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The Atomic RPG System Athletics Skill is what a character will use to accomplish many physically demanding things. The Athletics Skill in the Atomic RPG System covers a wide range of activities a player might want to do including jumping, lifting, balancing, tumbling, swimming, and even how much weight the character can carry.

Athletic Skill checks will be used for a whole variety of things. An Athletic Skill Check  can be used to determine the success of an action that requires endurance, strength or feats of dexterity that is out of the ordinary. A character doesn’t have to roll to carry a backpack for miles, but an Athletics Skill check would be needed to balance on a narrow log crossing a river with the backpack.

Sample Athletic Skill Checks

The Athletics Skill in the Atomic RPG System will be used in a wide range of situations. Below is a list of some of the most common uses of the Athletics Skill. The difficulty of these checks will be determined by the GM. Most checks will range between 15 and 40, but may be as low as 5 or as high as 100. Reference the GM guide for Skill Checks for more details.

A character's Body Trait determines the base skill bonus.

Athletics Skill Determines Weight Limit

The Athletics Skill in the Atomic RPG System is going to determine a character’s ability to carry weight. In the Atomic RPG System, little emphasis is put onto what a character can carry or move. Weight is not micromanaged like it is in other RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons. However, it is important to to have reasonable limits on what characters can carry. Characters can carry as many things as they want as long as the total weight is less than the character’s Weight Limit. This means that if a player of the Atomic RPG System wants to carry 50 spears, they can as long as it doesn’t exceed their weight limit. We realize it’s not practical or possible in real life to tote around 50 spears, but we don’t really think it’s an important part of the game. If the player wants to carry 50 spears, fine. Players oftentimes come up with strange and unique ideas of what they want their character to be and this is another aspect of the Atomic RPG System that lets them do that!

If a character exceeds the Weight Limit, they can no longer move without making Maximum Lift checks. No half movement, no -2 speed. They simply cannot move with more weight than they can carry.

Max Move

Max Move is used when a character wants to perform a feat of strength, such as rolling a huge boulder out of the way. The Max Move is the limit to how heavy something can be before a character has no chance of moving it at all. An Athletics Skill check will be needed to move the target. The weight is calculated by how much weight over the character’s Weight Limit it is. The target can be moved up to the character’s speed in spaces. The character cannot move something great distances with this method, but it will work to lift a car  for a moment to pull out a character that is trapped. The check is 1/10th of whatever weight exceeds the characters Weight Limit. Example: A character has a weight limit of 260. The boulder is 500. 500 – 260 = 240. 240/10=24 (just remove the last digit for a tenth) The character must roll a 24 Athletics Skill check or higher to be successful.

Using the Max Move Skill check is considered using an Action in the Atomic RPG System.

Final Weight Check Needed

Player Cooperation

Multiple characters can work together to move something and accomplish other tasks. It will be difficult for one character to move a 500 pound crate. If multiple characters work together, it will be easier to move the crate. If multiple characters work together, add the Weight Limits of each character together. If the total of the Weight Limits exceeds the weight of the target, no roll will be needed. If the target’s weight exceeds the characters’ combined Weight Limit, the character with the highest Athletics Skill will roll the final check.

Each character who is helping will have to use an Action to help. If they do not have an Action left for the round, the character will not be able to help.

Athletics as part of a Move

Sometimes a character may need to roll an Athletics Skill check as part of a Move. This might happen if the player character is jumping between spaces, or swimming across a short distance. This will be determined by the Game Master. On a successful check the player character can Move as intended. On a failed check, the player character may not make the entire Move, fall down, or have some other consequence to their failed Action.

Athletics as an Action

Athletics as an Action will happen when a player character tries to do something that may require an Athletics Skill check that is more than a Move. Examples that would require the use of an Action would include breaking down a door, pushing a crate off a dock, or tying a rope.

Change Movement Type

Characters can use Athletics to move in different types of movement.
Players can swim, burrow, climb.

The Speed at which the player can move is equivalent to an Athletics Skill check divided by 5. One check is required per turn when moving in a Movement style different to the player's own. Athletics Skill check of 22 the character can swim at a Speed of 4.

Players have a standard Movement type of Ground.

Players can not use this method to Fly.

Holding Your Breath

Characters can hold their breath using Athletics.
For every 5 the player has in Athletics they can hold their breath for 1 turn/round without rolling.

After that the player must start to roll Athletic Skill checks each round to keep holding their breath. It starts at 5 and increases by 5 each round.

Athletics of 13 can hold their breath for 2 rounds without rolling. On round 3 they start rolling.

When a checks is failed, the Character is affected by Deadly Environmental Effects.


Athletics aids character ability to jump.
Athletics can be used as part of a Move Action to jump gaps or up. Jumping does not extend movement.

Roll an Athletics Skill check and divide the final roll by 5. That is how many Spaces the character can jump but cannot exceed their own Speed.

There is no difference between a vertical or horizontal jump check.

An Athletics Skill check of 27 means the character can jump 5 spaces.

Reduce Falling Damage

Characters can use Athletics to lessen they damage they take when falling from heights.
Characters must use an Action to Reduce Falling Damage.

Characters can fall the same distance as their Speed or less without taking damage.

Characters will take 5 Hit Points times Character Tier of damage per Space they fall.
Spaces Fallen - Speed = Final Spaces | Spaces * ( 5 * CT ) Damage

Rolling a Critical Skill Check the player character takes only half damage.
Rolling a Fumbled Skill Check the player character takes double damage.

Characters fall at a rate of 20 spaces per round.
(This is for simplicity, not Newtonian accuracy.)

The Athletics Skill for the Atomic RPG System may come up frequently during game play. As with all of the Skills in the Atomic RPG System, it is very versatile and can be used in a number of different ways. Creative players and GMs alike are encouraged to find new and interesting ways to use the Athletics Skill.

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