Tome of Prowess (3.5e Sourcebook)/Escape Artistry
- 1 Escape Artistry
- 1.1 Special
- 1.2 Untrained Uses
- 1.3 Rank 1 Uses
- 1.4 Rank 4 Uses
- 1.5 Rank 8 Uses
- 1.6 Rank 10 Uses
- 1.7 Rank 14 Uses
Escape Artistry is an active skill that you can use to remove yourself from tight situations. With it, you can escape bindings or grapples and slip through tight spaces. Those with substantial training in Escape Artistry can slip free of magic that has grabbed hold of them, pass spaces where they wouldn't normally fit, and even move without passing through the intermediate space.
Key Attribute: Dexterity
The notes in this section will reference sizes for a typical, humanoid medium creature. For larger creatures, simply double these numbers once for each size increase. For smaller creatures, simply halve for each size decrease. Unfortunately, your DM will have to guess at gaps for non-humanoid creatures if it ever comes up; there are just too many forms to consider.
Instead of trying to overpower a grappler or burst an entangling effect, you can just try to wriggle free. You also use this ability to escape entangling effects of all kinds. This check is made as a move action. The DC for this check is the opposed grapple check of your opponent(s), and it can be used at any of the times indicated in the grapple rules. Spells or conditions that allow or require use of this skill will note it in their descriptions, and often provide an explicit DC. The results of your check are determined with the table below.
Base DC: Determined by grappler or spell
- DC+10 and above: If you were pinned, you immediately escape both the pin and the grapple. Otherwise, you just escape the grapple, but may stand as a free action.
- DC+0 to DC+9: If you were pinned, you are merely grappled now. If you were grappled, you are now free.
- DC-1 and below: You fail to make any change in your circumstance, remaining as grappled or entangled as you previously were.
Rank 1 Uses
Any space that you can fit both your head and shoulders into is a space that anyone can crawl or wiggle through. You've practiced with these spaces a bit, and are comfortable navigating them. For medium creatures, these spaces are generally sized 2’ x 2’ down to 1’ x 1 ½’. They can generally fit their head and shoulders through this size gap, but can not walk or crawl through it. To move through such a space, you must make an escape artist check each round. The DC for this check is only 10, and your progress is determined by your check result as indicated in the table below. You may not run or charge while wriggling on your belly like a worm.
Base DC: 10
- DC+10 and above: You may move up to your base speed as a move action, or twice your base speed as a full-round action.
- DC+5 to DC+9: You may move up to half your base speed as a move action, or your base speed as a full round action.
- DC+0 to DC+4: You may move one square as a move action, or two as a full round action.
- DC-1 to DC-5: You may move one square as a full round action. Progress is slow.
- DC-6 and below: You fail to make any progress this round.
Rank 4 Uses
|As discussed in the related concentration ability, this ability may not be appropriate for some styles of games. You can go ahead and substitute the following ability if you prefer, though it drastically reduces the value of the skill:
Escape Magic’s Embrace: You may add the higher of your Dexterity or Intelligence modifier to your Reflex saving throws. You may change which bonus is applied at any time, with no action required.
Magical bonds are like any other bonds in that you can work your way free if given enough time, but they tend to reassert themselves until you have slipped them entirely. The escape artistry skill may be used to fight off any lingering effects that would require a Reflex save. This will most often be applied against a binding effect that does not specifically allow for escape artistry checks to escape; if a spell or effect already includes references to escape artistry, those references supersede this ability. Web, for example, is not affected by this ability because it already includes an escape artistry clause. This ability also works against persistent damage over time effects that do not allow additional saves, but it does not include instantaneous damage effects. If a spell contains both an instantaneous effect and a duration or permanent based effect, only the duration-based or permanent effect may be fought with this ability. If you fail a save against such an effect, you suffer the full effect immediately or the stunned condition (even if immune), your choice.
The DC for this check is the save DC + the spell level. You may only fight one effect per round with this ability and may not use this ability in any round that you also fight an effect with the Concentration or Endurance abilities. Fighting an effect in this way is a free action, though. You may not attempt this check before the start of your turn after failing the save against the effect. If an effect grants a new save every round, you may not make this check in any round that you also make a save against the effect. The check results below indicate how you respond to the mental effect.
