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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Evil campaign skill challenge

    Hey everyone, I'm new to the threads and new to DMing with 4e. I have an evil campaign that I am currently DMing and I have come to a point in the story where I am not sure how to proceed. The party consist of evil raced players (ie goblin, kenku, orc...etc) and they have been tasked with recovering a relic from an ancient elven ruins deep within a magicly protected forest. I want the forest to react to the evil characters trying to infiltrate it with magical defenses. Obviously I want it to be enjoyable for my players as well as myself. I was thinking of a skill challenge with stages or tiers as they get closer to the ruins. Perhaps after every tier or stage they are confronted by a guardian and whether or not they were successful with the previous skill challenge, they might have a penalty or benefit to attacks or other rolls. What do you all think? Can I get some help with ideas and how to elaborate upon this? Thanks!

    Kali
    Last edited by KaliWhampus; 2017-11-21 at 05:42 PM. Reason: Grammar

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2016

    Default Re: Evil campaign skill challenge

    I personally only use skill challenges where there are no other available mechanics that can reasonably work. Most of the time there are only two ways a skill challenge is run. It can be run like a heavily abstracted combat, where the only choices players face are with respect to the skills they use in respect of, in this case, their idea of what moving through a magical wood would require.

    Or the DM can adlib a series of actual obstacles based on the skill challenge. In this way the skill challenge acts like an outline of potential encounters. This gives the players actual choices, but if you are going to do that, why not just write each obstacle as an encounter, and allow/encourage players to choose their own approach, which may or may not include skills?

    If it was me, I would run this as a hexcrawl with a variety of terrain within the forest (bog, clearings, dense wood, heavy underbrush, hills, rivers, bridges, cliffs, etc.). Challenges would be related to the terrain, so choice of path would have meaningful consequences. I am assuming the forest is relatively small, so hexes could be small enough that PCs could recognize the terrain in the adjacent hexes, and maybe have some other clues as to its contents, and make meaningful choices about direction in that fashion.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: Evil campaign skill challenge

    Hexcrawl? Never even heard for the term. How do I go about designing such a thing? Is there a resource I could reference? Thanks for responding btw.😁

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2016

    Default Re: Evil campaign skill challenge

    Sorry, when you said you were "new to DMing with 4e" I assumed something about your experience with other editions that I should not have. Basically, you have an overland map with a grid. The grid is traditionally hexagonal but it could also be done with a square grid if you don't have hex paper or a hex overlay.

    Each hex (or square) contains a different terrain type and a possible encounter or other feature. The hexes are quite large (I think the smallest I have seen is 1/4 mile across), and the party picks its route through it.

    So in your case you might have different kinds of forest terrain, and different encounters that reflect the terrain type. So the darker spruce woods on the north side might have fey spiders, while the ancient broadleaf trees on the south have trees that animate and attack or bind the party or block its path; the river features elementals and water sprites, but crossing the elven bridge subjects the PCs to some sort of geas or charm.

    The Alexandrian has an article with some of the theory. I think the mechanics are written for 3e/Pathfinder. Some of it is probably more than you need, but the first article in the series on the basics, and the fourth on encounters, are probably worth looking at.
    Last edited by Beoric; 2017-11-22 at 11:23 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: Evil campaign skill challenge

    Thank you, I will take a look.

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