How do PC's climb a ladder and fight the villans on top?


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

Scene: 5 Villains are up a 20' ledge, 10' x 15' Raining down Ranged touch spells, and arrows, on the PCs.

The PC's are on a 5 ft 10inch wooden walkway that leads both to the ledge with the villains and away from it.

If the PC's don't want to have Spellcasters in their back ranks pick them off a ledge like playing the Atari game Carnival...

How do the PC's climb up the ladder and fight the villains?


By climbing up the ladder and fighting the villains. That's what I would do.

As a GM, I would give them a climb DC of whatever damage they take if the villains shoot them while they are climbing the ladder. If they want to climb the ladder at half speed (I would), I would make the DC 5+ damage taken. If they fail by 4 or less, they make no progress. If they fail by 5 or more, they fall off the ladder. Here are the Climb rules for guidance.

Also, at the top of the ladder, enemies would get an attack of opportunity if they were standing within attacking range as the PC climbed up onto the ledge. I'd consider it much like getting up from prone.

Depending on their level, it shouldn't be too hard. I would have someone stand back and sling spells or arrows at them to distract them from the fighter climbing the ladder, but that's up to them.

-Aaron

Grand Lodge

Ask your friendly neighborhood Oracle of the Heavens for a moonlight bridge.


Wind Wall would probably help, too.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Move up to the ladder, make a DC 0 Climb check to ascend at 1/4 speed per move action. With a DC 0, most characters should take -5 penalty to make an accelerated climb, and double their ascent rate.

If the PCs are awesome enough, they could also fly, levitate, or teleport up. I guess it might be possible for them to make the DC 80 Acrobatics check to (running) jump up, too.

(Let's see, 7th level barbarian/rogue, Acrobatics as a class skill, Dex 18, with expeditious retreat and a CL 9 jump spell active, and wearing boots of elvenkind -- that gives a 4+7+3+4+12+30+5=+65 to Acrobatics for jumping, so it's possible, though not terrifically likely.)

It might be a good idea to get some concealment -- smokesticks, obscuring mist or fog cloud, if possible, or (better) invisibility. That way you don't take quite as much fire while you're climbing/jumping/flying. Wind wall will stop the arrows, but not spells.


Don't climb the ladder. The problem is the ledge. Use spells like Warp Wood to bring it down. Utilize nets or lassos to drag your attackers off the platform. spells like hydraulic push could also be useful for pulling the baddies down to your level. Once you have split them up and weakened their numbers. Fire a smoke arrow up on the platform before ascending so you have concealment. Grease on the ledge might also bring about some great results as would the Create Pit spell. Also, I can't tell very well from your description, but a tower shield might also do the trick if you can get up the ladder quickly and then provide cover for the other people ascending.

Edit: Oh yes, Create Pit would be perfect.

Liberty's Edge

I love the idea of the Create pit spell! That would be perfect. But do the PC's have to be able to see the area of the pit from where they are?

What I'm really trying to ask here... Is, say a really tough fighter climbs the ladder. He can't move into a space because it's occupied by hostile opponents. His back up is kinda pinned down, and now because they're behind him he can't really retreat. He climbs at 1/4 speed.
He's got to fight on the ladder. He'll use both hands to Climb up 20', draw a 1 handed weapon, and swing at his opponents until they drop.

When he can finally climb up the last of the ladder and step into the fallen villains spot, provoking 1 AOO, and insuring there will be 3 bull rush attempts on him next turn.

Can he do any cool fighter stuff? Like a 1 handed, Reposition the bad guy off the ledge from the ladder? Or a grapple, then move the target off the edge? Or even a drag, and they both fall off?

Would the bad guys get some cover from these kind of attacks?
Would the fighter have some cover from the villains? Or do the villains have a straight up +1 to hit higher ground while the fighter has no Dex, no shield to AC?

Because if an 18str level 3 fighter wants to reposition you, and you don't have a some way of slowing him down, you go where he wants you to go.

Does he provoke an AOO, every round while climbing from up to 2 villains for maintaining his climb?

Is it easier to reposition someone while climbing on a ladder than being prone?

Because it's going to come up sooner or latter. Here's climbing in a nutshell.

You need both hands free to climb, but 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). You also can't use a shield while climbing. Anytime you take damage while climbing, make a Climb check against the DC of the slope or wall. Failure means you fall from your current height and sustain the appropriate falling damage.

