Caleb knows that prior to the Folly, there were no cultists of Orcus in The Empire. This weird idea of worshiping a person instead of a governmental power structure is too alien for most Imperials to understand. When Orcus was summoned here, he built a substantial following among the various greenskin tribes. They pushed south into the Scaled Alliance. Mammon's draconic allies were devastated by the greenskin advance. However, Mammon launched an offensive at the mouth of the Green River. The battle was terrible and conclusive. Orcus was slain and the site renamed to Orcus' Rest.
You can see the Green River here:
Instructions would be to follow the Green River south from the Outpost, past River Bend, all the way to Orcus' Rest. It'll take 2-3 weeks.
I think you're right when you're saying you are not trying to sneak around the cart. If you can come up with a better way to hide something, a stealth roll would be reasonable.
What you're describing with regard to perception makes sense. That's an easy roll.
EDIT: Grammar. I'm offending myself.
Eryndir would casually walk around the cart, offering glances at each of the barrels as he passes. Once at the rear of the cart, hopefully obscured from the sightlines of the merchants, and hopefully with some distraction from a compatriot, he would attempt to take a closer look at the barrels. If that requires hiding the fact that he has hopped up onto the back of the cart, or hiding the fact that he's giving the Best Wine barrels a more thorough examination that just "passing glances . . . " he will be required to be stealthy in his actions.
If that isn't an acceptable use of Stealth, I'm happy to stick with Perception. Easy rolls are easy.
Though, I would still like to see if a compatriot is willing to offer a Help action.
We'll do what we did with Caleb's bribe. The skill challenge is advanced by Eryndir's use of perception. That's really the skill that matters for his intent - he's trying to get information. That said, I'll let him try to hide the results of his investigation. If Eryndir discovers something, but he successfully hides it, that could set you up for lowered DCs or even advantage on a future roll.
Okay, sounds good. Will wait for my compatriots to chime in before rolling, then.
How are you explaining you're looking for help? Able is not a mind-reader. Yet.
At the start of this round in the skill challenge, Eryndir had been stalking his way through the insectoid travelers, trying to look intimidating, in order to assist Charn. Sadly, Eryndir is on the thin side, and while he looks wiry and quick, he just doesn't intimidate large creatures with chitinous exoskeletons. His assistance did not help much.
Still nagged by the though of those wine barrels, he walks slowly back past the human and halfling in their cart, at the rear of which stand the demons and Able. As he reaches the cart's gate, he'll try to make subtle eye contact with Able and will whisper "distract them, if you can? I need a closer look here."
Able is certainly deceptive enough to help Eryndir. Eryndir has advantage.
These rolls are insight rolls for various other folks. You can ignore them.
Perception (with advantage) and stealth (to disguise whether or not he finds anything).
It is obvious to Able that the albino saw through his deception. However, Able's acting was pretty good - even Charn and Caleb may be concerned for his safety.
Eryndir seems to remain a ninja, though his investigation skills have merely reached "mediocre," it seems. Hopefully sufficient for an "easy" DC?
Eryndir gains a success, and he does so stealthily.
One of the "Best Wine" barrels is full of wine. And bones. Lots of bones.
Awesome, thank you, sir.
If I am not mistaken, Charn still has a skill check to make this round, and then we're on to the next round. I did lose track of our success/failure ratio somewhere in there, though.
Able and Eryndir have used their Help actions for this particular challenge. May I humbly suggest that we go one more round with Charn and Caleb helping Eryndir and Able, and then taking stock of where we stand?
I think we have enough to properly detain the wine cultists now. (Eryndir will find a way to IC'ly communicate that to the party.) Happy to follow other folks leads on whether to focus on the other two groups, or whether to press our advantage with the cultists.
Question for the DM:
Is there a way to determine whether we've tapped a particular group out, or are they just infinite bullseyes that can be exploited forever?
Target anyone you like. Rewards are calculated based on the difficulty of your targets.
By my count, this is where we stand:
Skill Check Round 1 - Charn/Perception (failure, poked the insects); Eryndir/Perception (success, saw the funky wine barrel); Caleb/Insight (success; judged the mood of the human & halfling); Able/Investigation (failure, waved the human & halfling on). 2 successes/2 failures.
