Skill Challenges

Battlefield Challenge

You can use your skill and force of personality to compel an opponent to face you in combat. You can use this challenge with the Intimidate and Diplomacy skills. In addition, you can also use any Charisma-based Social or Theatrics skill if you can provide a suitable description of your actions. For example, you might use Perform (oratory) to make an impromptu speech, calling your foe a coward if he refuses to fight you; or you might use Bluff to cast aspersions on his ancestry, goading him into attacking you.

To issue a battlefield challenge, make a skill check at a -5 penalty as a move action. Your foe opposes your result with a Will save or Sense Motive check; alternatively, if your skill allows the option of being opposed by another skill, they may roll that instead. If you win the opposed roll, your foe must treat you as their primary target or take a -2 morale penalty to attacks and defense. These penalties last as long as you are present and active during the encounter.

Treating you as their primary target doesn't mean your foe must blindly attack you in melee; it only means they have to defeat you first, using whatever means are available to them, rather than attacking your allies. If the target of your challenge is an archer, he could stand off and make ranged attacks; or if he is in charge of a group of underlings, he could order them to attack you. As a rule of thumb, on their turn your foe must either attack you, move at best speed towards you (avoiding any obstacles that may lie in the way), or order an ally of theirs to do the same, to avoid taking the penalty for the round. If the ally fails to do as ordered, your foe suffers the penalty.

An attempt to issue a battlefield challenge to a foe whose Challenge Rating is at least 4 higher than your level automatically fails. You may not issue a challenge to more than one opponent at a time; you must defeat your previous target to issue a new challenge. A foe whom you successfully challenge but who fails to respond for 3 consecutive rounds counts as defeated for this purpose. You may only challenge a given foe once per encounter.

Your foe is not compelled not to target you if they win the opposed roll; depending on their personality and the specific circumstances of the encounter, they might decide to attack you anyway. For example, a barbarian warlord might be impressed by the courage of someone who dares to face him in battle, throw caution to the wind, and charge you with greataxe in hand. A noble knight might feel obliged by his code of honour to accept any challenge, while a bandit leader might decide that you are obviously an easy target, and move to dispose of you quickly.

Negate Defense

You can exploit your skills to take your opponent at unawares in combat. To use this challenge, make a skill check as a move action in melee. Your foe opposes your result with a base attack check; alternatively, if your skill would normally be opposed by another skill or saving throw, they may roll that instead. If you win the opposed roll, your foe loses their active bonus to defense against the next attack that targets them, provided it is made before the start of your next turn.

You take a cumulative -5 penalty on each use of this challenge after the first with the same skill in an encounter people eventually catch on to your tricks. By combining this challenge with the fast completion challenge, you can also attempt to negate your opponent's defense multiple times in a round. However, you also take a cumulative -5 penalty on subsequent uses of this challenge in a round, regardless of which skill you use. All of these penalties stack, as applicable. You cannot use this challenge more than once to affect the same attack, whether you are successful or not.

At a minimum, you can use this challenge with the Jump, Tumble, Intimidate, Bluff and Sleight of Hand skills. You can also use this with any other skill you have, provided you can come up with a suitably plausible description of its use, and the skill would normally take a standard action to complete. What counts as plausible is left to the DM's discretion.

Special: This replaces the skill uses found in various places that deny an opponent their active defense bonus: vertical strike (Jump), tumbling attack (Tumble), feinting (Bluff), faster than the eye can see (Sleight of Hand), and so on.

Last updated: 30 May 2006

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