MP's Skill Challenge Emporium

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I don't have a group to play with at the moment, so I've decided to take up some of my time designing skill challenges for later use.  I've got about 15 skill challenges in mind at the moment, and I'll be posting them here as I finish them.  I hope you can find them either useful in your games or useful as inspiration for creating skill challenges of your own.

Edit: I realize a lot of these are noncombat challenges (skill challenges that are no good for combining with a combat encounter). While this is intentional on my part (as I often enjoy campaigns that are more intrigue, skill, and quest oriented than combat oriented) I promise that combat compatible skill challenges are coming.

Hostile Negotiations

Hostile Negotiations


 


A combat encounter has begun, or is about to begin, between the PCs and monsters that the PCs can communicate with. The PCs must defuse the combat encounter, earn the creatures' trust or respect, then negotiate an end to the creatures' hostile actions.


Level: PC Level +0 (or as needed)


Complexity: 5 (requires 12 successes before 3 failures).


Primary Skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, Heal, Intimidate. The use of each skill depends upon the stage of the encounter.


Stages: This challenge has three distinct stages. Progressing from one stage to another is determined by the number of successes achieved. The number of total successes required to progress to the next stage is listed in parenthesis after the name of the current stage. DMs, feel free to vary the number of successes required depending on their party's style of play or the personality of the party's foes.


Defusing Combat (2 successes)


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PCs persuade their foes that talking could be more beneficial than fighting. This can only be attempted by PCs who have not dealt any damage to their foes. A failed check angers the PCs foes, granting them a +2 damage bonus (per tier) for the next full round. A successful check averts or stops the fight.


Intimidate (Moderate DC): The PCs menace their foes, making them think they've bitten off more than they can chew. A PC that has struck a critical hit or has done maximum damage with an attack gets a +2 bonus to their check. A failed check renders the foes unafraid of the PCs, making them immune to fear effects for the rest of the encounter. A successful check averts or stops the fight.


Earning Trust (7 successes)


Sheathing Weapons: If the PCs sheathe their weapons they get an automatic success. If they do not sheathe their weapons the next failure restarts the fight.


Eating Together: The PCs break bread with their foes, treating them with respect and equality. The PCs gain an automatic success if they also eat the food they're sharing with their foes. If they do not also eat the same food they offer their foes the PCs get an automatic failure (see Diplomacy & Bluff below).


Drinking Together: The PCs bond with their foes over drinks, usually alcoholic beverages. The PCs gain an automatic success if they also drink what they're sharing with their foes. If they do not also drink the same beverages they offer their foes the PCs get an automatic failure (see Diplomacy & Bluff below).


Perform a Task: Actions speak louder than words. The party's foes request that the PCs undergo a test or otherwise perform some task for them before they agree to trust the party. Each task counts as one minor quest. A successful quest earns one success for the party while a failed quest results in a failure for the party. These failures cannot be negated with Bluff or Diplomacy (see below).


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PCs make themselves seem sympathetic to, or otherwise endear themselves to, their foes. This skill is good for one success in this stage of the challenge. This skill can also be used to negate one failure from an improper gesture during this stage of the challenge.


Bluff (Moderate DC): This skill can also be used to fast-talk the party's way out of a failure from an improper gesture during this stage of the challenge.


Heal (Moderate DC): If the party's foes were injured by the party before combat was defused, mending their wounds will help build their trust for the party. This check is good for only one success during this stage, and it can only be attempted after one success has already been earned during this stage.


Intimidate: Attempting an Intimidate check will result in an automatic failure during this stage of the challenge.


Negotiations (final stage)


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): Persuading the party's foes that continuing hostile actions offers more risk than reward.


Bluff (Moderate DC): The PCs trick the foes into believing the level of risk will increase (more guards in the area, etc.) or the level of reward will decrease (goods sent via a different route).


Concessions: The PCs must agree to concessions to get their foes to stop their hostile actions. This works just like the “Performing a Task” option in stage two.


Intimidate: Attempting an Intimidate check will result in an automatic failure during this stage of the challenge.


 


Cupid's Helpers

Cupid's Helpers


 


The PCs are tasked with getting two people together as a couple. Their goal may be to unite two feuding families, two warring kingdoms or tribes, or they may simply be employed as matchmakers. The party must get the two people to notice each other, convince at least one of them to begin romantically pursuing the other, and help that person successfully woo the other one.


Level: PC Level +0 (or as needed)


Complexity: 5 (requires 12 successes before 3 failures).


Primary Skills: Athletics, Bluff, Diplomacy, History, Insight, Intimidate.


Stages: This challenge has two distinct stages. The PCs must first get the two parties to notice each other and then persuade one party to begin pursuing the other. The last stage is helping the couple get together. The number of total successes required to progress to the next stage is listed in parenthesis after the name of the current stage.


DMs, feel free to vary the number of successes required depending on the exact circumstances of the challenge (perhaps one of them is already interested in the other romantically).


Awareness & Persuasion (3 successes)


Bluff (Moderate DC): The PC makes one party believe the other is already interested and wants the other to begin pursuing them romantically. This is good for only one success during this stage.


