Notices


Terrain and Environment/Movement

   
Terrain and Environment/Movement

House Rules for Terrain and Environment:

At least being somewhat familiar with these rules is a big deal as every map of mine will have terrain features.

General Rules changes:

- Move actions are independent actions. Unlike the normal 4e rule you always complete 1 move action before performing another.
- Moving through an Ally's square makes that move action a squeeze. You are more than welcome to end a move action in an ally’s square but that ends you and your ally squeezed and while squeezed you are -5 to hit and grant CA (per normal rules).
- If you move past the condition of being squeezed, the -5 to hit and the grant CA ends immediately.
- The recognized leader may pass through 1 ally’s square per move action at no penalty.
- Allies provide cover for enemies. Ranged attacks through an ally’s square provide an enemy partial cover. Further if you roll a 1 when attacking through an ally’s square you may have hit your ally.
- When you take a move action that requires an athletics check you may combine all the athletics efforts into 1 roll or roll a separate roll for each item as you wish.
- When you take a move action that requires an athletics check or an acrobatics check you suffer a -2 to stealth checks made for the same move action.

Slowed
- When slowed, if you have other speed considerations applied as well they still apply. If you are -1 speed while slowed you have speed 1 and -2 is immobilized.
- You may shift while slowed at 1/3 rate. In others words you cannot shift until that shift would allow you 3 squares or more of movement.

Terrain Types:

Light Vegetation:
This vegetation is sufficiently annoying to slow a person by 1 speed for any move action. This means that a speed 6 character would only have a speed of 5 when moving through 5 squares of Light Vegetation. If you start your turn in a square of light vegetation you still take the -1 to speed for any move action exiting the vegetation into the clear. In light vegetation the first square of shifting is normal cost and every subsequent square is +1 mp. Running in light vegetation confers no special penalties.

Light Vegetation provides no concealment or cover. Light Vegetation does not prevent a shift 1 move action. Light Vegetation descriptively includes low grasses and bushes coming up to hip height on a medium sized creature.

You may 'press through' light vegetation with a dc 12 athletics roll or strength roll and by taking 1 point of damage. If you fail the roll you still suffer the speed minus and take the damage.

Medium Vegetation:
This vegetation is more dense than light. It reduces a character’s speed by 2 so a 6 speed character could only move through 4 squares of medium vegetation in a single move action. If you start your turn in a square of medium vegetation you still take the -2 to speed for any move action exiting the vegetation into the clear. It should be impossible but if you can get to shift 4 you can still shift in heavy vegetation. Running in Medium vegetation causes 1 point of damage.

Medium vegetation provides partial concealment. Each square of medium vegetation offers increasing negatives to perception checks and ranged or reach attack rolls against defenders behind them. The first square is partial cover. The next is total cover. (Most abilities that bypass cover will not bypass this type of cover - ask the GM)

Medium Vegetation is heavy underbrush with dense woody branches. It allows anyone within it to resist being pushed pulled or slid by 1 whether they want the resistance or not. It can also represent small trees and anything up to 3 medium creature heights (about 4 squares).

You may 'press through' medium vegetation with a dc 17 athletics roll or strength roll and by taking 2 points of damage. If you fail the roll you still suffer the speed minus and take the damage.

If you fall into medium vegetation you take -1 damage per die (minimum 1).

Heavy Vegetation:
This vegetation is more dense than medium. It simply costs 4 to enter. If you start your turn in a square of heavy vegetation you still take a -2 to speed for any move action exiting the vegetation into the clear. It should be impossible but if you can get to shift 8 you can still shift in heavy vegetation. Lastly, You may not perform a run action in heavy vegetation unless you are an animal or a druid in beastform.

Heavy vegetation provides partial cover and partial concealment. Each square of heavy vegetation offers increasing negatives to perception checks and ranged or reach attack rolls against defenders behind them. The first square is partial cover. The next is total cover. (Most abilities that bypass cover will not bypass this type of cover - ask the GM)

Heavy vegetation is heavy underbrush, thorns, mixed small trees, etc. with dense woody branches, interwoven vines, and other impeding plantlife. It allows anyone within it to resist being pushed pulled or slid by 2 whether they want the resistance or not. It can also represent very large trees and anything up to ridiculous heights. Essentially it is jungle.

You may 'press through' heavy vegetation with a dc 22 athletics roll or strength roll and by taking 3 points of damage. If you fail the roll you still suffer the speed minus and take the damage.

If you fall into heavy vegetation each die does -2 damage (minimum 1).

