I forgot to include the roll. I do have proficiency. I think it is +7.
This skill challenge is unlike our previous skill challenges.
2 successes, 0 failures.
Good start, gents!
Question for Charn: in the IC thread, it looked like you were going out into the river bed with the other two. Is that correct? If so, I don't think there's a HELP action I can offer, as Eryndir is staying in the treeline.
If Charn is staying in the dense brush, too, we might be able to assist one another. Otherwise, as I mentioned, I'll go with a Stealth action, to try and set up an ambush if things go poorly.
That will teach me to read more carefully. Being as stealthy as the average goon, Charn is staying put. I botched who was going where.
Staying put in the treeline? What action for the skill check are you thinking about?
My best option is probably perception or athletics, with athletics being a bit of a stretch unless we want to climb a tree for some reason.
What are you proposing you do to assist with the challenge?
Perception check on the motley crew, as it were.
The scaled one takes the measure of the communists, and determines that they are armed exclusively with daggers. He is confident this battle will be short and one-sided, making him more likely to be aggressive.
2 Successes, 1 Failure.
Eryndir takes advantage of his wood elf nature and finds a point of ambush, in case Able and Caleb are unable to talk their way out of the situation.
For Round 2, Able will again use Deception:
"Be warned, it would be foolish for me to approach a group of heavily armed men if I were not capable of defending myself. If you don't think my offer has merit, come at me now so I can grind you to dust. I am not a beggar - instead I see an opportunity for mutual benefit."
Eryndir positions himself on a small outcropping directly east of the watery ritual. Not only does it give him elevation over the scene, but it also is only approachable from Eryndir's east.
Able has successfully intrigued the motley assembly. He's probably going to have more difficulties using deception in the future, but for now - they're interested.
4 successes, 1 failure.
Caleb wants to use Persuade to reinforce Able's story, continuing to advance until they are all at a comfortable speaking distance or close enough to engage in melee.
Is this something that would be in the Easy or Moderate category?
"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken
Depends on what he says!
Caleb's story borders on the ridiculous - not just a member, but a cleric of the Established Faiths seeking common ground with the heretics? However, prepared with Able's lies and the promise that a discussion could bring, the communists are definitely intrigued.
5 successes, 1 failure.
Recognizing the animosity between the two religions, Able senses an opportunity.
"Silence, cow!" he shouts, slapping Caleb across the cheek. "You are barely tolerated and only as long as you serve the greater good!"
The hope here is that seeing the rival cleric 'in thrall' to Able will impress them.
Oh man. That's unfortunate. Charn hasn't gone in round 2 yet, so Able can't quite go in Round 3. The good news is that an intimidate on Caleb won't move the needle, so it is neither a success nor a failure. If you'd like it to happen anyway, Caleb can decide whether or not he's intimidated by his erstwhile colleague who slapped him in the face.
If possible, Charn would like to climb a tree to give him a good vantage point to plink commies with his crossbow. (Athletics.)
Can Eryndir offer Help by pointing to a good, climable tree that he detects from his vantage?
He could have, had we not seen the result of Charn's roll and had Eryndir not already gone. I want to strongly encourage folks to ask for difficulties rather than just picking your best skill and rolling - there is an element of decision making that has to take place before you roll.
I also want to encourage folks collaborating on rolls. It is totally reasonable for someone to say "Hey guys, can you think of a way I can use Athletics in this situation? Its my best skill." Then for folks to collaborate.
In this case, there is rustling in the trees - not enough to completely spook the Thousandfold Men of Industry, but enough to distract from Able and Caleb's ploy.
5 successes, 2 failures.
The next failure starts combat. If you get 4 successes, you will best the encounter without violence (unless you want violence, then there will be violence). Please do feel free to collaborate before you roll.
Apologies, I thought this was the second action. My mistake.
No, you're right. It is the second action - my mistake.
Eryndir could have helped had Charn not already seen his roll. Eryndir still has an action in round 2.
I'm all for helping each other now.
Mr. DM, sir, can I check the DC on a Perception roll from my current vantage point? Looking to determine the best target to attack if things turn violent. Who would be the easiest to take down? Who would be the most dangerous?
Altberatively, can I sacrifice my skill check action to ready an attack? I forget whether there's the equivalent of a surprise round in 5e, but if I could squeeze off an arrow before rounds, I'd like to prepare that action.
Perception doesn't move the needle, so it's neither a success or a failure. There is a man clearly leading the ritual, and a number of goons. Depending on your tactical decision making, you may want to attack any one of them.
No go on readying an attack outside of combat.
Understood. My best option is to Help, then. If anyone with an action remaining can think of a way that a scouting elf can help them through subtly pointing things out or using hand signals from a good vantage point, please say the word.
Alternatively, what would the DC be on using Perception to figure out why the druid isn't scared? Is he just not afraid to die, or does he have a card up his sleeve? Are there reinforcements on the other side of the river? Etc.
It would be a hard Insight roll to figure out why the Druid isn't scared. Unfortunately, Perception is impossible.
When we get to Round 4, I could indicate that we have 'allies', so better to talk. Maybe Diplomacy (though I'm not trained). Still, if that lets you 'help' by whistling or something, that could work.
I wouldn't mind trying that Insight roll with HELP. We can't all help, after all, someone needs to actually roll a skill check. But has Charn gone yet?
