FAQ: Can you 5' step out of Grease?

Rules Questions

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I still don't understand how people think that moving into or out of a 5' square of grease somehow doesn't count as movement within the area of effect. How are you not within the area of effect when you're in the area of effect? How are you not moving when you are moving?

_Ozy_ wrote:
I still don't understand how people think that moving into or out of a 5' square of grease somehow doesn't count as movement within the area of effect. How are you not within the area of effect when you're in the area of effect? How are you not moving when you are moving?

Well, for one, that would mean the "through" part of the spell would be meaningless. Because any form of moving through would be moving within. So, by the logic that the text is meaningful, it must mean that "within" literally means within, starting and stopping while inside the area. Logically, it is the through part that discusses how you treat the boundary between AOE and non-AOE.

Logically speaking, why wouldn't you have to roll an Acrobatics skill check anytime you moved while touching a greasy slippery surface?

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

We're not discussing 'real world' movement - we're discussing movement under Pathfinder rules. Sometimes those rules don't make sense in real-world terms, but those are the rules that apply.

You keep trying to bring real-world examples into it. I suggest you take a look at the "DC to jump a 10' pit" thread, where exactly the same sort of arguments were invoked, and look at the eventual FAQ response.

_Ozy_ wrote:
Logically speaking, why wouldn't you have to roll an Acrobatics skill check anytime you moved while touching a greasy slippery surface?

You aren't rolling each time, but your roll is applied to each square. Your character is performing acrobatics through each square with the roll applied to it.... your question is like asking, "why do you not have to roll stealth for each step you take".

Lorewalker wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Logically speaking, why wouldn't you have to roll an Acrobatics skill check anytime you moved while touching a greasy slippery surface?
You aren't rolling each time, but your roll is applied to each square. Your character is performing acrobatics through each square with the roll applied to it.... your question is like asking, "why do you not have to roll stealth for each step you take".

I can only think that you misunderstood me, because that's not what I said at all.

I said, every time that your movement encounters grease, you need to make the acrobatics roll. It's only one time per movement event, not one time for square.

So, you move enter the area, your feet encounter grease, you have to make the roll. You move to leave the area, your feet encounter grease, you have to make the roll. You move in then out of the area, your feet encounter grease, you have to make the roll. Anytime your feet touch grease during ONE movement, you have to make the roll. It's one roll per movement.

_Ozy_ wrote:
Lorewalker wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Logically speaking, why wouldn't you have to roll an Acrobatics skill check anytime you moved while touching a greasy slippery surface?
You aren't rolling each time, but your roll is applied to each square. Your character is performing acrobatics through each square with the roll applied to it.... your question is like asking, "why do you not have to roll stealth for each step you take".

I can only think that you misunderstood me, because that's not what I said at all.

I said, every time that your movement encounters grease, you need to make the acrobatics roll. It's only one time per movement event, not one time for square.

So, you move enter the area, your feet encounter grease, you have to make the roll. You move to leave the area, your feet encounter grease, you have to make the roll. You move in then out of the area, your feet encounter grease, you have to make the roll. Anytime your feet touch grease during ONE movement, you have to make the roll. It's one roll per movement.

_Ozy_ wrote:
Logically speaking, why wouldn't you have to roll an Acrobatics skill check anytime you moved while touching a greasy slippery surface?

given this context, I think I get what you are asking...

I believe that it already was intended that you make a check any time your feet touch the grease. That is my suggestion that through means "going in or out of the AOE in one movement" and not "going in and out of the AOE in one movement".

It is only in the context where through means "going in and out of the AOE in one movement" and within means "moving from one square to another inside the AOE", where you don't have to make a check just for landing or leaving a square of grease.

Alternately, if within means either "moving to or starting from the AOE but not necessarily from or to a square not in the AOE", then through would be meaningless to the point as through would be covered by within in all cases.

Correct. There are ways to interpret 'within' and 'through' to make one or the other redundant. However, there are also ways to let people move while within the area of effect without having to make an acrobatics roll, and that I believe is incorrect.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
_Ozy_ wrote:

Yeah, but you have to assume that this part of the spell contains no meaning:

Quote:
Creatures that do not move on their turn do not need to make this check and are not considered flat-footed.

