Skill Challenge: Border Crossing

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on February 14, 2009

Hostility between two neighbouring countries is still fresh in everyone’s mind despite the conflict’s recent resolution. The border guards often take out their pent up frustration on foreigners with legitimate reasons for crossing the border.

Setup

The PCs need to move through the check-point without delay and without arousing any unwarranted attention. Each PC needs to identify himself to the border guard, show appropriate travel papers, and state his reason for crossing.

Complexity

2 PC level -1 (6 successes before 3 failures)

Primary Skills

Bluff, Diplomacy, History, Religion, Stealth

  • Each skill can only be used to accomplish 1 success towards the overall skill challenge unless noted otherwise.
  • No more than two PCs can use the same skills to accomplish successes unless noted otherwise.
  • Skill checks denoted as assist do not count as a success or failure towards the overall skill challenge.

Secondary Skills

Insight, Intimidate, Perception, Streetwise, Thievery

Bluff (medium DC)

You make something up.

Success: The guard believes your reason for crossing the border even though it’s a blatant lie. You cross the border unhindered.

  • Success by 10 or more provides +2 to the next PC regardless of their approach.

Failure: You are not allowed to pass and must make a second check using a different skill.

  • Failure by 5 or less results in neither a success nor a failure.
  • Failure by 10 or more raises the suspicion of the guards and the PC is detained for questioning for 1 hour.

Bluff (hard DC, maximum 2 successes)

Knowing the guard will see through your obviously false reason for crossing the border, you offer him a bribe to grease the wheels.

  • A bribe of (PC level x 1) gp or more will provide an additional +2 bonus to your Bluff check.
  • A bribe of (PC level x 2) gp or more results in automatic success.

Note: If a PC gains success through this approach it can be used by a different PC to gain a second success. If the first PC incurs a failure this approach is closed.

Success: You cross the border unhindered.
Failure: Your bribe is insufficient and immediately changes the guard’s attitude from indifferent to hostile. All subsequent checks made by any of the PCs for the duration of the encounter suffer a -2 penalty.

  • Failure by 10 or more raises the suspicion of the guards and the PC is detained for questioning for 1d4 hours.

Diplomacy (easy DC, assist)

You try to change the guard’s attitude.

Success: The guard’s attitude changes from hostile to indifferent, or indifferent to friendly.

  • Changing the guard’s attitude to friendly provides +2 to the next PC regardless of their approach.
  • Changing the guard’s attitude from hostile to indifferent eliminates the -2 penalty to all checks.

Diplomacy (medium DC, maximum 2 successes)

You try telling the guard the truth, playing up the angles that you think would appeal most to the guard.

Success: You cross the border unhindered.

  • Success by 10 or more provides +2 to the next PC regardless of their approach.

Failure: The PC is not allowed to pass and must make a second check using a different skill.

  • Failure by 5 or less results in neither a success nor a failure.
  • Failure by 10 or more raises the suspicion of the guards and the PC is detained for questioning for 1 hour.

History (hard DC)

Your knowledge of this country’s history and its heroes allows you to flatter the guard and make him feel important.

Success: You cross the border unhindered.
Failure: You are not allowed to pass and must make a second check using a different skill.

History (hard DC)

Your knowledge of this country’s law and its strong sense of honour allow you to appeal to the guard’s sense of duty to let you though without incident.

Success: You cross the border unhindered.
Failure: You are not allowed to pass and must make a second check using a different skill.

Insight (medium DC, assist)

You notice subtleties in the body language of the border guards. This guard seems likely to let you pass without incident. You gain some insight in how to appeal to him when your turn comes.

Success: You gain a +2 bonus to your next check regardless of your approach.

Insight (hard DC, assist)

The guard’s body language and demeanor tells you he’s bored and complacent. You’re confident that offering him a suitable bribe may make things easier.

Success: You gain a +2 bonus to your next Bluff or Thievery check involving a bribe.

Intimidate (hard DC +2, no success)

The guards do not respond well to threats in any form.

Any attempt to use Intimidate immediately changes the guard’s attitude from indifferent to hostile. All subsequent checks made by any of the PCs for the duration of the encounter suffer a -2 penalty.

Success: You are not allowed to pass. This does not count as a success in the skill challenge.
Failure: You are not allowed to pass and must make a second check using a different skill.

  • Failure by 10 or more results in a physical confrontation with the guard after which the PC is detained for questioning for 1d4 hour.

Perception (easy DC, assist)

You overhear the guards talking among themselves or while questioning other travelers and gain some insight into how to handle them when your turn comes.

Success: You gain a +2 bonus to your next Bluff, Diplomacy or Intimidate check.

Religion (medium DC)

Your notice the guard wears the religious symbol of the god of duty and honour.

Success: You appeal to the guard’s sense of duty and he lets you though without incident.
Failure: You are not allowed to pass and must make a second check using a different skill.

Stealth (hard DC)

You try to avoid the checkpoint altogether.You hide in a caravan, crate or something else traveling through the checkpoint

Success: You remain undetected and get through the checkpoint.
Failure: You are discovered. You are detainment for a minimum of 6+1d6 hours. All guards snap to attention and become more alert. All subsequent checks made by any of the PCs for the duration of the encounter suffer a -2 penalty.

Stealth (hard DC)

You try to circumvent the vision of the guards. This might be followed up with an Athletics check made to climb a wall or sprint across an open area.

Success: You cross the boarder undetected.
Failure: You are discovered. You are detainment for a minimum of 6+1d6 hours. All guards snap to attention and become more alert. All subsequent checks made by any of the PCs for the duration of the encounter suffer a -2 penalty.

Streetwise (medium DC, assist)

You are able to gather information from other travellers waiting to cross the boarder. You learn what kind of men the guards are and what kind of things they generally are on the lookout for.

Success: You gain a +2 bonus to your next Bluff, Diplomacy or Intimidate check.

Thievery (hard DC, assist)

You try to slip the guard a bribe without any of the other guards noticing.

Success: You gain +2 to your Bluff check.
Failure: You are unable to do it without being overseen.

Success

All PCs are able to get past the border crossing without incident.

Failure

One or more PCs are detained for questioning. Depending on how they handle themself during their detention they may need to find a different way across the border.

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