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stress rules for groups of players


peorthyr

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Good day all.

I'm trying to figure out how to handle stress rolls among groups of players, actually the check I'm doing is a roll against POW+INT, but I'd like to add some kind of bonus because the group is facing something as "a group". So for example, if you are alone, the rule POW+INT could be fine, but if you are in a group, the empathy, the bounds, and so on can add some bonus to the roll... is this something already discussed or answered? Does make sense?

Thanks in advance.

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What exactly do you want to do with the stress? Do you want PC to break and run from a battle? Drop and cower from a threat? Get fed up and tell off their boss during a bad day at work? 

Overall, I think POW is probably the best stat to work with. INT can be a bit of a doubled edged sword here, as the high INT characters might have an even better understanding of how dangerous the situation is compared to the lower INT characters.  

 

 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Actually I'm trying to use a sort of sanity roll, but I prefer to use POW+INT as I'm using those two stats as "mind" stats, I'd like a mechanic to help the palyers while in a group. Making a solitary check makes the game a bit too much "solo" centered while I'd like to incentivate the group action. 

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3 hours ago, peorthyr said:

Actually I'm trying to use a sort of sanity roll, but I prefer to use POW+INT as I'm using those two stats as "mind" stats, I'd like a mechanic to help the palyers while in a group. Making a solitary check makes the game a bit too much "solo" centered while I'd like to incentivate the group action. 

I don't see how it will "incentivate" group action, if anything it will most likely split the group. What will most likely happen is one or two PCs will fail the roll and a couple more PCs will be sidetracked dealing with them, leaving the remaining PCs to deal with the problem. 

Edited by Atgxtg
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16 hours ago, peorthyr said:

Good day all.

I'm trying to figure out how to handle stress rolls among groups of players, actually the check I'm doing is a roll against POW+INT, but I'd like to add some kind of bonus because the group is facing something as "a group". So for example, if you are alone, the rule POW+INT could be fine, but if you are in a group, the empathy, the bounds, and so on can add some bonus to the roll... is this something already discussed or answered? Does make sense?

Thanks in advance.

There's all kinds of things you could try:

  • use the highest¬†POW+INT in the group for everyone
  • or add 5% per person in the group so 4 people = +15% or make the bonus higher.
  • change the action difficulty - difficult if on your own / Average with 5 or more people / Easy with 10¬†or more people
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3 minutes ago, David Scott said:

There's all kinds of things you could try:

  • use the highest¬†POW+INT in the group for everyone
  • or add 5% per person in the group so 4 people = +15% or make the bonus higher.
  • change the action difficulty - difficult if on your own / Average with 5 or more people / Easy with 10¬†or more people

I like those... I'll work on something like "the more you are stable, the more you influence positively, while if you are stressed, you should influence the group negatively...

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9 hours ago, peorthyr said:

I like those... I'll work on something like "the more you are stable, the more you influence positively, while if you are stressed, you should influence the group negatively...

It should probably make a difference just who is backing you up, too. If you have to face against the unknown, you'd probably be more assured if you were backed up by a SEAL team than by the local PTA. Perhaps the "morale modifier" could be shifted up or down based upon the overall competency of the group? Especially if that competency is in skills that will be useful in a stress situation. Something like:

Untrained (0-24%)   -20%

Amateur/Recruit (25-49%) -10%     

Professional (50-74%)  +0%

Expert (75-89%)  +10%

Master (90-100%) +20%

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9 hours ago, David Scott said:

There's all kinds of things you could try:

  • use the highest¬†POW+INT in the group for everyone
  • or add 5% per person in the group so 4 people = +15% or make the bonus higher.
  • change the action difficulty - difficult if on your own / Average with 5 or more people / Easy with 10¬†or more people

The lowest POW+INT would probably be better.  Weakest link and all.

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4 hours ago, ThornPlutonius said:

The lowest POW+INT would probably be better.  Weakest link and all.

The OP was going for

On 10/6/2020 at 3:42 PM, peorthyr said:

I'd like to add some kind of bonus because the group is facing something as "a group".

so not a weakest link rule.

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21 minutes ago, David Scott said:

The OP was going for

[...snip...]

so not a weakest link rule.

Isn't it?  Half-full / half-empty.  But as long as we're invoking aphorisms, a high tide lifts all boats.

Is everyone rallying behind the strongest lead?  Or buoying the spirits of the group's dead weight?  I reckon one size does not fit all.

!i!

Edited by Ian Absentia

carbon copy logo smallest.jpg  ...developer of White Rabbit Green

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14 hours ago, David Scott said:

The OP was going for

so not a weakest link rule.

I started to knee-jerk apologize for misreading/misunderstanding.  Changed my mind.  Does the week link drag down or does the strongest lift up?  It is probably contextual, sometimes one, sometimes the other.  Perhaps that is a contest in and of itself.  Weakest vs Strongest to see which has the greatest influence in the moment.

