Sample Skill Challenges

Skill Challenge Stat Block

Skill challenges are organized into stat blocks, similar to creatures. This is where all of the information needed to run a skill challenge can be found. A skill challenge stat block is organized as follows. Note that in cases where a line in a skill challenge stat block has no value, that line is omitted.

Name and CR: The skill challenge’s name is presented first, along with its Challenge Rating (CR). A skill challenge’s CR is a numerical indication of what the Average Party Level (APL) of a group of characters should be before they attempt the skill challenge.

XP: Listed here are the total experience points that the PCs earn for clearing the skill challenge.

Type: Skill challenges come in several varieties. The types of skill challenges introduced in the Skill Challenge Handbook are general, chase, contest, and influence. General skill challenges are described in the rules above, while the others are described (with examples) in their own sections.

Goal: This is a brief description of what the PCs are trying to accomplish during the skill challenge.

Primary Skills: This lists the skills that the PCs can use to earn completion during the skill challenge is noted here, as well as the difficulty and skill check DC associated with each skill.

Secondary Skills: This lists the difficulty and skill DC of all skill checks that are attempted to earn completion that are not primary skills. The GM is the final arbiter of which skills can be used to earn completion during the skill challenge.

Frequency: This lists the amount of time that passes between each cycle during the skill challenge.

Circumstance Bonus (Optional Element): Some skill challenges provide special bonuses to certain skills, which are noted in this entry.

Languages (Optional Element): If the skill challenge has this optional element, this notes any languages that the PCs must be able to understand in order to earn completion during the skill challenge. Some skill challenges with the languages optional element only require characters to understand the listed languages when making specific skill checks, while others don’t require complete fluency. Such exceptions are also noted in this entry.

Time Pressure (Optional Element): This lists the number of cycles that the PCs have to finish the skill challenge. If they fail to clear it in the listed number of skill challenges, they automatically fail the skill challenge.

Completion: The ultimate goal of every skill challenge is to complete it, and this outlines the skill challenge’s completion method (movement, progress, or successes) and the amount of completion needed to successfully clear it.

Backlash (Optional Element): This entry notes any negative effects that the PCs take when they fail to earn completion towards clearing a skill challenge or gaining an advantage by 5 or more.

Demerits (Optional Element): This entry notes the number of demerits that the PCs can accrue during the skill challenge. A demerit is accrued anytime that a character fails a skill check to earn completion.

Failures Allowed: This entry notes the total number of failures that the PCs can make during the skill challenge before they automatically fail it.

SQ: This entry notes any special qualities or rules that the skill challenge has.

Benefit: This is the reward or boon that the PCs gain for completing the skill challenge.

Penalty: This is the consequence that the PCs incur should they fail to complete the skill challenge.

Obstacles: In a movement-based skill challenge, this lists the obstacles that the PCs must overcome in order to successfully clear the skill challenge.

Thresholds (Optional Element): In a progress-based or success-based skill challenge, this notes any thresholds that occur as the skill challenge progresses.

Sample Skill Challenges

The following skill challenges were designed using the rules described above.

Babysitting CR 1

XP 400
Goal The PCs are watching the three children of two affluent nobles while they attend an annual gala. By ensuring the safety of the children, the PCs hope to earn a favor from the nobles.

SKILLS
Primary Skills Acrobatics (average, DC 16), Diplomacy (challenging, DC 18), Intimidate (average DC 16), Perception (difficult, DC 21), Perform (any) (easy, DC 11), Profession (cook or midwife) (average, DC 16), Sense Motive (difficult, DC 21), Sleight of Hand (average, DC 16).
Secondary Skills Difficult, DC 21
Frequency 1 hour

