shapeshade
 member, 204 posts
Sun 9 Oct 2022
at 19:39
Aiding Teammates

Someone help me come up with a good rule for how to handle it mechanically when a party member wants to help someone else's character.

It always comes up sooner or later, but I can't think of ANY good rule that handles it the way I like.

Dungeon World's "they can help their teammate attempt it, but if it goes wrong, it goes wrong for all of them" is perfectly logical, but it just makes more work for me as GM, because often I'm like "but how the heck do I make this go wrong for PC 1 AND PC 2 but NOT the whole party?" Sometimes it's obvious, but sometimes it's not.

Please be aware that I am likely to nit-pick and say "nah, I don't like that rule you just suggested for this reason..."

But I have faith that together we can find something perfect for me...
tibiotarsus
 member, 277 posts
 Hopepunk with a shovel
Sun 9 Oct 2022
at 20:00
Aiding Teammates
Giving out degrees of sucess? As in, if you need 12 to succeed, you roll 16 and you can help one teammate, or you roll 20 and you can help two, but the individual rolling effectively gets a normal success, having used their competency at [skill] to help the others.

Not familiar with Dungeon World, but that's what I'd do to make a standard house rule.
donsr
 member, 2687 posts
Sun 9 Oct 2022
at 20:26
Aiding Teammates
you  have to look at the postion of the  characters...i can't use  maps, so  we  give a  description in OOC  for where everyone  is.

 RP as to what the characters  do, then the GM's  reply tels everyone  what's happening.

 IF...you like good RP, you  let the characters   do what they could  do. maybe a light  roll for success...if you're locked into dice rolls, then  they can speak for themselves.

 In the  end? you are god in you game. make the   rule as you sit  fit.but stay consistent.
BFink
 member, 84 posts
Sun 9 Oct 2022
at 20:56
Aiding Teammates
With asynchronous rolls in all PbtA, I'd say: Player X had a bad roll, Player Y wants to help. Before Y rolls, you state the possible consequences of a bad roll for X and Y. For example both take damage, both are placed in a bad spot, both get separated from the rest of the party. If you have a problem with the right idea, ask the players to tell then what will happen if things go wrong. (I like how it is done in ROOT RPG, with three tracks where players mark depletion - it very much helps to keep things dynamic in the game and don't require that much of an invention when it comes to GM Moves after a failed roll.)
donsr
 member, 2688 posts
Sun 9 Oct 2022
at 21:03
Aiding Teammates
yeah? Bad stuff  happens, right? Steve JAckson's  ITL( Melle and Wizard) had   auto  success and auto failures.

 the reason?  no matter  how good you are, you can drop something, slip and  fall ect...or..no matter how bad you are, you can get a lucky  shot...dodge something ect.

 The random stuff , coupled with good RP will make it  excitement.
PaulK
 supporter, 242 posts
Sun 9 Oct 2022
at 21:05
Aiding Teammates
For PbtA Monster of the Week has the Help Out Move.

Failure gives no bonus and exposes the character to trouble or danger - but only the character making the Move.
shapeshade
 member, 205 posts
Sun 9 Oct 2022
at 22:29
Re: Aiding Teammates
tibiotarsus:
Giving out degrees of sucess? As in, if you need 12 to succeed, you roll 16 and you can help one teammate, or you roll 20 and you can help two, but the individual rolling effectively gets a normal success, having used their competency at [skill] to help the others.



There are multiple intelligent things being said here, but this first one inspires me the most.

(Thinks...) ...Let's say...

Let's say player A is rolling dice-- to push a big rock out of the way, just for example, or push a dead tree over to try to cross a ravine or something.

Let's say that player A is stronger than average, and will roll 2d4 to try to succeed at this-- if the best result is 4, they succeed perfectly, if the best result is 3, they do it but there's a small complication, if the best result is 2, they fail, if the best result is 1, they fail and the situation gets worse somehow.

But suddenly, player B says "wait, I'll help."

OKAY, so I tell player B: "roll 1d4. If you get a 4 (and player A doesn't), player A will get 1 point added to their best result. If you get a 1, player A will get 1 point taken from their best result."

...I like this, because it means I don't have to think of something EXTRA to happen to Player B-- I'm still just dealing with Player A's roll, consequence-wise.

IF player B and player A are both really strong, I can change it-- say, I can tell player B to roll 2d4 too, and if their best result is 4, it helps A, and if their best result is 1 or 2, then it hurts player A's roll result.

Another reason I like it is that if there are 6 PCs, they can't all say "yeah, we'll all help!" and force every roll to succeed by strength of numbers. I mean, they CAN say "yeah, we'll all help!" but it won't force every roll (that they can conceivably team up on) to succeed by sheer strength of numbers.

So... it keeps "I'll help" from being overpowered, AND it's ALSO not exactly making more work for me. I like it.
engine
 member, 883 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Mon 10 Oct 2022
at 18:26
Re: Aiding Teammates
It's important to call for rolls only when it makes sense and the way to adjudicate them makes sense. When something seems odd about adjudicating a roll, there's a chance that the roll isn't appropriate.

