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DEXTERITY-BASED SKILLS

Balance

(Dex; Armor Check Penalty)

Check: The character can walk on a precarious surface. A successful check lets the character move at half his or her speed along the surface as a move action. A failure indicates that the character spends his or her move action keeping his or her balance and does not move. A failure by 5 or more indicates that the character falls. The difficulty varies with the conditions of the surface.

Narrow SurfaceDC*Difficult SurfaceDC
7-12 in. wide10Uneven or angled10
2-6 in. wide15Slippery surface10
Less than 2 in. wide20

*Add +5 to the DC if the narrow surface is slippery or angled; add +10 if it is both slippery and angled.

Being Attacked While Balancing: While balancing, the character is flat-footed (the character loses his or her Dexterity bonus to Defense, if the character has one), unless the character has 5 or more ranks in Balance. If the character takes damage, he or she must make a Balance check again to remain standing.

Accelerated Movement: The character can try to cross a precarious surface more quickly than normal. The character can move his or her full speed, but the character takes a -5 penalty on his or her Balance check. (Moving twice the character's speed in a round requires two checks, one for each move action.) The character can attempt to charge across a precarious surface. Charging requires one Balance check at a -5 penalty for each multiple of the character's speed (or fraction thereof) that the character charges.

Special: A character can take 10 when making a Balance check, but can't take 20. A character with the Focused feat gets a +2 bonus on all Balance checks.

Time: Balancing while moving one-half the character's speed is a move action. Accelerated movement, allowing the character to balance while moving his or her full speed, is also a move action.

Drive

(Dex)

Check: Routine tasks, such as ordinary driving, don't require a skill check. Make a check only when some unusual circumstance exists (such as inclement weather or an icy surface), or when the character is driving during a dramatic situation (the character is being chased or attacked, for example, or is trying to reach a destination in a limited amount of time). When driving, the character can attempt simple maneuvers or stunts. See Driving a Vehicle for more details.

Try Again: Most driving checks have consequences for failure that make trying again impossible.

Special: A character can take 10 when driving, but can't take 20.

A character with the Vehicle Expert feat gets a +2 bonus on all Drive checks.

There is no penalty for operating a general-purpose motor vehicle. Other types of motor vehicles (heavy wheeled, powerboat, sailboat, ship, and tracked) require the corresponding Surface Vehicle Operation feat, or the character takes a -4 penalty on Drive checks.

Time: A Drive check is a move action.

Escape Artist

(Dex; Armor Check Penalty)

Check: Make a check to escape from restraints or to squeeze through a tight space.

RestraintDC
RopesOpponent's Dex check +20
Net20
Handcuffs35
Tight space30
GrapplerOpponent's grapple check

For ropes, a character's Escape Artist check is opposed by the Dexterity check result of the opponent who tied the bonds. Since it's easier to tie someone up than to escape from being tied up, the opponent gets a +20 bonus on his or her Dexterity check.

For a tight space, a check is only called for if the character's head fits but his or her shoulders don't. If the space is long, such as in an airshaft, the GM may call for multiple checks. A character can't fit through a space that his or her head doesn't fit through.

A character can make an Escape Artist check opposed by his or her opponent's grapple check to get out of a grapple or out of a pinned condition (so that the character is just being grappled). Doing so is an attack action, so if the character escapes the grapple he or she can move in the same round.

Try Again: A character can make another check after a failed check if the character is squeezing through a tight space, making multiple checks. If the situation permits, the character can make additional checks as long as he or she is not being actively opposed.

Special: A character can take 10 on an Escape Artist check. A character can take 20 if he or she is not being actively opposed (a character can take 20 if he or she is tied up, even though it's an opposed check, because the opponent isn't actively opposing the character).

A character with the Nimble feat gets a +2 bonus on all Escape Artist checks.

Time: Making a check to escape from being bound by ropes, handcuffs, or other restraints (except a grappler) requires 1 minute. Escaping a net is a full-round action. Squeezing through a tight space takes at least 1 minute, maybe longer, depending on the distance that must be crossed.

