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5E Climbing and falling

True if there's someone at the top to hold said rope or tie it to something sturdy. Not so true if the whole party is at the bottom... :)

...unless said rope has a grappling hook and there's something up topside that it can hook onto...
Oh yeah for sure. Different pits and situations.

But broadly speaking, with adequate hand-holds and enough time, you'll get out of the pit.
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Oh yeah for sure. Different pits and situations.

But broadly speaking, with adequate hand-holds and enough time, you'll get out of the pit.
In most cases. It's rare to get a whole party down a pit (though I've done it), and if someone's still up top getting the rest out is easy. It's when they're all down there and nobody has much climbing skill that things get interesting... :)

(of course, with a long-in-the-tooth campaign like mine those days are well past; now every party has at least one PC with flight in some form or other)
 

Laurefindel

Adventurer
That's the purpose of your pits. Mine are much more varied depending upon what I need. You missed the point of what I was trying to say. I understand your point, that every pit you do is the same and is a challenge and you use it the same way (maybe?). I don't.
You seem to be speaking from the perpective of the DM where pits (and obstacles) serve the story/challenge for the players.

i believe @dnd4vr ‘s use for a pit trap was more from the perspective of the person building (digging?) the pit; pits traps are made to trap and pin people (and animals) in place, with or without the intention of killing them, or at the very least slow them down and prevent a charge.

[edit] I guess some could be made to intimidate too.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Drain resources. Hit points mainly.

Occasionally pose a lethal threat (spikes, long falls, sheer walls etc).
Because people can fall in, injuring themselves, and possibly become trapped.
So, the same thing mine do then??? ;)

Even a 50' pit is easily climbed out of with a rope which all adventurers have. Unless you're doing something radically different to me, climbing out of a pit using a rope with a wall to brace on is 'DC dont bother rolling, you make it.'
Sure. Getting out of a pit isn't hard IF you have help, a rope (and people to lower it to you or a grappling hook), easy handholds (rock projections and crevices, roots, etc.) to climb. But a lot of people can't climb ropes easily even (remember how many kids, even older teens, had issues with rope climbing in gym class?). With a rope, you gain advantage on your check for climbing and the DC is usually lower anyway (typically 8 or so) IMO.

Consider this example: even a DC 10 with rope and +0 modifier will only fall 4% of the time. If you have a +4 or better modifier, you would only fall with double 1's, so 1 in 400 chance. With 4 checks, the +0 modifier would fall (at some point) about 15%, but with the +4 or better it is only 1%.

So, yes, with help, and even a bit of ability or proficiency, it isn't hard to get out of a pit. Without help, it is much harder but still very possible. That's all I've been saying since the beginning. But all this started with us talking about climbing a cliff by oneself.

Anyway, the big difference (as I already noted) is in game style--if you want to take the time to play these obstacles out and make them part of the PCs experiences.

Not result in Achilles comically struggling to get out of one for 5 minutes of game play..?
Given his strength and proficiency in Athletics, it shouldn't be a problem. ;) So, I really don't know why you would bring it up unless your Achilles is a wimp? shrug
 


dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
But broadly speaking, with adequate hand-holds and enough time, you'll get out of the pit.
Or... you might slip and fall and break your neck-- which happens unless you just want to give your PCs plot armor? It's fine if you do, as I've said just a difference in play style since I won't give PCs plot armor.
 


dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Different styles i guess.
Yep. They certainly do.

No, I don't tell stories about redshirts (I actually am not a fan of Star Trek anyway). I prefer to have my Luke and Han have to deal with the obstacles in the world instead of just saying "you do it, wasn't that exciting?"

IMO you are just removing a point of the exploration by hand-waving such things. I understand it, you want to get to more of the "meat" of an adventure, etc., but it doesn't take long to resolve such things and keeps the game grounded (no pun intended). I mean, sure if there is an obviously "no challenge" alternative (you face a cliff, but if you travel a mile off to the side it is just a hill you can walk up) then just narrate, but failing an obvious alternative... the cliff is right there in front of you.

Anyway, the horse is dead. Get in a last whack if you want, I am done beating it beyond death. ;)
 

Yep. They certainly do.

No, I don't tell stories about redshirts (I actually am not a fan of Star Trek anyway). I prefer to have my Luke and Han have to deal with the obstacles in the world instead of just saying "you do it, wasn't that exciting?"

IMO you are just removing a point of the exploration by hand-waving such things. I understand it, you want to get to more of the "meat" of an adventure, etc., but it doesn't take long to resolve such things and keeps the game grounded (no pun intended). I mean, sure if there is an obviously "no challenge" alternative (you face a cliff, but if you travel a mile off to the side it is just a hill you can walk up) then just narrate, but failing an obvious alternative... the cliff is right there in front of you.

Anyway, the horse is dead. Get in a last whack if you want, I am done beating it beyond death. ;)
I dont see comically climbing and repeatedly falling into a pit as the 'meat' of any adventure.

But you do you
 





This:
View attachment 126245
answers nothing... so thanks for avoiding the issue. :)
So you didn't understand the answer. Ok.

Sometimes I place a pit (or other trap) as flavor. Like in the Undermountain. It sets a tone. I'm not worried about most of them killing a PC or even draining significant resources. But rather to put a fear of traps into the players, to generate an air of caution and a sense of mindless death/danger.

Sometimes I place a pit/trap to make tactical combat more difficult. To add variety and to make things like positioning and bull-rushing and force movement mean something.

Sometimes I place a pit/trap as an encounter and challenge all on it's own. It might be something to try and kill the party. It might just be to add variety to resource management. It might be a role playing challenge (a kin to a puzzle). And I'm sure I have used pits for other things as well.

