Movement

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Description

Ability Score Used: Dexterity
Usable Untrained? Yes
Armor Check Penalty Applies? Yes


You are skilled at large, powerful movements to orient your own body in space. This encompasses flying, swimming, and climbing vertical walls. "Movement" is an athletic skill that encompasses your ability to control your own body and how you are positioned. Note that this is NOT Acrobatics, which is large, powerful movements to move yourself through space. Note that the two skills are similar, and having skill ranks in Acrobatics can help with some uses of Movement. Having the Movement skill allows you to swim with a skill check, but it does NOT allow you to fly with a skill check in normal gravity and atmosphere conditions. Movement does not give you either a Swim move score or a Fly move score.

Climb Vertical Surface

With a successful Climb check, you can advance up, down, or across a slope, wall, or other steep incline (or even across a ceiling, provided it has handholds) at one-quarter your normal speed. A slope is considered to be any incline at an angle measuring less than 60 degrees; a wall is any incline at an angle measuring 60 degrees or more.

You need at least one hand free to climb, and you may cling to a wall with one hand while you cast a spell or take some other action that requires only one hand. While climbing, you can't move to avoid a blow, so you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). If you are using a light shield or buckler, and are using the hand carrying that shield to climb, you also lose your shield bonus to AC.

Action Required:

Climbing is 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.

DC of Check:

The DC of climb checks is based on the surface you are attempting to climb:

Surface Movement DC
A slope too steep to walk up, or a knotted rope with a wall to brace against. 0
A rope with a wall to brace against, or a knotted rope, or a rope affected by the rope trick spell. 5
A surface with ledges to hold on to and stand on, such as a very rough wall or a ship's rigging. 10
Any surface with adequate handholds and footholds (natural or artificial), such as a very rough natural rock surface or a tree, or an unknotted rope, or pulling yourself up when dangling by your hands. 15
An uneven surface with some narrow handholds and footholds, such as a typical wall in a dungeon. 20
A typical buildings upper-story wall 21
A typical buildings lower-story wall 25
A rough surface, such as a natural rock wall or a brick wall. 25
An overhang wall with handholds but no footholds, or a typical city wall 30
A perfectly smooth, flat, vertical (or inverted) surface cannot be climbed. -
Modifiers to Check
  • Accelerated Climbing: While climb checks are normally made at 1/4 speed, you can move at half speed by adding +10 to the DC of the check. You can move at full speed by adding +20 to the DC.
  • Bracing on two opposite walls: If you are climbing a natural (or artificial) chimney, where you can brace your legs and arms against two nearby opposite walls, the DC is decreased by -10.
  • Bracing on a corner: If you are climbing in a corner, or a space with a perpendicular wall you can brace against, the DC is decreased by -5.
  • Slippery surface: If the surface is slippery (wet, covered in moss or leaves, muddy), the DC is increased by +5. If the surface is extremely slippery (coated in ice, deliberately oiled, soaked in slime or ichor) but still has handholds, the DC is increased by +10.
  • Bad Conditions: Clinging to a wall makes you surprisingly immune to bad weather. Extremely high winds and violent gusts adds +5 DC, heavy pounding hail (or similar like rocks being thrown at you) adds another +5 to the DC. Rain, fog, and snow have little to no effect.
  • Encumbered: If you try to Climb with Movement while encumbered with a Medium load, you add a +10 to the DC. If you try to Climb with a Heavy load, you add +25 to the DC. It's possible to Climb in heavy armor and while loaded down, but you won't like it. Note that if you've caught someone in the middle of a fall, their weight adds to your encumbrance until they can make a Movement check to climb out of your grasp. Best to hold still until they get themselves settled. A load heavier than a Heavy load but less than your Max Drag means you can hold on, barely, but not make any more climb checks. A load heavier than your Max Drag automatically plucks you off the wall and you fall. Be careful about trying to catch falling Giants!
  • Climb Speed: Creatures with Lesser Climb or Greater Climb get a +8 bonus on climb checks made with the Movement skill (creatures with Brachiating get a +4 bonus). This bonus does not apply to any other uses of the movement skill, unless they are specifically applicable to climbing.
  • Taking damage: Anytime you take damage while climbing, you must make an additional Climb check against the DC of the slope or wall, with any normal modifiers as above, and with an additional +5 to the DC for the Bad Conditions of getting attacked.
Take 10? / Take 20?

You can take 10 (as long as you are not in combat), but you cannot take 20.

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies). Allies must either be adjacent to you, or adjacent to a rope or similar implement you are using to climb. If there is not enough room, they cannot assist.

Results of Success

You climb up the surface a distance equal to 1/4th your normal Walk speed, rounding down to the nearest 5 foot increment. This distance can be greater, if you increased the DC for accelerated climbing. If you reach the top of the surface at some point during this movement, you move to a standing position at the top, and may continue your movement at your normal speed, if you have any remaining.

