log in or register to remove this ad

 

Stalker0's Alternate Core Skill Challenge System: FINAL VERSION 1.8!

Harr

First Post
Sorry for double-post, but just finished reading 1.6 and... you seriously took out Critical Success for 1.6? Like, seriously? That's the first change for me right there :D

Looks really good otherwise! Contrary to CS I'm actually glad Daredevil Stunt is gone, that thing was ic-ky.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Lokathor

First Post
A system so good I registered just to ask about it.

I did a quick survey of the level 1 characters I had around from DMing my own game and from a game I'm playing in (8 characters total), and the average trained skill bonus was only +7.8. This is mostly because my players don't get as many 18s with point buy, they go for more even arrays.

If I'm reading this right, that means I should subtract 1 from all the DCs and it'll all work out. Is this correct?
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Supporter
Stalker0 said:
1) So Stalker, why did you go to 2 levels instead 3? Personally I liked the smaller table.
Giving DCs every 2 levels gave me a bit more precision than the 3 level model. And when you’re working with this kind of math, more precision equals more good. I figured Dms wouldn’t mind a slightly larger table if it led to a more balanced system.
2) Regarding the footnote, why do I need to add +1 DC at those levels?
Simplicity has its price. With those particular levels, I noticed a spike in the party’s win rate. If the table had shown every level, I would have modified the DCs. But I figured that would make the table too large, so I added the footnote. Adding a +1 to the DC at those levels will fix everything very nicely.
As a totally minor bit of feedback, I'd really like it better if this table had 1 row per level (each level having its own row). I'm perfectly able to read a table 30 rows deep, and it gives me much better confidence that the numbers are accurately balanced for the party's level.

-- 77IM
 

Stalker0

Legend
Lokathor said:
A system so good I registered just to ask about it.

I did a quick survey of the level 1 characters I had around from DMing my own game and from a game I'm playing in (8 characters total), and the average trained skill bonus was only +7.8. This is mostly because my players don't get as many 18s with point buy, they go for more even arrays.

If I'm reading this right, that means I should subtract 1 from all the DCs and it'll all work out. Is this correct?

Yep, a -1 to DC should get you straightened out. I would love some feedback on how 8 character parties handle with my system. The baseline is 5, and I made allowances for larger and smaller parties but that math gets fuzzier, so feel free to let me know how it goes!


Many people are asking about XP. From a strict number of roll perspective, my complexities tend to equal WOTC's.

So 1 = 1, 2=2, 3=3, etc. However, my system allows party members to spend more resources. I would go with Complexity 1 = WOTC Complexity 1. Complexity 2 = WOTC Complexity 3. Complexity 3 = WOTC Complexity 4.


Also, a question was asked about the 80% win rate. If the party is at 62%, these are the win rates:
Complexitiy
1: 84%
2: 80%
3: 78%

+1 DC
1: 79%
2: 73%
3: 69%

-1 DC
1: 89%
2: 87%
3: 85%

Subject to change slightly for guys with higher or lower bonuses, but in general they shouldn't move much.

These numbers do not factor in any heroic surges, so a party that utilizes surges can bump that number up.


On to the question of Skill Challenges in combat, I think they would absolutely work. As mentioned before, a level 4, complexity 1 challenge should represent 1 level 4 monster....assuming that WOTC is correct about a complexity 1 challenge being equal to a single monster.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Harr said:
Sorry for double-post, but just finished reading 1.6 and... you seriously took out Critical Success for 1.6? Like, seriously? That's the first change for me right there :D

Looks really good otherwise! Contrary to CS I'm actually glad Daredevil Stunt is gone, that thing was ic-ky.

If you want to throw it back in here's teh original rule:

Critical Success: On a natural 20 you score a critical success. You can refresh 1 other players Bold Recovery or Heroic Surge
 

Stalker0

Legend
77IM said:
As a totally minor bit of feedback, I'd really like it better if this table had 1 row per level (each level having its own row). I'm perfectly able to read a table 30 rows deep, and it gives me much better confidence that the numbers are accurately balanced for the party's level.

