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Author Topic: [Solar System] Team Extended Conflict  (Read 10004 times)
Courage75
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Posts: 57


« on: February 22, 2009, 05:32:57 PM »

Hi All,

I just want to make sure I understand the rules for Team Extended Conflict. As far as I can tell, this is the procedure:

1. Characters declare themselves a Team and select a leader to make the Ability check for Harm for the Team per round. Depending on the situation, this Ability check is either opposed or parallel.

I would expect the check to be opposed in most situations, unless everyone in the Team is doing something parallel to the enemy characters, such as shooting them as they are attempting to flee. This part is fine.

2. Other characters in the Team can make Defensive or parallel checks for bonus dice as the situation warrants.

Does this mean that all other characters in the Team can make Defensive Actions (making a Passive Ability for bonus dice), and if so, what check are they opposing? Similarly, are all other characters able to make parallel checks if they can justify how it its a parallel action? If so, how is this different from the usual Extended Conflict with multiple characters are involved? This is where I start getting confused.

3. The Team spends Pool for each other and split Harm amongst themselves. If they cannot agree who takes Harm, the leader takes all the Harm.

In what situations do characters spend Pool for each other? I would expect when they take Harm and have to spend Pool, another character can spend Pool for them. Or if they tie. How about using Secrets? This is unclear.

Also, determining who in the Team takes Harm might be frustrating. The leader appears to suffer if the Team cannot agree on how the Harm is distributed, which isn't much incentive to be a leader.

Here is a slightly simpler version of Team Extended Conflict which I stole from the Mass Murder mechanic in Houses of the Blooded (again):

1. All characters pick a Team. Each Team picks a leader. A character can be a Team by himself, but it is not recommended.
2. The leader makes an opposed Ability check for Harm per round. Each character in his Team provides a bonus die.
3. The leader of the winning Team decides who suffers the resulting Harm. Usually it is character in another Team. If there is more than one opposing Team, the leader of the winning Team can split the resulting Harm between characters in each Team.
4. In the case of a tie, all leaders must spend Pool or drop out. Other characters may contribute Pool if they wish.
5. If the leader is knocked out of the conflict, another character in the Team must be declared leader. This continues until there are no more characters in that Team or everyone gives up.

An even faster version of this doesn't bother with counting how much Harm is dealt. Any Harm dealt is automatically Mortal Harm, which drops characters out of the conflict instantly unless they can pay Pool to stay in.
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2009, 04:16:29 AM »

1. Right.

2. There is no difference from the usual, except that only the one assigned team member can make a check for Harm. The others are limited to making checks for bonus dice.

3. The characters can split any Pool expenditures among themselves as seems fit. One character might spend a Pool point to give a bonus die to another's check, for instance. The same goes for paying Pool costs of Secrets and any other expenses that might come up.

I wouldn't expect a team to have too much trouble dividing the Harm between the members most of the time. If they do, then they're not agreeable enough with each other to work efficiently as a team.
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2009, 04:59:49 AM »

"Leader takes harm if team cannot agree" is nothing more than a sensible default that makes for a fast flowing game. If the winner is free to choose who gets harm, it's too easy to break up a team or remove the leader with the most sensible ability for a set intent from the conflict, which would dissuade team fights even more.

Also, consider:

Key of the betrayed Leader
Get 1 XP whenever you take harm in a team conflict where you cannot agree with your team and take harm as the leader.

Get 3 XP whenever you are broken (Harm Level 6 or more) in a team conflict because you cannot agree with your team and take harm as the leader.
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Rafu
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Raffaele, from Italy


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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2009, 06:20:24 PM »

Key of the betrayed Leader
Get 1 XP whenever you take harm in a team conflict where you cannot agree with your team and take harm as the leader.

Get 3 XP whenever you are broken (Harm Level 6 or more) in a team conflict because you cannot agree with your team and take harm as the leader.

Awesome! Please, sculpt this onto a stone tablet or something. For posterity.

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Raffaele Manzo, or "Rafu" for short. From (and in) Italy. Here's where I blog about games (English posts). Here's where I micro-blog about everything.
Courage75
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Posts: 57


« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2009, 08:51:23 PM »

Thanks for all the responses so far. Just a couple more questions:

2. There is no difference from the usual, except that only the one assigned team member can make a check for Harm. The others are limited to making checks for bonus dice.

Okay, so is this like supporting check chain, wherein the team members are making non-opposed checks for bonus dice which then support (or penalise) the leader's check for Harm? Or are the team members making checks for bonus dice that come into play in the next round? It would be cool if it was the former, but I am not sure.

3. The characters can split any Pool expenditures among themselves as seems fit. One character might spend a Pool point to give a bonus die to another's check, for instance. The same goes for paying Pool costs of Secrets and any other expenses that might come up.

Okay, this seems straightforward. I can't remember if it is the case, but does activating a Secret count as a character's action in extended conflict? Or can you activate a Secret and make a check for bonus dice? Or is this really dependant on the nature of the Secret?
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2009, 08:51:35 AM »

When team members make support checks for bonus dice, those are handled normally, like any checks for bonus dice in extended conflict: most of the time you'd want to describe how the character helps the team in their immediate action, and thus creates bonus dice for the team leader, but you could also have a character do something that saves the dice for the next round.