Now, I tend to agree with you that RAW says you're only flatfooted for uneven/narrow surfaces. However, the grease spell seems to imply that the terrain falls under the 'uneven surfaces' portion of the acrobatics skill description.

Otherwise you have to assume the Paizo devs screwed up the wording on a core rulebook spell that has existed forever, is one of the most used spells ever, and survived multiple printings.

Always possible, I suppose.

I assume they are simply pointing out that even if you "do not move" you aren't prevented from moving, so you can keep your dexterity bonus to AC and aren't flat footed.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lorewalker wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Lorewalker wrote:
You are flat-footed if you do any sort of movement after the acrobatics check

Cite the rule that say that if you do a acrobatic check on something that isn't a narrow surface you are flat footed.

PRD wrote:

You can use Acrobatics to move on narrow surfaces and uneven ground without falling.

....
Use the following table to determine the base DC, which is then modified by the Acrobatics skill modifiers noted below. While you are using Acrobatics in this way, you are considered flat-footed and lose your Dexterity bonus to your AC (if any).

Surface Width Base Acrobatics DC
Greater than 3 feet wide 0*
1–3 feet wide 5*
7–11 inches wide 10
2–6 inches wide 15
Less than 2 inches wide 20
* No Acrobatics check is needed to move across these surfaces unless the modifiers to the surface (below) increase the DC to 10 or higher.

As long as we look the skill description and not rules added in modules to make more exciting specific scenarios, the only situation in which having to roll a Acrobatic check make you flat footed is when you are on a narrow surface.

The DC to cross an area of grease is what? 10. Up from 0, as the width is greater than 3 feet. That is a DC increase of 10, due to surface changes.

acrobatics wrote:
"* No Acrobatics check is needed to move across these surfaces unless the modifiers to the surface (below) increase the DC to 10 or higher."

With that DC increase, a check is required under the "Cross Narrow Surfaces/Uneven Ground" acrobatics section. Notice that it is not exclusive to narrow surfaces in the title alone. It includes any surface with a modified DC 10 or higher for making a check in that section, no matter the width. The width only gives you the base DC. Of which every surface size is represented.

Also note that the spell specifically references the acrobatics rules, which calls into question any idea that grease is using its own definition for an acrobatics check.

But greased isn't one of the modifiers listed in the table below that one. And that note refer explicitly to that table.

As grease is in the same book, not in some later expansion, it would be logic to list it in the list of modifiers, don't you n think?
There are several spell referenced in the skill section of the CRB, why not grease?

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lorewalker wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

You can step out, which makes sense. You made your saving throw to stay standing, the effects of the spell should be pretty minimal after that

In one specific circumstance, you may have made a reflex save and succeed, then walked out which satisfies your want of penalty to those in the AOE. But it is entirely possible to step into and out of a grease AOE without taking any penalties or having to make a save by this definition(albeit on 2 separate turns). That I can not fully agree with. As conditionally slippery grease bothers me.

Of course if you mean "five foot step" instead of just "can step out", then I must agree as there is no rule presented that prevents you from doing so. Only that you will have used up 10 movement for the 5 foot step.

RAW you would have used 5' of your halved movement. I am still perplexed by the idea of halving your 50' movement because you move 5' in a greased area, but RAW that is how it work.

On one side of the coin it allow you to take a 5' step, on the other it halve your total movement, regardless of how much of it is made in the greased area.

Diego Rossi wrote:

But greased isn't one of the modifiers listed in the table below that one. And that note refer explicitly to that table.

As grease is in the same book, not in some later expansion, it would be logic to list it in the list of modifiers, don't you n think?
There are several spell referenced in the skill section of the CRB, why not grease?

