4E Heavy Concrete Data on 4e's Skill Challenge System (long, lots of tables) - Page 2

# Thread: Heavy Concrete Data on 4e's Skill Challenge System (long, lots of tables)

1. @ the OP: The skill challenge system also leaves a lot of room to the DM for tweaking, in various ways, so that the challenge is more appropriate for this game. Once the DM gets the hang of them, he should be able to tailor them to his group and adjust them, so that the PCs have a better chance of succeeding using skills which make sense for the challenge, and a smaller chance with other skills, and so on. He can apply conditional bonuses, he can adjust things on the fly, he can reward creative thinking and he can deny really silly ideas.

The problem with the math, in this case, is twofold; the model can't possibly encompass the wide variety of options inherent in the system, and the event sample is just too small for the math to be relevant.

If you feel more comfortable creating your own system, then by all means go for it, but you should make it more clear (since you've already gone to all the trouble of presenting all of that in such a manner) that all that math is there solely for supporting your opinion that the system is flawed, nothing more.

2. Originally Posted by Stalker0
As Rystil mentioned, those skyrocket win rates are the results of aid another. Without them, the party's win rate remains very low until the highest levels.
But what if, say, 2 characters are aiding one, another one is making his won check on his own, and the last two are working together?

And the many combinations of this posssible... multiplied by the different combinations of skill ranks owned by each character. It seems to me that there are dozens of possible columns on that table, not just the three or so given.

I may be not understanding the tables well - it is late, and I'm not inclined to analyse them, so if I've completely misunderstood then feel free to just say so.

3. Dare I even mention the possibility of a character with a trained skill linked to a stat which does not increase?

E.G. Religion for a paladin with only 13 int. No points in Int except at 11 and 21. I can see this happening if they wanted to qualify for a multiclass or other feat.

I know you've put a lot of work into these, but I'm hoping they still exist in spreadsheet form so you add another column and see what effect this has. This would be a step between bad and medium, so I expect you'd assume no items or skill focus.

4. Originally Posted by Morrus
But what if, say, 2 characters are aiding one, another one is making his won check on his own, and the last two are working together?

And the many combinations of this posssible... multiplied by the different combinations of skill ranks owned by each character. It seems to me that there are dozens of possible columns on that table, not just the three or so given.

I may be not understanding the tables well - it is late, and I'm not inclined to analyse them, so if I've completely misunderstood then feel free to just say so.
The table only shows the effects of 4 people attempting to aid the first person, so your not wrong. As to your question, the system mentions in aid another a +8 is the limit, so there's no reason the scenario I mentioned can't happen. Further, by mid heroic tier, party members start autopassing aid another rolls, so if they are willing to aid, why wouldn't they all try to aid 1 person?

Aid Another is one of the first rules I fixed in my new system, to prevent this kind of abuse.

5. Originally Posted by Morrus
II'm not dedicated enough to analyze the tables above;
Then you honestly have nothing to say. Not trying to be rude here, but if you don't understand what he's saying, then you can't make any conclusions about what he's saying. In fact, stating that you didn't read and comprehend his work and then judging it is kinda rude.

Originally Posted by Mezzer
@ the OP: The skill challenge system also leaves a lot of room to the DM for tweaking, in various ways, so that the challenge is more appropriate for this game. Once the DM gets the hang of them, he should be able to tailor them to his group and adjust them, so that the PCs have a better chance of succeeding using skills which make sense for the challenge, and a smaller chance with other skills, and so on. He can apply conditional bonuses, he can adjust things on the fly, he can reward creative thinking and he can deny really silly ideas.
You're not getting the point of his work. The point is, a DM mediocre at judging probability would be capable of trusting the math in the book for running combat (this has been shown by the massive amount of playing that's been done for combat already). The skill challenge system would fail him utterly. Completely and utterly. He'd read the section in the book, try to run it, and it'd never perform up to expectations. Just look at the skill challenge added via web enhancement for Keep on the Shadowfell. It's nearly impossible to win with the playtest characters.

