Climbing is used to enable characters to climb walls and other such surfaces more easily. Reaching a roof or scampering up a rope can be made to look easy through the application of this skill.

Sample difficulties:

Brick wall15
Sheer cliff face40

The GM may also apply modifiers to the difficulty, depending on the equipment at hand, the weather, wounds the character has suffered, or other considerations.

Sample modifiers:

Hammer and pitons used+25
Surface is slippery-20
Character can use only one hand-50

Rutger is attempting to climb a slippery cliff. He has a hammer and pitons with him. This would be a difficulty of 40 and a modifier of 5(=25-20). Unfortunately for Rutger, he is suffering from several wounds sustained in a recent confrontation. The GM rules that these wounds warrant a further -15 modifier, bringing the total of the modifiers to -10(=5-15). Rutger has a climbing skill of 73, so he must roll a 23(=73-40-10) or less to accomplish the climb.

Many climbs will last for more than one round. In this case, there are several options available to the GM.

  • The first option is to allow the player to make one check for the entire climb. If circumstances should change during the climb (eg. a sniper with a high-powered assault rifle starts taking potshots at the character), additional rolls would be required, with different modifiers.
  • The second method is to require a check every round. This requires many more rolls if the climb is long, but more accurately models actual climbing conditions. You may want to use this method if the climb is over changing terrain (eg. climbing in the rigging of a ship, or over a shifting shale slope). A variation on this would be to require a periodic check (perhaps every five or ten rounds).

Failing a Climbing check

If a character fails a Climbing check, the consequences can range from negligible to severe or even lethal.
  • If the GM requires a skill check every round, and the character fails the first one, they would probably not be high enough to do any damage. Otherwise, the number of checks made will indicate how high the character was.
  • If only one check is required (and failed), the GM may wish to roll d% to determine how far up the character got before falling. Or, it might be determined by how badly the check failed.
  • If the character failed a check part way through the climb, it should be easy to determine exactly how far they will plummet before impact (falling is easy; it's the landing that hurts). In appropriate terrain, the GM may allow the character to attempt to slow or stop their fall (possibly with another check).

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