Armor Check Penalty

A slope is any incline of less than 60 degrees; a wall is any incline

of 60 degrees ore more. Climb checks that fail by 4 or less mean that no progress is made, while those that fail by 5 or more mean that the character falls from whatever height he has attained. A climber’s kit gives a +2 circumstance bonus on Climb checks (see Chapter 10: Goods & Services). The DC of the check depends on the conditions of the climb:

Climb DC Example Surface or Activity
0 A slope to steep to walk up; a knotted rope with a wall to brace against.
5 A rope with a wall to brace against; 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 (naturalor artificial), such as a very rough natural rock surface; an unknotted rope.
20 An uneven surface with some narrow handholds and footholds, such as a typical wall in a dungeon.
25 A rough surface, such as a natural rock wall or a brick wall; an overhang or ceiling with handholds but no footholds.
------ A perfectly smooth, flat, vertical surface cannot be climbed.
-10*  Climbing a chimney (natural or artificial) or other locations where one can brace against the two opposite walls.
-5* Climbing a corner where one can brace against perpendicular walls.
+5* Surface is slippery.
*These modifiers are cumulative; use any that apply.

Characters need both hands free to climb, but they can cling to a wall with one hand while casting a spell or taking another action that requires only one hand. Climbers lose their Agility bonuses to AC (if any), as they can’t move to avoid blows. Shields cannot be used while climbing. Any time characters take damage while climbing, they must make Climb checks against the slope or wall’s DC. Failure means they fall from the current height and suffer the appropriate falling damage.

Accelerated Climbing:A character can try to climb more quickly than normal. He can move half his speed (instead of one-quarter) at a –5 penalty.  

Making Handholds and Footholds:By pounding pitons into a wall, climbers can make handholds and footholds. Doing so takes 1 minute per piton, and one piton is needed per 3 feet of distance. Climbers with handaxes or similar implements can cut handholds in an ice wall in the same amount of time.

Catching Oneself When Falling:Catching oneself on a wall while falling is practically impossible (DC = the wall’s DC + 20); catching oneself on a slope is much easier (DC = slope’s DC +10). 

Catching a Falling Character While Climbing:A character can attempt to catch another who is within reach and falls from above or adjacent to her. She makes a melee touch attack against the one falling (who can forego an Agility bonus to AC, if desired). If successful, the catching character immediately makes a Climb check (DC = wall’s DC +10). Success means that the falling character is caught, but his total weight including equipment cannot exceed the catcher’s heavy load limit, or the character continues to fall. Failing the Climb check by 4 or less means the character fails to stop the one falling but doesn’t lose hold of the wall; failing by 5 or more means the character fails to stop the one falling and begins falling as well. 

Action:Generally, climbing is a move action. Each move action involving any climbing requires a separate Climb check. Catching oneself or another character is a reaction and doesn’t require an action. 

Synergy:Characters with 5 or more ranks in Use Rope gain a +2 bonus on checks to climb a rope, a knotted rope or a rope-and-wall combination. 

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