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Beach Terrain

Source Cerulean Seas © 2010 Alluria Publishing. All rights reserved.

Note The following information was provided by a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game 3rd Party Publisher. Consult your GM before using.

Beaches consist of a sandy or rocky shore, usually with very sparse vegetation, if any. The beach is home to a variety of sea creatures who take advantage of easy access to land and water.

Table: Beach Terrain
Feature Sandy Beach Rocky Beach
Boulder 5% 15%
Driftwood 10% 20%
Dune 15%
Rubble 5% 25%
Sand, loose 25%
Sand, packed 15%
Standing water 10% 10%
Surf, heavy 10% 20%
Surf, light 15% 10%

Boulder: Boulders come in many shapes and sizes, but are generally 1d6×5 feet tall and cover 1d6 squares. Beach boulders can be quite slippery, especially if they rest below the high-tide line. A Climb skill check, DC 15, is required to navigate such a rock successfully while walking upon them. If the boulder is underwater, the character can swim over it without penalty.

Driftwood: Wood of all varieties washes up along the beach regularly. It has a characteristically worn appearance including smooth and twisted shapes and sun-bleached pallor. It can form huge piles that act as natural barriers. Moving into these barriers both above and below the water costs one square. It also provides low cover.

Dune: Dunes are steep piles of loose sand that are often formed by water currents or wind. Dunes are usually around 4d6×5 feet long, and 1d4×5 feet tall. Dunes cost four squares of movement to climb and two squares of movement otherwise. Dunes also increase the DC of Acrobatics checks by 2. Creatures that run or charge down a dune must first succeed on an Acrobatics skill check, DC 10, or slide downwards another 1d3 squares. If the check fails by more than 4, the character also falls prone at the end of the slide. Underwater sand dunes are called sand bars, and work the same way if the character is moving along the sea floor. However, a character can also swim over these features without movement penalty.

Rubble: This consists of all manner of stone, wood, animal, plant and artificially-made debris that have gathered into large tangled piles on the beach. The DC of Acrobatics skill checks increases by 2 in these areas. Rubble can exist both above and below the water.

Sand, loose: This is either soft, dry sand or wet sand that has been recently churned up and not allowed to settle. It costs 2 squares of land movement to enter a square with loose sand. If underwater, characters can swim over them without penalty.

Sand, packed: This is wet sand that has settled into firm ground. There are no movement penalties in this area.

Standing water: Standing water exists on beaches most often from seawater becoming trapped during low tide. This results in shallow pools, usually no more than a foot deep and 1d6×5 feet in diameter. It costs 2 squares of movement to enter a square with standing water and the DC of Acrobatics skill checks increases by 2. Standing pools are typically too shallow to effectively swim in.

Surf, heavy: Heavy surf describes fiercely surging water about 5 feet in depth. It costs 4 squares of movement to enter a square of heavy surf, for both swimming and walking. Acrobatics checks automatically fail in areas of heavy surf. It is also very likely to contain a riptide (20%) or undertow (35%). Heavy surf occurs in a long line parallel to the shore, with light surf resting between the heavy surf and the shore.

Surf, light: Light surf is rapidly surging water less than three feet in depth. The DC of Acrobatics skill checks increases by 2 in these areas. It costs 2 squares of movement to enter a square of light surf, and it is too shallow to effectively swim in. Areas of light surf are also 20% likely to have an undertow.

Stealth and Detection on a Beach: Sandy beaches offer very limited cover. The maximum distance at which a Perception check to detect the nearby presence of others can succeed is 6d6 × 20 feet. Rocky beaches usually have more cover, reducing this distance to 4d6 × 20 feet.