So we ran our first skill challenge…

Posted on December 2, 2008 by


First off, I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving on Thursday, and a great long weekend.  I was able to gather the group on Sunday for our game, and almost everyone managed to make it… if everyone who plays were to show up for a session, I would be running 9 guys at the table!!! (YIKES!)… We had 7 players, plus myself.  It was a loud Sunday night in my dining room, us playing while Mrs. NewbieDM and my 3 year old daughter were busy setting up the Christmas tree…

So, we ran our first skill challenge, and it was… alright I guess.   I wasn’t too impressed with the way it turned out, and granted, it may have been my fault.  It was my first time running it, and we were a little clumsy.  I adapted the skill challenge presented in Dungeon issue 159, in the “Menace of the Icy Spire”  adventure.  It is a skill challenge simulating travelling through a blizzard, where players lose healing surges if they fail.  I’ve been hoping to find some mp3 actual play sessions of skill challenges, but haven’t, so I improvised it.

I set up the skill challenge, said what primary skills would be involved, and what secondary skills.  It went something like this:

“Alright guys, you have to cross this blizzard, and we are going to do this as a skill challenge.  The primary skills involved are endurance, nature, history.  This is a complexity 4 challenge, so I need x successes on your skill roles before 3 failures.”

And then I went around the table, and the players told me what skill check they were making as part of the challenge, I described what a success meant, and a failure and we took it from there…

A few things:

  • Group checks.  I should have done them.  Everyone should roll for endurance on a case like this, not just one or two guys…
  • Assisting others for the +2.  This is a good roleplaying opportunity that was wasted.  How are you assisting?  What exactly is granting your companion a +2?  I didn’t get into that.
  •  DC numbers need real thought put into them.  There is a huge difference between a 10 and a 12.

The players enjoyed it, and  I sort of got the hang of how they work… finally.  I’m going to run more, keeping these things in mind.  I’m chalking up the clunky nature of this SC due to my doubts and inexperience, but there will be more opportunities…

Oh, and at 4th level, they failed the challenge….

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Posted in: 4e D&D, Gaming