Skill Tests

When I still played a lot of 3.5e Dungeons & Dragons I absolutely fell in love with the variant rules for Iron Heroes by Malhavoc Press. It is an excellent expansion on the rules and a system which patches up some of the weaker parts of the 3.5 d20 system. One thing I particularly liked were the Skill Challenges which were intended to vamp up skill checks at higher levels. This problem is addressed in 4e D&D already with some scaling DCs but this idea could also be introduced to Fourth Edition games. Obviously the name needs changing so I'm going to rename them: Skill Tests.

How Does a Skill Test Work?

A skill test is meant to spice up a regular skill check by offering a better result at the cost of an increased DC for the check. If your character can breeze through most skill checks at his or her level, try doing things with a bit of a flourish to impress the party and make your character's life a little more interesting. How each test works depends on the specifics of the skill but in general you increase the check by a certain amount and get an enhanced result because of it. You can only use one skill test per round and the DM has final say on what skill tests are appropriate. These tests represent fun ways for players to interact with the game world in the same ways that DMs can create interesting environmental effects, but the bottom line is that they are both up to the DM.

Standard Skill Tests

Fast Completion: Most uses of skills require a standard action to use them. By increasing the DC by 5, you can complete the skill check as a minor action instead. This does not work for skill checks which require move actions to use (such as some uses of Athletics or Acrobatics) and it does not affect checks to perform rituals.
Simultaneous Action: When you need to make two skill checks that use the same action, you can increase the DC of the first one by 5 and the DC of the second one by 10. The skill uses happen on the same action so that the character can achieve twice as much potentially. This skill test cannot be used for Athletics or Acrobatics checks made as part of a move action.
Superior Aid: On an Aid Another attempt, you can make the base DC 15 rather than 10. If you do so and succeed, you increase the bonus from Aid Another that you provide by +1; if you fail you provide no bonus as usual.

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