OK, step one done.

In my previous post I said the initial skill checks might work like a skill challenge. Well I just read through the skill challenge section of the DMG and don't think that would be a good fit. So I will go with the other plan of leaving it as regular skill checks. However the following will be modified to account for the skill changes introduced with 4e.

1. Sandpoint Lumber Mill


  • DC 10 Knowledge (Local) - Information obtained by anyone in the crowds (locals, guards, etc). The mill was working during the night. The two night shift employees, Harker and Thorn, usually ran the mill until well past midnight. A bone of contention around town as the noisy mill and its infernally creaky log splitter kept neighbors awake.
  • DC 15 Streetwise check (PHB pg. 188) Originally this is a Know:Local check which doesn't exist anymore. I am basing the difficulty off the common difficulty under Knowledge checks (PHB pg. 180)
The timber pier


  • DC 15 spot check, anyone investigating the pier, (DM rolled) - A set of muddy footprints that leads from one end of the pier up to the mill itself.
  • DC 15 survival, anyone with Track feat - Your knowledge of tracking reveals the footprints to be from a barefoot human man who clambered up from the mud under the pier, crossed over to the mill, and then scalled the wall to an upper-floor window.
  • DC 15 Perception (for both skill checks) - Since there is no track feat anymore I combined both into one perception check. No attempt was made to cover them up and they are found in the mud.
The party should be level 4 or close. That means a PC trained in perception would have about 9-10 skill points in that skill (PHB pg. 178). That takes into account +2-3 ability modifer. To see what kind of challenge that would be I rolled 10 d20's +9 at Pen Paper and Pixel. My dice came out as 8 beating the DC. A 80% chance of beating the DC seems reasonable for someone trained in observation to notice muddy footprints on the ground.

The murder scene:

  • DC 15 survival - reveals what should be obious -- a desperate struggle took place here several hours ago.
  • DC beaten by 10+ also reveals - One set of prints in particular is not only barefoot, but reeks of rotten meat.
  • DC 10 Perception - I think a lower perception for something that seems obvious should be the right thing.
  • DC beaten by 10+ reveals the rotten meat info

Harker's body - Horribly desecrated. Placed on hooks on the wall used to hang machinery. The body is mutilated, skin on face is missing as well as the lower jaw. Chest has a 7-pointed star carved into it. The same one seen in different parts of Thistletop. The only identifiing mark is a tatto of a raven across his lower abdomen.

  • DC 30 Knowledge (Arcana or History) - The mark is identified as being a Sihedron Rune, an antiquated glyh that symbolizes arane magic once practiced in ancient Thassilon.
  • DC 15 Heal - Reveals the presence of several additional wounds. These are not like the others and where made by what looks like a small claw -- a finve fingered, human-hand-sized claw. The rotten scent is stronger near these wounds.
  • DC 25 Knowledge (Arcana or History) - I lowered this to 25 to bring it in line with a master knowledge check. On my previous 10 rolls for the nature check (assuming the same amount of bonuses) the PC would have only a 40% chance of beating a DC25. I feel that brings it in line with the rune being a very obscure object from a time lost to modern knowledge.
  • DC 20 Heal - I increased this by 5 points because I feel the extra information would come from someone expertly skilled in treating wounds. The DC is based of the Knowledge DCs.
The suspicous axe - This handaxe is embedded in the floor near the log splitter, as if it had been dropped here. The handle has bloody finger marks (left by Katrine)

  • DC 13 Fortitude, anyone who exames the axe. - The bits of flesh and bone are so overpowering you are sickened for 1d6+4 minutes.
  • DC 25 Knowledge (religion) - Stink is commonly found on corporeal undead. The axe was used on one within the past 24 hours.
  • DC 20 vs. Fortitude - I raised this quite a bit because in 4e your defenses tend to run a lot higher than 3.5. From my quick math a human or eladrin cleric could have anywhere from 16-19 in will defense. A PC with no ability bonues affecting willpower would still be sitting at 12 points. (PHB pg. 274)
  • DC 25 Knowledge (Religion) - This master check would fall under the Monster Knowledge portion of a religion check. In the first bookd Burnt Offerings the PCs didn't encounter many, if any, undead at all. My group completely missed the catacombs of wrath wish would have given them a chance to fight a few undead. If they did I might have lowered this down just a bit maybe to 20.
The Marsh - Found on the other side of the river from the pier.

  • DC 20 Search - Reveals a relatively dry spot that bears a number of barefooted human tracks and a lingering stink of rotten flesh.
  • DC 15 Survival, made after the search - The tracks lead into the river, but never away from the site. The spot is hidden by several low banks of nettles, but ovffers a perfect view of the mill to anyone hidden here.

If they don't cross the river to investigate the other bank
  • DC 27 Perception - This is only if they do not investigate across the river. I used Well Hidden and More than 10 squares away for the total.
If they do cross the river using one of the small dinghys on the dock:
  • DC 20 Peception - There is a DC for barely hidden and well hidden. Aldern didn't attempt to hide his tracks but he did stay hidden in the clearing behind the brushes. So I adjusted the perception check down a notch. This should be about a 60% chance of finding the hidden area (based off my 10 rolls earlier)
Once the hidden area is found:
  • DC 15 Perception to notice the information about the tracks. Once they find the concealed area it isn't to difficult to tell the there are tracks all over it and they lead to the water.


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