Skill Challenge: Babysitting the Brats

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on September 29, 2009

The PCs are about to face the most dangerous threat of their adventuring careers… kids.

Setup

The PCs need a favour from an innkeeper, merchant or noble figure. The cost of the favour is babysitting. This might be only for a few hours but it could be as long as a few days (this is left up to the DM). Fighting monsters is easy compared to watching young children. Can the PCs entertain and feed the children without getting them killed?

Complexity

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

Primary Skills

Athletics, Bluff, Diplomacy, Endurance, Insight, Intimidate, Perception,

  • 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

History, Religion, Streetwise

Skills

  • At least one success must be an Endurance check.
  • Any PC who has kids (and has already incorporated it into the character’s background) gets +1 to all checks during this skill challenge.

Athletics (moderate DC, maximum 3 successes)

You need to keep on your toes, babysitting requires a lot of running around and physical activity.

Bluff (easy DC, maximum 2 successes)

Tell the kids a story emphasizing the ridiculous and outlandish.

Diplomacy (hard DC)

Tell the kids a story.

Endurance (moderate DC, maximum 3 successes)

Keeping up with the kids is tiring.

History (moderate DC, assist)

Are these kids are used to a life of privilege and luxury? If you can figure out what kind of activities they’re used to you can use these details to bond with them. +2 to your next check.

Insight (hard DC, maximum 2 successes)

You anticipate when one of the kids is planning to do something bad. It helps that they look guilty.

Intimidate (easy DC)

You’re an authority figure so scaring the kids into good behavior is easy. However, kids are smart and when they realize your threats carry no repercussions they stop listening. You can only get 1 success by using Intimidate. Any subsequent attempts automatically fail and result in -2 to all checks until you earn another success in any skill.

Perception (moderate DC, maximum 2 successes)

Don’t loose track of the kids. They’re quick and elusive.

Religion (hard DC, assist)

Pray to a higher power to give you the strength to endure these kids. +2 to your next check.

Streetwise (moderate DC, assist)

Find out who the previous babysitters were and get them to tell you what worked and what didn’t. +2 to your next check.

Success

You survive and more importantly so do the kids. The parents are impressed and grant you a favour. They also ask if you’d be interested in babysitting again. If you do, you get a +2 to all checks due to your familiarity with the kids and their shenanigans.

Failure

One of the kids wanders off or gets hurt (but not too badly). The parents are furious that you couldn’t do something as simple as watch their kids for a few hours. They deny you the favour you requested and you’ll have to find another way to accomplish your goal.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ameron September 29, 2009 at 9:42 am

Thanks to Ashonee for providing the idea behind this skill challenge.

2 Aoi September 29, 2009 at 11:37 am

Very interesting and unusual idea for a skill challenge. It would definitely break from the norm while still offering lots of action and, more important, total hilarity (this sounds like it would be great with my group).

Hopefully, though, if the PCs fail the challenge, they will have alternative means to get whatever the favor was supposed to get them.

3 Ameron September 29, 2009 at 3:09 pm

@Aoi

I’m glad you like this skill challenge. If you do use it (or a variation) please leave us a comment about how it worked out.

One of the most difficult parts of creating skill challenges is to have meaningful consequences if the PCs fail. You don’t want to kill them, but they have to feel like they’ve missed out on something. In this example I imagine they’ll have to pay to accomplish the task at hand whereas if they succeeded it would be given for free as a thank you.

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