Geology people! My D&D group is in a cave system carved by a river. The river has lots of little breaks and rapids in it, and is currently about 2 ft deep.

Would the walls of the channel be rough and claimable or smooth from being worn away by the river? Can I justify it being rough? If so, what type of rock do I say it is?

@Canageek Not a geologist, but I read about caves for games. Sandstone or limestone will wear away fast, mostly be smooth but often steep or undercut, hard to grip onto, and breaks off easy. But it's easy to use spikes & ropes over limestone.

Granite takes forever to wear down, unless there's loose rock upstream, and then it'll chip away at the channel as it comes down. Impossible to hammer a spike in, cuts up climbers & ropes as they climb.

@mdhughes But neither are 'scramble up the wall when the goblins are coming and snipe from a ledge'

That said, looking at the map, I think the goblins may have expanded the trail-side of the passage, which would make the lower part at least more climbable. Could have lead to a rockslide that left a ledge?

@mdhughes It has to be some sort of rock that doesn't wear smooth easily, since the river is full of waterfalls and rapids.

@Canageek Someone determined with sledgehammers could break some paths in granite (or any solid rock, not everything's that hard). Then you can channel the players up where you want.



It's d&d so magic could've been used to carve whatever the heck you want. Put some ancient runes on the walls.

@hmaon @mdhughes WOuld work if I'd described it that way from the start, but I described it as a natural cave, and the goblins in it have no magic.

I picked a compromise: The goblins used pickaxes to expand the walkway alongside the river that carved out the cave, so its possible to climb, but there isn't anything wide enough to stand on and use both hands to fire a bow

@pericat Fresh water river though :(

I'm thinking of having there be some crude expansion of the passage by the goblins leaving it climable in some places but no others. .

@Canageek well, if it MUST be fresh... :) There's a good deal of rock talk in a novel by Nevada Barr, 'Blind Descent' where passages are formed in a cave by water action, and also much climbing in those passages. Not sure how much time/energy you want to invest, though.

@Canageek psh. details, details! :)

Good luck with the worldbuilding, though, it sounds neat. I'm sorry I can't be of more help.

@pericat No worries. I've told the person that they can climb the cave wall without much trouble due to the goblins expanding it crudely, but there are ledges they can stand on wide enough to have both hands free to use a bow.

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