Really? I gave you the rule that states "narrow surface" can be any size ground. I gave you the rule where if a surface, of any size, has an acrobatics DC of 10 or higher you are using the "narrow surface/uneven ground" section(Notice I said surface causing the check and not other situations, which are covered elsewhere in the description). I gave you that even the title is not exclusive to narrow surfaces, which you said it must be exclusive to. I gave you where grease specifically calls out the acrobatics rules for details on how it works. The spell even calls out that you aren't flat-footed if you do not move, which is only meaningful if you are flat-footed if you move. You give me "well, then why weren't they even more explicit?"

This game is FAR from perfectly explicit. What more do you really need?

Diego Rossi wrote:
Lorewalker wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

You can step out, which makes sense. You made your saving throw to stay standing, the effects of the spell should be pretty minimal after that

In one specific circumstance, you may have made a reflex save and succeed, then walked out which satisfies your want of penalty to those in the AOE. But it is entirely possible to step into and out of a grease AOE without taking any penalties or having to make a save by this definition(albeit on 2 separate turns). That I can not fully agree with. As conditionally slippery grease bothers me.

Of course if you mean "five foot step" instead of just "can step out", then I must agree as there is no rule presented that prevents you from doing so. Only that you will have used up 10 movement for the 5 foot step.

RAW you would have used 5' of your halved movement. I am still perplexed by the idea of halving your 50' movement because you move 5' in a greased area, but RAW that is how it work.

On one side of the coin it allow you to take a 5' step, on the other it halve your total movement, regardless of how much of it is made in the greased area.

.... again, that is not RAW. You should read the whole thing thoroughly.

acrobatics wrote:
A successful check allows you to move at half speed across such surfaces—only one check is needed per round

As it says, you only move half speed while moving across the surface which requires the check. Any other surface you move through does not cause this penalty.

RAW is that you normally use 5 foot of movement to move 5 feet. When your movement is halved and you use 5 feet of your halved speed, then you have used 10 feet of your unaltered movement speed which matters for acrobatics, as you are only halved during the time you are using acrobatics.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Let's put it another way then.

I don't move, I am not flat footed.
I move I am flat footed.

It seem logic and coherent to you?

By using that logic and the text of Acrobatics: "You can use Acrobatics to move on narrow surfaces and uneven ground without falling." if I am standing on a 2 inch rope over the Niagara fall, I don't need to make a acrobatics check and get my full dexterity bonus to AC as long as I don't move.

If I take damage I don't even need to make a Acrobatics check, as the requirements are to "take damage" and "being using acrobatics", but I am not using it as long as I don't move.

Edit: I concede that you can be forced to take Acrobatic checks for surfaces larger than 3', so you are right in that, the greased area fall under the acrobatics check.
For the series: people with only 2 skill point/level have a hard life. And I am so happy that all my current characters have some way to fly.

Diego Rossi wrote:

Let's put it another way then.

I don't move, I am not flat footed.
I move I am flat footed.

It seem logic and coherent to you?

By using that logic and the text of Acrobatics: "You can use Acrobatics to move on narrow surfaces and uneven ground without falling." if I am standing on a 2 inch rope over the Niagara fall, I don't need to make a acrobatics check and get my full dexterity bonus to AC as long as I don't move.

If I take damage I don't even need to make a Acrobatics check, as the requirements are to "take damage" and "being using acrobatics", but I am not using it as long as I don't move.

That's RAW. You are not using acrobatics if you are not moving... as it only says you must make a check if you move. This follows along with both the referenced rule and grease describing acrobatics.

Personally, if there was a high wind and you stopped moving I would ask for an acrobatics check while on that line. And in a home game I would require a check if you were attacked, as I would include "staying still on such a surface" as moving through but only in the case where some outside influence is affecting you.

Edit : As for flight... it is definitely one of the best problem avoiding solutions.

Diego Rossi wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

Yeah, but you have to assume that this part of the spell contains no meaning:

Quote:
Creatures that do not move on their turn do not need to make this check and are not considered flat-footed.

Now, I tend to agree with you that RAW says you're only flatfooted for uneven/narrow surfaces. However, the grease spell seems to imply that the terrain falls under the 'uneven surfaces' portion of the acrobatics skill description.

Otherwise you have to assume the Paizo devs screwed up the wording on a core rulebook spell that has existed forever, is one of the most used spells ever, and survived multiple printings.

