Both of them are Electrum Best Sellers, and Crit Academy are veterans in publishing with many other successful titles – so let’s get this out of the way and say from the beginning that I thoroughly recommend this supplement.
Now let’s take a look at what we have. A skill challenge is essentially a tool, or a framework, to create more meaningful encounters – primarily social and exploration, but combat also plays a part. At the very basic level, a challenge is simply a sequence of skill checks; however, there is significantly more to it. The group must succeed on a number of check before reaching a number of failures, but they can use a large number of skills to do so. For example, in order to secure assistance from a group, Persuasion is of course the obvious choice, along with Deception and Intimidation, but you can also use Insight, History, or other skills. Something that is common throughout the challenges is that such “secondary” skills can contribute a limited number of times to the successes (usually just once), but can have further effects, like granting advantage to an attempt with a different skill. On the other hand, failures of a check can have consequences beyond getting you closer to failing your total goal; for example, a common effect is the loss of hit dice, or the imposition of disadvantage on subsequent checks.
Besides what I explained above, the supplement contains 19 challenges, such as the group finding their way after being lost in the desert, getting the assistance of a religious group, and getting through a heavily trapped area. These challenges are ready for you to use with minimal (if any at all) tweaking in terms of story to fit your campaign, but more importantly they provide you with examples to create your own challenges based on this framework. I think using challenges is an excellent idea for enriching many encounters, as well as including all players and not only the ones who’s specialty fits the situation.
Overall, Challenge Accepted II is a fantastic supplement (again, as evidenced by the fact it is an electrum best seller) and a great addition to any GM’s collection.
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