A thief-acrobat excels in getting in and getting out. If every street-level entrance to the Jewelers’ Guildhouse is locked and well guarded, a thief-acrobat simply jumps
atop the building from the roof of a nearby inn, throws a grappling hook to the highest minaret, runs up the attached rope to a shuttered window, and quickly picks the lock. Should a thief-acrobat’s escape go awry once she has the goods, her gymnastic combat style keeps her out of harm’s way.
Most thief-acrobats are rogues who worked their way up through the ranks of the local thieves guild before learning the second-story trade from more experienced burglars. Characters of other classes—particularly barbarians and illusionists—often fi nd that the acrobatics and climbing skills of the thief-acrobat prestige class complement their abilities nicely.
Adventuring parties often encounter an NPC thiefacrobat in the middle of committing a crime. Sometimes, however, thief-acrobats hire adventurers to help them with particularly dangerous capers, or even to create diversions while they work.
Adaptation: Guilds of thieves large and small could have an elite cadre of cat burglars and second-story people. Changing the class’s name slightly can have a great impact on how the prestige class is perceived in your game. Despite its name, members of the thief-acrobat class might have nothing to do with thievery. Labeling the class “adventuring acrobat” or something similar gives the class a reason to exist that has little to do with high-level burglaries.
Hit Die: d6.
To qualify to become a thief-acrobat, a character must fulfi ll all the following criteria.
Skills: Balance 8 ranks, Climb 8 ranks, Jump 8 ranks, Tumble 8 ranks.
Special: Evasion class feature.
|Level||Base Attack |
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+0||Fast Acrobatics, Kip Up, Steady Stance|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+0||Agile Fighting +1/+2, Slow Fall 20'|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+1||Acrobatic Charge, Defensive Roll 1/day|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+1||Agile Fighting +2/+3, Skill Mastery, Slow Fall 30'|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+1||Defensive Roll 2/day, Improved Evasion|
The thief-acrobat’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Search (Int), Tumble (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the thief-acrobat prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Profi ciency: Thief-acrobats are profi cient with all simple weapons.
Fast Acrobatics (Ex): A thief-acrobat can avoid the normal penalties for accelerated movement while using her acrobatic talents. She ignores the normal –5 penalty when making a Balance check while moving at her full normal speed. She can climb at half her speed as a move action without taking a –5 penalty on her Climb check. Finally, she can tumble at her full speed without taking the normal –10 penalty on her Tumble check.
Kip Up (Ex): A thief-acrobat can stand up from a prone position as a free action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity. This ability works only if the thief-acrobat wears light or no armor and carries no more than a light load.
Steady Stance (Ex): A thief-acrobat remains stable on her feet when others have diffi culty standing. She is not considered fl at-footed while balancing or climbing, and she adds her class level as a bonus on Balance or Climb checks to remain balancing or climbing when she takes damage.
Agile Fighting (Ex): A whirling, spinning thief-acrobat is a devilishly diffi cult target. Starting at 2nd level, a thief-acrobat gains a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class. When fi ghting defensively or using total defense, this bonus becomes +2. At 4th level, these bonuses increase by 1 (to +2 and +3, respectively). In addition, a thief-acrobat takes no penalty to her Armor Class or on her melee attack rolls when kneeling, sitting, or prone.
This ability works only if a thief-acrobat wears light or no armor and carries no more than a light load.
Slow Fall (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, a thief-acrobat reduces the effective distance of falls by 20 feet. At 4th level, this improves to reduce the effective distance of falls by 30 feet. See the monk class feature, page 41 of the Player’s
Handbook. If a thief-acrobat has this ability from another class, the distances stack to determine the effective reduction of the falling distance.
Acrobatic Charge (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a thiefacrobat can charge in situations where others cannot.
She can charge over difficult terrain that normally slows movement or through allies blocking her path. This ability enables her to charge across a cluttered battlefield, leap down from a ledge, or swing across a chasm to get to her target. Depending on the circumstance, she may still need to make appropriate checks (such as Jump, Tumble, or Use Rope checks) to successfully move over the terrain.
Defensive Roll (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level, once per day a thief-acrobat can roll with a potentially lethal blow to take less damage from it than she otherwise would. See the rogue class feature, page 51 of the Player’s Handbook. At 5th level, a thief-acrobat can use this ability twice per day.
Skill Mastery (Ex): At 4th level, a thief-acrobat has become so confident in the use of certain skills that she can use them reliably even under adverse conditions.
