Climbing Large Foes


Homebrew

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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The upcoming Kaiju rules in Bestiary 4 are going to cover this a little bit, but I thought I'd share my own slightly more robust rules for climbing large enemies.

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Combat Climb

You may can climb on the back or other parts of a creature at least two size categories larger than you. You gain a +2 on attack rolls against the creature being climbed and the creature is considered flat-footed against your attacks.

Initiating a Combat Climb
Initiating a climbing attack on a creature is a special full-round action. In order to perform this maneuver, a you enter a creature’s square (potentially provoking an attack of opportunity for the movement, unless the character makes a successful Acrobatics check). Once the movement has been made, you then make a climb check against the target's Combat Maneuver Defense. Characters with a climb speed gain a +10 bonus on this check. At the end of this full-round action you may make one melee or ranged attack at your highest attack bonus. Clibming requires at least one free hand used to maintain the climb, so attacks with weapons that use two hands are not usually possible.

Maintaining the Climbing Attack
Each round you remain on the creature, you must make an Acrobatics or Climb check (your choice) as a move action against the creature's CMD to remain atop. A creature may spend a full-round action on its turn trying to shake you off, forcing you to immediately make an Acrobatics or Climb check as if you began the round on the creature. If you are knocked off, you fall prone in an adjacent square (use the grenade-like weapons table to determine the direction you fall in) and take falling damage accordingly.

Related Feats

The Bigger They Are (Combat)
Prerequisite Climb 2 or Acrobatics 2
Benefit The targets of your combat climb no do not get their size bonus to their combat maneuver defense. When performing a combat climb, you may maintain the maneuver as a swift action. Furthermore, you gain a bonus on all Climb or crobatics checks made to climb a creature equal to their size modifier.

The Harder They Fall (Combat)
Prerequisite The Bigger They Are, Base Attack Bonus +12
Benefit When performing a combat climb on a creature, you automatically confirm any critical threats with attacks made against them while climbing.


I'm definitely stealing this for my game. Excellent work. I do feel, though, that monsters big enough to climb on will have an almost insurmountable CMD, thus making getting on their backs in the first place horribly difficult. Was this intended or am I seeing it incorrectly?

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

Check out the "the bigger they are" feat, which negates their size bonus and grants it as a bonus to checks to climb large opponents. You could also rule that, in a campaign focusing around fighting large creatures, that feat is assumed to be had by all characters,

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Oh man I can't wait to revisit my 3.5 epic character climbing foes like a spider monkey. :)

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

I've been considering using something like a -20 penalty to the check to keep both hands free, so that someone could conceivably pull a "Legolas on top of the cave troll firing a bow" maneuver from the Fellowship of the Ring.


Robert Brookes wrote:

Initiating a Combat Climb

Initiating a climbing attack on a creature is a special full-round action. In order to perform this maneuver, a you enter a creature’s square (potentially provoking an attack of opportunity for the movement, unless the character makes a successful Acrobatics check). Once the movement has been made, you then make a climb check against the target's Combat Maneuver Defense. Characters with a climb speed gain a +10 bonus on this check. At the end of this full-round action you may make one melee or ranged attack at your highest attack bonus. Clibming requires at least one free hand used to maintain the climb, so attacks with weapons that use two hands are not usually possible.

A creature with a climb speed already has a +8 racial bonus on all Climb checks - so extra +10 seems redundant.


Can the big guy attack the one that is climbing on top of him ? Can he try to grapple him ? If yes, do he suffers penalties or restrictions ? I can't image an ogre smashing an halfling with is club, but i can see a Scorpion using his tail against an enemy on his back.


My players are gonna love this. Nice work :)

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

Kelazan wrote:
Can the big guy attack the one that is climbing on top of him ? Can he try to grapple him ? If yes, do he suffers penalties or restrictions ? I can't image an ogre smashing an halfling with is club, but i can see a Scorpion using his tail against an enemy on his back.

For sake of simplicity I did not stipulate any penalty or inability to attack creatures climbing. While you might not wand to wind up and hit someone on you there are plenty of ways to employ natural attacks and larger weapons without self-injury. Otherwise no one would be capable of using a spiked chain. It, like most Pathfinder/D&D combat rules, sacrifices a measure of realism for simplicity.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

Mikhail wrote:
Robert Brookes wrote:

Initiating a Combat Climb

Initiating a climbing attack on a creature is a special full-round action. In order to perform this maneuver, a you enter a creature’s square (potentially provoking an attack of opportunity for the movement, unless the character makes a successful Acrobatics check). Once the movement has been made, you then make a climb check against the target's Combat Maneuver Defense. Characters with a climb speed gain a +10 bonus on this check. At the end of this full-round action you may make one melee or ranged attack at your highest attack bonus. Clibming requires at least one free hand used to maintain the climb, so attacks with weapons that use two hands are not usually possible.
A creature with a climb speed already has a +8 racial bonus on all Climb checks - so extra +10 seems redundant.

Good catch! I'd likely not include that +10 in that case.

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