By Kim Mohan

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Face, where such aids are not necessary and do not have to be used even if they are present. Thieves are the only characters who can negotiate any surface that is completely devoid of handholds and footholds. Modifications for Encumbrance Any character who is severely encumbered (thief and non-thief alike) cannot climb anything other than a gentle slope that is either nonslipperyor slightly slippery, and does so at one-half of his normal climbing rate. A character who is heavily or moderately encumbered cannot climb anything other than a gentle or moderate slope that is either nonslipperyor slightly slippery, and does so at one-half of his normal climbing rate.

Very rugged terrain includes mountains; thick forest (where no path is apparent); swamps and bogs; any normal terrain with more than 10 inches of snow cover; any rugged terrain with more than 5 inches of snow cover; and areas where rivers or streams must be crossed frequently (one every 2 hours or less) to maintain constant movement in one direction. When taken into consideration along with a character’s or creature’s encumbrance value, these terrain definitions are important in determining movement rate, as described in the following sections.

If the rope does not break, there is a 10% chance, cumulative per turn, that it has become weakened from the stress (10% after one turn, 30% after two turns, 60% after three turns, 100% after four turns). The chance of a weakened rope breaking the next time it is used to support more than its weight limit is 40% per turn (noncumulative). 36 USING ROPE: BELAYING ing sideways pressure against the surface being descended and using the friction of the rope as it moves around his body to additionally slow his fall, the climber can come down under control and at a base speed of 120 feet per round.

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