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Assisting other players
Teamwork makes the dream work!

There are certain situations where benefits can be had from more than one character participating in a task at the same time. A prime example is strength based tests. Imagine a cabinet that is just too heavy for one character to lift, but said character has a friend. Individually, neither of these two PCs could lift this cabinet, but if they worked together, their strength could be pooled to succeed on the check. Likewise, under current mechanics, a play cannot climb over certain things by themselves, though a stronger character can simply grapple them and take them over the obstacle. Instead, what if the characters teamed up to address the problem, one lending the other strength to pass the test?

I'm sure there are other situations and skills/stats that assistance would be applicable to, these were just off the top examples.

Makes sense. I like it.

Maybe adding something to @trust so you can LIFT X WITH PLAYER to combine your powers? I dunno how it would work. But it sounds neat.

I don't know how the code works, but it'd be fun if maybe there was an extra roll you'd have to pass for teamwork or something. Charisma? I dunno. xD Could set up some funny fails. Maybe you end up getting dude friend trapped under the heavy thing. Hee
A prime example of this to me would be a bodyguard verb.

Right now, if you want to be a 'bullet stopper' ICly, it involves playing DPS races against other people, which is a bummer. Essentially means the only people who are truly suitable for this line of work are oldbies, where I would think that doing basic bodyguard activities would be a suitable task for low to mid tier characters.

Certainly, we can RP having a big mano or mona on our elbow and looking mean, but them being able to actually take a bullet for you or soak a baseball bat swing would be totally aces.

Certainly, we can RP having a big mano or mona on our elbow and looking mean, but them being able to actually take a bullet for you or soak a baseball bat swing would be totally aces.

This is actually a great idea that I’ve seen elsewhere too. Even a fresh immy is useful as a bodyguard if you understand the mechanics.

I remember reading something that if two characters are grappling with each other, there is some chance of a third attacker hitting the 'wrong' person. eg they attack the 'enemy' but end up hitting their 'friend' by accident.

Maybe that code / mechanic can be leveraged for bodyguarding?

I like the idea of this. Not sure about coding wise, but teamwork on a task surely encourages RP. (and can be funny with the blame game when it goes wrong "I thought you said you knew what you were doing")
Hek,

You can take human shields like in a hostage situation, but it precludes you from doing many other activities while you are doing so. Plus you are forcibly holding someone- versus hiring someone to do a job for you. I'd argue they are very different things. Just my two chy coins.

Human shields are a thing.
The code exists for human shields and stuff, a system where instead of attacking you try to let your bodyguard get in the way could work similarly.
I think the bodyguard verb should be related to stats so the attacker can slip through and get to the person they want if they have good stats.

Otherwise you're gonna be looking at already tough characters hiring 4 immies for that extra pool of ht against their enemies.

Don’t knock a good immy army strategy.
In my opinion a tough character hiring 4 immies as meat shields to be hard to reach is CPAF
It might be themely but I think it's silly from a combat perspective if all you gotta do is 'bodyguard x' and then there is no way the opposition will be able to hit you without actually killing that other person, and they will basically act as an extra pool of health in combat.
(((Strategy)))
To be clear, I think that there should be skill an stat checks baked into the verb, same as basically everything else is in the game when it comes to coded systems that concern combat.

That said- hiring immies or younger characters to guard you in combat for a chance of swinging things in your favor- promising them the tiniest slice of pie in loot should you win? Taking them to a clinic to get their bullet riddled corpses revived? That's an amazing way to start plot hooking people into the real, engaging plots that we older character at an early age, and less of 'go buy me a ham sammich' RP as we get right now.

This could be a huge opportunity to start plot hooking and bringing some fresh faces into old conflicts, in my mind. Not to mention the various other schemes you could do. And besides- we already have a LOT of tools in game for dealing with crowds or weaker characters en masse. This suggestion would not change the existing dynamics there.

