Climb (Str; Armour Check Penalty)

Check: With a successful Climb check, you can advance up, down, or across a slope, a wall, or some other steep incline, or even a ceiling with handholds, at one-quarter your normal speed. A slope is considered to be any incline less than 60 degrees; a wall is any incline measuring 60 degrees or more.

A Climb check that fails by four or less means that you makes no progress. A Climb check that fails by five or more means that you fall from whatever height you have already attained.

A climber’s kit gives you a +2 circumstance bonus on Climb checks.

The DC of the check depends on the conditions of the climb. Compare the task with those on the following table to determine an appropriate DC.

You need both hands free to climb, though you may cling to a wall with one hand while you cast a spell or take some other action that requires only one hand. While climbing, you cannot move to avoid a blow, so you cannot dodge. You can parry as normal while holding on (assuming you are wielding a one handed weapon) but you cannot make any climb checks to ascend until you stop parrying. You also cannot use a shield while climbing.

Any time you take damage while climbing, make a Climb check against the DC of the slope or wall. Failure means you fall from your current height and sustains the appropriate falling damage.

Accelerated Climbing: You try to climb more quickly than normal. By accepting a –5 penalty, you can move half your speed instead of one-quarter your speed.

Climbing Checks

Climb DC Example Surface or Activity
0 A slope too steep to walk up, or a knotted rope with a wall to brace against
5 A rope with a wall to brace against, or a knotted rope
10 A surface with ledges to hold on to and stand on, such as a very rough wall or a ship’s rigging
15 Any surface with adequate handholds and footholds (natural or artificial), such as a very rough natural rock surface or a tree, or an unknotted rope, or pulling yourself up when dangling by your hands
20 An uneven surface with some narrow handholds and footholds, such as a typical dungeon or ruin wall
25 A rough surface, such as a natural rock wall or a brick wall
25 An overhang or ceiling with handholds but no footholds
A perfectly smooth, flat, vertical surface cannot be climbed
Climb DC Modifier1 Example Surface or Activity
–10 Climbing a chimney (artificial or natural) or other location where you can brace against two opposite walls (reduces DC by 10)
–5 Climbing a corner where you can brace against perpendicular walls (reduces DC by five)
+5 Surface is slippery (increases DC by five)

1 These modifiers are cumulative; use all that apply.

Making Your Own Handholds and Footholds: You can make your own handholds and footholds by pounding pitons into a wall. Doing so takes one minute per piton and one piton is needed per three feet of distance. As with any surface that offers handholds and footholds, a wall with pitons in it has a DC of 15. In the same way, a climber with a hand axe or similar implement can cut handholds in an ice wall.

Catching Yourself When Falling: It is practically impossible to catch yourself on a wall while falling. Make a Climb check (DC = wall’s DC + 20) to do so. It is much easier to catch yourself on a slope (DC = slope’s DC + 10).

Catching a Falling Character While Climbing: If someone climbing above you or adjacent to you falls, you can attempt to catch the falling character if he is within your reach. Doing so requires a successful melee touch attack against the falling character, though he can voluntarily refuse to dodge if desired, so that you can catch him more easily. If you hit, you must immediately attempt a Climb check (DC = wall’s DC + 10). Success indicates that you catch the falling character but his total weight, including equipment, cannot exceed your heavy load limit or you automatically fall. If you fail your Climb check by four or less, you fail to stop the character’s fall but do not lose your grip on the wall. If you fails by five or more, you fail to stop the character’s fall and begin falling as well.

Action: Climbing is part of movement, so it is generally part of a move action and may be combined with other types of movement in a move action. Each move action that includes climbing requires a separate Climb check. Catching yourself or another falling character does not take an action.

Special: You can use a rope to haul a character upward (or lower a character) through sheer strength. You can lift double your maximum load in this manner.

A Cimmerian has a +2 racial bonus on Climb checks because Cimmerians are agile and surefooted.

Zamorians gain a +1 racial bonus on Climb checks when in urban or underground surroundings.

If a character has the Athletic feat, he gets a +2 bonus on Climb checks.

A creature with a climb speed has a +8 racial bonus on all Climb checks. The creature must make a Climb check to climb any wall or slope with a DC higher than zero. It always can choose to take 10, however, even if rushed or threatened while climbing. If a creature with a climb speed chooses an accelerated climb (see above), it moves at double its climb speed (or at its land speed, whichever is slower) and makes a single Climb check at a –5 penalty. Such a creature can still dodge while climbing and opponents get no special bonuses to their attacks against it. It cannot, however, use the run action while climbing.


Hyborian Roads Astenodar