PF Skills: Reforged – Acrobatics

For my reforging of the skill system I want to eliminate a lot of the rolling of dice that modern gaming has come to rely on.  My hope is that this will free up players’ creativity as well as the GM’s creativity and ultimately lead to more story and less mechanics. (That’s why we’re playing it, right?)

Without further ado… I give you…

Acrobatics (DEX): How well a character can maintain balance, skillfully move up-over-around-under obstacles and maneuver in unnatural ways (e.g., flying).

Absorbed: Flying & Riding

Expunged: Falling Damage (Now a rogue, monk and barbarian class trait)

First, I decided to bring flying and riding under the umbrella of acrobatics because I couldn’t come up with a good reason not too.  They’re all dex based abilities involving movement of some sort so absorbing them here not only shortens the skill list but it also increases the value of points put into this skill because you can do more with it.

Second, I decided to get rid of falling damage and make it a class trait for rogues, monks and barbarians because I wanted to give each of those classes an edge in this department.  This was really personal preference for me as I thought about each class and what they remind me of and how I felt they should have an advantage here: For the rogue I envisioned a parkour master leaping from roof top to roof top at insane heights, the monk… Jackie Chan, who no matter the stunt or fall involved always gets up and the barbarian with his cat-like reflexes always seems to be able to land on his feet (at least in my mind).

Moving on to the checks…


The rule for balance is this, a character can balance moving at quarter speed without requiring a check.  End of story.  Quarter speed for me represents the character taking the necessary time and precautions to not fall.  But checks are sometimes required, perhaps a character chooses to rush across a ledge or tight rope.

  • Half Speed = DC10
  • 3/4 Speed = DC15
  • Full Speed = DC20
  • Running… I’ll decide on the spot.

So when else are checks required? When the situation changes in such a drastic way as to hinder a character’s current action.  You can decide what that means, but for me, the only situation is taking damage while balancing.  If damaged while balancing an acrobatics check must be made to maintain movement and keep from falling.  The check is…

  • DC 5 + 1/2 Damage (min 1) + Speed DC

So if a player is moving at half speed across a tight rope and gets hit by a crossbow bolt for 8 damage the check would be 19 (5 + 4 + 10).  Failing the check by 10 or less forces the character prone and in this example would have them hanging from the rope (turning it from balancing into climbing).  Failing by more than 10 and the character falls off whatever they were on.  This check is essentially your reflex save so you won’t get to roll a reflex to stop from falling.

Oh, I forgot to mention one thing.  While balancing you lose your shield and dex AC.  Maybe running across that rope while trying to dodge enemy fire wasn’t such a good idea after all.


I’m an adventurer, I’m a hero and hell, one day I’ll be a legend.  I know how to ride a horse.  I am one with my horse.  My horse sleeps at the foot of my bed.  My horse fights with me.  My horse is so in-tune with me it tries to keep me on it.  We love each other.  Ride checks, what are those?

Well there’s one, did you take damage?  Roll baby, roll.

  • DC 5 + 1/2 Damage.

Hope you’re strong in the saddle.


Unlike my horsemanship skills I’m not so good at flying.  *Checks for wings* In fact I wasn’t meant to fly at all.

First I’ve adopted the maneuverability table from D&D. (Fly Table) How do you determine your flight maneuverability? Check your acrobatics score.

  • 0 – 4 = Clumsy
  • 5 – 9 = Poor
  • 10 – 14 = Average
  • 15 – 19 = Good
  • 20+ = Perfect

I’m still iffy about doing flight like this, but I want to let it run its course and see how things turn out.  As far as flying checks in weather conditions you can use whatever suits you, but the rules provided by pathfinder work fine for me.  Otherwise if you’re damaged while flying…

  • DC 5 + 1/2 Damage. (surprised?)

Collision While Flying

To avoid falling make an acrobatics check.

  • DC = Speed both objects were traveling at the point of impact.

If unsure of speed then use the last rounds flight speed.  Of course if the character could possibly land on whatever they flew into then that would be preferable over a check.  Failing results in character plummeting to his death… unless he survives the fall by making another acrobatics check.

Avoid Falling Damage

  • DC = 1/4 of falling distance.

Falling 20 feet, roll a 5.


Jumping distances have been modified.  Otherwise rules for jumping remain the same.

Long Jump Acrobatics DC
5 ft. DC10
10 ft. DC15
15 ft. DC20
Great than 15 ft. +5 per 5 ft.
High Jump Acrobatics DC
1 ft. DC4
2 ft. DC8
3 ft. DC12
4 ft. DC16
Greater than 4 ft. +4 per 1 ft.

So that’s acrobatics in a nutshell.  Some of this information might seem incomplete and I apologize.  Remember this is untested as of yet and that my ultimate goal was to merge all these skills into a simple acrobatics check.  More to come.  Thoughts?


One comment

  1. Pingback: PF Skills: Reforged – Athletics « Will Save

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