Sure, as long as immy characters don't give you the concrete unavoidable hp pool to withstand 2 extra shots everytime and the rolls are very balanced and checked.

Then it doesn't become a matter of armor or stats or tactics, it becomes a matter of "spend chy to buy extra endurance"

And, just to put it out there, those plot hooks and older characters using immy/midbies even in combat still happen even now and it's not just bring me a sandwich. I'm just generally against the idea of this mechanic being hire someone for extra stats.

Which it hopefully won't be since we all seem to be on board with it having stat skill checks.

Wow, his really blew up guys! Thanks for the great suggestions. I really hope this gets some traction, I hadn't even considered the bodyguard aspect, but I love it! It would also allow a combat centric character to take a newer or non-combat centric character around Whitmore, without having to worry about someone entering a room, robbing the new character, and running off abruptly while the other two are in the middle of typing their RP, as the bodyguard could intercept the thief, yeah?
I think the last time bodyguarding was brought up, there was GM mention of there needing to be a skill for this before any kind of implementation, otherwise it would change the meta very heavily. I think it's a cool idea but would definitely need to be balanced.

A bodyguard archetype would be cool, as there are a lot of non-combat characters that need to be deployed into sketchy situations for various reasons.

Bodyguarding skill is a valid point to bring up, but I mean do you really need it? Can we just assume that someone with reasonable weapons/fighting skill could defend someone else with their weapon/fighting skill or not based on the person and methods used to attack them? Sure, this would mean anyone could be a bodyguard, but anyone can also be hired back up attacking someone anyways.
You're probably right to some extent. I think an argument could be made that an assassin would have a different set of skills and experience (to some extent) than someone trained to protect someone. A lot of the skills would be transferable, but they're with a completely different objective.

More prepping areas and looking for hotspots vs. just shooting the fuck out of someone. That kind of thing.

Very similar stuff though I guess.

I think stat/skill checks moreso than an entire skill of it's own makes more sense.
Right, but what I am saying is currently in game you can gang up on someone, either offensively or defensively, it just takes manually inputting the command while the guy you are helping takes the damage. It’s still a massive advantage to the person who brought help. I don’t see a bodyguard skill implemented helping or hurting this tactic.
Just the other day there was some discussion about a lack of social RP. This seems like the ultimate bridge between combat and social RP. A social person who has the skills and resources to recruit other people to help them out, should absolutely be able to do that.

The only potential balance I could see would be limiting the number of bodyguard type characters based on charisma. Sort of like how Dungeons and Dragons used to limit the number of NPC followers a person could have based on their Charisma stat.

The more I think about it, it absolutely has to be tied to Charisma. Otherwise you end up in that situation where people who are OOCly charismatic will abuse the mechanic. While all those whose characters have invested in their Charisma, but may not be OOCly Charismatic we'll have a hard time recruiting other players to bodyguard for them.

Money trumps charisma when it comes to me protecting you...
What about using dodge to resolve this? That would kind of tank the immy meatshield move in some cases, but like, let's say Top Hitter A and Top Hitter B and CEO are in combat.

Top Hitter B does 'Guard CEO' and now he's focused on absorbing hits. He still gets to attack, but every time Hitter A attacks CEO, Hitter B gets some kind of dodge related check to see if he can jump in front of the attack and intercede on it?

@Ephemeralis

You are right. Wild that it needs to be said, but there it is. Add it to the list of all the other shit that shouldn't need to be said, but that gets said anyway.

Now, with that out of the way...

The real challenge with "charisma" is how do setup a system so that those who do not have it OOCly, can still utilize it ICly. That is a huge rabbit hole to go down, so let's not.

As it relates to bodyguarding, it might make sense to utilize some combination of Charisma and Perception to represent not only how many people a character can "lead" but also how many they can direct, or keep track of in combat. Not at all unlike how with increased Perception, a character can "watch" more people.