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PC casually talks with one party about the other, peppering their chat with comments about the other party's good points to entice interest and pursuit.


History (Moderate DC): The PCs knowledge of local festivals and events presents an opening for the two parties to meet in a setting that has a nice mood to it. This is good for only one success during the challenge.


The Pursuit of Love (final stage)


Athletics (Moderate DC): The PC helps the pursuer climb into the bedroom or balcony of the one being pursued. This is good for only one success during this stage.


Bluff (Moderate DC): The PC deceives those who are standing in the way of the couple (love rivals, feuding families, etc). A failed check can result in a battle, or in tighter restrictions on the movements of, or access to, the couple.


Bluff (Moderate DC): The PC, pretending not to know the pursuing party, acts belligerent toward the other party so the pursuer can look confident and cool standing up to the PC (verbally or in a fistfight). If the check fails, the one being pursued realizes the PC is a friend of the one pursuing them, and this use of the Bluff skill cannot be attempted again for the rest of the challenge.


Bluff (Moderate DC): The PC can fast-talk their way out of one failure during this stage.


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PC speaks with the person being pursued, commenting about the good points of the pursuer while trying not to let on that they are associated with the pursuer. If the check fails, the one being pursued realizes the PC is a friend of the one pursuing them, and that PC cannot attempt this again for the rest of the challenge.


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PC feeds lines to the pursuing party. This can come in the form of helping them write a love letter, the classic Cyrano scene (this also requires a Stealth check), or coaching the pursuer ahead of time. Each of these uses is good for gaining one success during the challenge.


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PC can use tact and grace to explain away one failure during this stage of the challenge.


History (Moderate DC): The PCs knowledge of local festivals and events presents an opening for the two parties to meet in a setting that has a nice mood to it. This is good for only one success during the challenge.


Insight (Moderate DC): The PC helps the pursuer pick out a gift that the pursued party will like. This is good for only one success during this stage.


Intimidate (Moderate DC): The PCs try to menace those who are standing in the way of the couple. This is good for only one success during this stage. If the check fails, the rival is immune to PC intimidation, and PC fear effects, for the rest of the challenge. A failed check can result in a battle, or in tighter restrictions on the movements of, or access to, the couple.


 


Discovering Infidelity

Discovering Infidelity


 


The PCs are tasked with investigating the fidelity of a romantic partner of an NPC, or fellow PC. The partner may turn out to be faithful or unfaithful, but this has a minimal impact on the challenge itself (the structure and skill uses remain the same).


Level: PC Level +0 (or as needed)


Complexity: 5 (requires 12 successes before 3 failures).


Primary Skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, Insight, Intimidate, Perception, Stealth, Streetwise.


Bluff (Moderate DC): The PC confronts the NPC, pretending to know all about the affair, in the hope of getting the NPC to reveal something. This is good for one success during this challenge.


Bribery: The PC bribes an NPC for information about the NPC they're investigating. This can replace the use of the Streetwise skill for parties who do not have members trained in this skill.


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PC convinces a friend of the NPC they're investigating to reveal things the NPC has shared with them about the relationship the NPC is in. If the check fails, word about that PC's intentions will spread among the NPC's friends so that PC cannot attempt this use of this skill again during this challenge.


Insight (Moderate DC): The PC examines the NPC's behavior to determine if the NPC has been acting as if they were unfaithful. A failed check will result in bad information. This use is good for one success in this challenge.


Insight (Moderate DC): The PC watches the NPC interact with someone they have met with to get a feel for the mood between them. A failed check will result in bad information. This use is good for one success in this challenge.


Insight (Moderate DC): The PC takes a second look at the NPC's behavior. A success negates one Insight failure and eliminates any bad information received from it.


Intimidate (Moderate DC): The PC menaces the NPC with threats of exposing the affair (either publicly or to their partner) or threats to harm the NPC's lover in an attempt to solicit a telling reaction. This is good for one success in this challenge.


Perception (Moderate DC): The PC searches for love letters or gifts the NPC may have received from a lover. This skill is good for as many successes as the NPC has gifts from their lover or locations to hide things from their partner.


Stealth (Moderate DC): The PC follows the NPC in the hopes of catching them secretly meeting with a lover. If the check fails, the NPC being investigated will be hip to the fact that they are being watched and will be more careful. This means a failed check increases the DC from moderate to difficult for the remainder of the challenge.


Streetwise (Moderate DC): The PC goes to places where the NPC has been going and gathers rumors about her personal life. A failed check can result in receiving bad information.


 


Life of the Party

Life of the Party


 


The PCs are at a party and seek to earn social status, or get noticed by someone who has significant social status. To accomplish this this PCs must perform well, comporting themselves with class, displaying proper etiquette, and outshining the other social climbers at the party.


Level: PC Level +0 (or as needed)


Complexity: 5 (requires 12 successes before 3 failures).


Primary Skills: Arcana, Athletics, Bluff, Diplomacy, Endurance, Heal, History, Insight, Thievery.


Arcana (Moderate DC): The PCs use of minor magic, such as illusions or glamors, to impress others and to spices up social interactions.


