Stalker0's Obsidian Skill Challenge System (NEW VERSION: 1.2!!!) - Page 4





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  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by dammitbiscuit View Post
    Simply be generous with a +2 for appropriate, heroic, or well-described actions, and don't sweat the details or overworry.
    That's what I do, and it tends to work well. It discourages players from repeating the same action over and over again, which is boring.

    Sometimes I will announce 2-3 primary skills -- but each person can only get the +2 bonus once. This also cuts down on repeat actions, but preserves most of the benefit of having a primary skill.

    Also, if the nature of the challenge changes from segment to segment (it was a chase scene, but you caught the guy, so now segment 3 is interrogation), you can change primary skills then.

    -- 77IM

 

  • #32
    I just totally ignored the primary skill thing and it seemed to work fine. Even without it, our groups have succeeded at all three skill challenges we've gone up against. One of those challenges was with a stat-rolled rather than point-buy group however, so we're a couple points above the curve anyway.

    Also converted my DM to Obsidian in last night's game. He said he likes it way better than the one in the book that he's been trying to use.

  • #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Sky View Post
    I just totally ignored the primary skill thing and it seemed to work fine. Even without it, our groups have succeeded at all three skill challenges we've gone up against.
    Its funny because for a while my group has been destroying skill challenges left and right, and I was beginning to wonder if my challenge DCs were too easy.

    Then last session we just squeaked in a partial success, and had an abysmal failure the challenge after wards.

    Probability does work itself out eventually
    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

  • #34
    Have I mentioned that I like the system you've cooked up?

    One of my RPing buddies just said he looks forward to skill challenges as much/more than combat now! My group is pretty combat-oriented, so that's saying alot.

    Keep up the good work.

  • #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Stalker0 View Post
    Its funny because for a while my group has been destroying skill challenges left and right, and I was beginning to wonder if my challenge DCs were too easy.

    Then last session we just squeaked in a partial success, and had an abysmal failure the challenge after wards.

    Probability does work itself out eventually
    Maybe it's just me and how I run games but I look for the PC to succeed about 75-80% of the time. I want their failures to be memorable, because lets face it that is what they remember (or more specifically recovery from that failure).

  • #36
    I had a phenominal experience with Obsidian on Saturday.

    I'm the DM of an ongoing undead heavy game, since I started the campaign planning phases I've been envisioning a session where the PCs are called to some kind of summit, where the representatives of the various nations of the world debate what to do about the growing undead problem. However I was reluctant, because I knew that session would involve almost no combat and lots of skill challenges. After seeing the way my players approached the DMG skill challenge system (I use Diplomacy, throw dice, was that a success? No roleplay) I wasn't looking forward to running this session. For a while I considered scrapping that element of the game and changing my plans, but ultimately I ruled that out and started planning what I feared would be a boring session.

    Then I found obsidian.

    I gave my PCs a problem: Get the representatives to vote with them to declare war on the undead, I told them how many votes they'd need to have the war resolution pass, and told them who was leaning which way in a preliminary vote. I told them they had time to schedule four meetings with representatives before the council reconvened. It was amazing to watch my players digest the information I'd given them and formulate a plan. The back and forth, the questions they had for me, the internal party debates, absolutely great!

    I'd designed a skill challenge for each of the representatives, when the PCs approached them we played through the obsidian skill challenge. It was great, it was roleplaying. It was basically a compound skill challenge, the vote on the war resolution was the larger, with each representative swayed to their cause a success towards the larger goal, with each representative played out in its own skill challenge.

    As an added element I'd worked out ahead of time how each of the representatives felt about the others, if you tried to bring together people who dislike on another things were harder. As the PCs build their coallition who they'd already recruited weighed on the difficulty of swinging new people. When they approached a representative each of that representatives allies they already had in their camp reduced the DC by one, each of that representatives enemies increased the DC by 1. Knowlege of who liked who could be picked up in bits and pieces throughout the session.

    The introduction of Obisidian, a few colorful characters, and a few props, made what I was worried would be the most boring session of my campaign into one of the most enjoyable for me at least.

  • #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Stalker0 View Post
    Any suggestions?
    I favor obvious names. It's easier to each to the players and easier to talk about. I don't think I've ever mentioned "Bold Recovery" but on several occasions I've asked "Do you want to use an action point to reroll that?"

    Bold Recovery -> Action Point Reroll
    Brazen Action -> Lower Defenses
    Unburdened -> Ignore Armor Penalty? Suppress Armor Penalty? Skill Surge?
    Going for Broke -> Actually, I like this name; High Stakes would also be appropriate. Double Success would be more obvious though.

    -- 77IM

  • #38
    Quote Originally Posted by 77IM View Post
    I favor obvious names. It's easier to each to the players and easier to talk about. I don't think I've ever mentioned "Bold Recovery" but on several occasions I've asked "Do you want to use an action point to reroll that?"

    Bold Recovery -> Action Point Reroll
    Brazen Action -> Lower Defenses
    Unburdened -> Ignore Armor Penalty? Suppress Armor Penalty? Skill Surge?
    Going for Broke -> Actually, I like this name; High Stakes would also be appropriate. Double Success would be more obvious though.

    -- 77IM
    Second what he said. We do the same in my group. If I said Bold Recovery, they'd stare at me blankly until I said "AP reroll."

    It's like all those flash interfaces you'd see on websites a few years ago - they were really creative and neat, but most of the time people will take simple, clean, and obvious over creative and obscure.

  • #39
    I think your system makes a lot of sense, and I would like to congratulate you on your writing. I can tell how much crunching is going on behind the scenes, and that inspires confidence! :-)

    Now, a request! Could I hope for a condensed sheet, detailing just what you need in play (once you've digested the idea behind the system as well as the examples and mechanics).

    From a quick overview only, what the DM needs would include (feel free to change this as you see fit):
    * a (condensed) summary of "the basic skill challenge" on page 3
    * the "primary skill concept"
    * most if not all of page 4
    * "Determining Skills Allowed for a Challenge" on page 5. That mental skills are go for mental challenges etc need no elaboration.
    * "Awarding XP"
    * Regarding "Player Options" (from page 3), I would say it could be useful to present this from another angle, instead explaining what an AP can be used for in a challenge, or what happens on rolling 20, etc.

    If you could cram all of that into as little as one sheet (two pages) I'd be both impressed and grateful... And I think it would make Obsidian even better and easier to use! :-)



    Zapp

  • #40
    Quote Originally Posted by 77IM View Post
    I favor obvious names. It's easier to each to the players and easier to talk about. I don't think I've ever mentioned "Bold Recovery" but on several occasions I've asked "Do you want to use an action point to reroll that?"
    I third that! :-)

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