I'm running the following challenge tomorrow. There are 6 PCs in the party and Ive set the DCs so the PCs should fail 33% of the time. I anticipate 3 people working on the challenge and 3 engaged in combat. I'll let you know how it goes.
Rescuing Jalissa Rules
SCENARIO: A wall of force surrounds Jalissa, imprisoning her in a magical cell. You can see her, but cannot hear or touch her. You must use the dais to free her before the runes that create the magical prison (represented by the Tumbling Tower) become unstable and explode, killing its captive.
GOAL: You need EIGHT successful checks in order to free Jalissa before prison becomes unstable and kills Jalissa (represented when the Tumbling Tower collapses!)
ACTIONS: During a character’s turn, if he/she is adjacent to the dais, the character may spend a STANDARD action to make a skill check.
CONSEQUENCES: At the end of each character’s turn, he or she must face the consequences for his/her actions.
First of all, kudos for having a scenario that incorporates both a skill challenge and combat. I hope it works well for you.
I'm usually against anything that substitutes player skill for character skill, but I think this could be interesting. Just look out for the player who is bad at Jenga whose character should be good at the challenge.
What if they fail? Does the adventure grind to a halt? If so, consider coming up with a way for it to continue.
I've found that calculating DCs is futile, mostly because PCs don't do what you expect. Also, a percentage change doesn't mean an awful lot with as a small set of events as you're expecting here. But, good luck with it.
I like the unique combination of puzzle and skill challenge. I think I will have to copy the idea. As for the concept of a character that should be good at the puzzle but the player sucks at jenga, well according to the skill challenge if the character is good the player won't be removing too many blocks, so I think it works out.
Using a Jenga set is pure Awesome!! I have often times before 4th ed laid down real world puzzles and toys I own as stand in gimmicks to get players feeling like they are truly involved. One time I placed a Transformer in the middle of the table to represent an artifact that the players had to change around so it would fit into a slot and disable a trap that was going to kill them. I am definately going to use your jenga Idea!!
Just thought of an alternative but right on the same lines. How about stack dominos into a pyramid shape? When the players make the skill checks they get to stack them onto the pyramid. When they fail the setback is taking some off!! Which could collapse the pyramid. Once they reach the top most level you want than they succeed in thier goal. Of course if they collapse the whole thing then some alternate ending should be prepped for.
I havea chase scene thats coming up next session I may try this!
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