Athletics (Moderate DC): The PC shows off their skill and athleticism on the dance floor.


Bluff (Moderate DC): The PC is able to rescue an ally or himself from the failure of another skill check with fast-talk and misdirection. Each PC can be rescued from failure only once in the challenge with this skill.


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PC displays the proper grace and etiquette to be seen as a person of class and breeding. This use is good for one success per PC.


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PC displays a knack for humor, storytelling, or engaging conversation that keeps NPCs glued to every word.


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PC rescues himself or one of their allies from failure or acquits himself so well in failure that he appears none the worse for the failure. This use negates one failure. Each PC can be rescued from failure only once in the challenge with this skill.


Endurance (Moderate DC): The PC is able to mingle and socialize for hours while holding their liquor. A PC who has achieved 4 successes must make a successful Endurance check to continue making skill checks in this challenge. A failed check means the character is too exhausted or inebriated to keep being the life of the party, and all skill checks as part of this challenge become difficult for this PC only. Success or failure of this check does not count as a success or failure for determining the outcome of the challenge.


Heal (Moderate DC): The PC helps reinvigorate or sober up a party member who has failed an Endurance check in this challenge. A failed check does not count as a failure for determining the outcome of the skill challenge.


History (Moderate DC): The PCs knowledge of local history lets them speak intelligently about things like politics, business, and the public doings of major families.


Insight (Moderate DC): The PC becomes aware of a potential problem at the party (a disruptive guest, the alcohol is running out, etc) and can then be of help. Each issue a PC helps with counts as a success, even if it was detected by another PC's Insight check.


Thievery (Moderate DC): The PC wows and amuses others with feats of legerdemain.


 


Smear Campaign

Smear Campaign


 


The PCs are out to destroy the reputation of an NPC or organization. The PCs can use facts, half-truths, or outright fabrications to attack the NPC's reputation as long as they can make others believe what they're saying is true. The skill challenge assumes the NPC, or an NPC from the organization, is present to put up some kind of defense. DMs can modify the challenge to allow it to occur over an extended time, so the PCs can attempt to influence others without the NPC, or an NPC from the organization, present. Altering the challenge in this way will alter the use of some skills, and may entirely negate the use of other skills.


Level: PC Level +0 (or as needed)


Complexity: 5 (requires 12 successes before 3 failures).


Primary Skills: Arcana, Bluff, Diplomacy, History, Insight, Streetwise, Thievery.


Arcana (Moderate DC): The PC uses a minor hex to render the NPC tongue-tied at an opportune moment, making him look suspicious or at a loss for words.


Bluff (Moderate DC): The PC uses circumstance and half-truths, to slander the NPC or organization.


Bluff (Difficult DC): The PC slanders the NPC or organization with complete fabrications. Total lies that are already circulating as rumors count as half-truths and can be discovered with the Streetwise skill (see below).


Bluff (Difficult DC): The PC twists the words of the NPC to make them contrary to the NPC's defense of his position. This check turns a failure into a success, and can only be attempted after a failure has been accrued. Each PC can turn a failure into success with this check once during the challenge. Further uses of this check by a PC who has already succeeded once will negate a failure but will not create a success.


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PC truthfully attacks the reputation the NPC or organization.


History (Moderate DC): The PC dredges up events from the NPC or organization's past that can be used to discredit or defame it. This skill grants no successes or failures. Instead, it cooperates with the Bluff skill, creating opportunities to use the lower DC related to half-truths.


Insight (Moderate DC): The PC notices where the NPC's argument is weakest, or the type of things that others seem willing to believe about the NPC, granting the next skill check a +2 bonus.


Insight (Difficult DC): The PC casts suspicion on the NPC's defense of his reputation, suggesting that he might have one or more ulterior motives. This check can only be used after a failure has been accrued. A successful check turns a failure into success. Each PC can turn a failure into success with this check once during the challenge. Further uses of this check by a PC who has already succeeded once will negate a failure but will not create a success.


Streetwise (Moderate DC): The PC dredges up rumors that are already circulating about the NPC or organization to discredit or defame it. This skill grants no successes or failures. Instead, it cooperates with the Bluff skill, creating opportunities to use the lower DC related to half-truths.


Thievery (Moderate DC): The PC plants a suspicious or stolen object on the NPC that the party can use to accuse him of disreputable things. This skill is only good for one success during the challenge.


 


Mutiny/Coup

Mutiny/Coup


 


The PCs incite a group to rebel against an authority figure. This figure can be a military commander, a ship captain, a superior in an organization, or even a ruler. The skill challenge assumes the PCs are at a gathering with those they wish to incite, but it works equally well if they are meeting clandestinely with potential conspirators. If the PCs recruit any active conspirators one of the conspirators will likely become the leader after the revolt.


Level: PC Level +0 (or as needed)


Complexity: 5 (requires 12 successes before 3 failures).


Primary Skills: Diplomacy, Heal, History, Insight, Intimidate, Streetwise, Thievery.


