Stalker0's Obsidian Skill Challenge System (Update: Version 1.1) Now with PDF!!

Ferdil

First Post
I like this skill challenge system very much, but I don't like the Xp reward and the challenges in combat thing.

You should just change the Successes needed for victory column Players to Complexity. Then the XP are calculated just like the standard rules, and so the challengees in combat. So a complexity 5 challenge (partial 6, victory 8) with level 5 DCs would be rewarded with the Xp value of 5 level 5 monsters.
If you want to put a skill challenge in combat just spend your XP, so for example for a group of 6 players of level 4 take 3 level 4 monsters and a complexity 3 challenge with level 4 DCs.

This doesn't change the balance (as far as I know) and is much simpler and more flexible and compatible with things made with the standard system.
I quote myself because you have not answered me.
 

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Obergnom

First Post
The best way to do this is at the end of each segment. For example, during the first segment the players are being chased down a large market square. They manage to get half the number of successes needed for a total victory, so at the end of the segment you describe them vastly outrun the hobgoblins. In section 2 they are moving through a winding series of alleyways. They don't do as well in this section, so you mention that the party is almost there but the hobgoblins are started to gain again. The third segment is a straight dash towards freedom, and you describe the final results at the end.

Use the segments as midpoints points to change the scene to keep the challenge dynamic, and give the party updates on how they are doing. As another example, in a social challenge, have the opposing party's attitude change at the end of each segment. After segment one if the party is doing well, have the person attitude becomes a little friendlier. If they started out poorly, have him become less interested.

I gave this some more thoughts and here is my solution:

(For a 5 players group) A skill challenge can be lost after the 1st segment, if the players are unable to achive 1 success or if the players are unable to aquire 3 successes after the 2nd segment. (I would call it a partial victory if they aquire 2 successes).

Not every skill challenge can be lost early, but things like a chase definatly can.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I gave this some more thoughts and here is my solution:

(For a 5 players group) A skill challenge can be lost after the 1st segment, if the players are unable to achive 1 success or if the players are unable to aquire 3 successes after the 2nd segment. (I would call it a partial victory if they aquire 2 successes).

Not every skill challenge can be lost early, but things like a chase definatly can.

An interesting idea. I will run some math on that and consider it as an optional rule in my next version.
 

Edheldur

First Post
Found out about your Obsidian system, Stalker, 2 days ago and I really liked it. My players for today's session loved it -and we don't even play 4th edition yet-. Congrats on a great addition to the game!
 

nyhotep

First Post
It's a good system, reminds me a bit of the White Wolf storyteller system. One thing that could do with a change is the rather odd DC distribution (levels 10-13 are all 24, then it jumps up to 26).

How about 18+(level/2) (rounded down) +1 if paragon, +2 if epic?
That gives the same range but can be worked out in your head.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I have recieved some notes from people asking me if I was doing any more updates to Obsidian.

Just letting everyone know, my work has been killer busy the last month, but it has started to slow down now so I am getting back to work on it. I hope to have Version 1.2 out in a few weeks.
 

jbear

First Post
Looks sweet, appreciate the pdf. A lot of work has gone into this so just to let u know its appreciated!
 
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EldritchFire

First Post
I have recieved some notes from people asking me if I was doing any more updates to Obsidian.

Just letting everyone know, my work has been killer busy the last month, but it has started to slow down now so I am getting back to work on it. I hope to have Version 1.2 out in a few weeks.

One thing that I have been mulling over is why not just keep the complexity and number of successes from the DMG, just remove the before 3 failures? This way, Obsidian can be seamlessly integrated into existing modules, with no fuss at all!

Just have a little "X characters needed for complexity Y" and you're golden!

-EF
 

Stalker0

Legend
One thing that I have been mulling over is why not just keep the complexity and number of successes from the DMG, just remove the before 3 failures? This way, Obsidian can be seamlessly integrated into existing modules, with no fuss at all!

Just have a little "X characters needed for complexity Y" and you're golden!

-EF

I am doing something similar in my combat skill challenge section. Basically I am taking out the 3 round scenario for combat skill challenges.
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Supporter
First, this is awesome. It fixes my major gripe about the unerrata'ed RAW system (the party as their own worst enemy, incenting low-skill characters to sit back and watch).

Suggestions and questions:

1) I think ability checks should be at -5 to the DC. An ability check is otherwise very much worse than a skill check and almost certainly has fewer modifiers at high levels; skill challenges with Strength as the primary would suffer greatly under the normal DC. Or does your mathematical analysis already account for this?

2) You know the +2 bonus for creativity and role-playing? Does your mathematical analysis expect the DM to hand out a certain number of those, and how many? Otherwise, I would expect a group that is role-playing well and getting many +2 bonuses for it to succeed a lot more than a group that isn't -- which seems like a good thing to me.

3) A crude solution for Aid Another: If the DM awards you a +2 bonus for creativity/role-playing, you may, if it seems appropriate, give that bonus to someone else for their check. For example, in a Diplomacy encounter, A'Laric the dwarven fighter has no relevant skills and a Charisma penalty. So Miles the Warlord makes a speech about what an awesome dwarven master pimp A'Laric is. The DM is impressed and offers Miles a +2 bonus, but being a team player, Miles passes that off to A'Laric, who needs all the help he can get.

4) I agree with the sentiment that the XP should be based somehow on the # of players. I'd make it equal to the XP value of a monster of that level x the number of players. So for a 5-person challenge, it's worth 5 monsters, which is the same as a complexity-5 challenge. Simple and efficient.

5) I personally would only award half XP for a partial victory, since in my experience challenge encounters tend to consume fewer party resources than combat encounters and be way less risky (fail a combat challenge and you often get a total party wipe; there's less on the line for failing a skill challenge, especially with partial victories within reach for most groups).

6) I understand some people want the system to be more complex. My advice to you is not to do this. Its simplicity is its strength. If anything, wait to see what sort of variations people come up with, and what works, and gradually incorporate them into the system. I would say than any optional rule more complex than Going for Broke is probably not worth it right now.

-- 77IM
 

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