View Full Version : Skill Challenge online

2011-02-02, 10:31 AM
I made a skill challenge for the dnd 4e generic characters. Well, I wrote a scenario I had in my head, and then figured that with a bit of coding, I could put it online. Wrong. While examining all possible actions my players could take, it grew too complex.

Therefore I limited the choices, so it lacks severely the RPG aspect. Dnd 4e is good at that anyway. I found it lost it's purpose, yet my group encouraged me to finish it. To incorporate it anyway, I've send them the link and will use their individual results in next session. But how?

I throw it in the open because I want to see if you guys have some ideas how to use this.

Link is here: Moonstair Skill Challenge (http://hardball.host-ed.net/moonstair/main.php)
Don't use back button, it will screw things up. And no complains on the layout, it's a quick thing and it works in IE, so i'm halfway happy. And yes, you can get 100% completion.

2011-02-02, 11:12 AM
Interesting program. I got 69% completion.

Kol Korran
2011-02-02, 11:17 AM
it was fun! thanks! (though i did really really poorly) a few thoughts though (first about the nature of skill challenges, then on the program):
1) the idea is that for a given situation, players might pick what skill they are going to use. as in: say they are talking to the high priest, they might use intimidate, diplomacy, bluff, or knowledge religion. it would be nice to leave that choice to the players.
2) one of the things i like about skill challenges, is that at times different skills grant different sorts of success. what do i mean?
- lets say i don't have a really relevant skill. but i have something close, if i succeed in this test i may grant a bonus to another test. (lets say i need to sneak up the mountain. i have no ranks in stealth, but i do know something about nature- success lets me add +2- +5 on the stealth check, knowing more hidden paths.
- a success at a skills challenge may open up a different route alltogether. (while at the market i meet with a rival priest, trying to get followers. he will help, if you can persuade him of your faith (diplo or relig)
- a success can grant you some sort of an advantage for another part of the adventure (for example, the name of the ship's captain. that could be a success btw, or covering your tracks and reducing failures. or just hints and clues)

i know these may be hard to integrate into the program, but they may be worth the effort. about the game itself:
1) you keep telling the player exactly which skills will be needed. i suggest let them find out themselves (though do give clues), and after the try, reveal the exact skills needed.
2) i ended up using 2 characters only (the rogue and warlord. the last was the wizard which i didn't use). at the tasks presented- they seemed either perfect for the job, or utterly lacking a combo of skills. (like intimidate and religion. who has those?) might be worth it to design the skill tests as to the players.
3) it would be nice if after a skill check you could see the roll. not necessary, just nice.
4) the same with successes and failures at the end of the game.

um... that's all i got to say. despite the comments i think it is quite interesting. good job! please tell us how the skill challenge ran for your players. i prefer to jumble up my skill challenges with combats and what not. oh... one last thing that i found very, very useful? never tell your players they are in a skill challenge. just roleplay it, and you tally up the successes failure and such. make things run SOOOOO much smoother and more fun!

2011-02-02, 11:36 AM
28%, with triple-w lineup. There should be an option to just drag the bastard out of there once you've freed him. You can come back with an army later.

Also, minor annoyance: "faith" and "fate" are not interchangeable. It asked me to face my faith, but instead the party faced the cultists' faith. :smallamused:

2011-02-02, 12:19 PM
There were quite a few typo's in the program.

I second Kol's suggestion, although I realize that will be a lot more work. It is fun, as is, but it's not a true skill challenge.

The first time I did it, I got 0%. I think the random number generator just rolled poorly, as I did it a second time (swapping Warlord for Paladin) and got successes where before I received failures (with the Rogue, so that didn't change).

I also did not use the Wizard. I used only the Paladin and Rogue. The second time I got 100% completion.

And to Kol: the Paladin is trained in both Intimidate and Religion. :smalltongue: I didn't even make it that far the first time, I just got lucky with that switch after I completely failed the first time.

2011-02-03, 02:27 AM
Hey guys, thanks for the suggestions.

I cannot hide this being a skill challenge, and frankly I don't want to. I wanted to advance the story online until we sit back on the table. I don't know if that worked RPG wise, but I find it amusing on itself.

It is fun, as is, but it's not a true skill challenge.

Thank Kol for your review. In fact, there is always one main skill that is being tested, and a second one that gives it a bonus of +2 on succes. So it's up to the player to decide which skill would be best used. Also, the hint I give in the explanation could be more subtle, that's true.

I realise that it is in complete contrast with the RPG approach, where players can decide which skill they want to run. I'm not implementing this, I wanted to force them to think about other skills to use as well. I have no problem lowering the DC if the PC wants to try thievery instead of the diplomacy he is trained in. I feel it gives more roll playing opportunities if they use the whole arsenal of skill instead of only those trained (in my group it overlaps too much).

One thing I'm going to implement is reveiling the rolls. Sounds only fair, but maybe a spoiler for the next play.

EDIT: rolls now visible

2011-02-06, 03:43 PM
Ok, so I had my group over, and overall they liked the script. We shared to outcome as only 1 managed to get 100%. Nonetheless, I think it worked as linking the story, advancing the plot and getting everyone up to date with the lore.

as skill challenge, no that not. But I found it quite amusing to hear them discuss.

2011-02-07, 09:18 AM
One thing it's missing is the 3 failure formula, at least from my experience.

One failure meant game over, time to flee. Although it looks like you kind of have it implemented.

2011-02-08, 07:35 AM
One thing it's missing is the 3 failure formula, at least from my experience.

One failure meant game over, time to flee. Although it looks like you kind of have it implemented.

I don't agree. The failures (or 'suspicious looks') are very forgiving in the beginning where they do not influence the story. But later on, failures become much more 'game over' like.

For example, the difficulty of the final battle scales with the amount of failures accumulated. But it's very well possible that you never reach the final battle as result of too much unwanted attention (=too many failures).

In fact, I found that the 'failure' system works better (more balanced, more story options) than the original 3 strikes is out.

2011-02-08, 08:45 AM
I got 99% after much trial and error.

This was really fun. Some typos and some of the skills were useless, but those aren't huge dealbreakers.

The script was solid, I thought. Not a true RP experience, but delivered the story really neatly within the frame provided.