Questions tagged [skill-challenge]

For questions about the Skill Challenge mechanic in D&D 4e. Skill Challenges involve the player characters' skills and abilities being challenged by the GM in a non-combat way.

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Balancing a conflict resolution system favouring players picking a spread of skills and attributes in a challenge, while rewarding some over others?

Introduction I'm hoping I can draw on the Game Designer experience of this stack to help be make a decision on a dice-based conflict resolution system I'm designing for an RPG that I've been ...
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7 votes
1 answer
431 views

How can my heroic tier PC contribute more during skill challenges?

My character isn't much use during skill challenges, and the campaign has seen, like, 25% of encounters be skill challenges. I'd like my character to contribute more during skill challenges, whether ...
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18 votes
1 answer
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Are skill challenges an official option or homebrewed?

I'm curious about skill challenges and looking for official literature regarding how to implement one but am not finding anything. Are skill challenges in 5e homebrewed? Note that a skill challenge ...
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3 votes
0 answers
300 views

What rpg Succeed/Fail rolling systems are out there? [closed]

I am studying how games balance skill and chance using dice based systems. There are many systems like D&D's D20 system or the Burning Wheels (unnamed D6 system) that take a blend of skill and ...
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5 votes
3 answers
30k views

How to Run a Trial Based on Skills? [closed]

So I will be putting my group through a final exam in their knight training. I wanted to have each trial in the exam based off of one of the six Dungeons and Dragons attributes. I figured that ...
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0 votes
2 answers
2k views

Difficulty of Skill Challenge [closed]

I have read the other posts about this but they do not give me the info I want. My party is level 2 and they have done a few SC so far, however they always seem to be unbalanced on way or the other. ...
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10 votes
5 answers
1k views

Letting PCs be the target of a skill challenge

I started a new campaign with a brand-new set of players. After the first evening, one of the PCs reacted poorly to a decision made by another PC and 'went home'. This reaction was totally in ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Skill Challenges, how much are my players supposed to know?

reading some of the Published Adventures for 4e I've found some Skill Challenges to have some obscure elements, such as using Endurance to give a friend a +2 to the roll on their turn, or making an ...
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7 votes
2 answers
8k views

How do I run a skill challenge?

Follow-up question to Where can I find actual play examples of skill challenges? The Dungeon Master's Guide 2 on pages 80-81 has an example of play of a skill challenge. The DM just describes the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Where can I find actual play examples of skill challenges?

I understand the 4E rules for skill challenges, including the revisions in DMG2. But when I read the "examples of play" it strikes me that the players in the examples are suspiciously good at picking ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Should I take turns during a skill challenge?

I'm trying to use 4e's skill challenges in Pathfinder, but I have a question: should I ask my player to roll for initiative and take turns to Win the challenge, or just the best PCs should play it?
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4 votes
2 answers
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How can I successfully integrate skill challenges without a grid in DnD 4e?

DnD 4e is based on tactical combat on a grid. Yet when I read the dungeon master's guide, I saw skill challenges for situations that don't seem to require a grid. For instance: Urban Chase. The ...
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4 votes
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What are the canonical DC numbers for a skill challenge?

I'm putting together some skill challenges for D&D 4e, and I've come across some inconsistencies that I can't quite reconcile. Let's take as an example: a single check in the context of a ...
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12 votes
7 answers
3k views

Alternatives to Pass-Fail skill challenges in D&D 4e

Non-Combat encounters should be fun, not frustrating! I'm a veteran (AD&D) DM running D&D 4e, and my first-time players really enjoy the game I'm running for them. Though, the skill-challenge ...
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2 votes
2 answers
261 views

From what skill or ability would nonchalance derive?

I'm creating a skill challenge in which the characters might be selected for a "random" search by the local police that could go badly for them. If they look anxious or aggressive, the police are far ...
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5 votes
2 answers
486 views

Squeezing. Skill check (in a skill challenge)?

I am preparing a skill challenge for my group. On a fail branch they are going to hit a wall that they can squeeze through (group check) or can back track Athletics. What skill would I use for ...
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6 votes
2 answers
351 views

How to create an only skill challange quest?

First time playing D&D, first time DMing and first time creating a quest. The plot is simple: the players arrive at a town, they hear about a treasure and off they go to collect their riches... (...
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4 votes
2 answers
481 views

What skills can I use for a mounted chase?

I recently found these pathfinder rules about using skill checks for running a chase. I would like to adapt them to my D&D game, however, I wanted to run a mounted chase. Are there any skill ...
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4 votes
3 answers
268 views

Retrying a failed skill challenge

On page 74 of the DMG (Step 5: Consequences), it says that if you fail a skill challenge, it can become more difficult, such as detouring you in a different direction. Could you attempt the same ...
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3 votes
1 answer
483 views

What is the difference between Skill Challenges and Skill Checks?