Base DC: Spell save DC + the spell level
- DC+10 and above: You shrug off the effect as if you had made your saving throw, suffering all effects normally associated with a successful saving throw. You no longer need to make these checks, as there is nothing left to fight against from this effect.
- DC+5 to DC+9: You are able to act normally this round, as you fight your debilitating condition back for now. You suffer damage from persistent effects this round as if you had made a successful save. You gain a +3 cumulative bonus to any future checks to resist the effect. If your total check bonus reaches +5, you immediately shrug off the effect as if you had made your initial saving throw, and may no longer make checks against the effect.
- DC+0 to DC+4: You are able to take a standard action normally this round, as you work to keep your debilitating condition in check. You take only half damage from a persistent effect this round, or the amount you would suffer on a successful save, whichever is greater. You gain a +2 cumulative bonus to any future checks to resist the effect. If your total check bonus reaches +5, you immediately shrug off the effect as if you had made your initial saving throw, and may no make checks against the effect.
- DC-1 to DC-5: You force yourself to get a swift action off normally this round, though you are gradually losing to your debilitating condition. You suffer a -2 cumulative penalty to any future checks to resist the effect. If your total penalty reaches -5, you immediately suffer the full effects of the spell or ability and may no longer make checks to resist it.
- DC-6 to DC-10: You are unable to rally yourself to take any action free of the effect this round, instead suffering fully under your debilitating condition. You suffer a -3 cumulative penalty to any future checks to resist the effect. If your total penalty reaches -5, you immediately suffer the full effects of the spell or ability and may no longer make checks to resist it.
- DC-11 and below: You immediately succumb to the effect, as if your total penalty had reached -5. You may not make additional checks to resist it.
While anyone can move through a space that you can fit both your head and shoulders into, you can actually move through spaces where your head fits and your shoulders don’t. For medium creatures, these spaces are generally sized 1’ x 1 ½’ down to 6” x 6”. To move through such a space, you must make an escape artist check each round. The DC for this check is 20, and your progress is determined by your check result as indicated in the Pass Tight Space table.
Base DC: 20
Check Result: As Pass Tight Space ability.
Ropes and manacles can really get in the way of doing what needs to be done. So it's a good thing they can’t keep you bound. With an Escape Artistry check, you can escape manacles (DC 20), masterwork manacles (DC 25), being wrapped in chains (DC 30), being triple wrapped and extra locked in chains (DC 35), exotic knotted rope bindings (DC set by binder, see the Survival skill), or whatever else someone can think of to tie you up with. In each case, you ignore the lock or other binding knot and just shift enough that you are free of containment. The amount of time required depends on your check result, according to the check results below.
Once you have escaped a set of bindings, it is not actually apparent to a cursory examination unless you do something that makes it very obvious. You can drop your bindings as a free action at any time after you successfully escape. Detecting that you have slipped your bonds when you have not yet dropped them requires a notice check against a DC equal to 10+ your escape artistry bonus.
Base DC: Set by bindings
- DC+10 and above: You escape the binding in just 1 round, which leaves you lots of time to get away or set up your revenge.
- DC+5 to DC+9: You escape the binding in 4 rounds.
- DC+0 to DC+4: It takes you 10 full rounds to finally get out of the bindings, but at least you got them off.
- DC-1 to DC-5: You spend 10 full rounds trying to get free, but fail to succeed.
- DC-6 and below: You struggle for 10 full rounds, only to pull something, throw your shoulder out, or otherwise suffer a related injury. This deals 1d6 points of subdual damage as well as a -2 penalty to checks to escape these bindings within the next 24 hours. Every time you attempt to slip this set of binding again and get a result this poor, the damage is doubled, so your second failure deals 2d6 subdual damage, your third failure deals 4d6, and so on. Your penalty does not increase from repeated failures.