Tree Bole:
Tree Boles are impassable un-targetable terrain. Tree boles may be climbed. If you climb a tree bole you are considered squeezed into the edge square of the tree bole. If you are trained in Athletics you may climb 1 square of tree with 3 speed. If you are not trained you may climb 1 square with 6 speed. This is vertical movement only. The difficulty of climb can vary depending on the type of tree. If not listed or otherwise mentioned by the GM the difficulty for climbing athletics rolls for trees starts at 13.

Rocky Terrain:
This is rock strewn ground or even gravel. Small stones are everywhere and impede movement. This means that a speed 6 character would only have a speed of 5 when moving through 5 squares of rocky terrain. If you start your turn in a square of rocky terrain you still take the -1 to speed for any move action exiting the rocks into the clear.
A character cannot make a shift 1 move action in rocky terrain unless they have earthwalk or can shift in general over difficult terrain.
If you are knocked prone or fall on rocky terrain each dice of damage you take does +1 damage.
Rocky terrain may contain boulders. These will have height numbers in square on them. If you are trained in Athletics you may climb 1 square of rock with 3 speed. If you are not trained you may climb 1 square with 6 speed. This is vertical movement only. The difficulty of climb can vary depending on the surface. If not listed or otherwise mentioned by the GM the difficulty for climbing athletics rolls for rock starts at 17.

Scrabble/Crags:
This is heavily rocky area and many sizeable rocks are everywhere. The forced weaving slows speed by 2. This means that a speed 6 character would only have a speed of 4 when moving through 4 squares of rocky terrain. If you start your turn in a square of scrabble you still take the -2 to speed for any move action exiting the scrabble into the clear.
A character cannot make a shift 1 move action in scrabble. Running on scrabble confers a +4 DC to all physical actions taken on the scrabble.
If you are knocked prone or fall on scrabble terrain each dice of damage you take does +1 damage. Scrabble can also be considered scree if it is on a hillside. Any move action over scree requires a varying Athletics or Acrobatics roll to remain standing. The base roll starts at 17. If you slip on scree you slide 1-3 squares during that move action randomly down the scree. You take 1 point of damage for every square you slide through. You must recover from sliding or any available move action must be taken as a slide. During any turn that you slide, you may make a varying degree of difficulty Athletics or Acrobatics check or save to halt your slide. If you take the save option then clearly that only occurs at the end of your turn. The skill checks can only be made as part of a move action.
Scrabble terrain contains boulders. These will have height numbers in squares on them. If you are trained in Athletics you may climb 1 square of rock with 3 speed. If you are not trained you may climb 1 square with 6 speed. This is vertical movement only. The difficulty of climb can vary depending on the surface. If not listed or otherwise mentioned by the GM the difficulty for climbing athletics rolls starts at 17.

Stone:
Stone is impassable. Stone is found anywhere but is common in rocky terrain and scrabble/crags. Stone will have a height number unless it is underground where height numbers are in clear terrain.

Clear:
Clear terrain is open grasslands or roads, cobblestones, or similar easy to navigate terrain.
Clear terrain underground will have a height number representing the ceiling. In many cases there will be no height number until you check upwards with sufficient illumination to see the ceiling.

Earth:
Earth is just normal hardpack dirt. All effects are normal on earth.

Wet Earth:
Marshy swampy earth is some of the most difficult terrain. The rule for marsh varies depending on whether a character does a single move action or two move actions. Any single move action in a round is considered slowed. If the character takes two move actions instead of just one they can manage treating each square as difficult terrain which is slightly better.
Running on wet earth can cause one to trip and fall prone. Running requires a varying athletics check base DC of 17. If the check is failed roll a d3 to determine how far you get before you fall prone.

If you fall into wet earth you take -1 damage per die (minimum 1).

Sand:
Sand is any terrain that is granular cloying earth. The soil swallows the force of the character slowing speed by 1 during each move action. This means that a speed 6 character would only have a speed of 5 when moving through 5 squares of sandy terrain. If you start your turn in a square of sand you still take the -1 to speed for any move action exiting the sand into the clear.

Quicksand:
Quicksand is usually depicted on the map as earth or sand or wet earth. The character only determines the square is quicksand after stepping into it. To detect quicksand requires a varying level of difficulty perception check which is only possibly noticed passively by people trained in either nature or dungeoneering depending on whether they are above or below ground. The base DC is 17.
Once the square is entered the character loses any remaining actions for that round. During any subsequent move action the character may attempt a worsening Athletics or Acrobatics check to escape the quick. The check is at varying levels of difficulty starting at 19. For each move action that passes whether the character moves or not the DC increases by 2 up to four total times (total +8 DC). After each failed roll the character suffers a cumulative -2 to strength and endurance checks (total possible again -8). After the 4 failed attempts the character is considered to be drowning per drowning rules. Any application of rope or reach help halts this process.

