|System Reference Document v3.5|
BALANCE (DEX; ARMOR CHECK PENALTY)
Check: You can walk on a precarious surface. A successful check lets you move at half your speed along the surface for 1 round. A failure by 4 or less means you can’t move for 1 round. A failure by 5 or more means you fall. The difficulty varies with the surface, as follows:
Narrow Surface Modifiers
Being Attacked while Balancing: You are considered flat-footed while balancing, since you can’t move to avoid a blow, and thus you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). If you have 5 or more ranks in Balance, you aren’t considered flat-footed while balancing. If you take damage while balancing, you must make another Balance check against the same DC to remain standing.
Accelerated Movement: You can try to walk across a precarious surface more quickly than normal. If you accept a –5 penalty, you can move your full speed as a move action. (Moving twice your speed in a round requires two Balance checks, one for each move action used.) You may also accept this penalty in order to charge across a precarious surface; charging requires one Balance check for each multiple of your speed (or fraction thereof ) that you charge.
Action: None. A Balance check doesn’t require an action; it is made as part of another action or as a reaction to a situation.
Special: If you have the Agile feat, you get a +2 bonus on Balance checks.
Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Tumble, you get a +2 bonus on Balance checks.
ESCAPE ARTIST (DEX; ARMOR CHECK PENALTY)
Check: The table below gives the DCs to escape various forms of restraints.
Ropes: Your Escape Artist check is opposed by the binder’s Use Rope check. Since it’s easier to tie someone up than to escape from being tied up, the binder gets a +10 bonus on his or her check.
Manacles and Masterwork Manacles: The DC for manacles is set by their construction.
Tight Space: The DC noted on the table is for getting through a space where your head fits but your shoulders don’t. If the space is long you may need to make multiple checks. You can’t get through a space that your head does not fit through.
Action: Making an Escape Artist check to escape from rope bindings, manacles, or other restraints (except a grappler) requires 1 minute of work. Escaping from a net or an animate rope, command plants, control plants, or entangle spell is a full-round action. Escaping from a grapple or pin is a standard action. Squeezing through a tight space takes at least 1 minute, maybe longer, depending on how long the space is.
Try Again: Varies. You can make another check after a failed check if you’re squeezing your way through a tight space, making multiple checks. If the situation permits, you can make additional checks, or even take 20, as long as you’re not being actively opposed.
Special: If you have the Agile feat, you get a +2 bonus on Escape Artist checks.
Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Escape Artist, you get a +2 bonus on Use Rope checks to bind someone.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Use Rope, you get a +2 bonus on Escape Artist checks when escaping from rope bonds.
HIDE (DEX; ARMOR CHECK PENALTY)
Check: Your Hide check is opposed by the Spot check of anyone who might see you. You can move up to one-half your normal speed and hide at no penalty. When moving at a speed greater than one-half but less than your normal speed, you take a –5 penalty. It’s practically impossible (–20 penalty) to hide while attacking, running or charging.
A creature larger or smaller than Medium takes a size bonus or penalty on Hide checks depending on its size category: Fine +16, Diminutive +12, Tiny +8, Small +4, Large –4, Huge –8, Gargantuan –12, Colossal –16.
You need cover or concealment in order to attempt a Hide check. Total cover or total concealment usually (but not always; see Special, below) obviates the need for a Hide check, since nothing can see you anyway.
If people are observing you, even casually, you can’t hide. You can run around a corner or behind cover so that you’re out of sight and then hide, but the others then know at least where you went. If your observers are momentarily distracted (such as by a Bluff check; see below), though, you can attempt to hide. While the others turn their attention from you, you can attempt a Hide check if you can get to a hiding place of some kind. (As a general guideline, the hiding place has to be within 1 foot per rank you have in Hide.) This check, however, is made at a –10 penalty because you have to move fast.
Sniping: If you’ve already successfully hidden at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack, then immediately hide again. You take a –20 penalty on your Hide check to conceal yourself after the shot.
Creating a Diversion to Hide: You can use Bluff to help you hide. A successful Bluff check can give you the momentary diversion you need to attempt a Hide check while people are aware of you.
Action: Usually none. Normally, you make a Hide check as part of movement, so it doesn’t take a separate action. However, hiding immediately after a ranged attack (see Sniping, above) is a move action.
Special: If you are invisible, you gain a +40 bonus on Hide checks if you are immobile, or a +20 bonus on Hide checks if you’re moving.
If you have the Stealthy feat, you get a +2 bonus on Hide checks.
A 13th-level ranger can attempt a Hide check in any sort of natural terrain, even if it doesn’t grant cover or concealment. A 17th-level ranger can do this even while being observed.
