Ideas for skill challenge at Sea.

13 posts / 0 new
Last post
So I was in a discussion in the comment section of Rule of Three and thought this would be a better place for it.

Anyway, talking about the shrunken skill list in 4E. For the most part I'm fine with it. I like the simplicity and flexibility of a small list of broadly applicable skills. Normally, I have little problem finding an appropriate skill to cover whatever actions my players may take or whatever I may require of them. However, I always seem to struggle with those times where my players find themselves on boats.  None of them have written sailor or coastal living into their backstories so that easy answer is a dead end.
I've used Nature to read the waves and currents. I've used dungeoneering to fix the rope on a sail or to repair a rudder. I've used endurance to avoid sea sickness, acrobatics to avoid being washed overboard by a rogue wave, etc but how do I deal with actually piloting the craft, dealing with rigging, leaks, malfuctions, etc? What other skills can I apply to seaborn skill challenges. I"m sure there's a way, I've just overlooked it.

Any ideas/input would be greatly appreciated.

Also, if you've found other holes in the current skill system where your players want to do something or you want to build a challenge into the adventure and struggled with applying skills that feel appropriate, please sound off, especially if you ultimately found a workable solution.
You could use Abilities Modifiers for tasks that they are NOT trained for.

Dealing with rigging => Dex Mod
Patching leaks => Str Mod
Malfuntions => Wis Mod ??
Keeping the Course in heavy weather => Con Mod

You could even expand the skill list when they learn over time.
Something like (Dex Mod + Acrobatisc) / 2 for dealing with rigging
or (Con Mod + Endurance) /2 for keeping course in heavy weather.

And thanks for the question.Wink
I'm starting a sea adventure next week and have not taken care of this skill problem until yet.Tongue out
I'm starting a sea adventure next week and have not taken care of this skill problem until yet.



If you think it might help, check out the Nautical Compendium. It's full of good ship-to-ship combat info, and other such seafaring assistance.
how do I deal with...


piloting the craft: If someone has a requisite background, I'd let them do it automatically.  If they are trying to coordinate the crew to execute a difficult maneuver, then I'd make that a Diplomacy check (maybe an Intimidate check, depending on demeanor).  The DC depend on how tough the maneuver should be.

dealing with rigging: Thievery (easy DC) to manipulate the riggings, Athletics (easy DC) to climb them, Acrobatics (moderate DC) to manuever in them.

leaks, malfuctions: Dungeoneering (Easy DC) to assess the damage and figure out how to fix it.  Thievery (Easy DC) to fix, assuming they have the tar and it's a minor leak. 


I'm starting a sea adventure next week and have not taken care of this skill problem until yet.



If you think it might help, check out the Nautical Compendium. It's full of good ship-to-ship combat info, and other such seafaring assistance.

Thank you very much. That is just great.
I'm starting a sea adventure next week and have not taken care of this skill problem until yet.



If you think it might help, check out the Nautical Compendium. It's full of good ship-to-ship combat info, and other such seafaring assistance.

Awesome thanks!

And thanks to everyone else who replied, lots of good ideas.  Keep them coming!
I'm just going to copy-paste my notes from my nautical campaign: basically my info on the ship itself and a skill challenge I had written for it.  Keep in mind I would explain this all to the PCs only as they attempt to do something: otherwise it's a lot of info and will easily overwhelm them.  Also, the skill DCs on the challenge are all over the place.

The Ship
The ship is a Gaff Rigged Schooner with two masts and four sails.  If the wind is with her, she can hit a speed of 8 knots (15 squares per turn, or 10 miles per hour)  Operation of the vessel requires someone to be at the helm to keep the rudder aligned properly, but as long as the winds don't change that's all that's needed.  The winds do change though, and the sails need to be trimmed or hoisted and their beams realigned to keep up speed.  The anchor is lowered to keep the ship from drifting away when stationary for the night.  Most of this is done by the NPC crew most of the time, unless the PCs let them die.

Wind/Speed Modifiers:
Wind With, sails aligned properly: swim 15, (10 mph)
Wind With, sails misaligned: swim 10, (7 mph)

Wind Abow, sails aligned properly: swim 12, (8 mph)
Wind Abow, sails misaligned: swim 6, (4 mph)

Wind Against, sails aligned:  swim 9, (6 mph)
Wind Against, sails misaligned: swim 3, (2 mph)

Manning the helm requires a minor action each round and at least one hand free on the wheel.  A major correction requires a standard action, both hands, and an Athletics DC check of 20.  Only one person can man the helm.  If noone is at the helm, the ship turns and moves with the wind according to sail alignment unless the sails are trimmed and the anchor is down.