Always possible, I suppose.

I assume they are simply pointing out that even if you "do not move" you aren't prevented from moving, so you can keep your dexterity bonus to AC and aren't flat footed.

That makes absolutely no sense to me. Even if someone has used up all of their movement, they are not flatfooted.

Sorry, I think my explanation is much, much more likely than what you just proposed.

Diego Rossi wrote:

Let's put it another way then.

I don't move, I am not flat footed.
I move I am flat footed.

It seem logic and coherent to you?

Absolutely it dose. When you're not moving, you're not having to use acrobatics to carefully place your feet and keep your balance across a slippery surface.

While you're not moving, your feet are planted and you can duck and weave without having to worry about foot placement.

Trying to duck and weave while simultaneously navigating a slick surface means you would fall.

That's what the rules say. Now, you can certainly make arguments otherwise, but the logical arguments supporting the acrobatic rules aren't completely unreasonable.

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Being somewhat skilled with necromancy, I will point out that this relatively simple question, with 93 FAQ requests, remains unanswered.

I didn't know you could target whole swarms with necromancy spells

96 now.

Without reading the entire thread, I'm in the "Sure, with a DC 10 Acrobatics check" camp.

Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Being somewhat skilled with necromancy, I will point out that this relatively simple question, with 93 FAQ requests, remains unanswered.

In the past, we've seen the PDT answer straight forward FAQs quickly, and on at least one occasion, we got two FAQs issued because they said one was so straight forward. I've also seen them do follow-ups to clear things up even when the FAQ count might have not been that high, e.g. Spiked Shield.

So despite this appearing simple and straight forward, it's possible there is some larger impact or implication of answering this FAQ that has stalled it out.

Probably because it seems to be a ridiculous debate.

Stepping out of grease is still moving while you are within it. Therefore you get to make a Acrobatics check. (The 1/2 speed is meaningless in this situation.)

Just my thoughts ...

justaworm wrote:

Probably because it seems to be a ridiculous debate.

Stepping out of grease is still moving while you are within it. Therefore you get to make a Acrobatics check. (The 1/2 speed is meaningless in this situation.)

Just my thoughts ...

actually its a ridiculous debate because the opposite is true. in pathfinder the game only cares about what square you are moving INTO and not what you are moving out of

Hampered Movement

Difficult terrain, obstacles, and poor visibility can hamper movement (see Table: Hampered Movement for details). When movement is hampered, each square moved into usually counts as two squares, effectively reducing the distance that a character can cover in a move

The rules for difficult terrain and provoking attacks of opportunity only care about moving into particular squares. The grease spell, however, is not either of those things and has its own rules in the text . . . which are not worded very well.

in light of the "unclearness" of grease (which is clear to me) I go by already in place rules which only care about what square you move into, which is what the already in place raw is.
if you wanna house rule that a 10foot grease is actually 15 feet of difficulty(the actual 2 squares of grease + the clear square on the other side of grease) that's fine but its not raw and if you think they will ever faq in that direction just take a look at jumping a 10foot hole. its not gonna happen

The grease spell penalizes movement "within or through" its area. "Within" indicates that both the start position and end position are inside grease. "Through" indicates that both the start and end position are outside grease.

Moving within a grocery does not include the portion of a trip where you move to or from your car into or out of the store.

Passing through a town does not apply to people who were already residents, or who decide to settle in that town.

Regardless of what "makes sense", that's what the spell says.

Further, when looking for rules governing movement, as has been pointed out repeatedly, there are two reasonably close ones; difficult terrain and attacks of opportunity. The former is more similar a situation since it regards where you walk, as opposed to who-gets-to-punch-your-head.

Between the language of the spell and the closest parallel rule, I don't think there's any question how it's intended to work. I'm sure that rubs the imagination wrong in many minds, and not without cause.

That all said... hopefully some of you have experienced ice rinks. I'm convinced that if you're on the outside of one and you step in with improper footwear, you've got a high chance of landing on your butt momentarily. On the other hand, if you're standing upright on one, and solid ground is one step away, you've got a much higher chance of staying standing, because where you're going offers stability.