@Grizz,

You are right. Money trumps Charisma in many circumstances. Even assholes with enough money can get people to do things for them. Look at Epstein. And Trump.

I think the discussion here is how to mitigate the always ephemeral "game balance" issues such that legacy characters with oodles of chyen don't stream roll the rest of the game by financing an army of "bodyguards" to make them virtually untouchable.

That is why I suggested Charisma as a placeholder for Leadership.

Just a thought, but what about assist and bodyguard being two separate but related tasks? For example, there is a desire to somehow mechanically limit the number of bodyguards, and that makes sense, but say someone with a LOT of money hired a lead bodyguard, that has the perception and charisma (and intelligence?) to coordinate a large group of fairly inexperienced bodyguards. Now the individual with the Chyen only has to worry about the stats for one person, while the inexperience bodyguards are @assisting the main bodyguard rather than directly protecting the Mr./Mrs. Bigg.
I think the discussion here is how to mitigate the always ephemeral "game balance" issues such that legacy characters with oodles of chyen don't stream roll the rest of the game by financing an army of "bodyguards" to make them virtually untouchable.

Well, if that’s how they want to spend the money they earned, more power to them. I think the balance is the economy. Bodyguards ain’t free and if you’re selling yourself for free then that is on you.

Also, That would probably be a fringe case anyways. If you had experience managing bumbling solo’s you would understand that having 3 doofuses willing to bodyguard you on at the same time that you can afford is no easy task in its own right.

Another potential use of an assist system is RP based around teaching. If someone isn't skilled in something, an instructor could 'assist' them with the task. This has the OOC benefit of rewarding the actual behind the keyboard person with a little bit of a sense of accomplishment, when they manage a task that they otherwise couldn't do on their own, and maybe even has some in game dialogue that states just -what- the teacher lent to it (I.E. with Instructors dextrous assistance, you manage to plug the right wires into the PieceOfTech and get it working).
Well, if that’s how they want to spend the money they earned, more power to them. I think the balance is the economy.

I think the concern isn't hiring semi-competent, bumbling solos who are going to charge a fair amount. The concern would be giving ten immies a grand each and having a wall of human shields.

All of this is just conjecture though, given that the OP is just a suggestion and nowhere near being coded into reality.

I think this conversation has become very focused on the bodyguard aspect. Which would only be a slight application of this suggestion. I was thinking more in the lines of other practical things. Surgery? mechanics? as RedSteel said. Good for teaching as well.
I think this conversation has become very focused on the bodyguard aspect. Which would only be a slight application of this suggestion. I was thinking more in the lines of other practical things. Surgery? mechanics? as RedSteel said. Good for teaching as well.
On Bodyguarding:

A side project MOO Sadean and I made back in the day called Straylight Run had a bodyguarding skill which was sort of similar to escort where when someone was bodyguarding you, they would take the attack roll for you-- IF their bodyguarding skill beat out your assasianation skill. it even allowed them to parry or fully dodge. It was an interesting concept. I'm not completely against it but since we aren't going to add new skills to the game at this point, it makes it somewhat tough to easily implement. Still, possibly worth it's own topic since this one is more on assisting.

On assisting for lifting and such:

I get where y'all are coming from. The problem with this kinda thing is the mutual action locks that would be needed for everyone assisting. If anyone remembers the issues with 'escort' for a long time where people would be stuck escorting, or stop escorting randomly, that was a similar issue. Managing multiple characters action state such that if one character drops the thing because they 'drop' 'are killed' 'disconnect' 'move too quickly' 'whatever else' becomes complex and is prone to bugs.

I'm not saying we couldn't do it, just not sure that it adds enough value to be worth it? Still willing to be convinced though.

Just resurrecting this discussion since it focused previously on bodyguarding and object interaction, and I think it would be interesting to consider again from a non-combat standpoint.

Combat skills are somewhat unique in the sense that multiple players can 'pool' their skills together to become something stronger than the most UE invested individual character among them.

