4E Heavy Concrete Data on 4e's Skill Challenge System (long, lots of tables) - Page 7
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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldorian
    Sigh. Explain the skill challenge in the web enhancement for Keep on the Shadowfell, then. Feeling like a broken record =P
    Considering it's not in the context of that page, no.

    I'll stand by the way I read that page, thank you very much.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by fanboy2000
    Good point. Knowing my players, they'll be unbeatable at skill challenges involving bluff and insight, but crap at everything else. Well, until they catch on.

    Actually, I don't know about other people's party's but my players will have one or two Skilly McAwsomes in bluff, insight, and diplomacy, with another in thievery (actually, that may be the same guy depending on the campaign), and a third in arcana.

    I wonder how that works out overall. With skill challenges where we have a Skilly McAwsome, they win. But when he's taken away, they usually lose. Of course they don't lose as often in that scenario as often as the win in the other, so what would the overall win ratio be? How often is Skilly McAwsome a factor? I could be missing something, but it seems the more common he is, the more often the whole party wins, all other factors reflecting Stalker0's tables.
    Remember, Skilly McAwesome is not just a pretty-focused character (the Medium characters are actually pretty close to that). He's incredibly insane at one skill. It's impossible to build a character with standard point buy who would fit this description
    Skilly McAwsomes in bluff, insight, and diplomacy, with another in thievery (actually, that may be the same guy depending on the campaign)
    because it would require racial bonuses to Buff, Insight, Diplomacy, and Thievery + a starting stat of 20 in Wis, Cha, and Dex (and a continuing ability skill increase to all three of those stats at every level), each of which is separately impossible (plus four feats spent and a set of powers that would require weird multiclassing).

    The idea of Skilly McAwesome is that his ability in one skill is ramped up to the most ridiculous levels possible in the game. You couldn't have one guy do that to more than one skill (and usually you can't do it for any skills--it only works for a skill that has a racial +2 bonus to the skill and a racial +2 bonus to the skill's relevant stat)

  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldorian
    Sigh. Explain the skill challenge in the web enhancement for Keep on the Shadowfell, then. Feeling like a broken record =P
    I find it strange that you are using some rules as precedent to show that other rules are in error. Is it possible that, in the early stages of 4e, that the web enhancment is incorrect?

  4. #64
    All good work, Stalker0.

    It seems to me that 'Aid Another' should a highly situation-dependent bonus. The DM should allow it on some checks, disallow it on others, and even give penalties if it is attempting in illogical situations (how many PCs does it take to change a lightbulb?).

    Also, not meaning to hijack the thread, but I'm very curious what others make of my (simpler) solution to the Skill Challenge issue, found in this thread:

    http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=230222

    I've just added a few points to the thread, which I think emphasise its elegance. I would really appreciate some maths types bashing it to pieces though, as constructive criticism is all for the good.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skywalker
    Does that include an Easy Skill Challenge? Because if DCs set at 15, each PC has roughly a 65% of success in a trained skill, not even taking into account Aid. You really don't think the party will succeed once?
    Well, first I'd like to point out that you can stack any system in the players' favor if you pile on enough bonuses. That doesn't reflect, though, on the system itself. I'm talking about running a normal skill challenge by the book.

    The system instructs you to use moderate DCs as a starting point, and to subtract 1 level from the challenge if you use easy DCs. At that point, the challenge would be a 0 level challenge, and I don't think any experience should be awarded.

    I'm talking level 1 skill challenge, the normal moderate DCs. Stalker0's chart tells me that the party has less than a 10% chance of success, which is consistent with my group's experiences. Doesn't that seem extremely messed up to you?

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skywalker
    I find it strange that you are using some rules as precedent to show that other rules are in error. Is it possible that, in the early stages of 4e, that the web enhancment is incorrect?
    I see consistency, others see error. Not my problem.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldorian
    I see consistency, others see error. Not my problem.
    Unless of course, the consistency that you see is that both you and the author - who may not have been the one who wrote that table - are making the same error.

    Based on what we've seen so far, the web articles have been full of editing errors. No reason to suddenly start assuming they are infallible. And that web example has been reviled on this very forum because it's too bloody hard and any party who attempts it is likely to get TPK'd - something that skill challenges should NEVER do, according to the rules. If it breaks one rules of skill challenges, why should we assume it obeys the rest?

    And the more I think about this +5, the less sense it makes. Why subtract 5 from every number in the table if every conceivable use of these DCs requires the DM to add that 5 back in? Nobody who's saying the +5 applies to Skill Challenges has given me an answer to that question yet.

    For now, leaving the plus 5 off but disallowing aid another seems to solve the problem for low level adventures. 75% success chance is playable. 7% is not going to please any group of players, and no amount of debate or explanation is going to sugar-coat it enough to make it palatable.

    By the time any of us get to high level challenges where leaving the 5 off becomes a potential problem, some official errata or clarification should be available. At that point I'm hopeful any play group would accept the DM switching to those rules, provided that they're properly balanced this time.

  8. #68
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    What's the effect of players getting a DMs friend on all their rolls?

    I'd assume it would be the same as some number of assists.


    Also - it's interesting to note where the nasty dips happen here, and also that they happen because the table given for DCs deviates significantly from the text above it. Also that the text says to consult the table, then immediately after that suggests some eyeball figures.

    That said - the eyeball figures wouldn't work either because they'd quickly go to the "always succeed" end of the scale with stat bumps and feats.

    Another point to make would be that the skill challenge section never actually gives any numbers: it just references the skill DC table.

    If I had to guess, then the skill DC table was a late addition. It would be interesting to know how the numbers actually work with the suggested eyeball figures of 10,15 and 20 + half level.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurker37
    And the more I think about this +5, the less sense it makes. Why subtract 5 from every number in the table if every conceivable use of these DCs requires the DM to add that 5 back in? Nobody who's saying the +5 applies to Skill Challenges has given me an answer to that question yet.
    Huh? The table on page 42 is a generic DC table, for attacks, skills, ability checks. It's not just for skill DCs.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rystil Arden
    Remember, Skilly McAwesome is not just a pretty-focused character (the Medium characters are actually pretty close to that). He's incredibly insane at one skill. It's impossible to build a character with standard point buy who would fit this description because it would require racial bonuses to Buff, Insight, Diplomacy, and Thievery + a starting stat of 20 in Wis, Cha, and Dex (and a continuing ability skill increase to all three of those stats at every level).
    You're right. I'm still used to 3.5 where it was possible to be simultaneously awesome at several skills.

    I've re-read the tables, and it looks like Skilly McAwesome isn't as necessary as I thought. Especially with the new table, it looks like aid another is the crucial factor. (At least in these complexity 5 challenges, Stalker0 said that lower complexity challenges had lower PWR.) The PWRBA never dips below 79%. Even level 7 has a PWRBA of 82.3%.

    So the system seems to greatly favor a 5 person party working together.

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