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Continuing the ChallengeD&D Insider Article
Ruling Skill Challenges
by Mike Mearls

Welcome back to the monthly column on the challenges of skill challenges. Hopefully, that lame opening line isn't bad enough to drive you away! If you missed the first installment, you should go back and read it now. This installment picks up where it left off.

Last time, I laid down some basic ground rules for building good skill challenges. I laid out four basic rules for skill challenge design. I used the first two rules to assess a skill challenge I need to design for my campaign. Luckily, those rules helped point out some weaknesses with my first approach to the challenge. In this installment, I use rule #3 to plug those gaps and build a usable, engaging menu of skills and options.

As a reminder, my skill challenge covers the characters' ability to remain hidden in the town of Suderham, a place controlled by evil slave lords and their minions. The slave lords sit atop a vast criminal conspiracy, directing raids on coastal towns to capture innocent folk and force them into slavery. The characters must sneak into Suderham to defeat the slave lords and liberate their victims.

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    About the Author

    Mike Mearls is the Lead Developer for the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. His recent credits include H1: Keep on the Shadowfell and Player's Handbook II (v.3.5).