MOVE SILENTLY (DEX; ARMOR CHECK PENALTY)
Check: Your Move Silently check is opposed by the Listen check of anyone who might hear you. You can move up to one-half your normal speed at no penalty. When moving at a speed greater than one-half but less than your full speed, you take a –5 penalty. It’s practically impossible (–20 penalty) to move silently while running or charging.
Noisy surfaces, such as bogs or undergrowth, are tough to move silently across. When you try to sneak across such a surface, you take a penalty on your Move Silently check as indicated below.
Action: None. A Move Silently check is included in your movement or other activity, so it is part of another action.
Special: The master of a cat familiar gains a +3 bonus on Move Silently checks.
A halfling has a +2 racial bonus on Move Silently checks.
If you have the Stealthy feat, you get a +2 bonus on Move Silently checks.
OPEN LOCK (DEX; TRAINED ONLY)
Attempting an Open Lock check without a set of thieves’ tools imposes a –2 circumstance penalty on the check, even if a simple tool is employed. If you use masterwork thieves’ tools, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on the check.
Check: The DC for opening a lock varies from 20 to 40, depending on the quality of the lock, as given on the table below.
Action: Opening a lock is a full-round action.
Special: If you have the Nimble Fingers feat, you get a +2 bonus on Open Lock checks.
Untrained: You cannot pick locks untrained, but you might successfully force them open.
If you attempt to ride a creature that is ill suited as a mount, you take a –5 penalty on your Ride checks.
Check: Typical riding actions don’t require checks. You can saddle, mount, ride, and dismount from a mount without a problem.
The following tasks do require checks.
Guide with Knees: You can react instantly to guide your mount with your knees so that you can use both hands in combat. Make your Ride check at the start of your turn. If you fail, you can use only one hand this round because you need to use the other to control your mount.
Stay in Saddle: You can react instantly to try to avoid falling when your mount rears or bolts unexpectedly or when you take damage. This usage does not take an action.
Fight with Warhorse: If you direct your war-trained mount to attack in battle, you can still make your own attack or attacks normally. This usage is a free action.
Cover: You can react instantly to drop down and hang alongside your mount, using it as cover. You can’t attack or cast spells while using your mount as cover. If you fail your Ride check, you don’t get the cover benefit. This usage does not take an action.
Soft Fall: You can react instantly to try to take no damage when you fall off a mount—when it is killed or when it falls, for example. If you fail your Ride check, you take 1d6 points of falling damage. This usage does not take an action.
Leap: You can get your mount to leap obstacles as part of its movement. Use your Ride modifier or the mount’s Jump modifier, whichever is lower, to see how far the creature can jump. If you fail your Ride check, you fall off the mount when it leaps and take the appropriate falling damage (at least 1d6 points). This usage does not take an action, but is part of the mount’s movement.
Spur Mount: You can spur your mount to greater speed with a move action. A successful Ride check increases the mount’s speed by 10 feet for 1 round but deals 1 point of damage to the creature. You can use this ability every round, but each consecutive round of additional speed deals twice as much damage to the mount as the previous round (2 points, 4 points, 8 points, and so on).
Control Mount in Battle: As a move action, you can attempt to control a light horse, pony, heavy horse, or other mount not trained for combat riding while in battle. If you fail the Ride check, you can do nothing else in that round. You do not need to roll for warhorses or warponies.
Fast Mount or Dismount: You can attempt to mount or dismount from a mount of up to one size category larger than yourself as a free action, provided that you still have a move action available that round. If you fail the Ride check, mounting or dismounting is a move action. You can’t use fast mount or dismount on a mount more than one size category larger than yourself.
Action: Varies. Mounting or dismounting normally is a move action. Other checks are a move action, a free action, or no action at all, as noted above.
Special: If you are riding bareback, you take a –5 penalty on Ride checks.
If your mount has a military saddle you get a +2 circumstance bonus on Ride checks related to staying in the saddle.
If you have the Animal Affinity feat, you get a +2 bonus on Ride checks.
Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Handle Animal, you get a +2 bonus on Ride checks.
SLEIGHT OF HAND (DEX; TRAINED ONLY; ARMOR CHECK PENALTY)
Check: A DC 10 Sleight of Hand check lets you palm a coin-sized, unattended object. Performing a minor feat of legerdemain, such as making a coin disappear, also has a DC of 10 unless an observer is determined to note where the item went.
When you use this skill under close observation, your skill check is opposed by the observer’s Spot check. The observer’s success doesn’t prevent you from performing the action, just from doing it unnoticed.
