acrobatics checks. Meaning, when you make an acrobatics check to tumble through a threatened space, that doesn't necessarily mean you are rolling on the ground. It means you are using whatever means are necessary and appropriate based on your strengths, the terrain, and the situation, to get by the enemy without a chance of them catching you with a blade. For this reason, there is little reason to specify out 'how and where' you are jumping around, just live within the checks, and flavor the actual movement how you feel.

For things that can make this type of combat maneuverability more useful and fun, here are a few feats that come to mind (basically anything from the Dodge tree is fun in this arena).

Mobility - +4 AC against AoO from movement (for when you fail the tumble check)
Spring Attack - Split move before and after attack.
Disorienting Maneuver - Tumble by an enemy, then hit hit with a +2 on the attack roll.


I meant the prospect of jumping and jumping again in mid air. I'm more open to fighters hulk-jumping than doublejumping.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Malwing wrote:
I meant the prospect of jumping and jumping again in mid air. I'm more open to fighters hulk-jumping than doublejumping.

When did Mario do that???

In any case, I wasn't suggesting anything of the sort. Not in the slightest.


Mario 64 introduced doublejumping.

The Exchange

Mario does things to physics that mere wizards can only dream of.

I still think it would be hilarious in the very last Mario game to reveal that the whole series has been the delirious fever-dream of an ordinary, everyday plumber on peyote.

Sczarni

"Double Jump" would make an interesting combat feat.

If ever you find yourself in combat in a room with a table, jump onto it for the high ground.

I remember a Grippli character I once played who got similar mileage out of the fact that he has a Climb speed.


I'm not in favor of doublejumping but I think drop kicks, bodyslams and head stomps are underrepresented in the game.

The Exchange

Wait, can you jump between trees?


Wait three years, and you can find out.


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Jumping in combat is all about the awesomness. If it all works, it's awesome. If you fail, it's still awesome.

Also, I've seen a Monk in a PFS CORE game leap out of a 20ft pit trap in just 2 jumps. He did the whole Jackie Chan thing where he jumps to the wall and rebounds from that to reach the top.

Oh shoot, zombie thread! ZOMBIE THREAD!!!


What's the DC to jump over a 10' pit?

*Runs for the horizon, shield covering face to block rotten tomatoes.*


Lower than a succubus in a grapple.

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