Jan 16, 2009

...Adrift in a sea of flesh and steel...a 4E skill challenge of survival.

With a little help from The Core Mechanic and At-Will, I have completed my mass combat skill challenge. I included made-up gibberlings, as I miss killing people with them. Feel free to replace them with whatever you want. If you can't help yourself and MUST point out my errors and shortcomings, please do : )

The implementation is a hybrid system that has the skill challenge simulating combat. As such, initiative is rolled, with the monsters always going on 1. Skill checks are full round actions that take place on the player’s initiative.

adrift in a sea of flesh and steel

What began as a simple hunt to cull a nest of Gibberlings, has turned into a battle for survival. Holding the van, Outnumbered 100 to one, you must use your wits AND steel to survive.


- Complexity 5 (12 successes before 6 failures)

- Encounter Level: PC Level+3

- Goal: Survive the onslaught of a horde of maddened Gibberlings.

- Skills Used: Acrobatics, Arcana, Bluff, Dungeoneering, Endurance, Diplomacy, Heal, History, Insight, Intimidate, Nature, Perception, stealth


Acrobatics – (Moderate DC) – By executing a precision series of flips, tumbles, and dodges you manage to stay ahead of your enemies blades – Or fall upon them!
SUCCESS Indicates that you have managed to avoid being damaged by the enemies actions. This check may be made more than once, with the DC increasing by 2 for each additional check made.
FAILURE Indicates that you have tumbled or jumped right into a waiting blade. In addition to taking damage (see “OUCH! THAT HURTS!” below.) there is a chance that the character may be dragged down by the howling mob! (see “THE HOWLING MOB!” below.).

Arcana – (Hard DC) – Using your keen intellect, you direct your powers exactly where you need them to be, hammering away at the enemies weakest points. Of course, any mistake could easily harm your fellows…
SUCCESS Indicates that the character has identified a weakness in the enemy’s defenses. Exploiting this weakness, you may give another character a +4 bonus to their next skill check. This skill is only useable once.
FAILURE Indicates that you are too preoccupied with survival to observe anything that would be useful. Additionally, you lose 1 healing surge, as you momentarily let your guard down to survey the field.

Athletics – (as Endurance below.)

Bluff – (Moderate DC) – Using every trick in the book, and a few made up on the spot, you try to misdirect the horde and turn it upon itself!
SUCCESS Indicates that you have feinted, mimicked, or otherwise bamboozled the mob surrounding you to zig, while you zag. As such, a number of the horrid beasts are trampled by their bretheren. This check may be attempted more than once, with the DC increasing by two for each additional check made.
FAILURE Indicates that you have failed to misdirect your foes. They leap upon you with sadistic glee, trying to drag you down. In addition to taking damage (see “OUCH! THAT HURTS!” below.) there is a chance that the character may be dragged down by the howling mob! (see “THE HOWLING MOB!” below.).

Dungeoneering – (Hard DC) – Understanding the enemy is key to defeating it. You have seen and studied these beasts before, even in a mob, they are somewhat predictable.
SUCCESS Indicates that you recall a tidbit regarding the behaviors of these beasts, say, an instinctive love of shiny objects. Exploiting this may well turn the tide of battle! This skill may be used only once.
FAILURE Indicates that you remember nothing of any practical use in your current situation. In addition to taking damage (see “OUCH! THAT HURTS!” below.) there is a chance that the character may be dragged down by the howling mob! (see “THE HOWLING MOB!” below.).

Endurance – (Moderate DC) – SPECIAL
USEAGE 1: Your arms may ache as much as your lungs burn, but you’ll sleep when you’re dead! Drawing on your inner reserves, you put up a wall of steel that sends your enemies falling back…in pieces.
USEAGE 2: Dragged down by the horde, you struggle to regain your feet, and escape the dozens of cuts and stabs being inflicted upon you!
SUCCESS Indicates that you have either regained your footing (see “THE HOWLING MOB” below.) or managed to maintain your defensive footing.
This check may be attempted more than once, with the DC increasing by two for each additional check made. NOTE – USEAGE 2 does not increase in DC, or count against the checks needed for the skill challenge.



Heal – (Low DC) – Just as important as the Butcher’s work all around – the support and care keeping the men and women on the line alive!
SUCCESS Indicates that you have successfully tended to the wounds of one of your comrades, keeping them in the fight. Choose one ally, they may use a healing surge if they wish. Any bonuses to healing that you grant apply here as well. This check may be attempted more than once, with the DC increasing by two for each additional check made.
FAILURE Indicates that you have become a target yourself! In addition to taking damage (see “OUCH! THAT HURTS!” below.) there is a chance that the character may be dragged down by the howling mob! (see “THE HOWLING MOB!” below.).

