Intimidating Mobs/Crowds

mica
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Intimidating Mobs/Crowds

Postby mica » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:43 am

How do GM's apply the mechanics here?

RAW require the character to specify exactly how many people they will intimidate, getting the appropriate penalty.

How do they handle a threat to what may be dozens of people such as, 'All right, I'm coming out! Any man I see out there, I'm gonna kill him! Any sonofabitch takes a shot at me.. I'm not only gonna kill him, I'm gonna kill his wife, all his friends, and burn his damn house down!'

The character has no idea how many people he is intimidating, applying -2 per person after the first seems wildly inappropriate (make your check at -40...), so what sort of target number should be used?

Even when there are less than dozens, it always seems odd to specify the quantity you intend to intimidate - when actually you want to intimidate as many as possible, throw the die and see how many you succeeded on.

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Kuildeous
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Re: Intimidating Mobs/Crowds

Postby Kuildeous » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:12 am

I view Intimidation as one of two ways: A combat skill and a social skill.

In combat, the numbers are important because you’re trying to convince many people to stop shooting or to run away or something. Or at least shake them into being less effective in battle.

In social situations, I assign a DN based on the situation. Sometimes a die roll isn’t even necessary. Using your example, I’d apply the following:

* The villains feel they have the upper hand due to sheer number superiority alone: No roll. The PC’s words are mere bluster.
* The villains heard rumors of this PC single-handedly taking out a bunch of baddies: DN 20. It probably won’t work, but they could still back down.
* The villains personally witnessed the PC gun down a bunch of baddies: DN 12. They feel a little safe with their numbers, but they know that’s not a guarantee.
* As above, but the villains aren’t particularly invested in taking on this PC: No roll. They don’t fee it’s worth it and scatter.
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Istrian
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Re: Intimidating Mobs/Crowds

Postby Istrian » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:48 am

In combat, usually, I consider that whoever the PC is intimidating will be the one leading the roll next turn.

For example if I have 12 Shocktroopers against 4 PCs and one PC uses an Interaction Attack against them, the attack is directed against a single Shocktrooper. If the trooper is Stymied, then when Shocktrooper acts, they lead a group of, say 3, and I roll a Combined Action with 2 helpers and a final -2 on the roll from Stymied.

If the PC had used their interaction attack against 3 enemies with the same result, I would have had the 3 Stymied enemies lead 3 separate groups against a different PC, meaning 3 Combined Action rolls with a Stymied each.

Outside of combat I just use a static DN depending on circumstances and arguments, or an opposed roll if a major villain is around to "encourage" the Mob to stay.

GeniusCodeMonkey
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Re: Intimidating Mobs/Crowds

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:23 pm

How does reversing the combined actions table? So intimidating 10-14 people is a -5 to your roll or charming 100 would be -10 etc.

But I would only do this outside of combat.

With the example of intimidating the shocktrooper before exiting a building I would add another-2 because they can't see you as your giving you spill.
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Sword of Spirit
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Re: Intimidating Mobs/Crowds

Postby Sword of Spirit » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:02 pm

I haven't figured out a solution for how to do Interaction Attacks against mobs that I really like.

If you just say that the penalty applies to the mob in general, then if you Very Stymie a mob of 5 opponents, they are now less of a threat than a single unhindered opponent. That seems wrong.

On the other hand, I'm not happy with the way I'm doing it, which is to say that any foes you apply a condition to split off from the mob (if you multi-targeted and got more than 1 they'd split off into a separate mob). Obviously, because of the way mobs work splitting one creates a greater threat, so no one ever does this, which effectively means that you just don't use Interaction Attacks against mobs.

I'd like something that falls in-between those unhappy extremes.

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Kuildeous
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Re: Intimidating Mobs/Crowds

Postby Kuildeous » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:45 pm

Sword of Spirit wrote:If you just say that the penalty applies to the mob in general, then if you Very Stymie a mob of 5 opponents, they are now less of a threat than a single unhindered opponent. That seems wrong.


