Balance (Dex; Armor Check Penalty)

Balance DCs
Narrow Surface Balance DC1 Difficult Surface Balance DC1
  1. Add modifiers from Narrow Surface Modifiers, below, as appropriate.
  2. Only if running or charging. Failure by 4 or less means the character can’t run or charge, but may otherwise act normally.
7-12 inches wide 10 Uneven flagstone 102
2-6 inches wide 15 Hewn stone floor 102
Less than 2 inches wide 20 Sloped or angled floor 102
Narrow Surface Modifiers
Surface DC Modifier1
  1. Add the appropriate modifier to the Balance DC of a narrow surface.

    These modifiers stack.

Lightly obstructed +2
Severely obstructed +5
Lightly slippery +2
Severely slippery +5
Sloped or angled +2

You can walk on a precarious surface. A successful check lets you move at half your speed along the surface for 1 round. A failure by 4 or less means you can’t move for 1 round. A failure by 5 or more means you fall. The difficulty varies with the surface, as follows:

Being Attacked while Balancing

You are considered flat-footed while balancing, since you can’t move to avoid a blow, and thus you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). If you have 5 or more ranks in Balance, you aren’t considered flat-footed while balancing. If you take damage while balancing, you must make another Balance check against the same DC to remain standing.

Accelerated Movement

You can try to walk across a precarious surface more quickly than normal. If you accept a -5 penalty, you can move your full speed as a move action. (Moving twice your speed in a round requires two Balance checks, one for each move action used.) You may also accept this penalty in order to charge across a precarious surface; charging requires one Balance check for each multiple of your speed (or fraction thereof) that you charge.

See also: epic usages of Balance.


None. A Balance check doesn’t require an action; it is made as part of another action or as a reaction to a situation.


If you have the Agile feat, you get a +2 bonus on Balance checks.


If you have 5 or more ranks in Tumble, you get a +2 bonus on Balance checks.