Shallows:
Shallows are fordable water or water that is shallow enough not to directly affect movement too much. A single square of shallows in width may be crossed with no reduction in speed. If you have to cross more than 1 square of shallows each move action is reduced by 1.
You cannot shift in shallows unless you can shift in difficult terrain.
If you run in shallows you risk falling prone during the run. Running requires a varying athletics check base DC of 13. If the check is failed roll a d4 to determine how far you get before you fall prone.

If you fall into shallows you take -1 damage per die (minimum 1).

Water:
Water deeper than shallows requires swimming as the form of movement. If the character is trained in Athletics swimming is only -2 to speed. If the character is not trained the move action is slowed.
There is no run equivalent while swimming except for aquatic creatures. Non aquatic creatures grant CA while swimming. They can tread water and remain stationary and not grant CA.
Water can contain current. The way current works is that every two move actions (or every round) a person within the water will be pushed in the direction of the current. Resistance to being pushed does not work against this type of forced movement unless the creature is aquatic or is on the surface and can fly. Current can be slow enough that it only takes effect once every 2 or 3 rounds. It can also be extremely fast.
A person can swim for a number of rounds equal to their ranks in athletics plus their ranks in endurance. After that time they lose 2 strength and 2 endurance. Then after that they make endurance checks every 2 minutes with losses of 2 strength and 2 endurance each 2 minutes to a total of -8. After four failed attempts the character is considered to be drowning. The base endurance check starts at 11.
A person trained in Athletics can float for 2 minutes and get back +1 to their strength and endurance. The base float DC is 13 and each time it gets 2 points harder until the character is to exhausted to float properly at which point they resume drowning.
Forced movement in water costs 2 per square.

If you fall into water you take -3 damage per die and this can reduce a die to 0.

Ocean:
Ocean is exactly the same as water with one major difference. Ocean has waves. Waves act as a modified on Athletics DC. Waves can be random in direction and work oddly against the current. Waves can also prone characters within the ocean. When struck by a wave roll Athletics or Acrobatics to remain non-prone. The base DC is 15. Being prone in the ocean works just like on land. You cannot move until you use a move action to right yourself.
Forced movement in water costs 2 per square.

If you fall into water you take -3 damage per die and this can reduce a die to 0.

Weather:

Rain/Storms:
Storms make all athletics checks harder. There are varying degrees of rain from 1 to 6 in severity and this is the add to the athletics DC. In general this is also the add to perception checks. Hearing/Seeing what is going on is possible only within these distances: (5-severity)*5+5 in squares.

Sleet/Snow/Cold:
Cold causes characters to lose energy faster. There are varying degrees of cold exposure from 1 to 6 in severity. This severity is multiplied by 2 and added to the DC of the endurance check. Each 2 ranks of cold reduces to hit and damage rolls by 1 point. Each 5 points of cold resistance replaces 1 point of those losses. So after 15 points of cold resistance, environmental cold essentially has no further effect. Sight based perception checks suffer the same minus in snowfall or sleet conditions (not just pure cold). In such cases sight only works out to (5-severity)*5+5 squares.
Cold damages. Over an hour’s exposure a failed endurance roll does the severity in semi-permanent damage. Rolls are per hour. This damage can be healed for the moment but returns after 5 minutes and continues to accumulate. Only exiting the cold and healing in a safe area can restore the mounting losses.



Fog/Mist/Darkness:
Fog, mist, and cloying darkness all serve to limit and defuse light and perception based on sight, sound, and smell. There are only 3 levels of severity and each is a cumulative +1 to all perception DCs. The range of sight in these conditions is (2-severity)*5+5 squares. The range of hearing and smell is (5-severity)*5+5 squares.

Heat
Punishing heat dehydrates and saps energy. Heat also does damage. There are 6 levels of severity of heat. This severity is multiplied by 2 and added to the DC of the endurance check. Each 2 ranks of heat reduces to hit and damage rolls by 1 point. Each 5 points of heat resistance replaces 1 point of those losses. So after 15 points of heat resistance, environmental heat essentially has no further effect.
Heat damages. Over an hour’s exposure a failed endurance roll does the severity in semi-permanent damage. Rolls are per hour. This damage can be healed for the moment but returns after 5 minutes and continues to accumulate. Only exiting the heat and healing in a safe area can restore the mounting losses.


