Occasionally, a character is placed into a position of precarious risk by a dangerous height or the possibility of falling into a hazardous predicament, such as a trap, a pool or a nest of monsters. The issue is usually associated with stunning, as the character is knocked back by the force of the enemy's attack. Occasionally, a risk also occurs if the character is in a high place and is startled or affected by their environment (high wind, a greasy or wet spot on a ledge, etcetera). See Scrambling.

In such cases, the character is usually given an ability check against their dexterity, with success indicating that they have avoided being thrown into a wall or pushed out of the hex into a hazard. Thieves and assassins will most likely succeed due to their high dexterity, but the ability of heightened balance allows the character to consider themselves to possess a 19 dexterity for such checks. Thus a failed check can only occur on a natural 20.

If the character already has a natural 19 dexterity (which is possible due to racial adjustments), then the character may roll a 1 in 2 chance that even a natural 20 does not indicate a failure to retain balance.

Note that in situations where balance checks are not made (see overbearing), heightened balance has no effect on the character's forced movement.

See Sure-footedness.