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Use Skill Challenges to Start Combat (Part 3 of 3)

[previously] As you enter the abandoned monastery, you notice scrawled chalk markings covering the floor and walls. They all appear to be variations on the same obscure religious symbol. In the center of the room, next to a badly decayed corpse, is written the following: “Beware the setting sun. Something comes from the forest. The …

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Encounters of Fortune: The Tower of Zazerlae (Part 2 of 5)

To celebrate the impending release of Open Design’s Soldiers of Fortune sourcebook for 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, author Matt James brings you additional material for a military campaign. [previously] __ Encounter Background During the last encounter, the PCs located the entrance to the abandoned dungeon and were attacked by roaming giant camel spiders. Now, they …

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Use Skill Challenges to Start Combat (Part 2 of 3)

[previously] The shipment is supposed to be food for the prince’s wedding. The route is supposed to be one of the safest traveled by the merchant caravans. The wagons, well defended as they are, are thought to be at little risk. Yet you have been summoned to investigate rumors of a planned ambush. “Stop that …

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Use Skill Challenges to Start Combat (Part 1 of 3)

“I got it!” Mekken considered for a second. The sun had already begun to set, and the shadows of the forest grew darker, creeping rapidly closer to the abandoned hilltop monastery. An ominous presence could be felt in those shadows. “Thaln, gather variegated blue-leaf thyme from outside. Aildrer, I think the powdered crystal we need …

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Action: Failure

When it comes to skill challenges, failure is not an option. “Of course,” you say. “No one wants to fail a skill challenge.” But this means something else entirely. Skill challenges are generally meant to represent situations or tasks which move the story forward—nonviolent encounters which carry just as much importance as those dealing with …

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