Example Skill Checks

The following challenges give an idea of how the system is supposed to run. A couple of things to keep in mind when designing your own:

  • A  player with a decent ability score in the skill will average 5 HP damage on a successful check (3-4 average on the d6 plus +1 or +2). A player that has a +4 or better ability score will be able to do 10 damage on a good roll. Therefore, multiples of 5 HP on a task are a good default.
  • A skill challenge with several distinct elements, each with their own small HP pool is good for general party members: when they eventually get a successful hit, they can see an immediate difference. A skill challenge with a big pool of HP and a big payoff at the end is good for skill specialists, as fewer of their rolls will be wasted by rolling over a small HP pool.


Checks are typically per round.

  • Open Lock (Disable): The DC for the skill check is equal to the Break DC for the door (unless the lock is just horribly mismatched to the door quality). The HP is effectively the complexity of the lock (1 for a simple hidden catch, 3 for a 3-pin lock, and up to 10 for something that uses a really strangely shaped key). The lock provides hardness against skill checks equal to its quality (0-5).
  • Disable Trap (Disable): The DC for the skill check is from 10-30, based on the deviousness of the trap (use trap level + 10 as a rough guideline). The HP is based on how complex the trap is (1-30); in general, simple mechanical traps will have low HP and complex magical traps will have high HP. Traps also have a hardness rating: this isn’t for the skill check, but is the amount subtracted from actual attacks if players just try to destroy the mechanism of the trap, dealing direct damage to the HP (traps where just bashing it with an axes won’t keep it from working have a very high hardness indeed).
  • Use Magic Device (Improvise): The DC for the skill check is equivalent to the listed UMD difficulties in the player’s guide (don’t add any kind of spell or caster level). The HP is equal to the caster level of the item or effect.
  • Sneak (Stealth): The HP for the skill check is equal to the number of feet that must be crossed between areas where guards cannot see, +5 per extra party member moving with the group (but every member of the party can roll a sneak check each round). For example, trying to get 3 party members across a 60 foot open space visible from a guard tower would be 70 HP. The DC is equal to 10 + the highest Perception save among guards that might notice the group. Every round where the challenge retains HPs after all PC stealth checks, the guards can oppose a Hide check (see below). If the characters reduce the challenge to 0 HP, they can ambush the guards (gaining a surprise round) on the following round.
  • Hide (Stealth): Each round a character is hiding, guards that are paying attention can make a Perception save to notice the hiding characters. The DC is equal to 10 + the lowest Stealth among the hiding characters + situational stealth bonuses (+2 for dim light, +4 for full darkness, +2 for 10%-30% concealment, +4 for 40%-60% concealment). If all guards fail their perception save, the hiding characters can ambush them (gaining surprise round) on the following round (or may simply decide to continue sneaking).
  • Shadow (Stealth): As Hide, but the DC increases by +1 for every 5 feet the shadowing character hangs back from the target. The shadowing character gets a bonus for a good disguise check and a penalty for looking distinctive.


Checks are typically per day.

  • Forage (Find Sustenance): The DC for the skill check is equal to the prevalence of food in the region (5 for a well-stocked forest or jungle up to 25 for a desert). The HP is equal to 5 per party member per day. Each day the HP total is not met, the remaining HP are deducted from days of rations (e.g., with 5 HP left, deduct 5 days of rations). If there are no rations to meet the remaining HP, the characters begin starving.


Checks are typically per week unless otherwise noted.

  • First Aid (Heal): This check is per round. The DC for the skill check is 15. The result of the damage roll heals the target up to a maximum of 0 HP. Any successful check stabilizes the target.
  • Long Term Care (Heal): The DC for the skill check is 15. The result of the damage roll heals the target (to a maximum of total HP).
  • Treat Poison/Disease (Heal): This check can be made once per period of the poison/disease. The DC is the save DC of the effect. The damage is a bonus to the target’s next save against the effect.
  • Create Mundane Item (Craft): The character must provide half the value of the item (this is the “cost”) in materials. The DC of the check is 5 if the item’s cost is less than 20 CP, 10 if the cost is 2-19 SP, 15 if the cost is 2-19 GP, and 20 if the cost is 2+ PP. The HP is equal to the cost (in whatever coin the DC was based on) rounded up (e.g., an item that costs 25 GP/2.5 PP would be DC 20 and have 3 HP). When the HP are reduced to 0, the item is completed.
  • Earn a Living (Profession): Choose a DC from the chart below. Once the listed HP are reduced to 0, the character earns the listed GP.
5 15 5
10 20 10
15 26 20
20 33 40
25 41 80
30 50 150
35 60 300