Eldritch Excursion – The Finer Swings In Life

We are on the verge of the fourth month since I demanded that Oras, holder of the monopoly on evolution, loosen their grasp on the Evolution Juice supply and distribute it amongst the people. Those redundant hearts aren’t going to grow themselves, after all. And despite my tendency to disgorge crusty fleshlings from my pulsating brain-crevice, I have decided to take a more personal approach to get my point across.

As promised in the previous outing, I have spent the past two weeks both gathering and consuming a substantial volume of live spiders in hopes to gain the wisdom of their flesh. Such a task was quite difficult, but it was made possible with the generous consumption of a mutagenic catalyst, which is also made primarily of spiders. The ensuing hallucinations have been both frequent and harrowing, but I can only assume it is the prelude to my glorious evolution. And since I have a little time in between blackouts, let me share some of what I’ve learned.

Hello and welcome to Eldritch Excursion, the blog where I have tasted the flavor of countless arachnids to conceptualize the mechanics of how to be just like them. But without having to be bitten by a radioactive bug or wear a silly costume. Today I’d like to introduce you to the swing speed mechanic, which is a happy middle ground between having a climbing speed and having a flying speed.

Swing Speed
You are able to move through the air on a length of rope, webbing, or other such tether. When swinging, you choose one an anchoring point within range of your swing speed, such as a branch, ledge, or other stable structure. You may move anywhere within a radius of the anchoring point equal to your swing speed, but must end your movement at a height no higher than the anchoring point or the square where you started your movement, whichever is higher.
The GM determines what functions as an anchoring point. It may not be possible to swing from an anchoring point based on other factors such as direction and the environment; if a stable bar is suspended five feet above a river, for example, your character may not be able to leverage any vertical momentum from it. When in doubt, the GM should require the player to make an Athletics check (or attack roll when appropriate) against the climb DC of the anchoring point in order to swing from it.
Similar to flying, your swinging momentum can be affected by wind conditions and collisions. Whether you’re playing Starfinder or Pathfinder, consult the Acrobatics skill for relevant DC’s. However, you make Athletics checks instead of Acrobatics checks, and instead of hovering, you may dangle just below the anchoring point without needing to make a check.
Unlike flying, you are able to leverage your momentum to leap with an Athletics check and move farther or gain a higher ground.
You may use a willing creature as a tether as long as it is one size larger than you, and you may use an unwilling creature as a tether as long as it is three sizes larger than you.

 

Oh hey, the spider mutagen’s kicking in… or maybe that’s just the hallucinations again.

 

Swinging in Pathfinder

Having access to a swing speed in Pathfinder gives you a whole new way to traverse through environments. Using a swing speed requires the Swing action.

Swing [one action]


[Move]
You maneuver through the air on a vine, rope, or other such tether. Use the rules for a swing speed mentioned above. If you are dangling from your tether without any momentum or object to push off of, your first swing requires two actions to initiate as you take the extra time to build momentum.
You may take a Leap action after swinging.
Making use of a swing speed usually requires one free hand to hang on to your tether. The GM may allow you to swing from a tether that is fastened to you, but unshackling yourself from such a tether usually requires an action with the manipulate trait.

So that’s how Swinging in Pathfinder works, but how can we implement it? With feats, of course! Starting with an ancestry feat that I regret not thinking of sooner.

Web Swinger Feat 9


[Anadi]
Prerequisites Web Weaver, expert in Athletics


You are able to produce strands of strong, but short-lived webbing that allow you to rapidly traverse the jungles of your homeland. You gain a swing speed of 15 feet.
Special At the GM’s discretion, you may also select this feat as an ancestry feat for a character with the Beastkin (spider) heritage as a 13th level feat with no prerequisites.

And now with the burden of regret lifted from my shoulders, we can bring everyone else in on the fun.

Quick Swing Feat 7


[General] [Skill]
Prerequisites master in Athletics


You learn how to deftly swing from ropes, vines, and chandeliers alike. You gain a swing speed of 15 feet, or an increase of 5 feet to your swing speed if you already have one. You require an anchored tether to swing. You may use your own equipment as a tether, such as a rope with a grappling hook. You may also use an appropriate weapon, such as a whip, though your swing speed is limited to your reach with the weapon. While using a weapon as a tether, the item bonus granted by that weapon’s potency rune is added to Athletics checks to swing or leap while swinging.

 

Pictured: local nightgaunt prepares to give Feiya a lesson in why she should have brought a grappling hook.

 

Swinging in Starfinder

Starfinder is an interesting game to write the kind of content for because enhanced mobility is expected to be extremely accessible. After all, anyone can achieve the miracle of flight at an early level if not at the start of the game. With the system’s focus on awesome equipment, it would serve well to add an armor upgrade.

Spider Gear
Level 4 ; Price 2,050
Slots 1; Armor Type light, heavy
Bulk 1
Capacity 40; Usage 1/round
This set of advanced rigging includes pressurized launchers with AI-assisted targeting, integrated titanium cables, and an automatic reloader stocked with specialized grapplers that automatically detach based on the user’s movements. You gain a swing speed of 15 feet. You can use this for “cruise mode” at a usage of only 1 charge per minute, but you are flat-footed and off-target while doing so. Changing from normal swinging to cruise mode is vice versa is a standard action. Spider gear can’t hold your weight if you’re encumbered.
If you are dangling from your tether without any momentum or object to push off of, your first swing requires a full round action to initiate as you take the extra time to build momentum.
A prototype Mk. II version of the spider gear (level 8, 9,500 credits) is also available. It grants a swing speed of 25 feet, a +2 bonus to Athletics checks made to swing, and uses adamantine cables.
When purchasing or crafting spider harness power armor, you may include an integrated Mk. II spider gear instead of the armor’s climb speed. This spider gear can sustain the armor’s weight and automatically functions as long as the suit has power, but cannot engage in cruise mode.

There you go. Whether you want to cross half the Mwangi expanse without touching the ground or pull some sick tricks to escape from the gallows, you’ll be able to do so in style. Tune in next time, and you can watch me take a long overdue nap.

Nate Wright

Hey there. I'm Nate Wright, author of the Eldritch Excursion blog. I'm also a credited freelance author on several releases from Paizo. When I'm not scooping up my thoughts and slapping them onto your feed like so much delicious ice cream, I can be found on social media where I retweet pixel art and talk about how great summoners are.