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 Traps as Skill Challenges

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chaosfang
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PostSubject: Traps as Skill Challenges   Sun May 26, 2013 7:33 pm

Personally I think that not all traps should be treated as traps, especially the more elaborate ones (gauntlet-style traps) and traps that don't really seem to make sense as an attacker (false-floor pit I'm looking at you). While I still can't figure out a better way to handle simple attacking traps (so I'm not going to pursue that for now), I feel that the more elaborate traps are better done as a single skill challenge rather than a set of traps.

This is how I designed one such "trap" from the WotC DM forum:

Quote :
Kobold Proving Grounds
Goal: Escaping the Proving Grounds
Level: 15
Complexity: 2
Primary Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Bluff, Endurance, Stealth, Thievery
Secondary Skills: Athletics, Dungeoneering, Nature, Thievery
Success: Escapes the proving grounds
Failure: Loses 1 healing surge, or takes damage equal to healing surge value when no healing surges remain, and must repeat the challenge until success is achieved or death occurs.
Special: While in the proving grounds, all medium-sized creatures are squeezing. Also, teleportation causes the PC to take 2d8+7 damage and go back to the first scene.
EXP: 2400

Scene 1: Scythe Blade Room (1-2 checks)
Primary Skills:
Acrobatics. You dodge or drop prone as the blades approach
Endurance. You rely on your armor as it absorbs the impact of the blades

Secondary Skills:
Dungeoneering, Thievery. You remember how kobold traps are designed, and anticipate the blades as they come in. +2 to Acrobatics.

Success: continue to the next scene
Failure: take 3d8+10 damage, continue to the next scene

Scene 2: Boulder Path Room (1-2 checks)
Primary Skills:
Acrobatics. You skirt the side of the hall, narrowly avoiding the boulder's path
Athletics. Run, Forrest, run!

Secondary Skills:
Dungeoneering, Thievery. Again, you remember how kobold traps are designed, and figure out where best not to be at. +2 to Acrobatics.

Success: continue to the next scene
Failure: take 4d10 damage (from either falling or being gravely injured from the boulder), and continue to the next scene

Scene 3: Gelatinous Cube Wall (1-2 checks)
Primary Skills:
Endurance. You bear the pain of going through a wall of gelatinous acid. Lose 1 healing surge instead of taking damage.
Dungeoneering. You choose the right potion for the job (lose 1 healing surge), and pass unharmed.

Secondary Skills:
Athletics. You go into the cube with a running start, hopefully minimizing any damage taken. +2 to Endurance.

Success: continue to the next scene
Failure: take 20 damage, lose 1 healing surge, and continue to the next scene

Scene 4: Deadfall Dinner (1-2 checks)
Primary Skills:
Thievery. You trigger the deadfall, avoiding the swarm.
Stealth. You somehow mask your scent or find a way for the insects to ignore you.

Secondary Skills:
Nature. You remember the biology of these creatures, and what you can do to avoid becoming their dinner. +2 to Stealth

Success: continue to the next scene
Failure: take 4d8+5 damage, and continue to the next scene

Scene 5: Monster In The Dark (1-2 checks)
Primary Skills:
Bluff. You successfully distract the monster.
Intimidate. You somehow get to scare the monster away.
Athletics/Acrobatics. You outmaneuver the monster.
Stealth. You sneak past the monster.

Secondary Skills:
Dungeoneering/Nature. You realize that the gas is flammable, and could be used to keep the monster away. +2 to Bluff, +5 to Intimidate

Success: you escape the monster unharmed
Failure: monster mauls you, take 20 damage

Basically the less time fiddling about trying to roll until succeeding in overcoming (multiple traps), and more time moving the action along, regardless of success or failure.
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ToeSama
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PostSubject: Re: Traps as Skill Challenges   Mon May 27, 2013 12:34 am

I doubt I'd throw traps out like this as a stand alone sort of scenario, but it would definitely make things easier when mixed in with a combat encounter. I may just try it in an upcoming game. Kudos Smile
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chaosfang
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PostSubject: Re: Traps as Skill Challenges   Mon May 27, 2013 7:21 am

ToeSama wrote:
I doubt I'd throw traps out like this as a stand alone sort of scenario, but it would definitely make things easier when mixed in with a combat encounter. I may just try it in an upcoming game. Kudos Smile
Thanks Smile Yes it was originally designed to be part of a combat encounter, but given the flexibility of skill challenges I see no reason why someone couldn't be crazy enough to pull off an entire "trap"-heavy session as an actual skill challenge, whose failures would let you still continue to the next part of the gauntlet, but not without the risk of getting you killed, maimed or at least fairly wounded if you incur enough failures Razz
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Chris24601
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PostSubject: Re: Traps as Skill Challenges   Mon May 27, 2013 8:41 am

While we haven't gone as far as skill challenges, our group has largely replaced the default "traps as attacks vs. a defense" with "skill check to avoid a trap." it just makes more sense for us that a player would make an acrobatics check to avoid falling into a hidden pit you failed to notice (noticing the trap being an even easier method). Our general rule has been that if it would have targeted AC or Reflex its an Acrobatics check, if it would target Fort its an athletics or endurance check and if it targets Will the its an Insight check.
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