Thursday, July 20, 2017

GURPS Rules for Group Rolls

Last game, I needed to make some group rolls. I fell back on "everybody roll!" for some and "best roll with modifiers" and "worst roll with modifiers" in a couple of others. I knew GURPS had some official rules for this, but aside from the first one below I couldn't remember where or what they were.

So I asked some of my fellow GURPS fans and authors and so on to help me find them later in play. This way I can quickly search the blog for it. And honestly, if I type something down I tend to remember it better than just by reading it.

Thanks to Shawn Fisher, Dr Kromm, and Christopher Rice for promptly telling me where to look.

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Complementary Skills are in Action 2 (p. 5), and in GURPS Martial Arts: Gladiators (p. 22).

Many examples of how to use this are in Dungeons and Wilderness Adventures.

- Basically, roll against Skill A to help the use of Skill B. Note that the person with Skill A and Skill B do not have to be the same person! Help your buddy out.

Got You Covered is in Action 2 (p. 5) and in GURPS Martial Arts: Gladiators (p. 22).

- Basically, roll against the highest applicable skill in the group, with a bonus for others trained in the skill* and a penalty for group size. In short, if everyone knows the skill, use the highest. If some don't, suffer a penalty.

* No defaults, not even the usual "But I have Survival-12 in everything thanks to my Survival (Mountains)-15" skill default.

Pulling Your Weight is in Action 2 (p. 5), but it's summarized in places all over Dungeons.

- Basically, use the highest ST plus ST/5 of all helpers. In my current game, if it's a ST-based skill roll, use the highest skill plus other ST scores (for example, Forced Entry). If you are lifting, add BL together.



Horde Rolls are in GURPS Zombies (p. 112-114).

- Basically, you can apply a projected success rate onto a group to determine which part of a group succeeds in, or fails, a roll.
- You can also subsume group rolls for stats such as Per into a size-based group Per.

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In my own games, I also use a reversed version of Got You Covered, for times when anyone messing up can cause a problem and I don't want to deal with rolling for each individual. For the main example of when I'd use it, Stealth when sneaking in the dungeon. In that case, it will be lowest skill, not highest, but otherwise follow the rules in Got You Covered, above. If the roll can flat-out kill, obviously I'll go with individual rolls. But rolling Stealth for seven characters is tiresome at best.

8 comments:

  1. Got You Covered is great for Hiking group rolls.

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    Replies
    1. That's a good example. I forget it because I ditched Hiking, but yes, it's a great place to use it.

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    2. Hiking is a good example of where to use The Weakest Link ('Reversed' I Got You Covered), because in travel it is always the slowest person that holds up the group (same with Stealth, it's always the clumsiest/noisiest person that gets the party discovered).

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    3. I'd reason it the reverse - that Hiking is a good example of the base rule, because the better hikers can help the weaker ones along. You're more likely to fail to get the benefit than if the weaker ones were more skilled, but you can get more out of them by virtue of guidance. The cadre approach to unit building, basically.

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    4. Normally I'd agree... but going that route just meant my Players never bothered to improve Hiking, the weak ones just relied on the better Hikers to carry them along. Continuously.

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    5. Honestly, that seems fair. People do that with all sorts of skills - Survival, languages, spells, etc. Rely on the best to pull the rest along.

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  2. Ive also used just the person with the best effective skill rolls.

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    Replies
    1. I used to do that, but then for any activity a group or an individual could do equally (search an area is the classic example in my games) is better done by just the person with the best skill. Helpers are useless, so have them do something else. That's not satisfying to me.

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