Conspirators: The PCs have persuaded a respected or influential NPC to join the mutiny. Recruiting a conspirator is a complexity one skill challenge (four successes before 3 failures) that uses the same skills as the mutiny/coup skill challenge. Each conspirator the PCs recruit adds two successes to the challenge and grants a +2 bonus (via Aid Another) to the PCs' skill checks. The PCs can recruit no more than two conspirators during the challenge. Failing the minor challenge to recruit a conspirator results in creating an informant (see below).


DM note: If you don't want to use a skill challenge for the recruiting of a conspirator, you may reduce it to a single Diplomacy check with a Difficult DC. The Aid Another option should be disallowed or restricted to a maximum of one PC aiding another for this check only.


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PC attempts to sway the crowd's thoughts toward mutiny by extolling the potential virtues of a new leader.


Heal (Moderate DC): The PC doses the informant with something that makes him terribly ill but won't kill him. This check removes the informant's presence for the next three checks.


History (Moderate DC): The PC dredges up things the ruler/commander has done to alienate or anger the crowd to turn their sentiments against the NPC.


Informant: The PC's failure to recruit a conspirator has created an informant for the leader they wish to overthrow. An informant will not only tell the leader what is going on but will actively work to oppose the PCs' influence on the crowd, imposing a -2 penalty to the PCs' skill checks. If the PCs are successful at the challenge despite the presence of an informant, the leader who is deposed may target the PCs for revenge.


Insight (Moderate DC): The PC spots those who are already disgruntled with their leader and are thus more inclined to revolt. The use of this check does not grant a success or failure. A successful check grants a +2 bonus to the next check in the challenge.


Insight (Moderate DC): The PC becomes aware of an informant among the crowd. This doesn't negate the penalties of the informant's presence, only disposing of the informant will do that.


Intimidate (Moderate DC): The PC intimidates a member of the crowd who is wavering or holding out on their commitment to the mutiny. This can only be attempted after seven successes have been accrued, symbolizing that the tide has turned in favor of revolt.


Streetwise (Moderate DC): The PC becomes aware of rumors about the leader that can be exploited to make him seem corrupt, unstable, or otherwise undesirable to the crowd.


Thievery (Moderate DC): The PC doses the informant with something that makes him terribly ill but won't kill him. This check removes the informant's presence for the next three checks.


 


Human Tower

The Human Tower


 


The party builds a human tower to get one PC to the top of the pit, oubliette (or other obstacle designed to harm or frustrate those who would climb it) so the PC can lower a rope, or otherwise help the others up. This challenge is very physical and has been designed with a thought given to those parties who may be lacking members trained in Athletics or Endurance.


DM Notes: You should have plans ready in the event of a failed challenge. Generic failure options will be presented at the end of the challenge. Also, if you use this challenge as part of a combat encounter (with monsters firing at the players from the edge of the pit) you should remove the damage from falling as the PCs will spend at least 4 rounds finishing the challenge before they can focus on the monster threat.


Level: PC Level +0 (or as needed)


Complexity: 1 (requires 4 successes before 3 failures).


Primary Skills: Athletics, Endurance, Heal, History.


Athletics (Moderate DC): The character climbs up another PC to form part of the human tower or climbs from the top of the tower to the floor of the room above. A failed athletics check indicates the PC falls.


Athletics (Moderate DC): The character stretches before the party begins building the human tower. If the check is successful, the PC limbers up and gets a +2 bonus to their Athletics checks. If the check is a failure it does not count as a failure. Instead the PC gets a cramp or pulls a muscle, imposing a -2 penalty to their Athletics checks.


Endurance (Moderate DC): A group Endurance check is required each round for the PCs that are supporting the human tower. If the majority of the PCs fail this check, then the tower collapses (with PCs falling to the ground) and one failure is accrued. A successful group check grants a +2 bonus to Athletics checks for the next round.


Falling: When the PCs fall they take 5 damage per tier. While the PCs aren't going to fall a significant distance, only the PC at the top of the tower should be high enough to take any damage from a fall, this falling damage represents the other PCs falling onto them. It also adds tension to the encounter as they now have a reason to fear falling. This damage is unnecessary if the challenge is part of a combat encounter.
Heal (Moderate DC): The character stretches before the party begins building the human tower. If the check is successful, the PC limbers up and gets a +2 bonus to their Athletics checks. If the check is a failure it does not count as a failure. Instead the PC gets a cramp or pulls a muscle, imposing a -2 penalty to their Athletics checks.


History (Moderate DC): The PC takes a moment beforehand to plan the structure of the human tower and the best way to distribute the weight. A successful check grants a +2 bonus to the group Endurance checks that must be made by PCs supporting the tower. A failed check does not accrue a failure but imposes a -2 penalty to the group Endurance check required by the supporting PCs.
Failure: If the PCs fail the challenge, they should be penalized with the loss of a healing surge to represent their exhaustion. To prevent the adventure's plot from hitting a wall at this point, here are some options to allow the PCs to overcome the obstacle without having to repeat the challenge.


Allow the PCs a single group Athletics check to get around the obstacle. Do not award them any experience or treasure for the challenge.


Monsters (or other enemies) arrive to fish the PCs out of the pit and take them prisoner. If the obstacle in question is not a pit, the PCs may be caught by guards; which can trigger another skill challenge, a combat encounter, or can be so overwhelming in number as to force the PCs to surrender.