Hoisting or Trimming the sails requires three standard actions: Untying the ropes, adjusting the ropes to the proper length, then tieing the rope again.  Tieing the rope requires a Thievery DC check of 15.  Failing by 5 or more results in you dropping the rope, and you have to readjust them with another standard action before you can try to tie them again.  There is only one location from which to perform these actions for each mast, though a second person can back them up: by holding the rope, they keep you from dropping the rope, and the DC to tie it drops to 10.

Realigning the beams requires an athletics DC check of 40, but this can be cumulative: spend one standard action to do an athletics check, then subtract that number from the total required check for the next turn. 

Hoisting the anchor depends on the depth: it requires 1 Athletics DC for every foot of depth, so if the water is 100 feet deep, hoisting the anchor would require a DC check of 100, cumulative.  Up to three people can hoist the anchor at a time.  Dropping the anchor just requires a single standard action, and it is considered dropped to the current depth of the location at the end of that character's next turn.  Ad attempt to stop a dropping anchor by grabbing the wheel requires an athletics check of 25, and failing this action requires an acrobatics check of 15: failing this check results in your character sliding 1d4 squares away from the winch, falling prone, and taking 1d10 damage.  If this slide puts you in the water, ignore this damage.

Repairs: Each hour, roll an endurance check: that check's result is the amount of the ship's HP you can repair during that hour.  Any subsequent hours of repair you wish to make may use that roll, or you roll again for a new result.  Casting the "Make Whole" ritual can be used to speed the progress of the repairs: Each casting takes 10 minutes, expends 50 gold worth of arcane components, and repairs 10 HP worth of damage to the ship.

Fire: Most of the ship is wood or canvas, and is flammable.  Any power that has the fire keyword effects each square of the boat as if it were a creature, and will damage the relevant part of the ship accordingly.  For every square effected by a fire power, roll a d4: 1 = that square catches on fire.  At the beginning of each round, for any square on fire, roll a d4: 1-2 = the fire spreads to one other square and both squares take 1d6 damage from the fire, 3 = the square takes 1d6 damage from the fire, 4 = that square is no longer on fire.  A fire can spread from below the deck up onto the deck when a 1 is rolled.  Any creature that enters or starts its turn in a square that is on fire takes 1d6 fire damage.  Squares on fire can be targeted by any power with the cold keyword, and will put these fires out (no ).  There are 20 bottles of level 1 Alchemist's Frost onboard the ship for this purpose, spread around 4 locations: 5 in the galley near the stove, 5 by the Helm, 5 in the powder room, and 5 by the Foremast.

Hull: 300 HP, 5 AC, 15 Fort, Reflex 0, Will NA
Resist All Expect Fire: 10
When "Bloodied" the ship will slowly begin to take on water: speed drops by half, and if not repaired to above bloodied status in 12 hours the ship will sink.  If the hull reaches 0 HP, the ship sinks immediately.  A bloodied hull requires repairs done underwater for each HP of damage beyond the bloodied value: if you must breathe air these repairs take 4 times as long.

Mast: 100 HP, 5 AC, 10 Fort, Reflex 0, Will NA
Resist All Except Fire: 10
There are two masts, fore and aft.
When "bloodied" any strain on the mast will deal an additional 1d6 of damage to it.  Using the mast to sail will deal it 1d6 damage for every hour you use it while bloodied.  If a mast reaches 0 HP, it collapses.  When it falls, roll a d4 to determine a direction (1=N, 2=E, 3=S, 4=W) and it attacks (-2 vs reflex) dealing 3d10 damage to any creatures within 10 squares in that direction, knocks them prone, and pins them beneath the mast (restrained, and cannot stand).  Where the mast fell is now able to be walked on, provinding an Acrobatics roll for walking a narrow surface.  Miss: the target slides to the nearest space not in the path of the mast.  Once at 0 HP, the mast cannot be repaired; a new one is required.  Freeing onself from beneath the mast is a move action: DC 15 acrobatics or DC 20 athletics.  Characters adacent to you can aid either of your checks with a DC 15 athletics check as a standard action, giving you +2 to either roll.

