Typically used with: Agility.
In short: move or steady your body. The Gymnastics skill is used to determine a character's ability to balance, leap, cartwheel, dive, flip, tumble, somersault, kip-up, roll, and other acrobatic maneuvers.
Balancing and Tumbling
When you find yourself on a tightrope or pitching ship, you can roll a Gymnastics check to steady your weight and keep from falling. Similarly, you can use this skill to land a couple of cartwheels and a back handspring. If you're a gymnast or a break dancer, this usage of Gymnastics is for you. The higher the DL, the more difficult the maneuver. Staying balanced in a sailboat might be DL 5, whereas a flawless Olympic floor routine might be DL 30.
If you gain the prone condition, it takes 2 AP to stand up. However, you can use Gymnastics to kip up from the ground in 1 AP with a DL 15.
Balance is important in the saddle, too! With a DL 12, you can steady yourself while mounted if you're trying to line up a shot. With a DL 18, you can roll safely from the back of a mount slain in battle and prevent yourself from being trapped underneath.
You can use Gymnastics to slip right past a foe blocking your way, but it's risky. Make a Gymnastics check if you try to pass through the space occupied by an opponent. The DL is 20. For every point of difference in Size from the creature you're prancing past, you receive a +2 bonus on the Gymnastics check. It's easier for a bigger creature to vault over a smaller one, and it's easier for a smaller one to dive under a larger one. This means a human gets +10 on the check if they're tumbling past a juren, and a kulgeri gets +4 on the check if they're leaping over a firnoy. If you fail the check, your movement stops adjacent to your opponent.
Resisting a Trip
You can roll a Gymnastics check to keep from being tripped. See the "Tripping" entry in the Tactics section of Chapter 10: Combat. To try to knock you down, your opponent rolls a Might check. If your Gymnastics check meets or exceeds their Might, you remain standing.
When creatures of different sizes make opposed rolls involving Grip or Might, each should add its Size Muscle Bonus. As noted in the Size table in Chapter 4: Life and Death, a creature's Muscle Bonus is its Size × 5.
You can roll a Gymnastics check to leap across an open chasm or from rooftop to rooftop. The result of the skill check equals the number of feet the character can move. Thus, if a character rolls a 30, they can jump 30 feet. (For perspective, a world record for the long jump is 29.36 feet).
Characters need a good running start to gain sufficient momentum to jump this far. If you don't build up enough speed beforehand, the GM should determine what impact it has on the distance. (For example, a record for standing long jump is over 12 feet. The GM may say that the result should be halved or thirded).
Leap over a fence or out of a pit. The result of the skill check divided by 4 equals the height the character can jump. Thus, if the character rolls a 30, they can jump 7.5 feet. (For perspective, the current world record for the high jump is 8.03 feet). Characters need a good running start to gain sufficient momentum to jump this high. If you don't build up enough speed beforehand, the GM should determine what impact it has on the distance. (For example, the record for the standing high jump is about 6 feet, so the GM may say that the result of the check divided by 5 equals the height you can jump).
Gymnastics can be used to soften a fall (for instance, by righting yourself in mid-air, grasping an awning, or tumbling properly once you land). You can subtract your entire Gymnastics check from the distance fallen. If there's anything left over, you can make a Guard check to turn some of the falling damage into steps down the Knockout Track. The rest comes straight out of your HP.