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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Results of a set of Skill Challenges being invalidated by the DM, is this fair as designed or were the outcomes just poorly defined?

Playing a low level/early stages 5e + homebrew game with a few friends. Though our DM is fairly new they have put in a ton of really amazing work at setting the scene for us these first few sessions. ...
Rob Themes's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
368 views

Are ability scores ever rolled for checks?

Are there checks against the ability scores? I do not mean skills. Eg. In a tavern, a player is challenged to an arm wrestle. Is this resolved via a D20+STR or is this invalid because this is what ...
Jarryd's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
242 views

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 ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
464 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 ...
Hey I Can Chan's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
2k views

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 ...
Undead-bedhead's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
393 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 ...
Grizzley's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
34k 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 ...
ajani-greatmane's user avatar
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. ...
DoubleDragon's user avatar
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 ...
schroeder's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
190 views

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 ...
Aldath Le'Carde's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
9k 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 ...
Tobold's user avatar
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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 ...
Tobold's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
481 views

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?
olinarr's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
304 views

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 ...
derp's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
5k views

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 moderate ...
detly's user avatar
  • 3,169
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 ...
F. Randall Farmer's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
270 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 ...
detly's user avatar
  • 3,169
5 votes
2 answers
590 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 ...
Jeff's user avatar
  • 389
6 votes
2 answers
389 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... (...
Eilleen's user avatar
  • 439
4 votes
2 answers
581 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 ...
kravaros's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
Luke Burgin's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
542 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 "...
Luke Burgin's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
241 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 "...
Brian Ballsun-Stanton's user avatar
22 votes
3 answers
39k 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 ...
The Jug's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

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 ...
xan's user avatar
  • 193
7 votes
3 answers
663 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 ...
OddCore's user avatar
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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 ...
Arrya Regan's user avatar
  • 2,219
6 votes
3 answers
511 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 ...
Cliff Morgan's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
172 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 ...
corsiKa's user avatar
  • 1,172
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 ...
F. Randall Farmer's user avatar
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 ...
Wilmanric's user avatar
  • 2,047
6 votes
2 answers
390 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. ...
Chris R's user avatar
  • 169
7 votes
4 answers
604 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 ...
Paige Watson's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
617 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 ...
Brian Ballsun-Stanton's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
490 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 ...
Brian Ballsun-Stanton's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Player's Side Blog's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
1k 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 ...
digitaljoel's user avatar
  • 1,778
50 votes
13 answers
5k 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 ...
Boris Callens's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
4k 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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