That group stealth roll irks me...

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That group stealth roll irks me...
« on: December 16, 2012, 12:12:08 PM »
How does a group roll a collective stealth roll?

I always hated the "everyone rolls" approach, it really irks me. Having everyone trigger an Avoid Danger is bad, since even if everyone had equally good stealth, it would all come down to the worst roll.

Or would it? In a lot of games it's like this. In D&D 4e they say that the person with the worst modifier makes the roll. I hated bith approaches. In DW it's different since 6- isn't necessarily a failure, but it's still a lot of rolls that could go tremendously bad.

Having everyone "aid" seems very weird too, since it implies that they help someone go undetected, but doesn't do so themselves.

How would you handle it?
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noclue

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Re: That group stealth roll irks me...
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2012, 01:11:39 PM »
My gut reaction would be to say "I get how Terry the halfling thief is going sneak through here..." Then look pointedly at the dwarf fighter and start foretelling doom with the squeak of his chain mail.

But maybe that's just because I haven't had my coffee yet this morning.
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Re: That group stealth roll irks me...
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2012, 03:40:10 PM »
My gut reaction would be to say "I get how Terry the halfling thief is going sneak through here..." Then look pointedly at the dwarf fighter and start foretelling doom with the squeak of his chain mail.

But maybe that's just because I haven't had my coffee yet this morning.

+1

As always, it depends on what's happening. How are people sneaking, what are they sneaking past,  what are the extenuating circumstances, what are the folk they're sneaking past doing, etc. "We're bundling Thorin up in heavy robes to eat the sound of his armour and then all tiptoeing on while the orcs are playing dice games" is a lot different than "I'll get the guards to chase me, the rest of you slip into the duke's room and take his chalice."

Re: That group stealth roll irks me...
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2012, 08:49:28 PM »
First I would only roll if the situation really has a built-in conflict in it, second I am mostly taking the Burning Wheel approach for most games ever since I read it: decide a leader for the check to be made, that is the most skilled person, the one that shines on it, that person makes the roll.

If you want to make everyone roll, let everyone else roll to see if they aid the other or not. That is, considering you can actually take the group as a single entity for the roll, if everyone is doing a different stealth action, each one of them will have their own roll.
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Re: That group stealth roll irks me...
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2012, 09:48:55 PM »
Well, if you're glossing over things a bit - say, compacting down the entire party sneaking into the Duke's castle in one roll, then I would get the sneakiest party member (based on behaviour up to this point) Defy Danger with CHA, representing him guiding and leading the party through the various obstacles in their way.

Or they might come up with another plan.

Re: That group stealth roll irks me...
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2012, 07:30:38 AM »
The way to deal with it depends obviously depends on what's actually happening in the fiction.

If the entire party tries to sneak into the wizards tower undetected however, everyone is essentially acting despite an eminent threat (Defy Danger trigger), which means that everyone must roll to Defy Danger. From the book:

[quote src="Dungeon World, page 18, in the middle"]A character can’t take the fictional action that triggers a move without that move occurring.
[/quote]

The thief example is therefore handled differently than the rules suggest. This doesn't mean it's a bad way to go, it just mean that it's not supported by the rules.

The way to go here is to make excellent use of "Show signs of an approaching threat" and maybe some location moves then (assuming someone rolls below 10)?

If it comes up a lot, the best way to deal with it is probably to make a custom move I guess?
I just recently started a blog on my gaming experiences on www.partialsuccess.wordpress.com

Re: That group stealth roll irks me...
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2012, 03:15:25 PM »
If the entire party tries to sneak into the wizards tower undetected however, everyone is essentially acting despite an eminent threat (Defy Danger trigger), which means that everyone must roll to Defy Danger. From the book:

I disagree that everyone is necessarily acting despite eminent threat. A combination of "what have a threatened them with" and "how do they intend to sneak in" may determine that it's otherwise.

That said, to more directly answer the question of "how would you handle it?" I wouldn't let it get there if at all possible, and if it actually ended up that the most appropriate thing was for everyone to individually roll DD, well, then they roll it and get individual results.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2012, 03:24:31 PM by Aaron Friesen »

Re: That group stealth roll irks me...
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2012, 04:00:24 PM »
This is an interesting problem.  I thought it would have come up in my play but it hasn't yet.  I think I tend to focus a lot on what the individuals are doing, which skirts the "group acting in concert" issue.

