Acrobatics to move through a threatened square


Rules Questions

The Concordance

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When using Acrobatics move through a threatened square without provoking an attack of opportunity, Only the threatened square need half speed or the whole move action need half speed? I prefer to the later.


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The Move action that encompasses the Acrobatics check is half-speed in total. If you normally move up to 30' with a single Move action, you can move UP TO 15' while using Acrobatics to move through a threatened square. If you want to move more than 15' and part of your movement involves using that Acrobatics check, your character is using 2 moves that round.


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You can move at full speed with acrobatics but you take a -10 to your roll.

The Concordance

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Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
The Move action that encompasses the Acrobatics check is half-speed in total. If you normally move up to 30' with a single Move action, you can move UP TO 15' while using Acrobatics to move through a threatened square. If you want to move more than 15' and part of your movement involves using that Acrobatics check, your character is using 2 moves that round.

I used to approve, but a friend show me a FAQ otherwise.

CRB FAQ:
Quote:

For example, a rogue is flanked by a meek goblin and a terrifying antipaladin. The rogue move away from both of them, provoking an attack of opportunity from both, but uses Acrobatics to attempt to negate them. She must move at half speed while threatened by these foes and can choose which to check against first. If she fails a check, she provokes an attack of opportunity from that foe. If she makes it, she does not provoke from moving through that foe's threatened space this turn.


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According to what you posted from the FAQ any movement when threatened would cost double or there is not penalty. So if a character with 30’ movement uses acrobatics to move 10’ without provoking an AoO they can move 10’ more after they are no longer being threatened. If they take a 5’ step to avoid the AoO they can move another 20’.


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Mysterious Stranger wrote:
If they take a 5’ step to avoid the AoO they can move another 20’.

Except that a 5-foot-step can't be made in the same turn as any other movement.

I don't think I agree with Julien, but that argument is ignoring the rules of 5-foot-steps.


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this is a perennial question and there are lots of threads on it.


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I think pretty much every group I've played with interpreted the rule as only requiring half-speed movement within the threatened squares that require the Acrobatics check to avoid provoking.

This does raise an interesting question of how to handle movement that would provoke from multiple opponents who are separated by some unthreatened space. The DC is increased by +2 for every additional opponent avoided in one round, so the only difference would be potentially moving faster in that intervening space. And as a result, possibly being able to move past even more foes because of it, adding even further to the DC. It bites both ways!


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Tim Emrick wrote:

I think pretty much every group I've played with interpreted the rule as only requiring half-speed movement within the threatened squares that require the Acrobatics check to avoid provoking.

This does raise an interesting question of how to handle movement that would provoke from multiple opponents who are separated by some unthreatened space. The DC is increased by +2 for every additional opponent avoided in one round, so the only difference would be potentially moving faster in that intervening space. And as a result, possibly being able to move past even more foes because of it, adding even further to the DC. It bites both ways!

If we start with the example in the FAQ… then you are first spending 20ft (assuming success on both acrobatics checks) of movement to move 10ft to escape the threatened space of the first two, then your next space only costs the normal 5ft of movement bringing you to 25ft of movement spent. if you moved into a threatened space at this point, you would be unable to attempt a third acrobatics check unless your base speed is 35ft or greater since at a standard 30ft movement you lack the required 10ft of movement remaining to travel any further distance at half speed… unless of course you are willing to try at a -10 penalty, and with the +4 to the DC for the third opponent, that’s looking like a pretty hefty check.


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Acrobatics wrote:
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.
Acrobatics wrote:
Action: None. An Acrobatics check is made as part of another action or as a reaction to a situation.

Now as a GM, my interpretation of both of these has always been that the Action for using Acrobatics to move through threatened squares is a Move action. Further my interpretation of "when moving in this way, you move at half speed" to mean that the Move action you commit to when using this action is half speed.

If a normal Move action allows you to move up to 30', then using the "move through threatened squares" changes that Move action to allowing you to move up to 15'. It doesn't say "when moving through those squares, your movement counts as 2 squares for every one moved" or something, as it does for Difficult Terrain or some other obstacles. It says your movement is half speed when moving in this way.