Once at the top, you regain your DEX bonus to AC. However, if you have a shield or buckler, because you used that hand for something besides defense this round, you do not recover your shield bonus to AC until the start of your next turn.

Consequences of Failure

A Climb check that fails by 4 or less means that you make no progress but do not fall, and one that fails by 5 or more means that you fall from whatever height you have already attained.

Retry Allowed?

Yes

Provokes AOO?

Yes, as with any voluntary movement.

Fly

You are able to perform skillful maneuvers and fly competently, remaining oriented and even fight, while airborne. This skill use pertains only to flight from either an innate ability, a spell, or a magic item which allows you to propel yourself through the air without the aid of a vehicle or other conveyance. If an item grants you a flight speed, this skill use applies to you. If an item requires you to be in/on it (e.g. a flying carpet), this skill use does not apply (see Piloting instead).
Action Required:

A move action, or part of a move action

DC of Check:
Flying Maneuver Movement DC
Move less than half speed and remain flying 10
Hover in open space (Lesser Flight only) 20

You generally need only make a Fly check on calm days when you possess Lesser Flight. Without making a check, a flying creature with Lesser Flight can remain flying at the end of its turn so long as it moves a distance greater than half its speed. At the beginning of the next turn, you can move in a different direction than you did the previous turn without making a check. Taking any action that violates these rules requires a Fly check. The difficulty of these maneuvers varies depending upon the maneuver you are attempting, as noted on the chart, and modified below.

If a creature possesses Hover they must follow the more restrictive rules of that movement type. Note that you cannot hover in open space with only Hover, no matter how well you may roll on a Movement check.

If a creature possesses Greater Flight they are not required to roll a Movement check to either fly at less than half speed or Hover in open space. If a creature possesses Greater Flight, they receive a +8 modifier on all Movement skill rolls and ignore all modifiers for winds or gusts, although they are still affected by fog, clouds, rain, snow, sleet, hail, lightning, etc.

Modifiers to Check
Modifier Movement DC
Clear, calm skies +5
Clear air or calm air +0
Windy conditions -5
Strong winds -10
hurricane-force winds -20
erratic gusts -10
violent gusts -20
fog or mist -5
opaque clouds -10
dark clouds -20
rain, snow, and/or sleet -5 each
hail -10
massive hail -20
lightning visible -5
lightning close -10
inside a lightning storm -20


Size Movement DC
Tiny or smaller -4
Small or Medium +0
Large +4
Huge +10
Gargantuan +20
Colossal +30
Titanic +40

Yes, a Dragon can fly through a tornado a lot better than a Fairy. Size matters!

Note that many/most of these modifiers are cumulative! A hurricane is a different environment than a thunderhead, but both are very difficult to fly through. GM's adjudicate all modifiers and conditions. A violent storm is nigh-impossible to fly through even for extremely skilled and very high-level characters and should be approached with great caution.

Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

You fly up to your flight speed, or are able to perform the intended maneuver without losing altitude or orientation.

Consequences of Failure

A failed check often results in Falling (or losing altitude), as described on the Lesser Flight, Greater Flight or Hover pages, respectively.

Retry Allowed?

Varies. You can attempt a Fly check to perform the same maneuver on subsequent rounds. If you are using wings and you fail a Fly check by 5 or more, you plummet towards the ground, possibly taking falling damage.

Provokes AOO?

Yes, as with any voluntary movement.

Mitigate Falling Damage While Flying

You can attempt to lessen the damage you take from a fall while you are flying. This is different than trying to reduce falling damage when you fall off of or jump from a cliff or structure, in that you have a means to stop the fall before you hit the ground, and you are not close to a solid object. At the GM's discretion, it may be possible in crowded conditions (such as flying through trees or along city streets) to make a Might skill check to catch hold of something nearby as you plunge toward the ground.

These rules are strictly for creatures flying: Vehicles and Bogeys use the vehicle rules for all aspects of their movement. Most vehicles and Bogeys are large and sturdy enough to ignore most weather effects less severe than a full-on raging storm, for example.