COMPLETION
Successes Needed 2
Demerits 3
SQ limited completion (3 primary participants, 2 assistants per primary participant)
Benefit If the PCs succeed with no demerits, the nobles gladly give them the favor they asked for, and their Relationship Score with the PCs increases by 1. If the PCs succeed with 1 demerit, the nobles offer to give the PCs the favor they requested in exchange for 2d6 x 10 gp. If the PCs succeed with 2 demerits, the nobles offer to give the PCs the favor they requested in exchange for 2d12 x 10 gp. If the PCs gain 3 demerits but would otherwise succeed, the success instead counts as a failure with no demerits (see below). For more information regarding Relationship Scores, see the Relationship section in Ultimate Charisma.
Penalty If the PCs fail to the gain the requisite number of successes but have no demerits, the nobles offer to give the PCs the favor they requested in exchange for 2d12 x 10 gp. If the PCs fail to the gain the requisite number of successes and have 1 demerit, they decline to give the PCs the favor they requested. If the PCs fail to the gain the requisite number of successes and have 2 demerits, they decline to give the PCs the favor they requested, and their Relationship Score with the PCs is reduced by 1. If the PCs fail to the gain the requisite number of successes and have 3 demerits, they decline to give the PCs the favor they requested and their relationship score with the PCs is reduced by 2.

Missing Wizard CR 2

XP 600
Goal The PCs must research the personal study of a missing town sage to search for clues regarding his disappearance.

SKILLS
Primary Skills Knowledge (local) (easy, DC 13), Knowledge (nature) (easy, DC 13), Perception (challenging, DC 20), Sense Motive (challenging, DC 20)
Secondary Skills (difficult, DC 23)
Frequency 8 hours
Languages Common (read only)
Time Pressure 7 days

COMPLETION
Progress 6
SQ limited completion (1 primary participant, any number of assistants).
Benefit The PCs can use the information gleaned from the sage’s notes to determine where he has headed and follow him there.
Failure If the PCs fail to discover where the sage has gone within a week’s time, he has suffered a gruesome fate at the hands of the bandit leader—if he isn’t dead, he’s certainly unable to offer them much assistance for a time, if ever.

THRESHOLD
1 Progress At low tide, a hidden entrance to underground caverns becomes visible beneath the town’s docks. According to a number of local legends, pirates hid their booty in the caves.

3 Progress The flower seller in the town square is the local priest’s illegitimate daughter. Given the priest’s vow of chastity, if this knowledge became public, he could lose respect among the townsfolk and likely his position as the town’s priest.

6 Progress The leader of the bandits in the woods outside town claims to be the deposed lord of the neighboring barony, and wants to raise an army to take back his title and lands. The sage’s notes indicate that he was planning on seeking out this bandit lord and using his records to prove the veracity of the claim.

Powering the Runestone CR 3

XP 800
Goal The PCs must reactivate a failed runestone in order to defend the village from an eldritch horror.

SKILLS
Primary Skills Knowledge (arcana) (easy, DC 14), Spellcraft (easy, DC 14), Use Magic Device (average, DC 19)
Frequency 1 round
Time Pressure 1 minute

COMPLETION
Successes 3
Backlash Failing a skill check to earn a success by 5 or more causes the runestone to lash out with eldritch power, dealing 1d8+1 points of force damage and causes all participants to become stunned for 1 round. A DC 13 Will save negates the stunned condition, but not the damage.
SQ imbued spell (dimensional anchor CL 15th), specific skills
Benefit The PCs reactivate the runestone, causing all inhabitants within the village to gain the benefits of a protection from evil spell against the eldritch horror preparing to attack it.
Penalty Once the PCs begin to reactivate the runestone, its power surges in the air around them. If the PCs fail to reactivate the runestone after 1 minute, a blast of destructive energies wreck the PCs. Each PC takes 2d8+3 points of damage as if affected as if by color spray (DC 11 negates).

Crossing the Bridge CR 4

XP 1,200
Goal The PCs must make their way across the chasm’s bridge without damaging the bridge’s integrity or risk falling.

