Winter Hazards

Cold Dangers

For game purposes, air temperature falls into one of the following nine temperature bands. These ranges describe the conditions whether or not creatures are subject to cold dangers or hear dangers.

Temperature Band Range
Warm 60 F to 90 F
Moderate 40 F to 60 F
Cold 0 F to 40 F
Severe Cold -20 F to 0 F
Extreme Cold -50 F to -20 F
Unearthly Cold Below -50 F

Temperatures in the cold band or lower can be hazardous to unprepared characters. A character who has the Survival skill may receive a bonus on his saving throws against cold and exposure damage, and may be able to apply this bonus to other characters as well.

The levels of protection described here refer to a character’s protective measures agamst cold (see Protection Against Cold, below).

Cold: Unprotected characters must make a Fortitude save each hour (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or rake 1d6 points of nonlethal damage.

Characters whose protection against cold is ar least Level 1 or higher (cold weather outfit, Cold Endurance feat) are safe at this temperature range.

Severe Cold: Unprotected characters must make a Fortitude save every 10 minutes (DC 15, +1 per previous check), taking ld6 points of nonlethal damage on each failed save. A partially protected character need only check once per hour.

For complete protection against severe cold, a character must have a level of protecuon of 2 or higher (for example, wearing a cold weather outfit and fur clothing). A character whose level of protection is only 1 is considered partially protected.

Extreme Cold: Unprotected characters take 1d6 points of cold damage per 10 minutes (no save). In addition, an unprotected character must make a Fortitude save (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or take 1d4 points of nonlethal damage.

Those wearing metal armor or coming into contact with very cold metal are affected as if by a chill metal spell. A partially protected character takes damage and makes saving throws once per hour instead of once per 10 minutes.

A character must have a level of protection of 3 or higher to be prorecred against extreme cold. Level 2 is considered partial protection; Level 1 is considered unprotected.

Unearthly Cold: Unprotected characters take 1d6 points of cold damage and ld4 points of nonlethal damage per minute (no save). Partially protected characters take damage once per 10 minutes instead of once per minute.

For complete protection agamst rhe effects of unearthly cold, a character must have a level of protection of 4 or higher. Level 2 or 3 is considered partial protection, and level l is no protection at all.

Temperature Variations

Temperatures vary significantly with an increase in elevation or the onset of night. A character might require no special precautions during day or at low elevations, bur with nightfall or high altitude otherwise tolerable conditions may become dangerously cold.

Altitude: Temperatures drop by one band in low peak or high pass elevations (5,000 feet to 15,000 feet) and two bands in high peak elevations (15,000 feet or more). For example, a day that is otherwise moderate temperature at low elevation is cold at medium elevation and severe cold at high elevation.

Nightfall: In many areas, temperatures usually drop one band after the sun goes down. In exceptionally arid areas, the drop may be even more pronounced, reducing the temperature
by two steps.

Wind Chill: A strong wind does not actually lower the air temperature, but it increases the rate at which characters lose heat, and therefore appears to decrease the temperature. Winds that are strong or greater in strength reduce the effective temperature band by one step.

Protection Against Cold

Few people venture into a Brevoy winter without some form of protection against cold. By far the most common means of protection is dressing appropriately in cold weather clothing or heavy furs. Characters with access to magical protection often rely on spells or magic items to further improve their ability to survive cold climates.

A character’s protection against cold dangers is described by his level of protection, which ranges from 0 to 5 or more. Levels of protection are described below. To determine your
protective level, begin with your base protective level, and then add any of the equipment modifiers that apply.

Protection against cold does not confer any resistance to cold- a character dressed in cold weather clothing with an endure dements spell still rakes damage normally from a cone of cold spell or a white dragon’s breath. However, equipment that provides a bonus on saving throws against cold dangers contributes its bonus whether iris complete, partial, or ineffective
protection. For example, even though a cold weather outfit IS not sufficient to offer even partial protection against extreme cold, a character in a cold weather outfit still adds
the item’s +5 circumstance bonus on saves against the nonlethal damage of the extreme cold environment.

Base Level of Protection
0 Character or creature with no cold adaptations
1 Cold Endurance feat
Nonarctic animal with fur
Monsters native to cold terrain
2 Cold-tolerant race
Arctic animal with fur
Monsters native to extremely cold environments
3 Endure Elements spell or effect
Resistance to cold 5 or more

Cold Endurance Feat: Creatures or characters with the Cold Endurance feat.

Nonarctic Animal with Fur: Animals native to temperate or cold climates that have heavy fur coats (badgers, bears, wolves, and other such creatures).

Monsters Native to Cold Terrain: Creatures whose Environment entry includes a cold terrain.

Arctic Animal with Fur: Animals with special adaptation to cold environments (polar bears, seals, arctic foxes, and other such animals).

Monsters Native to Extremely Cold Environment: Monsters that are normally found in regions of extreme cold belong in this group. Example creatures include brown and polar bears, bison and caribou, arctic foxes, wolves, and wolverines.

Endure Elements: Characters currently protected by an endure elements spell or similar effect.

Resistance to Cold: A character with a spell or effect granting cold resistance applies its resistance to both lethal and nonlethal damage from cold temperatures. For example, a creature with resistance to cold 5 subtracts 5 points from the 1d6 points of cold damage dealt per 10
minutes by extreme cold (and therefore might take 1 point of cold damage, if a 6 is rolled) and 5 points from the 1d4 points of nonlethal damage dealt. Since the character never takes any nonlethal damage from the cold, they will nor suffer hypothermia or frostbite (see below).

Equipment Modifier
0 No special clothing
+1 Armor insulation
Cold weather outfit
Fur clothing
+2 Cold weather outfit + fur clothing
Armor insulation + fur clothing
+3 Improvised shelter

Armor Insulation: This special armor modification is described on the new equipment page.

