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[Realms of Pugmire] Teamwork rules hack

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  • [Realms of Pugmire] Teamwork rules hack

    There is problem for me with RoP rules as written - like in D&D 5E, they let's only to give by the teamwork Advantage to the roll, simply by one character helping other. ( And only those two. ) It's not having teamwork support like Chronicles of Darkness or Storypath engines, where everyone partaking in teamwork actions are slightly helping to achieve the teams success.

    Was thinking some on the alternative for 'complex teamwork' in RoP - Maybe add +5 bonus to roll for every other team member that help with it? What do you think about it?


    My stuff for Realms of Pugmire, Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
    LGBT+ through Ages
    LGBT+ in CoD games

  • #2
    A +5 bonus is a huge boost compared to other parts in the system. The Artisan Trick Encouragement lets an Artisan ad +1d6 (3.5 average), a number of times equal to their Charisma modifier before needing sleep.i

    Why would you buy (or refine) Encouragement if you could add +5 for free as many times as you need? If you can get Advantage and +10 to a roll... the DC needs to be extremely high to even be worried about rolling anyway (with no other bonuses to the roll the average is already 23.8 from that, with a 0.25% chance of botching). You're going to need to push the DC to 25 or 30 just to get a decent sized group a reason to roll if the main character in the action has a decent Ability Score and/or added Proficiency; plus any sort of additional bonuses from Tricks.

    Ultimately, I don't think there's a lot of room for this sort of teamwork modifier in the core mechanic. If the whole group is working together on something, just let them succeed and move on, or it's so challenging that even teamwork isn't enough. Because trying to increase the mechanical effects of teamwork is going to get you to that point really fast anyway. Storypath Teamwork rolls just formalize something most games already do (You need X things done, so instead of one character taking the time to do each step, all the PCs pick a step and handle it to go faster), and things like Enhancement Stunts for your teammates are already present with Advantage or things like the option to allow the whole group to succeed if everyone's making the same Ability Check and half the team succeeds (So instead of Storypath's "You're super-stealthy so you get give out bonus Enhancements to your less stealthy friends," it's just, "the stealthy people roll well enough they can carry the less stealthy ones."). The CofD's method is... fairly inelegant and clunky in the end. Roll a lot of dice, to add more dice to one roll until it's a bucket of dice. I'd much rather see CofD be more like Pugmire here and do something like 9-again, then 8-again, then Rote Action for increased number of people working together as it's far simpler.

    Put another way... is this really a problem for RoP? Does teamwork need to be stronger than it already is even if you can't rack up huge numbers like you can in other systems with completely different core mechanics?

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    • #3
      The developers of D&D5E estimated that Teamwork was more or less equivalent to a +4. However, I agree with Heavy Arms that even that would be too much to that bonus to stack (notably, the system doesn't allow a bonus that large to stack with itself; it's a "you get one of these" bonus).

      What I've done in some places is given a +2 to rolls as one of the bonuses a character can pursue. This is in line with the "Lenses of Superior Vision" Relic (Mau 186), to give them a bonus which could stack with advantage from other sources. For a particularly powerful artifact, I wrote a bonus so that the player could choose whether to get advantage or a +2, depending on what their other bonuses were.

      But the philosophy behind the advantage mechanic to start with is that if you give a wide variety of circumstantial bonuses, then players will waste time and attention getting every single bonus they can, even if the diminishing returns aren't worth it - and the Guide has to keep all kinds of different numbers in their head to figure out how to squeeze benefit out of a minute circumstance. Your Mileage May Vary, but I did not enjoy how bonuses were handled in 3.5/Pathfinder, and I wouldn't want my Pugmire game to get anywhere close to that.
      Advantage is elegant because it's easy to say "yeah, that gives you a boost", it's significant enough to only need it once, and once the players have it, they stop looking for more and move forward. Breaking that into other bonuses or allowing anything to stack with it should be rare and used carefully, even if the bonuses wouldn't be game breaking.


      But you're asking about teamwork, and there are other ways to play around with that, rather than just altering bonuses.

      A while ago I found some GM advice for modifying teamwork by the Angry Gm (a good distance down this page). He suggested this: 1 or 2 characters giving help grants +2; 3 or more grants +5; reserve advantage for tools and situations that grant a major bonus (like a battering ram). A character has to be able to attempt the task on their own to help.

      This seems like it could be a pretty solid hack. It keeps a hard limit on the stacking bonuses, so players won't go pursuing far too many sources. And you can still imagine situations where the whole party won't all join in on one action, giving up the bigger advantage to instead tackle multiple tasks. It leaves room to also add advantage on top of this, so players who work together to really get a bonus can get a pretty substantial one. And it (occasionally) limits who can help: a lot of tasks can be attempted untrained, but not all of them. I might also add a "too many chefs" ruling, where you take a look at how many people can actually contribute to a task before they get in each other's way.