SKILLS
Primary Skills Acrobatics (easy, DC 15)
Frequency 1 round

COMPLETION
Movement 10
Backlash Failure causes the bridge to take 1d4 points of damage, ignoring its hardness. The bridge has 20 hit points. If the bridge takes 10 points of damage, all squares on the bridge count as difficult terrain for the purpose of determining the number of squares that characters advance, and the DC of all skill checks made to bypass the bridge’s obstacles increases by 2. If the bridge takes 20 points of damage, it is destroyed. Characters on the bridge when it is destroyed fall 80 feet to the bottom of the chasm (8d6 falling damage) unless they succeed on a DC 20 Reflex save to hang on to the splintering bridge. Characters with a square count of 1 to 2 side have their square count set to 2 and can only advanced backwards, while characters on the 9 to 10 side have their square count set to 8 and can only advanced forwards. Characters with 3 to 7 squares have a 50% chance to end up on either side. Once the bridge is destroyed, Climb (challenging, DC 22) replaces all other primary skills for the skill challenge’s obstacles for characters hanging on to the bridge.
SQ advantage (any), individual completion, specific skills
Benefit If all PCs successfully cross the bridge, they can continue on their adventure unhindered.
Penalty If the bridge is destroyed, the PCs must reroute their course and attempt to find a new path across the chasm. They may need to spend additional time finding any party members who fell from the bridge.

OBSTACLES
1 Square+ The bridge sways irregularly in the unchecked breeze, threatening to topple the PCs over.
Type hazard; Notice Survival (easy, DC 15)
Bypass Skills Acrobatics (easy, DC 15)
SQ specific skills
Effect difficult terrain and target falls prone; DC 20 Reflex avoids the prone condition

5 Squares The bridge’s planks are unstable, and threaten to give out under the PCs as they make their way across.
Type peril; Notice Craft (carpentry) (easy, DC 15), Knowledge (engineering) (easy, DC 15), Perception (average, DC 20), Profession (architect) (easy, DC 15)
Bypass Skills Craft (carpentry) (average, DC 20), Knowledge (engineering) (average, DC 20); Secondary Skills (challenging, DC 22)
SQ individual completion, trap-like
Effect 80-ft.-deep pit (8d6 damage); DC 20 Reflex avoids; multiple targets (all targets with a square count of 1)

10 Squares The bridge’s planks are unstable, and threaten to give out under the PCs as they make their way across.
Type peril; Notice Craft (carpentry) (easy, DC 15), Knowledge (engineering) (easy, DC 15), Perception (average, DC 20), Profession (architect) (easy, DC 15)
Bypass Skills Craft (carpentry) (average, DC 20), Knowledge (engineering) (average, DC 20); Secondary Skills (challenging, DC 25)
SQ individual completion, trap-like
Effect 80-ft.-deep pit (8d6 damage); DC 20 Reflex avoids; multiple targets (all targets with a square count of 1)

A Meal Fit for a Dragon CR 5

XP 1,600
Goal The PCs must successfully cook a succulent meal for a dragon in order to gain his assistance and avoid being eaten.

SKILLS
Primary Skills Perception (difficult, DC 26), Profession (cook) (average, DC 21)
Secondary Skills Very difficult, DC 28
Frequency 10 minutes

COMPLETION
Successes 4
Demerits 3
SQ limited completion (1 primary participant, any number of assistants)
Benefit If the PCs succeed with no demerits, the dragon is delighted with the quality of his meal, improving his attitude towards the PCs to helpful. If the PCs succeed with 1 demerit, the dragon is impressed with the quality of his meal, improving his starting attitude towards the PCs to friendly. If the PCs succeed with 2 demerits, the dragon finds his meal passable, making him indifferent to the PCs and only willing to help them in exchange for a 500 gp tithe per PC. If the PCs gain 3 demerits but would otherwise succeed, the success instead counts as a failure with no demerits (see below).

Penalty If the PCs fail to the gain the requisite number of successes but have no demerits, the dragon finds his meal passable but is unimpressed, making him indifferent and only willing to help the PCs in exchange for a 750 gp tithe per PC. If the PCs fail with 1 demerit, the dragon is displeased with his meal, making him unfriendly and only willing to help the PCs in exchange for a 1,000 gp tithe per PC. If the PCs fail with 2 demerits, the dragon is disgusted by his meal, making him unfriendly and unwilling to help the PCs. If the PCs fail with 3 demerits, the dragon is disgusted and insulted by his meal, making him hostile and unwilling to help the PCs.

