Climb out of pit


Rules Questions


In the middle of combat can a monster or PC if in a pit take 10? I mean if they are not directly being attacked, they are just in the pit trying to climb out but combat is going on above the pit a few squares away.


It's really a GM decision. "Take 10" means taking ten rounds, so if they had that time uninterrupted, then they could do so.


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Atalius wrote:
In the middle of combat can a monster or PC if in a pit take 10? I mean if they are not directly being attacked, they are just in the pit trying to climb out but combat is going on above the pit a few squares away.
Taking 10 wrote:
When your character is not in immediate danger or distracted, you may choose to take 10.

In most cases that would be a distracting or stressful situation. Just because they aren't being attacked while climbing doesn't change that. Even if you were sitting in a bar and there was a brawl going on around you, but no one was necessarily trying to fight you, it would still be suitably distracting. They cannot Take 10.

Brother Fen wrote:
Take 10" means taking ten rounds,...

Not quite. While Taking 20 takes 20 times as long (because you are trying over and over until you get a 20), Taking 10 does not take more time, you are just making an average run-of-the-mill attempt (ie. an average roll of 10).


I'd rule no. Anyone in the pit should expect a fight when they get out, even if they don't hear or see anything.


Unless they have a climb speed, no, because the ongoing combat would mean they are "threatened or hurried."


Pizza Lord wrote:


Brother Fen wrote:
Take 10" means taking ten rounds,...
Not quite. While Taking 20 takes 20 times as long (because you are trying over and over until you get a 20), Taking 10 does not take more time, you are just making an average run-of-the-mill attempt (ie. an average roll of 10).

Do you have a source for that anywhere by chance?


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@Brother Fen:

CRB Glossary, Take 10:
When a character or creature is not in immediate danger or distracted, it may choose to take 10 on some rolls (specifically, skill checks). Instead of rolling 1d20 for the check, calculate the result as if the die had rolled a 10. For many routine tasks, taking 10 makes them automatically successful. Distractions or threats (such as combat) make it impossible to take 10. In most cases, taking 10 is purely a safety measure—you know (or expect) that an average roll will succeed but fear that a poor roll might fail, so you elect to settle for the average roll (a 10). Taking 10 is especially useful in situations where a particularly high roll wouldn’t help.

CRB Glossary, Take 20:
When a character or creature has plenty of time, and is not faced with threats or distractions, and the skill being attempted carries no penalties for failure, he/it can take 20. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the check, just calculate the result as if the die had rolled a 20.

Taking 20 means you continue trying until you get it right, and assumes that you will fail many times before succeeding. Taking 20 takes 20 times as long as making a single check would take (usually 2 minutes for a skill that takes 1 round or less to perform).

Since taking 20 assumes that your character will fail many times before succeeding, your character would automatically incur any penalties for failure before he or she could complete the task (hence why it is generally not allowed with skills that carry such penalties).


Note that take 20 mentions taking extra time, take 10 doesn't.

@Atalius:
The same quotes make it pretty clear that climbing out of a pit in combat wouldn't normally allow taking 10. If it's a spiked pit I would disallow it even if the combat was over.


GreatGraySkwid wrote:
Unless they have a climb speed, no, because the ongoing combat would mean they are "threatened or hurried."

If they have a climb speed they wouldn't need to make rolls.


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Meirril wrote:
If they have a climb speed they wouldn't need to make rolls.

That's the way I tend to see it played, but the rule says:

Quote:
A creature with a climb speed has a +8 racial bonus on all Climb checks. The creature must make a Climb check to climb any wall or slope with a DC higher than 0, but it can always choose to take 10, even if rushed or threatened while climbing. If a creature with a climb speed chooses an accelerated climb (see above), it moves at double its climb speed (or at its land speed, whichever is slower) and makes a single Climb check at a –5 penalty. Such a creature retains its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) while climbing, and opponents get no special bonus to their attacks against it. It cannot, however, use the run action while climbing.

With a +8 bonus and the ability to choose to take 10 in combat, usually you don't need to worry about it, but extra slippery surfaces might be a problem.


Brother Fen wrote:
Do you have a source for that anywhere by chance?

It's not easy to prove a negative.

But there's a relevant designer comment here.


10 foot pit means than a five foot character need jump 5 feet up to get a hand hold. With a running jump, that's pretty easy. Climbing 10 feet up a pit really shouldn't be all that hard. I'd just call it a full round action and not bother with a skill check.


groveborn wrote:
10 foot pit means than a five foot character need jump 5 feet up to get a hand hold

3.5 had a vertical reach chart for the Jump skill. While Pathfinder merged Jump and Balance into Actrobatics, they didn't include such a chart (so it's not official), but it's still incredibly logical that you only need to jump high enough to grab the edge above you. Most medium creature's have an 8 foot reach on average. For shorter races or individuals, like dwarves, that's obviously different, but it just makes sense that a normal 6-foot tall human would only really need to get a two foot vertical to grab the edge above them (which is still a modestly impressive vertical, for a standing jump).

Although, I don't think anyone actually mentioned the depth of the pit involved in this example. I think the assumption was that it was too deep to jump out of.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Brother Fen wrote:
Do you have a source for that anywhere by chance?

It's not easy to prove a negative.

But there's a relevant designer comment here.

Thanks.


If you rolled initiative, you are in combat. If the DM decides the person in the pit didn’t roll for initiative, then they are not yet in combat and can take 10.


Melkiador wrote:
If you rolled initiative, you are in combat. If the DM decides the person in the pit didn’t roll for initiative, then they are not yet in combat and can take 10.

I'm not sure about that. I think it depends on how much of a threat the current combat presents to the character. You can easily have an initiative and not be involved in the combat in anyway. Imagine a character that has fled combat and after not being pursued for 3 rounds decides to climb down into a hole. It's reasonable for them to be able to take 10 if they feel they've successfully gotten away. But they will continue to have an initiative for convenience in case someone decides to chase after them after they've fled and so it's important to know where that individual is on a round per round basis. We've had to deal with this after someone gets hit with a fear spell, only for an enemy to run away in the same direction several rounds later.

I think I would let a character take 10 to climb out of a pit provided that none of the squares they will pass through or end up in are threatened or have line of effect from enemies. So, if the pit is located where no enemies could even attempt to take a pop shot at the character then it's fine.


Combat is the canonical example of being too distracted to take 10, to the point that most special abilities that allow you to take 10 in unusual situations state "even in combat" or something like it. For the most part, taking 10 on anything is a no-go during combat unless the character has a specific ability allowing it. There may be situational exceptions, but they'd be pretty uncommon.

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