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Chapter 8: Tactical Rules / Movement and Position

Additional Movement Types

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 258
Some creatures have modes of movement other than walking and running, such as burrowing, climbing, flying, and swimming. Such creatures have a specific speed listed for each movement type. Generally speaking, these additional movement types follow the normal rules for movement, except as detailed below.

Burrowing

If you have a burrow speed, you can use move actions to tunnel through dirt. You cannot tunnel through rock unless you have an ability that states otherwise. You can move your full burrow speed while burrowing, but you cannot run (see page 248). Most burrowing creatures do not leave behind tunnels other creatures can use unless they have an ability that states otherwise; instead, the dirt closes up behind them as if they had not been there.

Climbing

If you have a climb speed, you can use move actions to climb slopes, walls, and other steep inclines, and you don’t need to attempt an Athletics check to climb except in hazardous circumstances (see the Athletics skill starting on page 136). You are not flat-footed (see page 276) while climbing. You receive a +8 bonus to all Athletics checks to climb and can always take 10 while climbing, even if distracted or threatened. You can move your full climb speed when you use the move action while climbing, but you cannot run. You can move double your climb speed with a successful Athletics check to climb, but you take a –5 penalty to the check. Creatures without a climb speed use the Athletics skill to climb.

Flying

If you have a fly speed, you can use move actions to fly through the air. A creature with a fly speed has one of three maneuverability classes: clumsy, average, or perfect. Creatures with clumsy maneuverability take a –8 penalty to Acrobatics checks to fly, while those with perfect maneuverability gain a +8 bonus to these checks. Creatures with average maneuverability neither gain a bonus nor take a penalty to Acrobatics checks to fly. While you are flying, at the start of each turn, choose a primary direction for the round (including up or down). You can move your full fly speed in a straight line in that direction without the need for an Acrobatics check, as long as the wind conditions are favorable.

If you want to change direction while flying, it costs you an additional 5 feet of movement to turn 45 degrees. If you want to ascend, it costs you an additional 5 feet of movement for each square that you move upward. For example, suppose you have a fly speed of 60 feet. As a single move action, you can fly forward 20 feet, turn 45 degrees to the left, and fly one square diagonally (all of which costs 30 feet of your movement). You can then ascend 15 feet, which costs another 30 feet of movement. At this point, you have used your full 60 feet of flying movement, so your move action is over.

If you are flying in an area with zero or low gravity, movement to ascend does not cost extra squares. If you are flying in an area with high gravity, ascending costs double the extra squares of movement.

The Acrobatics skill also details other types of movement that can be made by flying creatures. These require successful Acrobatics checks, and these checks have consequences if you fail. If you have clumsy maneuverability, you cannot use the hover option presented in the fly task of the Acrobatics skill (see page 135). If you have average maneuverability, all of the options in the fly task of Acrobatics are available to you. If you have perfect maneuverability, you do not have to attempt an Acrobatics check to use the avoid falling damage or hover options; you automatically succeed at these options (unless you are unconscious), though you can still attempt an Acrobatics check to hover as a swift action instead of a move action.

Swimming

If you have a swim speed, you can use move actions to swim through liquids, but you don’t need to attempt an Athletics check to swim except in hazardous circumstances (see the Athletics skill starting on page 136). You receive a +8 bonus to all Athletics checks to swim, and you can always take 10 while swimming, even if you are distracted or threatened. You can move your full swim speed while swimming, and you can use the run action while swimming, provided that you swim in a straight line. Creatures without a swim speed use the Athletics skill to swim. A swim speed does not automatically impart the ability to breathe underwater.