Cracking the Spellbook CR 6

XP 2,400
Goal The PCs must search the arcane library of a vanished wizard in order to learn of any wards that the spellcaster might have placed upon his spellbook before he disappeared.

SKILLS
Primary Skills Knowledge (arcana) (easy, DC 18), Knowledge (planes) (easy, DC 18), Knowledge (religion) (easy, DC 18), Spellcraft (average, DC 23)
Frequency 8 hours
Languages Common (read only)
Skill Bonus Knowledge (arcana) +4, Knowledge (planes) +4, Knowledge (religion) +4

COMPLETION
Progress 18
SQ limited completion (1 primary participant, any number of assistants), specific skills
Benefit The PCs are able to bypass the spellbook’s wards and defenses, allowing them to glean arcane knowledge from it and catch a rare glimpse at the vanished wizard’s musings and experiments.
Failure If the PCs fail to discover the methods to bypass the wizard’s defenses, they must either find a way to remove the wards or risk opening the book and facing the wrath of watever spells he placed upon his most private of treasures.

THRESHOLD
5 Progress The wizard’s spellbook is warded with a unique symbol spell of his own design. He wanted anyone brazen enough to try and learn from his works to suffer greatly for their arrogance.

10 Progress After several failed experiences left his book singed and his library badly burned, the wizard decided a more subtle approach was in order. He began devising a way to make sure that anyone who read from his book without his permission would be unable to read anything ever again.

15 Progress The wizard devised a nefarious spell gylph (as per rune of warding) that acted similarly to symbol of sleep (DC 20, CL 10th), except those who fell asleep from the glyph’s influence also permanently lost the ability to read and write, as bestow curse. This knowledge allows characters with the trapfinding class feature or the ability to disarm magical traps the ability to use Disable Device to earn progress to complete the skill challenge as if it were a primary skill.

18 Progress The wizard designed a bypass mechanic for his spellbook’s trap so he wouldn’t need to be bothered with constantly disarming and rearming the trap. The glyph does not trigger for anyone who opens the spellbook while wearing a signet ring with the wizard’s insignia upon it.

An Audience with the King CR 7

XP 3,200
Goal The PCs must convince the king’s majordomo to hold an audience with them.

SKILLS
Primary Skills Bluff (average, DC 24), Diplomacy (average, DC 24), Intimidate (challenging, DC 26), Knowledge (history) (average, DC 24), Knowledge (nobility) (easy, DC 19), Profession (barrister) (challenging, DC 26)
Secondary Skills Difficult, DC 29
Frequency 1 round

COMPLETION
Successes 5
Demerits 3
Benefit If the PCs succeed with no demerits, the majordomo permits them an audience with the king immediately, and the king’s starting attitude with the PCs is friendly. If the PCs succeed with 1 demerit, the majordomo permits them an audience with the king immediately, and the king’s starting attitude with the PCs is indifferent. If the PCs succeed with 2 demerits, the majordomo permits them an audience with the king in 2d6 hours, and the king’s starting attitude is indifferent. If the PCs gain 3 demerits but would otherwise succeed, the success instead counts as a failure with no demerits (see below).
Penalty If the PCs fail with no demerits, the majordomo permits them an audience with the king in 1d3 days, and the king’s starting attitude is indifferent. If the PCs fail with 1 demerit, the majordomo permits them an audience with the king in 1d6 days, and the king’s starting attitude is indifferent. If the PCs fail with 2 demerits, the majordomo permits them an audience with the king in 2d4 days, and the king’s starting attitude is unfriendly. If the PCs fail with 3 demerits, the majordomo does not permit the PCs an audience with the king, and the king’s starting attitude is unfriendly.

