Return of the Thief-Acrobat!
Posted by okcstephens
I have no idea how long this old-school-concepts-for-Pathfinder kick will continue, but it does seem to be popular (it’s even involved the French!). Having done the cavalier-paladin, cleric/assassin, and fighter/magic-use/thief (and even a patron-exclusive fighter/illusionist, on my Patreon), I thought I’d tackle the stories thief-acrobat.
The thief-acrobat is an alternate class of the rogue, and its class features with the same names as rogue class features work as those class features (though it’s sneak attack is weaker).
Hit Die: d8
Starting Wealth: 4d6 × 10 gp (average 140 gp.)
Class Skills: The thief-acrobat’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Acrobatic movement, sneak attack +1d4
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Evasion, nimble defense, trapfinding
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Sneak attack +2d4, escapist +1
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Acrobatic strike, uncanny dodge
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Sneak attack +2d6
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Rogue talent, escapist +2
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Sneak attack +3d6
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +2 Improved uncanny dodge, rogue talent
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +3 Sneak attack +4d6, escapist +3
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +3 Advanced talents, rogue talent
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +3 Sneak attack +5d6
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Rogue talent, escapist +4
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Sneak attack +6d6
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +4 Rogue talent
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +5 Sneak attack +7d6, escapist +5
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Rogue talent
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Sneak attack +8d6
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Rogue talent, escapist +6
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Sneak attack +9d6
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Master strike, rogue talent
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Thief-acrobats are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the rapier, sap, and short sword. A thief-acrobat can use a 10-foot pole as a club with the reach special weapon quality that requires 2-handed to use and can benefit from Weapon Finesse (and any similar ability that replaces Strength with Dexterity, if it would apply to the rapier). When wielding such a pole in 2-handed, they gain a +2 circumstance bonus to all Acrobatics checks. They are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.
Acrobatic Movement (Ex): You are a virtuoso at moving your body fluidly and twisting, flipping, hopping, and undulating however you must to get where you wish to be. You gain a bonus to Acrobatics checks equal to half your class level, and you may make Acrobatics checks in place of the following skills—Climb, Escape Artist, Fly, Stealth, and Swim. You are considered trained in all these skills if you are trained in Acrobatics.
Additionally you can move in ways and to locations others simple cannot reach without magic. At the beginning of your turn, you may make a single Acrobatics check as a free action. You gain a climb, fly, or swim movement rate (your choice) equal to your skill check. This movement rate lasts until the beginning of your next turn. If you end your movement in a spot you cannot remain at without this movement rate (such as in midair, or on a sheer wall that cannot be climbed without a climb speed), you fall at the beginning of your next turn.
Also, whenever you fall (whether on your turn or not) as long as you are conscious and able to move freely, you may make an Acrobatics check as a free action. If the check meets or exceeds the number of feet you are falling, you land on your feet and take no damage. Otherwise you subtract the skill check from the number of feet you fall when determining how much damage you take.
All acrobatic movement checks can only use a number of ranks in Acrobatics equal to your class level. Thus a multiclass fighter 7/thief-acrobatic 2 may have 9 ranks in Acrobatics, but can only use 2 of those ranks to calculate the bonus of skill checks for this class feature.
You must have no armor check penalty and be in light encumbrance to use this ability.
Nimble Defense (Ex): As long as you are not suffering an armor check penalty (either from wearing no armor, or by wearing armor with an armor check penalty of 0), you gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC. This dodge bonus increases to +2 at 4th level, and by an additional +1 every 4 additional levels thereafter.
Escapist: You are particularly difficult to slow or pin down. At 3rd level you gain a bonus to your CMD against bull rush and trip maneuvers, to Acrobatics checks made to escape from bindings or move through small spaces, and to your saving throws against any effect which would slow you, reduce your movement rate, or hold, entangle, or paralyze you (though not things that stagger or stun you, knock you out, or command you to decide not to take movement, such as command). You can also ignore a number of spaces of difficult terrain each round equal to your escapist bonus. This bonus begins at +1 at 3rd level, and increases by +1 every 3 levels thereafter. You must have no armor check penalty and be in light encumbrance to use this ability.
Acrobatic Strike: At 4th level you are so good at flipping and spinning that you can flip over, roll under, or cartwheel past a foe to position yourself to strike the foe in a vulnerable location. If you successfully make an Acrobatics check to move through a foe’s space, and you are able to make a melee attack against that foe in the same round directly after taking that movement, the first attack you make counts as flanking the foe. You gain all the normal bonuses of flanking the foe, which normally includes a +2 bonus to your attack roll and the ability to do sneak attack damage. You must have no armor check penalty and be in light encumbrance to use this ability.
Since the thief-acrobat is an alternate version of the rogue it can mostly just use rogue options for things like talents. But I did think of two talents a thief-acrobat might find useful a rogue wouldn’t have access to, and I wrote them up for backers of my Patreon.