Play the Game: Group effort

  1. Psychic conflict
  2. Play the Game

Characters with similar abilities can join together to focus their efforts on a single task.

When engaging in a group effort, the group is treated as an individual, and has full access to the rules for individuals.

Group effort bonuses

Groups gain a bonus to the action they are trying to perform together. Group effort bonuses apply to ability rolls, reaction rolls, attack rolls, and defense. Look up the size of the group on the Group Effort Bonuses chart.

Count: 1 2-3 4-7 8-15 16-31 32-63 64-127 128-255 256-511 512-1023 1024-2055
Bonus: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

The group will also have more than one action per round. The group gains a number of extra actions equal to the bonus.

If individuals have a range of success numbers, the median number is used. Median means taking the middle: if there are five individuals, with the numbers 9, 10, 11, 13, and 39, the median is 11. If the median is between two numbers, use the average of those two numbers.

Each participant’s final number is used to determine what the group roll will be. If there are two individuals working together on a history problem, one with an intelligence of 15 and a History bonus of 2, and one with an intelligence of 17 and no bonuses, each has a final score of 17, and that’s what their bonus of 1 is applied to. The historians need 18 or less to succeed.

If, on the other hand, the bonus matters, use the median of the bonus, too. For example, if the above two characters are trying to provide a History assistance bonus to a third party, the median of 0 and 2 is 1. With both of them working together, whoever makes the intelligence roll will need 18 or less to provide that +1; if the historian were working alone they would have to roll 17 or less to provide their +2.

Group effort: Mojo

Player characters have mojo. Any participant can bid mojo to make an unsuccessful roll successful if the roll is archetypal for their character. All members of the group effort gain the full experience bonus from mojo use as well as the potential for field bonus increases or additional skills. Each character benefits as if they had spent all of the mojo used on the roll, not just what they personally spent.

Group effort decisions

Groups take longer to change their mind than individuals do. When changing their course of action to something that was not in their original plan, groups will take a number of extra rounds equal to their group effort bonus, to complete the change.

If the decision is not in response to the leader, but is rather a natural reaction that an individual might spontaneously make, such as a retreat, the group can make a roll to avoid the spontaneous reaction. This will often be a charisma roll, and the group bonus applies. If the group fails its roll, the decision time will be a number of rounds equal to the amount the roll was missed by, up to a maximum of the group’s group effort bonus. This is often called a morale check.

Leaving a group

Individuals as part of the group have little control over their actions unless they choose to leave the group. Individuals may leave the group at any point that the group has an action. It takes a number of rounds equal to the group effort bonus to leave a group effort.

Once an individual leaves a group, the aftermath applies immediately to that individual.

Group effort: Leaders

Leaders must make a charisma roll to convince the group to do something other than what it is already doing. If the leader fails the roll, the group continues to do what it is currently doing. If the leader succeeds, the group changes its actions. It takes the normal decision time for the group to change its action, but if the leader’s charisma roll was under the necessary score, the amount the leader made the roll by reduces the decision delay.

Mass conflict

One common use of group effort is mass conflict . Mass conflict works pretty much just like normal conflict. Any group of individuals with the same weapon/attack form can join together to fight as a unit. Attack rolls, damage, and any other aspect of conflict are all handled as if the unit were a single combatant.

Any individuals that are not known characters can be assumed to have an average number of survival points, average attack bonuses, etc.

Combat movement

The unit’s combat movement is increased by the group’s median movement times the group’s group effort bonus. See the Encounter Guide for combat movement changes for creatures of sizes other than small, medium, and large.

Survival points

The unit has additional survival points equal to the median survival points multiplied by the unit’s group effort bonus. A unit of twelve goblins, with 5 survival points median, has a total of 5 survival points, plus 5 times 3 survival points (12 is three on the group effort bonuses chart), or 20 survival points.

Verve is normally ignored, however, player character participants can volunteer their verve if applicable.

Taking damage

Damage is done to the unit as a whole. While it can be assumed that individuals within the unit are dying or falling unconscious during battle, the effectiveness of the unit does not change until the battle is over.

Groups that fall unconscious are no longer a group. Groups that die have been defeated, and are also no longer a group.

Other actions

A group is an individual as far as the rules are concerned, and may perform any conflict action that an individual could perform, including special conflict maneuvers, under the control of the leader. There must be a designated leader for the group to use maneuvers.

Mass conflict: Aftermath

After the conflict, some of the group might be wounded or dead. Divide the survival and injury damage by the group bonus for the maximum damage per character. Choose the smallest die that is still greater than or equal to that number. For example, if the maximum damage is 7, use a d8. If it is 15, use a d20. If you roll an impossible number, re-roll until you get a valid number.

Each member must make an evasion roll. If unsuccessful, the member adds that damage to their injuries. Otherwise, they subtract it from survival as normal. For large groups, you can assume an even proportion. For example, if the members need 8 or less to make their evasion roll, eight out of twenty of the group will make it and twelve out of twenty will fail.

If the group had any injury points when disbanded, those apply as a penalty to the evasion roll.

Example of mass conflict

Toromeen and his friends are escorting villagers away from a band of marauding goblins. There are a hundred goblins hot on the trail of the group and gaining. When they get to a bridge Toromeen volunteers to stay behind and hopefully slow the goblins down, giving the villagers and the rest of the characters a better chance to escape.

