Discussion in 'Games: RPG & Miniatures' started by darthmythos, Jan 11, 2008.
Critical Hits is doing a write-up of the D&D Experience convention seminars.
One of our parties is being run through the 4th ed Tomb of Horrors. I have to ask: Did the writers even understand the concept of "Skill Challenge"? They got "skill", but "Challenge"? There's a part where we have to run through 4 different traps end to end. It was impossible for us to fail.
Oh, SPOILER ALERT:
OK, every party member has to get by. You can use insight or preception to get a +2 bonus or a double-move with a single check. Or you can use arcana to give someone else one of those bonuses. But no matter what, it was impossible for us to fail. We're lvl 14 (as we are supposed to be at this point in the mod), and the difficulty is 11!!! I've had lvl1 (ONE!!!!) encounders with DC of 20. So why is this supposed to be tough? Even just 1/2 level is +7, and if the skill is trained, that would be a 12 (automatic success), and if there's an attribute bonus, than it's a no brainer.
First 2 traps are the same: field of spikes. The ranger and rogue have acrobatics on 21 and 19, so beating an 11 was no problem. The fighter (I) and the Evoker just had to use athletics, and we got through. OK, the Evoker failed 1 time. The Bard danced across and was able to help the Evoker.
Third trap was Insight, Endurance, or arcana--with the same pathetic DC, to put up with the horrible noises of discordant musical spheres. Fighter and Evoker had 20+ con, so that let us just walk across. Bard, Rogue, and Ranger crossed without risk either.
4th trap was a bunch of scything blades. OK, there was a remote chance, because at the 1/2 way point a banshee jumps out, and if you get hit by the scream, you get pushed and immobilized in the trap zone, but after a couple rounds, eh. We hit it with 2 interrupts that gave it a total of -8 to hit, and just ran past it. The GM raised the difficulty by 3 because we had to get around it. It was doomed so stay forever in the trap that killed it, so it couldn't follow.
So, given all that, sure, the damage from the traps was nasty, but who cares: there was no way it would have actually happened or been triggered. The Writers would have been much better to cut the damage in 1/2, and tripple the difficulty--you know, so it would have been an actual encounter worth the Role-playing time.
yuck, that doesn't sound in the spirit of the original at all