Lizard Climb


Defaults: None.

Prerequisites: Trained by a Master, and both Acrobatics and Climbing at 14+.

This skill lets you scale vertical or near-vertical surfaces -walls, steep hills, large tree trunks, etc. - like a gecko. You must climb facing the surface, using (empty) hands and feet, or with your back to it, using elbows and heels. Roll once per second of climbing.

Modifiers: A penalty equal to encumbrance level (e.g., -1 for Light). The type of surface matters: +2 for rough natural materials (bark or a rock face), +0 for most walls (wood, brick, or stone), or -2 for smooth surfaces (glass or steel); +2 if sloped rather than vertical. Add -1 if wet, -3 if icy or slimy, or -5 if greased. Freeing a hand or foot gives -2 per extremity less than four (minimum one) in contact with the surface. Claws (p. B42) or artificial claws (neko-de) give +2 when climbing any surface but a smooth one - but only when facing it.

Success lets you travel half your Move up, down, or across the surface, or simply cling to it without moving. For instance, with Move 7, you could climb 3.5 yards - about one story - up a sheer wall in a second! Lizard Climb isn't Clinging (p. B43), though. In particular, you can't move along ceilings.

Failure means you fall, but you can try to catch yourself (see below). On a critical failure, you fall away from the surface and can't reach it in order to stop your fall.

If falling past a surface close enough that you can reach it, you can try to break your fall. Make a DX roll to touch the surface, and then a Lizard Climb roll at -1 per 5 yards already fallen, plus the above modifiers. Success stops your fall. Failure KtttCLT means you continue to fall; you can't make a repeated attempt.

You can dodge normally while climbing and retreat by skittering up the wall. If you make a skill roll at a suitable penalty to free a limb, you can even attack and parry at no penalty. However, any combat result that causes a fall -knockback, knockdown, critical miss, etc. - knocks you off the wall. You can try to stop yourself if you're not stunned, but shock penalties (if any) apply.

When climbing something other than a flat surface (e.g., a rope), a successful Lizard Climb roll gives a bonus to Climbing. This equals half your margin of success, rounded down. Minimum bonus is +1. In a chambara- or wuxia-style campaign, other stunts are possible - see Special Feats for Cinematic Skills (pp. 129-130).

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