Forest terrain can be divided into three categories: sparse, medium, and dense. An immense forest could have all three categories within its borders, with more sparse terrain at the outer edge of the forest and dense forest at its heart.
The table below describes in general terms how likely it is that a given square has a terrain element in it.
The most important terrain element in a forest is the trees
, obviously. A creature standing in the same square as a tree gains a +2 bonus to Armor Class
and a +1 bonus on Reflex saves (these bonuses don't stack with cover
bonuses from other sources). The presence of a tree doesn't otherwise affect a creature's fighting space, because it's assumed that the creature is using the tree to its advantage when it can. The trunk of a typical tree has AC 4, hardness 5, and 150 hp. A DC 15 Climb
check is sufficient to climb
a tree. Medium and dense forests have massive trees
as well. These trees
take up an entire square and provide cover
to anyone behind them. They have AC 3, hardness 5, and 600 hp. Like their smaller counterparts, it takes a DC 15 Climb
check to climb
It's common for elves
and other forest dwellers to live on raised platforms far above the surface floor
. These wooden platforms generally have rope bridges between them. To get to the treehouses, characters generally ascend the trees
' branches (Climb
DC 15), use rope
DC 0), or take pulley elevators (which can be made to rise a number of feet equal to a Strength check, made each round as a full-round action
). Creatures on platforms or branches in a forest canopy
are considered to have cover
when fighting creatures on the ground, and in medium or dense forests they have concealment
Other Forest Terrain Elements:
Fallen logs generally stand about 3 feet high and provide cover
just as low walls
do. They cost 5 feet of movement
to cross. Forest streams are generally 5 to 10 feet wide and no more than 5 feet deep. Pathways wind through most forests, allowing normal movement
and providing neither cover
. These paths are less common in dense forests, but even unexplored forests will have occasional game trails.
Stealth and Detection in a Forest:
In a sparse forest, the maximum distance at which a Spot
check for detecting the nearby presence of others can succeed is 3d6x10 feet. In a medium forest, this distance is 2d8x10 feet, and in a dense forest it is 2d6x10 feet.
Because any square with undergrowth
, it's usually easy for a creature to use the Hide
skill in the forest. Logs and massive trees
, which also makes hiding possible.
The background noise in the forest makes Listen
checks more difficult, increasing the DC of the check by 2 per 10 feet, not 1 (but note that Move Silently
is also more difficult in undergrowth
Most campfire sparks ignite nothing, but if conditions
are dry, winds are strong, or the forest floor
is dried out and flammable, a forest fire can result. Lightning strikes often set trees
afire and start forest fires in this way. Whatever the cause of the fire, travelers can get caught in the conflagration.
A forest fire can be spotted from as far away as 2d6x100 feet by a character who makes a Spot
check, treating the fire as a Colossal creature (reducing the DC by 16). If all characters fail their Spot
checks, the fire moves closer to them. They automatically see it when it closes to half the original distance.
Characters who are blinded or otherwise unable to make Spot
checks can feel the heat of the fire (and thus automatically "spot
" it) when it is 100 feet away.
The leading edge of a fire (the downwind side) can advance faster than a human
(assume 120 feet per round for winds of moderate
strength). Once a particular portion of the forest is ablaze, it remains so for 2d4x10 minutes before dying to a smoking smolder. Characters overtaken by a forest fire may find the leading edge of the fire advancing away from them faster than they can keep up, trapping them deeper and deeper in its grasp.
Getting caught within a forest fire is even worse than being exposed to extreme heat (see Heat Dangers
). Breathing the air causes a character to take 1d6 points of damage
per round (no save). In addition, a character must make a Fortitude save every 5 rounds (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or take 1d4 points of nonlethal damage
. A character who holds his breath can avoid the lethal damage, but not the nonlethal damage
. Those wearing heavy clothing or any sort of armor take a -4 penalty on their saving throws
. In addition, those wearing metal armor or coming into contact with very hot metal are affected as if by a heat metal
Catching on Fire:
Characters engulfed in a forest fire are at risk of catching on fire
when the leading edge of the fire overtakes them, and are then at risk once per minute thereafter (see Catching on Fire
Forest fires naturally produce a great deal of smoke. A character who breathes heavy smoke must make a Fortitude save each round (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or spend that round choking and coughing. A character who chokes for 2 consecutive rounds takes 1d6 points of nonlethal damage
. Also, smoke obscures vision, providing concealment
to characters within it.
|Find topic in: Basics|
| wizards Environment srd wizards dragons rpg SRD d20 d&d dungeons Environment SRD Forest & srd d20 rpg dragons & dungeons 3.5 d20 Environment srd wizards SRD 3.5 3.5 Environment Basics rpg wizards roleplaying Weather, Forest d&d 3.5 Basics & Environment wizards|