Know Your Skills – Climb

How well do you know the skills in Pathfinder?

‘Not too well’?  That’s fine, that’s what this is for!  After all, why would you put points in a skill when you don’t understand what it actually does in the game?

There is more information available in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook (now in A5  paperback too!) and Paizo’s Online Reference Document; plus I found a great app for phones/tablets that provides full offline access to every rule that Paizo have, and will, ever release (iOS / Android).

So, Climb…  Sounds obvious doesn’t it?!  But what could it be used for in the context of the game?


Pathfinder’s description of Climb is this.

This skill in the game really isn’t too far detached from reality.  You use it when you need/want to climb, or continue to climb, either up, down or across an incline of greater than 60 degrees…  And for those smart arses out there, that’s 60 degrees from HORIZONTAL.


Results wise, it’s important to remember, that any Climb Check that fails by 4 or less means that you make no progress, but one that fails by 5 or more means that you fall from whatever height you have already attained; 1d6 damage per 10 ft fallen.

Important Mechanics to remember:

  1. You need both hands free to climb.
  2. You can cling to a wall/surface while taking a ‘one handed action’…  Just don’t roll a Fumble!
  3. You cannot move to avoid incoming attacks, so you lose your DEX bonus to your armour class – so you’re basically Flat Footed.
  4. You can’t use a shield while climbing, so any AC gained via your shield will be removed as well as item 3.
  5. Every time you take damage while Climbing, make a Climb Check.  A fail means you fall from your current height…  OUCH!
  6. You move at a quarter of your Standard Movement for a turn.


Action: Climbing is part of movement, so it’s generally part of a move action (and may be combined with other types of movement in a move action). Each move action that includes any climbing requires a separate Climb check. Catching yourself or another falling character doesn’t take an action.

Special: You can use a rope to haul a character upward (or lower a character) through sheer strength. You can lift double your maximum load in this manner.

That’s pretty much it really.  There are details in the link above that show modifiers for, if the surface has handholds, or if it’s raining, or if you have a rope etc, but otherwise, you’re good to go.

Seriously, go away.


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