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Can a character "Aid Another"? Characters assisting characters.

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  • Can a character "Aid Another"? Characters assisting characters.

    Hello, everyone!
    Recently this question came about and I am almost ashamed of being unable to answer it in due time: Is there a pre-defined action that assists another character's action?

    For combat there's the ever useful Distract gambit. Projects usually leverage assistance as a bonus to the rolls or assets to spend.
    What about things like helping someone stay unnoticed while tailing someone?
    Or acting in tandem with another's speech to help punctuate it?

    Today, when those actions are not critical but merely assisting, I just fiat a small bonus to the roll...

  • #2
    Originally posted by Synapse View Post
    Hello, everyone!
    Recently this question came about and I am almost ashamed of being unable to answer it in due time: Is there a pre-defined action that assists another character's action?
    Not one universal one, no, nor should there be. The ability of a character to aid another character in an endeavor should absolutely vary based on a number of factors, including the skills and nature of the person performing the action/the assistant, the nature of the task, and more. A Solar chef shouldn't get as much out of having someone to chop wood for him as an artificer having Ligier's help with a daiklave.


    Originally posted by Synapse View Post
    Today, when those actions are not critical but merely assisting, I just fiat a small bonus to the roll...
    Sounds good, that's what the Orichalcum Rule is for.

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    • #3
      Agreed. I am curious about other players' precedents now!

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      • #4
        In my games I just added "Assist Other" onto the Stunt rules. First, to assist another character you have to have at least one dot in the relevant Ability that the other person is rolling. Then when Character A decides to assist Character B, this is automatically treated as a stunt, adding a die to Character B's roll as if Character B had made a 1 die Stunt, no need for actual description. Essentially working with someone else counts as a basic description on the roll. The two characters can boost this higher by describing the Stunt as normal up to a maximum of 3 dice. As an additional bonus, if Character A has a relevant Specialty in the Ability being rolled and that specialty is applicable, then this adds an extra die on top of the Stunt bonus when Character B makes his roll.

        So for example Joe and Sally are trying to sneak past some guards. Sally has 3 dots in Stealth and a specialty, "Sticking to Shadows." Joe unfortunately doesn't have any dots in Stealth. Joe cannot assist Sally, but Sally can assist Joe. If Sally decides to Assist Joe, Joe gets a one dot bonus as if he had made a 1 dot stunt. If the area is shadowy and IT Sally's Specialty would be applicable then this increases Joe's bonus dice to two. Further, if Joe and Sally begin describing their stunt, how Sally helps to make a noise to distract the guards while Joe sneaks in, this could increase the original Stunt bonus from 1 to 2 or even 3, meaning that after her Specialty bonus gets added it would be possible for Joe to get a maximum of +4 dice - 3 from the well described stunt and 1 more from Sally's applicable Specialty.

        Various circumstances can change up these rules, but in general this is the quick and dirty rules my group use when two players want to help one another or any NPC or what have you.

        *edit* For combat it works the same way, but Character A had to give up their action to assist Character B, so generally speaking it's not a very useful tactic in combat - you'd probably be better off with both characters taking their full actions and trying to stunt than one character sacrificing their turn to give another character a modest boost.
        Last edited by AnubisXy; 10-11-2017, 09:37 AM.

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        • #5
          I think the combat rules have assisting covered with onslaught penalties and the general "we both try to stab this dude" thing.

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          • #6
            Here you go :

            Originally posted by Twizz View Post
            Are there any rules or guidelines for assisted actions? Say two characters want to work together to move a particularly large rock out of the way or, as a couple of my players asked, what if their characters wanted to work together crafting a boat?
            Originally posted by Robert Vance View Post
            No specific rules. It's a good reason to give situational bonus dice.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
              In my games I just added "Assist Other" onto the Stunt rules. First, to assist another character you have to have at least one dot in the relevant Ability that the other person is rolling. Then when Character A decides to assist Character B, this is automatically treated as a stunt, adding a die to Character B's roll as if Character B had made a 1 die Stunt, no need for actual description. Essentially working with someone else counts as a basic description on the roll. The two characters can boost this higher by describing the Stunt as normal up to a maximum of 3 dice.
              Just checking, is this 2e you're talking about? Or a variant 3e? I'm confused because, in 3e, a 1-point stunt actually awards 2 dice, and never gives more dice than that (higher-level stunts award bonus successes and willpower instead).

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              • #8
                In most situations, I'd treat having someone assist you as a stunt. Whether it's 1-point or higher depends on the usual sorts of qualities, but I'm more inclined to be wowed by something cool involving two characters.

                I think as noted, contextual elements of different situations can also demonstrate teamwork, such as attacking the same target, onslaught penalties, gambits et al. in combat.

                In some cases where the difficulty of an action is not static, I might choose to lower the difficulty of a check by -1 to reflect how teamwork makes it easier to successfully accomplish the venture.


                <3

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post

                  Just checking, is this 2e you're talking about? Or a variant 3e? I'm confused because, in 3e, a 1-point stunt actually awards 2 dice, and never gives more dice than that (higher-level stunts award bonus successes and willpower instead).
                  Oh yes, you're quite right of course. I should have mentioned that my group preferred the old 1st and 2nd edition stunt rules and so we still essentially use those in 3rd edition. Still the basic idea of simply treating one player assisting another as a stunt is probably the easiest method of representing that mechanically in 3rd edition.

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                  • #10
                    The way I've done it in the past is fairly simple-ish.

                    For a roll in which other people could reasonably help, have the helpers give their roll. The successes are added as non-charm dice to the main person's roll. Cap these dice at the helper's essence or dots in the ability, whichever is higher.

                    Obviously this wouldn't apply to rolls in which assistance is already factored in, like sorcerous workings.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
                      Oh yes, you're quite right of course. I should have mentioned that my group preferred the old 1st and 2nd edition stunt rules and so we still essentially use those in 3rd edition. Still the basic idea of simply treating one player assisting another as a stunt is probably the easiest method of representing that mechanically in 3rd edition.
                      How are you handling defence?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bladewind View Post
                        How are you handling defence?
                        Defend Other already covers that. Attack can hit either assistant or original target, goes through assistant's parry first.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Synapse View Post

                          Defend Other already covers that. Attack can hit either assistant or original target, goes through assistant's parry first.
                          Pretty sure he means in the fact that a 2E defensive stunt is twice as strong as a 2E Offensive stunt.

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                          • #14
                            oooooooops

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                            • #15
                              At my table, we still use the ancient assistance mechanic from way way back.

                              The assisting character rolls their relevant Attribute + Ability dice. Successes on that effort are added as dice to the primary character's dice roll.

                              This doesn't generally apply in combat, as combat has its own rules. I sometimes make exceptions for well-coordinated attacks, etc, that become the capstone of the scene and no clear rules solution.

                              It doesn't generally get out of hand for us, because in most any scene there's something else that somebody could also be doing, rather than being tied up assisting. They could be doing a separate research roll, or keeping watch, and so on.

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