*Scale walls*is a class skill for soldier (+12%) and thief (+10%) and available as an elective to assassin (+15%), palladin (+10%), longbowman (+6%), knight (+6%), squire (+4%), noble (+4%), peasant (+2%), ranger, warlock, witch and healer. It gives one percentage, which is the chance to climb fifteen feet. The percentage starts at 26%, rises to evens by fifth level and reaches 90% by twelfth level. The book says that a failed roll always means falling to the ground, which means losing one hit point for every six feet fallen. Having to string together successful rolls for long climbs sounds brutal but the falling damage listed isn’t all that bad. Correlating the probability of failing one of the sequence of necessary skill rolls with the maximum damage from falling and the mean hit points a character would have at the appropriate level gives the following results.

A character who has just taken the skill that level, with no bonus, will obviously fall attempting any climb most of the time but has more than a 90% chance of falling during a thirty foot climb. Fortunately, the five hit points they would lose falling thirty feet are unlikely to prove fatal. (Ninth level is the lowest at which a character with no bonus would be more likely to succeed a thirty foot climb than fail.) Even with the best class bonus, a first level assassin has a greater than 90% chance of falling during a forty-five foot climb. (An eighth level assassin would succeed in climbing forty-five feet just over half the time.)

In fact, the minimum level needed for an assassin to have an even-or-better chance of climbing a given distance is pretty high:

- 15’ – third level (tenth level for a 90% or more chance of success)
- 30’ – sixth level (tenth level for a 90% or more chance of success)
- 45’ – eighth level (eleventh level, when the skill percentage goes over 100%, for a 90% or more chance of success)
- 60’ – ninth level (a ninth level assassin would still have a better than even chance of success for a climb up to 90')
- 105’ – tenth level (a tenth level assassin would still have a better than even chance of success for a climb of up to 195’)
- 210’ – eleventh level (at which point an assassin can climb any distance with no chance of failure)

A druid with a rodent totem gets scale walls 70% – better than a fifth level assassin – at second or third level, and a druid with a feline totem gets 76% – better than a sixth level assassin. There are several other spells, magic items and so on which out-perform this skill, notably all the ones that enable a character to fly:

- ‘Fly as the Eagle’, a third level spell from the main list, allows the target to fly with an effective Spd score of 45 (
*ie*nine hundred yards a minute, or just over thirty miles an hour), with no limit on direction or stated flight ceiling and with some combat bonuses. - ‘Levitate’, a second level air warlock spell, enables the target to move vertically up to thirty feet in the air.
- ‘Levitate (Self)’, a second level psionic power, enables the caster to move vertically to a height of twenty feet per level.
- ’Phantom Footman’, a fourth level air warlock spell I mentioned above as substituting for the locate secret compartments/doors skill, also has potential here because the elemental summoned can carry up to 250lb (despite having a listed PS score of 20) and ‘still move at its maximum speed’, flying with Spd 25 (just over seventeen miles an hour).
- As well as potions and magic items that reproduce the effect of ‘Fly as the Eagle’, flying carpets and brooms are listed at prices of thirty thousand gold or more.

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