Jumping doesn’t seem to be covered in the rules, so I looked around the forums and found this thread http://www.autarch.co/forum/jumping-0 wherein Alex suggests a good house rule for it.

But it doesn’t take into account very strong or weak characters. Substituting STR for DEX would then not account for highly dexterous or highly clumsy characters.

I gave it some thought, and I think I have a workable solution. I’d like to hear others’ opinions on it.

It uses the raw strength score to determine how far a person can jump, but uses their dexterity bonus instead of their strength bonus to determine the modifier.

In feet, a human can:
-from a running start, jump 1.5STR +/- their DEX Bonus - .5stones of encumbrance
-from a standing start, jump .5STR +/- their DEX Bonus -.5stones of encumbrance
-leap straight up .25STR - .5stones of encumbrance

(These are maximums.)

For example, take a character with STR 12, DEX 16 (DEX Bonus +2), and 6 stones of encumbrance.
Running jump 1.512 + 2 - .56 = 17 feet
Standing jump: .512 + 2 - .56 = 5 feet
Leap straight up: .2512 + 2 - .56 = 2 feet

A dwarf can jump half these distances.
An elf can jump these distances, plus 20%

Attempted jumps less than 1/2 the maximum are automatically successful.

Jumps over 1/2 the maximum require a strength throw with a target equal to the extra distance. For example, the character described in the example above needs to jump a 14’ chasm with a running jump. His maximum distance is 17 feet. He could clear 9’ automatically (half, rounded up), but the extra 5’ requires a strength throw of 5+. His strength bonus is 0, so he doesn’t get any adjustment. Success means he’s standing on the other side of the chasm. Failure means he must make a dexterity throw of 10+, with his dexterity bonus applied. Success on the dexterity throw means he made it across, but landed sprawled on his face. Failure means he fell into the chasm. If he fell into the chasm, another dexterity throw at 10+ will tell if he managed to catch the edge and is dangling by his fingertips, or if he missed completely and is now falling into the chasm.

This is a little more complex than I’d like, but I think it gives reasonable ability to make reasonable jumps and provides reasonable risks for taking longer ones. It also makes a smart character disencumber themselves, if possible, before attempting to jump over dangerously deep obstacles.


I think I would just let players use the better of STR or DEX, or just DEX for a precision leap.

Okay, but you still need to know how to make longer jumps harder and how to know what happens on a miss and how to adjust for encumbrance. Simply saying “use STR or DEX” isn’t a rule - it a statement of what to use in the formulation of a rule.

I apologize for not being clear: I meant, use the suggested house rule by Alex which you referenced at the start of your post, but allow players to use whichever stat was higher.

I re-read my response, and it seemed a little abrupt. It wasn’t meant that way. Sorry if I came off strong.

The problem I see with using STR -or- DEX is that any jump involves both. Running and getting your last foot step in just the right place and pushing off at just the right time takes DEX. Pushing off hard takes STR. Any realistic rule should (IMHO) take both into account. Using one score and the other bonus seems like a good solution. (It’s a little odd in a D&D-like system, but common in some other systems to mix and match like that.)

I’ve been tinkering with a house rule for jumping in my games that bases a character’s jumping distances based on their height rather than basing it on an ability score. Jump checks would still be made with a Str or Dex check (which ever the player prefers). If anyone really wanted it in my games, I’d create a proficiency for PCs who want to be like Olympic track & field athletes.

Encumbrance affects jump distances too.

Long Jump = 2x PC height with a running start… 3/4 height without one
Standing Jump = PC height + 3’
Vaulting Over an Object = 2/3 height in feet

For checks to jump, PC’s can automatically make their jump distances when not “under pressure”, but when it’s dicey or they want to exceed their limit, I simply apply a bonus or a penalty to the PC’s ability score for the difficulty of the jump.

Edit to above: Actually, on my long jump… it’s 3/4 their distance with a running start… not 3/4 their height