D&D: How To Cross A Chasm When You’re Just Low Level Beans
Crossing a chasm is an age-old challenge in D&D, one that tests the might and mettle of many an adventuring party. Here’s how you can prevail.
When it comes to D&D, there is no problem as iconic as having to get from one side of a deep chasm to another without an obvious bridge. Depending on your DM, and the level of your party, you could spend the entire session trying to get past this dangerous, but passive obstacle. There’s even a break in player tiers where things like a canyon no longer pose a problem–but before you get there, here are a few things you can try as early as 1st level.
Make a Bridge
If you’re going up against a chasm, one of the first things you might think to do is put down a log to see if you can cross it. But what if the chasm is too big? Well, you can always think bigger, and build yourself a bridge.
All you need is proficiency with carpenter’s tools and Architecture and Engineering and you ought to be able to at the very least make your checks and get yourself a rudimentary path across.
If you don’t have that kind of time, rope is cheap and comes pretty standard in 50 foot lengths. Drop a few gold pieces back in town and you should be able to cross any reasonable chasm you come to. All you need is a way of getting the rope across–Long Bows have a long range of 600 feet. But if that doesn’t work, Find Familiar is also a great spell, just summon up a flying familiar, give them one end of the rope and a grappling hook, have them fly it across.
Not sure if your familiar can do it? Well convince your Druid not to be a bear one time today, and instead get them to wild shape into something small, have them hold the rope while the familiar holds the druid. You’ll have to be 2nd level for that trick to work though. Either way, make sure your rope stays tied together.
We recommend a double fisherman’s knot. Send one rope, then another, sprinkle in a couple of planks or just make an easy Acrobatics check and you’ve got a bridge.
Of course, if you don’t have a longbow or a familiar and your druid refuses to be anything other than a bear, you could always try to take the long way around. Chasms don’t typically bisect the world, and unless you’re playing in some kind of weird video game world where you can’t just go around it… you can just go around it. Tell your DM you’re headed around it–if you have a flying familiar, they ought to be able to scout for you–and yeah, it’ll take some extra time, but that just means more time for things to get tense.
Maybe you don’t have the luxury of time. In that case, how deep is this chasm anyway? You’ve got rope (I hope), and even if you can’t cross to the other side on a bridge, you might be able to climb down, cross the chasm at the bottom where there’s ground, then climb up the other side. This is definitely harder to do, because you’ll be rolling climb checks, and unless you’re kitted out for climbing (which you could be, if you’re a first level rogue with expertise in Athletics), you’ll have your work cut out for you. But you can do it–who knows, you might even find some treasure down there.
Buy the DM a Pizza
Finally the age-old solution to any problem in D&D: microtransactions. Stuck at an impassable wall? No bridge across the chasm? Get everyone to chip in five bucks and order a pizza for the table, then watch as your problems melt away like the cheese, stuffed into the crust.