Skill Difficulties - Say what?

6 posts / 0 new
Last post
Okay, on page 95, there is a chart that shows Easy, Moderate and Hard DCs, and then shows how they increase as you go up in level.

Excuse me? I thought the point of improvement was that things that used to be hard became easier. This is like, "Well, the Stealth check that used to be a 15 Difficulty is now a 16 since you went up a level and got a +1 to your skills."
You don't actually improve at all.

Why don't they just create a standard number for DCs then never let your skills get better. The effect would be the same, and the math would be easier.

Brian
I believe the intention is that when planning the encounter you use these numbers to determine the appropriate difficulty based on the character level you had in mind, not that it varies for different level characters.  So the thought process would be "I want this trap to be a Moderate challenge for a 6th level character, so I should set the DC to 18."  If a level 3 or a level 9 character encountered that trap, it would still be DC 18 (and thus more/less challenging for each of them respectively...

This is backed up by the adventures having fixed DCs, and like many things is described a bit clearer in the D&D Rules Compendium.
Yeah. The same task should always have the same difficulty, say fixing a flat tire would be and (easy) level 1 difficulty. But say swapping out a carburetor would be an (easy) level 4 difficulty or a (Moderate) level 1 difficulty. Characters can do bigger things at higher levels. That's all that is. 
Okay, on page 95, there is a chart that shows Easy, Moderate and Hard DCs, and then shows how they increase as you go up in level.

Excuse me? I thought the point of improvement was that things that used to be hard became easier. This is like, "Well, the Stealth check that used to be a 15 Difficulty is now a 16 since you went up a level and got a +1 to your skills."
You don't actually improve at all.

Why don't they just create a standard number for DCs then never let your skills get better. The effect would be the same, and the math would be easier.

Brian



It's not that things get harder as you level. It's that as you level, you do harder things.

At level 1, you're sneaking past the equivilent of mall cops. They aren't really paying attention, because the thing they're guarding isn't really THAT important. A level 5 character would practically ignore this 'challenge'.

At level 5, you're trying to sneak past armed guards who are trained in this sort of thing. It's more difficult, but you're more skilled. A level 1 character couldn't do this - But you can.

The problem you're seeing is that you're assuming that the DC is based on the character level, but rather, it's based on the encounter's level. The DM might have you sneak past some old sleeping man on a rocking chair to get into that old-time bar at night... And he might set the DC as a level 1 easy task. When you come back to that bar three levels later, the DC shouldn't have changed, if the situation is still the same.
Here's how this table works.  It's commonly misread, even in D&D.

The player tells you they want to do something.  You decide how difficult it should be for that at their present level and skill.  Then you pick the appropriate DC.  (If this means the same action is the same DC at two different levels, that's perfectly fine, but not required by any means.)

DCs below Easy or above Hard are not appropriate challenges for characters of that level, barring unique circumstances (such as the character with three bonuses and a 20 in the ability score).

Some things are always a static difficulty, like escaping grab grass, which you simply can't get better at.  Some things are always a static difficulty, like the example Athletics actions, because it was a design oversight.  

tl;dr Version: The table shows you what range of DCs are appropriate challenges for a player of that level.  No less and no more. 
The chart is a scale of what represents a challenge for characters.

If picking a lock is a DC 13, that's moderate for a level 1 character, but easy for a level 5.

If you're making a NEW challenge, and want something moderately difficult for players, you check the chart and set the DC based on that.

But this doesn't go back and make everything else become harder. This is for guaging the challenge of something new.
AlexandraErin: If last season was any indication, I think Encounters is pretty much the elemental opposite of "organized" play!
Sign In to post comments