A character is climbing through a tunnel. Suddenly, water bursts through and starts flooding the tunnel, creating a dangerous current in the opposite direction as the character wants to go.

By how much would this raise the climb DC? Assume the character is still climbing rather than swimming against the current.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Believe it or not, I think this question has answers addressing this exact situation. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 19 '17 at 18:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Yeah, answers work but it’s not a duplicate question really. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Feb 19 '17 at 18:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan (It is awfully close, though, but, yeah, I didn't mark this question as a duplicate. It still feels weird copying-and-pasting my own answer to that question to this question.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 19 '17 at 18:12

You take the normal DC of the climb and add the slippery factor (+5 to DC), that is the climb DC.

About the water coming down on your PC, I would use a Str check to keep him attached to that wall. What the water is doing is similar to a bull rush while drowning (assuming it is enough water to drown your PC).

I know it is a bit annoying doing the a few tests instead of one, but I would use that. The DCs are up to you (I don't know the strength of the current you envisioned nor the wall DC of your tunnel, so it's up to you.).


When unsure about DC such as this, I refer back to the general DC guidelines:

Difficulty Check

Very Easy         5
Easy              10
Medium            15
Hard              20
Very Hard         25
Almost Impossible 30

Going forward from this table, think to yourself, "realistically how hard would it be for the PC to hold their footing and continue climbing".

You can also factor in how tall they are, what armor they're wearing, whether they're fatigued and injured or not and so on. To give you an answer, if I was the DM in this situation and the water that started flooding the tunnel was more of a torrent than a stream I would probably give a DC 20 check.


Depending upon how technical you and your group like to be, I suggest you add to the DC for each of the following conditions.

  1. If the water is more than moderately cold, +5 to DC unless resistant to cold
  2. If it is more than 6 inches deep, +5 to DC due to force against climber
  3. If the slope is more than 45 degrees, you're talking about a virtual waterfall and the farther they are from the top when it starts, the faster that wall of falling water will be going, so anywhere from +5 to +20 just for that.

The initial description isn't clear, but I'd have them start at DC 5 or 10 and then add whatever is appropriate from the 3 items suggested. (All ROUGH approximations of my experiences while spelunking)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi, and welcome to RPG Stack Exchange! Check out our tour to see how we work here. Is this based on rules, or is it a homebrew solution? If they are rules, this answer ought to be cited. If it's homebrew, we request that homebrew is backed up by comparable or direct experience -- any of us, aftrer all, can come up with something on the spot without leaving our seats, so we don't try to gather untested homebrew. Instead we want to gather tried-and-tested solutions and have an understanding of how they worked out to differentiate them. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Nov 4 '17 at 9:09

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