-- 77IM

I should be able to do that:)


Also, I would really like to hear back from people who thought Version 1.5 was too complex. I feel like Version 1.6 is a lot cleaner and easier to read, getting down to the core mechanics of what makes the system good. Is there anything left that's confusing or poorly presented?
 

gonesailing

First Post
Here are a couple of initial versions of documentation for this system. Feedback is encouraged.

I used the format in the DMG. Also my Open Office-Fu is weak, but I use Linux at home so if the files are difficult to open, I will work at them...at work.
 

Attachments

  • Stalker0 v1_6 doc.doc
    113 KB · Views: 98
  • Stalker0 v1_6 txt.txt
    4.5 KB · Views: 58

Lokathor

First Post
Stalker0 said:
I would love some feedback on how 8 character parties handle with my system. The baseline is 5, and I made allowances for larger and smaller parties but that math gets fuzzier, so feel free to let me know how it goes!

Actually, there were two groups worth of PCs there (the group I run and the group I play in). The party is usually 3 to 4 players big depending on who shows up, and the group I run already hit one TPK so far >_<. It's alright though, all but one of us loves making the characters and looking at the optimization aspects about as much as we love playing, so it works out.

I will report back with success or failure after a few challenges though. Games are on weekends for my groups.
 


Stalker0

Legend
Alright guys, I've updated the system to Version 1.7.

The reason is I decided to make a 30th level table for those who asked, and as I was making it I decided the system would be smoother if I could add a +1 DC here or there.

Finally, I realized that the system is just plain smoother if I show all 30th levels and have the freedom to tweak each level individually. I think the added smoothness is worth a bit more table space.

Also a couple of questions someone in person asked me about teh system.

1) So, if the system is smoother and can handle changes in DC without breaking, does that mean I can now run higher level difficulty skill challenges without a problem?

I am happy to say...YES YOU CAN!! Running a skill challenge one or two levels higher than your party should give you a reasonable amount of increase in difficulty, without nose diving into complete failure. But if they do have some trouble, heroic surge and Bold Recovery are there to help, and should aid in making those difficult challenges memorable ones.

2) If a party used a lot of heroic surges, wouldn't they have a very high chance of success?

If every player uses his heroic surge for a skill challenge, that will bump up the standard win rate from 80% to about 88-90%. Keep in mind that's an average, in general heroic surges are a way for a losing party to come back, that's why you get double the bonus is used at the time of trials.
 
Last edited:

Magus Coeruleus

First Post
I love how this is shaping up! I wrote a revised draft of 1.6 for you to check out, so if you can PM me an email address or some other way to get it to you (it's a RTF) I'll be happy to do that. Separately, I'd suggest you provide attachments in revised post to previous iterations of rules for those who want to follow the evolution or prefer an older version.

Edit: Gee everything moves quickly and you're already on 1.7! Well, still the point is not nicer layout in this case but suggestions on the structure of the documentation, language, and some terminology, clarifications, etc. so it should still be relevant. I'd rather not attach it in a post because it could confuse someone into thinking you've endorsed it when I just want to give you some suggested revisions.
 
Last edited:

Stalker0

Legend
I can't PM unfortunately. Feel free to post any updates you would like in a separate thread if you feel that would make things cleaner.
 

Magus Coeruleus

First Post
Stalker0 said:
I can't PM unfortunately. Feel free to post any updates you would like in a separate thread if you feel that would make things cleaner.
I'll just attach it here then and make clear that this is my suggestion and not a formatting of your approved product.
 

Attachments

  • Suggest Revisions to Stalker0 Skill Challenge System v1.6.rtf
    56.8 KB · Views: 74

The Eye

First Post
Should the DC for Easy checks go down (from 20 to 19) when the challenge level shifts from 10 to 11? It could be ok mathematically, but it stood out as a possible typo.
 

