You might have stumbled onto a D&D piton when looking through equipment lists, especially in the Burglar’s Pack, Climbing Kit, or Explorer’s Pack.
What is a piton in D&D?
A piton in D&D is a small, spike-shaped piece of metal with a ring on one end. They are used for climbing walls or other sheer surfaces that do not have adequate handholds. Pitons can also be used as weapons or to secure doors. A piton weighs .025 lb. A set of 10 pitons costs 5 copper pieces.
Pitons are sometimes called pegs or pins.
Now that we know what a piton in D&D is, let’s look at the item’s important attributes:
|Piton Attributes||Piton Details|
|Metal||Silver or iron|
|Cost||5 copper pieces for 10|
Parts of a Piton in Dungeons and Dragons
A piton is a straightforward climbing tool with four distinct parts:
- Blade—The flat metal spike that is driven into the rock.
- Anvil—The wider, flat end that you strike with a hammer.
- Eye—The loop that is used to attach a climbing rope.
- Shaft—The sturdy metal shaft that connects the blade and anvil.
What Is a Piton in DND 5E?
A piton in the fifth edition of DND is the same as in earlier editions.
It is a standard piece of climbing equipment. You typically purchase pitons in sets of 10. A set of 10 pitons can weigh five pounds.
The piton can be acquired individually or as part of a Climber’s Kit, Burglar’s Pack, or Explorer’s Pack.
What Is a Piton in D&D 6E?
A piton in D&D 6E (the sixth edition) will likely be the same as all previous editions. The definition, use, weight, and cost generally remain the same from one edition of Dungeons and Dragons to the next.
That’s because a piton is a basic item for climbing.
If you plan to roleplay a character with climbing abilities, you’ll definitely want to include pitons in your equipment list.
Having the items needed to quickly scale a wall or mountain can prove invaluable to your party in certain adventures.
What Are a Hammer and Piton?
A hammer and piton are rudimentary climbing tools.
They consist of a metal spike, which you drive into the rock (with the hammer) to make holds for your hands and feet.
Climbing pitons can be used to secure a rope to jagged or uneven surfaces so you and your companions can safely scale vertical or overhanging rock faces.
A hammer and piton is also a special feat of some fighters in D&D.
Types of Pitons in D&D
In real life (and some homebrew D&D worlds), you can possess different variants of metal pitons. The types differ by design and specific climbing purpose.
Here are a few types of real-life pitons to use in D&D:
- Blade pitons—These pitons look like the sharp blade of a knife. They vary in thickness and length.
- Knifeblad pitons—A similar design to a blade piton, but with a super thin edge that is useful for cutting into smaller openings in a rock face.
- Angle pitons—Angle pitons come in a single U-shaped metal sheet. They weigh less than other pitons.
What Do Pitons Do in D&D?
You attach a rope to the eye of the piton with a quick-release knot.
You may need to hammer the piton in with a rock (or actual hammer, if you have one).
When you hammer the piton into a surface, you want it to be secure enough that when you tug on the rope, the piton doesn’t come out.
Pitons allow you to pull yourself higher on a climbing surface. You can also use them as toeholds or anchor yourself to a wall.
The special piton in the Climber’s Kit prevents you from falling farther than 25 feet from your last anchor point.
What Do Pitons Not Do?
Pitons in D&D are not infallible.
Too much weight on the rope can pull it out of the piton, resulting in injury or death for you and your party. It is probably best to secure ropes as much as possible and to only allow experienced climbers to use them.
When using pitons, you can use a spell to protect inexperienced climbers.
How Do You Use Pitons in D&D?
There are several ways to use pitons in D&D. The primary use is climbing, but you can also use pitons as weapons and to secure doors.
Read below for even more options.
You Can Use Pitons to Climb
Most of the time, your player will use pitons for climbing.
You use pitons by triggering the “Activate Item” action. This will require you to spend these pitons. Most of the time, you’ll need a hammer and two free hands.
You can also anchor yourself, which keeps you from falling.
In this way, you can free up one or both hands for:
- Using weapons
- Other purposes (like helping other players or reading a map)
Each foot of climbing costs an extra 1 foot of movement. Make that 2 feet when climbing difficult terrain (like a slippery wall).
An exception is when a player possesses a climbing speed, ability, feat, spell, or magical item. A successful Strength (Athletics) check is sometimes required to climb any surface that is slippery or offers few (if any) handholds.
You Can Use Pitons As a Weapon
You can also use a piton as a weapon.
Any character can wield a piton in combat, but a fighter can also choose the Hammer and Piton feat.
Typically, you need:
- A climbing rank of 3
- A strength of 15
You Can Use Pitons To Spike Door Hinges
If you want to block escape routes or hunker down in a certain room, you can use a piton.
Simply jam the piton into the door hinge.
This makes the door much more difficult to open or close.
Other Creative Uses for a Piton in D&D
The rules for piton use in D&D are fairly open-ended, so you can experiment.
If you use a little imagination, I’m sure you’ll find endless possibilities for the common piton.
Consider these creative uses for D&D pitons:
- Quick escape route
- Test acid or other unknown substances
- Prod a dead body
- Chisel a surface
- Noise maker
- Test the depth of a hole or pit
- Make a trap
- Torture/interrogate an enemy
- Tying items, creatures, or NPCs down
- Mark a trail through a forest or unknown dungeon
- Distract or slow down a rust-eating monster
Here is a good video that discusses more creative ways to use pitons in DND:
How Much Are Pitons in D&D?
The most common price for pitons is 5 copper pieces (5cp) for a set of 10 pitons. You can easily carry a set in your equipment bag.
Of course, some pitons might cost more from some sellers.
Especially in areas of high demand (like mountainous areas) or where good pitons are rare. If you find a magical piton that is extra strong or magically reusable, then it might cost much more.
How Do You Get Pitons in D&D?
Most of the time, you either start with a set of equipment (based on your character build and the Dungeon Master). You can also purchase pitons in the D&D game.
A Climber’s Kit generally comes with:
- A harness
- Boot tips
It’s also possible that you can borrow or buy pitons from other players in your D&D group.
Lastly, you could buy, borrow, or steal pitons from NPCs.
How Many Pitons Do You Need in D&D?
The minimum I would suggest is a set of 10 pitons.
If possible, get a few packs and make sure to replenish your supply as you use them during adventures.
Technically, a single piton can be used for climbing, combat, and other one-time uses.
Are Pitons Reusable in DND?
If you climb up and down a wall or mountain, you can easily retrieve and reuse your pitons. In other circumstances, you will use pitons once to climb.
You would leave them in the wall or mountain if escaping, time-limited, or unable to reach them.
It is possible that your Dungeon Master (DM) will give you a magic piton that is reusable.
An endless bag of pitons would be very nice!
You or another player might also cast a spell to duplicate your piton.
How Long Does It Take To Use a Piton in Dungeons and Dragons?
According to Pathfinder, it takes approximately one minute to use each piton.
That includes pulling the piton out of your bag, securing it to the wall or surface, and even tying your rope to it.
Final Thoughts: Piton in D&D
Pitons are super-versatile tools in any campaign.
Clever players will keep pitons in their bag of tricks. That’s what makes D&D fun.
If pitons are a major part of your character, consider coming up with your own special pitons, inscribed with runes or your family crest.
Comprehensive Equipment Manual
The Arms and Equipment Guide