Stalker0's Obsidian Skill Challenge System (Update: Version 1.1) Now with PDF!! - Page 4




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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon_eater
    With your example large challenge (Escape from Jail), how much does succeeding or failing at the first section effect the success rate for the third section?

    Also If success is worth experience equal to a complexity 5 skill challenge, how would you recommend giving experience for partial success?
    I would give 50% of the XP for a partial success. Personally, I think rating an Obsidian challenge as equal to 5 equal-level monsters is a tad generous (after all, Obsidian has fewer rolls than the core system). However, if it encourages great roleplaying and storytelling, it's completely worth it. The 50% penalty for partial success would pull things down a bit, but in the end I think you would get the same XP overall per game session for Skill Challenges vs combat.

 

  • #32
    Stalker,

    Table 1, page 3, right?

    It's got all 30 levels of DC. Look again. : )

    As for the tables, I didn't actually use the table function - I just centered the lines and made the background for every other line 10% grey.

    This was all done in Open Office and then I used the export to .pdf function to output what you see there. Much easier than I thought it'd be.

  • #33
    When designing a challenge, consider giving players other side objectives to spend some of their three rolls on.

    For example, the Treacherous Forest (Physical Challenge) is known to contain valuable rare plants. If a player makes a successful Nature roll on his turn in the challenge, he doesn't contribute to the party's overall success of the Physical challenge, but finds rare fungi that act like healing potions.

    These side quests may force the players to make some interesting choices and add flavour.

    "Stop looking at mushrooms and chop, elfling! We need all the help we can get."

  • #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bardolph
    I would give 50% of the XP for a partial success. Personally, I think rating an Obsidian challenge as equal to 5 equal-level monsters is a tad generous (after all, Obsidian has fewer rolls than the core system). However, if it encourages great roleplaying and storytelling, it's completely worth it. The 50% penalty for partial success would pull things down a bit, but in the end I think you would get the same XP overall per game session for Skill Challenges vs combat.
    Actually Obsidian has more rolls A complexity 5 core challenge will have anywhere from 6 to 17 rolls, where Obsidian always has 15 for a 5 player party, and still 12 for a 4 person.

    I'll be honest, I've never used rules to give XP, I've always given out a certain amount each session in games I've run, so I'm open to advice about xp. However, my initial thought was that partial challenges should give full xp. The party still overcame the challenge, they still had an encounter, so they should get the xp for that trouble.

    I mean if you have a combat and some of the monsters run away, you still beat the challenge and get the full xp by the book (right?).
    Is your game having issues with Grind? Check out Stalker0's Guide to Anti-Grind

    Do you want a skill challenge system that is less mechanical and encourages more roleplaying? Try my Obsidian Skill Challenge System

    Like the core 4e system, but prefer a more balanced system with additional options? Try my Alternate Core Skill Challenge System

  • #35
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    So my group got to playtest the Obsidian system, and my DM decided to put it through the ringer. We had 5 skill challenges tonight, all of different shapes and sizes.

    The first one was a Mental Challenge were my wizard and our party's warlock did some research on the big bad guy we are looking for. We rolled very well and got a victory, finding out lots of information about him.

    The second was a social challenge. The party's cleric and rogue were looking for a stolen object, and found a disreputable looking guy they thought might have a clue. They failed the challenge, and so the guy led them alright, towards a trap. The cleric used his insight and noticed something was up, so the two entered a mental challenge, using insight and perception to watch for when the guy might turn on them. They got a partial success, so they were still led into the trap but were able to prepare before it was sprung. They finished with a physical challenge to run from the thieves. They got a total success using stealth, endurance, and athletics and were able to escape.

    Later we all got together again and went into a mental/social challenge to find out where the big bad guy's hideout was in the bad part of town was. It came down to the wire, a few action points were used and it was down to the last roll. We had a partial victory with 7 successes, and the warlock missed. He rerolled with an action point but still failed, so we were able to find the hideout and get there, but the Big Bad knew we were coming.

    All in all I was extremely happy with how things worked out. People started out in the "mechanical" mindframe they had gotten used to, but as things went on people started role-playing more and just going with it. People were using the primary skills a lot, even when they weren't their best skills. The cleric even got a critical success on a nature check, and its one of his worst skills!

