Fate of the Old Republic
This is a measure of the character’s general physical capability; the exception is raw power, which is a function of Might. Athletics covers running, jumping, climbing, and other broadly physical activities you might find in a track and field event. Characters with high Athletics include athletes, soldiers, and outdoorsmen.
Athletics is often the “when in doubt” physical skill, and it gets a lot of use. If you’re confused about when to use Athletics and when to use Might, here’s a rule of thumb—Athletics is used to move yourself, while Might is used to move other things and people. When an action calls for both, they may modify one another. If there’s no clear indication which should be primary, default to Athletics as primary and Might as secondary.
Athletics is used for things like sprinting, jumping, or climbing. Generally, the GM sets a fixed difficulty to be met or exceeded. Often, there’s a set amount of time, also set by the GM, that’s required to run a distance or climb over an obstacle. A chase on foot or a race between two characters also uses the Athletics skill. Extra shifts can be used to reduce the time required. If a character is competing against another, the skill results are directly compared to determine who completes the task more quickly.
Athletics can only be used to make declarations in very specific situations. You might be able to make declarations about conditions likely to affect an attempt to use the skill—a cliff face is made of a particularly crumbly material, not immediately obvious to the untrained; the landing spot of a jump is uneven; or an enemy minion didn’t stretch out before a run, risking a cramp, etc.
If you wish to move to place a maneuver on an opponent in a conflict, Athletics is an appropriate skill to use. Your character can move behind an opponent, move behind cover, or climb over an obstacle. You must describe how his actions give your character an advantage, and the GM sets the difficulty for the roll.
Note that Athletics-based maneuvers are usually quite fragile, often negated by some simple movement or action on the part of the enemy.
Athletics is used as a defensive skill against attacks in physical combat; it works very well in conjunction with taking a full defense action (yielding a +2 to the roll). Athletics can be used as a dodge to counter attacks by Artillery, Fists, Guns, or Weapons.
It’s important to note that taking a full defense action means that you can’t use Athletics for other things, like movement between zones in combat.
By maneuvering your character between an opponent and a place that opponent wishes to go, you can use Athletics to set up a block. This is strictly putting your character’s body as an obstacle between an opponent and something he wishes to reach, and it can be countered in a lot of different ways.
An Athletics block doesn’t include grappling or otherwise physically restraining another character—that would fall under Might.