A second party of adventurers encounters the PCs. At this point a second skill challenge can begin where the PCs must convince the other party to help them.


The failed skill challenge triggers the collapse of part of the pit's wall, or part of the obstacle, allowing the group to overcome it without any further difficulty.


One of the falling PCs hits a trigger for a device that removes the obstacle or allows the PCs to overcome it with greater ease.






Bidding War

Bidding War


 


The PCs convince a potential patron to employ their services instead of a rival's services. The PCs can bad mouth their rivals and their work, dredge up a rival's past failures, cite their own successes, and even try to intimidate their rivals.


Level: PC Level +0 (or as needed)


Complexity: 5 (requires 12 successes before 3 failures).


Primary Skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, History, Insight, Intimidate, Thievery.


Bluff (Moderate DC): The PC slanders the reputation of their rival with half-truths, any may even resort to personal attacks.


Bluff (Moderate DC): The PC is able to fast-talk their way out of one failure. This use may only remove one failure during the challenge.


Bluff (Difficult DC): The PC tells outright lies about the party's rival, or his services. This use is good for only one success.


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): With tact and grace the PC paints the party, and their services, in the best way possible; pointing out their successes and the quality of their work.


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PC is able to react to failure with grace and dignity, allowing them to escape the consequences of an earlier failure. This use may only remove one failure during the challenge.


History (Moderate DC): The PC manages to recall a fact about the party's rival, or his past services, that is unflattering or embarrassing. This skill is good for one success.


Insight (Moderate DC): The PC gets an idea of what the patron wants to hear, granting a +2 bonus to the next Bluff or Diplomacy check.


Intimidate (Moderate DC): The PC menaces the rival into thinking that backing off would be better for his personal or financial health than continuing to bid against the PCs. This skill is good for one success.


Knowledge Skill (Moderate DC): The PCs, in an effort to influence the patron, attempt to show off their vast knowledge related to the employment they're bidding for. This is good for one success per PC, regardless of whether or not there is more than one relevant skill.


Nature for hunting or exploring. Dungeoneering for exploring caves or ruins (& for hunting creatures who are native to caves or the Underdark). Arcana is good for retrieving a magic item. Religion is likewise good if the task is recovering a religious relic.


Low Bid: The party agrees to take a 10% cut in the fee for their services or, if the profits are being shared with the patron, the party agrees to give the patron an additional 10% of the treasure as his cut. Either way, this should result in a 10% loss of the party's treasure from the quest being undertaken. Each 10% cut is an automatic success. This is good for up to 10 successes, which means the PCs are working for free.


Thievery (Moderate DC): A PC distracts the party's rival at a critical moment with a feat of legerdemain, perhaps by cutting his belt, or slyly tapping him on the shoulder. This skill is good for one success. Further uses can grant a +2 bonus to the next skill check used in the challenge.


 


Capture the Beast
 

Capture The Beast


 


The PCs are tasked with capturing a beast, or other monster, alive. They must track down the creature, and ensnare the beast with traps, strategy, and brute force. This scenario assumes an outdoor setting with a beast that lives above ground. If the beast should live in ruins, caves, or the Underdark, then Dungeoneering may be used in place of Nature at any point during this challenge.


Level: PC Level +0 (or as needed)


Complexity: 5 (requires 12 successes before 3 failures).


Primary Skills: Athletics, History, Nature, Perception, and Thievery.


Finding the Beast (2 successes)


Nature (Moderate DC): The PC tracks down either the nest or hunting grounds of the beast so they can attempt to capture it.


Perception (Moderate DC): The PC tracks down either the nest or hunting grounds of the beast so they can attempt to capture it.


Setting & Springing the Trap (final stage)


Athletics (Vs Fortitude): The PC grapples the beast to exhaust it for the capture. A successful check adds one success to the challenge. A failed check causes the PC to grant combat advantage to the beast for one round.


Athletics (Vs Fortitude): The PC wrestles or throws the beast into a better position for the capture. A successful check allows the PC to slide the beast a number of squares equal to the PC's Strength modifier. A failed check causes the PC to grant combat advantage to the beast for one round.


History (Moderate DC): The PC uses careful planning of the area to determine optimum placement of traps and use of terrain. This is good for one success before the trap is sprung.


Nature (Moderate DC): The PC uses their knowledge of the beast to lure it. A successful check pulls the beast a number of squares equal to the PC's Wisdom modifier. A failed check causes the PC to grant combat advantage to the beast for one round.


Nature (Moderate DC): The PC sets a trap for the beast that hinders either it's mobility, or its ability or will, to fight back. When a trap is set, the PC has to determine what square it will affect. A trap has a DC to notice it equal to the PC's passive Nature check. A successful trap weakens the beast's ability to resist capture (see below). A failed trap causes whoever is nearest to the beast to grant combat advantage to it when the trap fails.


