Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
The new rule for skill challenges says that they can only have two outcomes: either the PCs win, OR the PCs win with a minor penalty to the next combat. Of course, good DMs ignored this change.
My read of that rule was actually more of a "fail forward", e.g. "Failing the skill challenge does not stop/prevent progress of the plot; failure advances the plot in a way that is not ideal for the PCs". Extremely often, in 4e SCs as-written, the plot doesn't move on until the skill challenge is won (which is dumb because why should failing thrice reset your progress if you're traveling unless there's something super weird that teleports you back, like the Mournland or Traveler's Curse in Eberron). It seemed to me that the "errata" there was more in line with telling GMs that this design was a dumb thing: if your players need to unlock a complicated trapped door in order to progress, success means "we got through without it blowing up!" while "failure" means that all of the traps blow up at once, bringing the door down with them (rather than blowing up in the PCs faces and forcing them to try again).

In general, while I love SCs, pretty much none of the SC rules as written were useful to me. It's an awesome idea with a terrible implementation that they never bothered to create better iterations of (e.g. they tried to update the rules rather than write a completely new set of them).