Edited by ThornPlutonius
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1 hour ago, peorthyr said:

I really like these ideas and thoughts. The problem seems a bit more complex than I expected at the beginning, and I like to work on those hints!

It would be interesting to hear what you finally decide on and how it plays.

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7 hours ago, peorthyr said:

I really like these ideas and thoughts. The problem seems a bit more complex than I expected at the beginning, and I like to work on those hints!

You can dial the complexity to suit your needs, and there are an infinite ways you can go with this.

For instance, you could also play around with whatever forces a "stress" roll, or how the stress is resolved. For instance, you could take a page from FATE and give the characters "Stress Points" and could adapt the SAN and spirit combat rules. You could give each threat a value for the resistance table and a damage die, and then treat the PCs allies and other factors as "Stress armor".

It all comes down to what end result you have in mind. The game mechanics then get adjusted to suit your needs.

 

BTW, if I were doing this, I'd probably go with some sort of doubling progression for allies. Say +5% or +10% (or +1 Armor) per doubling. That helps to keep things from getting out of hand when the PCs have lots of backup, yet still works out to a nice bonus at normal group sizes.   

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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7 hours ago, ThornPlutonius said:

Does the week link drag down or does the strongest lift up?  It is probably contextual, sometimes one, sometimes the other.  Perhaps that is a contest in and of itself.  Weakest vs Strongest to see which has the greatest influence in the moment.

That's the direction I started going, imagining a situation where there's not a clear chain of command, or where the chain breaks down and needs to be re-established.  It's almost a personal horror scenario in a bottle in and of itself, not suited to most gaming situations where you're just looking for a simple and consistent mechanic to resolve a momentary situation and then move on.  Even still, a fairly simple Resistance roll could be used to determine if your player group pulls together or frays apart.  Generally speaking, a strong and determined will can easily overcome a weak and panicking will; the situation gets dicier when there's not a lot of difference between the weakest and strongest links.  Middle-link players might even be allowed to augment the rolls one way or the other.

!i!

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This brings up a lot of group/mob mentality questions! I assume this is a sudden "make a decision NOW" thing as opposed to something that there is even a few minutes to debate. In the latter case then things like CHA, rank, Orate, Fast Talk, Intimidate, etc. could have a lot of effect on decision and morale.

I think the main question is who is going to instantly react and who is going to hesitate. This can be a result of surprise, passions, etc. Some will be frozen with shock or indecision, others will just naturally defer to an authority figure. So I would give all players the opportunity to hesitate and then force a roll for those that instantly react, using the sanity or POW+INT or whatever. If the right person either charges or flees, then the likelihood of everyone following goes up immensely!

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2 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

That's the direction I started going, imagining a situation where there's not a clear chain of command, or where the chain breaks down and needs to be re-established.  It's almost a personal horror scenario in a bottle in and of itself, not suited to most gaming situations where you're just looking for a simple and consistent mechanic to resolve a momentary situation and then move on.  Even still, a fairly simple Resistance roll could be used to determine if your player group pulls together or frays apart.  Generally speaking, a strong and determined will can easily overcome a weak and panicking will; the situation gets dicier when there's not a lot of difference between the weakest and strongest links.  Middle-link players might even be allowed to augment the rolls one way or the other.

!i!

Indeed.  How important is the decision?  Like combat, do you just blow the mooks off or build drama and tension through an extended combat.  Is this the group deciding to stop to rest for a few moments or a point in the evolving story where the decision has a major effect on What Happens Next and calls for High Drama.

Edited by ThornPlutonius
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17 hours ago, ThornPlutonius said:

Indeed.  How important is the decision?  Like combat, do you just blow the mooks off or build drama and tension through an extended combat.  Is this the group deciding to stop to rest for a few moments or a point in the evolving story where the decision has a major effect on What Happens Next and calls for High Drama.

I'm not so sure. Generally when one side hesitates in battle the other side rolls them over, unless they too are also having second thoughts. Overall though, I think this idea is just going to make things tougher on the player characters. Context goes a long way here, too. In some cases someone failing a roll and running away might be a good thing for them, in other cases it could paint a target on their back. 

It really comes down to what the GM wants, and how the PCs stack up compared to their opponents. If the PCs greatly outclass their opponents than this would be a minor obstacle or annoyance. If the PCs have less of an advantage, it could throw the fight.

 

BTW, I'm not sure if this will help the OP or not, but in one RPG marginal quality success with firearms gave a "Pin" result, with the character being pinned down by bullets unless he made a willpower roll. Characters could even providing covering fire to suppress the enemy.Something like that might prove helpful here, especially is some of the PCs fail their "morale check". 

 

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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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