A mobility trap reduces the creature's speed by one square. The beast may be affected by as many mobility traps as it has squares of speed. A successful mobility trap adds a success to the challenge up to a maximum number of successes equal to the beast's speed. If the beast's speed is reduced to zero squares by means of these traps it is afflicted with the Restrained condition until it makes a successful save. On a successful save, the creature returns to having only one square of movement speed. Further traps return the beast to the Restrained condition but grant no further successes.


A combat hindering trap imposes a -2 penalty on the beast's attack rolls. This penalty is cleared upon a successful save by the beast. These traps do not offer any successes toward the completion of the challenge.


Thievery (Moderate DC): The PC sets a trap for the beast that hinders either it's mobility, or its ability or will, to fight back. When a trap is set, the PC has to determine what square it will affect. A trap has a DC to notice it equal to the PC's passive Thievery check. A successful trap weakens the beast's ability to resist capture (see below). A failed trap causes whoever is nearest to the beast to grant combat advantage to it when the trap fails.


A mobility trap reduces the creature's speed by one square. The beast may be affected by as many mobility traps as it has squares of speed. A successful mobility trap adds a success to the challenge up to a maximum number of successes equal to the beast's speed. If the beast's speed is reduced to zero squares by means of these traps it is afflicted with the Restrained condition until it makes a successful save. On a successful save, the creature returns to having only one square of movement speed. Further traps return the beast to the Restrained condition but grant no further successes.


A combat hindering trap imposes a -2 penalty on the beast's attack rolls. This penalty is cleared upon a successful save by the beast. These traps do not offer any successes toward the completion of the challenge.


 


Wooing A Lover

Wooing A Lover


 


The PC seeks to win the affections of an NPC. The NPC may already have a lover, or be otherwise betrothed to someone else; complicating things for the PC. Also, the PC may, or may not, have genuine affection for the NPC they are trying to woo.


Love is a powerful motivator, and it isn't uncommon for courtesans (among others) to win someone's heart with the intent of manipulating them.


DM Note: This challenge is intended for a single PC. If other members of the party are attempting to help the PC win the NPC's affections, the complexity of the challenge may be increased.


Level: PC Level +0 (or as needed)


Complexity: 2 (requires 6 successes before 3 failures).


Primary Skills: Athletics, Bluff, Diplomacy, History, Insight.


Athletics (Moderate DC): The PC, in a grand gesture, climbs into the bedroom or balcony of the NPC. This is good for only one success.


Bluff (Moderate DC): The PC insincerely flatters the NPC and puts up an air of interest that seems genuine. If this check fails, the PC cannot attempt another Bluff check until they remove the failure, or they get at least one success with a different skill.


Bluff (Moderate DC): The PC can fast-talk their way out of one failure. This only good for removing one failure during the challenge. If this skill is used to remove a failed Bluff check, the DC rises to Difficult. It's not easy to lie your way out of a failed lie.


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PC attempts to sway the NPC's heart with expressions of genuine romantic sentiment. This is only good for removing one failure during the challenge.


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PC can use tact and grace to explain away one failure.


History (Moderate DC): The PCs knowledge of local festivals and events presents an opening for the PC to meet with the NPC in a setting that has a nice mood to it. This is good for one success during the challenge.


Insight (Moderate DC): The PC picks out a gift that the NPC will like. This is good for only one success. If this skill check fails, the DC for the next attempt rises to Difficult.


 



Infiltration

 

Infiltration


The PCs are required to insinuate themselves into a society or an organization for the purpose of spying, stealing something, or inciting a revolt. Infiltration of some societies or organizations may require the PCs to disguise themselves as members of another gender or race (see Disguise below). An infiltration challenge should last at least one day or one week per level of complexity, but it can last for years, if need be.


If the purpose of the challenge is to start a revolt, this challenge should be run concurrently with the Mutiny or Coup challenge. If the purpose of the challenge is to steal something, this challenge should be run concurrently with the Burglary challenge. If the purpose of this challenge is to spy on the society or organization, This challenge can be run concurrently with some kind of social skill challenge to extract the desired information.


Level: PC Level +0 (or as needed)


Complexity: 5 (requires 12 successes before 3 failures).


Primary Skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, Insight, Intimidate, Streetwise, Thievery.


Appearance: The PCs dress in a way indicative of members of the society or organization, making it easier to walk among them. This is good for a single success during this skill challenge. If the infiltration requires disguises for the PCs, this option for success is replaced by the disguises. Unless the group being infiltrated is known for a style of dress, the PCs must first succeed at a Streetwise check to learn how to dress.


Bluff (Moderate DC): The PC actively tries to pass as a member of the organization or society. A Bluff check can be used to fake your way through oaths you are expected to know, secret handshakes, etc. A failed check can result in the PC being disciplined for getting it wrong (often with a lashing or by forcing the PC to perform physically demanding or menial tasks for several hours), or attracting the attention of a doubter. This is good for a maximum of one success per character.


Bluff (Moderate DC): The PC attempts to fast-talk his way out of a failed Bluff. A successful check removes one failure accrued from a failed Bluff check. Each PC is able to remove one Bluff failure in this manner.


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PC attempts to keep a low profile, blending in to the organization or society instead of attracting attention. Each PC is able to get one success from making Diplomacy checks.


