Skill Challenge: Road Trip to GenCon

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on August 3, 2010

Tomorrow Wimwick and I undertake the 9-hour drive from Toronto to Indianapolis for GenCon. Knowing that many of our readers will be in exactly the same predicament we decided to put together a GenCon Road Trip skill challenge to mark the occasion.


You pack up the car for the long, arduous road trip to GenCon. The question isn’t if you’re going to get there but when you’re going to get there. The more successes you accumulate in the skill challenge will determine how quick and painless the journey is. No matter what obstacles you might endure along the way, it’s all worth it to get to GenCon.


Bluff, Diplomacy, Endurance, History, Insight, Intimidate, Perception, Stealth, Streetwise

Mandatory group check

Everyone in the car, including the driver, must make an Endurance check every hour. If you fail this check, you suffer a -2 penalty to all checks until you spend 5 minutes outside of the car.

Endurance (various DC)

  • Moderate DC for the driver and the passenger in the front seat. Moderate +2 DC for everyone else.
  • For each hour the car remains on the road the DC increases by +2. If the car doesn’t have AC, the DC increases by +5 for each hour rather than just +2.
  • The DC resets to moderate if you pull into a rest stop and everyone can get out of the car for at least 5 minutes. Going up to the drive through give everyone +5 on their next Endurance check, but does not reset the initial DC.

How about some tunes?

Perception (moderate DC)

Try to find a suitable radio station by cycling through channels randomly.

Diplomacy (moderate DC)

You make your case for changing the radio station. The driver automatically receives a +5 bonus. The car owner automatically receives a +2 bonus. These bonuses stack if the owner is driving. Children suffer a -2 penalty to this check.

History (moderate DC, assist)

If you’ve been to this radio market before, you get a +2 bonus. If you’ve lived in this city before the bonus increases to +5.

He who smelt it…

Bluff (hard DC)

Try to misdirect blame when you fart in the car. This is an automatic failure if there are only two people in the car. If there are three or more people in the car, you gain a +2 bonus. You gain an additional +2 bonus if there are kids in the car (because who believes a kid who said he didn’t do it?).

Perception (easy DC, assist)

You catch a whiff of something foul before anyone can claim credit or blame someone else. How you choose to use this information is totally up to you.

Stealth (hard DC, assist)

You try to pass gas without the tell-tale noise. Success means you get a +2 bonus to your bluff check to misdirect blame. Failure means that someone else in the car heard you fart. You suffer a -5 penalty to your Bluff check. You do gain a +5 bonus to Diplomacy if you clam immediate credit.

I’m bored, are we there yet?

Streetwise (moderate DC)

  • You share your intimate knowledge of games suitable for play in a moving car.
  • Tell amusing stories and anecdotes to pass the time.

Bluff (moderate DC, assist)

You embellish the stores to make them more interesting. For each hour in the car, you receive a +2 bonus to the bluff check.

Bluff or Intimidate (moderate DC)

When the passengers (usually, but not always the kids) misbehave, use threats and to get them to settle down. “I’m going to turn this car around and go home” is a tried and true threat.

Insight (moderate DC)

If someone in the car is using Bluff or Intimidate to get you to settle down, a successful check lets you determine just how serious they are. Kids automatically get a +5 bonus to this check.

Speed Trap

Perception (hard +2 DC)

Keep your eyes open for a speed trap. Everyone in the car can assist.

History (easy DC, assist)

You remember seeing speed traps in this area before. If you’ve received a ticket in this area yourself, you get a +5 bonus to the check.

Streetwise (moderate DC, assist)

You’ve heard a lot of rumours about where the speed traps are on this stretch of highway.

Bluff or Diplomacy (special DC)

Try and talk your way out of a ticket (good luck!). You only succeed if you roll a natural 20. Female drivers can succeed on an 18-20 if the police officer is male.


You made it! You arrive in Indianapolis in one piece. You didn’t get a ticket and you didn’t get lost along the way. Enjoy the Best Four Days in Gaming.


You made it, but the trip was grueling. Whoever said getting there is half the fun never travelled in this car to get to GenCon. But the worst is behind you now. Enjoy the Best Four Days in Gaming.

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1 Neuroglyph August 3, 2010 at 11:33 am

Great post! I’m a little closer to GenCon than you are, coming from Detroit, but I think you’ve captured the essence of the long road trip there! Looking forward to seeing you at “the best four days of gaming”… assuming you make all your skill checks!

2 Peter August 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm


3 Mechafishy August 3, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Don’t forget any equipment bonuses.

something like a nice big cushy crown vic is worth +2 to an endurance roll I’d say.

4 Dungeon Newbie August 4, 2010 at 5:03 am

Now for another skill check:
Road Rage
Endurance, Hard DC

Somebody cuts you illegally. If you succeed this skill check, you calm down and continue driving. If not, you flare up and crash, killing all passengers and the driver instantly

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