Two categories of marsh exist: relatively dry moors and watery swamps. Both are often bordered by lakes (described in Aquatic Terrain
, below), which effectively are a third category of terrain found in marshes.
The table below describes terrain features found in marshes.
If a square is part of a shallow bog
, it has deep mud or standing water of about 1 foot in depth. It costs 2 squares of movement
to move into a square with a shallow bog
, and the DC of Tumble
checks in such a square increases by 2.
A square that is part of a deep bog
has roughly 4 feet of standing water. It costs Medium or larger creatures 4 squares of movement
to move into a square with a deep bog
, or characters can swim
if they wish. Small or smaller creatures must swim
to move through a deep bog
. Tumbling is impossible in a deep bog
The water in a deep bog
for Medium or larger creatures. Smaller creatures gain improved cover
(+8 bonus to AC, +4 bonus on Reflex saves). Medium or larger creatures can crouch as a move action
to gain this improved cover
. Creatures with this improved cover
take a -10 penalty on attacks against creatures that aren't underwater.
squares are usually clustered together and surrounded by an irregular ring of shallow bog
The bushes, rushes, and other tall grasses in marshes function as undergrowth
does in a forest (see above). A square that is part of a bog
does not also have undergrowth
Patches of quicksand
present a deceptively solid appearance (appearing as undergrowth
or open land) that may trap
careless characters. A character approaching a patch of quicksand
at a normal pace is entitled to a DC 8 Survival
check to spot
the danger before stepping in, but charging or running characters don't have a chance to detect a hidden bog
before blundering in. A typical patch of quicksand
is 20 feet in diameter; the momentum of a charging or running character carries him or her 1d2x5 feet into the quicksand
Effects of Quicksand:
Characters in quicksand
must make a DC 10 Swim
check every round to simply tread water in place, or a DC 15 Swim
check to move 5 feet in whatever direction is desired. If a trapped character fails this check by 5 or more, he sinks below the surface and begins to drown whenever he can no longer hold his breath (see the Swim skill description
Characters below the surface of a bog
back to the surface with a successful Swim
check (DC 15, +1 per consecutive round of being under the surface).
Pulling out a character trapped in quicksand
can be difficult. A rescuer needs a branch, spear haft, rope, or similar tool that enables him to reach the victim with one end of it. Then he must make a DC 15 Strength check to successfully pull the victim, and the victim must make a DC 10 Strength check to hold onto the branch, pole, or rope. If the victim fails to hold on, he must make a DC 15 Swim
check immediately to stay above the surface. If both checks succeed, the victim is pulled 5 feet closer to safety.
Common in moors, hedgerows
are tangles of stones, soil, and thorny bushes. Narrow hedgerows
function as low walls
, and it takes 15 feet of movement
to cross them. Wide hedgerows
are more than 5 feet tall and take up entire squares. They provide total cover
, just as a wall does. It takes 4 squares of movement
to move through a square with a wide hedgerow; creatures that succeed on a DC 10 Climb
check need only 2 squares of movement
to move through the square.
Other Marsh Terrain Elements:
Some marshes, particularly swamps, have trees just as forests do, usually clustered in small stands. Paths lead across many marshes, winding to avoid bog
areas. As in forests, paths allow normal movement
and don't provide the concealment
Stealth and Detection in a Marsh:
In a moor, the maximum distance at which a Spot
check for detecting the nearby presence of others can succeed is 6d6x10 feet. In a swamp, this distance is 2d8x10 feet.
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