Training Grounds: How to Create, Run an Informal Skill Challenge
In the past, I have operated skill challenges in a number of different ways with varying results. One thing I’ve learned from each is that there is no one perfect way to conduct a challenge that seems to work for every situation. This type of skill challenge I am about to present, though, works well for situations involving sleuthing, researching, and investigations—and in situations where it doesn’t make sense to end a challenge after a specific number of successes or failures.
First of all, let me show you an actual example of how this type of skill challenge works. It has been published on this blog on an earlier date and was created and successfully used for one of my previous campaigns. “Mysterious Tracks” is an example of how an informal skill challenge can be used in a way to enhance an entire sequence of scenes involving sleuthing, investigations, and follow-up encounters. It does not follow the formula I am about to show you exactly, but it doesn’t veer very far from it. I’m a firm believer that formulas are guidelines, anyway, and not constraints. So, when you make your own skill challenges, keep this in mind: if you ever feel like you should veer from the formula, by all means do so.