Scrambling (sage ability)
Also an athletic ability, describes a skill at climbing steep surfaces and over jumbled urban environments, or vaulting. A vault is any form of movement that overcomes a vertical obstacle by jumping, leaping, climbing over objects, propelling up from fence tops and similar methods intended to reach a higher point above the ground. Within an urban environment, this is typically a rooftop.
It will normally require an ordinary person 2 to 5 action points (AP) to climb upwards over a distance of one hex, depending on the difficulty of the surface. For game purposes, we can define surfaces as follows, in order of difficulty ascending:
- flat = 1 AP. Surfaces that vary no more than 10 degrees.
- sloped = 2 AP. Variations of 11-30 degrees. (1 AP moving downhill)
- steep = 3 AP. Variations of 31-50 degrees. (2 AP downhill)
- abrupt = 4 AP. Variations of 51-80 degrees. (3 AP downhill)
- lofty = 5 AP. Variations of 81+ degrees (effectively climbing); down same as up.
The above describes surfaces that can be scrambled: that is, they include plenty of hand-holds and footholds and can be ascended without the need of rope, pitons or climbing gear. Raised surfaces of greater than 80 degrees, or which lack easy hand and foot holds, which require equipment, require greater skill than scrambling.
Scramble surfaces may be even or blocked; they may also incorporate elements of scree or slipperyness:
- even surfaces have no special conditions. They are easiest to climb.
- blocked surfaces are those that contain elements of sheer surfaces (90 degrees), which must be navigated around rather than moved over. Many urban environments are blocked on two or three sides, requiring the scrambler to move to a side that provides access. A building that is blocked on all four sides cannot be scrambled. Increase all movement costs by 1 AP.
- scree is loose rock that can make scrambling steep, abrupt or lofty surfaces dangerous. Increase all movement costs by 1 AP and make a dexterity check every 18 AP expended.
- slippery surfaces are most likely due to the presence of water, either due to snowmelt, mist from waterfalls or from recent rains. Increase all movement costs by 2 AP or make a dexterity check every round.
Those with a skill in scrambling may subtract 1 AP from the cost of each variant of surface climbed. Note that this does not remove the extra penalties caused by blocked, scree or slippery surfaces, in fighting while unsteady.