Skill Challenge: Kidnap and Ransom (Part 2)

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on April 28, 2009

This is the second part of the skill challenge presented yesterday. It involves a mixture of skill checks and combat. The number of combatants is directly related to how the PCs fared in the Skill Challenge: Kidnap and Ransom (part 1).

Background

A nobleman’s son has wracked up gambling debts with a loan shark named Keddy Grujo. If the debt is not settled by sundown today, the boy will be killed. The parents cannot afford to make the payment as the father recently purchased a new sailing ship. Desperate, the father hires the PCs to rescue the boy. Grujo will be in the presence of reputable people all day. He expects the parents to pay, but wants an alibi just in case. Grujo’s men have orders to kill the boy if the ransom is no paid by sundown.

  • This skill challenge is broken into two parts. The successes and failures incurred in part 1 do not carry over into part 2
  • If the DM chooses to make this one large skill challenge the PCs need to earn a total of 12 successes between parts 1 and 2 combined. In this case, failures incurred during part 1 will carry over into part 2.

The Rescue

Setup

In part 1 the PCs learned where the boy is being held captive. They have a very limited amount of time to scout the location and prepare a rescue before the boy is scheduled for execution. The house is heavily guarded.

The DM should determine the number of men guarding the house before the PCs enter. The level and type of guards is left open to the DM. Be sure to adjust the numbers based on how the PCs did in the first part of the skill challenge.

Complexity

4 PC level +0 (10 successes before 3 failures)

Primary Skills

Arcana, Athletics, Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Perception, Religion, Stealth, 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.

Other Skills

Perception


Outside (minimum 2 successes required outside)

The perimeter of the house is surrounded by a metal fence. The front entrance has two guards. The PCs can choose to gain entrance through the front door (option 1) or the back door (option 2).

Outside Option 1 – The Front Door

Bluff (hard DC)

Tell the guard a convincing lie to gain access without combat.

Failure: The guards alert the men inside.

Diplomacy (hard DC +2)

Make friends with the guard convincing him to let you pass without combat.

Failure: The guards alert the men inside.

Intimidate (hard DC)

Scare the guard convincing him to let you pass without combat.

Failure: The guards alert the men inside.

Stealth (hard DC)

If the PCs opt to fight their way past the guards, they need to make a group Stealth check after the combat is finished. A maximum of two PCs can assist with this check.

Failure: The guards inside hear or see the combat and set an ambush for the party.

Outside Option 2 – The Back Door

Athletics (moderate DC)

Climb the perimeter wall. A follow-up Stealth check required for success.

Athletics (hard DC)

Climb the side of the building to enter through the second window or the roof.

Perception (moderate DC, assist)

You act as the lookout for anyone climbing the fence. +2 to ally’s Stealth check.

Perception (hard DC)

Spot traps on windows or on the roof. +2 to Thievery check to disarm traps.

Stealth (hard DC)

Move through the yard undetected.

Failure: The guards inside see or hear the PCs and set an ambush for the party.

Thievery (hard DC)

Gain entry through a locked door or window.


Inside (minimum 4 successes required inside)

Arcana (moderate DC)

Identify magical trap on the door to the room where the boy is being held. +2 to Thievery check to disable trap.

Bluff (hard DC, maximum 2 successes)

Tell the guard a convincing lie to avoid combat.

Failure: The guards attack you.

Intimidate (hard DC, maximum 2 successes)

Scare the guard convincing him to let you pass without combat.

Failure: The guards attack you.

Perception (moderate DC, assist)

See or hear guard before they see or hear you. +2 to Stealth check.

Perception (hard DC +2)

Find the room where the boy is being held.

Perception (moderate DC)

Detect trap on the door to the room where the boy is being held. +2 to Thievery check to disarm trap.

Religion (hard DC, assist)

You pray for good fortune. You want to remain undetected and for the boy to be alive and well when you find him. +2 to your next skill check.

Stealth (hard DC, maximum 2 successes)

Move throughout the house undetected. Make a group Stealth check. A maximum of three PCs can assist with this check.

Stealth (hard DC)

If the PCs fight their way past any guards, they need to make a group Stealth check after the combat is finished. A maximum of two PCs can assist with this check.

Failure: The guards inside hear or see the combat and set an ambush for the party.

Thievery (20+1/2 party level DC)

Disarm or delay magical trap on the door to the room where the boy is being held.


Success

You find the boy in time to save him. You manage to kill or subdue any guards you encountered along the way and your identity remains secret. The loan shark won’t let this interference go unpunished, but for now he cannot tie the PCs to the rescue.

Failure

You are unable to rescue the boy. The loan shark decides not to kill him, but doubles the amount of the ransom. You know that the boy’s father can never afford to pay this increased fee. It’s up to the PCs to figure out how to come up with the money.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chase Dagger April 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Nice article, great follow up from part 1. I know these are templates, so I think my failure will be that the sharks do kill the guy, and dispatch bounty hunters to kill the PCs. The father will thank the group for their help, because he knows they tried. And the bounty hunters will get added to my random encounter lists. :)

2 Ameron April 30, 2009 at 2:15 pm

@Chase Dagger
Make whatever adjustments you feel will work best for your group. Just remember that if PCs fail a skill challenge it shouldn’t derail the entire campaign. There should be consequences for failing but there should always be alternative methods for accomplishing the goal they were trying to complete in the first place. The alternative scenarios should be more difficult and maybe not as obvious. It’s up to the DM to determine the exact details.

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