If the situation allows any number of characters to aid, for instance, maybe it doesn't need a roll at all. Some things can simply be accomplished if there's little enough going on that everyone can pitch in.

If there's enough going on (like, say, a fight, or multiple things that require immediate attention) then assisting an ally is likely its own trade-off. Success means that something else was not done,and failure means that two things were not done. Things not getting done should be impactful in and of itself. Otherwise, why bother doing them?
DeeYin
 member, 39 posts
Mon 10 Oct 2022
at 21:44
Re: Aiding Teammates
shapeshade:
But suddenly, player B says "wait, I'll help."

OKAY, so I tell player B: "roll 1d4. If you get a 4 (and player A doesn't), player A will get 1 point added to their best result. If you get a 1, player A will get 1 point taken from their best result."

...I like this, because it means I don't have to think of something EXTRA to happen to Player B-- I'm still just dealing with Player A's roll, consequence-wise.


It is crisp, yes, but this is not really giving help in any meaningful way. Helping is generally intended to garner a result better than on person could alone or to make something more likely to succeed.

It does not make it possible to garner a better result than Player A could achieve alone, since the max is still 4. This is not such a bad thing, since the simplicity of not having to think of extras makes up for the loss.

But the real problem here, is that with this, a roll of 1 makes it a bit worse for Player A, and a roll of 4 makes it a bit better for Player B. That does not make helping more likely to succeed in the task, since Player B has the same chance of hindering the outcome as he does helping (1 in 4).

But the odds are actually worse than that, since player A gets to roll two dice and take the higher for her total.
Player A has a 7/16 chance to roll a result of four on a least one of the dice all on her own (since either die can be a 4), but only risks a 1/16 chance of scoring a final result of 1 (since both dice must be a 1).

Assuming that a 1 is a minimum result for hindering, just as the 4 is the maximum result when helping, then that means that Player B's roll can potentially hurt 15 out of the 16 rolls A scored, but can only improve 9 out 16 of her rolls.

So this method makes a worse result more likely to occur, which is the opposite of what helping should do.
shapeshade
 member, 206 posts
Mon 10 Oct 2022
at 21:51
Re: Aiding Teammates
DeeYin:
So this method makes a worse result more likely to occur, which is the opposite of what helping should do.


Well, no, I don't agree.

However, while that last statement seems clearly incorrect, it DOES touch on something that I had a nagging misgiving about myself, which is that the odds of messing up the person you're helping still seems a bit too high.

...On one hand, it could be fixed if the helper helps on a 4 OR A 3.

But then that might push the help move toward being slightly too powerful again...

Hmm...

...What do you propose instead, DeeYin?
DeeYin
 member, 40 posts
Mon 10 Oct 2022
at 22:42
Re: Aiding Teammates
Things are rarely as clear as they might appear from impressions- those numbers and results are accurate.

There are only 64 potential outcomes for 3d4 to come out as (4x4x4).
Here is every possible outcome:

Player A Player B
(rolls=result)  roll4(result)    roll1 (result)    roll of 2-3 (no change to A)
1,1=1           4 can help (2)
1,2=2           4 can help (3)   1 can hurt (1)
1,3=3           4 can help (4)   1 can hurt (2)
1,4=4                                   1 can hurt (3)
2,1=2           4 can help (3)   1 can hurt (1)
2,2=2           4 can help (3)   1 can hurt (1)
2,3=3           4 can help (4)   1 can hurt (2)
2,4=4                                   1 can hurt (3)
3,1=3           4 can help (4)   1 can hurt (2)
3,2=3           4 can help (4)   1 can hurt (2)
3,3=3           4 can help (4)   1 can hurt (2)
3,4=4                                   1 can hurt (3)
4,1=4                                   1 can hurt (3)
4,2=4                                   1 can hurt (3)
4,3=4                                   1 can hurt (3)
4,4=4                                   1 can hurt (3)

(no change left blank)
Of the 64 possible results:
9 possibilities to help A,
15 results will hurt A,
40 will have no effect on A.
That means it is nearly twice as likely for B's attempt to result in hurting than in giving aid.

An alternative? Realize that I am a player, not a DM, so my suggestion would be skewed towards player success. I would maintain what you liked (giving a +1 or -1 to the final roll), and having it determined by Player B rolling a d4.
But instead of +1 just from a 4, I would give the +1 to the roll on a 2-4 from Player B, keeping the -1 to the roll on on 1 from player B.

That would change the above results to 27 results helping, 15 hindering, and 22 having no effect.
That still keeps a fair chance of hindering, so players may not go for this every time, but definitely sways the helping into a viable option. (And as engine points out, one additional tradeoff for helping is that two players are tied up in the activity.)

This message was last edited by the user at 22:48, Mon 10 Oct 2022.

tibiotarsus
 member, 278 posts
 Hopepunk with a shovel
Mon 10 Oct 2022
at 23:05
Re: Aiding Teammates
shapeshade:
Well, no, I don't agree.

However, while that last statement seems clearly incorrect, it DOES touch on something that I had a nagging misgiving about myself, which is that the odds of messing up the person you're helping still seems a bit too high.


...if appropriate in context, a failure on the helper's part should just...not help, I feel. Roll is null, helped party effectively on their own.