You can hide a small object (including a light weapon or an easily concealed ranged weapon, such as a dart, sling, or hand crossbow) on your body. Your Sleight of Hand check is opposed by the Spot check of anyone observing you or the Search check of anyone frisking you. In the latter case, the searcher gains a +4 bonus on the Search check, since it’s generally easier to find such an object than to hide it. A dagger is easier to hide than most light weapons, and grants you a +2 bonus on your Sleight of Hand check to conceal it. An extraordinarily small object, such as a coin, shuriken, or ring, grants you a +4 bonus on your Sleight of Hand check to conceal it, and heavy or baggy clothing (such as a cloak) grants you a +2 bonus on the check. Drawing a hidden weapon is a standard action and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity.
If you try to take something from another creature, you must make a DC 20 Sleight of Hand check to obtain it. The opponent makes a Spot check to detect the attempt, opposed by the same Sleight of Hand check result you achieved when you tried to grab the item. An opponent who succeeds on this check notices the attempt, regardless of whether you got the item.
You can also use Sleight of Hand to entertain an audience as though you were using the Perform skill. In such a case, your “act” encompasses elements of legerdemain, juggling, and the like.
Action: Any Sleight of Hand check normally is a standard action. However, you may perform a Sleight of Hand check as a free action by taking a –20 penalty on the check.
Try Again: Yes, but after an initial failure, a second Sleight of Hand attempt against the same target (or while you are being watched by the same observer who noticed your previous attempt) increases the DC for the task by 10.
Special: If you have the Deft Hands feat, you get a +2 bonus on Sleight of Hand checks.
Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff, you get a +2 bonus on Sleight of Hand checks.
Untrained: An untrained Sleight of Hand check is simply a Dexterity check. Without actual training, you can’t succeed on any Sleight of Hand check with a DC higher than 10, except for hiding an object on your body.
TUMBLE (DEX; TRAINED ONLY; ARMOR CHECK PENALTY)
You can’t use this skill if your speed has been reduced by armor, excess equipment, or loot.
Check: You can land softly when you fall or tumble past opponents. You can also tumble to entertain an audience (as though using the Perform skill). The DCs for various tasks involving the Tumble skill are given on the table below.
Obstructed or otherwise treacherous surfaces, such as natural cavern floors or undergrowth, are tough to tumble through. The DC for any Tumble check made to tumble into such a square is modified as indicated below.
Accelerated Tumbling: You try to tumble past or through enemies more quickly than normal. By accepting a –10 penalty on your Tumble checks, you can move at your full speed instead of one-half your speed.
Action: Not applicable. Tumbling is part of movement, so a Tumble check is part of a move action.
Try Again: Usually no. An audience, once it has judged a tumbler as an uninteresting performer, is not receptive to repeat performances. You can try to reduce damage from a fall as an instant reaction only once per fall.
Special: If you have 5 or more ranks in Tumble, you gain a +3 dodge bonus to AC when fighting defensively instead of the usual +2 dodge bonus to AC.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Tumble, you gain a +6 dodge bonus to AC when executing the total defense standard action instead of the usual +4 dodge bonus to AC.
If you have the Acrobatic feat, you get a +2 bonus on Tumble checks.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Jump, you get a +2 bonus on Tumble checks.
USE ROPE (DEX)
Check: Most tasks with a rope are relatively simple. The DCs for various tasks utilizing this skill are summarized on the table below.
Secure a Grappling Hook: Securing a grappling hook requires a Use Rope check (DC 10, +2 for every 10 feet of distance the grappling hook is thrown, to a maximum DC of 20 at 50 feet). Failure by 4 or less indicates that the hook fails to catch and falls, allowing you to try again. Failure by 5 or more indicates that the grappling hook initially holds, but comes loose after 1d4 rounds of supporting weight. This check is made secretly, so that you don’t know whether the rope will hold your weight.
Bind a Character: When you bind another character with a rope, any Escape Artist check that the bound character makes is opposed by your Use Rope check. You get a +10 bonus on this check because it is easier to bind someone than to escape from bonds. You don’t even make your Use Rope check until someone tries to escape.
Action: Varies. Throwing a grappling hook is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity. Tying a knot, tying a special knot, or tying a rope around yourself one-handed is a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity. Splicing two ropes together takes 5 minutes. Binding a character takes 1 minute.
Special: A silk rope gives you a +2 circumstance bonus on Use Rope checks. If you cast an animate rope spell on a rope, you get a +2 circumstance bonus on any Use Rope checks you make when using that rope. These bonuses stack.
If you have the Deft Hands feat, you get a +2 bonus on Use Rope checks.
Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Use Rope, you get a +2 bonus on Climb checks made to climb a rope, a knotted rope, or a rope-and-wall combination.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Use Rope, you get a +2 bonus on Escape Artist checks when escaping from rope bonds.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Escape Artist, you get a +2 bonus on checks made to bind someone.