Homebrew Doh! Killed my party with a skill challenge - Page 6
Page 6 of 6 FirstFirst 123456
Results 51 to 54 of 54
  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue View Post
    You have a very direct approach that I'd like to use as an example. I want to start with: I agree with you. And then continue with afterwards with: How do we improve on the mechanics of a skill challenge to make it more in-line with our other sub-system that we do allow to decide life and death.

    ---

    Combat is going away from the whole RP / skills approach to a mechanically heavy minigame where you roll dice for life and death situations. In other words, mechanically similar to a skill challenge in some ways.

    But when you replace "skill challenge" with "combat", you get a description that doesn't fit most tables:



    So why is it that one set of constrained mechanical effects are used extensively for life and death, and others is an "Absolutely NO"? I think it has to do with the options that a player has in combat, vs. the very limited scope in the mechanics of skill challenge the OP posted. But that's just on viewpoint.

    I'd be interested in your (and everyone's) viewpoint on how to mechanically handle out-of-combat challenges to a degree where we are comfortable with the same range of outcomes we would get from combat.
    In my ideal world, skill challenges would have more than two dimensions and several defined potential end states. The players would have a set number of actions they can take to try to move from their initial position to as close to their desired outcome as possible. Each successful action moves their state towards their goal; each unsuccessful action moves their state towards a different potential outcome, as appropriate to the situation. An action can be used to attempt to repair a previous failure.

    Based upon the amount of planning and preparation undertaken, the DM assigns a number of steps the players may take before the situation is considered resolved and based on the initial situation the number of steps required in any one direction for complete success.

    For example, the PCs are planning a major heist. Their ideal outcome is they get all of the treasure, the owners are unaware of the theft, the PCs leave no clues behind to identify the perpetrators, the authorities are unaware of the theft.

    Based upon the starting circumstance, the DM works out how many steps will be required to navigate the challenge. The owners will detect the players unless at least 6 steps to avoid their attention, the authorities will become aware something is going if less than 3 steps are made towards them, and 4 steps are necessary to avoid leaving enough evidence to finger the them afterwards. Getting the whole haul will take 5 steps.

    The DM determines the players have prepared for 20 steps. The PCs don't have a lot of room to repair failures and still achieve complete success!

    The nice thing about this challenge format is it supports mixed success results. The PCs get the treasure, but leave some evidence behind and the authorities are partially alerted, for example.
    XP Blue gave XP for this post

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,358
    With all due respect to Mr. Colville, I think a series of random skill checks for "Escape/Outrun Disaster" is insufficient for this mode of play. You'd be better served using the Chase format (or a homebrewed spin-off/variant).

    A few suggestions/options/modifications off the top of my head:
    • Set a "goal line," a number of feet or units the PCs must move in order to escape
    • The Quarry (aka, the PCs) would move as a group (move in a set number of abstracted units or at the rate of the slowest member)
    • The Pursuer would be the "impending doom" countdown (how many turns can the PCs take before failure), or for a "creeping doom" wave of destruction, use a static or semi-variable movement rate ("creeping doom" Pursuer catching the PCs results in massive damage or TPK)
    • Complications would be structured around avoiding the devastation (group checks, success rate < 50% means those that failed suffer damage/status effects, any movement penalties apply to the whole group)
    • During an "impending doom" countdown, increase the chances of a complication every round/turn as the clock ticks to increase tension, and/or consider using a staged damage multiplier with complications (e.g imminent disaster [turns 1- 5] 1/2 dmg | start of collapse [turns 6 - 9] normal dmg | increased destruction [turns 10 - 13] double dmg | edge of doom [turns 14 - 15] triple dmg | total annihilation [turn 16] death)
    • When using a "creeping doom", create a danger zone buffer in front of the creeping doom that "attacks" (attack rolls or saving throws) the group if it gets too close to the PCs (damage only, you don't want to slow the PCs movement rate if they're on the cusp of being overtaken)
    Last edited by Ristamar; Monday, 15th October, 2018 at 05:18 PM.

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagol View Post
    In my ideal world, skill challenges would have more than two dimensions and several defined potential end states. The players would have a set number of actions they can take to try to move from their initial position to as close to their desired outcome as possible. Each successful action moves their state towards their goal; each unsuccessful action moves their state towards a different potential outcome, as appropriate to the situation. An action can be used to attempt to repair a previous failure.

    Based upon the amount of planning and preparation undertaken, the DM assigns a number of steps the players may take before the situation is considered resolved and based on the initial situation the number of steps required in any one direction for complete success.

    For example, the PCs are planning a major heist. Their ideal outcome is they get all of the treasure, the owners are unaware of the theft, the PCs leave no clues behind to identify the perpetrators, the authorities are unaware of the theft.

    Based upon the starting circumstance, the DM works out how many steps will be required to navigate the challenge. The owners will detect the players unless at least 6 steps to avoid their attention, the authorities will become aware something is going if less than 3 steps are made towards them, and 4 steps are necessary to avoid leaving enough evidence to finger the them afterwards. Getting the whole haul will take 5 steps.

    The DM determines the players have prepared for 20 steps. The PCs don't have a lot of room to repair failures and still achieve complete success!

    The nice thing about this challenge format is it supports mixed success results. The PCs get the treasure, but leave some evidence behind and the authorities are partially alerted, for example.
    This looks wonderful and I hope it serves you well, but it leads me to ask a very basic question about skill challenges at that detail.. what purpose do they serve?

    What you outlined their looks like an adventure, different numbers of tasks in different stages involving different people, different places, different talents- most of which look ripe for good rpg actual play thru to success fail, mixed, etc etc.

    So what are the mechanics framework adding to that that is not better served with actual play thru and checks as appropriate?

    This is not criticism of yours but when I thought of skill challenges it was a way to deal with longer tasks where roleplay was the minimal part of it, not a way to roll thru an adventure.

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by 5ekyu View Post
    This looks wonderful and I hope it serves you well, but it leads me to ask a very basic question about skill challenges at that detail.. what purpose do they serve?

    What you outlined their looks like an adventure, different numbers of tasks in different stages involving different people, different places, different talents- most of which look ripe for good rpg actual play thru to success fail, mixed, etc etc.

    So what are the mechanics framework adding to that that is not better served with actual play thru and checks as appropriate?

    This is not criticism of yours but when I thought of skill challenges it was a way to deal with longer tasks where roleplay was the minimal part of it, not a way to roll thru an adventure.
    What purpose does any skill challenge serve? Their primary role is to provide a framework to determine success/failure/adjudicate altered fictional position using a formal structure as opposed to winging it. They also allow substantially more abstraction for the DM than a more traditional adventure design. Both these features help separate design from adjudication and simplify improv. What I describe here is in some ways similar to the progress clocks in [I]Blades in the Dark[/]

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Similar Threads

  1. Killed by your own party member!
    By Ginnel in forum *General Roleplaying Games Discussion
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: Monday, 19th January, 2009, 01:34 PM
  2. 3 party members killed!
    By James McMurray in forum *General Roleplaying Games Discussion
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: Wednesday, 6th February, 2002, 02:47 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •