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Old 02-12-2019, 10:13 AM   #1
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Multiple characters with shield wall training

Okay, so here's the scenario: Alice, Bob, and Carol are three Infinity agents undercover as Roman legionaries. They've been properly trained in Armatura (Martial Arts p. 150), complete with the Shield Wall Training perk. They get attacked by some bandits, and form up a shield wall in response, with Alice in the center, and Bob and Carol on her left and right, respectively. The first bandit attacks Alice and scores a hit. What happens next?

They would all prefer "Alice not getting stabbed" to saving their blocks for future attacks, but because there are multiple bandits, they definitely want to save as many blocks for future attacks as possible. So: does anyone who wants to protect Alice have to declare before any dice are rolled, "wasting" their blocks if multiple rolls succeed? Or can Bob roll first, let Alice see the result of his roll before she decides if she wants to roll, then Alice rolls if Bob fails, then Carol rolls only if absolutely necessary?
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: Multiple characters with shield wall training

I don't think there's another case where defences are declared before they are used, so this shouldn't happen here. I'd go in order of Speed, with each character deciding whether or not to Block and rolling their Block in order.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Multiple characters with shield wall training

Alice, Bob and Carol also have the Teamwork perk, as part of Armatura, so they can (and should) have a plan for this.

One plausible plan would be for each individual attacked to try their own Block first, then whoever else is closest to the attack tries theirs, then the third person.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:49 AM   #4
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: Multiple characters with shield wall training

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Alice, Bob and Carol also have the Teamwork perk, as part of Armatura, so they can (and should) have a plan for this.
Reading the text of the Teamwork perk in Martial Arts, I'm not sure I see the relevance? This sounds like a Battle Drill or something.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Multiple characters with shield wall training

We often have this same issue with Sacrificial Parry. We play that the character getting attacked always defends last, the others in turn order.
So if Alice, Bob and Carol go in ABC order and Alice gets hit, Bob gets the first chance to Block for her. If he successfully Blocks, that's that--proceed to the next attack. If he declines the opportunity to block or fails his Block, Carol gets the opportunity to use a Block.
Finally, should Carol fail or decline, Alice can defend normally.

This is also an issue with some Blocking spells.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:19 PM   #6
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: Multiple characters with shield wall training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
I don't think there's another case where defences are declared before they are used, so this shouldn't happen here. I'd go in order of Speed, with each character deciding whether or not to Block and rolling their Block in order.
This might be the right take. It's not how GURPS generally handles things, and you'd kind of expect any sort of simultaneous decision making to be called out explicitly. OTOH we're talking about stuff that happens in less than a second—which would argue for not giving players 100% of the info they might wish they had in order to make a decision.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:58 PM   #7
Rupert
 
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Default Re: Multiple characters with shield wall training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
This might be the right take. It's not how GURPS generally handles things, and you'd kind of expect any sort of simultaneous decision making to be called out explicitly. OTOH we're talking about stuff that happens in less than a second—which would argue for not giving players 100% of the info they might wish they had in order to make a decision.
Oh, I just found something that's possibly relevant: "Sacrificial Dodge", B375.
Quote:
You can defend a friend by throwing yourself into the path of an attack against him. To do so, you must be close enough to interpose yourself between your friend and his attacker by taking a step (see Step, p. 368). Announce this after the enemy makes his attack roll but before your friend attempts his defense roll.
So, using the same for a shield wall, the characters who were not attacked need to go first, then if necessary the one being attacked." I'd still let them declare and resolve in order, so that the second character need not block if the first succeeded, except that the character actually attacked has to go last. The fact that the person you're defending might not have needed help and you'll never know is cost enough, I think.
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:45 AM   #8
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Default Re: Multiple characters with shield wall training

To be honest, I let them make the blocks in any order, with full information as to whether the last block succeeded. I'm a big believer in military formations being awesome and effective in RPG's. They often aren't, and this is a place to let them shine.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:28 AM   #9
D10
 
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Default Re: Multiple characters with shield wall training

Interesting, in my group we dont let it create multiple defenses against the same attack

If someone is defending for you, and that someone fails, you get hit
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