Hide

(Dex; Armor Check Penalty)

Try Again: A character's Hide check is opposed by the Spot check of anyone who might see the character. The character can move up to half his or her normal speed and hide at no penalty. At more than half and up to the character's full speed, the character takes a -5 penalty. It's practically impossible (-20 penalty) to hide while attacking, running, or charging. The hide check is also modified by the character's size:

SizeModifierSizeModifier
Fine+16Large-4
Diminutive+12Huge-8
Tiny+8Gargantuan-12
Small+4Colossal-16
Medium-size+0

If people are observing the character, even casually, he or she can't hide. The character can run around a corner so that he or she is out of sight and then hide, but the others then know at least where the character went. Cover and concealment grant circumstance bonuses to Hide checks, as shown below. Note that a character can't hide if he or she has less than one-half cover or concealment.

Cover or ConcealmentCircumstance Bonus
Three-quarters+5
Nine-tenths+10

Creating a Diversion to Hide: A character can use the Bluff skill to help him or her hide. A successful Bluff check can give the character the momentary diversion needed to attempt a Hide check while people are aware of the character. While the others turn their attention from the character, he or she can make a Hide check if the character can get to a hiding place of some kind. (As a general guideline, the hiding place has to be within 1 foot for every rank the character has in Hide.) This check, however, is at a -10 penalty because the character has to move fast.

Tailing: A character can use Hide to tail a person in public. Using the skill in this manner assumes that there are other random people about, among whom the character can mingle to remain unnoticed. If the subject is worried about being followed, he or she can make a Spot check (opposed by the character's Hide check) every time he or she changes course (goes around a street corner, exits a building, and so on). If he or she is unsuspecting, he or she generally gets only a Spot check after an hour of tailing.

Special: A character can take 10 when making a Hide check, but can't take 20.

A character with the Stealthy feat gets a +2 bonus on all Hide checks.

Time: A Hide check is an attack action.

Move Silently

(Dex; Armor Check Penalty)

Check: A character's Move Silently check is opposed by the Listen check of anyone who might hear the character. A character can move up to half his or her normal speed at no penalty. At more than half speed and up to the character's full speed, he or she takes a -5 penalty. It's practically impossible (-20 penalty) to move silently while attacking, running, or charging.

Special: A character can take 10 when making a Move Silently check, but can't take 20.

A character with the Stealthy feat gets a +2 bonus on all Move Silently checks.

Time: Move Silently is a move action.

Pilot

(Dex; Trained Only)

Check: Typical piloting tasks don't require checks. Checks are required during combat, for special maneuvers, or in other extreme circumstances, or when the pilot wants to attempt something outside the normal parameters of the vehicle. When flying, the character can attempt simple maneuvers and stunts (actions in which the pilot attempts to do something complex very quickly or in a limited space). Each vehicle's description includes a maneuver modifier that applies to Pilot checks made by the operator of the vehicle.

Special: A character can take 10 when making a Pilot check, but can't take 20. A character with the Vehicle Expert feat gets a +2 bonus on all Pilot checks. There is no penalty for operating a general-purpose fixed-wing aircraft. Other types of aircraft (heavy aircraft, helicopters, jet fighters, and spacecraft) require the corresponding Aircraft Operation feat, or else the character takes a -4 penalty on Drive checks.

Time: A Pilot check is a move action.

Ride

(Dex)

Animals ill suited as mounts provide a -2 penalty on their rider's Ride check.

Check: Typical riding actions don't require checks. A character can saddle, mount, ride, and dismount without a problem. Mounting or dismounting an animal is a move action. Some tasks, such as those undertaken in combat or other extreme circumstances, require checks. In addition, attempting trick riding or asking the animal to perform an unusual technique also requires a check.

Guide with Knees (DC 5): The character can react instantly to guide his or her mount with his or her knees so that the character can use both hands in combat or to perform some other action. Make the check at the start of the character's round. If the character fails, he or she can only use one hand this round because the character needs to use the other to control his or her mount.

Stay in Saddle (DC 5): The character can react instantly to try to avoid falling when his or her mount rears or bolts unexpectedly or when the character takes damage.