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

As this thread rises from the earth, I shall remind everyone of one simple fact.

Grease is a spell effect in a specific area. If the character is within that spell's effects, that character will have to deal with that spell's particulars when taking their turn. That means rolling the Acrobatics to get through the greased area. Being on the edge of the Grease spell's effects does not matter, you are still within the effects of that spells and need to double move to get out of it. (No 5 foot step)

A character of mine lost a prestige because of the GM's lack of knowledge of this in the past, and the delay that would have been caused by this spell was negated completely. I have since tried to inform that GM of his mistake.

It is not difficult Terrain. It is not only a Reflex save at the time of casting, nor should the spell be waved away as "only" a first level spell, so it doesn't matter.

I still do not believe one can simply five foot out of a Grease Spell's effects.

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I've always ruled that you can 5' step out of grease (you are not entering difficult terrain, movement costs only care about the square you are entering, etc.), however you must still attempt the Acrobatics check in order to do so if you are currently in the greased area.

This doesn't really jive with the wording "within or through", however I believe that the RAI cannot be that people entering then remaining, or starting in the area then leaving are not affected. That just doesn't really make sense to me.

When the RAW is dumb and there is a sensible interpretation otherwise, I'm going with the sensible interpretation. Hopefully this FAQ will be answered at some point to adjust the RAW to be not utterly stupid as well (as Anguish points out, "within or through" only covers if you both start and end inside the area, or you both start and end outside of the area while passing completely through the area as part of your movement. It does not cover starting outside and then ending inside, or starting inside and then ending outside).

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Your putting to much into it. If it was a pit, you still have to climb out of it.

thaX wrote:
Your putting to much into it. If it was a pit, you still have to climb out of it.

If it was a 20' pit, would you charge them 25' of movement to get out? Or would you say that the last bit (getting onto ground) is assumed to be part of the climb?

I think that what he means is that if you have a pit under your feet -aka you are in the area of effect of the pit- you won't dismiss the "falling into the pit" thing saying "Oh, well! 5 feet ahead there is nothing that impedes my movemet."

So imagine you have a Levitate on you. Someone casts a pit under your feet. Obviously you are not affected by the pit, but now imagine your Levitate wears off at the begining of your turn after the pit has been cast. From my perspective there are two camps here: the ones that say that you won't fall because you are moving into a square with no hindrances, and the team that says that you are affected by the pit because you are in the area of effect of the pit.

I'm inclined to think that Grease works the same way as the Pit.

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If your Levitate / Air Walk wears off, you are immediately in the pit. It's the solid pit walls that stop you taking a 5' step out. I don't see the relevance of the analogy.

Difficult terrain is a more appropriate analogy. Can you five-foot step off difficult terrain?

...but since that's never been officially answered, it doesn't help us much.

Matthew Downie wrote:
If your Levitate / Air Walk wears off, you are immediately in the pit. It's the solid pit walls that stop you taking a 5' step out. I don't see the relevance of the analogy.

The relevance is this:

Movement "within" the area of the pit spell is slowed (because climbing). There's no doubt about that. But, having spent enough movement inside (by getting to the top), should you have to pay extra cost to get out?

Possibly.
(My actual opinion: No. When you climb 10' vertically from inside a 10' deep pit you are now in an illegal position, hovering above the edge. You are immediately shunted horizontally to the nearest legal position. This is balanced in realism terms by the fact that the last 5' of climbing would be quicker and easier because the lip of the pit gives you something to grab on to.)

But I don't see what a 'yes' or 'no' would mean for a 5' step out of Grease.

The relevance, as _Ozy_ noted several years ago, is: why there is people that dismiss the area of effect of the Grease spell?

But the thing that intrigues me most is why those persons do not dismiss the area of effect of a Pit spell the same way they dismiss the Grease area of effect?

This is most intriguing to me.

It has nothing to do with Difficult Terrain or Pits. It is called Area of effect of spells.