Stalker0

Legend
The Eye said:
Should the DC for Easy checks go down (from 20 to 19) when the challenge level shifts from 10 to 11? It could be ok mathematically, but it stood out as a possible typo.

Its not a typo, though I did notice that as well. For ease and consistency I altered the easy and hard checks at every tier. Although it wouldn't make a huge difference if I changed it to a 20, so if people feel its just too weird I can change it.
 

The Eye

First Post
Stalker0 said:
Its not a typo, though I did notice that as well. For ease and consistency I altered the easy and hard checks at every tier. Although it wouldn't make a huge difference if I changed it to a 20, so if people feel its just too weird I can change it.

It was the only place I saw where the DC went down as the level went up. If it's as mathematically sound as the rest of the write-up, I've got no problems. It just stands out a little.
 

dragon_eater

First Post
When I read the first version of your skill challenge mechanics I was hesitant to try and use it. However, I feel that your new version has improved a lot.

Now I feel that not only are the numbers better then the ones in the Dungeon Master's Guide but that it would be more interesting to run then the default skill challenge system.

I suppose the only question I have is what should you do if you want to run complexity 4 or 5 challenges in a party without a really strong skill user?
 

Stalker0

Legend
dragon_eater said:
I suppose the only question I have is what should you do if you want to run complexity 4 or 5 challenges in a party without a really strong skill user?

I'm actually working on that right now.

Basically I didn't run complexity 4 and 5 through the large variation of cases I've run the other ones through, I knew they were going to be special case scenarios designed for specific parties. However, the Bold Recovery mechanic curbs a lot of the issues I had with these complexities in the first place. With that in mind, I'm taking a much harder look at them. There is a possibility I could actually recommend complexity 4 as a regular challenge to normal parties. If not, then I should be able to come up with some guidelines for those who want to use them, a simple -1 DC might do the trick. I hope to have the results soon!
 

Magus Coeruleus

First Post
I don't know if this is feasible in the model or for that matter mathematically equivalent, but I think it would feel more intuitive if, instead of Bold Recovery successes retroactively modifying failed checks, The Bold Recovery check were modified by the magnitude of the original failure. Since recovery is a reaction to the failure and not an interrupt, it shouldn't really be revising the result so much as trying to compensate for it.

An additional advantage to this approach is that the players would not decline to try a recovery on account of knowing ahead of time that it could not succeed (i.e. if the failure was by >6). There could still be a chance for recovery, however difficult, if that subsequent roll went very well.
 

fuzzlewump

First Post
I used the your skill challenge system tonight for 3 challenges and it worked well. If complexity 1 wasn't a 1:1 ratio, nearly all 3 would have been a failure. The interesting one was in the second kobold ambush in the KotS, where the skirmisher attempted to run off into the woods and the ranger was hot on its tail. The rest of the party dealt with the wyrmpriest that was left and alone he rolled an Acrobatics, Nature, Perception, Endurance, and finally Acrobatics.

Before the last acrobatics he had 2 successes and 2 failures, and the last failure indicated that he lost the kobold and the Kobold Lair would be ready for the party. So, I told him he was in the "Time of Trials" and that he could expend a healing surge in order to gain +2 on his check. He agreed and made one final leap with his acrobatics skill, ending up with a 18 with the +2 included. Epic!

I also fudged it when everyone but 1 person (the wizard) rolled well on their stealth check on the first encounter, saying that the player could draw on his vitality in order to reroll the stealth check, which ended up letting the whole party have surprise at the expense of a surge. Not so much a skill challenge but I wouldn't have thought to use a healing surge as a bargain without reading this. On second thought though, maybe something closer to the bold recovery would make more sense. Something like the wizard is about to step on to a branch, so the ranger or rogue uses bold recovery and grabs on to the wizard's shoulders and shakes her head.
 

Halloween Horror For 5E

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top