My D&D party will be going to a town with a festival in it. Generally during festivals there may be some games that are going on, kind of like small carnival type games or "mini games", ones that also may be of chance or just showing off some skill.

I'd like to come up with some skill challenges for the group based off a variety of these types of games. Something simple that lets the group use skills outside of a dangerous situation and in a more fun environment.

Is there a list or already created encounters for such types of games in a book or pregenerated session? I don't want them to be anything super complicated, something just easy to do for the party to have fun with for a short bit.

While I'm looking for some that specifically use the D&D 4E skills for my situation I can also easily adapt them from another system so answers do not need to have 4E specifically in mind.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you have a DDI account, I ran this (wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/duad/20100317) with my group and they loved it. It's a race from one side of a city to the other. \$\endgroup\$
    – madrius
    Commented Jun 13, 2012 at 17:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Remember we do not do "list questions" here (questions where everyone response with specific items in an unbounded list). Therefore answers suggesting a single minigame are off topic, please link to lists or otherwise give a more comprehensive answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 15:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why the change back of tags? \$\endgroup\$
    – mawimawi
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 16:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mawimawi Don't know. I added back the tag since I did mention it can be for any system. Leaving dnd-4e cause I did ask for some specific to that originally. \$\endgroup\$
    – The Jug
    Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 20:50

3 Answers 3


Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #325, "Unusual Customs and Festivals" is full of things that could easily be turned into skill challenges.

Why have yet another footrace or archery contest when you can have a rousing Cheese Rolling contest, a longboat-pulling contest, or an all-village game of Bottle Kicking from here to the next village after the ceremonial Hare Pie Scramble?

As a bonus, the festivals and customs are all real-world examples, despite the oddness of them. For more inspiration you can look up their actual history; for example: Cheese Rolling (Wikipedia).

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    \$\begingroup\$ I also wanted to point to Tournaments, Fairs, and Taverns based on its description, but it's a $10 PDF and I haven't tried it so I can't personally speak to its usefulness for this purpose. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 13, 2012 at 18:21

Nicolai Grunnett compiled a great list of various games on his blog. On this page (or this archived page, if the original is gone) you find stuff like

  • Sasserinian Roulette
  • The Egg hunt
  • Dragon Tossing
  • Dragon Shooting
  • Catch the Greased Dragon
  • Tug-o-war

and many others. Most of these do not only have some description, but even exact rules which you can just use.

  • jousting
  • wooden sword melee
  • bard-off
  • storytelling (e.g. who has climbed the highest mountain)
  • dance-off
  • cooking
  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you cite your sources for this answer? Answers with no citations are subject to deletion. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 16:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov do you mean historically accurate references? Or the name of the person who conceived those games? Or something else? \$\endgroup\$
    – Vorac
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 6:42

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