Sail: 40 HP, 5 AC, 5 Fort, Reflex 0, Will NA
There are 4 sails, two on each mast.
When bloodied, speed of the boat drops by 1/8 for each sail (If all 4 are bloodied, speed drops by 1/2).  When a sail reaches 0 HP speed drops by 1/4.  Any sail that reaches 0 HP cannot be repaired, and must be replaced.

Rowboat: 80 HP, 5 AC, 10 fort, Reflex 0, Will NA
Resist All Except Fire: 10
There are two Rowboats onboard, each with 4 oars.  They can hold 1500 lbs each.  Rowing requires both hands free, and is a standard action with sustain: standard.  Each rower makes a DC check for athletics when they start rowing: <10 = +1 to rowboat speed, 10-20 = +2 to rowboat speed, >20 = +3 to rowboat speed.  Each boat has 4 oars.  Rowers do not need to roll again, but may do so if they chose.  A bloodied Rowboat moves at 1/2 speed.  At 0 HP, if it is in the water, it sinks.  The Rowboats can be lowered into the water from aboard the ship as a standard action, and they are tied to the sides in such a way that if the boat sinks they will detach and float.  Reattaching a rowboat to the ship requires three standard actions which may be done by 3 different characters aboard the ship.

There are 5 cannons onboard, two at the aft deck and three on the port side of the main deck, though these can be moved to the starboard side using movement actions.
The cannons take three standard actions to fire, which can be completed by three different characters.  Priming the cannon with black powder, loading one cannonball or one shell, and firing the weapon.  The cannon may need to be rolled back into the appropriate position to fire again, a movement action.  Cannons can only target in a 90 degree cone in the direction they are faceing.

Cannonball: Area Burst 1, range 10, +5 vs reflex
Hit: All targets hit, including any parts of a ship, take 3d10 damage.  Creatures are pushed 2 spaces and are knocked prone.  Miss: no damage, and targeted creatures slide out of the burst.  Caracters aboard the hit ship must make a DC 20 acrobatics check (or a DC 15 athletics check, if they are near something to hold onto) or are knocked prone as the blast rocks the ship.  After firing this attack, the cannon slides back one square.

Cannonballs are used mostly to sink ships, against personell Cannonshot are generally more lethal.  Cannonshot will also damage sails while leaving hulls and masts mostly intact, making it more useful for taking a ship in once peice.

Cannonshot: Close blast 5, +10 vs AC
Hit: 1d12 damage  After firing this attack, the cannon shifts back one square.

Ammo: the powder room of the ship contains 20 bundles of cannonshot, 20 cannonballs, 50 premeasured black power charges, and two handcarts for lugging ammo.  Each cannoball or shot bundle weigh 20 lbs, each powder charge weights 1 lb.  The handcarts can each carry ~250 lbs, or about 12 shots worth of ammo/powder.  You can load a cart with 3 shots and 3 charges in one standard action, so to fully load a cart would take 4 standard actions.  You can move at your normal movement speed with a fully loaded cart, but you must have at least one hand free.

Each cannon position has two cannonballs, two shotbundles, and 4 powder charges stored in a container nearby.  You can load ammo from this container or from a handcart.  Loading 4 units of ammo from the cart to the container takes one standard action.

Each black powder charge is highly explosive.  If a blast, burst, aura, or zone containing the fire keyword effects any square in which there are exposed black powder charges, all of the charges explode.  The explosion is a close burst with a size equal to half the number of charges exploding (rounded down, minimum of 1, max of 10) (+10 vs reflex) dealing 1d6 fire damage for each charge, knocking characters prone and pushing them a number of squares equal to the number of exploding charges.  The wood exterior of the powder room is heavily enchanted, and is immune to fire.  Fire cannot enter or exit the powder room.  If an explosion occurs inside the powder room, it does not effect anything ouside the powder room.  Explosions that occur outside the powder room do not effect anything inside the powder room.

Other objects of a small size or smaller can be fired from the cannon up to 10 squares: said objects and the location at which they impact should split 3d10 damage depending on the relative densities of the objects at DMs discrestion; when a halfling hits a solid oak mast, the halfling will likely take the lions share of the damage.  Smart players may opt to aim for sails or water, or other surfaces that could reasonably absorb blunt impact if attempting this sort of stunt.  Allow an acrobatics check to reduce this damage, if trained.

