Balance (DEX; Armor check penalty)

(Player's Handbook v.3.5 variant, p. 67)


You can keep your balance while walking on a tightrope, a narrow beam, a slippery ledge, or an uneven floor.


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 Balance DC 1 Difficult Surface Balance DC 1
7—12 inches wide 10 Uneven flagstone 10 2
2—6 inches wide 15 Hewn stone floor 10 2
Less than 2 inches wide 20 Sloped or angled floor 10 2

1 Add modifiers from Narrow Surface Modifiers, below, as appropriate.
2 Only if running or charging. Failure by 4 or less means the character can't run or charge, but may otherwise act normally.

Narrow Surface Modifiers

Surface DC Modifier
Lightly obstructed (scree, light rubble) +2
Severely obstructed (natural cavern floor, dense rubble) +5
Lightly slippery (wet floor) +2
Severely slippery (ice sheet) +5
Sloped or angled +2

Add the appropriate modifier to the Balance DC of a narrow surface. These modifiers stack.

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.


None. A Balance check doesn't require an action; it is made as part of another action or as a reaction to
a situation.


If you have the Agile feat, you get a +2 bonus on Balance checks.


If you have 5 or more ranks in Tumble, you get a +2 bonus on Balance checks.

Required for feats

Feat name
Combat Acrobat
Legendary Acrobat
Legendary Climber
Legendary Climber
Mountain Stance
Nimble Charge
Ship Savvy
Twisted Charge
Up the Hill

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