See last week’s post for the new skill system in question. Summary: skill rolls are made against a static DC with no Margin of Success. Skill ranks add to skill “damage” instead of skill “attack roll” and are a bonus to 1d6.

As mentioned, I think this system, using an attack and damage concept, may make it a lot easier to do 4e-style skill challenges by breaking them down into something that feels much  more like a fight. Here is an example skill challenge, with more to follow if I’m inspired.

In all situations, non-standard skills might substitute for standard ones with an appropriate description (though they may take a -2 penalty). Particularly interesting descriptions of using appropriate skills gain a +2 bonus.

Crossing the Wilderness

Use this skill challenge whenever the PCs must travel overland for more than a day without the benefit of roads. It’s used to track how long the journey takes, how much food the PCs consume, and how many random encounters they have. Each round of rolls represents one day of travel.

Goal: Distance

DC: 10 for fairly clear terrain with a map, 15 for obstructed terrain or clear with no map, 20 for obstructed terrain with no map or truly confusing terrain

HP: 1 per mile between starting location and goal (special: the goal cannot take more damage in a single day than the slowest character/mount’s movement rate)

Standard Skills: Survival, Knowledge: Geography

The main goal of this skill challenge is distance traveled. Once this goal is defeated, the PCs arrive at their destination.

Goal: Food Supply

DC: 10 for well stocked forests with plentiful game/berries, 15 for a normal area where foraging is possible, 20 for areas that are desolate (special: +5 for areas where water is hard to come by)

HP: Base HP equals days of rations carried by the PCs (special: success at this goal actually heals it, as it represents the party’s food resources; it has no upper HP limit; double the base HP if you regard rations as enough for the whole meal rather than intended to supplement foraging)

Standard Skills: Survival, Stealth (for hunting)

A secondary goal of this challenge is to keep all travelers fed. The HP of this goal decreases by 2 per traveler per day. If it hits 0, all travelers become Fatigued. If it hits -10, all travelers become exhausted. If it stays below -10, begin applying starvation rules. Uses of food-creation magics do not use the day’s action and heal this goal by +1/day of food per person created.

Goal: Obstacles and Bad Weather

DC: 10 for small streams, rocky footing, or light weather; 15 for long streams, large hills, or heavy weather; 20 for long rivers, impassible mountain ranges, or torrential weather

HP: 6 per “instance” (this may be increased for multiple hexes of bad terrain or days of bad weather)

Standard Skills: Survival; Acrobatics, Climb, or Swim (obstacles); Various professions or knowledges (weather)

These goals appear at set locations or times of the journey, based on the map or a weather table. While in play, they heal the Distance goal by 2d6 per day per obstacle/weather goal, representing having to go around the obstacle or being slowed down by the weather. Defeating this goal indicates getting past the obstacle or coming up with ways to counter this particular set of weather.

Goal: Random Encounter

DC: Highest Stealth score of encountered enemies

HP: 1 HP for each enemy to be encountered

Standard Skills: Survival, Perception, Stealth

Whenever the GM rolls a random encounter for a day, the players should be informed before making their rolls, in order to allocate rolls to dealing with the encounter. If the PCs do not defeat the encounter goal, the random encounter proceeds normally, and receives a surprise round at whatever time and location it normally would have happened. If the PCs do defeat the goal, they can choose to ambush their attackers (getting a surprise round and arranging themselves on the battle map after the enemies are placed) or bypass the encounter entirely (though some encounters may pursue them for multiple days if bypassed).