paraphrased wrote:4e skill challenges don't allow roleplay
I think that's a big issue for a lot of 3.5 players and especially DMs in running skill challenges. Which is to say, they run them badly to horrible. And writers often make things that shouldn't be skill challenges. Examples:
18 Str/Con Character with no useful mental skills in a mental skill challenge tries to convince the DM that he could use Athletics. DM feels sorry for him because the DM hasn't read the errata and counts it as a Diplomacy check.
Character with a +1 in the appropriate skill announces that he's doing an action that likely involves that skill. DM has them roll and instant failure.
Writer makes what should be a straightforward diplomacy check into a skill challenge.
DM, in an effort to prevent rolls that kill the skill challenge, lists all the skills that can be used which turns it into a set of rolls.
Plus people ignore the errata - there are no longer rounds, no character has to make a roll, and the DM should at most allow one to two assists.
Here's the way I think they should be done:
Highest skilled participating pc makes the roll
Second highest makes the assist
Just because the PCs are trying for a particular skill does not mean you can't end up in another one - best example is Diplomacy vs. Bluff or Intimidate
What does this mean?
Everyone can roleplay without the threat of failure by an individual. Just because the +1 perception character decides to look around the store doesn't mean he's going to roll the check.
DMs don't feel sorry for the 20 stat character with no useful skills. You know that 20 Str/16 Con/11 Wis Warforged with the high Athletics and Endurance and nothing else. This eliminates the bizarre skill rolls when those two skills aren't applicable and they're then forced to roll.
Players do need to meet the participation requirement and think about what they're saying - the guy who threatens the NPC who can't be intimidated as an example. Even if you're the guy with a Diplomacy 10 points higher than anyone else, the DM still needs to feel that you participated in the discussion.
Thoughts? Other things that have worked for people?