Action Required:

an immediate action

DC of Check:
Flying Maneuver Description Movement DC
Forced Descent If you take damage while flying, you lose 10 feet of altitude at the end of the attacking creature's turn (or after the attack is resolved, if it was an attack of opportunity). This descent is treated as forced movement &mdash it does not provoke an attack of opportunity and does not count against your movement for the round. If you are brought all the way to the ground by forced descent, you do not take any falling damage. However, each time you are subjected to forced decent, you must make a movement check (modified by conditions, see below) to avoid falling the remaining distance to the ground, taking the appropriate damage for your flight type. 10
Avoid Falling After Collision If you are using Hover, Lesser Flight, or Greater Flight to fly and you collide with an object equal to your size or larger (whether you initiate the collision or or struck by the object or creature), you must immediately make a movement check (modified by conditions, see below) to avoid plummeting to the ground, taking the appropriate falling damage for your flight type. Your own size modifier does not apply to this roll, since the rarity of finding something bigger then size Titanic to crash into is its own advantage. 25
Negate Falling Damage If you are falling and have the ability to use Lesser Flight, you can make a Movement check (modified by conditions, see below) to attempt to start flying in mid-fall and negate the damage. You cannot make this check if you are falling due to a failed Movement check (caused by combat or any other source) or a collision. See Falling Damage if you fail this check. 10
Modifiers to Check
Modifier Movement DC
Clear, calm skies +5
Clear air or calm air +0
Windy conditions -5
Strong winds -10
hurricane-force winds -20
erratic gusts -10
violent gusts -20
fog or mist -5
opaque clouds -10
dark clouds -20
rain, snow, and/or sleet -5 each
hail -10
massive hail -20
lightning visible -5
lightning close -10
inside a lightning storm -20


Size Movement DC
Tiny or smaller -4
Small or Medium +0
Large +4
Huge +10
Gargantuan +20
Colossal +30
Titanic +40
Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

You are able to use your ability to fly to avoid falling. If you took damage while in flight (forced descent), your altitude is still reduced by 10 feet at the end of the attacking creature's turn (or after the attack is resolved, if it was an attack of opportunity).

Consequences of Failure

A failed check often results in Falling (or losing altitude), as described on the Lesser Flight, Greater Flight or Hover pages, respectively.

Retry Allowed?

No. You may only attempt a movement check once per mishap.

Provokes AOO?

No

Swim

You can swim in a liquid without the proper movement ability (one of Lesser Swim, Greater Swim, or Jet).

Movement is used to move around in liquids, such as water, blood, alcohol, lava, etc. The movement skill conveys no protection against the liquid (such as drowning, burning, the ick factor of swimming in blood, etc). Most movement checks in a liquid are used to swim on the surface, where there is air to breathe. If you do not need to breathe, and can withstand any environmental effects of the fluid, you may make Movement skill rolls to move in any direction below the surface.

If you are under the surface, either because you failed a movement check or because you are swimming under the surface intentionally, you must hold your breath. You can hold your breath for a number of rounds equal to twice your Constitution score, but only if you do nothing other than take move actions or free actions. If you take a standard action or a full-round action (such as making an attack), the remainder of the duration for which you can hold your breath is reduced by 1 round. (Effectively, a character in combat can hold his breath only half as long as normal.) After that period of time, you must make a DC 10 Constitution check every round to continue holding your breath. Each round, the DC for that check increases by 1. If you fail the Constitution check, you begin to drown. The DC for the Movement check depends on the water, as given on the table below.

Action Required:

Move action

DC of Check:
State of Liquid Movement DC
Calm water at the surface 10
Rough water at the surface 15
Stormy water at the surface 201
  • 1 You can't take 10 on a Swim check in stormy conditions, even if you aren't otherwise being threatened or distracted.

Note: Each hour that you swim, you must make a DC 20 Swim check or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage from fatigue.

Modifiers to Check
State of Liquid Movement DC
Opaque Fluids below the surface +5
Dense Fluids at the surface -10
Dense Fluids under the surface +10
Acid, Lava, other damaging fluids you cannot resist +15
viscous fluids (tar, honey, blood) +5 to +20
Violent gusts at surface +10
rain, snow, sleet at surface +5 each
Hail at surface +5
massive hail at surface +10
strong currents +5
violent currents +10
vortexes, riptides, whirlpools, rapids +20
small falls +20
large falls +30
cataracts +40

Swim Speed: A creature with a swim speed from either Lesser Swim, Greater Swim, or Jet, can move through water at its indicated speed without making movement checks. If it has Greater Swim it gains a +8 racial bonus on any movement check to perform a special action, or avoid a hazard. The creature can always choose to take 10 on a movement check to swim, even if distracted or endangered when swimming, such as moving through a damaging fluid it cannot fully resist. Such a creature can use the run action while swimming, provided that it swims in a straight line.

Note that many/most of these modifiers are cumulative! Trying to swim up a cataract of lava you cannot resist while staying under the surface is challenging even to high level adventurers. The GM adjudicates all modifiers.

Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

You may swim at up to half your Walk speed as a double-move action, or at a quarter of your Walk speed as a move action.

Consequences of Failure

If you fail by 4 or less, you make no progress.

If you fail by 5 or more, you go under the surface if you were attempting to stay on the surface to breathe.

Retry Allowed?

Yes

Provokes AOO?

Yes, as with any voluntary movement.

