D&D 4E Skill Challenge Examples.

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
This is cool


In particular this tips my funny bone

 

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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Not sure I think Princess Bride is the best example of skill challenges as its not a team oriented coordination and each of the elements is pretty much sequentially done and its not clear from the write up how failures allow/enable alternate directions for the story and so on ;p, still with some adjustment
 
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MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
Some great advice and inspiration in that first link. I've started using skill challenges for my 5th edition game to great success (the only thing I really had to convert was the DCs).

One type of scenario that I like modelling with skill challenges that I didn't see in the list is a chase. Whether the party are the chasers or the chasees they use skills to deal with various obstacles or gain an edge. Using the combat mechanics to resolve chases usually just devolves into whoever has the faster speed wins which isn't as exciting.

Lastly, I just want to emphasize that the effectiveness of skill challenges is highly dependent on the group and how the DM implements them because they live or die by player engagement. If a group likes super crunchy combat they might not like the level of abstraction that skill challenges give. I find that they are more about improvised problem solving and RP than they are about mechanics. If you decide that a skill challenge is right for your group you really have to put on a show with words and make the scene come alive. Or else the players are just taking turns rolling dice until they succeed or fail.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Some great advice and inspiration in that first link. I've started using skill challenges for my 5th edition game to great success (the only thing I really had to convert was the DCs).

One type of scenario that I like modelling with skill challenges that I didn't see in the list is a chase. Whether the party are the chasers or the chasees they use skills to deal with various obstacles or gain an edge. Using the combat mechanics to resolve chases usually just devolves into whoever has the faster speed wins which isn't as exciting.

It's my favorite use for them as well... not sure how it gets over looked out there in another thread about escaping Tony and I were elaborating on how to transition/begin that variety of SC and having a Bluff skill use enabling it or some Leader/Defenders call retreat maneuver or hold the line and similar things.

Lastly, I just want to emphasize that the effectiveness of skill challenges is highly dependent on the group and how the DM implements them because they live or die by player engagement. If a group likes super crunchy combat they might not like the level of abstraction that skill challenges give. I find that they are more about improvised problem solving and RP than they are about mechanics. If you decide that a skill challenge is right for your group you really have to put on a show with words and make the scene come alive. Or else the players are just taking turns rolling dice until they succeed or fail.
I have seen it said you should keep the fact that this is a skill challenge secret and I thought wait not necessarily in some situations I think in your face works fine like the chases, and in general everyone knows there is this complex problem which needs solved and various approaches which enhance or bounce off of one another and that individual characters can contribute independently to it doesn't matter what you call it. But presentation definitely matters.
 
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I definitely think the whole "iocaine powder" poison scene counts too... Honestly, since I have been basically running my games as NOTHING BUT SCs for a while now, I have a new sense of appreciation for the elements of scene... Finding the healer, SC, getting into the castle... etc.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I definitely think the whole "iocaine powder" poison scene counts too... Honestly, since I have been basically running my games as NOTHING BUT SCs for a while now, I have a new sense of appreciation for the elements of scene... Finding the healer, SC, getting into the castle... etc.
it was a multi-action resolution of some sort
 

it was a multi-action resolution of some sort
Right, so my thesis is that the SC (or similar) format's purpose is to regulate "how many actions equates to success." In trad D&D this is, in theory, regulated by discrete rules sub-systems and "the map key" (telling you what fights you must have, what doors you must open, etc.). With 4e, and extrapolations thereof, you now have a tool which tells you how, given some segmentation of the overall story arc/adventure into goals, what is required in terms of success throws for a goal to be achieved.
So, applying that to "Princess Bride" I would say that the corresponding RPG scenario would get an SC for each subgoal of the overall story (or it would be a combat encounter). You might even start with Wesley getting to the kingdom to start with, then the various subplots. I haven't watched the movie in a couple decades so I don't have a categorical list, but there must be a solid half-dozen in there.
 


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