The Acrobatics skill is a measure of your learned physical agility, as opposed to the application of raw physical power seen in Athletics. It’s used to keep one’s balance on a narrow, uneven, or unstable surface, reduce falling damage, leap great distances, maneuver personal vehicles guided by a character’s equilibrium and body weight distribution, skydive, and tumble through chaotic scenes (such as combat). This skill is common to agile, slippery characters, such as sky-rise thieves and melee and unarmed fighters. It’s also extremely useful to many military types, especially paratroopers.
Dramatic Conflict: Chases.
Sample Knowledge: Personal vehicle specs; the best path over shaky terrain; packing a parachute; general information about various martial arts styles.
(Dex; Active; Armor Check Penalty, Flat-Footed, Hearing, Vision)
1 Half Action (Take 10/Take 20) • Base Error Range 1
With one successful Balance check, you may move across a precarious surface at up to 1/2 your Speed (rounded down). To move at your full Speed or faster, you must make two Balance checks. Each Balance check’s DC and error range are determined by the surface upon which you’re standing, as shown on Table: Balance Checks.
If any Balance check results in a failure, you lose your balance and must spend the rest of the current round regaining it.
Being Attacked While Off-Balance: Someone who attacks you while you’re off-balance gains a +2 bonus with his attack check. Additionally, unless you possess 5 or more ranks in Acrobatics, you lose your Dexterity bonus to Defense, if any. If you suffer any damage from an attack while off balance (after damage reduction and other modifiers are applied), you must immediately make another Balance check, adding 5 to your DC.
Synergy Skills: Athletics, Resolve, Sneak.
Threat: You find your bearings. Your error range with each Balance check made on the same surface decreases by 1 (minimum 1). This effect lasts until the end of the current scene or until you fail a Balance check (whichever comes first).
Critical Success: You may move up to twice your standard balancing Speed.
Error: You cramp up or lose your bearings. Your DC with each Balance check made on the same surface increases by 5. This effect lasts until the end of the current scene or until you succeed with a Balance check (whichever comes first).
Critical Failure: You fall and become sprawled. If you’re positioned on a surface from which you might conceivably fall at least 10 ft. unless you land precisely, you must make a second Balance check with the same DC or fall from your perch in a random direction determined by the Deviation Diagram (see page 346), suffering damage for the distance fallen (see Falling).
Alternately, if you suffer this critical failure within a square from which you may fall at least 10 ft., the GC may spend 2 action dice to force you freeze up, after which one of the following conditions must be met before you can perform another action.
- Someone must move into an adjacent square. Then, both of you must move up to the other character’s Speed in feet toward the nearest square without a potential fall on any side. This reduces both your Initiative Counts to the lowest initiative count between you.
- You must succeed with 1 Resolve/Concentration check (see page 147).
|Surface/Circumstance||DC/DC Modifier||Error Range Increase|
|Uneven floor (10° to 20° angle)||15||+0|
|Uneven floor (21°–35° angle)||20||+1|
|Uneven floor (36°–45° angle)||25||+1|
|Uneven floor (46°–60° angle)||30||+2|
|Uneven floor (61°+ angle)||Climbing check||-|
|Narrow walkway (7–12 in. wide)||15||+0|
|Narrow walkway (3–6 in. wide)||20||+1|
|Narrow walkway (1–3 in. wide)||25||+1|
|Narrow walkway (less than 1 in. wide)||30||+2|
|Buckled, rolling, or sagging surface||+5*||+0|
|Slippery surface, or knee-deep water||+10*||+1*|
|You’re moving more than 1/2 Speed (rounded up), up to full Speed||+5||+0|
|You’re moving more than full Speed, up to double Speed||+10||+1|
|* These modifiers are cumulative.|
(Dex; Active; Armor Check Penalty, Vision)
1 Free Action • Base Error Range 1–3
With a successful Falling check (DC 20), you land on your feet. Further, your falling damage is reduced by an amount equal to 1/4 your result (rounded down), to a minimum damage equal to 1 point per damage die.
With failure, you suffer the full impact of the fall and become sprawled (see page 342).
