According to the AcrobaticsDDI skill you can use an Acrobatic Stunt to "somersault over an opponent", amongst other things . It gives a base DC of 15, and "the DM sets the DC based on the complexity of the stunt and the danger of the situation."

Rather than using a static DC for all opponents, I am thinking of using the enemy's reflex defense as the DC. Would this be a balanced DC that scales appropriately as the PCs and enemies level up? If not, what would be a better value to use?


This is of the Acrobatics skill is now a hard DC check by rule thanks to errata. I believe this originated with the Rules Compendium.

The listing in DDI has also been updated:

Improvising with Acrobatics

  • Slide down a staircase on a shield while standing (hard DC)
  • Somersault over a creature of the same size (hard DC)
  • Swing from a chandelier (moderate DC)
  • Impress onlookers with an acrobatic performance (moderate DC)

Note that the creature now has to be the same size, leaving open the question of how to handle a larger oppenent. If it is a humanoid shaped creature I'd probably allow a check based on the hard DC to scoot between/around its legs. With something like a Gelatinous Cube, the check would be a bit more difficult :)


The best value to use is the difficulty chart (updated again and again... recent link) with a moderate or hard roll, depending on number of monsters around.

Mathematically speaking, Monsters will have Level+12 or so in defenses versus Stat+half-level for skills. You'd be disproportionately biasing against higher level monsters. The published (newest) skill DCs take normal skill growth into account. Rules-wise, treat it like a shift 2 (on successful roll) or move 2 (on failed roll) through the monster (which there are some at-wills for, so it's fairly balanced) for purposes of monster traits that can counter.

I think moderate is fair considering the risk of quite a few opportunity attacks. If you make it a failed roll generates OA with combat advantage targeted in the monster's square it creates a "risky move with good payoff."

  • \$\begingroup\$ RE: okeefe's comment on OA, you do call it a shift rather than a move, which would not give an OA. You could edit to change Shift 2 to Move 2 if you want to indicate that enemies do get OAs. \$\endgroup\$ – shimonyk Oct 19 '10 at 13:32

You could use Sudden Leap[DDI] as a baseline.

Sudden Leap is a level 6 skill utility power from PHb3 (page 166) that allows you to jump to any adjacent square of a creature (without provoking) with an Athletics check whose DC is based on the creature's size. The DC starts at 15 for small/medium creatures and increases by 5 for each size above that.

To avoid stepping on the power's effects you could rule that the DC for the Acrobatics check is 5 higher than the equivalent DC for the Athletics check required by the power (so it would start at 20 for small/medium creatures) and that a failed check still moves you to your target square but leaves you prone and provokes an OA as normal.

This makes it a high reward/high risk type of skill usage. If you succeed you can move around a large/huge/gargantuan creature in ways that weren't easily possible before but you risk provoking an OA and end your turn prone, which may not be the best idea in case of lurkers or brutes.


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