Spoiler: [Spoiler]In fact, they're far more likely to lose the final fight if they even ATTEMPT to do it, because of the attacks they get for failing their individual attempts.[/spoiler]

6. Originally Posted by Stalker0
The table only shows the effects of 4 people attempting to aid the first person, so your not wrong. As to your question, the system mentions in aid another a +8 is the limit, so there's no reason the scenario I mentioned can't happen. Further, by mid heroic tier, party members start autopassing aid another rolls, so if they are willing to aid, why wouldn't they all try to aid 1 person?

Aid Another is one of the first rules I fixed in my new system, to prevent this kind of abuse.
It's still not clear to me that Aid Another is supposed to be usable in a Skill Challenge. At least, if it is allowable, then they've put in some redundantly pointless options, since as you said, Aid Another is quickly an auto-success (and the options they include for + or - 2 are Easy Checks, which can usually still fail at least some of the time).

7. Originally Posted by Mezzer
If you feel more comfortable creating your own system, then by all means go for it, but you should make it more clear (since you've already gone to all the trouble of presenting all of that in such a manner) that all that math is there solely for supporting your opinion that the system is flawed, nothing more.
I have worked with numbers, equations, and game mechanics for a long time...and I will say that if my more detailed analysis of the system had shown that my initial conclusions were wrong, I would say so...in a public thread where I would recant my findings and apologize for wasting people's time.

Yes, I have taken a painstaking amount of time crafting a new system, and I am very proud of it. I have also taken a painstaking amount of time detailing the evidence I have discovered about the current system, in a way that is organized and to the point. My conclusions are that the system is flawed, and I believe my numbers back that assertion up. I have even included aid another information, because the community requested it.

So you will pardon me if I sound a bit angered at your tone of post, but I am not just doing this to shout doom and gloom at WOTC or 4e. My conclusions have hard, factual evidence, and I will continue to work with the community on seeing the truth behind the current system and to continue to work on a better one...whatever truth that may lead to.

8. Originally Posted by Eldorian
You're not getting the point of his work. The point is, a DM mediocre at judging probability would be capable of trusting the math in the book for running combat (this has been shown by the massive amount of playing that's been done for combat already). The skill challenge system would fail him utterly. Completely and utterly. He'd read the section in the book, try to run it, and it'd never perform up to expectations. Just look at the skill challenge added via web enhancement for Keep on the Shadowfell. It's nearly impossible to win with the playtest characters.

Spoiler: [Spoiler]In fact, they're far more likely to lose the final fight if they even ATTEMPT to do it, because of the attacks they get for failing their individual attempts.[/spoiler]
If you trust the numbers, that is indeed what they indicate. But there is one very good reason why the numbers aren't relevant; the glaringly low event sample which the numbers address.

In my opinion, an individual DM can do much more good than any amount of number crunching in this regard, and while the idea of helping out new DMs with an easier system may have its merits, said DM will never learn how to adjust the system to his needs if he simply uses the proposed substitute. And yes, he will have to get a grasp of it, like any other system.

@Stalker0: I'm not trying to diminish your efforts in any way, I'm just saying that the data you posted is, in my opinion, a fair deal less relevant than you made it seem.

9. Originally Posted by Dave Turner
Do the Table 3 conclusions assume that each PC making a skill check is "medium", as per your initial assumptions?
They do. Basically in this case the players are using the actual DC written in the table, instead of the "real" DCs.

10. Originally Posted by Eldorian
Then you honestly have nothing to say. Not trying to be rude here, but if you don't understand what he's saying, then you can't make any conclusions about what he's saying. In fact, stating that you didn't read and comprehend his work and then judging it is kinda rude.
I've judged nothing; I've asked several questions.

Eldorian, you may be under the impression that just because I own the place I'm not entitled to benefit from the civility rules here; you are incorrect in that assumption. You do not get to say "Then you honestly have nothing to say" to anyone on this board; that includes me. Please keep the civility guidelines in mind when posting on EN World. If you have a query about these rules, you may email me for clarification.