Does that answer your question?
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
So you didn't understand the answer. Ok.
No, I did, it's just that it was a "I'm not going to bother actually justifying my previous response with specific examples," which to me is insulting and pointless.

So, since you took the time (which I appreciate if we're actually going to have any sort of civil discussion) I'll respond in kind. Let's compare your responses with my original premise:

"Because people can fall in, injuring themselves, and possibly become trapped. THAT is the purpose of a pit. "

Sometimes I place a pit (or other trap) as flavor. Like in the Undermountain. It sets a tone. I'm not worried about most of them killing a PC or even draining significant resources. But rather to put a fear of traps into the players, to generate an air of caution and a sense of mindless death/danger.
Fair enough, but if your PCs are entering such places without that caution already in place... they deserve what they get. Anyway, you are causing caution because...why? Because the pits represent danger because "people can fall in, injuring themselves, and possibly become trapped." ;)

Sometimes I place a pit/trap to make tactical combat more difficult. To add variety and to make things like positioning and bull-rushing and force movement mean something.
Again, why does these become factors? Because the PCs are worried about...what? Falling in, injuring themselves, and possibly becoming trapped. ;)

Sometimes I place a pit/trap as an encounter and challenge all on it's own. It might be something to try and kill the party. It might just be to add variety to resource management. It might be a role playing challenge (a kin to a puzzle). And I'm sure I have used pits for other things as well.
And how will it try to kill the party? By falling in and injuring them.
How can it add to resource management? By falling in, injuring them, and possibly trapping them. So, they have to use resources to heal victims and get them out or use resources to avoid the pit if necessary.
Role playing challenge (a kin to a puzzle). Don't know about this one, in this case the "pit" most often is really just a vertical passage (often leading to a secret door/other part of the dungeon). But why is it a challenge? Because, again, you can fall in, injure yourself, and possibly get trapped.

However you use a pit, it's purpose remains the same: to hinder progress and represent a source of possible danger. Some can be easily avoided or even ignored, but the purpose of a pit remains the same.
 


Some years back I played in an RPG where our group (with pretty strong ranged attacks) were being attacked by barbarians. We had a few hours notice, but expected them to assault at dawn. Having read too many books on medieval sieges (and playing a character with high Intelligence), I suggested we build some sloping architecture. Enemies would basically come at us walking up a 45 degree slope, so a bit like making them walk through difficult terrain (at least that was my plan). We were still heavily outnumbered and would probably have to resort to melee a round later.

However, the game wasn't D&D. It was Warhammer 40,000, notorious for making PCs (and therefore NPCs) incompetent, such as these Chaos cultists (stronger than average, but maybe not specifically trained in climbing). Each round only one barbarian made their Climb-equivalent check and could come at us, and they would be instantly blown away. (All barbarians would make checks, but they kept failing. I think they had a 20% chance to succeed, but I don't actually know their stats.) One round two of them made it, but we outnumbered them 2:1 so we still smoked them. We held them off until reinforcements came.

Now I wish I could say I was a genius and saved our party, but that is definitely not the case. We won because climbing was too hard (unrealistically hard) and fortunately that was hurting the NPCs but not us this time. IMO a rough pit shouldn't be very hard to climb out of. Taking away someone's actions for even a round is worthwhile in combat (my favorite pit traps are kind of shallow, but are put right in front of ranged weapon using/spellcasting characters, so anyone charging them might fall in; this could influence behavior even if characters know there's pit traps there).
 


However you use a pit, it's purpose remains the same: to hinder progress and represent a source of possible danger. Some can be easily avoided or even ignored, but the purpose of a pit remains the same.
Can't disagree with you, if nuance doesn't matter to you. It's like saying all cars are the same, because they all provide transportation. Or all RPGs are the same because they are Role Playing Games. Or all people are the same because they are all humans.

True on the surface, but truly not interchangeable. To me, nuance matters.

But I don't think further discussion would add to the value of this thread.
 

TaranTheWanderer

Adventurer
So, I used to be a climbing instructor and having, made routes in gyms, as well as climbed outdoors, I can tell you the difficulty of a climb is determined by the crux of the problem.

So, a climb can be a difficulty 5-8 but be considered a 5-10 because there is one tricky 5-10 level move. So, I like to determine where the most difficult part of the climb is and, if they fail by 5 or more, that's where they fall from. If they fail by less than 5, that's where they get stuck and can then try to keep going or can down climb. You only get a couple of tries before you start suffering disadvantage because of fatigue. If you fail by 10, you probably didn't get very far. Unless it was a very long climb...

If you are proficient athletics, I'll let the player know where they'll fall from or they might have to make an INT check with their Athletics Proficiency to read the wall. Then they can know the risk.

For climbs 20 feet or lower, if there is no time crunch, I don't generally require a check if they have a knotted rope. The lowest strength a PC will have is 8 which is average so, unless they have a character trait that would suggest that they aren't of average weight for their height, they can just get up with help. I've seen 8 year olds climb a 20 foot knotted rope better than high school football players, even though the football players should have a higher 'athletics'. It's strength to mass ratio and technique that helps you climb but The game doesn't take that into consideration. So I assume all adventurers are 'fit'.

In a combat or a situation where you have to climb quickly or in a rush, a PC might have to make multiple checks - but they might be a different DCs.

For climbs higher than 20 feet, you have to make multiple checks. Constitution might come into play. There will be different DCs as they ascend and it might be treated as an extended test. Down climbing is almost always harder.
 
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