For more information about falling damage, see page 336.
Falling Duration: Hitting the ground is instantaneous, but the fall itself may take some time.
Any fall up to 150 ft. happens instantly (i.e. the fall begins and ends during the same Initiative Count).
Any fall from 151 to 600 ft. takes 1 full round (see page 346).
Any fall over 600 ft. takes 1 additional full round per additional 400 ft. fallen.
Synergy Skills: Athletics, Sneak, Survival.
Threat: Your falling damage is reduced by an amount equal to 1/2 your result (rounded down, minimum damage equal to 1 point per damage die).
Critical Success: Your falling damage decreases by an amount equal to your result (minimum 1 point of damage per fall).
Error: You suffer a –2 penalty with any Fortitude save made to resist the effects of a critical injury resulting from your fall (see page 331).
Critical Failure: Your falling damage increases by 1 point per die rolled. This may increase the amount of damage inflicted by each die beyond its typical maximum.
(Str; Active; Armor Check Penalty flatfooted, Vision)
1 Half Action (Take 10) • Base Error Range 1
With a successful Jump check (DC 10), you clear the distance shown on Table: Jump Checks. To calculate the distance jumped, find the difference between your check result and the DC, then divide that number by the jump interval listed on Table: Jump Checks (rounding down). Finally, add this result to the minimum distance listed on Table: Jump Checks to find the actual jump distance.
When leaping between two moving surfaces (such as two moving vehicles), you suffer a –4 penalty with your Jump check.
If this distance exceeds the maximum distance listed on Table: Jump Checks , then you jump the listed maximum distance.
Example: Kevin leaps from the outside of a slow-gliding scout plane to a helicopter hovering nearby (a 20-ft. jump). He has a 20-ft. running start over the scout plane’s hull and therefore covers a base distance of 5 ft. with a jump interval of 1.
He scores a Jump check result of 27, which translates to an additional 17 ft. (17 over his DC, divided by a jump interval of 1). Added to his base distance of 5 ft., we find that Kevin jumps 22 ft. — just enough to reach the helicopter’s strut. The distance you jump is counted against your movement for the round.
Example: In the example above, Kevin jumped 22 ft. If he were in a position to move after grabbing hold of the helicopter’s landing gear, he might still move 8 additional feet as part of the same movement action.
If, for any reason, your jump distance is not limited by your height and exceeds your standard Speed, your jump movement replaces your standard Speed-granted movement during the current round, and you move the full jump distance in a single leap. All horizontal jumps involve an arc, the highest point of which is equal to 1/3 the jump distance (rounded down).
With a failed Jump check, you land poorly and skid to a halt, suffering 1 point of subdual damage. If you’re jumping over a gap, you skid to a halt just short of the gap’s edge, suffering 1 point of subdual damage.
A jump always begins and ends during the same Initiative Count.
Synergy Skills: Athletics, Sneak, Survival.
Retry: Yes, with GC permission (some maneuvers are impossible a second time). Also, the circumstances of a jump may change with each attempt (if you fail a long jump and fall into a pit, for instance, you may have to make a high jump to get out).
Threat: The distance you leap increases by the minimum distance for your type of jump as listed on Table: Jump Checks, over and above the standard calculated distance.
Critical Success: You leap the maximum possible distance for your type of jump, or the distance indicated by the result (even if it exceeds this maximum possible distance), whichever is greater.
Error: In addition to the standard effects of failure described above, you become flat-footed.
Critical Failure: If leaping across a gap, you fall in, suffering damage per the distance fallen. If leaping over solid ground, you land badly and skid to a halt, suffering 1d4+1 subdual damage and becoming flat-footed.