Living Maze CR 8

XP 4,800
Goal The PCs must navigate through a living maze that seeks to entrap them within its confines.

SKILLS
Primary Skills Knowledge (arcana) (difficult, DC 30), Knowledge (geography) (difficult, DC 32), Knowledge (planes) (difficult, DC 30), Survival (challenging, DC 29)
Frequency 10 minutes

COMPLETION
Movement 18
Backlash Failure causing the PCs to lose 1d4 squares of movement as the maze twists and contorts around them, making them helplessly lost.
SQ advantage (3), critical fumble, imbued (dimensional anchor, CL 25th), specific skills; The walls of the maze can detect flying creatures and adjust their height accordingly. As a result, characters cannot earn squares to clear the skill challenge by using a fly speed.

OBSTACLES
1 Square+ The maze that the PCs are traversing is alive, and must be outwitted at every turn..
Type hazard; Notice Knowledge (arcana) (challenging, DC 27), Knowledge (geography) (average, DC 25), Perception (difficult, DC 30)
Bypass Skills Knowledge (arcana) (challenging, DC 27), Knowledge (geography) (average, DC 25), Perception (difficult, DC 30); Secondary Skills very difficult, DC 32
SQ critical fumble
Effect Failure indicates that the character does not earn any squares towards clearing the skill challenge this cycle.

10 Squares The maze rips an interdimensional hole in itself to whisk the PCs back to the beginning of the maze.
Type peril; Notice Knowledge (arcana) (challenging, DC 27), Perception (difficult, DC 30), Spellcraft (average, DC 25)
Bypass Skills Knowledge (arcana) (challenging, DC 27), Knowledge (geography) (average, DC 25), Perception (difficult, DC 30); Secondary Skills very difficult, DC 32
SQ limited occurrence (1)
Effect Spell (plane shift, CL 12th); DC 16 Will avoids; multiple targets (all targets with a square count of 10); characters that fail their saving throw have their square count reduced to 0.

15 Squares The maze creates stone guardians to attempt to stop the PCs from advancing any further.
Type peril; Notice Knowledge (arcana) (challenging, DC 27), Perception (difficult, DC 30), Spellcraft (average, DC 25)
SQ limited occurrence (1), unavoidable
Effect Creature (1 huge earth elemental; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 1) The elemental automatically succeeds on all skill checks to bypass obstacles and gain advantage, and attempts to knock the PCs unconscious so it can drag them back to square count 0.

18 Squares The maze seals its exit with a massive stone wall.
Type obstruction; Notice Knowledge (arcana) (challenging, DC 27), Perception (difficult, DC 30), Spellcraft (average, DC 25)
Bypass Skills Climb (average, DC 25); Secondary Skills challenging, DC 27
Effect Blockade (hardness 8, 90 hp, 2 successes to bypass)

Staying the Course CR 9

XP 6,400
Goal The PCs must fight to keep their ship on-course during a deadly storm.

SKILLS
Primary Skills Acrobatics (difficult, DC 32), Climb (difficult, DC 32), Profession (sailor) (challenging, DC 29), Survival (difficult, DC 32), Swim (very difficult, DC 34)
Frequency 10 minutes

COMPLETION
Successes 6
SQ specific skills, surprise start (Knowledge [geography] [average, DC 27], Knowledge [nature] [challenging, DC 29], Profession [sailor] [average, DC 27], Survival [average, DC 27])
Benefit The PCs weather the storm and can continue sailing without impediment.
Failure The PCs survive the storm, but their ship is battered or worse, based upon their success at the skill challenge’s threshold intervals (see below).

THRESHOLDS
1 Cycle At the end of the first cycle, wind speeds increase to moderate (20 mph) and it begins to rain. On subsequent cycles, a PC must succeed on a DC 16 Acrobatics or Climb check to move across the slick, gusty deck in order to attempt a skill check to earn successes.

