Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tiny Creature Combat and Flying Acrobatics

Jyske Lov

I would like to level the battlefield for the little ones. Tiny creatures have a reach of zero, so they normally have to enter an enemy’s square to attack, which makes them subject to Attacks of Opportunity (AoO) from for example a medium foe with 5 foot reach. This puts them at a significant disadvantage in combat, which they can try to remedy with the help of a couple of rule adjudications. The first option seems simple enough; use a reach weapon, but if read by the letter, a reach weapon doubles your reach, which does not do much for zero reach. I would suggest ruling that a tiny creature with a reach weapon has 5 foot reach (This ruling has been affirmed by the developers).

The second option is using acrobatics. When a medium creature attacks a large creature with 10 foot reach, it is subject to the same AoO moving through the threatened squares to get to the target, but the medium creature has the option of using acrobatics to tumble through the threatened squares without taking the AoO. The Difficulty Class (DC) for that movement is equal to the opponent’s Combat Maneuver Defense (CMD) plus any modifiers for terrain or additional foes. The tiny creature ought to be able to do the same thing, except it actually has to enter the opponent’s area. The DC for tumbling through an enemy’s square is equal to the opponent’s CMD plus 5. It is not mentioned anywhere that a tiny creature can use this maneuver to attack, but I see no reason not to, and luckily many tiny creatures are well endowed with dexterity.

Then there is the issue of the flying tiny (or other size) creature, like a bat, moving through or into a threatened area. It does not make much sense to require an acrobatics check from a flying creature, so I would suggest using a fly check for a creature trying to navigate threatened air space. The DC would be the same as for an acrobatics check, only the fly skill and modifiers for flying would apply. Many flying creatures like to do a dive charge, which of course could not be combined with this trick flying, which like acrobatics would require moving at half speed.

  • Tiny reach weapons have a reach of 5 feet.
  • Tiny creatures may use acrobatics to avoid AoO when entering an opponent’s space to attack.
  • Flying creatures may use the fly skill to perform flying acrobatics.

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