The Area of Effect in this case is the size of the area that's difficult to move into, and the size of the area where people have to make a Reflex check to avoid falling over if they're in the area at the time.

(It might do more; the text is unclear.)

thaX wrote:

As this thread rises from the earth, I shall remind everyone of one simple fact.

Grease is a spell effect in a specific area. If the character is within that spell's effects, that character will have to deal with that spell's particulars when taking their turn. That means rolling the Acrobatics to get through the greased area. Being on the edge of the Grease spell's effects does not matter, you are still within the effects of that spells and need to double move to get out of it. (No 5 foot step)

A character of mine lost a prestige because of the GM's lack of knowledge of this in the past, and the delay that would have been caused by this spell was negated completely. I have since tried to inform that GM of his mistake.

It is not difficult Terrain. It is not only a Reflex save at the time of casting, nor should the spell be waved away as "only" a first level spell, so it doesn't matter.

I still do not believe one can simply five foot out of a Grease Spell's effects.

Once the initial Reflex save is made, and a character makes the DC 10 Acrobatics check, the only effect of grease is the requirement of moving at half speed through it. Being forced to move at half speed doesn't negate the ability to make a 5-foot step.

Numarak wrote:

The relevance, as _Ozy_ noted several years ago, is: why there is people that dismiss the area of effect of the Grease spell?

But the thing that intrigues me most is why those persons do not dismiss the area of effect of a Pit spell the same way they dismiss the Grease area of effect?

This is most intriguing to me.

It has nothing to do with Difficult Terrain or Pits. It is called Area of effect of spells.

Dismiss? I - for one - am not dismissing the area of grease at all. I'm very, very rigidly enforcing its area. It's area most specifically does not include the space outside its area, which is where a hypothetical creature is moving to. Recognize that at least half of the "if this was reality" movement involved with a 5ft step out of grease would take effect outside of it.

But wait, let's play with your example of create pit. See, with that spell, you've effectively got a wall around you that prevents horizontal escape. This happens because create pit isn't grease. If grease was make a wall around a 10ft square area, I wouldn't argue for allowing a 5ft step. Wall's in the way. But grease doesn't do that. All stepping out of it requires is lifting one leg (which is then not touching the grease), and putting it down on non-grease territory. Remember, the spell doesn't make your feet slippery, so the moment that foot touches ground, you're on solid footing.

I repeat, the rules of grease govern what happens with its area. You are penalized for moving through or within that area. Moving out of that area is not one of the things that the spell covers.

thaX wrote:
Your putting to much into it. If it was a pit, you still have to climb out of it.

This is a disanalogy. The fact that grease is an "area of effect" spell is irrelevant in the context of this discussion. That's easily proven by a simple example:

Let's say the PDT rules you can 5' step out of grease. By your logic then you can 5' step out of all area effect spells. Since we know that would be false, it is thus totally irrelevant that create pit and grease are both AoE spells.

There is no fundamental truth to AoE spells that speaks to the issue. What matters is what the spells does and how Pathfinder treats movement. As others have pointed out, the RAW is that you pay movement penalties for moving into terrain. The question is whether grease is just changing the terrain conditions, or, imposing a condition on the targets.

It is possible this is as straightforward as it looks and the PDT just hasn't bothered to answer it. But how hard would it be for them to simply post:

A: You can 5' step out of grease.

? So I'm leaning towards there is some significant implication to how they answer this.

N N 959 wrote:

Let's say the PDT rules you can 5' step out of grease. By your logic then you can 5' step out of all area effect spells. Since we know that would be false, it is thus totally irrelevant that create pit and grease are both AoE spells.

How the hell are grease and create pit the same spell?

You're saying that since both are aoe spells the rules should be the same. Then since both are aoe spells and create pit's size changes based on caster level, grease's area should as well. Oh and the acrobatics checks for exiting their areas with a jump should be the same too.

If you agree with the above, I can see how you can 5-foot out of both a pit and grease area.

I agree with the acrobatics check to 5-foot btw.

The great grease fire burns anew! As was foretold in the prophecy!

If the grease is on fire it has reached mythic proportions then! :P

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