2 Cycles At the end of the second cycle, the wind speeds increase to strong (30 mph and the rain picks up into a full thunderstorm, forcing every PC to attempt an Acrobatics or Climb check each cycle, even if they don’t attempt to earn successes. Failing this check once causes the character to fall prone (standing up requires a successful Acrobatics or Climb check during the next cycle), while failing a check while already prone causes the character to get swept overboard (Reflex DC 18 negates). A character who is swept overboard takes 4d6 points of bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage each round as they are ground against the ship’s hull and must hold their breath as if they were submerged. An overboard character can attempt a Climb check to climb back onto the ship (DC 30). A PC can toss an overboard character a rope as a full-cycle action to grant it a +5 bonus to climb back onboard; this bonus increases to +10 if the rope is knotted. This is in addition to the events described by the 1 cycle threshold.

3 Cycles At the start of the third round, lightning crashes in the sky above the PCs’ vessel. Each round, there is a 25% chance that a lightning bolt will strike the ship. Determine randomly whether the lightning strikes a PC or the ship. Each bolt deals 10d6 points of electricity damage; a PC can attempt a DC 18 Reflex save to reduce the damage by half, but the ship takes half damage from the bolt as well on a successful save. Lightning bolts ignore the ship’s hardness and cause it to catch fire; each additional time the ship catches fire beyond the first increases the amount of fire damage that the ship burns for by 1d6. This is in addition to the events described by the 1 and 2 cycle thresholds.

4 Cycles+ Each additional cycle beyond the 3rd, the weather fluctuates between the conditions described by the 1, 2, and 3 cycle thresholds (determine randomly).

Crushing Ceiling CR 10

XP 9,600
Goal The PCs must discover a way to escape the chamber before they are crushed by the room’s slowly descending ceiling.
Setting A 20-foot by 20-foot sealed chamber with a 50-foot high ceiling. The walls, floor, and ceiling are 20-foot by 20- foot slabs of stone (hardness 8, 1,800 hp), and when the skill challenge begins the ceiling-slab begins descending towards the ground at a rate of 5 feet per round. The ceiling slab weighs 1.5 tons (3,000 pounds).

SKILLS
Primary Skills Disable Device (average, 29), Knowledge (engineering) (easy, 24), Perception (average, 29)
Secondary Skills Very difficult, DC 36
Frequency 1 round
Time Pressure 10 cycles

COMPLETION
Successes Needed 7
Backlash If a PC fails a skill check by 5 or more, reduce the skill challenge’s time pressure by 1 cycle.
Benefit If the PCs succeed before the time pressure concludes, they find a secret door that enables them to escape the room.
SQ surprise start (Knowledge [engineering] [challenging, DC 31], Perception [difficult, 34]), Characters with bonuses on skill checks made to locate secret doors gain those bonuses on skill checks made to earn completion in the skill challenge. If targeted by effects, all walls, floors, and ceilings in the room have hardness 8 and 1,800 hp with a saving throw bonus of +18 on all saves (they are 20-foot thick slabs of stone).
Penalty If the PCs fail to gain 5 successes before the time pressure ends, the slab makes a grapple attempt against all creatures within the room, attempting to pin any creature that it has not already grappled. The stab has a CMB of +22 (base atk +10, size +4 Strength +8), a CMD of 32, and the constrict (10d6+8) special ability. Any creature pinned by the slab must hold its breath to avoid suffocation. Creatures that are not pinned can continue to make skill checks to attempt to find the hidden door, accruing successes towards escaping the room. Succeeding at the skill challenge after the time pressure has completed still counts as a failure for the purpose of determining the amount of XP earned from the challenge, however. A character cannot escape from the room if she is grappled or pinned, even after the challenge has been completed

Prosecution CR 11

XP 12,800
Goal The PCs must take on the role of prosecutors in a trial in order to prevent an enemy from acquitting herself.