Skill Check Round 2 - Able/Investigation (failure, examined the insectoids); Eryndir/Helps Charn; Caleb/Religion (success, knows who Orcus is); Charn/Intimidation (failure, Eryndir sucks at Helping) - 3 failures, mystery happened, skill clock resets. New skill clock at 1 failure/1 success.
Skill Check Round 3 - Able/Helps Eryndir; Eryndir/Perception (success, helped by Able, found the bones); Caleb/History (success, remembers where Orcus' Rest is); Charn/??? (???) - 1 failure, 2 successes
Logic: Charn failed miserably at the perception check and intimidation check on the bugs. The wine merchants seem well in hand.
What does he perceive about the demons?
Charn notices that all of the demons, collectively, have one pack. That one pack was on the body of the deceased quasit, but is now on the back of his companion. The two winged demons have their spears, but nothing else.
The skeletal horses are clearly undead. The cart itself appears to have man-sized boxes inside. You'd guess that the cart is pulling coffins.
Is that a success, putting us at 3 successes & 1 failure?
Awesome. Would Charn and Caleb be willing to Help this round? After, we can see where we're sitting and decide from there. But that'll be our four Helps.
Yeah, Caleb can help. He wants to make a big production of inspecting the dead quasit using Medicine and hopefully distract the other demons from whatever someone else wants to do as an active skill check.
Is that workable or do I need to roll something specific based on what the person I'm trying to help wants to do?
"Men are the only animals that devote themselves, day in and day out, to making one another unhappy. It is an art like any other. Its virtuosi are called altruists." - H.L. Mencken
Medicine would be appropriate if Caleb was actually trying to learn more about the quasit's conditions. It seems to me like he's actually trying to be deceptive as a distraction. Is that right?
That's a fair point. We'll, he's not so hot at fooling people - he has a positive modifier but it's not as good as his +5 in Medicine.
Maybe I will wait until someone declares another skill to use then decide how I will assist them.
I thought the Help action *was* the action. Like, you declare you're helping, describe how you're doing it narratively, and then the Helpee gets advantage. It isn't its own roll to determine whether the Help is successful, right?
Oh, so I don't actually have to roll anything to aid another? Then yeah I'm going to do what I said as loudly as possible. If I learn something interesting about the demons while doing so, great. If not, my action will be spent helping.
It works in combat too:
HelpYou can lend your aid to another creature in the completion of a task. When you take the Help action, the creature you aid gains advantage on the next ability check it makes to perform the task you are helping with, provided that it makes the check before the start of your next turn.
Alternatively, you can aid a friendly creature in attacking a creature within 5 feet of you. You feint, distract the target, or in some other way team up to make your ally’s attack more effective. If your ally attacks the target before your next turn, the first attack roll is made with advantage.
Technically, you should know who you're helping before you help. That said, I'm sure someone is going to need a distraction of some kind.
I'm happy to jump on this one, and let Charn help Able for the next check. Eryndir's best modifiers come when others are distracted. Looking at the list again:
1. Stealth: Using Caleb's loud and exaggerated examination of the dead quasit, Eryndir will sneak behind the cart carrying the coffins to see if he can get a peek inside.
2. Perception: Eryndir will carefully observe the group's reaction to Caleb's close inspection. While the androgynous albino seems to be the leader and cool as a cucumber, the two winged demons and quasits seem more agitated. Perhaps there's a clue in their demeanor, or the way that the quasit handles the pack taken off the deceased quasit.
3. Sleight of Hand: As the pack was on the corpse of the dead quasit, Eryndir would use Caleb's examination as cover to try and secret out some item within the pack as it changes hands to the other quasit.
That all makes sense. Something I want to point out is that it is clear the albino saw through Able's deception and then helped him sell it by killing the quasit.
Does that make sense?
Absolutely makes sense. It tells me that these demons are't easy to fool and/or wish to garner some favor with us. Is your point that they won't be fooled by Caleb's charade, and thus Eryndir won't have advantage on this roll?
I was hoping I could argue that since I succeeded on my Stealth roll above, where you said "[i]f Eryndir discovers something, but he successfully hides it, that could set you up for lowered DCs or even advantage on a future roll," I could either gain advantage or a lower DC here. Perhaps because I appeared to come up empty on the prior check, they just trusted I wouldn't be competent enough to discover anything in their accouterments.
