Saturday, April 14, 2018

Mountain Climbing

The act of trekking, scrambling or actually climbing over mountain surfaces that range from pathways to sheer cliff faces. The rules of this page attempts to capture the spirit and thrill of this activity, but makes no pretext of trying to accurately simulate the actual process of mountain climbing. First and foremost, the reader should remember that most of our experiences with climbing mountains begins with descriptions in the 19th century, while the game world takes place two centuries before, in the 17th ~ where pitons are replaced by iron spikes and where virtually no other equipment exists. Therefore, we must note that there are many mountains that could not be climbed at all, and that actual experiences climbing then would be very different from most experiences climbing today.

Determining Mountain Characteristics

Before we can propose rules on how to climb a mountain in D&D, we must first establish guidelines that describe the mountain itself. As the goal with climbing is to cover distance, and because the distance is a less important obstacle than the difficulty of the climb, I have chosen to divide the trek into periods of time. The mountain is therefore measured in terms of how many hours it requires to complete the climb. An easy climb might enable a party to climb a thousand vertical feet in an hour; whereas a hazardous climb might enable only 45 to 60 feet in the same amount of time.

Each hour then describes a "slope line" ~ which describes a path of ascent between one point and the next, requiring one hour for a typical mountain climber to complete.

The number of hours that any given mountain might require would be determined by two factors: vertical height and type of mountain. Both can be decided ahead of time by the DM, then compared with one another upon a Slope Line Table that will give the number of slope lines for any given fictional mountain.

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