Split Group Encounters

mica
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:32 pm

Split Group Encounters

Postby mica » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:25 pm

Occasionally (ok, almost always), Shaggy and Scooby get separated from the rest of the gang. Then something happens to the two groups resulting in conflict for one or possibly both simultaneously.

Where there is one conflict - how do GM's deal with one or more characters being in a separate location enjoying a martini for example, while the rest are scrapping in the alley outside - do they still allow the martini sippers to play cards each round and trade or rule that unless they are directly involved, they cannot influence the situation through the meta-game of trading cards and use of supporter etc.

How do other GM's handle two simultaneous conflicts?
Deal with one encounter in its entirety, forcing non-present characters/players to have no involvement whatsoever, then deal with the other using the same caveats. This will of course prevent some players from trading cards due to lack of pools.
Run both simultaneously, with one drama card covering both encounters and allowing cards to be traded from pools from separate locations etc.
Run both simultaneously but also split the drama deck and apply different cards to different locations.
Force encounters to include everyone no matter how draconian the GM influence is.

User avatar
Atama
Posts: 642
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:30 am
Location: Auburn, WA

Re: Split Group Encounters

Postby Atama » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:01 pm

Shaggy and Scooby will get into a DSR where they have to build then swallow giant sandwiches whole (turning their necks into accordions, requiring Soak checks).

User avatar
Gargoyle
Posts: 1547
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:20 pm

Re: Split Group Encounters

Postby Gargoyle » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:19 pm

mica wrote:Occasionally (ok, almost always), Shaggy and Scooby get separated from the rest of the gang. Then something happens to the two groups resulting in conflict for one or possibly both simultaneously.

Where there is one conflict - how do GM's deal with one or more characters being in a separate location enjoying a martini for example, while the rest are scrapping in the alley outside - do they still allow the martini sippers to play cards each round and trade or rule that unless they are directly involved, they cannot influence the situation through the meta-game of trading cards and use of supporter etc.

How do other GM's handle two simultaneous conflicts?
Deal with one encounter in its entirety, forcing non-present characters/players to have no involvement whatsoever, then deal with the other using the same caveats. This will of course prevent some players from trading cards due to lack of pools.
Run both simultaneously, with one drama card covering both encounters and allowing cards to be traded from pools from separate locations etc.
Run both simultaneously but also split the drama deck and apply different cards to different locations.
Force encounters to include everyone no matter how draconian the GM influence is.


I generally discourage splitting the party by designing adventures that don't facilitate it. But there are exceptions. In Orrorsh I give them all sorts of incentives to split up, like the old "You have to do X and Y, but there isn't time to do both, or both have to be done at the same time" thing.

If they insist on splitting up, I let them do it, and I go back and forth between the two groups and don't let them trade cards or use Supporter, etc. I think that's good because it discourages splitting up, and just feels right to me.

This weekend I'm running an adventure where bombs are going off simultaneously at hard points in Hong Kong. They can't stop them all, and won't be able to stop enough of them unless they split up. It's Core Earth, and my thinking is to have the Delphi Council call out some help and let them run other Storm Knights. They may split up or not, up to them, but other SK's are going to show up at the bomb sites to help and they can play those. It's sort of a one off thing, not our normal deal and we have a player missing this week and maybe a new one, so it will be a chance to play some new types of characters.
"That old chestnut?"

Gargoyle

User avatar
Greymarch2000
Posts: 313
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:48 pm

Re: Split Group Encounters

Postby Greymarch2000 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:39 pm

Unless they phone each other or something I wouldn't let them use trade or use cards for each other. Generally I prefer these things to be RPed out in some manner.

I've not thought about 2 simultaneous encounters. My initial gut feeling would be to draw 2 different Drama cards but since some of the design philosophy seems to be about simplification (ie one roll for all of a characters actions in a turn) after think about it I'd probably go with one Drama card. Though having to think up different setbacks might be a PiTa

cloudshaper2k
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:57 pm

Re: Split Group Encounters

Postby cloudshaper2k » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:27 pm

I would cut back and forth between the two scenes. As a player, I've been sidelined while part of the group played out an encounter. There's very little fun about staring at your phone while the rest of the group games.

utsukushi
Posts: 728
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: Split Group Encounters

Postby utsukushi » Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:01 pm

I like to start out by dividing each of the characters in two, preferably with an Electric Katana.