Fight while Mounted (DC 20): While in combat, the character can attempt to control a mount that is not trained in combat riding (see the Handle Animal skill). If the character succeeds, he or she uses only a move action, and the character can use his or her attack action to do something else. If the character fails, he or she can do nothing else that round. If the character fails by more than 5, he or she loses control of the animal. For animals trained in combat riding, the character does not need to make this check. Instead, the character can use his or her move action to have the animal perform a trick (commonly, to attack). The character can use his or her attack action normally.

Cover (DC 15): The character can react instantly to drop down and hang alongside his or her mount, using it as one-half cover. The character can't attack while using his or her mount as cover. If the character fails, he or she doesn't get the cover benefit.

Soft Fall (DC 15): The character reacts instantly when he or she falls off a mount, such as when it is killed or when it falls, to try to avoid taking damage. If the character fails, he or she takes 1d6 points of falling damage.

Leap (DC 15): The character can get his or her mount to leap obstacles as part of its movement. Use the character's Ride modifier or the mount's Jump modifier (whichever is lower) when the mount makes its Jump check (see the Jump skill). The character makes a Ride check (DC 15) to stay on the mount when it leaps.

Fast Mount or Dismount (DC 20; armor penalty applies): The character can mount or dismount as a free action. If the character fails the check, mounting or dismounting is a move action. (A character can't attempt a fast mount or dismount unless he or she can perform the mount or dismount as a move action this round, should the check fail.)

Special: If the character is riding bareback, he or she takes a -5 penalty on Ride checks. A character can take 10 when making a Ride check, but can't take 20.

A character with the Animal Affinity feat gets a +2 bonus on all Ride checks.

Time: Ride is a move action, except when otherwise noted for the special tasks listed above.

Sleight of Hand

(Dex; Trained Only; Armor Check Penalty)

Check: A check against DC 10 lets a character palm a coin-sized, unattended object. Minor feats of sleight of hand, such as making a coin disappear, also have a DC of 10 unless an observer is concentrating on noticing what the character is doing.

When a character performs this skill under close observation, the character's skill check is opposed by the observer's Spot check. The observer's check doesn't prevent the character from performing the action, just from doing it unnoticed.

When a character tries to take something from another person, the character's opponent makes a Spot check to detect the attempt. To obtain the object, the character must get a result of 20 or higher, regardless of the opponent's check result. The opponent detects the attempt if his or her check result beats the character's check result, whether the character takes the object or not. A character can use Sleight of Hand to conceal a small weapon or object on his or her body.

Try Again: A second Sleight of Hand attempt against the same target, or when being watched by the same observer, has a DC 10 higher than the first check if the first check failed or if the attempt was noticed.

Special: A character can take 10 when making a Sleight of Hand check, but can't take 20. A character can make an untrained Sleight of Hand check to conceal a weapon or object, but must always take 10.

A character with the Nimble feat and at least 1 rank in this skill gets a +2 bonus on all Sleight of Hand checks.

Time: A Sleight of Hand check is an attack action.

Tumble

(Dex; Trained Only; Armor Check Penalty)

Check: A character can land softly when he or she falls, tumble past opponents in combat, or tumble through opponents.

Land Softly: The character can make a Tumble check (DC 15) when falling. If the check succeeds, treat the fall as if it were 10 feet shorter when determining damage.

Tumble past Opponents: With a successful Tumble check (DC 15), the character can weave, dodge, and roll up to 20 feet through squares adjacent to opponents, risking no attacks of opportunity. Failure means the character moves as planned, but provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.

Tumble through Opponents: With a successful Tumble check (DC 25), the character can roll, jump, or dive through squares occupied by opponents, moving over, under, or around them as if they weren't there. Failure means the character moves as planned, but provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.

Try Again: No.

Special: A character with 5 or more ranks in Tumble gains a +3 dodge bonus to Defense (instead of the normal +2) when fighting defensively, and a +6 dodge bonus (instead of the normal +4) when engaging in total defense. A character can take 10 when making a Tumble check, but can't take 20.

A character with the Acrobatic feat and at least 1 rank in this skill gets a +2 bonus on all Tumble checks.

Time: A character can try to reduce damage from a fall as a reaction once per fall. A character can attempt to tumble as a free action that must be performed as part of a move action.