Why would this be wrong? If five combatants are distracted or cowed enough that they all are nearly bumbling (enough to almost guarantee that a Good result is merely standard), then I would expect the one focused guy to be a bigger threat then the five wishy-washy types.

Imagine the Storm Knight being surrounded by six thugs. He intimidate five of them. Those guys are going to be hanging back and making half-assed attempts to engage the Storm Knight. That one guy, however, is going to walk right up to the Storm Knight and punch him. It seems right to me.
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mica
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Re: Intimidating Mobs/Crowds

Postby mica » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:22 am

Imagine the Storm Knight being surrounded by six thugs. He intimidate five of them.

To me this does not make any sense, imagine, 'If you don't feck off I'm gonna kill ya all, except you mate, I'm not talking to you, you're safe, go ahead, give me a kicking with all you have got.'

I see the logic of intimidating the leader of a mob but giving a penalty due to the moral support of his cronies. Then it is a case of the result applying to the mob. The penalty of -2 per extra person seems a bit brutal while the value chart as a penalty feels a bit weak.

While you could just treat the action against 1 and ask the player what they want to achieve before the roll (and equate to stymie, vulnerable, player call etc) then its a case of for every 2 points over the TN, they affect another enemy. This is sort of like the initial statement in that it could lead to 5 of the six becoming vulnerable but does not require the player to specify a quantity initially. Oddly it does not feel as brutal, possibly because it is not a case of affect the entire crowd or nothing result. It does however still leave the issue of some splitting of the mob due to individual penalties.

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Kuildeous
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Re: Intimidating Mobs/Crowds

Postby Kuildeous » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:12 am

mica wrote:
Imagine the Storm Knight being surrounded by six thugs. He intimidate five of them.

To me this does not make any sense, imagine, 'If you don't feck off I'm gonna kill ya all, except you mate, I'm not talking to you, you're safe, go ahead, give me a kicking with all you have got.'


No, if the player tries to use that for their intimidation, that wouldn’t make any sense at all. I’d question the player’s intent because that doesn’t sound intimidating at all. If the player needs help, I’d suggest more effective intimidation phrases.

I’m not seeing a problem with splitting mobs, but maybe I run mobs differently. In my games, I never make groups of more than 4, since any more than that, and you have diminishing returns on how effective they hit. The group of 25 shocktroopers only have a +4 advantage over 4 of them, so that’s nearly a success level with the addition of 21 shocktroopers.

If my group affects part of a group, then I’m okay with making them flow differently. Two of my guys are affected? Okay, those two make their own roll at Stymied. The other two may attack with another group of four. In that regard, it’s kind of double-dipping the interaction attack since it makes the larger mob less effective on top of applying the penalty. Then when Stymied goes away, the mob reforms. That way, it avoids the problem of making mobs a bigger threat by giving them more attack rolls.
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mica
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Re: Intimidating Mobs/Crowds

Postby mica » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:48 am

No, if the player tries to use that for their intimidation, that wouldn’t make any sense at all. I’d question the player’s intent because that doesn’t sound intimidating at all. If the player needs help, I’d suggest more effective intimidation phrases.
Apologies was being somewhat facetious - just can't see how you would direct intimidation against 5 of the six thugs.

Seems counter intuitive to pre-limit yourself by stating the number you are trying to affect before you roll. You are either kicking yourself if you roll 20's or frustrated because you chose 6 targets and fail to affect any.

As you suggest, making the player be very specific on their intimidation phraseology and keeping mobs down to modest numbers and reforming on the fly may make the situation less 'mechanical'.

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Greymarch2000
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Re: Intimidating Mobs/Crowds

Postby Greymarch2000 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:30 am

I mean you could just say the other ones were further back and didn't see/hear clearly. What the player decides for rules purposes and what the character are trying to are not necessarily the same thing.


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