Cold Weather Outfit: A cold weather outfit includes a wool coat, linen shirt, wool cap, heavy cloak, thick pants or skirt, and boots. This outfit grants a +5 circumstance bonus on Fortitude saving throws against exposure to cold weather.

Fur Clothing: Heavy furs are very good at protection against cold. Fur clothing can be worn over a cold weather outfit or armor insulation in order to provide protection against even more severe weather.

Improvised Shelter: Characters or creatures that are not attempting to travel, but instead stop and seek shelter in a snow cave, den, or similar shelter, can gain a bonus to their level of protection.

Example: A ranger with armor insulation and wearing furs has a protective level of 2. He can survive conditions of severe cold indefinitely without harm.


Frostbitten extremities become numb and pale as the supply of blood decreases due to cold temperatures. A character who takes any nonlethal damage from cold or exposure is beset by frostbite and suffers a -2 penalty to their Dexterity score.

Touching metal with bare skin can cause the moisture on your skin to freeze to the metal. When you pull away, you may leave a layer of skin behind.

Treating Frostbite
A successful DC 15 Heal check can cure frostbite, eliminating the fatigue. The DC is modified by the conditions listed in the table below.

Condition Heal DC Modifier
Cold environment +3
Immersion in warm water -5
Dry heat from flame -2*
*Healing frostbite using dry heat causes the victim to take 1d4 points of fire damage.


In any situation in which freezing temperatures are present, hypothermia is a potentially lethal risk. Hypothermia is a condition that results from the lowering of the body’s core temperature (whether caused quickly by immersion in freezing waters or over a long period of time by exposure to cold temperatures) and is marked by pale skin, rigid muscles, and loss of consciousness. The three stages of hypothermia are mild, moderate, and severe.

A character who rakes any nonlethal damage from cold or exposure is beset by mild hypothermia and therefore treated as fatigued. Immersion in chilled waters calls for an immediate check to
resist the effects of cold or exposure and increases the DC of all Fortitude saves to avoid taking damage from cold or resisting cold-based spells and effects by 10 until the character and their clothes become dry.

Once a character succumbs to mild hypothermia, they become susceptible to moderate and severe levels of hypothermia. Any character with mild hyporherm1a who fails a Fortitude save to avoid the effects of cold or exposure beset by moderate hypothermia and is treated as exhausted. Any character with moderate hypothermia who fails a Fortitude save to avoid the effects of cold or exposure is beset by severe hypothermia and is treated as disabled.

Treating Hypothermia
A successful DC 15 Heal check can lower the level of hypothermia of the victim by one level (severe to moderate, moderate to mild, mild to none). The DC is modified by the conditions listed in the table below.

Condition Heal DC Modifier
Wet clothing +2
Cold environment +3
Heat from fire -5
Body contact -1

Freezing and Thawing

Cold temperatures can freeze water, whether in pools, lakes, and oceans, or within living beings. In any case, the effects of freezing or thawing can prove dangerous or even disastrous.

Bodies of Water
Natural or magical cold can instantly freeze water. Likewise, natural flames and magical fire from spells and magic items can instantly thaw ice, potentially resulting in a flash flood.

Frozen Lakes and Rivers: A few inches of ice can turn a lake or river into a highway in cold weather, bur ice that is too thin for a traveler’s weight is very dangerous.

Ice Thickness Small Medium Large Huge
Up to 1 inch At risk Break Break Break
2-3 inches Safe At risk Break Break
4-6 inches Safe Safe At risk Break
7-23 inches Safe Safe Safe At risk
24+ inches Safe Safe Safe Safe

The size categories refer to creature size, or objects of an appropriate weight (60 pounds or less for Small, 500 pounds or less for Medium, 4,000 pounds or less for Large, and 16
tons or less for Huge).

Safe: The creature is nor at risk of breaking through the ice.

At Risk: Creatures who charge, run, jump, or fall on the ice may cause a break 50% chance per round of such activity).

Break: The ice cannot bear the creature’s weight, and breaks beneath it. If a creature causes a break in ice, the ice collapses in a circle whose radius is 5 feet larger than the space taken up
by the creature causing the break.

Thawing Ice: One cubic foot of ice can be converted to water for every 10 points of fire damage dealt to it. For example, a fireball deals 35 points of fire damage to an area of ice. As a result of this sudden explosion of fire and hear, 3-1/2 cubic feet of ice instantly turns into frigid water.

A flash-flood can suddenly raise the water level of an area. Water washes through squares, travelig at a speed of 40 feet unless impeded by slopes or solid barriers. Ice melted in confined
areas can result in a water level of several feet or more. Depending on the amount of water, characters may be forced to make Swim checks ro tread water or move.

Characters who become frozen because of a spell (such as Flesh to Ice) or monster ability (the frozen stare of a chilblain) are kept in a stare of suspended animation, but are otherwise unharmed.

However, any damage done to the new ice form is applied to the character’s body when he or she is returned to normal condition. Shattering a frozen creature instantly slays it, requiring a resurrection spell to bring the victim back to life. Natural or magical fire does not thaw out frozen characters.

Only an Ice to Flesh spell can return a frozen creature to its normal state.

Getting Lost

Travelers may become lost when traversing various sorts of terrain. Snowstorms, whiteout conditions, and barren ice tundra can easily disorient characters.

Terrain/Condition Survival DC
Mountains 12
Everfrost 13
Cold marsh 13
Ice field 15
Iceberg 15
Snow and ice cavern complex 15
Taiga forest 15
Tundra 16
Frozen sea 17
Glacier 20
Map -6
Precipitation (snow) +2
Snowstorm +4
Blizzard +6
White-out conditions +10

Winter Hazards

Into the Wild (KingMaker AP) karlprosek