Also, there's the FAQ right below the one the OP posted:

FAQ wrote:

Acrobatics: What happens if I fail the check when using this skill to move through an enemy's square?

You lose the move action and provoke an AOO. (Note: This means you can attempt this up to two times in the same round, once as a move action and once as a standard action.)

That appears to confirm to me that at least part of my interpretation is correct; it begins as a Move action to move through threatened squares.

I could be wrong and that's fine; many folks on these boards have pointed out to me that I'm wrong on rulings I should've had down 10 years ago! So far though I'm not seeing anything as definitive as would prove that to me. This is a rules thread though so I'll take my anecdotal interpretations and go home.


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Mark Hoover 330 wrote:


I could be wrong and that's fine; many folks on these boards have pointed out to me that I'm wrong on rulings I should've had down 10 years ago! So far though I'm not seeing anything as definitive as would prove that to me. This is a rules thread though so I'll take my anecdotal interpretations and go home.

I don't know about any other rulings you may have been right or wrong on, but I think you have this one right.


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Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
I could be wrong and that's fine; many folks on these boards have pointed out to me that I'm wrong on rulings I should've had down 10 years ago! So far though I'm not seeing anything as definitive as would prove that to me. This is a rules thread though so I'll take my anecdotal interpretations and go home.

You very much have this one mostly wrong…

1) unless stated otherwise in the specific application of the check ALL acrobatics checks are free actions made as a part of any action to move. This means that your acrobatics check to move through a threatened space is simply a free action, it is NOT a move action made to acrobatically move through a threatened space without provoking. You spend a normal move action to move and then a free action to attempt to make the movement without provoking, if you fail you lose the action.
2) as long as you don’t fail, you can continue to make acrobatics checks against different targets that threaten you over the course of your movement. If you fail a check, your movement ends in the space you were in when you made that failed check.
3) the prior FAQ listed makes it very clear that your movement is only halved for the threatened spaces you move through with acrobatics. It operates the same as difficult terrain in that respect. As soon as you leave the threatened space you may continue your movement at normal speed.


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Chell Raighn wrote:
3) the prior FAQ listed makes it very clear that your movement is only halved for the threatened spaces you move through with acrobatics. It operates the same as difficult terrain in that respect. As soon as you leave the threatened space you may continue your movement at normal speed.

Well, all due respect but I don't see where the FAQ states anything about halved movement:

FAQ wrote:

Acrobatics allows you to make checks to move through the threatened area of foes without provoking attacks of opportunity. You must make a check the moment you attempt to leave a square threatened by an enemy, but only once per foe. The DC (which is based of the Combat Maneuver Defense of each foe), increases by +2 for each foe after the first in one round. The DC also increases by +5 if you attempt to move through a foe. In the case of moving out of the threatened square of two foes at the same time, the moving character decides which check to make first.

For example, a rogue is flanked by a meek goblin and a terrifying antipaladin. The rogue move away from both of them, provoking an attack of opportunity from both, but uses Acrobatics to attempt to negate them. She must move at half speed while threatened by these foes and can choose which to check against first. If she fails a check, she provokes an attack of opportunity from that foe. If she makes it, she does not provoke from moving through that foe's threatened space this turn.

It states what the skill allows you to do, which is move through threatened squares without provoking. It further states when you make those checks, what the penalties could be, and how to adjudicate moving out of a square threatened by 2 foes at the same time.

Does anyone see words to the effect of half movement, slowed movement, or anything else that makes a clear reference to Difficult Terrain? I'm not seeing that.

Instead I'm seeing that you interpret it that way based on the fact that you make Acrobatics checks when leaving a threatened square or if passing through multiple squares. Note that I'm not saying your interpretation is wrong, but I AM merely pointing out that this is one interpretation.

My own interpretation comes from the language in the skill and the second FAQ, which I quoted above, that suggest that Acrobatics IS part of another action and that those actions can be a Move action and, if that fails, a Standard action.


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Chell Raighn wrote:

1) unless stated otherwise in the specific application of the check ALL acrobatics checks are free actions made as a part of any action to move. This means that your acrobatics check to move through a threatened space is simply a free action, it is NOT a move action made to acrobatically move through a threatened space without provoking. You spend a normal move action to move and then a free action to attempt to make the movement without provoking, if you fail you lose the action.