My gut feeling is, like people have been saying, that separated groups should have separated sets of cards.

BUT... just as another way of looking at it, though, cloudshaper2k is right. If you have two pitched battles or something happening at once, maybe you can cut back and forth and run them simultaneously, but if you have two players that are just `inside' and missing the fight with nothing really to do, then still letting them build their Pool and trade cards might help keep them engaged. It lets them participate in the strategy in a different way. So while it "makes sense" to say you have to be in the scene to do that, I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

We've also talked about how smaller groups have a harder time and how a lot of that is just because they have fewer cards. A group of two and a group of three is not equal to a group of five. And since the card play tends to be the hardest thing for GMs to gauge difficulty levels around...

All in all, I'm not sure it's necessary to mess with that. It really might be better to just leave that as a meta thing and say that during separate combats, or even if not everyone is in combat, they can, indeed, still play to their Pool and be involved that way. That said, I haven't actually done any GMing in Eternity still, so... as with so many of my thoughts, it's all pure theory for me.

Solid theory, though. Like, way better than mere experience, or a paltry couple years of playtesting and intensive working things through on a dedicated team. Um. OK, possibly just a little better.

Savioronedge
Posts: 277
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:55 pm

Re: Split Group Encounters

Postby Savioronedge » Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:20 am

When Shaggy and Scooby split off from the others, they usually end up with both sub-groups in simultaneous DSRs(chases) and the GM (camera/script) swaps between them.

This question is important for situations like godnet runs... If the GM can swap between what is happening in the godnet and out, nobody has to feel Left out, ignored, or contrived into any one else's moment to shine.

Fuzzy
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:39 pm

Re: Split Group Encounters

Postby Fuzzy » Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:50 pm

Split group encounters can be done quite well in Torg with a bit of planning or creativity. Consider the final scenes of Mission Impossible (last one, whichever it was).

Three simultaneous groups: a fight, a fight/skill challenge, and a skill challenge.

A few examples in Torg:

A hacker goes into the godnet while a group of allies guards his or her body. The hacker gets in a ways, but as soon as something happens the police drop in.

In pan pacifica, someone goes into a business meeting while others wait outside. There's an ambush. The group outside has to get to the people inside while the group inside tries to survive.

In Nile, where... there's a fight while someone has to sneak in and disarm a bomb/device/gizmo

Both sides can play cards or use powers to alter the initiative. If they are in communication, it might be reasonable to share destiny cards or play supporters.

Sometimes, though, you have the "thief problem". This is a classic in D&D. The party wants to rush in, or get into a fight, or do something otherwise complicated. A thief just wants to sneak in and get one thing, but the rest of the party loves their plate mail armor. In modern D&D, at least sneaking is a skill, and some party members might be OK. It was worse in old games.

In Torg, it's probably just better to handle this with a skill challenge (fast, easy), unless there's a plot reason not to. The game is really very flexible.

johntfs
Posts: 215
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:31 am

Re: Split Group Encounters

Postby johntfs » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:47 am

In the "Burden of Glory" adventure, you pretty much have to split the party if you want to achieve all the goals (saving the base, uprooting the stelae and claiming the Eternity shard). Without the willingness to split the group will only achieve two of those goals at best.

User avatar
Gargoyle
Posts: 1547
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:20 pm

Re: Split Group Encounters

Postby Gargoyle » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:05 am

johntfs wrote:In the "Burden of Glory" adventure, you pretty much have to split the party if you want to achieve all the goals (saving the base, uprooting the stelae and claiming the Eternity shard). Without the willingness to split the group will only achieve two of those goals at best.


I don't know for sure the intent, but IMO I think the point of that was to force players to make a hard decisions so that they would choose which objectives to complete and which ones to allow to fail rather than forcing them to split up. I believe it was designed that way because it's was a GenCon event that decides canon storylines, and that the writer assumed they would not split up the party or that if they did it would be disastrous or at least another difficult choice.

I'm a fan of this type of adventure because I don't feel like player characters should be able to fulfill every single victory condition every time. The setting is supposed to be desperate and this is a good way to inject that tone.
"That old chestnut?"

Gargoyle


Return to “Rules Questions (TORG)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests