Hairy Bob is being pulled into the murky depths by a giant octopus and Squidgee Yellowpants the Halfling Jester is kneeling on a waterlogged floating bunkbed trying to pull him out. Things are getting hairy for Hairy and I’m getting ready to pass Mahkra the Wizard over to Mike.
“What does Parson Jeffries do?”
“Can I make a Nature check? He might know something about Octopi that can help.”
“17! What does he know?”
“That’s up to you. I’ll give Squidgee a +2 on his check and bump it to +4 if I like your idea.”
“…..ummm…… The Parson shouts out ‘That Octopus is left-handed! Twist clockwise and you should break it’s grip'”
Yes folks, we’ve got a left-handed Giant Octopus, and it’s only (much) later do I google that it’s true. That’s another success toward the Skill Challenge meaning we’re at 4 successes to 2 failures. This could go either way. Our Halfling Jester has to make this check to rescue Hairy Bob, pass the Skill Challenge and Save the Day. d20+4 vs d20+5….. and he makes it, by 2.
Hairy Bob is pulled from the Octopus’ grasp and he lays on the bed gasping for breath before they both paddle across to collect Parson Jeffries and head across to the door without further incident.
Genius. I’m so proud of my players.
I’ve said it before: Skill Challenges are the Single Best Innovation in 4e D&D. Yes, they’re poorly explained in the DMG but that water passed under the bridge long ago. They’re NOT a substitute to role-playing, but a darned good tool to help frame the role-playing and introduce a possibility of failure (or at least serious setback) that otherwise wouldn’t be present. I love ’em.
Back on dry land and the party moves on, Hairy Bob leaving a damp trail behind him. He smells like wet dog.
Room 6. It is 10′ square. There is a pie. It tastes good. I grant each character a free healing surge. I am kind.
Ok, not that kind. In the next room they open the door to 12 Goblins filling a 15′ square room. But that’s for Next Time.