This D&D game mechanic came across my TikTok FYP stream and I love the concept. Wow. I love it and now need to make it the basis of my next Common Assessment Boss Fight!


My class has just started a new semester and the theme has been transitioned to “CIPHER” – the Central Investigation into Public History Education Resources – a shady government agency that is attempting to thwart the big bad named Dr. Vonn from. The students are “Super Heroes” that have returned from the First Semester’s fantasy world (For More check out 2021-22 Theme: Superheroes and Multi-Verses) and have been recruited into the organization. Some are choosing to go on theme-based missions (Road of Trials – Hero’s Journey Lesson Planning – Civil Rights Quest, Road of Trials – Hero’s Journey and the Monumental Challenge) but as whole some are not. To tie this Common Assessment challenge into the storyline it will need to be stealth based mission in which the students are attempting to collect a powerful primary source. Due to the length of the common assessment (57 Questions) I will be breaking the test in half so this will involve infiltrating the base and collecting the source in part 1 and then leaving the base with the source in part 2 . The primary sources will be located in a base guarded by Dr. Vonn’s Shadow enemies. Students will need to avoid the guards as they answer questions.

Basic Mechanics

The Jenga game will be used as a stealth mechanic.

Students will be broken into groups of 3-4 players. Each group will have 1 set of Jenga blocks. I ordered three sets of these knock-off brand blocks from Amazon.

Required Jenga Moves – Each half of the Common Assessment will have about 25 questions and students will answer the common assessment multiple choice questions in blocks of 4. After each set of 4 questions two things will occur.

  1. The group will have to remove and place one of the Jenga Blocks.
  2. The students will have a timed short answer question. – If the short answer is correct then nothing happens. If it is incorrect the guards are “alert”. This means that the teacher will use one of the catapults from the Common Assessment 2 to shoot a die at that group’s Jenga tower.

If in either case the Jenga tower falls then the students will be “chased”.

Punishment Jenga Moves – if more than half of the students in the group answer a question incorrectly then the guards will “hear something”. The students will need to remove and place a jenga piece on top of their tower.

Reward Moves – If 100% of the class (not group) gets a question correct each group can remove 1 Jenga block from the top of their tower (not required).

If Chased

If a Jenga Tower collapse the students in that group will be “chased” by the shadow guards. These students will then need to defeat the shadows using a basic dice roll battle mechanic. Students will start with 3 hearts for the group and a 6 sided die each. If 1/2 the group misses a question they will lose a heart. If a student gets a question correct they will role the dice to attack. The Shadow guards will be fairly weak with only 25 Hit Points each.

Students defeat the Shadow by either taking it’s hit points to zero before losing their group hearts.

At the next set of 4 questions the Jenga tower is rebuilt but the group will need to make the number of Jenga moves equal to the stage of the game. For example, if this is the 4th round of questions then students will need to make 4 jenga moves.

Winning the Game

All games need win conditions (not necessarily rewards).

To win the game student will need to end the competition with a standing Jenga Tower.

Winning in the Story

If a group has a standing Jenga Tower the story will be that they were able to sneak past the shadow guards and acquire the Primary Source. This will be the end of Pt 1 of the Common Assessment. Part 2 of the Common Assessment will be the same mechanics but the story will be that they must now “escape” from the shadow guards with the source.

If they do not successfully complete part 1 of the mission they will be forced to do BOTH parts (2 towers) in part 2 of the common assessment. If they fail in part 2 then they will be forced to flee the shadow guards without collecting the source.


I am going to go with a Status Reward for the groups that successfully complete the mission. Students will earn a plaque that will be displayed in a location near their group seating area. They will be able to customize the plaque with their names if they would like.