3e SRD:Climb Skill

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This material is published under the OGL 1.0a.

Climb (Str; Armor Check Penalty)


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) one-half the character's speed as a miscellaneous full-round action. The character can move half that far, one-fourth of the character's speed, as a miscellaneous move-equivalent action. 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 means that the character makes no progress, and a check that fails by 5 or more means that the character falls from whatever height the character has already attained.

A climber's kit gives a +2 circumstance bonus to Climb checks.

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, or a rope affected by the rope trick spell.
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. An unknotted rope.
20 An uneven surface with some narrow handholds and footholds, such as a typical wall in a dungeon or ruins.
25 A rough surface, such as a natural rock wall or a brick wall.
25 Overhang or ceiling with handholds but no footholds.
- A perfectly smooth, flat, vertical surface cannot be climbed.
–10* Climbing a chimney (artificial or natural) or other location where one can brace against two opposite walls (reduces DC by 10).
–5* Climbing a corner where the character can brace against perpendicular walls (reduces DC by 5).
+5* Surface is slippery (increases DC by 5). *These modifiers are cumulative; use any that apply.

Since the character can't move to avoid a blow while climbing, enemies can attack the character as if the character were stunned: An attacker gets a +2 bonus, and the character loses any Dexterity bonus to Armor Class.

The character cannot use a shield while climbing.

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 the character's current height and sustains the appropriate falling damage.

Accelerated Climbing

The character tries to climb more quickly than normal. As a miscellaneous full-round action, the character can attempt to cover the character's full speed in climbing distance, but the character suffers a –5 penalty on Climb checks and the character must make two checks each round. Each successful check allows the character to climb a distance equal to one-half the character's speed. By accepting the –5 penalty, the character can move this far as a move-equivalent action rather than as a full-round action.

Making Your Own Handholds and Footholds

The character can make his or her own 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 the same way, a climber with a handaxe or similar implement can cut holds in an ice wall.

Catching the One's Self When Falling

It's practically impossible to catch the one's self on a wall while falling. Make a Climb check (DC = wall's DC + 20) to do so. A slope is a lot easier to catch the one's self on (DC = slope's DC + 10).


A character with 5 or more ranks in Use Rope gets a +2 synergy bonus on checks to climb a rope, a knotted rope, or a rope and wall combination.

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