It's not a free action.

Acrobatics wrote:


Action: None. An Acrobatics check is made as part of another action or as a reaction to a situation.

It is just something you can do as part of movement (or as a reaction - you take damage while balancing on a tight rope for example). So while acrobatics itself is not a move action, you are taking a move/standard action if you are using an active acrobatics check.

Chell Raighn wrote:


2) as long as you don’t fail, you can continue to make acrobatics checks against different targets that threaten you over the course of your movement. If you fail a check, your movement ends in the space you were in when you made that failed check.

You only lose the move action if you fail an acrobatics check to move through an opponent. Moving past them and provking does not end movement (or have I forgotten a rule somewhere on this one?)

Chell Raighn wrote:


3) the prior FAQ listed makes it very clear that your movement is only halved for the threatened spaces you move through with acrobatics. It operates the same as difficult terrain in that respect. As soon as you leave the threatened space you may continue your movement at normal speed.

I can see where that argument comes from based on the FAQ wording. Contextually though I don't believe that narrow interpetation is warranted - that is of course my opinion on it though, so take that for what it is worth.

eg, the context is the words being quoted to delcare you only move at half speed while in a threatened squares is an example to help explain the FAQ answer - it's not really the answer itself. So I give more weight to the rules on acrobatics then I do the example explanation. (Not that the acrobatics rules are clear cut either though...)


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Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Acrobatics wrote:
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.
Acrobatics wrote:
Action: None. An Acrobatics check is made as part of another action or as a reaction to a situation.

It's funny, I actually agreed with you before you made this post, but those two quotes together made me think the exact opposite of what you said.

Acrobatics is made as part of another action. When Jumping over a 10 foot pit the acrobatics check is made only during the 10 feet of movement that covers the pit. Why then would the acrobatics check for moving through threatened squares cover any of the un-threatened squares?

Here's a scenario: You begin to move forward, but after moving 10 feet you see a hidden enemy that was invisible until now. By the time you see said enemy you are within their threatened space, but have not yet provoked. Can you continue forward without provoking an AoO? If you had to commit to the whole move action this would seem to be impossible ...?


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Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
FAQ wrote:

Acrobatics: What happens if I fail the check when using this skill to move through an enemy's square?

You lose the move action and provoke an AOO. (Note: This means you can attempt this up to two times in the same round, once as a move action and once as a standard action.)

That appears to confirm to me that at least part of my interpretation is correct; it begins as a Move action to move through threatened an enemy's squares.

This FAQ is about a different scenario. It's not about moving through my threatened squares, it's about moving through MY square.

Normally if you try to move through a threatened square and fail your acrobatics check the only consequence is that you take an AoO, your movement is not stopped (although certain attacks - such as a Trip, or a Dazing Assault - could prevent you from continuing your movement). Or if you prefer you can forgo the acrobatics check entirely and make your movement, provoking an AoO from the enemy who threatens. The penalty for failing the acrobatics check is that the enemy can affect you as if you hadn't made the check in the first place, but your action is not lost.

If you attempt to move through my square this is a different story. You can't even attempt to move into my square without the acrobatics check, and if you fail the check your action is lost. This is definitely NOT the same scenario described above.

TLDR: Moving through a threatened space is not the same as moving through an enemy's space.


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The scenario in my head makes sense to me, maybe it'll make sense to other folks too.

I'm 10ft away from an Orc. I declare my move action and move 10ft to be adjacent to him. I now say, with my remaining 20ft, that I want to roll along his right side so I can get kinda behind him. Acrobatics doesn't require an action to perform in-of-itself so the half movement should only cost what I'm actually tumbling/flipping/cartwheeling.

PXXO

PO

XOX
XXP


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Scavion Why are you moving up next to the orc and then tumbling around instead of just circling wide and ending up in the same space?


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Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Scavion Why are you moving up next to the orc and then tumbling around instead of just circling wide and ending up in the same space?

I dunno man. Examples are weird like that. I don't go around buying 50 watermelons either. You could look at it in reverse too...


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Maybe there are walls - you could be in a corridor for the first part, for example.

The "Why" doesn't really matter, since there are times when this will occur.

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