|Jump Type||Min. Distance||Jump Interval||Max. Distance||Error Range Increase|
|Running jump*||5 ft.||1||Height × 6||+0|
|Standing jump||3 ft.||2||Height × 2||+0|
|Running high jump*||2 ft.||4||Height × 1.5 (rounded up)||+0|
|Standing high jump||2 ft.||8||Height × 1||+0|
|Backward jump||1 ft.||8||Height × 1||+1|
|* You must move 20 ft. before you may make a running jump. You cannot make a running jump with a heavy load or when you’re wearing heavy armor (see page 284).|
|Character Speed: The distances listed here assume you have a Speed of 30 ft. per round. If feats, abilities, or other conditions cause you to move faster or slower than that, your jump distances should be modified proportionally (always rounding down).|
|Example: Kevin gains the Sprint feat, which increases his base Speed to 40 ft. per round. He makes a running jump that clears a total distance of 10 ft. As his Speed is 1/3 higher than average now, the actual distance he jumps is increased by 1/3 (rounded down), or 3 ft. In this case, Kevin jumps a total of 13 ft.|
(Dex; Active; Armor Check Penalty, Flat-Footed, Gear Only (Vehicle), Hands-On, Vision)
1 Half Action (Take 10 with permission) • Base Error Range 1
This skill check is used to control any personal vehicle (see page 289); non-personal vehicles are controlled with the Drive skill, vehicles with the crew quality are controlled with the Tactics skill, animals are controlled with the Survival skill, and foot maneuvers are handled with the Athletics skill.
No skill check is required to take a standard vehicle move, but a risky one — made during combat, or other threatening circumstances — requires a skill check.
The DC and error range of each Maneuver check are determined by the driving task you’re attempting to perform, as shown on Table: Maneuver Checks.
With success, you perform the desired maneuver without mishap; otherwise, you fail to perform the desired maneuver and your vehicle travels at its current Speed in a random direction determined by the Deviation Diagram (see page 346). If the result causes the vehicle to travel in any of the three directions opposite its original facing, it spins in place instead, coming to a stop at the end of the current round.
Additional Untrained Penalty: All personal vehicle focuses are gained with the Drive skill. When you make this check untrained, you suffer an additional penalty as described in Chapter 4 (see page 289).
Synergy Skills: Drive, Sense Motive, Streetwise (in a city).
Retry: Yes, with GC permission (some maneuvers are impossible a second time). Also, the circumstances of a maneuver may change with each attempt (if the vehicle becomes broken after a maneuver, for instance, you won’t be able to use it again until it’s repaired).
Threat: Your error range with the next Maneuver check made in the same vehicle decreases by 1 (minimum 1). This effect is lost at the end of the current scene if unused.
Critical Success: Your error range with each Maneuver check made in the same vehicle decreases by 1 (minimum 1). This effect lasts until the end of the current scene or until you fail a Maneuver check in the same vehicle (whichever comes first).
Error: The vehicle collides with another object or is badly strained by the maneuver and must make a Damage save against damage equal to your Maneuver check DC minus 10.
Critical Failure: The vehicle collides with another object or suffers catastrophic strain from the maneuver and must make a Damage save against your Maneuver check DC + 5 per action die spent to activate the critical failure (maximum +20).
(Dex; Active; Armor Check Penalty, Flat-Footed, Gear Only (Parachute), Hands-On, Vision)
Time Varies • Base Error Range 1–3
No skill check is required to leap from a plane, but landing - and doing so unnoticed - require special rules. There are three ways you may skydive, each with its own merits and flaws.
- A standard skydive begins at a high altitude and keeps you in the sky a long time, providing your enemies ample opportunity to spot you.
- A High-Altitude/Low-Opening (HA/LO) dive begins at a higher altitude (where the aircraft is less likely to be detected) and hurtles you toward the ground using special gear that only deploys at the last possible second, decreasing your time beneath an open parachute and improving the chance that you won’t be spotted. It requires more expertise.
- A base dive begins at a very low altitude and also requires special training, in exchange for high speed and stealth.
At the start of any dive, you must choose a 5-ft. × 5-ft. (1 square) landing zone. Upon landing, you automatically deviate from this zone by a distance determined by the type of dive you’re attempting, as shown on Table: Skydiving Checks. You may voluntarily increase your Skydiving check’s DC to reduce this deviation distance at the rate of +5 to the DC per 1 deviation die lost (minimum 1 deviation die per character per dive). Further, you may increase your DC by + 10 to choose a deviation direction; otherwise, it is determined randomly when you land, using the Deviation Diagram (see page 346).
