The Exploration section comprises the following:

Vision And Light

Everyone needs light to see by. See Table 1: Light Sources and Illumination for the radius that a light source illuminates and how long it lasts.

In an area of bright light, all characters can see clearly. A creature can't hide in an area of bright light unless it is invisible or has cover.

In an area of shadowy illumination, a character can see dimly. Creatures within this area have concealment relative to that character. A creature in an area of shadowy illumination can make a Stealth check to conceal itself.

In areas of darkness, creatures without darkvision are effectively blinded. In addition to the obvious effects, a blinded creature has -4 penalty to attack rolls (all opponents have total concealment), takes a -2 penalty to AC, moves at half speed, and takes a -4 penalty on Search checks and most Strength and Dexterity-based skill checks.

Characters with low-light vision (dwarves, elves, gnomes, half-elves, and half-orcs) can see objects twice as far away as the given radius. Double the effective radius of bright light and of shadowy illumination for such characters.

Characters with darkvision can see lit areas normally as well as dark areas. A creature can't hide within the sight range of a character with darkvision unless it is invisible or has cover.

Table 1: Light Sources and Illumination

Object Bright Shadowy Duration
Candle n/a1 5 ft. 1 hr.
Everburning torch 20 ft. 40 ft. Permanent
Lamp, common 15 ft. 30 ft. 6 hr./pint
Lantern, bullseye2 60-ft. cone 120-ft. cone 6 hr./pint
Lantern, hooded 30 ft. 60 ft. 6 hr./pint
Sunrod 30 ft. 60 ft. 6 hr.
Torch 20 ft. 40 ft. 1 hr.
Spell Bright Shadowy Duration
Continual flame 20 ft. 40 ft. Permanent
Dancing lights (torches) 20 ft. (each) 40 ft. (each) 1 min.
Daylight 60 ft. 120 ft. 30 min.
Light 20 ft. 40 ft. 10 min.

1 A candle does not provide bright illumination, only shadowy illumination.

2 A bullseye lantern illuminates a cone, not a radius.

Breaking and Entering

When attempting to break an object, you have two choices: smash it with a weapon or break it with sheer strength.

Smashing an Object

Smashing an object (including weapons or armor) is a simple attack roll opposed by the object's AC. Generally, a character can smash an object only with a bludgeoning or slashing weapon.

Armor Class: Objects are easier to hit than creatures because they usually don't move, but many are tough enough to shrug off some damage from each blow. An object's Armor Class is equal to 10 + its size modifier + its Dexterity modifier. An inanimate object has not only a Dexterity of 0 (-5 penalty to AC), but also an additional -2 penalty to its AC. Furthermore, if the character takes a full-round action to line up a shot, he gets an automatic hit with a melee weapon or a +5 bonus on attack rolls with a ranged weapon.

Hardness: Each object has hardness - a number that represents how well it resists damage. Whenever an object takes damage, subtract its hardness from the damage. Only damage in excess of its hardness is deducted from the object's hit points.

Hit Points: An object's hit point total depends on what it is made of and how big it is. Very large objects have separate hit point totals for different sections.

An item that is reduced to 1/2 of its hit points or below is damaged.

An item that is reduced to 0 hit points is broken.

An item that is reduced to its damage threshold (a number equal to 0 minus its hardness) or below is completely destroyed. Items with 0 hardness are destroyed when their hit points are reduced to 0.

Energy Attacks: Acid and sonic attacks deal damage to most objects just as they do to creatures; roll damage and apply it normally after a successful hit. Electricity and fire attacks deal half damage to most objects; divide the damage dealt by 2 before applying the hardness. Cold attacks deal one-quarter damage to most objects; divide the damage dealt by 4 before applying the hardness.

Ranged Weapon Damage: Objects take half damage from ranged weapons (unless the weapon is a siege engine or something similar). Divide the damage dealt by 2 before applying the object's hardness.

Ineffective Weapons: Certain weapons, like piercing weapons, just can't effectively deal damage to certain objects.

Immunities: Objects are immune to nonlethal damage, and they have greater resistance to critical hits (reduce damage by 3 steps). Even animated objects, which are otherwise considered creatures, have these immunities because they are constructs.

Magic Armor, Shields, and Weapons: Each +1 of enhancement bonus adds 2 to the hardness of armor, a weapon, or a shield, and +10 to the item's hit points.

Vulnerability to Certain Attacks: Certain attacks are especially successful against some objects. In such cases, attacks deal double their normal damage and may ignore the object's hardness.

Damaged Objects: If an item has been damaged or broken, it becomes less effective. Being damaged has the following effects:

If the item is a weapon, any attacks made with it suffer a -2 penalty on attack and damage rolls. Its threat range is reduced by 2, and its crit multiplier is reduced by 1 step. A weapon will always deal a critical hit on a 20 and do x2 damage.

