View Full Version : Fun things to do with skills

2008-09-30, 10:44 PM
Skills. Every character has them. Everyone uses them, but must never use their skills to the fullest potential.

So, what are your stories of the most crative, hilarious, or over-the-top uses of skill checks in DnD?

I am ready to be inspired!

2008-09-30, 10:50 PM
I once defeated an entire enemy army with Forgery. I was playing a CG Martial Artist (from Beyond Monks) noble with a rapier and I had a feat to let me have some aristocratic skills, including Forgery. And part of my build had been really pumping up Forgery for RP reasons.

Recalling something my dad once mentioned about the civil war, I snuck into the enemy army's camp, took a peek at a general's orders, then forged new orders that I had the party's spellcasters and psion help me disseminate through the ranks, essentially ordering the army to charge its own flanks, send another part off into a waterfall, etc.

2008-09-30, 10:53 PM
One PC was running through a house to get away from a shapechanged dragon and rolled a jump/tumble check to suspend himself in a doorjamb and get an AoO, thereby forcing the dragon to change back, destroying the house in the process.

That was one unhappy dragon, at the end of that fight!

The Glyphstone
2008-09-30, 11:10 PM
I'll throw in what was probably the closest thing to a Crowning Moment of Awesome (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CrowningMomentOfAwesome) for the group I last DMed. The skill in question was Bluff.

They were infiltrating the stronghold of a stereotypical wizard's council, going through the classically themed personal chambers of each wizard (the necromancer had an indoor graveyard, the diviner had a room filled with traps) and either killing them or freeing them from the BBEG's mind control.

So, they get into the second or third room, home to a warmage. Now, this warmage was named Sergeant Boom, and deservedly. He was the Shell-Shocked Senior (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ShellShockedSenior) of a long-ago war I never bothered to flesh out, as I knew the attention spans of my players (as in, nonexistent). His room was "themed" like a WWI battlefield, with trenches, barbed wire, and stone barricades for him to hide behind while he pelted the players with AoE attacks. In theory.

In reality, it went as follows.

The party enters the far end of the room, and see Sgt. Boom ranting and railing at his invisible allies and enemies at the other end. He spots them, turns, and yells something else about killing the enemy or whatnot. I'm about 5 seconds short of calling for Initiative rolls. Then the party Rogue says IC "Yes Sir! Reinforcements reporting for duty, Sir!"

I tell him to roll a Bluff check. He's got a few ranks in it, but not a hefty Charisma bonus. Boom is Elite array stats with Charisma as his highest stat, and he's getting the +20 Bluff DC modifier for an almost impossible bluff, since he's convinced the party, and anyone else, are enemy troops.

The rogue proceeds to roll a natural 20. I roll behind the screen, not worrying too much - and it comes up a natural 1. My poker face is about as good as my player's attention spans (again, nonexistent), so I just show them the die. In that one swoop, the party both completely bypassed a difficult fight and gained an amusing, if unreliable, ally (they gave him a very convincing yarn about special orders from "headquarters" about a secret mission to uproot enemy infiltrators in the vicinity). The guy also got a promotion to Captain when he returned during the game's final session for a Heroic Death scene holding off an endless horde of enemies in a narrow tunnel, but that's another story.

Can you tell I'm browing TVtropes right now?

Lycan 01
2008-09-30, 11:25 PM
Not only do you need to repost that in the Awesome Moment thing thread... but you also need to tell us what happened to Sgt. Boom.

Hm. Lemme think...

I'll get back to ya'll with something decent... eventually.

The Glyphstone
2008-09-30, 11:39 PM
He died 'offscreen', but the narration had the party descending deeper and deeper underground on the way to the BBEG's lair, while the only thing louder than the fading sound of Boom chain-casting Fireballs was Boom laughing as he chain-cast Fireballs, until they got too far away to hear anything at all.

2008-10-01, 05:38 AM
Dang. I want a character like Sergeant Boom.

A friend of mine once used Knowledge (Chemistry) to make a potassium bomb. Good time. We blew up some zombies.

2008-10-01, 06:09 AM
Being a raptoran with maxed jump, allowing you to attack, move 20ft, then jump and end your turn stuck in mid air so your opponents can't reach you.

2008-10-01, 06:31 AM
Hmm, bluff. Why is bluff so good? Because it is.

My character and friends were the only two left alive (2 out of 5) and we were facing a big bad fighter who was hitting for about 20+ a swing (level 8). I am a rogue/fighter shade and the other guy is rogue/wizard (full stealth team originally). We were both down to <10 hp and decided RLH. I had 60 ft move (30+30 for shade) and he had dim door as a SLA.

The fighter guy had Half plate...so 20.

The whole reason we were up there was done, nonlethal to a noble to knock him out, and the Wizard could DDoor out with the body. So away we go. I made it down the tower to the first room of his mansion. 2 guards, I yell "help Kevin(can't remember the noble's name, but I will now call him Kevin). He is under attack!" rolled 32 on a bluff (only had +14)

I managed to do this with 4 more rooms of guards, not one of which rolled above an 8 (on the die) for sense motive.

