Kyle wrote:I'm not sure why having the entire encounter be performed with Skill Checks is inherently dumb.
For exactly the same reason L.A Nor is a bad computer game... Because no matter how pretty something is, any system that smacks my hands away from the controls & says "okay, enough of you having fun, let me do the mechanical had lifting now while you watch" is a bad game mechanic.
Kyle wrote:if the adventure provided good reason why the players might want to avoid combat or magic -- fear of attracting the city guard, or being noticed by a powerful wizard -- than why not have the encounter played out with Skill Checks?
If players want to try a life without risk of city guards, or powerful wizards then that adventuring thing might not be for them... Maybe consider picking up some NPC classess levels, because risk is exactly what adventuring is about: If there was no risk there would be no need for adventurers.
That was one of the things 4E's designers did not get, the idea that if one cannot fail then suddenly there is no challenge & if there is no challenge there is no fun, no reason to play: The point of table top RPG's is to pit your mind & wit against those of your enemy.
An i'm sorry to be so crass about it, but thats been my experience with skill challenges: They are mindless dice rolling mechanics mostly invented for the short attention span crowd who loses interest if they aren't rolling dice once ever 30 seconds & being told "good job." Its the "participation award" of the RPG scene, in that it cheapens actual success by rolling for silly things.
The point of playing is playing.... Because one example gives us:
"hey guys you remember when we broke in to that place & stole those crates & you didn't realisethere were attack dogs & that one ripped your pants off... An then the city gaurd showed up & you were running around Waterdeep without any pants on, being chased by the city guard."
The other one gives us:
"Hey you remember that time we rolled # success before # failures... No me either."
EDIT: I wish i could say something nicer about Skill Challenges, but i can't. I find them to be a tool that has been over used mostly by lazy GM's & worse yet; lazy writers.
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