Skill Challenge: Ditch the Tail

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on February 16, 2009

This skill challenge can be run in both urban and rural settings. They are similar but in some circumstances make use of different skills. Both variations are presented below.

Ditch the Tail (Urban)

Setup

The PCs are being chased through city streets and need to loose their pursuers. This can be accomplished by outrunning or outsmarting those giving chase.

Complexity

3 PC level +0 (requires 8 successes before 3 failures).

Primary Skills

Acrobatics, Athletics, Bluff, Endurance, History, Stealth, Streetwise

  • Each skill can only be used to accomplish 1 success towards the overall skill challenge unless noted otherwise.
  • Skill checks denoted as assist do not count as a success or failure towards the overall skill challenge.

Secondary Skills

Insight, Perception

Acrobatics (moderate DC, maximum 2 successes)

You gain ground by dodging and weaving through crowded streets.

Failure:  You dodged when you should have weaved and have taken a nasty spill. You loose 1 healing surge.

Athletics (moderate DC, maximum 3 successes)

You climb over a wall or jump over an obstacle to put more distance between you and your pursuer.

Failure: You misjudge the height needed to clear an obstacle and wipe out. You loose 1 healing surge.

Bluff (hard DC, maximum of 2 successes)

You fake left and go right.

Note: The same PC cannot use this skill to accomplish more than 1 success.

Endurance (moderate DC, maximum 2 successes)

You push yourself to you physical limits, fighting fatigue to gain a burst of speed.

Failure: You get a cramp that you can’t ignore and have to slow down. You loose 1 healing surge.

History (moderate DC)

You know a shortcut through the market that the merchants use.

Insight (moderate DC, assist)

You feel that the local merchants are sympathetic so you cut through their store.

Success: +2 to your next check.

Perception (easy DC, assist)

You see a sympathetic merchant wave you over as his friend blocks your pursuers.

Success: +2 to your next check.

Stealth (hard DC +2)

You think hiding is a more prudent choice than running.

Streetwise (moderate DC, maximum 2 successes)

You know a shortcut through the market that the merchants use.

Success

You’ve manged to ditch the tail. Your pursuers stop chasing you because they’re tired or because you have put sufficient distance yourselves and the threat.

Failure

Your pursuers catch up to you and you are forced to fight in order to escape.


Ditch the Tail (Rural)

Setup

The PCs are being chased through the wilderness and need to loose their pursuers. This can be accomplished by outrunning or outsmarting those giving chase.

Complexity

3 PC level +0 (requires 8 successes before 3 failures).

Primary Skills

Acrobatics, Athletics, Dungeoneering, Endurance, Nature, Stealth

  • Each skill can only be used to accomplish 1 success towards the overall skill challenge unless noted otherwise.
  • Skill checks denoted as assist do not count as a success or failure towards the overall skill challenge.

Secondary Skills

Nature, Perception

Acrobatics (moderate DC, maximum of 2 successes)

You gain ground by swinging from a vine, crossing a ravine on a fallen log, or carefully maneuvering through a patch of barbed plants.

Failure: You’re more concerned with looking good than being good and you fall. You loose 1 healing surge.

Athletics (moderate DC, maximum of 3 successes)

You climb a tree, jump over a stream or scale a rock-face to avoid pursuit.

Failure: The branch breaks, the muddy riverbank causes you to slip or a loose stone causes you to fall. You loose 1 healing surge.

Dungeoneering (moderate DC)

You dash into a nearby cave because you feel a breeze and know it must have another exit.

Endurance (moderate DC, maximum 2 successes)

You push yourself to you physical limits, fighting fatigue to gain a burst of speed.

Failure: You get a cramp that you can’t ignore and have to slow down. You loose 1 healing surge.

Nature (moderate DC, maximum 2 successes)

A Nature check made by a trained PC allows them to put their extensive knowledge of this environment to their advantage in avoiding pursuit.

Nature (moderate DC, assist)

You recognize a game trail and find a shortcut through the brush.

Success: +2 to your next check.

Perception (easy DC, assist)

You spot a game trail and find a shortcut through the brush.

Success: +2 to your next check.

Stealth (moderate DC +2, maximum of 2 successes)

You think hiding is a more prudent choice than running.

Success

You’ve manged to ditch the tail. Your pursuers stop chasing you because they’re tired or because you have put sufficient distance yourselves and the threat.

Failure

Your pursuers catch up to you and you are forced to fight in order to escape.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shades June 13, 2009 at 10:14 pm

I used this (the urban version) last week during a city fight with some guards.

Oddly enough, my PC’s saw wisdom in not killing a handful of the town guard and decided to run. I used the opportunity to try this challenge out and was quite happy with the results. The city they’re in has a mixture of canals and streets, it’s sort of based off of Venice. The single best result was when the mage turned to me and said, “I Thunderwave the guard chasing me into a canal.”

2 Ameron June 15, 2009 at 9:33 am

@Shades
It’s always great to hear how our skill challenges are used in actual game scenarios. D&D is so combat-heavy that it always seems unusual when PCs opt to run (even when it’s clearly the best choice).

3 Chaki June 25, 2012 at 5:34 am

I will use this challenge in my oWoD Werewolf the Apocalypse Game. Only with my characters being the ones who chase a fugitive killer.

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