Climb Skill

Climb (Str)
Armor Check Penalty
Use this skill to scale a cliff, to get to a window on the second story of a building, or to climb up an antenna array after falling out of an airway at the bottom of a floating city.

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

A failed Climb check indicates that you make no progress, and a check that fails by 5 or more means that you fall from whatever height you have already attained.

The DC of the check depends on the conditions of the climb.

DC Example Wall or Surface
0 A slope too steep to walk up. A knotted rope with a wall to brace against.
5 A rope with a wall to brace against or a knotted rope, but not both.
10 A surface with ledges to hold on to and stand on, such as a very rough wall.
15 Any surface with adequate handholds and footholds (natural or artificial), such as a very rough natural rock surface or a tree. An unknotted rope.
20 An uneven surface with some narrow handholds and footholds.
25 Overhang or ceiling with handholds but no footholds.
- A perfectly smooth, flat, vertical surface cannot 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 you can brace against perpendicular walls (reduces normal DC by 5).
+5* Surface is slippery (increase normal DC by 5).

*These modifiers are cumulative; use any that apply.

Since you can’t move to avoid an attack while climbing, opponents get a +2 bonus on attack rolls against you, and you lose any Dexterity bonus to Defense.

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 sustain the appropriate falling damage. (See Falling Damage)

Accelerated Climbing: You try to climb more quickly than normal, attempting to cover your full speed in climbing distance, but you take a -5 penalty on Climb checks.

Making Handholds and Footholds: You can make your own handholds and footholds by pounding pitons into a wall. Doing so take 1 minute per piton, and one piton is needed per meter. As with any surface with handholds and footholds, a wall with pitons in it has a DC of 15. In the same way, a climber with an ice axe or similar implement can cut handholds or footholds in an ice wall.

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

Grab My Arm!: You can catch someone who is falling past you. If you can make a melee touch attack against someone falling within your reach, you may attempt a Climb check (DC = wall’s DC +10) to prevent that person’s fall. (The DC for catching someone falling on a slope is the slope’s DC +5.) If you fail the Climb check, you fail to stop the person’s fall. If you fail by 5 or more, you fall as well. The person’s total weight (including equipment) cannot exceed your heavy load, or you automatically fall.

Special: Someone using a rope can haul a character upward (or lower the character) by means of sheer strength. Using double your maximum load (see [Carrying Capacity in Chapter 6: Heroic Characteristics) to determine how much weight a character can lift.

You can take 10 while climbing, but you can’t take 20.

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

Time: Climbing is a part of movement, so it’s generally part of a move action (and may be combined with other types of movement in a move action). Each move action that includes any climbing requires a separate Climb check. Catching yourself when falling doesn’t take an action.

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