On the occasion of E3, we were all “video-gamey” and asked who won the battle for the public’s digital hearts by wielding the most dreaded weapon of all: the multimedia presentation. The Xbox 360 successfully won among you, the readers, by capturing 38% of the vote by announcing the magical technology of Project Natal, the zombirific southern sequel Left 4 Dead 2, the stabbing Assasin’s Creed the 2nd, and others. Second place with 29% was those of you who don’t give a crap, and third place went to Nintendo’s M-heavy lineup.
Last weekend, as I’m oft to do every two weeks or so, I ran the next adventure of my campaign. Within it, they once again faced down a great wyrm black dragon that blames them for the death of her black dragon son (whom they did kill, but he was kind of a jerk in the first place). Earlier on, when they were but in the Heroic Tier, they fled from the menace by ducking through forests, and fleeing on horses to a safe area. Then in this last installment, the dragon found them flying through the skies aboard a flying Dwarven pirate airship (what else?) and threatened to destroy the ship if they didn’t toss the heroes overboard. Despite now being Paragons, they still found their powers mostly useless against the creature, and scrambled to improvise other alternatives aboard a flying pirate ship. Firing at the creature’s wings, slowing it for a round, ordering the pirates into a better sense of organization, searching the hold for something useful, and finally, firing a Deva riding a barrel of rum attached with a chain to an anchor at the dragon using twin ballistas.
What do both of those encounters have in common, other than the same foe? They were both done as skill challenges. (In similar fashion to Mr. Mearls’s method of throwing a famous demon lord at your players at level 1).
As I’ve remarked before, skill challenges have been something of, umm, a challenge for many DMs and groups. It doesn’t help that it had to be heavily errated for the numbers to work the way they were intended, and everyone seems to have an opinion on them.
Thus, I’d like to find out that opinion, especially towards our skewing heavily towards liking 4e audience:
My sense overall is that either they fall flat and it’s just kind of boring, or they’re pretty awesome without a whole lot of room in between. But if you have stories of either, feel free to share them!