When making a Balance, Climb, Jump, or Tumble check, she can take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so.
Improved Evasion (Ex): A 5th-level thief-acrobat can avoid damage from certain attacks with a successful Refl ex save and takes only half damage on a failed save. See the monk class feature, page 42 of the Player’s Handbook.
Diana: Female halfling rogue 5/thief-acrobat 4; CR 9; Small humanoid; HD 9d6+18; hp 52; Init +4; Spd 30 ft.; AC 19, touch 15, flat-footed 19; Base Atk +6; Grp +3; Atk +9 melee (1d6+2, +1 spear) or +11 ranged (1d6, light crossbow); Full Atk +9/+4 melee (1d6+2, +1 spear) or +11 ranged (1d6, light crossbow); SA acrobatic charge, agile fighting +2/+3, sneak attack +3d6; SQ defensive roll 1/day, evasion, fast acrobatics, kip up, skill mastery, slow fall 30 ft., steady stance, trap sense +1, trapfinding, uncanny dodge; AL N; SV Fort +5, Ref +13, Will +3 (+5 against fear); Str 12, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 8.
Skills and Feats: BalanceSM +18, ClimbSM +15, Escape Artist +16, Hide +20, JumpSM +22, Listen +10, Move Silently +18, Spot +8, TumbleSM +18, Use Rope +4; Dive for Cover†, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack. † New feat described on page 108.
Languages: Common, Halfl ing; Gnome.
Acrobatic Charge (Ex): Diana can charge over diffi cult terrain that normally slows movement or through allies blocking her path.
Agile Fighting (Ex): Diana gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC. When fi ghting defensively or using total defense, this bonus becomes +3. In addition, she takes no penalty to her AC or on her melee attack rolls when kneeling, sitting, or prone.
Sneak Attack (Ex): Diana deals an extra 3d6 points
of damage on any successful attack against fl at-footed or
fl anked targets, or against a target that has been denied
its Dexterity bonus for any reason. This damage also
applies to ranged attacks against targets up to 30 feet away.
Creatures with concealment, creatures without discernible
anatomies, and creatures immune to extra damage from critical hits are all immune to sneak attacks. Diana can choose to deliver nonlethal damage with her sneak attack, but only when using a weapon designed for that purpose, such as a sap (blackjack).
Defensive Roll (Ex): Diana can attempt to roll with the damage when on the receiving end of an attack from a weapon that would reduce her to 0 or fewer hit points. On a successful Refl ex save (DC equal to damage from that attack), she takes only half damage. Diana can only react to attacks she is aware of; if she is denied her Dexterity bonus to AC for any reason, she cannot use this ability. Evasion does not apply to defensive rolls.
Evasion (Ex): If Diana is exposed to any effect that normally allows her to attempt a Refl ex saving throw for half damage, she takes no damage with a successful saving throw.
Fast Acrobatics (Ex): Diana ignores the normal –5 penalty when making a Balance check while moving at her full normal speed. She can climb at half her speed as a move action without taking a –5 penalty on her Climb check. Finally, she can tumble at her full speed without taking the normal –10 penalty on her Tumble check.
Kip Up (Ex): Diana can stand up from a prone position as a free action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity.
Skill Mastery (Ex): Diana has mastered the skills Balance, Climb, Jump, and Tumble to the extent that she can take 10 with them even under stress. These skills are designated by SM in the statistics block.
Slow Fall (Ex): A thief-acrobat within arm’s reach of a wall can use it to slow her descent while falling. Diana takes damage as if the fall were 30 feet shorter than it actually is.
Steady Stance (Ex): Diana is not considered fl at-footed while balancing or climbing, and she adds +4 to Balance or Climb checks to remain balancing or climbing when she takes damage.
Trapfi nding (Ex): Diana can fi nd, disarm, or bypass traps with a DC of 20 or higher. She can use the Search skill to fi nd, and the Disable Device skill to disarm, magic traps (DC 25 + the level of the spell used to create it). If her Disable Device result exceeds the trap’s DC by 10 or more, she discovers how to bypass the trap without triggering or disarming it.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Diana retains her Dexterity bonus to AC even when fl at-footed or targeted by an unseen foe (she still loses her Dexterity bonus if paralyzed or otherwise immobile).
Possessions: +1 studded leather, +1 spear, light crossbow with 20 bolts, boots of striding and springing, rope of climbing.