I was reading the DMG (p 72 to be specific), and I noticed that "haggling with a merchant" is just a simple Diplomacy check and not a complete skill challenge. How does a "skill check" differ from a "...
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5 votes
1 answer
203 views

How does the Goliath's "Natural Intimidator" interact with skill challenges where the use of intimidate automatically fails?

If a goliath takes "Natural Intimidator" which notes that they only fail intimidate rolls if they fail by more than 5, and tries to intimidate someone in a skill challenge where intimidation "...
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22 votes
3 answers
38k views

Festival Mini Games [closed]

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 ...
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9 votes
2 answers
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How to manage character arguments / conflict?

I'm a new DM and have just started a 4e game as Play by Post. The game has started with one character (Bob) recruiting in a pub and the first response was from another character (Al) wanting to ...
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  • 193
7 votes
3 answers
384 views

How should I make a musical performance into a skill check that is interesting and dynamic?

So in the past I have ran 3.5 DnD while one of the characters was a bard that was in a band with other bard NPC's and occasionally, they hosted concerts in Inns. The way I did it back then was a ...
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7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Should the DM announce to the players they are in a skill challenge?

I am completely new to DMing and I am considering including a skill challenge in my next game. Most of the players are new to 4e and one of them is new to D&D in general. Should I explain to them ...
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6 votes
3 answers
499 views

How do you encourage the use of lesser trained skills in a skill challenge?

I've been playing in a D&D 4e campaign for almost a year now, and as a Bard for the last several months. At 15th level, my character's Perception is 28 (38 passive), with Insight coming in second ...
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5 votes
3 answers
170 views

Information about a solstice - what skill to challenge?

I'm adding a plot hook about some murders that take place on each winter and summer solstice. (It's up to the characters to find out that a mysterious wizard who lives south of town comes into town ...
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  • 1,162
13 votes
3 answers
1k views

Non-combat objective: Delay larger enemy force

I'm re-writing the "Battle of Albridge" encounters from The DM-kit's Reavers of Harkenwold. As supplied they are mostly just a rehash of earlier fight-to-the-death skirmishes on re-used maps. Instead ...
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8 votes
3 answers
3k views

Skill Checks in 4e -- specific help

For the purposes of this question, please assume that I have four characters in play. They all have "Acrobatics" skill. They are 1st, 5th, 10th, and 15th levels respectively. They are in a bar and ...
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6 votes
2 answers
384 views

How to fix this scenario for D&D Encounters?

I just finished running a D&D Encounters season 3 ep 11 session, and I'm dissatisfied with how it ended; I want to fix it next week with a bit of retroactive play before moving on to the finale. ...
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7 votes
4 answers
572 views

How do I work Powers into Skill Challenges?

I am a rather new DM (returning after 18 years) and I had a question about running a Skill Challenge called "Give it Back". The party was chasing a thief through the market and the mage said "I'm ...
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12 votes
4 answers
601 views

What rules govern the use of encounter powers in extended-duration skill challenges?

A party with a shaman and a bard are navigating an "imperial bureaucracy." Abstracted into one skill challenge, this presents the process of moving from bureaucrat to bureaucrat, meetings over ...
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5 votes
2 answers
479 views

How can you add more meaning to skill challenges through narration?

This question is inspired by Baker's discussion of "What's at Stake?" and "Skill Challenges: All in the Cards" I run many of my 4e games as pregen adventures and the skill challenges tend to be ...
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Combat Skill Challenges

I've seen a combat run as a skill challenge before, and it worked quite well. I'm wondering, though, if anyone has made more formal rules for a combat skill challenge, beyond "pick main skills and set ...
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9 votes
5 answers
945 views

How do you involve all players in a skill challenge?

I really liked some of the answers given to the question about enhancing skill challenges particularly the ones related to making it more role-playing based. So, now the question is, when you get to ...
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51 votes
13 answers
4k views

How do I make skill checks more than just sequences of die chucking?

I think I don't get skill challenges. As I understand it at some point I break the narrative by proclaiming: "This is a skill challenge. You need 5 victories before you reach 3 failures. Go" And then ...
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7 votes
4 answers
3k views

Need skill challenge ideas for Nature

Beyond tracking and survival I could sure appreciate some brainstorming around good ideas for skill challenges using Nature. Ability to add in Diplomacy, Bluff, Religion, History and Arcana are ...
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21 votes
5 answers
1k views

What makes a skill challenge great?

What makes a skill challenge a good one. What makes then enjoyable and fun? What ways can we make them memorable?
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