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PC attempts to smooth over a social faux pas made while attempting to fit in. A successful check removes one failure accrued from a failed Diplomacy check. Each PC is able to remove one Diplomacy failure in this manner.


Diplomacy & Bluff: This challenge relies heavily on the Diplomacy and Bluff skills. The party may need to make extensive use of Aid Another to get through the challenge.


Disguise: If the PCs are required to disguise themselves as members of another gender or race to participate in the infiltration, only one Bluff check (at a moderate DC) is required for each disguise. Each successful disguise adds a success to the challenge. A failed Bluff check will result in the disguise coming undone, in a meaningful way, at some point during the infiltration (this is at the DM's discretion).


Doubter: The PC's failure to to Bluff his way through handshakes or oaths has made someone in the society or organization suspicious or doubtful of them. A doubter will watch the PCs very carefully, imposing a -2 penalty to any Stealth or Thievery checks they attempt. If the PCs are successful at the challenge despite the presence of a doubter, he may target the PCs for revenge.


Insight (Moderate DC): The PC spots those who are new members of the organization, or are otherwise easier for the PCs to blend in with. A successful check grants a +2 bonus to the next three Diplomacy and Bluff checks in the challenge. This check may only be used once during the challenge.


Intimidate (Moderate DC): The PC menaces the doubter convincing him to back off. The doubter will not be dissuaded by intimidation, but he will make himself scare for a time. This check removes the doubter's presence for the next three checks.


Streetwise (Moderate DC): The PC gathers information about the society or organization they are going to infiltrate. This skill grants no successes to the challenge, but a successful check gives the PCs reliable information they can use to affect their appearance, or that grants each PC a +2 bonus to their next Bluff or Diplomacy check.


Thievery (Moderate DC): The PC doses the doubter with something that makes him terribly ill but won't kill him. This check removes the doubter's presence for the next three checks.




[sblock=Fortify the Defenses]

Fortify The Defenses


In anticipation of an attack or disaster, the PCs must fortify a location's defenses. Erecting walls, digging trenches, strategically management of terrain, and possibly even setting traps are all part of the fortifications. If this challenge's purpose is to ward off a natural disaster, the disaster is averted by a successfully completed challenge.


If this skill challenge is used as preparation for a combat encounter, the PCs will have the option of modifying the encounter area before the encounter begins. Each skill check description includes a special section on terrain modification. The exact nature of the terrain modification, its effects and squares occupied, must be approved by the DM.


Level: PC Level +0 (or as needed)


Complexity: 5 (requires 12 successes before 3 failures).


Primary Skills: Athletics, Diplomacy, History, Intimidate, Nature, Thievery.


Athletics (Moderate DC): The PC Builds walls, digs ditches, and moves debris into strategic locations on the encounter map.


If the PCs successfully complete the challenge they may place one wall or ditch or debris field on the encounter area for each success earned with this skill.


Diplomacy (Moderate DC): The PC convinces local residents to help with preparing the defenses. To make use of this check the PCs must be attempting to fortify the defenses of a town or near a town. A success with this skill does not grant any successes toward the challenge, but it does grant a +2 bonus to the next skill check in the challenge.


History (Moderate DC): The PC uses careful planning of the area to determine optimum placement of traps and use of terrain. This is good for one success.


History (Moderate DC): The PC uses his knowledge of engineering and construction to make existing walls more difficult to climb, or reinforce existing doors and portcullises.


If the PCs successfully complete the challenge they may increase the DC to climb one wall, or burst one door or portcullis, that already exists on the encounter area by +2 for each success earned with this skill. This bonus cannot be applied more than once to the same terrain feature.


Insight (Moderate DC): The PC is able to ascertain the enemy's most likely tactics. This is good for one success during this challenge.


If the PCs successfully complete the challenge they should be told the approximate area from which a part of the enemy force will enter the combat area. This information can be about as little as one-fifth of the enemy force and can be as vague as one side of the map. DMs may offer more information if they so desire.


Intimidation (Moderate DC): The PC intimidates local residents to help with preparing the defenses. To make use of this check the PCs must be attempting to fortify the defenses of a town or near a town. A success with this skill does not grant any successes toward the challenge, but it does grant a +2 bonus to the next skill check in the challenge.


Nature (Moderate DC): The PC uproots and replants bushes and trees, or diverts water from lakes or rivers through the encounter area.


If the PCs successfully complete the challenge they may place one patch of plant-based terrain, or one water hazard, on the encounter area for each success earned with this skill.


Stealth (Difficult DC): The PC works hard to conceal a trap. This check can be used once for each trap on the field (and/or for each successful use of the Thievery skill, see below).


If the PCs successfully complete the challenge they may increase the Perception DC required to notice one trap or hazard on the encounter area by +5 for each success earned with this skill. This bonus cannot be applied more than once to the same trap.


Thievery (Moderate DC): The PC sets a trap in order to hinder those attacking the fortifications.


There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Please consider posting these in the 4E Skill Challenges group.

community.wizards.com/skill_challenges_4...

