So, we've seen the DC's on the newly adjusted table 10-2. Many of our contemporaries are enraged that a Hard DC to climb a rope at level 1 (DC 15) has scaled to to DC 20 at 5th Level.
I've got a solution.
Ordinary TasksThe Ordinary Tasks tables on page 338 list common
tasks that don’t increase in level. You can use them as
benchmarks when deciding the levels of similar tasks. Each
entry is followed by the task level, examples of factors that
could impact difficulty, and the character level at which the
task becomes so trivial that you can usually assume a PC
succeeds rather than spending time on a roll.
For most tasks that low-level, everyday NPCs might
attempt, the level of the check is 0–2. For example, using a
log to cross a river is tricky but still reasonable for a normal
person, so it’s a high-difficulty level 1 check (DC 14). Based
on that, you might decide that Balancing across a rickety
bridge, which is easier for an ordinary person, is a highdifficulty
level 0 Acrobatics check (DC 12). If the bridge
or log were covered in moss, you might adjust to severe.
The Difficulty Adjustments column includes factors
that might alter the challenge. These are factors inherent
to the task or the environment. Factors under the PCs’
control, like gear grant them bonuses instead.
Ordinary tasks become trivial at a certain level, listed in
the final column so you have some idea when these tasks no
longer present even a minor challenge for the characters.
Some tasks are always trivial and have no need to be rolled,
like climbing a ladder in ordinary circumstances. You can
allow automatic successes at lower levels than listed if that
makes your game run more smoothly.
The reason that scaling DC's is a thing is that they expect us GM's to scale certain tasks down. That is, while a Level 4 character might find scaling a cliff difficult, a Level 8 character could find such a task trivial and not even need to roll against a DC for the task.
The CRB gives us some general guidelines, but in reality, would require too many pages to give us all the answers, so they give us a general idea of how to scale these challenges.
The scaling DC's are not for every day adventuring needs. They are for the shenanigans your players come up with, they are there to help you decide what DC's are appropriate. Certain tasks though, such as climbing a cliff (level 2 task according to the CRB) become considerably easier as you level up.
|Mark Seifter Designer|
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This is basically the gist of it. Now we did use scaled DCs from the chart way more than a typical adventure probably would in Doomsday Dawn, mainly because we want to test the chart to make sure it's behaving well (it actually wasn't, and you guys pointed that out and we've adjusted it for 1.3), which does skew the DCs a bit higher over the long term. In running War for the Crown and Shattered Star for the playtest, I've had a lot more DCs that were off-level than I did that were on-level.