4E Examples of a skill challenge within a combat and vice versi
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  1. #1
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    Examples of a skill challenge within a combat and vice versi

    In another thread about traditional D&D vs 4e style @Manbearcat brought an example to the table where the fighter took over ie manhandled a tank into using it against the enemy OK it was basically an element I brought in... the point was to show that 4e had assumptions of competence and tools for accomplishing the extraordinary for non-magical characters at higher levels that were lacking in other games.

    This is now my lead example for applying a skill challenge in combat I am wondering does anyone have examples of mixing skill challenge and fighting activity they would like to share?

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    Just to make sure I understand correctly, by “skill challenge” do you mean in the 4e sense of a collaborative effort requiring a certain number of collective successful skill checks before a certain number of collective failures?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlaquin View Post
    Just to make sure I understand correctly, by “skill challenge” do you mean in the 4e sense of a collaborative effort requiring a certain number of collective successful skill checks before a certain number of collective failures?
    Not certain why you are asking... If a series of skill uses and each and every make or break the sequence that isn't a skill challenge they need to contribute not be barriers, if the skill uses are largely easy that isn't a skill challenge etc.

    Non-simplistic usually collaborative skill use where a composite failure results in a broad shift in the story in a direction that the players had not desired and composite success (Perhaps adjusted by resource expenditures of course.) and in 4e grants an allotment of experience and the desired shift etc.

    Perhaps my favorite skill challenges are chase scenes it has a definite beginning and ending and intermediate stages and degree of success and setbacks can be readily visualized.

    Although that crafting a of a magic item in a cursed forge was interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garthanos View Post
    does anyone have examples of mixing skill challenge and fighting activity they would like to share?
    I'm just recently well enough to return to running my campaign, and the first session back I ran an underlevel complexity 4 SC to handle progress toward finding a certain goal in the Elemental Chaos. It was mostly RP, but at some points, failure could trigger a quick encounter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garthanos View Post
    In another thread about traditional D&D vs 4e style @Manbearcat brought an example to the table where the fighter took over ie manhandled a tank into using it against the enemy OK it was basically an element I brought in... the point was to show that 4e had assumptions of competence and tools for accomplishing the extraordinary for non-magical characters at higher levels that were lacking in other games.

    This is now my lead example for applying a skill challenge in combat I am wondering does anyone have examples of mixing skill challenge and fighting activity they would like to share?
    Something similar to that play anecdote that you're mentioning above happened in my 2nd 4e game that went 1-30. While that was a Bladesinger rather than a Fighter, it was all martial, so its applicable.

    It was mid-Paragon Tier. While the Druid and Rogue dealt with an endless tide of mooks, the Bladesinger was locked in a duel with the Captain of the Guard (CotG). The player wanted it to play out similar to Inigo and The Man in Black's duel in The Princess Bride. They wanted to best the CotG so thoroughly with martial prowess that he ultimately would thrown in the with the PCs and become a Companion Character. He had pronounced ties to the PCs' primary antagonist, so it was treated as a significantly upleveled Skill Challenge; level +4, Complexity 1. So it was all Medium DCs but DC 24 instead of 22.

    It was Move Action for every Primary Check save for Attacks.

    Ultimately, it was won by:

    1) A use of Mighty Sprint at the outset where the Bladesinger aggressively engaged the CotG in a blinding flash and forced him on the defensive.

    2) A Bladesong augmented flurry vs Reflex due to Rapier and Basic Attack (that did damage as well).

    3) Somersaulting over the CotG via improvised Acrobatics as an Immediate Interrupt vs Hard DC when the CotG attacked.

    4) A Steely Persuasion (below) buffed Disarm attack that buffed Intimidiate by +3 +4 = +7

    EncounterMartialFree Action Personal
    Trigger: You make an Intimidate check or a Streetwise check
    Requirement: You must be wielding a melee weapon.
    Effect: You gain a bonus to the skill check equal to the weapon’s proficiency bonus plus the weapon’s enhancement bonus.
    The dogs were called off when the CotG was bested. He became a Companion Character for a period.

    These sorts of things (taking over vehicles/alien tech, besting martial NPCs and turning them into Companion Characters, becoming the alpha of pack animals and turning them the pack into a group of Minion Companion Characters) are pretty straight-forward, genre coherent ways for martial PCs in 4e to actualize their archetype, end encounters in ways that only classic D&D spellcasters could do, and turn foe into friend mid-combat (as only classic D&D spellcasters could do).
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    Thanks, this inspires me to run something along these lines in our 5e game.
    I suspect the mechanics/resources costs won't be as difficult to translate for 5e, but I'm not nearly as convinced that the player will seek out such a result out of their own.

    I could perhaps offer/tempt the PC into performing skill checks (at cost of HD or something) or class features to perform amazing feats during combat with the end result being a companion character.

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    I may return with examples at some point, but the #1 thing you can do to make in-combat Skill Challenges actually tolerable is to allow skill checks as Move and Minor actions.

    Because the PCs have a sheet full of awesome Standard actions (i.e.: their powers).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    I'm just recently well enough to return to running my campaign, and the first session back I ran an underlevel complexity 4 SC to handle progress toward finding a certain goal in the Elemental Chaos. It was mostly RP, but at some points, failure could trigger a quick encounter.
    Second session back (last Wed), started with an SC combined with combat (well, with being attacked). ...leaving a lot of stuff out, but...
    The ship was flying through a vast storm in the elemental chaos to reach their goal, it's epic-level lightning resistance was holding up against the 'natural' lightning strikes, but it started taking damage, and individuals started getting hit - there were tempest archons harrying them from total concealment in the clouds.
    They debated firing the ship's gonnes into the clouds, closing directly, or making a stand in a clearer region where they'd be able to see them - they settled on the last, the skill challenge ensued, on enough success, they got clear shots at some of the archons, and at one point overran several of them, on a failure, they were boarded by a few soldier-archons.. and, ultimately, they - barely - failed, breaking out of the clouds where the archons' boss was waiting, and battle was joined, the archons staying at range, still with some concealment thanks to the partial-failure, and the boss, a Djinn, and more soldier minions, boarding.

    From there it was meant to be a straightforward Elite+Minions combat, but one of the players got the idea that they should negotiate, so, while disposing of the minions, negotiations were opened, more and more of the PCs joined the later, and, while the minions - that the boss didn't really care about, he could reconstitute them if he wanted - were destroyed, the Djinn finally accepted their story that they were not servants of the gods, but were looking for knowledge of, and paying respects to, the slain primordial he had formerly served in the Dawn War.

    So a planned SC, though of uncertain objective, and an impromptu one, both combined with combat - first a running battle, then a set piece (of sorts, that ship has been boarded a /lot/ over the years).


    ...nothing this week due to the 4th, we'll see what happens next time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Randall View Post
    I may return with examples at some point, but the #1 thing you can do to make in-combat Skill Challenges actually tolerable is to allow skill checks as Move and Minor actions.

    Because the PCs have a sheet full of awesome Standard actions (i.e.: their powers).
    Some utility powers might count as free successes .... hey that mighty leap will sure step this up a bit.

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