Moving the cannons: moving the cannons two spaces requires a movement action (you move with them) and while the cannon does not provoke opportunity attacks during this move, you do.  You may turn the cannon 45-90 degrees as part of this action.
[sblock=Skill Challenge]This is a non-comabt encounter, where your opponent is literally a storm.  Wind and water surge over the rocking vessel, and the crew scrambles to hoist the anchor to avoid the ship tearing itself apart, and get the sails tied up.  The storm is unnatural, starting suddenly, catching everyone off guard: the crew needs your help!  A Successful completion of this encounter is the ship being only minimally damaged, and the crew being alive.  If it goes badly, some crewmen might be dead or lost at sea, and the ship may be damaged beyond repair.

You begin below deck, snoozing peacfully as the gentle waves rock the boat, when a roar wakes you, as the ship lurches to one side.  The blast of a horn from on deck: all hands on deck.  At this point the players could choose to go up onto the deck to help, or they could stay below.

If they go up on deck, they see Watcher at the helm: he had blown the horn, his eyes glowing with the intense concentration it is taking to keep the rudder under control, keeping the ship angled into the wind.  The crew is already springing to action, as the captain barks commands at them: "Jasper, Rolen, aweigh the anchor!  Kavil and Merric, tie down the sails!  Quinn, get this baneblasted weather under control, and Watcher, you keep us the hells afloat!"  As he speaks he runs to the Aftsails and unravels the rigging with a swift pull, and starts to tie down the sails.  He sees you.  "You lot get back below deck, we can handle this"

As if to prove him wrong, a wave of water crashes across the deck.  everyone near something they can hold (Railings, Walls, Doors, Masts, Etc.) rolls a DC 15 athletics check to hold on.  Those that dont, or that fail the check, slide Port 1 square and roll a DC 20 acrobatics check.  If they fail, they fall prone and slide one more space.

"Err, Belay that.  Looks like we need a hand here!

If the PCs chose to stay below deck, they are there when the first wave hits, so they are not pushed.  Soon after the captain yells down to you. "We need you lot on deck, NOW!"

When you come out, the halflings are in the water, swimming desperately for the ship.  Rolen is hanging onto the railing of the boat for dear life while Jasper pulls him up.  Watcher is still grimly gripping the wheel.  Quinn is getting up from being knocked prone, clutching his ritual book.

Every round, roll a d4
1- Lightning Strikes a random square (roll 2d20 to determine where on the battle grid) resulting in a burst 1, +5 vs Fortitude, 2d10 lighting damage, and you are knocked prone and pushed 2 squares.  Miss: half damage, knocked prone, pushed 1 square.
2- A Wave hits, as described above: slide to starboard.  If a character is in the water when this occurs, they slide 4 squares and move 1 square underwater, no saves possible.  After 3 minutes (~6 rounds) underwater they may begin to drown.
3- wave: slide to port
4- No effect

Every round, if the anchor is still in the water, the hull takes 1d6 damage ignoring its resistance, as the ship is pulled away by the force of the waves and wind.

The PCs have a few options here:

1.  Help Jasper and Rolen with the anchor.  You are at depth of 75 feet, so you need to accumulate 75 DC in athletics rolls to stop the ship from taking damage.  Rolen will explain how to do this.

2.  Help the Halflings with the sails.  They will explain how to do this.  Every round the sails are not tied down, the masts take 1d8 damage for each sail ignoring their resistance, and the sails each take 1d10 damage.

3.  Rescue crewmembers/PCs who have fallen into the water.  You can do this by swimming (Athletics DC 20 each turn, +5 when dragging someone who cannot swim) or tossing them a lifeline.  Lifelines are tethered to the railing of the boat every 3 squares or so, and can be thrown 10 squares.  They end with a buoyant leather sphere that will float in place.  This buoyant sphere will be pushed 6 squares by the waves, but can never reach more than 10 squares from the boat.  A character can grab ahold of the sphere to remain afloat.  A character on the other end can use a standard action to pull them 2+athletics modifier spaces closer to the ship.

