Skill Challenge: Maintaining the Karrnathi Army

by Wimwick (Neil Ellis) on June 16, 2009

Eberron is here and with our continued focus on skill challenges I thought I’d combine the two. My favourite nation in Eberron has always been Karrnath. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s ruled by a Vampire, the militant nature of the nation or that Atur reminds me of Las Vegas. Either way, I thought a skill challenge about the Karrnathi Army’s undead shock troops would be fun. Enjoy.


  • The PCs have come across a patrol of undead Karrnathi irregulars. The undead and their human commander offer to share their camp for the night. In return for protection they ask that the PCs assist with repairs to the undead.
  • The PCs have been attached to a Karrnathi battalion patrolling near the Mournland. Ghostly apparitions have attacked from the mists and the PCs are asked to assist in the repair of undead soldiers before another attack is launched (in this scenario each PC will complete the whole skill challenge as an individual. If the majority of PCs succeed then the challenge will result in a success).


1 PC level +2 (4 successes, before 3 failures).

Primary Skills

Arcana, Diplomacy, Endurance, Insight, Intimidate, Perception, Religion

  • 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


There are three aspects to this skill challenge; Command, Equipment and Power. Any combination of 4 successes from these areas will result in a success. In addition Endurance can be used as noted below.

Endurance (hard DC)

You are able to withstand the putrid odour that emanates from the undead soldiers, allowing you to complete your work unhindered.


Diplomacy (hard DC)

You begin issuing orders to the undead soldiers, getting them formed up in proper ranks.

Intimidate (easy DC)

The undead soldiers respond to sharp harsh commands, which you begin barking at them. They are soon formed up in proper ranks.


Endurance (hard DC)

As you inspect the undead soldier you note that their breastplates are strapped on in a way that will restrict movement and combat effectiveness. You are able to adjust the straps properly.

History (moderate DC, assist)

Your extensive study of warfare and weaponry allows you to spot inconsistencies in the armaments of the undead soldiers. You are able to address these inconsistencies. Additionally, successful use of history provides a +1 bonus to Diplomacy and Intimidate checks in this challenge.

Insight (hard DC)

As you work towards repairing the undead soldiers you notice that others who are assisting in the repairs are making mistakes and skipping steps. You quickly call them out and have the issue addressed.

Perception (moderate DC)

You observe the undead soldiers as they shamble about. Your keen eye notices an acute lack of attention to detail in how their equipment is worn. You make the appropriate adjustments.


Arcana (hard DC)

The undead soldiers are animated through complex religious rituals and are powered through negative energy. Through your understanding of the arcane you are able to imbue them with minor cantrips that will bolster their abilities.

Religion (moderate DC)

You tap your knowledge of the necromantic rituals that bind the negative energy to the undead soldiers. You enhance and strengthen the negative energy powering the undead soldiers.


You are able to repair the undead in time for their next conflict. In the process you have gained a +1 circumstance bonus to your next interaction with the Karrnathi military and a +2 circumstance bonus the next time you deal with the Blood of Vol.


You manage to keep the undead soldiers operational; however their ability to function and fight is greatly diminished. You have also drawn the ire of the Blood of Vol.

1 Shades June 16, 2009 at 8:25 am

Interesting skill challenge.

A little hard for me to use though. My campaign is set in the middle of the last war and Karnath is functionally a Nazi state. The heroes are racing a team of Karnathi scientists around the globe looking for artifacts of another age.

2 Wimwick June 17, 2009 at 10:10 am

@ Shades
Your current campaign sounds similar to our last campaign where we were chasing a criminal released from Dreadhold around the globe looking for ancient artifacts.

3 Roberto June 24, 2009 at 11:16 am

I’ve taken some of the checks and edited them so thay can be used on humans (untrained militia) thanks for the ideas.

4 Wimwick June 24, 2009 at 3:00 pm

@ Roberto
Glad you liked the challenge. When I wrote it I was aware that the tasks could very easily apply to human soliders. That’s one of the great things about skill challenges they are very easy to modify.

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