But I defer to you. If this isn't the right approach, I will try something else.
I think I misparsed things. @Trigger, you're good to roll stealth with advantage. The difficulty is medium.
Medium difficulty mean medium reward! Advantage, don't fail me now...
(I would edit that last post to correct my typographical error, but I don't know if that would re-roll, and I like that 21. I'll just have to live with seeing my typo permanently.)
Charn is more than happy to help. The doofus probably thinks the demons just did a lawful, if excessive and evil, act.
I have 145MB of bandwidth left for February, so I am rationing it sparingly. Happy to relay messages otherwise, though.
The coffins are chock full of gold coins.
Alright, Able is up with advantage granted by Charn's Help action.
We're currently at:
Skill Check Round 3 - Able/Helps Eryndir; Eryndir/Perception (success, helped by Able, found the bones); Caleb/History (success, remembers where Orcus' Rest is); Charn/Perception (success - received important info about the demons) - 1 failure, 3 successes
Skill Check Round 4 - Caleb/Helps Eryndir; Eryndir/Stealth (success, finds a trove of gold coins); Charn/Helps Able; Able/??? (???) - 4 success, 1 failure.
We're doing better!
Trigger: "We're doing better!"
DDMW: "Hold my beer."
I guess anything was worth a try but that was extremely ambitious.
It looks like that puts at 4 successes and 2 failures going into Skill Check Round 5. We've used all of our Help actions, so we'll be on our own for any checks from here on out. We can still work together to build on successes, and use our creativity to make the case for lower DC's. And we can always ask for DC's before we roll.
But we should think about whether the juice is worth the squeeze. Mr. DM - can we get a sense of what would accrue if we were to stop now? Have we accrued enough to have a "good thing" happen, or would we need more? If we accrue another failure, will we have a second shit sandwich to choke down later?
Gotta give me two more rolls. You can quit after that.
Each, or combined?
OK. Caleb wants to try Medicine for real this time. He definitely wants to inspect the dead quasit but also compare what he finds there with a brief external physical examination of the surviving demons. He is courteous and professional but insists on them remaining still and complying with his requests. He doesn't know a lot about demonic physiology but he doesn't really care if the wine merchants are sick, since we already caught them doing something shady as hell and aren't letting them through anyway; and he agrees that the thri-kreen probably deserve a pass after the way Able was behaving earlier. If it turns out they're carrying some kind of bug virus and we all end up with maggots hatching out of our eyeballs next week, he totally accepts the fault for that.
So the demons it is. No whammies!
Alright, I'll make an argument for Eryndir making a roll this round, and if our generous and beneficent DM feels it is an "Easy" DC, then I'll go for it. But if other PC's have other ideas and they can more successfully argue for easier DC's, then I'll leave it to them.
Eryndir recognizes an unspoken power and confidence in the androgynous albino creature, and would speak more deferentially in the next turn. Perhaps unable to build off of Able's success (because the roll failed), Eryndir would attempt a different tack, and would try to build off of his failure. The good cop to Able's bad cop, Eryndir would ask politely if he could inspect the pack being carried by the quasit.
The skill would be Perception. He would be trying to gauge the reactions and demeanors of those hangers on to Verin, to see if they have any tells when he asks. If allowed to look into the pack, he'd obviously try to Perceive anything inside it. Otherwise, he'd see if he could Perceive how the feel about him asking.
Props to Trigger for really crunching the numbers and trying to play to our strengths while mitigating our weaknesses. I respect that game. I'm just used to way higher DCs and Caleb is doing pretty well right now so I figured I would go for it.
Able gas not rolled well. I'll defer to the others.
The medicine roll is a success. The demons look like healthy demons, in the sense that Caleb finds no obvious disease or affliction. This is true for all the demons except for the dead quasit. He is not healthy, has no disease, but has an obvious affliction - someone shoved a spear through his throat.
I think Eryndir is actually trying to roll an insight skill check to assess the reactions and emotional states of the demons. Is that right?
That's probably correct, but I was hoping to make the argument for Perception because my Insight modifier is shite. Let me re-think.
Just roll Insight. Destiny will not be denied.