If I begin my turn in a creature's threatened area, can I use acrobatics to leave the threatened area without provoking an attack of opportunity?

My GM argued that I can't since the acrobatics skill says:

You can move through a threatened square without provoking an attack of opportunity from an enemy.

"Through" implies entering and then leaving. I don't think that makes sense because the attack of opportunity rules specify leaving a threatened square.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Related, possible dupe \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 23:18
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Ill agree its related but this is asking about the acrobatics skill being used to avoid the AOO \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 23:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Fering potentially. I think the answer to this question is "you don't need to use Acrobatics - you can withdraw/5 foot step", which is the answer in the linked question... But the question isn't asking that, so... yeah. Lol. I'll leave it up to others to decide \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 23:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Take the tour. Just to be clear, the GM is saying, "This turn, you can use the Acrobatics skill to move from a square a foe threatens to another square the foe threatens without provoking, but if you stop, next turn, you can't use the Acrobatics skill to depart the foe's threatened area because you're no longer moving through." In other words, the GM believes that through means by moving continuously during this turn? Is that accurate? O, and thank you for participating and have fun! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 0:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Basically \$\endgroup\$
    – user34006
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 0:53

2 Answers 2


The Pathfinder rules here aren't very clear, and part of that is because of the shift over from 3.5. However, Paizo's Official FAQ has some relevant information:

Acrobatics allows you to make checks to move through the threatened area of foes without provoking attacks of opportunity. You must make a check the moment you attempt to leave a square threatened by an enemy, but only once per foe. The DC (which is based of the Combat Maneuver Defense of each foe), increases by +2 for each foe after the first in one round. The DC also increases by +5 if you attempt to move through a foe. In the case of moving out of the threatened square of two foes at the same time, the moving character decides which check to make first.

For example, a rogue is flanked by a meek goblin and a terrifying antipaladin. The rogue move away from both of them, provoking an attack of opportunity from both, but uses Acrobatics to attempt to negate them. She must move at half speed while threatened by these foes and can choose which to check against first. If she fails a check, she provokes an attack of opportunity from that foe. If she makes it, she does not provoke from moving through that foe's threatened space this turn.

And so, even though it does make sense to decide that the "through" language must be purposeful and that it means something different from "leaving a square", that's actually not the case, and the Offical FAQ goes so far as to use an example where a rogue starts her turn already flanked by two enemies.


Yes, you can use acrobatics to leave a threatened square

You have already pointed to the important text. I believe your DM is reading too heavily into the word "through". RAI is to allow you to use acrobatics to avoid attacks of opportunity trigger by your movement.


Move Through Threatened Squares ... you can move through a threatened square without provoking an attack of opportunity.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Can you perhaps link a source for this? Your answer would greatly benefit from it :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 23:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Improvement suggestion: "Yes you can; if your DM allows it" ... ultimately, the DM is the law; you can negotiate and persuade them, but in the end, what they say goes. \$\endgroup\$
    – UKMonkey
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 15:50

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