# One does not simply tumble into Mordor

### Rules Questions

 6 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

How does tumbling work? Particularly with multiple enemies. I've read the rules for the Acrobatics skill, but I'm having some trouble wrapping my head around them.

Can someone please provide me with some additional examples of the skill in action?

Tumble Rules:

As long as you do not have the encumbered or overburdened condition (see pages 275–276), you can use Acrobatics to move through a space threatened by an enemy or enemies without provoking attacks of opportunity from them. Tumbling is a move action, and you move at half speed. The DC to move through an opponent’s threatened area is 15 + 1-1/2 × the opponent’s CR. If multiple opponents are threatening the same space, you attempt one check with a DC based on the opponent with the highest CR, and the DC increases by 2 for each additional opponent beyond the first.

You can also tumble directly through an opponent’s space; the DC is 20 + 1-1/2 × the opponent’s CR. If you fail this check, you stop moving adjacent to your opponent and provoke an attack of opportunity.

If you attempt to move through multiple threatened spaces or opponents’ spaces during the same round, you must succeed at a check for each space, and the DC of each check beyond the first increases by 2. For example, if you tumble through a space threatened by two CR 1 creatures and a CR 2 creature, the DC = 15 + 3 + 2 + 2 = 22. If you then tumble through the space of the CR 2 creature, the DC = 20 + 3 + 2 = 25.

In all of these cases, the DC is modified by the same environmental circumstances that apply to the balance task of Acrobatics (see page 135). If you fail the check, you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal. If you want to move at full speed while tumbling, you take a –10 penalty to the check. You can use Acrobatics to tumble while prone, but you can move only 5 feet as a full action and take a –5 penalty to the check.

Use the following base DCs for Acrobatics checks to tumble.

Situation : DC*
Move through a threatened area : 15 + 1-1/2 × opponent’s CR
Move through an enemy’s space : 20 + 1-1/2 × opponent’s CR

* The DC increases by 2 for each additional threatened space or opponent’s space you move through in 1 round.

Say a couple of creatures A and B, CR 2 and 4 respectively, are threatening areas (a and b) like this and you want to move in a straight line from X to Y this round:
.
.
.
.
_aAa____
XaaabbbY
____bBb_

The base DC to tumble thru A's threatened area is 15 + 1.5*2 = 18. The first check is DC 18, the second DC 20, the third 22. The base DC to tumble thru B's is 15 + 1.5*4 = 21. The first check thru B's threatened area is the 4th of the round so it's at DC 27, the second DC 29, the last DC 31.

Now suppose they're standing immediately across from each other and you want to tumble between them. c is the squares they both threaten:

_aAa_
XcccY
_bBb_

The first check is at B's DC (21), +2 for A threatening it as well, and it goes up by 2 per square tumbled thru, DCs 23, 25 and 27.

If they're across and slightly displaced like this:

_aAa__
XaccbY
__bBb_

Then the first check is at A's DC (18), the second is at B's, +2 for both threatening and +2 for the second square this round, the third is at B's, +2 for both threatening and +4 for the third square, and the fourth and last check is at B's, +6 for the fourth square. Total DCs of 18, 25, 27 and 27.

That's how I read it. Apologies if the maps are hard to read. Does it make any more sense to you now?

Just for the title alone I want to try to reply to this :) But the need for a map/visual element makes it tricky so I'll see if avr's answer helped.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

AVR, are you certain it is per square and not per threatened area? With two medium enemies with normal reach, there are 18 squares that they threaten, but only two threatened areas.

They talk about threatened spaces, not squares or areas. I read spaces as meaning map squares, but that's inference, I can't prove it.

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

"If you attempt to move through multiple threatened spaces or opponents’ spaces during the same round, you must succeed at a check for each space, and the DC of each check beyond the first increases by 2"

This reads to me as a check per square, which I hate, given how the tumbling dc scales.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I was thinking it might mean the entire radius that a single creature threatened. So if there were four such creatures, you would only need to make 4 checks. Not a dozen.

I don't think a "threatened area" is a "thing" in the way you're using it. I think the implication is that it's per map square.

If I try to run by four creatures, I think I should expect to get slapped silly. :)

HammerJack wrote:
This reads to me as a check per square, which I hate, given how the tumbling dc scales.

I don't read it that way at all.

The example is good in my opinion:
"For example, if you tumble through a space threatened by two CR 1 creatures and a CR 2 creature, the DC = 15 + 3 + 2 + 2 = 22. If you then tumble through the space of the CR 2 creature, the DC = 20 + 3 + 2 = 25."

So, the example would look like that:
1
1 → 2 →
X ↑

You first move through the space of the 3 creatures. Because they all threaten the same area (especially the same square), you can't separate them in multiple checks and have to make a tumble check for all 3. Then you try to go through the square of the last creature and make a second tumble check.