History – (Hard DC) – Even in the thick of this bloody battle, you recall your war schooling. In fact, Ser Reginald Blackplume faced a nearly identical challenge during his formative years. You recall he…
SUCCESS Indicates that you recall a relevant snippet of military history that is applicable to your current predicament. By directing your allies to follow this tested strategy, all benefit! All allies receive a +1 bonus to their next skill check. This check may be used only once.
FAILURE Indicates that you remember too late that the maneuver in question led to a slaughter of the defenders involved. All allies receive a -1 penalty on their next check.

Insight – (See History, above)

Intimidate – (Moderate DC) – By unleashing your mounting rage, you roar out a challenge…one that is answered!
SPECIAL – (see “PRIMAL CHALLENGE” below.)

Nature – (Moderate DC) –
By observing the terrain and it’s features, you see something that you may be able to use…
SUCCESS Indicates that your trained eye has detected a land feature you may exploit (rockfall, tree limb, bee hive, etc.). This check may be attempted more than once, with the DC increasing by two for each additional check made.
FAILURE Indicates your pre-occupation with your surroundings has made you vulnerable. In addition to taking damage (see “OUCH! THAT HURTS!” below.) there is a chance that the character may be dragged down by the howling mob! (see “THE HOWLING MOB!” below.).

Perception – (Hard DC) – Sometimes, surviving is as simple as knowing what is going on around you.
SUCCESS Indicates that you have been observant enough to stay out of the enemies path. In fact, your situation allows you to assist others – for the moment…You may assist another character with any one check (PHB pg.179) This check may be made more than once, at the same DC.
FAILURE Indicates that you have been blindsided by the enemy! In addition to taking damage (see “OUCH! THAT HURTS!” below.) there is a chance that the character may be dragged down by the howling mob! (see “THE HOWLING MOB!” below.).


Stealth – (Moderate DC) – Remaining unseen, you sneak about the battlefield looking for that one place where you can do the most good.
SUCCESS Indicates that you have remained unseen, and further, may intervene at any time (while hidden) during the challenge to grant a +4 bonus to a single check. This check may be your own or another players, it may be granted before or after the roll, it may be attempted more than once, with the DC increasing by two for each additional check made.
FAILURE Indicates that youhave been detected, and are immediately set upon. In addition to taking damage (see “OUCH! THAT HURTS!” below.) there is a chance that the character may be dragged down by the howling mob! (see “THE HOWLING MOB!” below.).

Success: Like a wave breaking on the rocks, so the enemy breaks against your indomitable prowess. Broken and reeling, the enemy retreats in disarray, leaving only their leaders behind.Failure: The party has been overwhelmed by the horde of gibbering beasts. Have they been killed? Captured? Forced to fight a wildly CR inappropriate battle? Hope they’ve been nice to their DM…

SPECIAL RULES:

- OUCH! THAT HURTS!: If A character fails a check, they have been savaged by the blades, teeth, and claws of their enemies as a result. The amount of damage is equal to the players surge value.

- THE HOWLING MOB: A character that has failed a skill check may be dragged down by the mob of ravenous monsters. They must make an immediate endurance check (same DC as failed check) or be pulled down by weight of numbers. The character is considered grabbed. Each round, at the start of the Gibberling’s turn, the character takes damage equal to their healing surge value.
The character may attempt to rise by making an endurance, athletics, or acrobatics check at (Mdoerate DC). This check is a move action.

- PRIMAL CHALLENGE: A well placed challenge calls out one of the beast’s leaders. The two of them will battle, with their combat actions taking the place of the character’s skill check. It is recommended that the creature be an elite of equal level to the character, or possibly N + 2 or 3 depending on how well equipped the PC is. Failure results in the PC being incapacitated (just like a combat encounter) and possibly dying. Victory awards two successes in the skill challenge, possibly tipping the scales to victory!

Powers of War: Players can expend powers to get bonuses to a skill check. When expending powers, have the players describe how the power is being used. For each type of power used, the following bonuses are gained:At-Will: +0 to skill checkEncounter/Utility: +3 to skill check.Daily: +5 to skill check.

Blood from Stone: Facing overwhelming odds, the players gamble with their lives hold back the tide of enemy forces. The party can elect for a member of the group to take damage equal to their healing surge value in exchange for a +2 bonus on an individual skill check by any other member of the group. This action can be taken more than once for the same skill check, and can occur after the die is cast but before the skill check is resolved.

- Attack Rolls - (High DC) - Player may make use of an attack role to cut right through their opponents by sheer martial skill. The attack roll is subject to any bonuses or powers that would be relevant to combat. At-will powers grant no additional effect, but expending Encounter or Daily powers grants the following bonus for one roll only.
Encounter/Utility: +3
Daily: +5
- Failure to meet the target DC will result in the character losing hp equal to their Healing Surge value

OR



NOTE: These two monsters are two VERY different ways to resolve a primal challenge. Use accordingly, or make your own.

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