The amount of time required to skydive varies by dive type, as shown on Table: Skydiving Checks. At a random point when your parachute is open, each person or group on the ground with line of sight to you may make a Notice or Search check to spot you, against the DC listed on Table: Skydiving Checks.
Assuming you survive until the last round of your dive time, you reach the ground and must make a Skydiving check against your Modified Landing DC (the Base Landing DC listed on Table: Skydiving Checks + any DC increases you accepted at the start of your dive).
With success, you land without incident, suffering only 1d6 subdual damage. Further, you suffer 1 stress damage per 1,000 ft. fallen instead of the standard 1 stress damage per 100 ft. fallen.
With failure, you land badly, suffering 1d6 lethal damage per 5 points by which your skill check result is short of the DC (or fraction thereof).
Synergy Skills: Athletics, Resolve, Survival.
Threat: Your modified deviation distance is reduced to 1/2 standard (rounded down).
Critical Success: You land precisely in your landing zone and suffer no lethal or stress damage.
Error: Your modified deviation distance is doubled. Further, you suffer 1d6 lethal damage per 5 points by which your skill check result is short of the DC (or fraction thereof), and become sprawled when you land.
Critical Failure: Your modified deviation distance is tripled. Further, you become sprawled when you land and you suffer 2d6 lethal damage per 5 points by which your skill check result is short of the DC (or fraction thereof).
|Standard Skydive||HA/LO Dive||Base Dive||Dive Time||Base Landing DC||Base Notice/Search DC*||Base Deviation|
|1,001+ ft.||-||-||Fall time† + 3d4 minutes††||15||20||8d20 ft.|
|-||1,000 ft.||800 ft.||Fall time† + 3d4 rounds††||20||30||5d20 ft.|
|-||750 ft.||500 ft.||Fall time† + 2d4 rounds††||25||35||4d20 ft.|
|-||500 ft.||300 ft.||Fall time† + 1d4 rounds††||30||40||3d20 ft.|
|-||250 ft.||200 ft.||End of current round||40||50||2d20 ft.|
|* Applicable DC modifiers within the relevant skill description may further modify this number.|
|† See Falling Duration, page 107.
†† This second time increment represents the time during which the parachute is open and the character is drifting to earth
(Dex; Active; Armor Check Penalty, Flat-Footed, Vision)
1 Half Action • Base Error Range 1
Typically, you’re unable to move through an occupied square unless the occupant is a teammate, an ally, dead, helpless, stunned, Size Tiny or smaller, or 3 or more Size categories smaller than you. Also, you must typically end movement whenever you enter a square that’s adjacent to an enemy. Using this skill, however you may attempt to tumble through one or more occupied squares and move past squares adjacent to enemies without ending your movement.
Each time you make a half action Tumble check, you may move up to a number of feet equal to your standard Speed minus 10. Your DC and error range to accomplish this are determined by the occupancy of squares through which you wish to move, as well as enemy-occupied squares adjacent to them, as shown on Table: Tumble Checks.
With success, you move along the desired path, bypassing all occupied squares along the way.
With failure, you stop in the first empty square adjacent to an enemy along your path and lose your Dexterity bonus to Defense, if any, until the start of your Initiative Count during the following round.
Synergy Skills: Athletics, Blend, Sneak.
Threat: You tumble a number of feet equal to your standard Speed minus 5.
Critical Success: You tumble a number of feet equal to your standard Speed.
Error: In addition to the effects of failure, you trip and become sprawled.
Critical Failure: In addition to the effects of an error, each adjacent enemy gains 1 final attack against you (see page 329).
|Square Occupancy||DC/DC Modifier||Error Range Increase|
|Your path takes you through one square adjacent to an enemy*||15||+0|
|Your path takes you through one square occupied by an enemy*||25||+1|
|Per enemy-occupied square beyond the first adjacent to your path||+5||+0|
|Per enemy-occupied square beyond the first in your path||+5||+1 (max. +4)|
|* For this purpose, any square targeted by enemy suppressive fire is considered to be occupied by an enemy.|