Skill checks

Horrorscapes [The Vault #19]

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Dream vistas twisted by alien intelligences of frightening power. Environs out of Nightmare. Lands inimical to the continued life of thinking races. All these and more dwell in the provinces of the Horrors. Many have been catalogued by brave and foolhardy wizards. Some have only been spoken of during palaver with the Fae and the shades of the Dead. Few have been survived. The Codex of ibn Al-Kazad relates twenty such locations:

  1. _Cloud Castle_ (#CC) Large, black, and ominous... > Perception :ranged: :roll:s must be made each cycle around the table. Failure means the :adventurer: falls through a thinness in the cloudfloor or wall, suffering 3 hp of damage OR 1 Persona loss.

  2. _Deathlight Spire_ (#DSpire) The darkness beaming from it's pinnacle steals the minds from all things it touches. You watch a flock of birds cease their flight and plummet... > Approaching the Spire is difficult and must be done between the cycling of the deathlight. An athletics :melee: check of 13+ is required or 1 Persona is lost. If Persona hits minimum the mind of the :adventurer: is stolen by the light, as their body crumples into coma.

  3. _Crystal Caverns_ (#CCaverns) Stalagmites as large as humans litter the floor. Twisted simulacrums of the adventurers leer from their surfaces. > On a failed Persona check a simulacrum of the victim leaps from the crystal. It has half the hp of the :adventurer: and uses 1 ability drawn at random from the type(s) known by the :adventurer:.

  4. _Spore Halls_ (#Spore) A long corridor covered in fungal blooms. > Make a Perception :ranged: check. For every multiple of 5 draw 1 :magic mushroom: encounter cards. They take -1 damage and deal +1 damage while in the Hall.

  5. _The Writhing Plains_ (#WPlains) Spoken of by the surviving members of The Shining Band before they were committed to an asylum. They related a tale of a farmer's field, covered not in stalks of corn, but in grasping tentacles. > Passage through the plains requires 3 successful Athletics :melee: checks of 10+. Each failure results in loss of 1 Loot OR 2 hp.

  6. _Sucking Sands_ (#SSands) Stand still for any length of time and you're dead. It is as though something follows beneath the sands, but at a pace just slower than one can walk. > Traversing the sands requires 3 successful Endurance :melee: or :music: checks of 8+. Failure results in being sucked below the sands for 4 hp damage and combat with a foul horror.

  7. _Hairy Hole_ (#HH) The Devil's Navel, some call it. It quivers at your touch, but you see not what lies below. > Make a Persona :roll: of 11+. On failure you're compelled to enter and lose 1 Persona. On success it belches forth 1 random Loot item.

  8. _The House of Hieronymous_ (#SHouse) A vast shell, large as a small castle, now vacant. Lesser creatures live inside it now... >

  9. _Serpentskin Tunnel_ (#SS) You realize you're not in a tunnel adorned with glistening mosaic walls. Rather, this is the molted skin of a vast, dread serpent! > Make a Persona check or enter a trance induced by the glittering scales. Suffer -3 to all checks until you take damage. If combat is initiated, entranced :adventurer: s must attack another adventurer on the first round.

  10. _Dreadhome_ (#Dhome) An immense cube floating in the sky. Every few decades cyclopean stones move and shift along its surface. Sometimes things exit to bedevil the world, or plummet to gory and enigmatic deaths. > On the approach to the Cube, make a Notice :roll: of 9+. On a failure, you are attacked by 2 :nightgaunts: for each person who failed the :roll:. On a 1, the :adventurer: is also struck by a falling body (or flying body parts from impact) for 3 hp damage.

  11. _Incubation Plain_ (#IPlain) Barren plains scorched by sun and salt crystals, hatched eggs as tall as two and three story houses litter the flats. One remains, surrounded by a tentscape of adoring cultists. A ritual is about to take place atop "the One". > If the :adventurers cannot stop the 5 :Acolytes: from completing the ritual in 5 rounds, a :Cthulhi: comes forth.