In fact, when they say "space threatened by two CR 1 creatures and a CR 2 creature", I read an "or". Space threatened by the first CR1 creature or by the other CR1 creature or by the CR2 creature. Reading it as an "and" would make the things crazy complicated, as you would need to separate each threatened spaces and try to optimize your path so you change space the least possible, as each space would generate a new check even if you are threatened by creatures you already checked against.
Also, space is quite clear, it's not a synonym of square. If you read about threatened area, you'll see that they always use the word square when they need to.

 1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Actually, it's fairly clear that here, in the quoted Tumble rules, "space" = "square".

Proof:

"You can also tumble directly through an opponent’s space; the DC is 20 + 1-1/2 × the opponent’s CR. If you fail this check, you stop moving adjacent to your opponent and provoke an attack of opportunity."

An opponent's "space" is NOT the entire area that he threatens unless he's Tiny or smaller. An opponent's "space" is the square or square's he occupies.

Further, the Alien Archive stat blocks are pretty clear on the use of "Space":

"Space and Reach: The creature’s space and reach are noted here if they are other than a 5-foot square and 5 feet (those values are the default). Any special reach (from weapons or the like) is listed in parentheses."

(note: it's "Space and Reach" not "Square and Space")

Also in the Tumble rule, they clearly used "threatened area" in the correct context:

"The DC to move through an opponent’s threatened area is 15 + 1-1/2 × the opponent’s CR."

So it seems they know what a "threatened area" is and would continue using this term throughout the rule in places where it would be needed.

Therefore we can assume that terms like "Threatened area" and "Space" are clearly defined.

But in the Tumble rule, they have also misused the word space. The developers wrote this badly. They used "space" to mean two different things:
(1) the space a creature occupies and
(2) a space a creature threatens.

Clearly this is ambiguous. I'm assuming the ambiguity is that the author used "space" and "square" interchangeably. I can understand if the developers meant it to be as SuperBidi described it, where "space" means "threatened area" but since they actually used "threatened area" correctly in this rule I would assume they would keep using that term if that's what they meant. But, I can't rule out that they misused TWO terms in the same rule.

So, I've restated the previously quoted rule here for clarity. I replaced "space" with "square" except when it's reference to an opponent's occupied space.

Tumble (edited for clarity):
As long as you do not have the encumbered or overburdened condition (see pages 275–276), you can use Acrobatics to move through a square threatened by an enemy or enemies without provoking attacks of opportunity from them. Tumbling is a move action, and you move at half speed. The DC to move through an opponent’s threatened area is 15 + 1-1/2 × the opponent’s CR. If multiple opponents are threatening the same square, you attempt one check with a DC based on the opponent with the highest CR, and the DC increases by 2 for each additional opponent beyond the first.
You can also tumble directly through an opponent’s space; the DC is 20 + 1-1/2 × the opponent’s CR. If you fail this check, you stop moving adjacent to your opponent and provoke an attack of opportunity.

If you attempt to move through multiple threatened squares or opponents’ spaces during the same round, you must succeed at a check for each square, and the DC of each check beyond the first increases by 2. For example, if you tumble through a square threatened by two CR 1 creatures and a CR 2 creature, the DC = 15 + 3 + 2 + 2 = 22. If you then tumble through the space of the CR 2 creature, the DC = 20 + 3 + 2 = 25.

In all of these cases, the DC is modified by the same environmental circumstances that apply to the balance task of Acrobatics (see page 135). If you fail the check, you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal. If you want to move at full speed while tumbling, you take a –10 penalty to the check. You can use Acrobatics to tumble while prone, but you can move only 5 feet as a full action and take a –5 penalty to the check.

Use the following base DCs for Acrobatics checks to tumble.

Situation : DC*
Move through a threatened square : 15 + 1-1/2 × opponent’s CR
Move through an enemy’s space : 20 + 1-1/2 × opponent’s CR

* The DC increases by 2 for each additional threatened square or opponent’s space you move through in 1 round.

So is it me or can you really not tumble past anyone as you level up?

Space is not square, space is a bunch of squares. It's the meaning of the word in english, and there is nowhere in the rules where they say that space is not space but square.
Also, all the rules about threatened area speak about squares when they need to speak about squares.
There is no ambiguity, space = area, not square.

The only ambiguity is about "If multiple opponents are threatening the same space". The issue is it's impossible. For that, they would need to have the same space and reach, which is only true in case of mounted combat. So, they threaten multiple spaces which are overlapping. Now, the question is: Do you consider the sum of all their spaces when making a tumble check, or all the subspaces they create (space threatened by creature A, space threatened by creature B and space threatened by creature A and B).
The second case looks very weird, so I choose the first one. But it's a valid interpretation.
But considering that space = square is an invalid interpretation.

space= where you're standing. Which is A square if you're medium m 4 squares if you're large, 9 squares if you're huge etc. That's how it's always been used.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
space= where you're standing. Which is A square if you're medium m 4 squares if you're large, 9 squares if you're huge etc. That's how it's always been used.

