Our collaborative effort system should include the following characteristics:

  • Encourage people to work together -- stunt together, use Charms in the same action, etc.
  • Avoid excessive success inflation.
  • Take into account both party's abilities, rather than making only one person's capacity meaningful.
  • Provide a success value for the group rather than for the individual parties.


When two characters intend to work together, they may write stunts that interlock, describing their combined efforts in attempting to solve a problem. Resolution works as follows:

  • Take the highest die pool possessed by the two characters. Add the stunt dice for both stunts to this pool. Roll this pool.
  • For each collaborator after the first, reroll all failures, up to the total die pool that collaborator would have had on the task alone.
  • Both parties may use Charms that require a die roll, using the one roll provided by the effort system as the result for both of the Charms used.

This system has the following benefits:

  • It encourages all parties involved to stunt, invest in relevant abilities, and use Charms.
  • It has a maximum success result essentially equal to the result for a single party attempting the task, but an increased average success result, making it effective without being inflationary.
  • It allows characters to use their Charms together, making it easier and quicker to do so.


  • (A) If the situation is too complex for a single combined roll to be appropriate (further action is needed using the revelations of the first, for example), possibly something like D&D4's skill challenge system, where some number of successes (or a successes threshold, in this case?) is required before some smaller number of failures (rolls below the success threshold)? Or is that too complicated?
  • (C) I like the system, but I believe Virtue channels should be counted separate in the same manner as a Stunt - they are a very scarce resource, and someone using it on an action has some storytelling value - it is a bit of 'this roll MATTERS!' gauge. So several people invested in it to that degree should share the benefits of such enthusiasm!


  • Adrienne> Some kind of working-together system might help with both of these situations?
  • Adrienne> Because we can't actually combine forces, every time two characters want to do work in the same ability (Varanim and Cerin with Investigation, Lucent and Spring with Medicine, etc.) it turns into a competition between them.
  • [10:17pm] Spring> adrienne: yeah, exactly
  • [10:17pm] Spring> it's basically a huge weird issue
  • [10:17pm] Spring> every time I've brought this up to quin he has basically said "yes, we should fix that"
  • [10:17pm] Spring> but there isn't a clear idea yet as to how we might do so
  • [10:17pm] Spring> adding the die pools together is probably not the best way
  • [10:18pm] Adrienne> So the people who more consistently lose those contests (or FEEL they're more consistently losing) feel like their character isn't actually good at a thing they've invested points in, since in one sense we're really great but in another sense the other characters are our most important measuring stick.
  • Adrienne> Okay, so. We need to nudge quin again for a "combined effort" system (maybe based off of stunting where you make one roll with bonuses, I dunno?), and better tracking of social successes?
  • Adrienne> I want the combined effort system to make it so that characters with niche overlap are working together toward information/social persuasion/etc., not making parallel efforts that seem to end up with one of them being the "winner" at the attempt to matter.
  • [10:57pm] Spring> okay
  • [10:57pm] Spring> hmm
  • [10:58pm] Spring> ideally it would involve both parties trying to be good at the thing, right
  • [10:58pm] Spring> not one party being awesome and the other party just tagging along
  • [10:58pm] Spring> (this is how aid another works in D&D)
  • [10:58pm] Adrienne> Right, because being the World's Best Investigation Sidekick is not thrilling.
  • Adrienne> Interlocking charm use would be cool--I've thought about trying to do that with stunts, but never actually put it into practice.
  • [11:04pm] Adrienne> I actually think the "different flavors of info" patch isn't working well (though it's a good idea, and certainly what I'd be trying in the same situations), because even when one person doesn't have superior charms or pools, it still leads to the thing where both parties feel like the OTHER person is the one who was handed the key, since they're effectively in a race for the answer.
  • Spring> also, I happen to know it's putting a big burden on quin
  • [11:05pm] Spring> to know what everybody's charms actually do, and figure out how to distribute the info so that everybody gets lots of useful stuff
  • [11:05pm] Adrienne> (See for example the Ligier situation, people were throwing their separate social attacks at him, and I know at least a couple of the people involved felt like their contribution wasn't the one that actually mattered.)

Page last modified on April 09, 2009, at 12:05 AM