Rank 8 Uses
Magic walls aren’t as perfect as they appear. Those who know how to time it can slip right through the wall without feeling its touch. You can temporarily reduce the effect any temporary wall generated by magic would have on you. This check is a free action, and is made at the instant the wall would begin to affect you; as such, it often occurs during a move action. The DC for this check is 15 + Caster Level, and the effect is reduced as indicated in the table below. You have no special ability to pass through instantaneous spells that create permanent walls (such as a wall of stone or iron), though a wall with a duration extended to permanent through the permanency spell (or similar trick) is perfectly fair game.
Base DC: 15 + Caster Level
- DC+10 and above: You suffer neither damage nor effect from passing near or through the wall for the remainder of your turn. It may as well not even be there for you.
- DC+5 to DC+9: You suffer no effect for passing near the wall, and only suffer the “passing near” effect when you move through it for the remainder of your turn. You may pass through solid walls without effort.
- DC+0 to DC+4: You suffer full effects of passing near the wall, but only suffer the passing near effect if you move through it for the remainder of your turn. If a wall is solid, like a wall of force, it is treated as difficult terrain instead.
- DC-1 to DC-5: You gain no special benefit against the wall, and suffer full effects of passing near or through it for the remainder of your turn. This also means you can not pass through a solid wall during this turn.
- DC-6 and below: You got your timing as far off as you possibly could. You suffer a maximized effect from passing near or through the wall. If the wall is solid, you also fall prone when you try to pass through it.
Rank 10 Uses
Some spaces, like prison bars, are designed to be open while stopping people from moving through them. Even these gaps, so small that your head shouldn’t even fit, don’t stop you anymore. These openings can be very, very small (2” x 2” for a medium creature). To move through such a space, you must make an escape artist check each round. The DC for this check is 26, and your progress is determined by your check result as indicated in the table below.
Base DC: 26
- DC+10 and above: You may move up to half your base speed as a move action, or your base speed as a full-round action. You may not run or charge while pouring yourself through a miniscule hole.
- DC+5 to DC+9: You may move up to a quarter your base speed as a move action, or half your base speed as a full round action.
- DC+0 to DC+4: You may move 2 1/2” as a move action, or one full square as a full round action.
- DC-1 to DC-5: You may move 1” as a full round action. Progress is very slow when you’re smooshing your head places it shouldn’t go.
- DC-6 and below: You fail to make any progress this round.
Rank 14 Uses
You can even slip between space itself now, travelling a fair distance in a single step and ignoring the interposing obstacles. As a move action, you may attempt to step from your space to a target space up to 4 times your base speed away. You do not need to see the space; you can simply give a direction and a distance. This requires an escape artistry check, and if it is successful, you move directly to the target space. You must be able to move freely to use this ability, and can not use it while held, restrained, or while attempting to pass through a tight space. The DC for this check is 25, but you suffer a -1 penalty to this check for each one-quarter of your base movement rate that the target space is distant. If your base movement rate is 30, for example, you suffer a -1 penalty for each 7 1/2 feet you attempt to travel with this ability. You need not use your base land speed to determine a penalty, but you must use a base speed that you could use to travel when you make the attempt.
Sometimes your timing will be off, and you’ll just get near the space, and you may wind up in an occupied or unyielding space. Landing in an occupied space provokes attacks of opportunity. Landing in a space mostly or completely filled with a substance that can not adjust for you (like rock) shunts you into the nearest open space. You suffer 1d6 damage for every 5’ that you must travel to reach said open space.
Base DC: 24
- DC+5 and above: You reach your target space. If it happens to be occupied, you do not provoke attacks of opportunity. If it happens to be filled and unyielding, you are shunted up to 10’ before you begin to incur damage.
- DC+0 to DC+4: You reach your target space. I hope it is empty.
- DC-1 to DC-5: You get close to your target square, but don’t quite make it. Roll 1d8 to determine which direction from your target space you wind up in, with 1 being straight back at you and 2 through 8 counting clockwise around the space. You appear 1 space, plus 1 additional space for every 20’ away your target space was from your starting space, in the indicated direction.
- DC-6 and below: You don’t get anywhere near your target square. Roll 1d8 to determine which direction from your target space you wind up in, with 1 being straight back at you and 2 through 8 counting clockwise around the space. You appear 2 spaces, plus 1 additional space for every 10’ away your target space was from your starting space, in the indicated direction.