Category Archive: Skill Challenges

Advice specifically about skill challenges.

Elementary, My Dear Wizard

Back in August of last year I was thinking about how to improve the D&D campaign I was running. My players were enjoying it, they seemed to like the encounter-a-week + story, but I wanted to try something different. I’d made a rookie mistake of basing the PCs in a town, but sending them off …

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Storm Over White River Crossing

By paulbaalham and SuperFrogWoman Overview This encounter sees the PCs tackle a series of complexity 1 skill challenges in an effort to save the lives of villagers from a terrible storm (and their own stupidity and arrogance). The PCs are in the village of White River Crossing. They may be passing through the village just …

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How Do I Write a Skill Challenge?

I was asked this question recently and to be honest I didn’t answer it really well. 2 sentences and then I just wrote the skill challenge. Not the best way to help someone write their own skill challenges. So this article is my attempt at answering the things that are not in the rule books …

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Two Ways for Skill Challenges

I’ve written quite a bit about skill challenges already and this article is going to add to that list: Old School Roleplay & Skill Challenges The Challenge of Kings Thoughts on Skill Challenges On Friday night I went to the local Living Forgotten Realms event and we were playing through the module and got to …

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Old School Roleplay & Skill Challenges

Today I read (belatedly) @SarahDarkmagic’s article There’s No Role Playing in 4e and couldn’t help but think “that was a skill challenge”. Sarah specifically mentions wanting to make the session based on a skill challenge, but not knowing where to start, she also mentions being inspired by @newbiedm’s Red Box (Basic DnD from the 80’s) …

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Investigating the Fire

Encounter Level 4 (350 xp) Skill Challenges are not supposed to stop the characters from progressing in the story but rather make it harder for them to do so if they are failed, and in this skill challenge it is important that the PCs gather all the information that is available, and so the question …

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The Challenge of Kings

I have been recently reminded that 4E currently has no way of managing characters running a kingdom (as a group or even as competitors) or leading armies, and in thinking about those things it seems to me that the skill challenge mechanic is ideally suited to just such applications. Rulership & Paragons Firstly ruling a …

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Thoughts on Skill Challenges

Skill challenges were a new idea with 4E and they have certainly had their teething issues (I’m looking at you page 42 DMG1) and they still have their difficulties. One of those key difficulties in my experience is people becoming bogged down in the mechanics of the skill challenge so here are some thoughts gathered …

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Through Ruined Sewers

Encounter Level 4 (350xp) The characters follow leads, or chase a small enemy to the sewers in an old ruin (or perhaps in a city). Here they must navigate the sewers to reach the lair of their quarry without suffering the effects of the sewer’s hazards, or alerting their quarry. The narrow shaft descends 30′ …

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Ninja Attack

Doppleganger Leader

Encounter Level 3 (800xp) As you move down the street escorting your charge, from the shadows of two alleys figures emerge. They have blades drawn and they leap to attack…. The PCs are protecting and individual (ideally an apparently innocent girl or their current patron, or both in one person) and leading them through a …

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