Speed Instead of Acrobatics?

We haven’t had to deal with ledge walking, rope swinging, fancy dancy tumbling yet but I can see it on the horizon.
Is the Speed stat suposed to handle stuff like that? And how would you represent a gang of acrobatic thieves and assassins without an Acrobatic skill?

Moving along a ledge is Speed. Rope swinging and fancy tumbling sound like Acrobatics to me… but there’s no such thing. So yes, it’s Speed. You could invent an Acrobatics skill for specialized use of skill, but I think it would really only be for performance purposes. If you’re just being really, really athletic then that’s exactly what Speed does.

For a PC or major NPC you could have a trait akin to Sea Legs.

For other NPCs, I don’t generally worry about it. They get advantage in a versus test when being pursued across rooftops, etc.

There are Call-Ons like Dexterity of the Cat and Quite that could be useful of course, and I don’t want to go around creating new skills without a better understanding of how they would affect game balance (in some game systems Acrobatics are treated like a miracle skill.) Perhaps it could be useful as a Wise skill, but Acrobatics-Wise would suggest knowledge of techniques where as an actual Acrobatics skill would suggest the actual techniques.
Of course I could just have a gang of B6 Speed Thieves for the party to deal with and use acrobatics as color to explain their actions (but that just seems cheap somehow.)

The Monster Burner lists a Speed of 6 as “highly adept at physical skills and athleticism” Speed 7 allows for “physical feats that leave others with their jaws hanging open” while Speed 9 is compared to Jackie Chan’s “Drunken Master 2”.
It’s unlikely that an entire gang would have such a high Speed stat in burning (and humans are capped at Speed 8 anyways) so in order to burn up such a gang, they would need some sort of Acrobatics skill (as this is not cannon, I’ll continue in Sparks.)

No. You know how acrobats are really, really fit? Always? Because no amount of skill will let you pull off the things they do if your body isn’t up to it? If you want a party that’s “highly adept at physical skills and athleticism” you need Speed 6. Just normally adept is Speed 5, of course. And so on.

Of course, if you want everyone to perform amazing feats, you’re really resetting expectations of the game, and I’ve already discussed that at length elsewhere.

I’d just burn them with a high speed and a Call-on trait like Lithe or Dexterity of the Cat.

Yea, no need to re-invent the Wheel. <wink>

Acrobats are physically fit, but they are also highly trained athletes. And it is their training that separates them from the other physically fit athletes out there.
Acrobatics shouldn’t be any different than any other speed based skill in burning wheel. It should be rooted in speed and advanced just like any other skill. The big difference is that all untrained acrobstic maneuvering uses a speed test to determine success. If there were an Acrobatics skill in BWG it would use the skill exponent to determine success instead of the Speed stat and the skill obstacles would be half of what the Stat obstacles are as the non acrobats would be using beginners luck (thus making it possible to attain the Jackie Chan like skills without requiring a B9 Speed).

I’m not sure that acrobats have training that would be classified as a BW skill, any more than weightlifting requires a special skill. They both require training, but it’s physical training in different areas. Acrobats are training Speed, weightlifters are training Power. Other athletes (like marathoners) train Forte or Agility. Wrestlers definitely train Forte and Power, with some Agility too. A lot of Olympians don’t train specifically in one of the physical stats, but rather work on them all.

My objection to an Acrobatics skill like that is that, well, those Jackie Chan feats are pretty much definitionally high Speed. What is Speed if not those feats? Similarly there’s no skill for endurance running, even though running really is a skill that you can practice and improve. The skill exists, but it’s a distant second to the physical conditioning.

Of course there’s an element of practice and skill. You can’t walk a tightrope without spending a long time walking on ropes. Professional gymnasts would justifiably mock you for deriding their level of technical training and skill. Those who play on sports teams can be in great physical shape and great at one sport while just okay at another, because one they practice daily and one they maybe watch on TV sometimes. And for any particular technical performance of a specific type of athletic feat, I’d be okay with a skill.

That’s not what you’re asking for, though. You could have Gymnastics for tumbling and pommel horse and the rest. You could have Stickball for playing that venerable game. What you’re describing is someone who wants to be generally good at athletic stunts, though, and that’s not a skill. That’s Speed.

Jackie Chan in the movies does have B9 Speed.

I’m with Wayfarer. I don’t see any problem with a skill like Tumbling or Rope Walking, even adding a lifepath for Tumbler or Acrobat (except that you’re just increasing the number of potential FoRKs during a fight). But I don’t see a need for what amounts to adding an Athletics attribute that avoids the downside of using attributes.

One if the main benefits a skill has over a stat is that once opened, the skill is no longer affected by changes in its root stat. A trained acrobat has learned how to roll with a fall, it has become second nature to him. Yes, he can suffer the effects of wounds and such (just as with any other skill) but his training makes it easier to take that fall (lower obstacles due to training).

You’re stating the definition of a skill. I don’t see the relevance. The counter-argument is that rolling with a fall is a Speed test.

If you want an Acrobatics skill, write it up so we know what you have in mind. What are the things it can do? What are the Obs?

But, being a human, the best he could hope for in BWG terms is a B8 Speed as that’s what humans are capped at. People like Jackie Chan and Samo Haung trained as children at the Chinese Opera to perfect their skills. Circus families start training their children early on as well. All athletes are a combinaton of natural ability and practiced skill.

Attributes aren’t just natural ability, though, because they advance in play and can be practiced. There’s a sort of fuzzy gradient between “attribute” and “skill”; skills are just highly specialized attributes. Acrobats have high Speed, and if they have skills, those are specialized things like Trapeze, Balance Beam, Tightrope. As an acrobat, you would test Speed and then FoRK in your appropriate skills or something.

Affinity for Acrobatics will give you an effective B9 speed

I thought of that however, page 37 states that "stats and attributes may never FoRK.

Let’s take it down a notch.

Larkin already has a sparks thread about the Acrobatics skill. You don’t all need to tell him he’s wrong.

I thought that the “Affinity for” (Dt) only worked with skills (pg. 311) “The trait gives the character +1D to the skill.”