In Pathfinder, the Ninja is an alternate class for the core Rogue class. One of its abilities is Light Step:

At 6th level, a ninja learns to move while barely touching the surface underneath her. As a full-round action, she can move up to twice her speed, ignoring difficult terrain. While moving in this way, any surface will support her, no matter how much she weighs. This allows her to move across water, lava, or even the thinnest tree branches. She must end her move on a surface that can support her normally. She cannot move across air in this way, nor can she walk up walls or other vertical surfaces. When moving in this way, she does not take damage from surfaces or hazards that react to being touched, such as lava or caltrops, nor does she need to make Acrobatics checks to avoid falling on slippery or rough surfaces. Finally, when using light steps, the ninja ignores any mechanical traps that use a location-based trigger.

The description for the Acrobatics skill says that a character can move through a threatened square without provoking an attack of opportunity via their acobatics:

In addition, you can move through a threatened square without provoking an attack of opportunity from an enemy by using Acrobatics. When moving in this way, you move at half speed. You can move at full speed by increasing the DC of the check by 10. You cannot use Acrobatics to move past foes if your speed is reduced due to carrying a medium or heavy load or wearing medium or heavy armor. If an ability allows you to move at full speed under such conditions, you can use Acrobatics to move past foes. You can use Acrobatics in this way while prone, but doing so requires a full-round action to move 5 feet, and the DC is increased by 5. If you attempt to move through an enemy's space and fail the check, you lose the move action and provoke an attack of opportunity.

Is it correct that a Ninja using Light Steps would typically provoke an attack of opportunity, but that they can avoid it if they make an additional (and immediate, free) Acrobatics skill check?


1 Answer 1


A ninja that takes a full-round action to use the extraordinary ability light steps typically doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity for using the extraordinary ability light steps—this is the norm for an extraordinary ability (cf. spell-like abilities).

However, while using the extraordinary ability light step the ninja's movement does, indeed, still provoke attacks of opportunity normally, and the ninja can sometimes avoid those attacks of opportunity by making successful Acrobatics skill checks just as the ninja could when moving in most other situations. (Doing so usually halves the ninja's speed.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Light Steps doubles the movement, but avoiding the attack(s) of opportunity halves it. Does that mean they'd use their base speed? \$\endgroup\$
    – jvriesem
    Dec 8, 2016 at 2:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jvriesem Light steps allows the creature to take a full-round action to move up to twice its speed (so not really doubled). The creature's speed is typically halved when using the skill Acrobatics; this is unchanged by light steps. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 8, 2016 at 2:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ he could, using the light steps AND dodging at the same time as a full round action, move once his full speed. Which is half of what he could achieve if he would skip the dodging. He can't run for move times 3 under the use of light steps. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Dec 8, 2016 at 5:42
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Trish Using the special ability light step is, itself, a discrete full-round action, so it's incompatible with, for example, both total defense (a standard action) and withdraw (a full-round action), but because using light step involves movement the skills Acrobatics and--more appropriately--Stealth can be used in conjunction with it. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 8, 2016 at 6:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ just wanted to say, that you can't run (which is a separate full round action) and that the resulting max distance in that "acrobatic light step" only covers single movement distance. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Dec 8, 2016 at 6:55

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