Skill Challenge: Battle for the Remote

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on October 13, 2009

How often do you think of real-life situations in game terms? A recent “discussion” in my household inspired me to put together this skill challenge. It’s played from the male point of view. I’ve discovered that in real life whenever my wife needs to make a skill check she uses her at-will, wife paragon path ability to re-roll checks until she gets a result that she feels is favourable.


You’ve worked hard all week and now all you want to do is kick back and enjoy the game. But your significant other has other plans. Her favourite show is on at the same time and she plans to watch it on the flatscreen TV. If you haveany chance of watching the game you’d better act quickly and whatever you do, don’t give up the remote.


You want to watch sports; she wants to watch something else (not sports). You’re already on the couch with the remote in hand. The game is already on and the kick-off, first pitch, tip-off or puck drop is happening in the next few minutes.


5 Level +5 (12 successes before 3 failures)

It doesn’t matter what the argument is about, it’s always a complexity 5.

Primary Skills

Arcana, Bluff, Diplomacy, Endurance, Nature, Streetwise, Stealth, Thievery

Secondary Skills

History, Insight

Arcana (easy DC)

You use your knowledge of the gadgets and gizmos that control the home theater system to work against her.

Bluff (moderate DC)

You try to convince her that her show’s not on or it’s a repeat.

Bluff (hard DC)

You try to convince her that watching the game together will be fun for both of you.

Bluff (moderate DC)

You agree to do all the chores you’ve been avoiding if she’ll just let you watch the game.

Diplomacy (hard DC +5)

You try to apply logic and reason to your position. Good luck with that.

Diplomacy (easy DC)

You bribe her with chocolate. This counts as one success and negates one failure.

Diplomacy (moderate DC)

You offer to record her program on the DVR so that she can watch it later. This does not count as a success, but it does negate one failure.

Endurance (easy DC, maximum 3 successes)

You realize that things aren’t going well, but you have no intention of backing down. You can keep this debate up all night long if necessary.

History (easy DC, assist)

You know which arguments have worked and not worked before. +2 on your next check.

Intimidate (automatic failure)

If you’re dumb enough to think that using this skill will get you closer to success you deserve to fail this skill challenge.

Insight (hard DC, assist)

You have a flash of brilliance and realize an approach that might work in your favour. +2 to your next check.

Insight (hard DC +20)

She offers to provide some kind of “favour” if you give up now. You’re better judgment knows this is most likely a lie, but you it could be true, couldn’t it?

Nature (hard DC +5)

You try to understand how her complicated mind works. It’s a risky gamble, but it may just pay off.

Streetwise (moderate DC)

You learn that her favourite show is on again after the game.

Stealth (hard DC)

You keep glancing at the game while the argument plays out. Where’s the harm in keeping an eye on the score? If you fail this check (you get caught looking) you suffer -2 on your next two checks.

Thievery (easy DC)

You realize that you’re likely to loose this battle so you resort to trickery and remove the batteries from the remote. If the remote’s not working there’s no way to change it from the game to her show.


She gives up and leaves you to watch the game in peace. Savour this victory because it may be the last one you have for a long time.


The cards were stacked against you from the outset. Her show graces the flatscreen and you’re stuck following the box score on the internet. If you managed to earn 9 or more successes before failing, you realize that your neighbour may be watching the game so you pay him a visit. Better hope he’s still in command of his remote or it’ll be a long night without sports.

1 Wampus Cat October 13, 2009 at 4:31 pm


Success also incurs a -2 penalty to Romance checks until such time as chocolate is applied again.

2 Rook October 13, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Great post Ameron. Although battles over the remote are rare in my house, this does remind me that often if one of us trips, drops something or does something else klutzy, either my wife or I will say “Opps, failed your Dex check.” Is that geeky or what? We need therapy. 🙂
.-= Rook´s last blog ..Wondrous Lootz: The Art of Influence =-.

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