4.  Take the helm.  This is unlikely to be necessary unless Watcher has a very bad roll for a wave or is hit by lightning and is forced from the helm.  If there is noone at the helm when a wave hits, add +5 to the DC of checks vs that wave, and slide 1 extra space.  Once at the helm, when a wave comes roll a DC 15 endurance check.  If failed, add +5 to the DC checks vs that wave anyway (NPC do not need to do this check)

5.  Help Quinn cast "Control Weather."  Once the ritual is complete, the storm ends abruptly.  Waters become calm, the ship stops taking damage, and no more waves or lightning occur.  This ritual takes 10 standard actions for Quinn to complete alone.  Any character can roll arcana (DC 20), nature (DC 15), or religion (DC 20) as a standard action to reduce the length of the ritual by 1 action.  This action must be done adjacent to Quinn, and you must not be prone.  Before Quinn will allow you to help, you must convince him to let you via Bluffing (DC 20) Diplomacy (DC 15) or Intimidation (DC 10): he does not want anyone to know he can't cast the ritual, and is relying on a scroll.  Rolling Insight (DC 15) will allow you to sense his shame, for +2 to your roll and knowledge of the success rates of the three tactics, Perception (DC 20) allows you to spot the scroll in the ritual book for another +2 to your roll.  This challenge requires one success before three failures.

If Quinn cannot continue the ritual, you may attempt to do so yourself.  He is holding one copy of the scroll, and has the necessary components in a bottle around his neck. (they are scattered to the wind at the end of the ritual)  If he releases his grip on the scroll he is holding (if he falls unconscious or dies, for example) it is taken by the wind.  Characters within 3 squares from him have one round to make a thievery check (DC 25) to grab it from the air.  By the next round, it is gone.  He has one more scroll on his person, and four scrolls (and four spare bottles of pre-measured nature components) locked in his footlocker in the crew's quarters.  The lock takes a DC 15 thievery check to unlock or a DC 25 athletics check to break open.  If you didn't try to intimidate him, and you did not fail a bluff check against him, he will try to help you in any way he can: giving you his second scroll, throwing you the key to the chest, telling you that more scrolls are in the chest, and so forth, depending on what makes sense for the situation.  If you intimidated him (successfully or no) or if he thinks you lied to him (failed a bluff check) he'll just focus on getting himself safe and start the ritual again. when he's able.

Casting the ritual yourself requires no skill check, but will take 10 actions, as you have to start over, and you must have a scroll and components.  Others can help you in the same way they can help Quinn.

When Quinn (or whoever) ends the storm, the ship is no longer anywhere near where it is supposed to be: you are lost in uncharted waters.[/sbutton]
I would buy a book of skill challenges-
   general conditions  ie  lost in the wilderness, traveling through swamp, going to circus, ect
   with a listing of key skills needed, DC's for different levels and exp's
Ideas for cool side effects for success or failure.
......................
this would be a good book.
I've used

Nature to read the waves and currents.
dungeoneering to fix the rope on a sail or to repair a rudder.
endurance to avoid sea sickness,
acrobatics to avoid being washed overboard by a rogue wave

Athletics includes swimming, and might also be a good choice to avoid being washed overboard.  Theivery, since it deals with intricacies of mechanical devices might be good for jurry-rigging things, too.  


piloting the craft,
dealing with rigging, leaks, malfuctions, etc?

Piloting might mean just working the rudder or wheel to steer the ship - that would require some familiarity, but might not be a skill check unless you were trying to accomplish something with the ship.  If you're trying to thread your way through a narrow channel, Nature, Perception, and maybe even a Dex-based skill like Theivery (to make minute course adjustment) might be called for.  If you're trying to hold your course in a violent storm or against a strong current, Athletics might be the main thing.

Climbing in the Rigging is Athletics, 'skylarking' would include Accrobatics, as well, making repairs could be done without skills, using the Jurry Rig martial practice, for instance.  Since Athletics includes Climbing and climbing includes rope-use, presumably it'd let you tie knots, secure & haul on lines and the like, too.

What other skills can I apply to seaborn skill challenges. I"m sure there's a way, I've just overlooked it.

Skill like Nature, Dungeoneering, or even Arcana might yield insights of use on a sea voyage.  Nature can predict the weather, help you find your way, draw conclusions from the changes in the sea (waves, color, marine life), and so forth.  Dungeoneering could help you deal with the limitted resources on board ship (something like being underground since it's cramped and isolated).  While Nature would let you navigate by dead reckoning and familiarity with local conditions, Arcana might let you find your position precisely using the stars, sextants, timekeeping devices/'minor spells,' and 'alchemical reagents' like lodestone.  History could also help with knowing the routes taken by explorers in the past.

Also, one of the major challenges of a sea voyage is dealing with the crew.  Keeping them all working and away from eachothers' throats, in spite of personal animosities, privation, and maritime superstitions.  Diplomacy, Intimidation, Streetwise (for those lower-class forecastle-hands), and even Bluff ("we know exactly where we are") could all help with morale and discipline, and Heal could help keep the ravages of privation at bay.

