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On p. 120 of Numenera Discover, the climbing rules say:

Climbing is like moving through difficult terrain: the move roll is hindered and movement is at half speed.

The rules reference movement in difficult terrain as described on p. 117:

Difficult terrain hinders move rolls and halves movement on a round-by-round basis.

The climbing rules also include a table of sample difficulties given various surfaces:

Difficulty Surface
2 Surface with lots of handholds
3 Stone wall or similar surface
4 Crumbling or slippery surface
5 Smooth stone wall or similar surface
6 Metal wall or similar surface
8 Smooth, horizontal surface
10 Glass wall or similar surface

I'm confused what the rules mean when they say

the move roll is hindered

and have a few related questions:

  1. Does that mean that the task difficulty is hindered, i.e., when the table says that a surface with a lot of handholds is difficult 2, it is really difficulty 3? (In which case, why not just adjust the table to take hindrance into account?)
  2. Does that mean that the move roll, which can be a difficulty task of 0 (if moving a short distance) or a Speed task difficulty of 4 (if moving a long distance) is hindered, and the player must also make a roll of the difficulty shown in the table to climb (i.e., two rolls)?
    1. If #2 is the case, I imagine that move rolls only apply inside of combat (or a similar encounter), so in other cases, such as simply having to climb a cliff, would the player then only make a single climb check to climb as much as they want or need to?
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1 Answer 1

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  1. Yes. The table is not adjusted because some abilities ignores penalties from difficult terrains (i.e. Free to Move)
  2. The difficulty of the move roll to climb is the one on the table (hindered). The (vertical) distance is half the usual value, 7.5 meters. If you need to climb fast you can furtherly hinder by 4 (i.e. the difference between a short distance movement and a long distance movement) to move 15 meters.
    1. If the character want to climb during combat, one check is required for each round. Outside of combat is up to the GM: technically a check is needed every 7.5 (or 15) meters, the GM can adjudicate that a single check is enough to avoid excessive rolls, or maybe a check for every 30 meters just to keep up the tension.
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