Liberty's Edge

Itchy wrote:

By climbing up the ladder and fighting the villains. That's what I would do.

As a GM, I would give them a climb DC of whatever damage they take if the villains shoot them while they are climbing the ladder. If they want to climb the ladder at half speed (I would), I would make the DC 5+ damage taken. If they fail by 4 or less, they make no progress. If they fail by 5 or more, they fall off the ladder. Here are the Climb rules for guidance.

Also, at the top of the ladder, enemies would get an attack of opportunity if they were standing within attacking range as the PC climbed up onto the ledge. I'd consider it much like getting up from prone.

Depending on their level, it shouldn't be too hard. I would have someone stand back and sling spells or arrows at them to distract them from the fighter climbing the ladder, but that's up to them.

-Aaron

nicely said.


wuhan wrote:
What I'm really trying to ask here...

Ok, you got the rules for climbing a sheer wall or similar surface without any devices to make it easier. Even a rope-ladder has a climb DC of 0 so I guess there is no climb DC for a real wooden ladder.

I would rule that the ladder is difficult terrain which means the Fighter can not charge up on it. When he is at the top up to two opponents can try and push him off but this is gonna be hard (unless he uses 2 hands for fighting) because he holds the ladder with one hand (+4 to CMD). As soon as he fells one opponent he can 5 foot step off the ladder and make way for the second PC.

Alternatively any "cloud" spell can end the threat fast.


wuhan wrote:

I love the idea of the Create pit spell! That would be perfect. But do the PC's have to be able to see the area of the pit from where they are?

What I'm really trying to ask here... Is, say a really tough fighter climbs the ladder. He can't move into a space because it's occupied by hostile opponents. His back up is kinda pinned down, and now because they're behind him he can't really retreat. He climbs at 1/4 speed.
He's got to fight on the ladder. He'll use both hands to Climb up 20', draw a 1 handed weapon, and swing at his opponents until they drop.

When he can finally climb up the last of the ladder and step into the fallen villains spot, provoking 1 AOO, and insuring there will be 3 bull rush attempts on him next turn.

Can he do any cool fighter stuff? Like a 1 handed, Reposition the bad guy off the ledge from the ladder? Or a grapple, then move the target off the edge? Or even a drag, and they both fall off?

Would the bad guys get some cover from these kind of attacks?
Would the fighter have some cover from the villains? Or do the villains have a straight up +1 to hit higher ground while the fighter has no Dex, no shield to AC?

Because if an 18str level 3 fighter wants to reposition you, and you don't have a some way of slowing him down, you go where he wants you to go.

Does he provoke an AOO, every round while climbing from up to 2 villains for maintaining his climb?

Is it easier to reposition someone while climbing on a ladder than being prone?

Wow... alot of questions. Let me see if I can answer them....

  • Create Pit would require line of sight to the target area. So, you could only create a pit at the edge of the ledge where your enemies and you could see one another. In other words, if they can see you, you can see them so you could target them with the spell.

  • The fighter could swing with a one-handed weapon, but it is less than ideal. You came up with some pretty bright suggestions, using reposition or drag, but the easiest solution is just to bullrush your way onto the platform. The check would be difficult, but you could just force your way into the group.

  • The bad guys would not get cover from the attacks once the fighter is at the top of the ladder. At this point, the fighter is essentially adjacent. As for the fighter, yes, your assessment of the situation is correct, he is getting hosed in the attack bonus and shield bonus department. This is why things like a smokestick would help him, especially since total concealment stops AoOs

  • As for AoOs. The fighter actually wouldn't give away many AoOs unless the baddies have reach weapons. Once he climbs up to the top of the ladder, he is finally entering a threatened square. Pulling a weapon wouldn't provoke and neither would swinging with it. Performing a combat maneuver would provoke unless he had the improved feat. Simply maintaining the climb is not movement, and so would not provoke AoOs though with the massive negatives he's facing, regular attacks are threatening enough.

  • Technically, yes, it appears to be easier to reposition from climbing than from prone, that is if your GM allows you to reposition from climbing. The rules are unclear. If it were me, I would apply the same -4 a grappler receives for only having one hand available for the maneuver. This would make it the same as prone since you are at an obvious disadvantage.

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