    Also, the three phases helped to move the story along. In the first phase I was working with one party member, by the third we all had moved around and were working with different group members and using different skills. It also allowed the DM to disseminate information in pieces as we gained successes.

    The one thing I was worried about was the DC. As a player, 18 felt high to me. I was heartbroken when my buddies would get a 17 and found out they failed. But looking at the results everything came out as expected, we had 1 failure, 2 partials, and 2 totals....right about what I expected.

    Right now I couldn't be happier.
    Is your game having issues with Grind? Check out Stalker0's Guide to Anti-Grind

    Do you want a skill challenge system that is less mechanical and encourages more roleplaying? Try my Obsidian Skill Challenge System

    Like the core 4e system, but prefer a more balanced system with additional options? Try my Alternate Core Skill Challenge System

  • #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalker0
    Actually Obsidian has more rolls A complexity 5 core challenge will have anywhere from 6 to 17 rolls, where Obsidian always has 15 for a 5 player party, and still 12 for a 4 person.
    Hmm, I s'pose you're right. I was taking into consideration "pass" rolls like Aid Another, but still... seems like Obsidian has plenty of rolls.

    I'll be honest, I've never used rules to give XP, I've always given out a certain amount each session in games I've run, so I'm open to advice about xp. However, my initial thought was that partial challenges should give full xp. The party still overcame the challenge, they still had an encounter, so they should get the xp for that trouble.

    I mean if you have a combat and some of the monsters run away, you still beat the challenge and get the full xp by the book (right?).
    You have a good point. As long as there's some kind of reward for total success (bonuses on future encounters, etc), it makes sense to give full XP for partial success.

  • #37
    This looks really neat. I'm starting a new campaign tonight, and I'm definitely going to be working both of your skill challenge systems into the early sessions, so my group can figure out which they like better, and so I can provide some feedback on Obsidian. Thanks for all the hard work!

  • #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Stalker0
    First of all, just some general info. What's your party's level, what type of challenge did you do, what kinds of bonuses does your party have. Of large importance, what skills did you allow?

    The main information is how does the system work in the party's hands. Did they understand the rules, did they feel comfortable using the system. Did it encourage them to act out and roleplay, or did it feel too "mechanical".
    I should have between one and three sessions this next weekend with levels ranging between 1 and 5. I'll make certain to feature the system.

  • #39
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    Ok, I've dug into this a little more and me likely. It seems to fulfill the skill challenge spirit (allow for a meaningful skill based encounter with some sense of urgency) while fixing the largest errors of the RAW (better to aid another or not participate if you have low scores or can't think of a way to use your high scores, bad success rate math, etc.).

    It even seems flexible enough to handle a few different styles. For instance, I run skill challenges pretty loose, hoping that players will get creative and find appropriate ways to use a variety of skills.

    I did a little back of the envelope math, and seems like your system would be fine with the assumptions:
    1) 4 person party
    2) in general 2-3 characters have appropriate skills, and 1-2 have none
    3) the 1-2 with none, will figure out a creative way to use their non-appropriate skills 1-2 times each during the 3 segments (thus getting a few more high skill rolls and having fun being creative)
    4) even if 3 doesn't always happen, the group still has a decent (default) chance of success

    This is great!

    The only part I'm struggling with now is b/c of the fixed 3 segments and victory conditions, it is a bit harder to introduce variety without taking some time to string a few challenges together, create some specific conditions within the challenge, etc.

    It would be amazing to get challenge tables for 2, 3, 4 segment challenges with appropriate victory successes for default 70% victory, and a table showing variations in success rate as you vary the # of successes for failure.

    Just a wish list! Again, fantastic work!

  • #40
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    Hey guys, I finalized my own pdf version of the system. Its so much cleaner and easier to read then the forum. Take a look, let me know if you find any errors.
    Is your game having issues with Grind? Check out Stalker0's Guide to Anti-Grind

    Do you want a skill challenge system that is less mechanical and encourages more roleplaying? Try my Obsidian Skill Challenge System

    Like the core 4e system, but prefer a more balanced system with additional options? Try my Alternate Core Skill Challenge System

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