So then... looking at Climb Checks we have a DC of about 20.
the pole is knobby, just a tree trunk that's been stripped of it's bark. But it is a bit smooth as well, sanded the bigger projections down to keep it from being too easy. But then again, after the first five feet or so you can wrap your arms around it and shinny. It isn't elegant, but it is upwards progress. So I'm going with a base of 15 with +5 for slippery. You, of course, cannot take ten under the current situation. And anyone moving too slow or methodical became the target of mudballs during the day.
But your real hazard is the other climbers. You've got two serious lumberjack types and a drunk townie. Drunk isn't going to be much of a climber, but he's got a decent grip and feeling no pain.
Grom currently has a significant advantage. He can choose to have that mean he has a clear escape from others for the moment and make a climb check. Or he can choose to have a headlock on someone and prevent them from climbing at all.
Noshu and Woodsman 2 are in a tie, a significant enough lead over the others that I will allow Noshu the choice; either she has removed the Drunk from the contest by what ever means she desires, or she is climbing just below Grom.
Persons 'tossed out' will require one full round to recover and get back into the mudpit.
Climbing the pole will require five successes. Two failures in a row means you slid back one 'success' of your climb. Two successes without anyone else succeeding means you are out of reach for being pulled down.
Current Standing : Grom has a chance to climb or have superior grapple on one other contestant of his choice. Noshu has a chance to climb or have a superior grapple on the Drunk. Woodsman One is being tossed out of the contest by his friend Woodsman Two is choosing to remove what he sees as his major opponent, his friend the other Woodsman, and I will post the results when Grom and Noshu make their choices. The Drunk is currently staggering towards the half naked chick that is mud wrestling
And, of course, if Grom chooses to toss someone out for a round then I will adjust.
In the mad scramble and tussle, the half orc Grom takes a decided lead, gripping the pole in his arms and shinnying up it. He is still within reach of the other contestants.
Noshu is just beneath the half ork. Closer to the ground, she has to worry about (a) someone grabbing her from behind and (b) if the half ork may lose traction and slide down into her.
Alleana vaults over the drunk, uses one of the woodsmen as a stepping stone and leaps up onto the pole. She gets a good height, but the slippery tree trunk nearly slides from her grasp. After a moment of doubt, she ends up with a firm grip, and nearly nose to nose with the half ork.
Down below, Woodsman One is propelled out into the crowd and will spend the next round getting to his feet. Woodsman Two turns his attention to the contest. The Drunk makes a leap for Noshu's waist to pull her off the pole. Surprisingly to all, mostly the Drunk, he manages to get a grip around her waist.
Reaching the Top requires five successful climb checks.
DC 20 to move up
DC 15 to not slide down
DC 10 to not fall off
At the end of the first round
Grom and Alleana are 'nose to nose'
Noshu has been grabbed by the Drunk and cannot climb until she gets rid of him
Woodsman One is out for the next round
Woodsman Two is on the ground.
Noshu kicks out against the Drunk townie; both of them coated with mud makes his grip tenuous at best. He stumbles backwards and falls on his tuchass to the amusement of the crowd. Woodsman One manages to get to his feet and reenter the contest. His friend is having better luck, Woodsman two makes a jump for Grom's leg..... and fails miserably.
Options : Grom & Alleana can continue climbing or choose to kick at Noshu. Noshu can resume climbing attempt or grab for either of the targets above.