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jrutila

Multiple Opponent Penalty for the resistance

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I have been reading The Eleven Lights for a week now (it is great, btw). More than once there is hints about using multiple opponents penalty as a combat tactique against single harder opponent.

My understanding about the MOP was that it was only applicable to the PCs. The HeroQuest Glorantha (p. 81) is not 100% clear, but I think it is more into that idea. So that if Harmast and Cormac were fighting a Telmori with resistance 3W they would both throw against 3W.
What if the enemy is an abstract resistance. If Harmast and Cormac are trying to rush through a crowd? Does the crowd suffer the MOP? Can the crowd (GM) then decide which competition it gets the -3 against, like the PCs can?

How have you used this rule in your games? Does the enemy also suffer from MOP?

I think the MOP shouldn't be applied to the resistance (was it abstract or not). The PCs have other tactics when contesting with single resistance like starting multiple contests or assisting.

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1 hour ago, jrutila said:

My understanding about the MOP was that it was only applicable to the PCs.

Applicable either way.  My players use it regularly against difficult foes with very high resistance.  And it can go the other way too.

1 hour ago, jrutila said:

So that if Harmast and Cormac were fighting a Telmori with resistance 3W they would both throw against 3W.

No.  Whoever goes first rolls against the 3W resistance.  Whoever attacks second would roll against a resistance of 20.

1 hour ago, jrutila said:

What if the enemy is an abstract resistance. If Harmast and Cormac are trying to rush through a crowd? Does the crowd suffer the MOP? Can the crowd (GM) then decide which competition it gets the -3 against, like the PCs can?

That's not a situation where I would use such a contest.  In that case, I'd most likely use a Group Simple Contest against the single resistance where they together need to achieve a victory to get through.

1 hour ago, jrutila said:

I think the MOP shouldn't be applied to the resistance (was it abstract or not).

It's a legitimate tactic for PC's to use and often critical in their success.  Often Assists are not an option (e.g. when there are more foes than PC's).  Defensive actions are good for a single PC to use to hold off multiple foes while others gang up on a single tough opponent.

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21 minutes ago, jajagappa said:
2 hours ago, jrutila said:

What if the enemy is an abstract resistance. If Harmast and Cormac are trying to rush through a crowd? Does the crowd suffer the MOP? Can the crowd (GM) then decide which competition it gets the -3 against, like the PCs can?

That's not a situation where I would use such a contest.  In that case, I'd most likely use a Group Simple Contest against the single resistance where they together need to achieve a victory to get through.

Were you talking about not using Extended Contest for surfing through crowd (that can be the session high point, though) or not using it against abstract resistances at all? Not using EC for abstract resistances would limit possible climax contests quite heavily. So, do you apply MOP also to an abstract resistance?

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48 minutes ago, jrutila said:

Were you talking about not using Extended Contest for surfing through crowd (that can be the session high point, though)

It very much depends on the point in the story.

If its a climactic scene, then yes I'd use an Extended Contest for getting through the crowd.  Unless there's some obvious thing that can be applied to the crowd (e.g. both characters have armed retinues) to create a Multiple Opponent Penalty, then it would remain a constant difficulty. 

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