Skill Challenge: Information Gamble

by Wimwick (Neil Ellis) on February 18, 2009

Yesterday on At Will Gamefiend wrote about Branching in skill challenges. This is a way to add to the complexity of skill challenges to make them fresh and interesting. At the end of his article he mentioned Nesting as the next in the series.

The skill challenge below entitled Information Gamble is one we’ve been working on for some time. It incorporates some of what Gamefiend mentions about branching and so its release today ties in nicely with the discussion about skill challenges. The sub-challenge contained within the main challenge may also be what Gamefiend refers to as Nesting. I’m looking forward to his next article as I feel that there is a lot of room for skill challenges to grow and evolve.

Information Gamble

The PCs are attempting to learn some information from an NPC. During the conversation they learn the NPC has a weakness for gambling.

Setup

  • The PCs are hired to find a stolen item. Their search leads them to a prominent fence in the area.
  • The PCs are tracking down a criminal. They discover one of the criminal’s associates and begin to question him.
  • A wealthy noble has some important information for the PCs; however he is reluctant to share it.

Complexity

3 PC level +1 (requires 8 success before 3 failures).

Primary Skills

Bluff, Diplomacy, Heal, History, Intimidate, Streetwise, Thievery

  • 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

Bluff (moderate DC, maximum 3 successes)

The PCs are able to mislead the NPC and cause him to inadvertently reveal some information.

Diplomacy (hard DC, maximum 2 successes)

The PCs take the moral high ground to convince the NPC that assisting them is the right thing to do.

Heal (hard DC)

Note: This use of Heal can only be attempted after the use of Intimidate.

You have threatened the NPC with violence if he doesn’t cooperate and you decide to follow through on the threat. You use your knowledge of the healing arts to cause him pain. He agrees to tell you something useful if you stop hurting him.

The PC making the check suffers a -5 modifier on all skill checks for the remainder of the skill challenge.

DMs should be mindful of PC alignments and the potential consequences of this action.

Heal (hard DC +2)

You are aware of the NPC gambling addiction and are able to use your knowledge of the healing arts, specifically sicknesses of the mind, to manipulate the NPC into divulging information.

History (moderate DC)

You are knowledgeable of local laws. You advise the NPC that his activity is illegal and you will contact the watch if he doesn’t cooperate.

Insight (moderate DC, assist)

The NPC slips up and you catch it. You are able to press this slight tell or stutter to your advantage. +2 to your next check.

Intimidate (moderate DC)

If the NPC is unhelpful, force of will and the threat of violence is a good way to get him talking. Using Intimidate opens up one option for using Heal in this skill challenge.

Note: If the PCs attempt to use Intimidate more than once, all subsequent checks result in  automatic failure.

Streetwise (easy DC)

You learn that the NPC has a gambling addiction. Using Streetwise opens up one option for using Heal in this skill challenge. You may also challenge the NPC to a game of chance. See Gambling Sub-Challenge below.

Thievery (hard DC +2)

You plant an illegal substance on the NPC without his knowledge. You then “discover” it and threaten to call the watch unless he cooperates.

Success

The NPC provides the information that you are looking for, and the PCs are now able to move directly towards their objective.

Failure

  • The PCs are unable to convince the NPC to part with the information. They have to investigate another option.
  • By the time the PCs gain the information they are looking for the item has already been sold. Now they have to locate the new owner and convince him to part with the item.

Gambling Sub-Challenge

Setup

Through the successful use of Streetwise you learn that this NPC has a gambling addiction. In an effort to gain leverage you challenge him to a game of chance. Succeeding in the sub-challenge results in two successes in the main challenge, failing the sub-challenge result in one failure in the main challenge.

Note: Successes and failures gained in the sub-challenge do not carry over into the main skill challenge.

Complexity

1 PC Level +3 (4 successes before 3 failures).

Primary Skills

Bluff, History, Perception, Thievery

  • 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

Bluff, History, Insight, Religion

Bluff (moderate DC, assist)

You attempt to create a distraction. +2 to your next Thievery check.

Bluff (variable DC)

You use Bluff to bait your opponent when you have a strong hand. The PC is able to set the DC for this challenge.

  • Easy DC = 1 success or 1 failure
  • Moderate DC = 2 successes or 2 failures
  • Hard DC = 3 successes or 3 failures

History (hard DC)

You recall an obscure rule in the game and use this knowledge to your advantage.

History (moderate DC, assist)

You recognize your opponent’s opening strategy and know the appropriate counter move. +2 to your next check.

Insight (hard DC, assist)

You pick up on one of the NPC’s tells. +2 to your next Bluff check.

Perception (hard DC, maximum 2 successes)

You catch the NPC cheating and call him on it.

Religion (hard DC +2)

You offer up a prayer to the deity of luck and your prayer is answered. +2 to your next check.

Thievery (hard DC +2, maximum 3 successes)

You attempt to gain the upper hand by cheating.

Note: each time this attempt to cheat results in failure the difficulty increases +2 on subsequent checks.


Looking for instant updates? Subscribe to the Dungeon’s Master feed!

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: