Climbing is Hard! Make Your PCs Roll Higher

Verisimilitude in games is never a high priority for me. Role-playing game PCs are borderline superheroes anyway so petty activities like climbing a mountain are merely bumps in a long and dangerous road. Recent events lead me to cast a bit more attention on climbing in games because I tried it in the real world.

Here is a shot of the course with some other poor souls on it.

Yes, Trask left his man-cave and went to the great outdoors and actually tried some of this oh-so-easy-on-a-table climbing stuff . Possessed by more testosterone than good sense I did an “adventure course.”   The course was about 50 feet up in the trees and you swing between platforms, jump over  obstacles, climb cargo nets and ride a few zip lines.  It is a bit like the “Ninja Warrior” TV show with better safety gear and obstacles a normal human can complete.

Besides an incredibly fun experience, the course was highly educational because it taught me that climbing is HARD. Even obstacles that look relatively easy (eg the cargo net pictured) sapped strength at an incredible rate.  I “fell” twice but survived by the grace of my safety lines.  This course was easy enough that a middle-aged gamer could make it through, so I am not claiming I climbed Everest, but it was shocking how much energy climbing requires. My arms felt like overcooked noodles at the end of 3.5 hours and I was done for the rest of the day.

So, to my regular gaming group reading this post, expect much harder climbing rolls going forward. Better start investing in those Rings of Feather Fall…

In case you feel the need to try this out,  my little adventure was at a facility called “Flagstaff Extreme” in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Might have to try some other common adventuring activities in the real world to see if everything is as tough as climbing. Maybe some lock-picking practice….


Trask, The Last Tyromancer





Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.