If the party spoke as one saying "we want to sneak around the burly guards together, as a team," then I would probably test the clumsiest character but let another help.  Weakest link and all that.  However:

A combination of "what have a threatened them with" and "how do they intend to sneak in" may determine that it's otherwise.

And since Nifelhein mentioned it, in Burning Wheel you would actually use the Slowest and Loudest rule for sneaking as a group.  The person with the lowest Stealthy skill would roll.  PM me if you want to discuss, so as not to derail.

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noclue

  • 609
Re: That group stealth roll irks me...
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2012, 06:41:18 PM »
Yes, you definitely avoid a lot of this by turning to the thief and saying "what do you do?" Rather than leaving it an open question for the whole group.
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Re: That group stealth roll irks me...
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2012, 06:03:13 AM »
Unless they come up with something clever, I'd just get the person with the worst modifier to roll Defy Danger. The person with the best modifier might find a way to Aid, but not necessarily.

Sure, it might feel more realistic to have everyone roll and to have the person with the best stealth to Aid each of them in turn, but that's an awful lot of dice rolling for no extra fun.

Sure, you get odd edge cases, but those are mostly resolvable through narrative (no, you cannot sneak an entire platoon of chainmail-clad Deep Dwarves and their war moles past the elven sentries, even if the slowest, clumsiest dwarf rolls a natural 12), or not particularly problematic (two master thieves are better at sneaking around than one master thief, despite having twice as many opportunities to be spotted).

Re: That group stealth roll irks me...
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2012, 06:14:49 AM »
I actually have a pretty good idea for a move that functions along the line of "Undertake a Perilous Journey" and "Recruit" for group stealth rolls.

I will post it later, when I'm done with it.
I just recently started a blog on my gaming experiences on www.partialsuccess.wordpress.com

Re: That group stealth roll irks me...
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2012, 12:41:53 PM »
Oooh!  Can't wait to see it  :-D

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Re: That group stealth roll irks me...
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2012, 02:35:23 PM »
There are a lot of options, depending on the circumstance. The posts here cover a lot of them, but I wanna add that sometimes it won't trigger a move at all. It's totally legit to be like "The duke's guards are really sharp and the Fighter is wearing plate mail and carrying three weapons. There's no way he'll make it past."

Remember that Tell the Consequences and Ask is in your arsenal, and so is Separate Them. Those moves work together here. I think it's cool to say "Thief, you know the Fighter doesn't stand a chance of being unheard. You could follow him a mile away. He'll get you caught in a heartbeat and you'll be right back in the duke's prison by nightfall. What are you gonna do about that?"

Re: That group stealth roll irks me...
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2012, 03:12:49 PM »
There are a lot of options, depending on the circumstance. The posts here cover a lot of them, but I wanna add that sometimes it won't trigger a move at all. It's totally legit to be like "The duke's guards are really sharp and the Fighter is wearing plate mail and carrying three weapons. There's no way he'll make it past."

Remember that Tell the Consequences and Ask is in your arsenal, and so is Separate Them. Those moves work together here. I think it's cool to say "Thief, you know the Fighter doesn't stand a chance of being unheard. You could follow him a mile away. He'll get you caught in a heartbeat and you'll be right back in the duke's prison by nightfall. What are you gonna do about that?"

The Fighter can take off his plate mail and don some Leather Armor and a shield instead, in which case they could make an attempt. He might later knock a guard unconscious and "lend" his scale mail.

Players are pretty smart, they will react with plans like this when you tell them the requirements or consequences and ask. Which is great :)
I just recently started a blog on my gaming experiences on www.partialsuccess.wordpress.com

Re: That group stealth roll irks me...
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2012, 04:12:44 PM »
Don't you love that kind of thing? Armor is good, sure but nothing like knowing it will slow you down or outright give your location. :)
I started a blog to share my pain: gmstruggles.wordpress.com

All my posts (unless stated otherwise) are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0