  12. _The Sloar!_ (#Sloar) It's not a smoking cavern. It's the belly of a terrible beast. Like the Keymaster said, "Many shubs and zools knew what it was like to be roasted in the depths of the Sloar that day, I can tell you!" > Every round in the Sloar one suffers 1 hp of damage. Two successful Climb :melee: checks of 11+ must be made to escape back up it's gullet.

  13. _Horror Flats_ (#HFlats) The flat landscape is pocked with holes the size of wagons. Gore lingers at the edges of some. Something came from below... > Whatever foe you encounter while traversing the Flats gets a free attack against the adventurers (resolve no abilities the first round).

  14. _HellMist Hall_ (#HMHall) A venerable manor, shrouded in mists without and within. Where are they coming from? Why won't daylight dissipate them? Why do you feel so...odd? > The mists distort :music: abilities. Failure on their :roll: is treated as a "1" :roll: instead.

  15. _The ShieldWall_ (#SWall) It stands higher and thicker than a skyscraper. What was it meant to keep out? Luckily the lifts still work...for now.

  16. _The Annihilation Arch_ (#Arch) Majestic and horrific at once, sacrifices are thrown from it into the mouth of a vast, sleeping terror far below. If it could be held against it's fanatical worshipers, the terror below might be starved to death...

  17. _Webwoods_ (#WebW) If only those that spun them were spiders... > Any :roll: of 5, 10, or 15 results in the adventurer being ensnared in a web. Next round they take 1 extra hp in damage and suffer -3 to ability rolls.

  18. _The Voidswamp_ (#Void) An unnatural vacuum above the swampy surface makes all breathing impossible. > No sound travels in the void. :Music: abilities do not function here, and :magic: abilities suffer -3 to rolls.

  19. _The Trackless Dream_ (#Dream) In this place all objects return to their prior form. Nothing inanimate can be truly destroyed here. > Any :loot: spent or destroyed mysteriously re-forms two rounds later.

  20. _The Quaking Caverns_ (#QCaverns) They are constantly moving and shifting, perpetually threatening to bury anyone traveling through them. > Two Perception :ranged: checks and two Athletics :melee: checks of 9+ are required to come out of the caverns. Each time a Perception :ranged: check is failed the adventurer who failed is separated from the party and must fight a Tier I Encounter card. Each time an Athletics :melee: check is failed, the adventurer suffers 2 hp damage from moving walls and falling stone.

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Skills and Skill Checks [The Vault #13]

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In Vault Entry #8, Haunts Unhallowed, we introduced the idea of using adventurer abilities to resolve skill checks. This week we thought we'd give you 20 prescripted skill check types you can drag and drop into the Quest Creator. For GMs and authors wishing to incorporate healing checks, we provide an alternative. We also have some ideas for anyone wishing to let adventurers craft Loot items or resolve puzzles or riddles via checks (helpful when playing with young ones). 

A reminder about one way skill checks can be used.  You can tell players to add bonuses to rolls based on their Adventurer card or the number of abilities of a certain type in their hand (ex. 3 Melee abilities grants +3 to athletic rolls). For example:

Athletic Skills = Melee Abilities.
Knowledge Skills = Magic Abilities.
Perception/Stealth Skills = Ranged Abilities.
Performance Skills = Music Abilities
Social Skills = Influence Abilities.
Sanity/Will Check = current Persona.

So how do you have easily variable skill checks?  If you start with a risk (difficulty) of 7-10, add the Tier value of any active opposition to find the target number. Without further ado:

  1. _Deception_ (#Deception)You attempt to bypass the guards through guile and confidence. > A deception :Influence: :roll: of 10+Tier level convinces the guards. A failure results in combat with them.

  2. _Healing_ (#Healing) Fetch the healing kit. > A :roll: of 5+total hp below full health is required. On success, heal 1 hp for each point above the risk/difficulty.