Activating a Secret does not require an action in extended conflict. However, the action of the Secret might well be such that it requires an action. The basic rule for what requires an action and what doesn't is pretty simple: the SG can determine it either way as long as he's consistent. Usually only events that cause Harm or are otherwise equivalent to normal actions are considered actions, while everything else is free.
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Courage75
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Posts: 57


« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2009, 03:35:11 PM »

Thanks Eero. Just to make it clear, here is an example I thought of:

Bob, Karen and Alex are PCs in conflict with the dastardly villain the Crimson Slasher. They work as a team and choose Bob as the leader. Everyone declares intentions and Abilities. Bob intends to thrash the Crimson Slasher with his Fisticuffs [V] for Harm. Karen will immediately support Bob by attempting to distract the villain with her Acrobatics [V] for bonus dice. Alex wants to sneak around behind the villain with Sneaking [V] for bonus dice to surprise him in the next round. The Crimson Slasher is armed with a straight razor and wants to slice them all up with Melee [V]. He gets two bonus dice because he is armed with a straight razor.

Karen's player makes an Acrobatics [V] check first, any bonus dice going to Bob's Fistifcuffs [V] check. Then everyone else makes their checks. Bob and the villain's actions are opposed, so the winner will inflict Harm on the loser equal to the difference in their checks. 

Does that sound about right?
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2009, 11:34:31 PM »

Sounds about right. Bob, Karen and Alex should decide who gets Harm. I don't remember if it's said in the rules, but IMHO this should be decided in the negotiation phase; and it may be as conditional as you like: „If Karen fails her Acrobatics roll, she'll get Harm as she tumbles in the way; else Bob eats it up. If Alex fails, the Slasher will turn around and slice him quickly to dissuade them, the rest goes to either Karen and Bob“.

Also, there might be differences from group to group if Harm in a team can be split or not. I'd make that highly dependent on the game content. 
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Courage75
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Posts: 57


« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2009, 06:17:22 PM »

Thanks Harald. I like the conditional application of Harm - it makes the mechanics feel more concrete and less "too abstract".
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Courage75
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Posts: 57


« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2009, 04:28:05 PM »

I used Team Extended Conflict in a game recently and I am a bit confused with the outcome.

The situation was that the PCs, a pack of werewolves, were in the spirit world trying to sneak away from a dozen or so evil spirits that they had just discovered. I said that the PCs could try to leave as pack without being detected and got them to make a a supported Stealth [V] check. If they succeeded, they got away. If one of them failed the main check/a support check, they were noticed. They failed.

So, the dozen evil spirits noticed them and charged towards them. The PCs decided to run. I decided to use the Team Extended Conflict mechanics to handle this situation.

The players chose one PC to be the team leader, and everyone made support checks - this case, everyone made Athletics [V] checks. For the evil spirits, I chose one of them to be the leader and instead of rolling supporting checks 11 times for bonus dice, I just gave the team leader 11 bonus dice per round. In effect, the PCs also had a similar amount bonus dice for checks.

Each and every round, both teams tied with results of 4 (both sides had the relevant Ability at Competent). In fact, there wasn't much point rolling 10 or 11 bonus dice because the chances of getting +3 was quite high. So, each side had to spend 1 Pool to stay in the conflict. This wasn't a problem for the spirits because they had plenty of relevant Pool to call upon - it was more a problem for the PCs, although they had quite a lot of Pool as well.

Anyway, after three rounds of ties and realising that the conflict would most likely continue to tie each round, I decided that the spirits stopped chasing the PCs once they left a certain area.

So, it seems there is a limit on meaningful rolls of bonus dice in an Extended Conflict. Any thoughts on this? Did I make any glaring mistakes?
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2009, 04:54:51 PM »

Depends. Where did the players get those 11 bonus dice? When there are several support checks to one check, they are not all accumulated to the main check; rather, you put them in line and have them support each other so that only the last one gives dice to the main check. So if A is being supported by B and C, you roll C -> B -> A instead of having both C and B give their dice to A. This means that you can get at best half a dozen bonus dice from support checks, no matter how many supporters you have.

(This also means that only the first three characters or so in the team will be really useful in the bonus dice accumulation. If there are more members in the team you can either have the weakest ones do nothing but hang on for dear life, or have them do cinematic sideshow stuff like topple barrels to distract pursuit or whatever it is that sidekicks do in movies. Have those barrels become a penalty die or two for the opposition if you have the mind to, and all is well in the world.)

As for the spirits, one bonus die per NPC is pretty cruel for this exact reason: if you're going to roll a dozen dice, you might as well not bother because the dicing system caps. Would perhaps be better to handle the NPCs as a bonus die pool: you still have the 11 dice, but you roll them with care and once they're used, they're gone.

But your basic perception here is quite right: the Solar System dicing mechanic chokes on dice when you get very many bonus dice, simply because you'll always be rolling a +3 then and the rest of the dice don't matter. I have incidentally been designing some rules to use in environments with lots of bonus dice; you can check some preliminary results here if you're interested. Not that I encourage using lots and lots of bonus dice; as with everything else in life, moderation is a virtue here.
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Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
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