The only reason this was pure fail is that stupid halforc fighter was at 3 hp.

2008-10-01, 07:09 AM
There was a time the party Favored Soul, with ranks in Cooking & Craft Alchemy, managed to bake an exploding Tanglefoot bag into a pie. The warlord didn't know what hit him. It was like the pie burst opened and latched onto his face. :smallbiggrin:

2008-10-01, 07:39 AM
Setting: The party is on the verge of escaping from an island prison. Through research we've found out that there's a teleportation portal in the form of a pool of liquid somewhere in the complex - but only one. At the end of the adventure, we came to the final room, to discover that it had nine pools, each a different colour.

Paladin: "Okay, guys, which pool are we going to pick?"
Ranger: "I don't like the look of the red one. Let's try the white."
DM: "Remember everyone, the notes you discovered back on Level 1 indicated that some of these pools were leftover magical experiments. You probably don't want to all go in at the same time."
Cleric: "So some of them are going to kill us. Oh, well, let's just jump in."
Paladin: "The guards are going to be catching up soon . . ."
DM: "OK. I'm going to draw out the map here, with a detailed description of the colour and consistency of each pool. Make sure you pay careful attention to exactly-"
Me: "Actually, I've got a better idea. I cast Detect Magic on the three pools nearest to me, and I use Spellcraft (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/spellcraft.htm) to determine the school of magic for each one.
DM: " . . . You can do that?"
Me: "Sure."
DM: *checks PHB*
DM: " . . . Umm . . . The black one is Transmutation, the silvery one with bubbles is also Transmutation, and the white one is Evocation."
Me: "So none of them are Conjuration [Teleportation]? OK, guys, not these three. I move on and scan the next batch. The spell's still running, by the way."
DM: *glares at me*

(Five minutes and one flawless escape later)

DM: "I had a full page written of all the stuff that would happen if you went into each of those pools! There was one with a confusion effect, and I thought you'd go for the white one, so that was a fire effect, and-"
Me: "You have to admit, my way was a lot more effective."

- Saph

2008-10-01, 07:39 AM
IIRC, there were older posts about how people were getting ludicrous effects with the bluff skill, with exchanges that went like this:

King (Who had just gotten free of a powerful BBEG sorcerer's mind control, so is a bit mentally woozy): Huh? Where am I?

Rogue: Sir! You've been turned into a waffle!

DM: Err, ok. That's gonna need a Bluff check.

Rogue's PC: Alrighty...*rolls a 20* Yes!

DM: Dammit...

King: What? Well, that's strange...*lies down and starts covering himself with syrup*

Much later...

Ship captain: And 'ere's me ship, the-

Rogue: Captain! You no longer exist!

DM: WHat?! Ok, Bluff check.

Rogue's PC:*rolls another 20*

DM: Dammit! Why do I keep letting you do this?! Fine. The poor captain disappears in a puff of logic. You happy?

2008-10-01, 07:49 AM
Bypass 90% of the random encounters that our Darksun party could be waylaid by with phenomenal survival checks (we have Crit skill failures now....)

2008-10-01, 08:22 AM
I use bluff to max-out my fighter 4/rogue 3/gladiator 1's combat ability.

From the gladiator class, he gets to make a feint maneuver as a free action. The Expert Tactician feat gives him a free attack at his highest attack bonus. Sneak attack makes him do more damage.

He also has improved disarm, improved trip, and crits on a 12+ :)

So an ideal combat with him will look something like this.

*wins initiative*
Round 1: Attacks with sneak attack as opponent is flat-footed. Then uses his move-equivalent feint to take his second sneak attack, also at his highest attack bonus.
Round 2: Takes his move-equivalent feint to sneak attack, then takes a standard action to perform another feint maneuver.
Round 3: The feint from last round is till active, so he attacks with a sneak attack, then takes his move-equivalent feint to make another sneak attack, also at his highest attack bonus.
Round 4: Full attack action, Disarms with first attack, catching their weapon in his free hand; then trips with his second attack, holding his free attack on them from the trip while demands their surrender.

Doesn't always work perfectly according to plan, and only works on intelligent creatures with discernible anatomy and features, but you have to admit, it's a pretty cheap use of the bluff skill, especially as very few monsters or enemies other than the BBEG take ranks in sense motive.

2008-10-01, 08:47 AM
Disable Device is pretty fun, especially with Craft (Trapmaking). Since you have all the bits of a functioning trap, it doesn't take that much work to rig it to be triggered by the bypass mechanism, for example, leaving a nice present for whoever set it.

2008-10-01, 09:17 AM
the druid in my current group has about +40 to his spot and listen checks, so he can see and hear things from miles away.

GM: You know the invisible enemy is somewhere in the room
Druid: spot check: i can see faint traces of even invisible creatures,
GM: sigh, he's over there.

