5' step, climb, and difficult terrain


Rules Questions

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Quick question: Would a creature with a Climb speed be able to take a 5 foot step up on an altar or would the altar be considered difficult terrain?


I don't think this has a clear answer? There was another thread recently that argued that to get up onto the altar you'd have to go five feet up and then five feet along, ten feet of movement around a hard corner.

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Do you have a link to this other thread?


This (link) is the one I meant.

Unfortunately it's mostly full of confusing arguments that don't address the point directly and doesn't come to any conclusion.

Sovereign Court

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Matthew Downie wrote:

This (link) is the one I meant.

Unfortunately it's mostly full of confusing arguments that don't address the point directly and doesn't come to any conclusion.

That's unusual.

Wait...


Id say no because a character still has to make a climb check if they have a climb speed and making a climb check is part of a move action. Although I guess I dont know of a good reason a climb check couldnt be part of a 5 foot step... OK, Im changing my answer, Ill say yes with a climb check unless a character cant make a climb check during a 5-foot step action.


I'd probably have them make a Climb check to do it as a 5' step.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

While there are a lot of ways to argue against, it, I'd allow it just for rules consistency: The phrase

PRD wrote:
You may not take a 5-foot step using a form of movement for which you do not have a listed speed.

is generally interpreted to allow the contrapositive: "If you have a listed speed, then you can take a 5-foot step."

So in every game I've GM'ed or played, we allow 5' flights, 5' swims, 5' earth glides, etc.

So to disallow climb just because it takes both hands would make it a curious exception. Thus, we allow it.

EDIT: As for, "Is an altar a climbable surface or difficult terrain?", that's a GM call, since it depends on the height of the altar, how stable it is, how big the PC is, etc., etc., etc.


NobodysHome wrote:
So in every game I've GM'ed or played, we allow 5' flights, 5' swims, 5' earth glides, etc.

Out of curiosity, have you required a skill check to go with those or do you just let them slide?


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pocsaclypse wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:
So in every game I've GM'ed or played, we allow 5' flights, 5' swims, 5' earth glides, etc.
Out of curiosity, have you required a skill check to go with those or do you just let them slide?

Most of them don't require skill checks, in particular swim and earth glide. Fly would require a check, but at a DC 10 it is probably impossible to fail most of the time (The fly spell with a CL of 6 is going to get +7 without any dec or ranks, 2 additional points of bones and it is an autosuccess).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber
pocsaclypse wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:
So in every game I've GM'ed or played, we allow 5' flights, 5' swims, 5' earth glides, etc.
Out of curiosity, have you required a skill check to go with those or do you just let them slide?

For the sake of game flow, I almost always skip the skill checks. As Dave says, it's pretty petty to demand a skill check when even a fighter in plate mail usually needs to roll a 6 or more to make that 5' Fly.

If there's a particular story/environment reason that makes the skill check become more difficult (for example, trying to do a 5' swim during a typhoon or fly in a hurricane), then as combat starts I warn my players that skill checks will be required for 5' steps.

So it's all about communication and setting expectations when combat begins. And when, as always, the players do something unexpected, I try to play it by ear in the "fairest" way I can.


Sounds reasonable to me


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pocsaclypse wrote:
Sounds reasonable to me

Who are you, and what have you done to the internet?

EDIT: And because the is the internet, I'd better explicitly spell out that that was intended as humor. Agreement and cordiality are not things you expect to see out in the wild...


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s@%!! my covers blown! mothership, pull me out! abort ABORT!


I agree that if you have a listed speed, then you can make the 5' step.

If the climb is difficult terrain, then you cannot do a 5' step without something that overrides the difficult terrain.

Generally, if you have a speed of some form, you get a +8 racial bonus to skill checks using that form. This generally makes the Take 1 an auto-success unless there are overriding factors like turbulence. With a speed, you also get to double move and run as movement action. Note that the Fly spell does not give you a fly speed. It actually allows you to fly up to 60' as a move action. This is why no run and no racial bonus.

Back to the OP: If you have a climb speed, and the object to be climbed fits in a 5' cube, I would allow the 5' step. Even around that corner, since you can 5' diagonal on the ground. A 5' diagonal climb leaves you on top of the object. Welcome to your new perch and +1 to melee attacking from above.

/cevah


If you have a climb speed, you can take 10, not just 1.

Difficult terrain is another story though. Paradoxically, it may be easier to get onto a 5' tall altar than a 2' one.

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