Burrow

You are able to dig in loose solid material with or without the use of a dig based movement ability (one of Burrowing, Tunneling, or Earth Glide). This dig speed only works on loose, non-packed, non-fluid material like uncompacted loam, freshly deposited damp silt, moist talc, etc.
Action Required:

full round action

DC of Check:
Burrow Maneuver Movement DC
Move one square in loose, non-flowing material such as silt, talc, etc, without a Burrowing, Tunneling, or Earth Glide speed 30
Move one square in normal soil, sand, gravel, etc, without a Burrowing, Tunneling, or Earth Glide speed 40
Ignore rock as difficult terrain with Burrowing or Tunneling speed 50
Avoid underground hazards (pockets of deadly gas, water, cave-in's) Challenging DC for CR of Hazard
Modifiers to Check
Burrow Modifier Movement DC
Use Tunneling speed in unstable material and still leave an open tunnel +10
Use Burrowing to leave an open (temporary) tunnel behind +10
Cause tunnel left by Tunneling to collapse after a time interval +10
Dig through heavy fluids (lava, tar, marrow, quicksand, loess) +15
Burrow, Tunnel, or Earth Glide through loose, unconsolidated material (glacial debris, faultlines, volcanic ash) +5
Dig through harmful material that you are unable to resist (lava, caustic ash, shattered obsidian) +20
Dig during violent ground movements (avalanche, eruption, earthquake) +20
Using a dig speed on non-earth solids (ice, bone, flesh, leather, crystal, warp-stuff, diamond) +10 to +50

Note that many/most of these modifiers are cumulative! A volcano is a different environment than a glacier, but both are very difficult to dig through. GM's adjudicate all modifiers and conditions. Note that a volcanic eruption is nigh-impossible to dig through even for extremely skilled and very high-level characters and should be approached with great caution.

Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

You successfully burrow 5-feet in the intended direction.

Consequences of Failure

You make no progress this round, if that applies to the attempted action

Retry Allowed?

Yes, assuming circumstances have not changed (such as a volcanic eruption that hurls you skywards).

Provokes AOO?

Yes, as with any voluntary movement.

Climb On Inverted Surface (Epic)

You can attempt to scramble along the underside of a surface, such as an overhang or a ceiling. As with climbing, you can't move to avoid a blow, so you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). If you are using a light shield or buckler, and are using the hand carrying that shield to climb, you also lose your shield bonus to AC.

This is an epic skill use, and requires at least 21 ranks in the skill before it may be attempted. If you have a Greater Climb speed, you do not need this skill use to climb on inverted surfaces.

Action Required:

Move action, or part of a move action

DC of Check:

45

Modifiers to Check
  • Good handholds: A surface with available hand- and foot-holds lowers the DC by -5.
  • Accelerated Climbing: While climb checks are normally made at 1/4 speed, you can move at half speed by adding +10 to the DC of the check. You can move at full speed by adding +20 to the DC.
  • Bracing on a corner: If you are climbing in a corner, or a space with a perpendicular wall you can brace against, the DC is decreased by -5.
  • Slippery surface: If the surface is slippery (wet, covered in moss or leaves, muddy), the DC is increased by +5. If the surface is extremely slippery (coated in ice, deliberately oiled, soaked in slime or ichor) but still has handholds, the DC is increased by +10.
  • Bad Conditions: Clinging to a wall makes you surprisingly immune to bad weather. Extremely high winds and violent gusts adds +5 DC, heavy pounding hail (or similar like rocks being thrown at you) adds another +5 to the DC. Rain, fog, and snow have little to no effect.
  • Encumbered: If you try to Climb with Movement while encumbered with a Medium load, you add a +10 to the DC. If you try to Climb with a Heavy load, you add +25 to the DC. It's possible to Climb in heavy armor and while loaded down, but you won't like it. Note that if you've caught someone in the middle of a fall, their weight adds to your encumbrance until they can make a Movement check to climb out of your grasp. Best to hold still until they get themselves settled. A load heavier than a Heavy load but less than your Max Drag means you can hold on, barely, but not make any more climb checks. A load heavier than your Max Drag automatically plucks you off the wall and you fall. Be careful about trying to catch falling Giants!
  • Climb Speed: Creatures with Lesser Climb or Greater Climb get a +8 bonus on climb checks made with the Movement skill (creatures with Brachiating get a +4 bonus). This bonus does not apply to any other uses of the movement skill, unless they are specifically applicable to climbing.
  • Taking damage: Anytime you take damage while climbing, you must make an additional Climb check against the DC of the slope or wall, with any normal modifiers as above, and with an additional +5 to the DC for the Bad Conditions of getting attacked.
Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

You cling to the inverted surface like some sort of man-spider.

Consequences of Failure

You fall from the surface to the ground below.

Retry Allowed?

No

Provokes AOO?

Yes, as with any voluntary movement.