"If multiple opponents are threatening the same space"

So, the word is more general than just your space.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't believe there are "sub areas" due to overlap.

Regardless of whether you follow BigNorseWolf's interpretation, or mine and SuperBidi's, there can only be one area per character or creature.

And for the record, I agree with SuperBodi. Rereading the tumble rules, it looks like the developers went through great pains to differentiate "space" and "opponent's space." The former is the general English usage, and the latter refers to the game space of the character or creature in question.

SuperBidi wrote:
Space is not square, space is a bunch of squares.

Source?

I'll give you a counter source:

Starfinder Wiki, Combat Basics wrote:
Combat normally takes place on a battle map with a grid of 1-inch squares, each representing a 5-foot-by-5-foot area, with miniature figures representing characters and monsters. Most player characters and many monsters occupy a single 5-foot square, though some bigger creatures occupy multiple squares. The space a character occupies is usually referred to as her square, though the terms “space” and “square” can be used interchangeably. See Size and Space for more information.

That should end the whole debate right there. "Space" and "Square" are considered interchangeable by the developers. "Space" and "Threatened Area" are not considered interchangeable.

SuperBidi wrote:
It's the meaning of the word in english,

Actually, it's not. Not according to Merriam or OED. I can't find "a bunch of squares" listed as the definition of space in any English dictionary I checked.

SuperBidi wrote:
and there is nowhere in the rules where they say that space is not space but square.

I disagree, and so do the Starfinder developers. See the quote above.

SuperBidi wrote:
There is no ambiguity, space = area, not square.

You're half-right. There is no ambiguity if you consider all the rulebook. However, "Space" = "Square", not area.

But there is ambiguity in the Tumble rule because the developers did use their words interchangeably when they probably should not have.

I'm still sure that my edited version of the Tumble rules in my previous post is the clear RAI (and RAW when considering the rulebook quote in this post) for Tumbling.

DM_Blake wrote:
Starfinder Wiki, Combat Basics wrote:
The space a character occupies is usually referred to as her square, though the terms “space” and “square” can be used interchangeably.

So, Starfinder is a square fantasy game :D

Square can be used to describe "The space a character occupies". Not all meanings of space. So, we disagree greatly on that.

The fact that Tumble rules speak only of spaces when Threatened area only speaks of squares make me think the developers want to dissociate the 2 notions.

SuperBidi wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
space= where you're standing. Which is A square if you're medium m 4 squares if you're large, 9 squares if you're huge etc. That's how it's always been used.

"If multiple opponents are threatening the same space"

So, the word is more general than just your space.

huh. They really did make that weird then...

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Yep, and that's part of my problem.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ok.. so now im confused even more. Is the consensus you add to the DC for each square you pass through that is threatened plus more if its threatened by more than one opponent or I guess I am not understanding what the alternative here is.

Is the other side of this saying you just add to dc for each threatened area you pass through not total squares?

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Hmm.
I can't seem to find it in the Starfinder rules, but under the progenitor ruleset you could only provoke once per move per enemy creature.

So if going by that you'd have to make a check per threatened area per creature, where instead of rolling seperately for 3 creatures threatening the same square you wanted to leave, you increase the DC, and as long as you don't leave the threatened space of a 4th creature one check would be enough. Finding a 4th creature who's space you wanted to leave would require a second check (against a single creature, but with a +2 to the DC because it is the second check during that move)

If instead you wanted to move through a square occupied by one of the three enemy creature after leaving the first square, you could try a tumble check (with a +2 because it's the second tumble check during that move) to see if that normally illegal move became legal for you.

So we'll go with the second route (first tumbling past 3, then through 1), then you want to go past a 4th creature, the DC would be increased by 4 because it'd be the third check you have to make.

Hmm.
RAW aside - no matter what they turn out to actually be - I refuse to roll, make roll or sit by while someone else rolls a dozen checks for a few squares of movement.
Besides, as pointed out, rolling that much every time just pretty much guarantees you'll fail more ofen than not.

I also have a hard time believing that amidst all the effort to make the system more elegant and streamlined in the PF1 to SF shift they somehow decided to make tumbling and AoOs, of all things, more complex and that much of a gratuitous hindrance. They confuse newcomers enough as is. Not like that's a relevant argument, of course.
But unless a good one comes up, honestly I'll just houserule it if I'm in charge, or provoke and tank it if I'm a player. Better to grab Mobility than to risk so many rolls for the privilege of both provoking anyway, quite likely, and halve my speed.

I'll FAQ-button it though.