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 "DCs are Based on Character Level"

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C4
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PostSubject: "DCs are Based on Character Level"   Thu May 29, 2014 2:52 pm

Can someone point me toward the text proving that this is not true? I remember a passage in the DMG that lays out the skill-DC-determination process as PC Level --> Dungeon Level --> Skill DC, but I can't remember where.

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spock42
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PostSubject: Re: "DCs are Based on Character Level"   Thu May 29, 2014 9:08 pm

I don't have my RC with me atm, but I know the intent was the challenge level not the character level. if your running a Lv5 skill challenge you use Lv5 DCs not what ever your character level is
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PostSubject: Re: "DCs are Based on Character Level"   Fri May 30, 2014 7:50 am

That's how I understood it. You set a level for the challenge and use that level.
The catch is that the level of the challenge generally progresses with the level of the characters, but you could certainly go + or - 2, and if it is just a skill check to do something or a knowledge check, with the natural of skill optimization +4 or 5 might not necessarily be too difficult.
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PostSubject: Re: "DCs are Based on Character Level"   Fri May 30, 2014 8:05 pm

Page 126 of the Rules Compendium has the "Difficulty Class by Level" table.

It reads:

"The skill entries in this chapter give sample DCs for common uses of the skills. Some DCs are fixed, whereas other scale with level. A fixed DC represents a task that gets easier as an adventurer gains levels. By the time an adventurer reaches epic tier, certain tasks become trivial. In contrast, a DC that scales with level represents a task that remains at least a little challenging throughout an adventurer's career.

"The Dungeon Master can use the suggested DC for a task or set one using the Difficulty Class by Level table. The table provides DCs at each level for three categories of difficulty: easy, moderate, and hard. When chosing a DC from the table, the Dungeon Master should use the level of the creature performing the check, unless otherwise noted."

So based upon that, it seems that the DC should be set based upon the level the party/character attempting the task.

But really, the DM sets the DC at whatever they think is appropriate. That table is just a guideline for these things. If the DM wants it harder, set the DC higher. And vice versa. As long as the DM doesn't intentionally work to "screw over" the players, then whatever DC is set will be just fine. And a good DM will pay attention to how the players respond to the difficulty of the skill checks and adjust them in the game (overall) accordingly.

I use the table to set the DC for most of the skill checks in my game. And they tend to work just fine. But if I find that players are feeling like things are too challenging and are getting discouraged, I'll tweak them down a bit. Or if I want to make sure that only the most highly skilled players can succeed, I'll tweak them up.

I think the most important thing to to provide DCs that make sense in terms of what you want out of a skill check. Half the time I don't even use skill checks for easy things. I will award a success to players that are trained in a given skill much of the time.

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AbdulAlhazred
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PostSubject: Re: "DCs are Based on Character Level"   Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:20 pm

I thought the write up for DCs in the RC was a bad one personally. The whole idea of 'scaling DCs' is poop. Sure, the DM should generally speaking create DCs that are appropriate to the characters, duh! OTOH this should be done VIA THE FICTION OF THE GAME. The original skill rules in DMG1 are quite clear on this. The Door Table is a golden example, there are a bunch of different types of doors. Mechanically a door is a door, but NARRATIVELY level 25 (or whatever) doors are 'Adamantium' and level 1 doors are 'wooden'. From the PCs perspective wooden doors are much weaker and easier to break than adamantium doors. Level 1 PCs adventure in mundane areas where doors are largely made of wood or maybe sometimes reinforced with iron or even made of metal if they're unusually tough. Level 30 characters invade the fortress of Asmodeus and you can be sure ALL of his doors are adamantium!

I think the problem that the scaling was attempting to 'solve' was with a few things like heal checks and aid another where as-written they become trivially easy after a few levels. I just don't really see the problem there. If you need high DC healing checks to come into play then by all means have the PCs encounter nasty poisons, diseases, and curses, and then hammer them! Just patching up a minor sword wound SHOULD become pretty much trivial once you've hit something like 10th level.
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