L4W Discussion Thread V

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[MENTION=60965]Iron Sky[/MENTION]: I'm currently active in 4 adventures, holding down a 10hr/day day job, keeping a beautiful wife happy, and homeschooling two preteens. I'm swamped (not so subtle Princess Bride reference). But I would love for you to tell me how to conduct skill challenges like the ones you did in Rerisen Tower. The sooner the better. I'm about to launch into one in Land Ho.

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
H.M. here is my composite skill-challenge thread where you go to get started.

The base system is sufficient to make the skill challenges more interesting, but I like to add a special rule each round to make each round feel almost like its own mini-skill challenge (which it pretty much is).

To set it up I would do this:

1) Download the .pdf since the tables are clearer there and so you have it on hand.
2) Figure out how many rounds you want your challenge to be. 3 is the default. Think of your skill challenge in terms of "scenes" and the final result that ties them together and you have your rounds and final result.
3) Copy all the appropriate tables into an sblock in your thread.
4) Add appropriate introduction materials to help explain the system since your characters haven't used it yet.
<Too Secret Even for Spoilers>
6) Retire from your day job and move to the Caribbean!

Assuming you have 5 characters average level 8-9 (by a quick glance at Landward Ho, I could be wrong) the template for you to tinker with is below. Go through and delete or replace all <> in the actual thread.

[sblock=Skill Challenge]Objective: <The skill challenge's objective here. I.E Stop the Eladrin Kingdoms from going to war.>

Rounds: <number of rounds here. I.E. 3>

Challenge Level: <optional, probably the average level of your group. I.E. 9>

[sblock=Used in future rounds]Round 1 Results: <remove sblocks and fill this in starting in round 2>
PC 1: Skill x<roll result>, x points<player's points contributed to group total>, +/- to next round's check <mechanical effects from roll, I try to make this include the personal and group effects; I.E. if player had +2 to next round and the group had -1, I'd put +1 here>
PC 2: Skill x, x points, +/- to next round's check
PC 3: Skill x, x points, +/- to next round's check
PC 4: Skill x, x points, +/- to next round's check
PC 5: Skill x, x points, +/- to next round's check

Note: Repeating the same skill multiple rounds in a row imposes a cumulative -3 penalty.

Round Total: X Points <combined total of all player's points>: X Victory Points and Disaster/Disadvantage/Advantage/Miracle<victory points based on group's point total for the round>: all pcs have a +/- x cumulative bonus to skill checks during the rest skill challenge <results of group's total points>

Skill challenge total: X Victory Points <total VP earned, compared to the final total needed for ultimate result>[/sblock]


Round 1 Focus
<Whatever this scene is about. I.E. Convince the Eladrin Noble not to execute the trespassers.>

Round Rules: Any special rules you've cooked up for this round <I.E. non-social checks take a -2 penalty, players who speak Eladrin get a +2 bonus>

Individual Skill DCs: <pretty much the same all the time, though if you're adventurous or inspired, you can add additional stuff that happens depending on the roll result>
16-: 0 points, -2 to next round's skill check
17-21: 1 point, -1 to next round's skill check
22-26: 2 points, +1 to next round's skill check
27+: 3 points, +2 to the next round's skill check
Natural 1: -1 point, lose a healing surge
Natural 20: +1 point, stumble upon treasure

[sblock=Roll Options]Action Points: An action point may be used to roll an additional skill check in a round, though it must be different than the original check.
Aid Another: You may take -3 on a skill check to grant someone else a reroll.
Heroic Effort: You may spend a healing surge before a roll to gain +3 on the roll or after the roll to gain a +1 - or both for two surges.[/sblock]

Round Totals(5 PCs):
0-5 total points: 0 victory points and Disaster: -2 cumulative penalty to all future rolls in the skill challenge and X <X is optional but recommended. I haven't seen this happen yet, so feel free to make X something devastating/terrible! I.E. add 1 round to the skill challenge and the group has to make Endurance checks or get some terrible disease>
6-11 total points: 1 victory point and Complication: -1 cumulative penalty to all future rolls in the skill challenge and Y <Y is optional, some additional minor penalty. I.E. Endurance check next round or lose a healing surge>
12-17 total points: 2 victory points and Advantage: +1 cumulative bonus to all future rolls in the skill challenge and Z <Z is optional, some small bonus. I.E. the group gets one re-roll next round>
18+ total points: 3 victory points and Miracle: +2 cumulative bonus to all future rolls in the skill challenge and A <A is optional but recommended, this rarely happens unless the group is rolling amazingly well AND using Action Points, so make it something good and juicy. I.E. The Eladrin Noble gives the group treasure (a parcel or three) and everyone regains a healing surge/an extra AP/whatever>

Victory Points: <What victory points represent. I.E. Victory points represent the group's progress towards preventing the Eladrin Kingdoms from going to war.> Final totals will determine the final result of the skill challenge.

Final Victory Point Totals <assuming 3 rounds>
0-2 total points: Disaster
3-5 total points: Complication
6-8 total points: Advantage
9+ total points: Miracle
<I don't tell the PCs more than this, though you could. When the skill challenge is over, re-read the objective you have stated at the top and figure out what's appropriate. Generally, Disaster means the group failed utterly and probably made things worse than what they were. Complication means they succeeded - barely - but something went wrong. Advantage means the succeeded. Miracle means they succeeded beyond what anyone would think was even possible.>[/sblock]

Hope that helps!
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Wow! This is exactly what I needed. Thanks. I hope I didn't sound too impatient. I'd add to your XP here, but evidently I've already done so recently.

BTW: How do you do the black highlighting that you did for <Too Secret Even for Spoilers>? And what dictates this condition?

@Luinnar : I agree, and it looks, to me, that becoming a priate would have to precede #6, seeing as I can't afford to do #6 until I drum up some cash. Becoming a pirate seems the ideal means of doing so ;).


First Post
(spoiler) XXX (/spoiler) <- with square brackets of course. If you look 2 lines below you'll see it.

This is super secret

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