If the item is a suit of armor or a shield, its AC bonus is halved (round down). Broken armor doubles its armor check penalty to skills.

If the item is a tool, any skill checks made with the item suffer a -2 penalty.

If the item is a wand or staff, it uses up twice as many charges when it is used.

If the item does not fit into any of these categories, being damaged has no effect on its use.

If the item is broken (reduced to 0 hit points), it cannot be used at all, though it can still be repaired. If it is reduced to its damage threshold or below, it is destroyed and cannot be repaired by normal means.

Saving Throws: Nonmagical, unattended items never make saving throws. They are considered to have failed their saving throws, so they always are affected by spells. An item attended by a character (being grasped, touched, or worn) makes saving throws as the character (that is, using the character's saving throw bonus).

Magic items always get saving throws. A magic item's Fortitude, Reflex, and Will save bonuses are equal to 2 + one-half its caster level. An attended magic item either makes saves as its owner or uses its own save bonus, whichever is better.

Animated Objects: Animated objects count as creatures for purposes of determining their Armor Class (do not treat them as inanimate objects).

Repairing Objects: Damaged items, regardless of type, are worth 50% of their normal value, and broken ones are worth 25%. If the item is magical, it can be repaired with a mending or make whole spell cast by a character with a caster level equal to or higher than the item's, or by a character using the Craft (artificing) skill. Nonmagical items can be repaired in a similar fashion, or through the Craft skill used to create it. Most craftsmen charge 1/10th the item's total cost to repair such damage, or 1/5th if the item is broken. Items that have been destroyed require a make whole spell.

Breaking Items

When a character tries to break something, either with sudden force (shattering) or by dealing damage (bashing), use the following rules.

If the character tries to shatter an item, he must make a Strength check to see whether he or she succeeds. The DC depends more on the construction of the item than on the material. If an item has lost half or more of its hit points, the DC to shatter it drops by 2.

If the character is trying to bash an item, he must make an attack roll to hit it. If the item is attended, he suffers a -4 penalty, and he deals half damage (applied before hardness); if it is unattended, he hits automatically and deals full damage.

Larger and smaller creatures get size bonuses and size penalties on Strength checks to break open doors as follows: Fine -16, Diminutive -8, Tiny -4, Small -2, Large +2, Huge +4, Gargantuan +8, Colossal +16.

A crowbar or portable ram improves a character's chance of breaking open a door (+2 to the Strength check; a portable ram can also be used by two people, granting a total of +4).

Table 2: Common Armor, Weapon, and Shield Hardness and Hit Points

Weapon Hardness HP1
Light blade 10 2
One-handed blade 10 5
Two-handed blade 10 10
Light metal-hafted weapon 10 10
One-handed metal-hafted weapon 10 20
Light hafted weapon 5 2
One-handed hafted weapon 5 5
Two-handed hafted weapon 5 10
Projectile weapon 5 5
Armor Special2 Armor bonus x5
Shield Hardness HP
Buckler 10 5
Light wooden shield 5 7
Heavy wooden shield 5 15
Light steel shield 10 10
Heavy steel shield 10 20
Tower shield 5 20

1 The hp value given is for Medium armor, weapons, and shields. Divide by 2 for each size category of the item smaller than Medium, or multiply it by 2 for each size category larger than Medium.

2 Varies by material; see Table 3: Substance Hardness and Hit Points.

Table 3: Substance Hardness and Hit Points

Substance Hardness Hit Points
Paper or cloth 0 2/inch of thickness
Rope 0 2/inch of thickness
Glass 1 1/inch of thickness
Ice 0 3/inch of thickness
Leather or hide 2 5/inch of thickness
Wood 5 10/inch of thickness
Stone 8 15/inch of thickness
Iron or steel 10 30/inch of thickness
Mithril 15 30/inch of thickness
Adamantine 20 40/inch of thickness

Table 4: Object Hardness and Hit Points

Object Hardness Hit Points Break DC
Rope (1 inch diam.) 0 2 23
Simple wooden door 5 10 13
Small chest 5 1 17
Good wooden door 5 15 18
Treasure chest 5 15 23
Strong wooden door 5 20 23
Masonry wall (1 ft. thick) 8 90 35
Hewn stone (3 ft. thick) 8 540 50
Chain 10 5 26
Manacles 10 10 26
Masterwork manacles 10 10 28
Iron door (2 in. thick) 10 60 28

Table 5: DCs to Break Items

Strength Check to: DC
Break down simple door 13
Break down good door 18
Break down strong door 23
Burst rope bonds 23
Bend iron bars 24
Break down barred door 25
Burst chain bonds 26
Break down iron door 28
Condition DC Adjustment1
Hold portal +5
Arcane lock +10

1 If both apply, use the larger number.

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