D&D 5E ALL ABOARD!!! Should rules for climbing big opponents be a part of the Core rules of D&D Next?

Should rules for climbing big opponents be a part of the Core rules of D&D Next?


First Post
When the big creatures join the combat, how often have you been disappointed by the lack of rules for climbing the beast for a bonus, a distraction or to just look cool? The closest thing for this are often grapple rules, but generally those are for overpowering the target and rarely or flat out don't work on the big critters you want to climb.

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I crit!
There wasn't an option for it already kinda being there with grappling. They should maybe have an example and go over it with some suggestions. But yes, this is a great idea. But isn't it already in the grappling rules, sorta? Just not spelled out as such.


Normal grappling should be limited to one size category bigger than you.

Climbing on should be the option when the target is two size categories bigger than you or more.

If you are climbing on an enemy all your attacks have advantage, as a reaction on the enemies turn he can shake you off which will normal damage for the enemy plus possibly falling damage.

Make the roll to climb on a Str or Dex check vs AC.
The roll to shake off is a normal attack roll for doing the damage and a dex save DC 15 to stay on.

Or something like this.

Should be simple, if it gets anywhere near the complexity of 3rd editions grapple rules scrap the system and start over.

Li Shenron

Not sure... I think a simple Climb check would do, but the DC is going to be high.

I do think that we are missing rules for partial grappling, such as a giant monster using separate tentacles to grab smaller creatures or viceversa smaller creatures wrapping around a bigger opponent's leg, arm or head.


I climbed on a dragon at Gencon during the Candlekeep playtest. (That was the one where they were running three to four tables simultaneously with separate interdependent goals.) Sadly, the dragon shook me off before it could fly me to the next table!

I don't think there need to be complex rules for this. I think we just used Strength (Athletics) checks for climbing and holding on.


Yes. PCs are always trying to climb on big monsters. However, rather than have a separate rules module for this, I'd rewrite the existing grapple rules so that climbing big monsters works. Something like:

  • As an action, make an opposed Dexterity check to start or escape a grapple. (This assumes your opponent is trying to prevent you. You can end a grapple as a free action at any time if the opponent allows it.)
  • When grappling a creature larger than you, you can't move. When grappling a creature your own size, you can move at half speed and pull the other creature with you by making an opposed Strength check. When grappling a creature smaller than you, you can move freely. However, the DM may* require you to count the creature's weight toward your encumbrance.
The idea is that you can grab hold of an ogre easily enough, you just can't stop it from going wherever it feels like going. Likewise, a goblin can latch onto a PC and be devilishly hard to throw off, but the PC can still move around.

[SIZE=-2]*This is optional for the sake of simplifying play. It's seldom worth recalculating encumbrance because one goblin is gnawing on your leg. However, if you're being dogpiled by a dozen goblins, that's another matter.[/SIZE]
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