Climb (Str) Armor Penalty

Check: With each successful Climb check, the character can advance up, down, or across a slope or a wall or other steep incline (or even a ceiling with handholds).

A slope is considered to be any incline of less than 60 degrees; a wall is any incline of 60 degrees or steeper. A failed Climb check indicates that the character makes no progress, and a check that fails by 5 or more means that the character falls from whatever height he or she had already attained (unless the character is secured with some kind of harness or other equipment).

The DC of the check depends on the conditions of the climb. If the climb is less than 10 feet, reduce the DC by 5.

Since the character can’t move to avoid an attack, he or she is flat-footed while climbing (the character loses any Dexterity bonus to Defense).

Any time the character takes damage while climbing, make a Climb check against the DC of the slope or wall. Failure means the character falls from his or her current height and sustains the appropriate falling damage.

Accelerated Climbing: A character can try to climb more quickly than normal. The character can move his or her full speed, but the character takes a –5 penalty on his or her Climb check. (Moving twice the character’s speed in a round requires two checks, one for each move action.)

Making Handholds and Footholds: A character can make handholds and footholds by pounding pitons into a wall. Doing so takes 1 minute per piton, and one piton is needed per 3 feet. As with any surface with handholds and footholds, a wall with pitons in it has a DC of 15. In similar fashion, a climber with an ice axe or other proper implement can cut handholds or footholds in an ice wall.

Catching Yourself When Falling: It’s practically impossible for a character to catch him or herself on a wall while falling. Make a Climb check (DC equal to wall’s DC + 20) to do so. A slope is relatively easier to catch on (DC equal to slope’s DC + 10).

Special: Someone using a rope can haul a character upward (or lower the character) by means of sheer strength. Use two times a character’s maximum load to determine how much weight he or she can lift.

A character can take 10 while climbing, but can’t take 20.

A character without climbing gear takes a –4 penalty on Climb checks. At the GM’s discretion, certain kinds of climbing attempts might require only a rope or some other implement, or even just one’s hands and feet, rather than a full set of climbing gear to avoid the penalty.

A character with the Athletic feat gets a +2 bonus on all Climb checks.

DC Example Wall or Surface or Task
0 A slope too steep to walk up.
5 A knotted rope with a wall to brace against.
10 A rope with a wall to brace against. A knotted rope. A surface with sizable ledges to hold on to and stand on, such as a rugged cliff face.
15 Any surface with adequate handholds and footholds (natural or artificial), such as a rough natural rock surface, a tree, or a chain-link fence. An unknotted rope. Pulling yourself up when dangling by your hands.
20 An uneven surface with just a few narrow handholds and footholds, such as a coarse masonry wall or a sheer cliff face with a few crevices and small toeholds.
25 A rough surface with no real handholds or footholds, such as a brick wall.
25 Overhang or ceiling with handholds but no footholds.
A perfectly smooth, flat, vertical surface can’t be climbed.
–10* Climbing inside an air duct or other location where one can brace against two opposite walls (reduces normal DC by 10).
–5* Climbing a corner where a character can brace against perpendicular walls (reduces normal DC by 5).
+5* Surface is slippery (increases normal DC by 5).
*These modifiers are cumulative; use any that apply.

Time: Climbing at one-half your speed is a full-round action. Moving half that far (one-fourth the character’s speed) is a move action.

Accelerated climbing, allowing the character to climb at his or her full speed, is a full-round action. A character can move half that far (one-half his or her speed) as a move action.

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