  3. _Craft Item_ (#Craft) Using the skills you've learned you craft an item for the impending quest. > On an appropriate :roll: (ie :magic: for magic items) of 12+level of the :loot: item, you succeed in crafting it. Failure costs you 10 coins per level of the Loot, as you waste time and materials.

  4. _Climb!_ (#Climb) Scaling the cliffs/walls is the only option. > An athletics :melee: :roll: brings you triumph, but a failure results in loss of 3 hp OR :loot: worth 2 tiers.

  5. _Search Area_ (#Search)There may be a diamond in the rough here... > A search :ranged: :roll: of 15 or above yields a :loot: item equal in level to 1 for every point above 14.

  6. _Intimidation_ (#Intimidation)The threat of your anger and power may be enough to cow the foe. > An intimidation :influence: :roll: of 10+Tier value of your foe forces them to flee (can be scripted in the combat simulator).

  7. _Escape Bonds_ (#Escape) The bonds haven't been made that can hold hope. > An :athletics: :roll: of 12 or above allows you to slip free. Failure costs you 1 hp.

  8. _Pick Lock_ (#Lock)You listen closely for the satisfying click of tumblers. > A :perception: :roll: of 10+Loot Value wins you through. Failure triggers a countermeasure dipped in poison for 3 hp damage.

  9. _Disengage_ (#Disengage) This battle is not going well. It's best to live to fight another day. > A :roll: of 7+Tier Value of foes allows you to flee the fight. Failure increases damage you suffer this round by 1. (We'll show you how to script this in a future Advanced Combat Forge post).

  10. _Disarm Trap_ (#Disarm) Harm and death are imminent... > A :perception: :roll: of 7+Damage done by the trap saves you from harm. Failure results in damage taken.

  11. _Notice_ (#Notice) They thought to creep up on you. They will be the ones surprised. > A :ranged: :roll: of 15 minus the # of foes affords you an advantage. Deal +1 damage this round. Failure results in you suffering +1 damage this round.

  12. _Sneak_ (#Sneak) It's time to avoid notice. > A :melee: or :music: :roll: of 7+Tier Value of enemies allows you to bypass this fight. Failure lands you in melee.

  13. _Solve Puzzle_ (#Solve) Brute force isn't the solution to all life's problems... > On a :music: or :magic: :roll: of 10+Loot Value gained, you solve the riddle and earn a reward. Failure springs a trap!

  14. _Discern Intentions_ (#Discern) Through wisdom and experience you discern the next move of your opponent. > A :music: or :influence: :roll: above 7+Tier Value of opponents allows you to avoid some of their assault. Reduce damage by 1 this round. Failure increases damage by 1.

  15. _Tactics_ (#Tactics) You've fought their kind before, or studied how to do so. > A :roll: above 10+Tier Value of opponent let's you cancel one enemy's next Surge.

  16. _Persuasion_ (#Pers) Many a time your golden tongue has gotten you out of trouble. > A :: or :influence: :roll: of 12 or above favorably sways the individual or crowd.

  17. _Knowledge: Encounter Type_ (#Lore) Deep studies into the nature and behavior of this type of creature affords you an advantage. > On a :magic: :roll: of 7+Tier Value of the enemy, you can make one other ability type deal +1 damage to the foe for the remainder of the round.

  18. _Survival_ (#Survival) You've been trained to survive in hostile environments. > On any check to endure cold, heat, or other elements, :roll: above 7+damage that would be dealt. On a success you avoid harm. On failure take the damage.

  19. _Commerce_ (#Commerce) Your skill at trade has served you well. > On an appropriate :roll: of 10 or above you wheel and deal your way to profit equal to 10 coins for each point on the roll above 9.

  20. _Building_ (#Building) Mastery of geometry and knowledge of materials and logistics allows you to erect or analyze structures and fortify areas. > On a :melee: :roll: of 12 or above, your preparations of the battlespace delays the party taking damage until the second round.

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