SKILLS
Primary Opposed Skills Bluff (Sense Motive; difficult, +18), Diplomacy (Bluff, challenging +15), Profession (barrister) (Profession [barrister]; average, +13), Knowledge (history) (Bluff, challenging +15), Knowledge (local) (Bluff, challenging +15), Sense Motive (Bluff; challenging, +15)
Frequency 10 minutes
Language Common (spoken only)

COMPLETION
Successes 7
Backlash If a PC fails an opposed skill check by 10 or more, they earn an additional demerit as they accidentally provide a sound argument for their opponent’s release.
Demerits 4
SQ limited completion (1 primary participant, no assistants), specific skills
Benefit If the PCs succeed with no demerits, their enemy is jailed and receives the maximum possible sentence, as appropriate for her crimes. For each demerit they receive, their enemy is jailed, but her sentence decreases in severity as appropriate, such as going from life to 25 years, then from 25 years to 10 years, then from 10 years to 1 year as appropriate. If the PCs gain 4 demerits but would otherwise succeed, the success instead counts as a failure with no demerits (see below).
Penalty If the PCs fail with no demerits, their enemy is left off with minimal sentencing, as they were unable to produce sound enough evidence to incarcerate her. For each demerit they receive, the attitude of the townsfolk worsens by one step (minimum hostile) as they become increasingly angered by the PC’s incompetence and question whether or not their opponent was even guilty to begin with. If the PCs fail with 4 demerits, the townsfolk become quickly convinced that they are the true perpetrators of their opponent’s crimes and seek to either imprison them or run them out of town. This attitude adjustment lasts a minimum of 1d12 years or until the PCs can clear their names.

History Lesson – War College CR 12

XP 19,200
Goal The PCs must discover the hidden history of the war college if they are to properly defend it against a hobgoblin invasion.

SKILLS
Primary Skills Knowledge (engineering) (average, DC 32), Knowledge (history) (average, DC 32), Profession (soldier) (average, DC 32)
Frequency 8 hours
Languages Common (read only)
Skill Bonus Knowledge (engineering) +4, Knowledge (history) +4, Profession (soldier) +4; can attempt Knowledge (engineering) and Profession (soldier) checks untrained.
Time Pressure 7 days

COMPLETION
Progress 32
SQ limited completion (1 primary participant, any number of assistants), specific skills
Benefit The PCs are able to discover the weakest parts of the college’s defenses, increasing the building’s Defense by +4 during the upcoming assault.
Failure The college’s defenses are woefully inadequate for the war to come. If the PCs do not complete the skill challenge, the college gains no bonus to its Defense against the upcoming assault. If they fail to earn at least 20 progress, their utter lack of preparation causes the college to take a –2 penalty to its Defense.

THRESHOLD
5 Progress Master Vazal at the Hammer and Anvil believes that red hair is a blessing from the Lord of Battles, and frequently offers discounts on masterwork and enchanted weapons to ginger-headed warriors.

10 Progress When a local duke was slain in the Battle of a Hundred Blades, his legendary shield, Bladesplitter, was never recovered. It is believed that the hobgoblins’ war chief took it as a trophy.

20 Progress Detailed blueprints illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of the war college. All border fronts on the northern frontier were built with similar defenses.

30 Progress Scouting reports mention a shield matching Bladesplitter’s description in the hands of a hobgoblin warlord gathering an army in the nearby hills. Its rumored that this new war chief is either the descendant of the shield’s previous hobgoblin master or that she defeated the aging warlord in battle.

32 Progress A secret postern gate in the southeast wall of the war college provides access to the guard barracks. The college fell to the war goblin horde during the last war, and there is evidence that the hobgoblins might attempt the same trick again in the near future.

Against the Avalanche CR 13

XP 25,600
Goal The PCs must push their way up to a mountain shrine while an avalanche cascades around them.

SKILLS
Primary Skills Acrobatics (average, DC 33), Knowledge (geography) (challenging, DC 35), Perception (difficult, DC 38), Knowledge (nature) (challenging, DC 35), Survival (easy, DC 28)
Frequency 1 round

COMPLETION
Movement 100
SQ specific skills, surprise start (Knowledge [geography] [easy, DC 28], Perception [easy, DC 28], Knowledge [nature] [easy, DC 28], Survival [easy, DC 28])
Benefit The PCs reach the mountain shrine and are able to continue unimpeded.
Penalty The PCs are unable to reach the mountain shrine, and must find a way to circumvent the jinushigami.