I've maxed my knowledge arcana and spellcraft, using the GM's houserules i can identify pretty much any magic item unless i roll a 1 twice.

2008-10-01, 09:20 AM
Core Sleight of Hand. DC 20 check allows you to lift any small item off of a person. This includes spell component pouches, holy symbols, or anything else that they're not physically holding. The opposed Spot check is simply to see whether or not they notice it happening. This is probably the easiest and most overlook way to nerf any caster. If you can pull it off with a -20 penalty (not that hard with the right buffs) you can do it as a free action.

Core Listen: DC 20 pinpoints the location of an Invisible enemy in combat.

Oriental Adventures Tumble: DC 40 check will let you make a 10 ft step instead of a 5 ft step.

Epic Balance: DC 90 lets you walk on water. DC 120 let you walk on clouds.

Epic Handle Animal: Various DC's ranging from 30 to 60 + the HD of the creature let you train almost anything, including magical beasts, vermin, or "other creatures."

Epic Sense Motive: DC 100 lets you read surface thoughts.

Epic Tumble: DC 35 lets you stand up from being Prone as a free action.

It's also worth mentioning that you don't necessarily need to be an Epic character in order to use an Epic Skill use. You just need a ridiculously high Skill bonus, which is actually quite easy if you focus on it. A Marshal/Factotum with an Item Familiar, for example.

2008-10-01, 10:12 AM

[Roll Bluff check.]

"Okay, people on the left? We hate the people on the right."

2008-10-01, 10:39 AM

[Roll Bluff check.]

"Okay, people on the left? We hate the people on the right."

If that's a reference, I'm missing it.

2008-10-01, 10:47 AM
We had found an official-looking letter containing orders from the big evil boss to one of his hobgoblin henchmen on one of the hobbos' corpse. I was playing a sorcerer with good CHA and maxed bluff. While trying to track down the boss we were halted outside his lair by a couple of big furry yeti-things who were standing guard. I flashed them the letter just long enough for them to see their boss's seal and told them that I was traveling on urgent business and needed to pass through immediately. I rolled something like an 18.

Unfortunately, the DM didn't let it work. From the look of it I think he made this up on the spot, but he said that the evil-dude-in-question didn't employ any humans, so the guards had orders to attack any humans on sight.

So instead I just enfeebled them and let the party fighters mop them up.

He did later allow me to bluff myself into and out of a Drow city, though.

2008-10-01, 10:50 AM
If that's a reference, I'm missing it.

I'm referencing myself.

Heh. I guess that makes me egotistical.

2008-10-01, 10:56 AM
We had found an official-looking letter containing orders from the big evil boss to one of his hobgoblin henchmen on one of the hobbos' corpse. I was playing a sorcerer with good CHA and maxed bluff. While trying to track down the boss we were halted outside his lair by a couple of big furry yeti-things who were standing guard. I flashed them the letter just long enough for them to see their boss's seal and told them that I was traveling on urgent business and needed to pass through immediately. I rolled something like an 18.

I kinda agree with that. Even if he made it up on the spot, provided it dosn't contradict stuff it's fairly reasonable.

In our epic-level evil campaign my character ( Hobgoblin Rouge/warmaster with lots of Cha and abunch of leadership bonuses. Trying to re-establish a fallen Hobgoblin empire, kinda the classic "Royal Scion" character, except both he and the empire he is scion to are best described as Machiavellian with a touch of Orwell.) would have his army conquer a city, he would then use his diplomacy skill to make a speech to the crowd.

At one point, my army besieged a holy city while we snuck in and attacked the temple of pelor. We killed some solars, used some Quickened Desecrates that Nerull gave our Death Knight (Nerull owns his soul) to turn it into a temple of Nerull, killed the high priest, killed the giant statue of pelor outside (A stone collossus), and generally did evil things, including looting the now desecrated temple.

Then, I had my hobgoblins herd everybody into the square where I gave a speech. The people created a democracy and elected me leader-for-life.

2008-10-01, 11:02 AM
Epic Balance: DC 90 lets you walk on water. DC 120 let you walk on clouds.

I was in a (brief) epic game with an Arcane Trickster who exploited the hell out of this. He decided that he was too cool to fly, so everywhere we went he cast Obscuring Mist or Stinking Cloud and walked across it.

2008-10-01, 11:53 AM
2nd edition, so not quite the same thing, but you could probably pull off the same thing with Diplomacy. We had just taken some goblins prisoner, and were trying to interrogate them. My character spoke Goblin, among a few other languages, but they didn't seem to be understanding. Well, the Etiquette proficiency gives as an example of one of the things you can get from it is "things not to say in the presence of dwarves". So I figure, it should work the other way, too: "Etiquette check: What's the rudest thing you can say to a goblin?" When they still didn't respond, I accepted that they really didn't speak Goblin (it later turned out that they were raised as Drow slaves, and only spoke Undercommon).