      I had come up with a different alternative a few sessions ago, but it was for Enemies to use - and I don't think I'd recommend letting PCs use this, without putting a few hard limits on it. But I had a mob of dire squirrels which had a 'dog pile' ability to knock characters over. To avoid it, the characters make a Dex save at Difficulty 12 +1 per enemy working together. Functionally this isn't too different from "+2 or +5 based on the number of helpers"; if I was letting PCs use a mechanic like this, I would definitely include a max of +5. But a similar thing could be done to reduce a Difficulty if characters can find indirect ways to help... I think I'd recommend sticking to granting bonuses to the roll instead, and making any DC reduction simpler, smaller, and more rare.




      Addendum: for another compare/contrast, you can look at Mutants and Masterminds as another D20 system. Their teamwork rules have anyone helping a task roll the required skill at a DC10. If at least one person succeeds, it adds +2; if 3 or more people succeed, it adds +5 (which is the max bonus).
      To drill into some of the mechanics which would not be easily converted.... M&M also uses a "degrees" of success mechanic, so if you roll 5 above the target, it's another degree of success. The rule is that if the helpers get a total of 3 degrees of success, it adds +5. So if one helper rolls 15 & another rolls a 12, that's good enough for the full +5; or if one person rolls above 20, that grants the full bonus also. But "degrees of success" is very much baked in to M&M's core mechanic, and would not be easily adapted to Realms of Pugmire without changing the whole action resolution.
      Personally, I don't like people having to roll to give help. It's just a lot of activity at the table - a lot of extra rolling (and time) that can make a really simple check into more of a big deal than it's worth. But it can be run smoothly and efficiently if everyone is on their game and knows what's up - and when it works it tackles the 'proficiency question' of "your PC has a -1 to the roll, how would you helping in any way provide a bonus?"
      Last edited by Seraph Kitty; 05-07-2020, 04:14 PM.


      Second Chance for
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      A Beautiful Madness

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      • #4
        'Rule of +1 per extra character, up to +5, INSTEAD of Advantage' should limit PCs enough to use help from other players - but not look too much in 'can we use all those bonuses?' long list. And still they can get Advantage from other sources.
        Last edited by wyrdhamster; 05-07-2020, 03:16 PM.


        My stuff for Realms of Pugmire, Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
        LGBT+ through Ages
        LGBT+ in CoD games

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah, that should work out. Personally I'd prefer to cluster it more than give it a gradient, but works out more or less the same if you prefer a full 1 through 5.

          It does make me wonder about tying it to the 'abstracted amounts' philosophy.
          • "No one helps" or "No extra help" = +0 / task is possible
          • "Just One helps you" = +1
          • "A Few people help" = +2
          • "You have Some help" = +3
          • "Many people help" = +4
          • "You have Lots of help" = +5
          This also gives it situational flexibility as to what "a lot of help" means for a task...
          • For your average adventuring task, your whole party of 5 could count as "lots" of help, but for making a new building or something, you might have to recruit a dozen minor NPCs just to make the task possible, whereas if you get a whole neighborhood on board, they can contribute "lots" of help.
          • And you could layer on varied amount of skill. Like, "some" extra help could be 3-5 fellow PCs, or 1 mentor NPC, or 1 hired specialist trained in the skill.
          • You can also place situational limits without getting bogged down into minutia; "you can work together to break down the door, but the hallway is so narrow that only a few people can help you, for a max bonus of +2."
          • And you can put a new element on how equipment works. Like using a battering ram to break down a door could be divided into a long (but lightweight) wooden beam that allows "lots" of people to help even in a narrow hallway, versus a heavy (but short) metal ram which grants advantage to a check. And if the character can blow "lots of coins" or has military contacts to get exceptional equipment, they could get both advantages.

          I might personally work off of that abstracted amount philosophy, but limit it to only "some help (+2)" and "lots of help (+5)", just to keep it to fewer modifiers. And you could make "some" the default for just about anything, requiring something exceptional like a skill proficiency or a triumph on a roll or some kind of Masterwork to boost something to "lots of help". But your mileage may vary.

          I actually like this a lot..! And I can incorporate it into how I've run my chronicle so far without it being a jarring rules change.
          Last edited by Seraph Kitty; 05-07-2020, 04:04 PM.


          Second Chance for
          [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_709_1572548741915_354[/ATTACH]
          A Beautiful Madness

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