It might be interesting if non-combat skills could do this as well with an @assist command or something similar, where two players (or more?) could cooperate on non-combat skill checks by pooling their skills together, with some percentage of the lower skilled player's skill being added to the higher player's skill, when the check is made, while they remained together.

Things this could enable:

+ Teaching characters (and players) to drive and fly, or one character helping another drive in poor weather, with less risk of crashing for the learner.

+ Two (or more?) characters working together on a tech job (like taking down super tough cameras, or cracking advanced tech) that neither of them alone could manage.

+ Art collaboration that would be more valuable and more showy than a single artist working alone.

+ Giving high UE specialists a reason to work with lower-skilled characters on jobs to make their work even better.

Solid bimp 0x1mm, I like all of these possible interactions. Being able to utilize teamwork outside of combat to overcome the abilities of someone who has spent a lot of UE in something to the expressed purpose of making their checks difficult to overcome will 100% add to RP. The Higher-skilled character now has threats to deal with, while the lower skilled characters have to RP and plan to work together.
I like the idea of skill cooperation and being able to assist / educate other characters.

I strong believe that there needs to be a new "teaching" skill, or something similar. Being able to do something well, and being able to teach someone how to do something well are two different things.

I've run into this a couple places IRL.

The first is training martial arts. I have seen some amazing martial artists who were so naturally gifted, that they simply did not understand how good they were. Because of that, they did not have the empathy / understanding of how to effectively coach / teach less naturally capable students around those student's struggles.

Often times it were the students who struggled the most to develop competency with the art who ended up being the best teachers.

The second is in managing technical people. It's almost a cliche when there are very competent technical people who suck at managing and mentoring other technical people. This is something I ran into personally when I moved into management. I had to pick up a whole bunch of communications skills to effectively manage people whose level of aptitude to pick up new technologies wasn't equal to my own. It's not that they were dumb, or that I was smart. Different people have different ways of acquiring knowledge and skills. A good teacher has to understand those differences, and not everyone is naturally a good teacher.

Given the difficulty of creating and integrating new skills into the MOO, it might make sense to develop some formulas.

For example, an "average" character can only contribute 25% of their skill level to a collective effort.

But a good teacher, perhaps defined as someone with a high Intelligence, or high Charisma, or a mixture of both, could contribute > 25%.

@Hek, I see Oldbie+Oldbie teaming up to make unremovable cameras and such.

As long as the formula used makes it so like, 3 Curves equals the skill of 2 Oldbies, then that sounds somewhat reasonable.

There's already a pretty good rubric to follow with combat, in terms of how many people of X skill will overcome person of Y skill.

Obviously it's a complicated thing with many contributing factors, which is only known with access to the code behind it, but it makes a lot of sense to me that some comparable balancing that exists between combat characters also applies, at least to some degree, to non-combat characters.

I think skill pooling for tasks opens up a whole universe of cool interactions and cooperative RP with skills and jobs that are now mostly lone-wolf affairs.

In fact I'd say that only the highest UE skilled person being the one that matters really disincentivizes cooperation and learning. If I am an expert fixer, there's not really any functional benefit for me to show someone else how to do it.

It's often fun RP if you're into that (although a lot of people aren't into sharing their skill-based info), and fosters good long-term networking, but at the end of the day it's RP and when the rubber hits the road it's better for you to just do all those skill rolls yourself.

Having an actual coded benefit would greatly encourage player cooperation I think. Very high UE characters could cooperate to become extremely powerful, but that is already true of very powerful combat characters, so I don't think it's necessarily a third rail that can't be touched.

@YNK

I am pretty sure there is a -max- roll that is possible, so 2 max skill/stat character working together would well exceed that, meaning it would be impossible to have a camera that can't be taken down with enough effort thrown at it.

It not, I'm sure the system would implement it as a hard coded limit to a skill check, so there's no such thing as an impossible takedown.