OBSTACLES
1 Square+ Sensing the presence of intruders, a jingushigami that has made the mountain its ward triggers an avalanche. Type hazard; Notice Knowledge (geography) (easy, DC 28), Perception (easy, DC 28), Knowledge (nature) (easy, DC 28), Survival (easy, DC 28)
Bypass Skills Acrobatics (average, DC 33), Knowledge (geography) (challenging, DC 35), Perception (difficult, DC 38), Knowledge (nature) (challenging, DC 35), Survival (easy, DC 28)
Effect hazard; The obstacle acts as a CR 7 avalanche (see the mountainous terrain section of Chapter 13 in Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook). Characters with a square count of 1 or higher are in the slide zone, while characters who have a square count of 0 are in the bury zone. Failing to bypass the obstacle forces characters to attempt the DC 15 Reflex save to reduce or avoid the damage dealt by the avalanche, and such characters may become buried. Characters who aren’t buried can dig out their allies as a full-cycle action if using only their hands, or a cycle action if using an appropriate tool, such as a pick, crowbar, or shovel. A buried character can also spend a half-cycle action to free herself with a DC 25 Strength check.

10 Squares The jingushigami uses its control plants spell-like ability to temporarily command a number of plant creatures in the area to impede the PCs.
Type peril; Notice Knowledge (nature) (easy, DC 28),
Spellcraft (easy, DC 28)
SQ limited occurrence (3)
Bypass Skills Acrobatics (average, DC 33), Knowledge (nature) (average, DC 33), Perception (challenging, DC 35), Survival (challenging, DC 35)
Effect Spell (entangle; CL 13th, Reflex DC 19)

45 Squares+ Frustrated by their advances, the jinushigami uses its manipulate terrain ability to make the mountain more difficult to traverse.
Type hazard; Notice Knowledge (nature) (easy, DC 28)
SQ unavoidable
Effect The skill challenge’s frequency increases to 10 minutes for the remainder of the skill challenge. In addition, characters using Survival to gain an advantage take a –10 penalty on their skill checks.

65 Squares+ Desperate to keep the PCs from reaching the top of the mountain, the jinushigami uses its merge with ward ability to help guide the avalanche.
Type hazard; Notice Knowledge (nature) (easy, DC 28)
SQ unavoidable
Effect The Reflex DC to reduce or avoid being buried by the avalanche (see square count 1) increases to DC 21.

85 Squares Enraged, the jinushigami uses its earthquake spell-like ability to attempt to halt the PCs’ progress.
Type peril; Notice Knowledge (nature) (easy, DC 28), Spellcraft (easy, DC 28)
Bypass Skills Acrobatics (average, DC 33), Knowledge (nature) (average, DC 33), Perception (challenging, DC 35), Survival (challenging, DC 35)
SQ limited occurrence (3)
Effect Spell (earthquake; CL 28th, Reflex DC 19)

99 Squares Mere feet away from the shrine, the jinushigami emerges to confront the PCs.
Type obstacle; Notice Sense Motive (easy, DC 28)
Bypass Skills Bluff (difficult, DC 38), Diplomacy (challenging, DC 35), Intimidate (very difficult, DC 40), Knowledge (history) (challenging, DC 35), Knowledge (local) (challenging, DC 35), or Knowledge (planes) (challenging, DC 35).
SQ creature (one jinushigami), limited completion (1 primary participant, any number of assistants), limited occurrence (1)

Effect Blockade (see Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 3); the kami begins as unfriendly, but does not attack the PCs unless its attitude becomes hostile. Each successful skill check made with a bypass skill increases the kami’s attitude by one step, while each failure by 5 or more reduces the kami’s attitude by one step. If the PCs manage to increase the kami’s starting attitude to friendly, it allows them passage into the shrine and apologizes for the trouble it caused them.

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