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

got any suggestions on skill challenge how to escape a rectangle 15 foot pit without any tools?
They could rip their clothes to make rope but I'm undecided if there would be anything to anchor the rope to up top.  One side of the pit is polished rock and the other side is rough ore'ish

I'm thinking the only 2 ways are someone to shimmey up in the corner or the human tower method
got any suggestions on skill challenge how to escape a rectangle 15 foot pit without any tools?
They could rip their clothes to make rope but I'm undecided if there would be anything to anchor the rope to up top.  One side of the pit is polished rock and the other side is rough ore'ish

I'm thinking the only 2 ways are someone to shimmey up in the corner or the human tower method



Human Tower.

The party builds a human tower to get one PC to the top of the pit so he can lower a rope or otherwise help the others up. This challenge is very physical and has been designed with a thought given to parties who may be lacking members trained in Athletics or Endurance. The DM should have plans ready in the event of a failed challenge, generic failure options will be presented at the end of the challenge.

Athletics: The character climbs up another PC to form part of the human tower or climbs from the top of the tower to the floor of the room above.  A failed athletics check indicates the PC falls.

Athletics: The character stretches before the party begins building the human tower. If the check is successful, the PC limbers up and gets a +2 bonus to their Athletics checks. If the check is a failure it does not count as a failure. Instead the PC gets a cramp or pulls a muscle, imposing a -2 penalty to their Athletics checks.

Endurance: A group Endurance check is required each round for the PCs that are supporting the human tower. If the majority of the PCs fail this check, then the tower collapses (with PCs falling to the ground) and one failure is accrued. A successful group check grants a +2 bonus to Athletics checks for the next round.

1Falling: When the PCs fall they take 5 damage per tier.

Heal: The character stretches before the party begins building the human tower. If the check is successful, the PC limbers up and gets a +2 bonus to their Athletics checks. If the check is a failure it does not count as a failure. Instead the PC gets a cramp or pulls a muscle, imposing a -2 penalty to their Athletics checks.

2History: The PC takes a moment beforehand to plan the structure of the human tower and the best way to distribute the weight. A succesfful check grants a +2 bonus to the group Endurance checks that must be made by PCs supporting the tower. A failed check does not accrue a failure but imposes a -2 penalty to the group Endurance check required by the supporting PCs.

1While the PCs aren't going to fall a significant distance, only the PC at the top of the tower should be high enough to take any damage from a fall, this damage represents the other PCs falling onto them. It also adds tension to the encounter as they now have a reason to fear falling.

2I personally use History as the default "education" skill.  When it comes to math, engineering, etc., I make it a History check instead of an Intelligence check.  Intelligence works equally well if you remember to drop the DC's level of difficulty down one step (easy is normal, normal is difficult).

Failure: If the PCs fail the challenge, they should be penalized (probably with the loss of a healing surge). To prevent the adventure from hitting a wall at this point, here are some options to allow the PCs out of the pit without repeating the challenge.

1) Allow the PCs a single group Athletics check to get out. Do not award them xp or treasure for
    having beaten a skill challenge.
2) Monsters arrive to fish the PCs out of the pit and take them prisoner.
3) A second party of adventurers encounters them. At this point a second skill challenge can begin
    where the PCs must convince the other party to help them out.
4) The failed skill challenge triggers the collapse of the rough ore wall, allowing the group to climb
    out without difficulty.
5) One of the falling PCs hits the trigger for a trap that fills the pit with water.  The PCs can now
    tread water at the surface until the pit is full enough for them to climb out.

That is how I would handle a human tower, given the situation you described.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I guess I should have told you...the PC's are the ones digging the pit! THey're slaves.

You gave me some really good ideas with the history and heal checks as well.  Plus I like triggering the ore wall to become unstable.

THanks!
I guess I should have told you...the PC's are the ones digging the pit! THey're slaves.



You are correct, it would have helped to know the players were digging the pit before designing the challenge. Don't let it bother you though, I had a bit of fun during the design process. Plus, I have another challenge to add to both the OP and my personal folder of challenges.

You gave me some really good ideas with the history and heal checks as well.  Plus I like triggering the ore wall to become unstable.

THanks!



You're very welcome. I'm glad I could help.

As for the Heal and History check ideas, you might consider this for future skill challenges:
I personally like testing the limits of skill uses during challenges. More of my favorites are using Arcana for minor magical effects (cantrip level or smaller), and Religion for minor miracles (again, cantrip level or smaller). I don't know if you'll find that useful or not, but I find it's a nifty way of letting less physical characters contribute without having to burn powers.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

  A bump, plus another of the combat oriented challenges I promised added to the OP.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Excellent skill challenges! I was wondering if you had any ideas that would pertain to pre- or post-combat scenarios that involve stopping a ship from sinking or trying get a ship ashore.

Basically in between the PCs fighting their enemy (a dragonborn cleric of Tiamat with a black dragon wyrmling and white dragon wyrmling) atop the equivalent of a cruise ship or large fishing vessel in Core D&D, the battle might cause either corrosive acid, choking frost, or a variety of other ailments to befall the ship. The distance between the mainland and the island they're heading is roughly half the distance it is from lower California to mainland Hawaii, I think.

Thanks for the help