Slopes/Gradients/Contour Lines:
Hillsides are not truly cliffs but they do represent slower movement and harder work. Some of climbing up hills can result in nasty falls or just delayed progress. The way my campaign deals with this is by inserting contour lines into the map. Contour lines are not literal(that would be terraces) height differences but represent the overall difficulty of an uphill climb.
Here are the rules concerning contour lines:
1. Countour lines offer partial cover to those on the low side from anyone not on the opposite side of the line ONLY. Ranged attacks from the squares on the low side of a contour line to the high can only hit anyone standing on any above contour edge. Anyone back from the edge has total cover.
2. Crossing contour lines requires Athletics checks. If you use your whole round to move JUST yourself through one (moving only 1 square) then you can only fail on a 1. Yellow contour lines represent a not so steep area and cost 3 speed to cross or take your whole turn as just mentioned. If you fail the athletics check you fall and take d8 damage and you can end up in any adjacent square on the low side (including falling off a cliff). You must save to remain standing or be prone.
3. Orange lines take 5 speed to cross but are still biddable with normal Athletics checks. Whole round crossing of orange lines is possible but failure is on anything lower than 10. DC modifiers vary depending on weather and ground makeup.
4. Anything steeper and deeper than orange takes a full on climbing effort. Climbing in my world is extremely slow and should really only typically be attempted by trained folks or folks tied to rope harnesses. Other than being lowered or raised by ropes expect to move no faster than 10 to 20 feet vertically per round until you are high level.
5. If someone is above their target across a contour line then martial ranged and all melee attacks are at +1 to hit.

Running: The Run move action is disallowed or modified in some terrains as listed above. Also, running in heavy armor requires an Athletics check of DC 13. If that roll is failed, the runner rolls a die just large enough to determine where along their path they fall prone. Their move action is considered completed when the go prone. For the most part this cannot be prevented. If the roll is on a number higher than the move could have been the runner falls forward into the next square at the GM's discretion.

Jumping:
Without magical aid even epic humans can only jump about 45 feet (The world record is 30 feet on Earth). When you jump here are some example DCs and considerations:
Jumping a 1 square stream: Don’t roll a 1 chasm 2
Jumping a 2 square stream: DC 12 chasm 14
Jumping a 3 square stream: DC 17 chasm 20
Jumping a 4 square river: DC 24 chasm 28
Jumping a 5 square river: DC 33 chasm 38
Jumping a 6 square river: DC 44 chasm 50
Jumping a 7 square river: DC 57 chasm 64
Jumping an 8 square river: DC 72 chasm 80
Jumping a 9 square river: DC 89 chasm 98
Jumping over a chasm: If the roll was failed within the nearest category the jumper gets a save to grab the cliff edge from 10-30 feet down (d10 damage per 10 feet).
Acrobatics Only: Jumping over a 1 square person or tumbling by them to the square behind: DC 17 DC 22 to avoid opportunity attacks from adjacent squares.
Trained in Athletics and Acrobatics – This is a bonus to either roll of +2 in most situations for jumping.

Falling - Make the roll and you take half damage
10' is DC 20
20' is DC 25
30' is DC 30
40' is DC 35
50' is DC 40 and that is the top DC to reduce damage by half.

Dead Bodies

1 dead body of medium size or 4 dead bodies of small size make a square difficult terrain. You can only shift here if you can shift onto difficult terrain.

2 4 dead bodies of medium size or 1 dead body of large size makes a square cost 2 extra move points to enter. You cannot shift into such a square.

3. 4 dead bodies of large size that impinge upon a square or 1 dead body of giant size make the square cost 3 extra move points to enter.

On quicksand:http://science.howstuffworks.com/env...quicksand2.htm
So in theory, a person who knows about quicksand and does not panic would only sink if they had gear on them in excess of their own weight. The key being to immediately flop down and increase the surface area of their weight.

I agree and unfortunately although I love player knowledge, that would be a case where a nature skill roll of a certain DC would be needed to ascertain if the character had that knowledge.

well ofc it would need a nature knowledge roll. That is what I mean under''person that knows about quicksand'',though i suppose since this is a different medium then I am used to it would do to be more clear. Just thought it would be a nice addition to the rules.

If you start your turn in light foliage next to a tree, do you take the -1 to speed if you try to climb the tree(since 1 point of climbing is 3speed, and with speed 6 you could only climb 2 squares if you pushed trough if you take the -1 to speed when not actually moving horizontally, but vertically as well.

No you dont. Climbing is the harder modifier.

And I am not sure but it looks like you're counting too harshly.

If you see your move passes through light veg and shallow water and medium veg then the total speed is only docked the worst, -2. So your speed is 4. You can move through 4 medium veg squares per round.

No but, there are game feats and powers that I created to deal with this mostly for primal types. Druid wild shape specifically reduces all vegetation overall penalties by 1 MP. Also, Yes over travelling distances.




 

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