|Wander climbs a colossus in Shadow of the Colossus.|
My inspirations for this article stemmed from two sources. One was Dragon Magazine issue #306, which included an article called "Power Fantasy" by JD Wiker. In this article, Wiker presented rules for "cinematic combat" like swinging from a chandelier and throwing an opponent. These were elements I'd always wanted to include in a game, yet found the core rules of d20-based games lacking in representation of them. The second inspiration originated roughly around the same time; a video game published by Level-5 called Shadow of the Colossus (also known as Wander and the Colossus in Japan.) In Shadow of the Colossus, the hero was a boy and his horse who traveled together across a vast countryside in search of colossi to take down by climbing, running and vaulting all over them to strike at the vulnerable points in their stony armor.
Evoking the feeling of Shadow of the Colossus is easy in Pathfinder, thanks to the universal Combat Maneuver Defense rules. This simplification of the old opposed roll checks from 3.X D&D makes it a simple matter of making a single check to perform a list of combat maneuvers. Below I've outlined a new combat maneuver called a Combat Climb, allowing characters to spring into action and clamor up and around on gigantic opponents. With Bestiary 4 out now, introducing the titanic Kaiju creature subtype, this sort of cinematic combat is delivered right on time.
Feel free to share your own stories of characters successfully (or unsuccessfully) battling atop gigantic, moving beasts in the comments section below.