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Iceberg Terrain

Table: Iceberg Terrain
Feature Growler Standard Super
Cliff 10% 15% 20%
Crevasse 5% 5%
Pool 5% 10%
Slope, gradual 50% 20% 15%
Slope, steep 40% 55% 50%

An iceberg is a gigantic block or mass of ice that has broken off from a glacier or ice shelf. This iceberg then floats in the world’s oceans and moves via wind and ocean currents. Icebergs are famous for their size and their ability to hide it under water.

Typically, only one-tenth of an iceberg’s volume is visible above the water’s surface, while most of its mass is below. In general, the total size of the average iceberg is 1d10 × 25 feet above sea level, with another 9d10 × 25 feet below sea level. They are typically 1d12 × 50 feet across. Icebergs can be several miles across and several hundred feet tall, however. These super-sized icebergs often break up into smaller icebergs when they reach warm waters.

Despite their size, icebergs move an average speed of 10 miles per day, which equates to a speed of around 5 feet per round.

Table: Iceberg Terrain describes in general terms how likely it is that a given square has a terrain element in it. It is divided into growlers (less than 100 feet across), standard icebergs (more than 100 feet across, but less than 2000 feet across), and super icebergs (more than 2000 feet across).

Icebergs have a special terrain element, the ice wall, which is marked on the border between squares rather than taking up a square itself.

Cliff: This is similar to the terrain feature of the same name described in Hills Terrain, but they are typically 1d10 × 10 feet tall. Cliffs taller than 60 feet take up 20 feet of horizontal space.

Crevasse: A crevasse is an irregular crack in the ice caused by ocean currents, shifting winds, or large air pockets in the ice. An average crevasse is anywhere from 3d10 × 10 feet long and 1d4 × 25 feet deep (sometimes deep enough to reach the water below), and 5d6 feet wide. A character falling into a crevasse drops into the water or onto the ice at the bottom. In addition, the steep, slick sides of the crevasse offer little opportunity to climb out of the crevasse unaided (Climb skill check, DC 30). Some crevasses are hidden by thin crusts of ice; a character approaching a hidden crevasse is entitled to a Perception skill check, DC 20, to notice the crevasse before stepping into it, although running or charging characters do not get to make this check.

Ice wall: A vertical plane of ice, an ice wall requires a DC 30 Climb check to ascend. A typical ice wall is 1d8 × 10 feet tall on standard icebergs, and 2d10 × 10 feet tall on super icebergs. Ice walls occur on the edges of squares, not in the squares themselves.

Pool: Melting icebergs often accumulate large pools of freshwater in their valleys, flat surfaces, and at the bottom of their crevasses. These pools are shallow, usually no more than five feet deep and 1d6×5 feet in diameter. It costs 2 squares of movement to enter a square with a pool and the DC of Acrobatics skill checks increases by 3. Pools are typically too shallow to swim in.

Slope, gradual and steep: These function as described in the Hills Terrain except that Acrobatic skill checks have +2 to their difficulty due to slippery ice.

Stealth and Detection on an Iceberg: The maximum distance in iceberg terrain at which a Perception check for detecting the nearby presence of others can succeed is 4d10 × 10 feet. Standing at a high point of the iceberg may provide a better vantage point, however.


Section 15: Copyright Notice

Cerulean Seas Undersea Campaign Setting © 2010 Alluria Publishing.