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You’re skilled at climbing, swimming, jumping, and performing other feats of athleticism.



You can use Athletics to climb up a vertical surface, which is treated like difficult terrain, costing multiple Moves to traverse. The number of Moves that it takes to climb an obstacle is based on its size, and how well you succeed on your Athletics check:

Obstacle Size Fail by 5 or more Fail Succeed Succeed by 5
Smaller then Character No Climbing Required
Same Size-Category Falls 3 Moves 2 Moves 1 Move
1 Size-Category Larger Falls 6 Moves 4 Moves 2 Moves
2 Size-Categories Larger Falls 9 Moves 6 Moves 3 Moves
3 Size-Categories Larger Falls 12 Moves 8 Moves 4 Moves
4 Size-Categories Larger Falls 15 Moves 10 Moves 5 Moves
5 Size-Cateogries Larger Falls 18 Moves 12 Moves 6 Moves

The DC for the check depends on the quality of the obstacle:

DC Example Wall Or Surface Or Task
0 A slope too steep to walk up. A ladder.
5 A knotted rope with a wall to brace against.
10 A rope with a wall to brace against. A knotted rope. A surface with sizable ledges to hold on to and stand on, such as a rugged cliff-face.
15 Any surface with adequate handholds and footholds (natural or artificial), such as a rough natural rock surface, a tree, or a chain-link fence. An unknotted rope. Pulling yourself up when dangling by your hands.
20 An uneven surface with just a few narrow handholds and footholds, such as a coarse masonry wall or a sheer cliff face with a few crevices and small toeholds.
25 A rough surface with no real handholds or footholds, such as a brick wall.
25 Overhang or ceiling with handholds but no footholds.
A perfectly smooth, flat, vertical surface can’t be climbed without the Wall-Crawling FX.
2 Bonuses Climbing inside an air duct, chimney, or other location where you can brace against two opposite walls.
1 Bonus Climbing a corner where you can brace against perpendicular walls.
2 Penalties Surface is slippery.

Fighting While ClimbingEdit

Since you can’t easily move to avoid an attack, you lose your Defense ranks while climbing. Any time you take damage while climbing, make an immediate Athletics check against the DC of the slope or wall. Failure means you fall and sustain the appropriate falling damage.


You can hop over obstacles or across gaps. A DC 20 Athletics check allows a character to make 1 Move within a single Zone while ignoring any increased cost in Moves that difficult terrain might impose. A jumping character can vault over obstacles of Small size or smaller without penalty. This can be used to move Adjacent to an ally or landmark in the Zone, or Engage an enemy in the Zone. Especially large gaps or bigger obstacles require a higher DC. The size of an obstacle can either be measured either in height or length, but it is easier to perform a Long Jump than it is a High Jump.

Obstacle Size DC
2 Size Categories or More Smaller No check required
1 Size Category Smaller 20
Same Size Category 25
1 Size Category Larger 30
2 or More Size Categories Larger Cannot be Jumped
Circumstances Modifier
High Jump 2 Penalties
No Running Start 1 Penalty
Hurdle (Jump over without touching obstacle) 2 Penalties

Characters can also use Athletics to jump up and reach a higher height. A DC 15 Athletics check allows a character to reach just about anything inside their Zone vertically (though to actually find a sufficient handhold to pull themselves up increases the DC to 20, and costs 2 Moves instead of 1).

Failure on the Athletics check means the character is unable to clear the obstacle, and must traverse it normally (often meaning an increased expenditure in Moves to clear difficult terrain, or having to find another way over a gap).


A successful Athletics check allows you to swim. Moving in water is more difficult than moving on land, so it takes twice as many moves to move within water by default (see the table below for details). If the check fails by 5 or more, you go underwater. If you are underwater you must hold your breath to avoid drowning. The DC for the Athletics check depends on the condition of the water. Each hour you swim, make an Endurance check (DC 20) for extended activity.

Fail by 5 or more Fail Succeed Succeed by 5
Goes Under 3 Moves 2 Moves 1 Move
Condition DC
Calm Water 10
Rough water 15
Stormy Water 20


Rescuing another character who can’t swim (for whatever reason) is made with 2 extra penalties.


Athletics checks are made as part of a Move Action, and the number of moves that must be spent is based on how well (or poorly) a character rolls.


At the GM’s discretion, certain kinds of climbing attempts might require tools like ropes, pitons, harness, and so forth. Attempting such a climb without tools incurs 2 penalties.


The following Challenges are appropriate for Athletics checks:

  • Fighting Climb: By accepting 2 penalties to climb, you can maintain your Defense ranks to while climbing.
  • Secured Climb: If you take 2 peanlties to your climb, you do not have to make an Athletics check to maintain your position if you take damage. You climb in such a way as to brace yourself for any attacks.