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Old Screeds

The skill that's not afraid to do what it takes to make an omelet

Breaking Bad Bricks

Whether through sheer ferocity or deliberate application of will, breaking things can be an art. Here is a new skill to use in Pathfinder First Edition or D&D Third Edition that allows players to become masters of destruction.

Break (Str)

Break is a class skill for monks and barbarians.

You are skilled at breaking bonds, forcing doors, breaking items with sudden force, and getting through whatever is in your way.

Check: When you try to break or burst something with sudden force rather than by dealing damage, use a Break check (rather than an attack roll and damage roll, as with the sunder special attack) to determine whether you succeed. An object's hardness doesn't affect its Break DC. Typical Break DC values are listed below.

Table: DCs to Break or Burst Items
Strength Check to:DC
Burst through paper wall1
Break down simple door13
Unstick yourself from the floor after being hit with a tanglefoot bag17
Break down good door18
Burst through 6 in. thick wooden wall20
Break down strong door23
Burst rope bonds23
Burst silk rope bonds24
Bend iron bars24
Burst out of a net25
Break down barred door25
Burst a chain or chain bonds or manacles26
Break through a grate27
Burst masterwork manacles28
Break down iron door28
Burst through 3 in. thick iron wall30
Burst through 1 ft. thick masonry wall35
Burst through 1 ft. thick reinforced masonry wall45
Burst through 3 ft. thick hewn stone wall50
Burst through 5 ft. thick unworked stone wall65
ConditionDC Adjustment*
Hold portal+5
Arcane lock+10
Magically treated+20
* If multiple apply, use the larger number.

If an item has lost half or more of its hit points, the item gains the broken condition (see Conditions) and the DC to break it drops by 2.

Larger and smaller creatures get size bonuses and size penalties on Break checks to force open doors or break through walls as follows: Fine -16, Diminutive -12, Tiny -8, Small -4, Large +4, Huge +8, Gargantuan +12, Colossal +16.

A crowbar grants a +2 circumstance bonus on Break checks made to force open a door or chest. A portable ram gives you a +2 circumstance bonus on Break checks made to break open a door or burst through a wall and allows a second person to help, automatically increasing your bonus by 2.

Action: Forcing or breaking through a door is a standard action. Bursting bonds or breaking through walls generally requires a full round action.

Photo credit, with thanks: Wikipedia.

20 Sept 2020 Update: Okay, color me forgetful. My bad brain neglected to remind me that I wrote about this exact topic back in 2006.

Home | This page was created on 1 Nov 2019 and updated 20 Sep 2020