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

I've used

Nature to read the waves and currents.
dungeoneering to fix the rope on a sail or to repair a rudder.
endurance to avoid sea sickness,
acrobatics to avoid being washed overboard by a rogue wave

Athletics includes swimming, and might also be a good choice to avoid being washed overboard.  Theivery, since it deals with intricacies of mechanical devices might be good for jurry-rigging things, too.  


piloting the craft,
dealing with rigging, leaks, malfuctions, etc?

Piloting might mean just working the rudder or wheel to steer the ship - that would require some familiarity, but might not be a skill check unless you were trying to accomplish something with the ship.  If you're trying to thread your way through a narrow channel, Nature, Perception, and maybe even a Dex-based skill like Theivery (to make minute course adjustment) might be called for.  If you're trying to hold your course in a violent storm or against a strong current, Athletics might be the main thing.

Climbing in the Rigging is Athletics, 'skylarking' would include Accrobatics, as well, making repairs could be done without skills, using the Jurry Rig martial practice, for instance.  Since Athletics includes Climbing and climbing includes rope-use, presumably it'd let you tie knots, secure & haul on lines and the like, too.

What other skills can I apply to seaborn skill challenges. I"m sure there's a way, I've just overlooked it.

Skill like Nature, Dungeoneering, or even Arcana might yield insights of use on a sea voyage.  Nature can predict the weather, help you find your way, draw conclusions from the changes in the sea (waves, color, marine life), and so forth.  Dungeoneering could help you deal with the limitted resources on board ship (something like being underground since it's cramped and isolated).  While Nature would let you navigate by dead reckoning and familiarity with local conditions, Arcana might let you find your position precisely using the stars, sextants, timekeeping devices/'minor spells,' and 'alchemical reagents' like lodestone.  History could also help with knowing the routes taken by explorers in the past.

Also, one of the major challenges of a sea voyage is dealing with the crew.  Keeping them all working and away from eachothers' throats, in spite of personal animosities, privation, and maritime superstitions.  Diplomacy, Intimidation, Streetwise (for those lower-class forecastle-hands), and even Bluff ("we know exactly where we are") could all help with morale and discipline, and Heal could help keep the ravages of privation at bay.


Great answer Tony, thanks a ton for the depth. Very much what I was looking for.

Don’t forget about perception


When sailing you constantly make adjustments to both the boat heading and the lines (sheets) that control the sails.  A successful perception DC check should allow the pilot to:



  1. correct the boats heading as the wind makes minor gusts and shifts in direction. (as it constantly does)

  2. adjust the sails to get the most out of the wind at their particular heading.


 Basically a successful perception check should allow even a novice pilot to go faster.


Failing the DC can make the boat go slower, it is even feasible if they fumble the roll, to have the boat stall out (where they loose forward motion all together, yes it happens)


 Have them make one every hour for travel, in combat every round would make sense.

As Tony said, nearly every skill can be useful (even if you only allow one use) during such a skill challenge.  I would even allow someone to use Religion to determine which god would be most appropriate (in terms of praying for mercy or help), or Arcana (is there some hint of the Elemental Chaos in this storm?).  History for sure (Don't worry everyone, the legendary Captain Julio Scoundrel made it through a storm far worse than this one by turning directly into the wind to reduce the damage to the sails!). 
As Tony said, nearly every skill can be useful (even if you only allow one use) during such a skill challenge.  I would even allow someone to use Religion to determine which god would be most appropriate (in terms of praying for mercy or help), or Arcana (is there some hint of the Elemental Chaos in this storm?).  History for sure (Don't worry everyone, the legendary Captain Julio Scoundrel made it through a storm far worse than this one by turning directly into the wind to reduce the damage to the sails!). 



I dont think knowledge checks get enough love. It's great if your character can maneuver in the rigging, but do they 'know' what they're supposed to be doing? History is often thought of as just that, history, but to me it covers a multitude of 'Do I know how do to that?'

I'm not sailor by any means, but I can tie a cleat, bowling, double bowline, etc because I've learned it in over places. To me, history is more of a check on how much knowledge does your character maintain in their heads. If I wanted to use a 'could they learn' check, I would go with Int or Wis modifier.

Ex: You've been sailing on the boat for days when a vicious storm comes up, a wave hits and wipes the captain off the deck and into the churning waves below, what do you do? 'Well my character is super smart and I've been watching the crew over the last few days to see what changes they make to the sails and when (roll).'
Sign In to post comments