Charn didn't do well climbing a tree. Eryndir needs to go, although I think he's trying to collaborate. After that, we'll be in round 3.
Oh ok, cool. Help gives someone advantage, right? I think I remember that's the way it working from last time.
Okay, some thoughts:
1. Investigation: This seems like a random place for Communists to conduct a ritual sacrifice. What brought them here? What is the significance of this location? What's on the other side of this river?
2. Deception: Although I took pains to stealthily reach my vantage point, Eryndir could make himself seen, but appear to be oblivious to the Communists. He's wearing the colors of the Gladestrider Irregulars, so he could be a decoy. The others could give a "hey, forget this silly sacrifice, let's go kill ourselves an elf!" DOWNSIDE: This doesn't help us avoid violence, it only gives us the ability to ambush them in an advantageous way. I'd like input from the group on whether this is something they want to do.
3. Stealth: I Stealth'd to this vantage point. Can I Stealth again to try and get closer?
In my perfect world, I can contribute to the skill check without interacting with the Communists. The whole point of Eryndir taking up his position was to assassinate if things went to shit. However, I'm not sure how he can move the needle without making himself known.
If Eryndir volunteers himself as a decoy, I imagine things might go badly. Able may have issues with Eryndir, but at least he's not a filthy commie pig.
1) Investigation - that's a great question. The only unusual feature of this area that you know of is the metallic webs. If you have something else to investigate, we can come up with a target number. Theoretically, an investigation covers a limited amount of space but we can freewheel a bit here.
2) This would be, by definition, a failure. Let me know if you're initiating combat.
3) You've got the best vantage point you're going to get from range. Another Stealth roll won't help here.
After a discussion with the DM, I'm going to roll Religion. It's not a great mod for me, but Eryndir is curious as to the nature of the ritual. Is there some special significance to it, or is it a standard Commie sacrifice?
Like I said, not a great mod, but I've been assured it's an easy DC. I'll take that trade and hope for a good roll...
6 Successes, 2 Failures. Next Failure starts combat, Three successes wins without combat.
Eryndir determines that this ritual is a manifestation of the Communist belief that a violent revolution that seizes power from the haves and distributes it to the have-nots. Specifically, the four men in motley are going to be the recipients of power, in one way or another, from the death of this druid. Implicitly, the belief of the Thousandfold Men of Industry is that this sacrificial victim has power and the four men do not have power. That may inform the tactics to be employed by the PCs regarding any impending violence.
New Round - what are folks doing?
Eryndir is Helping.
If everyone offers a heads up of what they'd like to do before making the roll, I'll find a way Eryndir can help.
(As an aside, I kind of like violence, but I dislike failing more, even if that means no violence.)
OK, well if Erydnir is helping in Round 3, I would like to apply that toward my Insight roll if possible, to find out what the druid knows that we don't.
Eryndir would help using hand signals that offer a general idea that "points to Druid, makes closed fist" -- "generally points to goons with open hand" to represent the idea that the Druid's power would be dispersed among the goons through the ritual.
The intent would be to assist Caleb in gaining Insight into the Druid's lack of fear.
Eryndir's hand gestures help Caleb focus on power. As Eryndir gestures where power is concentrated and where it is not, Caleb ruminates on the known powers of druids. Druids have two principle legends surrounding them - they are spellcasters associated with the life of the land, and they are shapeshifters.
As spellcasters, they can provide healing - not as well as a Cleric of the Established Faiths - but they can heal.
As shapeshifters, they can heal. Specifically,
When you transform, you assume the beast's Hit Points and Hit Dice. When you revert to your normal form, you return to the number of hit points you had before you transformed. However, if you revert as a result of Dropping to 0 Hit Points, any excess damage carries over to your normal form. For example, if you take 10 damage in animal form and have only 1 hit point left, you revert and take 9 damage. As long as the excess damage doesn't reduce your normal form to 0 hit points, you aren't knocked Unconscious.
Taken from: https://roll20.net/compendium/dnd5e/Classes:Druid#content
Huh, D&D 5e is weird. So let's say I turn into a Bear and it normally has 35 hit points. I take 27 damage. When I turn into my 'normal' self, I apply the 27 points of damage to my full normal hit points. If I have 28 hit points normally I'm down to 1. If I change into a bear again, I'm back to 35 hit points. But now if I turn back into a human with anything less than full hit points I'll either fall unconscious or die. Is that right?
In this round I'm doing something that I don't think makes a difference. Slapping Caleb is irresistible.
That's actually incorrect. The "carryover" damage only applies if it brings you past 0 hp in the shapeshifted form. In your example, after you take 27 points of damage you shift back into a human (or other PC race) form, none of the damage you took previously is still on you.
Druids are incredibly tanky in 5e.
I think we're waiting on actions from Able and Charn, unless Able is taking no other action than slapping Caleb.
Able is taking no other action than slapping Caleb. And talking. But mostly just putting the uppity cleric of the wrong god in his proper place. Distributing power from those who have it to those who do not seems like something the plebes will appreciate.
If Charn can come up with something really clever, that can be a help action. It's a great distraction, for example.
Oh, is Caleb letting himself get slapped?
If he looks like he's going to slap Caleb again, he will receive a stern look and a shaking head. If he proceeds, I will attack him with my mace.