D&D 5E How is Acrobatics used in your game?

It's hard to separate a lot of these activities.

I'm not a super-strong guy but I teach rock-climbing. There are football players way stronger than me, who could break me in two but can't pull themselves up on to the rock or do 1 finger chin-ups. But I wouldn't say I have proficiency in acrobatics. Maybe I'm low strength and high proficiency. It's all about muscle to weight ratio. Most gymnasts are built light and strong.

That kind of thing is not taken in to consideration in D&D except in backgrounds and flaws and general descriptions.
Indeed. Bear in mind that in 5e, Strength is about natural athleticism and ability to generate power, not about sheer size. Bruce Lee is probably the archetypal example of a high-strength, high-dex character and one example of a low-strength character would be out-of-condition, perhaps a bit of a couch potato, rather than just being small.

Just because you're not huge and hulking, I wouldn't put you down as low-strength. Sounds like you have an impressive power-to-weight ratio which would translate to above-average Strength in 5e.
(That and D&D isn't granular enough to distinguish between different brands of athletic pursuit. :) )
 

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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Out of curiosity, since a couple people have mentioned it, are there any rules about tumbling to avoid or mitigate falling damage? Because to my knowledge, that is not a thing in D&D 5e. That sounds like a rule that is being imported from some other game.
 

3.5 had the tumbling skill which did a bunch of things that no longer work in 5e. Yet they kept the skill(acrobatics) despite eschewing many of its uses.

Dc 15 to avoid the first 10 feet of a fall. Dcs are different in 5e, so I lowered it to 12.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
3.5 had the tumbling skill which did a bunch of things that no longer work in 5e. Yet they kept the skill(acrobatics) despite eschewing many of its uses.

Dc 15 to avoid the first 10 feet of a fall. Dcs are different in 5e, so I lowered it to 12.

I don't see it as "no longer working in 5e." It's not like D&D 5e is a software patch. It's a different game. Rules in D& 3.5e don't apply to D&D 5e.
 

Ristamar

Adventurer
Out of curiosity, since a couple people have mentioned it, are there any rules about tumbling to avoid or mitigate falling damage? Because to my knowledge, that is not a thing in D&D 5e. That sounds like a rule that is being imported from some other game.

Some ideas that never made it to print (College of Satire from UA and the Acrobat from Mearls' Happy Fun Hour), but nothing official.
 

I don't see it as "no longer working in 5e." It's not like D&D 5e is a software patch. It's a different game. Rules in D& 3.5e don't apply to D&D 5e.

They are very similar and a lot works with 5e. Many of the alternate rules in the dmg are standard rules from 3.5. Having played both a lot, that’s my feeling.
 

In my game our Dwarf Fighter was once part of the circus, and so is very much inclined to try all sorts of flips, parkour, etc in combat and out. I use Acrobatics for things like that to determine if he can, say, parkour up boxes to the roof of a building or flip over someone to attack them from behind (he likes to add flair to his combat, and I love it!).

Basically athletics in my campaign is used when it is purely strength or speed or some over-exertion of the individual, and acrobatics is used when it is something a bit fancier, requiring more precision of movement than brutality.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Thanks for all of the helpful replies. I think one reason this bothered me was that Acrobatics really wasn’t very good for...acrobatics. I mean, a lot of that involves jumping before you get to the balancing and tumbling. I’m also thinking of the super-agile, bounce-off-all-the-walls rogue or assassin type. (The Moon Shadow Elves in The Dragon Prince are an example.) They would seem to be more likely to have Acrobatics than Athletics, but technically all the jumping is Athletics.

I don't think that's true, as Acrobatics is a lot about "staying on your feet in a tricky situation". While Str(Athletic) may be the normal choice for jumping at least a required distance (e.g. over a chasm, or high enough to grab a ledge), Dex(Acrobatic) might be better for jumping exactly to a particular spot (e.g. jumping down from a ledge on a monster's back, or jumping on top of a series of rocks to cross a river).

As much as normally I wish to use interchangeable ability scores with skill proficiencies, it might be a more safe choice to just stick with Strength+Athletic vs Dexterity+Acrobatic to sort out which one to call for depending on whether the task is more about sheer muscular force vs coordination.

But in more practical terms, I tend to just use whatever the PC attempting the task is proficient at, if I can justify it somehow. If it sounds like favoring the players over the rules, think about other parts of the games already do the same thing e.g. giving you a choice of Str vs Dex in certain attacks.

And yes, the D&D ability/skills system and rules are ambiguous and open ended... just like real life you know?
 

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