House Rules: Skills - Acrobatics

< House Rules: Skill

You can keep your balance while traversing narrow or treacherous surfaces. You can also dive, flip, jump, and roll, avoiding attacks and confusing your opponents.

The following modifiers apply to all Acrobatics skill checks. The modifiers stack with one another, but only the most severe modifier for any given condition applies.

Table: Misc. Acrobatics Modifiers

Acrobatics Modifiers DC Modifier
Lightly Obstructed (gravel, sand) +2
Severely Obstructed (cavern, rubble) +5
Slightly Slippery (wet) +2
Severely Slippery (icy) +5
Slightly Sloped (<45°) +2
Severely Sloped (>45°) +5
Slightly Unsteady (boat in rough water) +2
Mildly Unsteady (boat in a storm) +5
Severely Unsteady (earthquake) +10
Move at full speed on narrow or uneven surfaces +51
1This does not apply to checks made to jump.


Balance (Novice)

First, you can use Acrobatics to move on narrow surfaces and uneven ground without falling. A successful check allows you to move at half speed across such surfaces—only one check is needed per round. 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). If you take damage while using Acrobatics, you must immediately make another Acrobatics check at the same DC to avoid falling or being knocked prone.

Table: Acrobatics Balance DCs

Surface Width Base Acrobatics DC
Greater than 3 feet wide 01
1–3 feet wide 51
7–11 inches wide 10
2–6 inches wide 15
Less than 2 inches wide 20
1No Acrobatics check is needed to move across these surfaces unless the modifiers increase the DC to 10 or higher.


  • Expert: As a reaction, you can attempt an Acrobatics check at a –10 penalty and use the result as your CMD against trip maneuvers. You can also attempt an Acrobatics check at a –10 penalty in place of a Reflex save to avoid falling. You must choose to use this ability before the trip attempt or Reflex save is rolled.
  • Master: You do not provoke attacks of opportunity when standing up from prone.

Balance DC Modifiers:

  • Balancing Pole: Using a balancing pole while traversing a narrow surface grants a +1 circumstance bonus to the Acrobatics check.

Move Through Threatened Squares (Novice)

In addition, you can move through a threatened square with a +1 dodge bonus to your AC for every 4 points of your Acrobatics check against attacks of opportunity from your opponent. When moving in this way, you move at half speed. You can move at full speed, but your dodge bonus is halved. You cannot use Acrobatics to move past foes if your speed is reduced due to carrying a medium or heavy load or wearing medium or heavy armor. If an ability allows you to move at full speed under such conditions, you can use Acrobatics to move past foes. You can use Acrobatics in this way while prone, but doing so requires using 3 acts to move 5 feet, and you take a -5 penalty to your check. Your dodge bonus is reduced by 1 for each subsequent opponent avoided in one round.

Using Acrobatics in this way allows you to move through a space occupied by an opponent. However, you do not get a dodge bonus against attacks of opportunity from that opponent.


  • Expert: When moving at full speed, you gain your full dodge bonus.

Jumping and Falling (Novice)

You can use the Acrobatics skill to make jumps or to soften a fall. The base DC to make a jump is equal to the distance to be crossed (if horizontal) or four times the height to be reached (if vertical). These DCs double if you do not have at least 10 feet of space to get a running start. The only Acrobatics modifiers that apply are those concerning the surface you are jumping from. If you fail this check by 4 or less, you can attempt a DC 20 Reflex save to grab hold of the other side after having missed the jump. If you fail by 5 or more, you fail to make the jump and fall (or land prone, in the case of a vertical jump).

Long Jump
A long jump is a horizontal jump, made across a gap like a chasm or stream. At the midpoint of the jump, you attain a vertical height equal to one-quarter of the horizontal distance.

Table: Acrobatics DC’s for Long Jumps

Long Jump Acrobatics DC
5 feet 5
10 feet 10
15 feet 15
20 feet 20
Greater than 20 feet

High Jump
A high jump is a vertical leap made to reach a ledge high above or to grasp something overhead.

If you jumped up to grab something, a successful check indicates that you reached the desired height. If you wish to pull yourself up, you can do so with a move simple action and a DC 15 Climb check. If you fail the Acrobatics check to jump, you do not reach the height, and you land on your feet in the same spot from which you jumped. As with a long jump, the DC is doubled if you do not get a running start of at least 20 feet.

Obviously, the difficulty of reaching a given height varies according to the size of the character or creature. The maximum vertical reach (height the creature can reach without jumping) for an average creature of a given size is shown on the table below. (As a Medium creature, a typical human can reach 8 feet without jumping.)

Quadrupedal creatures don’t have the same vertical reach as a bipedal creature; treat them as being one size category smaller.

Table: Acrobatics DC’s for High Jumps

High Jump Acrobatics DC
1 foot 4
2 feet 8
3 feet 12
4 feet 16
Greater than 4 feet +4 per foot

Table: Creature Vertical Reach

Creature Size ~Vertical Reach
Colossal 128 ft.
Gargantuan 64 ft.
Huge 32 ft.
Large 16 ft.
Medium 8 ft.
Small 4 ft.
Tiny 2 ft.
Diminutive 1 ft.
Fine ½ ft.

Hop Up
You can jump up onto an object as tall as your waist, such as a table or small boulder, with a DC 10 Acrobatics (jump) check. Doing so counts as 10 feet of movement, so if your speed is 30 feet, you could move 20 feet, then hop up onto a counter. You do not need to get a running start to hop up, so the DC is not doubled if you do not get a running start.

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


  • Expert: With a successful DC 20 Acrobatics check, you treat an unintentional fall as 10 feet shorter plus 10 feet for every 10 by which you exceed the DC, and treat an intentional fall as 10 feet shorter for every 10 by which you exceed the DC.
  • Legendary: You double the result of any Acrobatics check when jumping and never fall prone at the end of a fall as long as you remain conscious.

Jump DC Modifiers

  • Faster Base Movement: Creatures with a base land speed above 30 feet receive a +4 racial bonus on Acrobatics checks made to jump for every 10 feet of their speed above 30 feet. Creatures with a base land speed below 30 feet receive a –4 racial bonus on Acrobatics checks made to jump for every 10 feet of their speed below 30 feet. Jumping can allow you to exceed your maximum movement for the round.
  • Running Jump: For a running jump, the result of your Acrobatics check indicates the distance traveled in the jump (and if the check fails, the distance at which you actually land and fall prone). Halve this result for a standing long jump to determine where you land. Also, see Pole.
  • Pole: If you use a pole as part of a running jump, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on your Acrobatics check (but must let go of the pole in the process).
  • Falling: When you deliberately fall any distance, even as a result of a missed jump, a DC 15 Acrobatics skill check allows you to ignore the first 10 feet fallen, although you still end up prone if you take damage from a fall. See Falling Damage for more details.)


  • Feats—If you have the Acrobatic feat, you get a +2 bonus on all Acrobatics checks. If you have 10 or more ranks in Acrobatics, the bonus increases to +4.
  • Skills—If you have 3 or more ranks in Acrobatics, you gain a +6 dodge bonus to AC when fighting defensively instead of the usual +4, and a +8 dodge bonus to AC when taking the total defense complex action instead of the usual +6.

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