Patch 4.1 out for DnD

Okay, not a patch, but people make the DnD = MMORPG comparison so much, I figured one more tired joke wouldn’t hurt.
Actually, it’s errata and updates for all three books, enough that I hope they correct this stuff in a second printing of the 4.0 rules.
They has completely overhauled the skill challenge system in the DMG errata. All skill challenges now end with 3 failures regardless of complexity, so Complexity 5 challenges are going to be very difficult. However, they also dropped the difficulty of all skill checks by 5 (which is something I was already doing, based on the number crunching geniuses at Story-Games… you know, they don’t right many crunchy games, but those guys grok dice probabilities.
Anyway: all Easy skill checks are now difficulty 5 instead of 10. Moderate skill checks are now DC 10 instead of 15, and Hard checks are now DC 15 instead of 20. This still scales up with level.


  1. Sadly, they actually did not reduce DCs by 5. They reduced them by differing (but reasonable) amounts by level (5 at lower levels, but high level Hard DCs in the table weren’t reduced at all), then they removed the +2/+5 footnotes.
    Most low level skill DCs actually came down by 10.
    Which is too much.
    And as for the 3 failure rule… there’s now about a 6-9 point range between 90% (declining as you go up in Complexity). So the resulting system is very much a “let the Experts run things, everyone else Aid or don’t participate at all, which isn’t really very good. And anyone who CAN succeed at a Hard contest will be over 90%+ to do an Easy one.
    If you’re going to propose target numbers that range by 10 to 15 from Easy to Hard, you need a skill system that is robust over that same range, which this one simply is not.
    I’m afraid now more than before, it needs a “spend a resource to negate a Failure” mechanic.

  2. Sorry… that should have been “between 10% and 90%”, by which I mean “the widest possible range at which contests are actually interesting”.
    In fact, I’d argue anything outside the 20% to 80% is less than completely worth the effort.

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