Toromeen is fifth level. He is a fourth level warrior and a first level prophet. He has chain mail (+4 defense) and uses a battleaxe (d8 damage, +4 for his strength). He has 25 survival points and 31 verve points. As a fourth level warrior, he has +4 to attack, and his strength gives him another +2, for a total of +6 to attack.

Goblins are normally level 1 creatures with a +1 to defense, plus whatever their armor is. The median defense for these goblins is +3 (most of them have leather armor). Their goblin-sized long swords do d6 damage. Their median survival is 5 points. Their movement is 8.

Because there are a hundred goblins, they have a group effort bonus of 6. They gain 6 actions per round, a +6 to attack, and a +6 to defense. They have a bonus of six times eight to combat movement. They gain six times five survival. The goblin army is thus:

Goblin Army: (Fantastic: 1; Survival: 35; Movement: 8; Combat Movement: 56; Attacks: 7, +6 to attack; Damage: d6; Defense: +9)

Tony is going to have to roll 8 or less for Toromeen to successfully damage the goblin army. The Guide will have to roll 13 or less to successfully damage Toromeen, and will get to do so seven times per round.

Toromeen waits at the mouth of the bridge, leaning on his axe, looking down at the army of goblins.

Toromeen has the high ground; this gives him +1 to attack, so he needs to roll 9 or less as long as he maintains high ground.

“Step aside, dwarf. We have no business with you.”

“You do. There is a toll to cross this bridge.”

“What price do you ask?”

“The price is a life. Mine—or yours.”

“We choose the former. That price is easily paid.”

As the goblin chief steps back, Toromeen calls a war spirit to manifest Holy Weapon upon his battleaxe.

Holy Weapon will give him an additional +1 to attack and +2 to damage, for the next five rounds. This means Tony will need to roll only 10 or less to hit the army, and will do d8+6 damage.

As the front rank of the army storms the bridge, Toromeen yells defiantly and swings his axe into them. The army swarms up the bridge, their short swords poking and thrusting and slicing at the sturdy dwarf, but Toromeen holds his ground.

Tony rolls 8 to attack, and then rolls 5 for damage, for a total of 11 points damage. The army is now at 24 survival.

The Guide rolls 4, 10, 5, 10, 17, 8, and 5 for the army’s seven attacks. Six of the attacks hit. The Guide rolls d6 six times, getting 1, 5, 6, 1, 3, and 6. The army does 22 points to Toromeen. Toromeen is now at 9 verve.

Toromeen and the army clash beneath the hot sun. Toromeen’s axe drips blood as it slams through the horde of goblins again and again. Swords clang against chain ring, biting into his skin but his ferocity holds the goblins back.

Tony rolls 11 to attack, and bids 3 mojo to succeed. Since he needs a 10 to succeed, he spends 1 mojo and the attack is a success. He rolls 4 for damage, for a total of 10 points. The goblin army now has 14 survival. The Guide rolls 2, 7, 18, 12, 19, 15, and 20 for the army. That’s three successful attacks. The Guide rolls 1, 3, and 2, for a total of 6 damage. Toromeen now has 3 verve.

The Guide decides that it is time to see if the goblin army retreats. The army has lost half its survival fighting this dwarf. The Guide makes a morale check against a charisma of 7, at a bonus of 6, or 13. The Guide rolls 14, which means that the goblins retreat, and it takes them one round to do so.

Faced with the dwarf’s tenacity and prowess, the goblins falter. They stumble backward, away from the bridge. Toromeen’s axe flashes red in the sun as he pushes the advantage further. The army is in complete disarray as it falls before his axe.

Tony has Toromeen continue his attack. Tony decides to risk converting some attack bonuses to give Toromeen a combat pool. He moves two points in, and converts them to +2 damage. Tony now needs to roll 8 or less to successfully attack the army, but will do d8+8 points damage if he is successful. Tony rolls 10. He bids 3 mojo again, and pays 2 to turn this into a successful attack. He’s burning mojo pretty heavily, but he doesn’t expect to survive so why not use it now? He rolls 7 on d8, for a total of 15 points damage.

The army only had 14 survival left, so this gives the army one injury point. The goblin army now has no survival and one injury. The Guide must make a fortitude roll or the army falls unconscious. Their fortitude is 4. They have a bonus of 6 to the roll (group effort) and a penalty of 1 (injuries). The Guide must roll 9 or less for the army to remain conscious. The Guide rolls 2; the army remains conscious.

The army might also be dead: the Guide rolls d20 against their injuries of 1, and rolls 1. Since the injuries succeeded, the goblin army must make an endurance roll or the army dies. Their estimated endurance is 10, with group bonus of 6 and the injury penalty of 1. The Guide must roll 15 or less for the army to remain alive. The Guide rolls 11. The army is “alive”; they retreat in order to stay that way, and then they disband.

Toromeen has defeated the goblin army. The goblin army scatters to the wind, leaving their dead and wounded behind. Toromeen climbs back up the bridge and sits, awaiting the next wave, should the goblins return.

Example of mass conflict: Aftermath

The goblin army lost 35 survival and gained one injury. Divided by their group bonus of 6, this is 6 points. If there are any individuals for whom this matters in the army, the Guide can roll a d6 to see how much damage they took. Each goblin will also need to make an evasion roll at a penalty of 1, or the damage injures them. Since there are a lot of goblins, the Guide can also look at their evasion score (likely a 5) and decide that since 4 out of 20 of them will make their save, 80 of them are injured for d6 points, and probably unconscious. The other twenty goblins lose d6 survival and run.

  1. Psychic conflict
  2. Play the Game