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Old 12-13-2012, 06:30 PM   #1
stories with bears
 
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Default Skill Roll Collaboration?

I've searched but can't find anything, really, on the topic of skill collaboration (if such a thing even exists!).

Is there any RAW way to reflect more than one player working together on a skill roll? For example, it seems like a team of surgeons working together should have a decent bonus to a Surgery roll—more eyes to spot potential screw-ups, and more hands to provide assistance.

At the same time, though, there are skills in which collaboration could prove disastrous if one of the people involved is incompetent. If someone blunders into the surgery with a single point of First Aid, they could botch the entire thing no matter how skilled the rest of the team is.

If there is no RAW way to reflect this, any suggestions for house rules? I considered averaging the skills of everyone involved, but it seems somehow "off" that a surgeon with Surgery 14 has a better shot working alone than he does with two Surgery 12 assistants.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Skill Roll Collaboration?

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Originally Posted by stories with bears View Post
I've searched but can't find anything, really, on the topic of skill collaboration (if such a thing even exists!).
That sounds like you want the rules on complementary skills in GURPS Action 2 p. 5 or...um...somewhere in Social Engineering. This allows one character to roll against a skill relevant to a task and, if successful, give a bonus to someone else.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Skill Roll Collaboration?

Also see B346.

- More than one person can count as Extra Time in the same interval. That is, rather than one person taking two hours for a one-hour task, you can use two people for one hour. (This option isn't quite so useful if you use the complementary skills rule, as that can get you better bonuses.)

- Supervisors can add +1 or +2 to their workers on Long Tasks by making an Admin or Leadership roll
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Skill Roll Collaboration?

I'll give both of those a look! Thanks!
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Skill Roll Collaboration?

I find the rules for Complementary skills from Action 2 a little too stingy - without a critical, they provide a -1 or +1 at most. My houserule is as follows:

Skill Assistance: When applicable (not always), two characters may assist each other on a skill roll. The character who succeeds best has their result modified as follows:

Helper critically fails: Critical failure affects both characters.
Helper fails: Margin reduced by 1.
Helper succeeds by 0 to 4: Margin improved by 1.
Helper succeeds by 5 to 9: Margin improved by 2.
Helper succeeds by 10+ or critically: Margin improved by 3.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: Skill Roll Collaboration?

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Originally Posted by Dustin View Post

I find the rules for Complementary skills from Action 2 a little too stingy
They are, but deliberately so . . . you can in theory get a very large bonus from several helpers making rolls: "If the GM agrees, a master skill might sometimes be able to benefit from several complementary skills!" And quite a few examples allow exactly that, like the ones on pp. 7, 8, 13, 15, 16, etc., and of course ACT (p. 17). For instance, a hacker could get bonuses from Computer Programming (for writing code), Electronics Operation (Surveillance) (for monitoring), Expert Skill (Computer Security) (also for writing code), Fast-Talk (for social engineering), and Scrounging (for Dumpster-diving), giving from +5 to +10 if things go well.
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Skill Roll Collaboration?

From bio-tech:

Quote:
Assistants: +1 per assistant with Physician, Surgery, or (if appropriate to the equipment used) Electronics Operation (Medical) at 12+; +2 for skill15+ Maximum bonus +6
Bio-tech pp 138

Bio-tech is actually really good for ideas on surgery for all kinds of things. It also raises a good point that there can be people with skills to do all kinds of jobs which don't require a surgery skill.

The same logic can be applied to most things. How many people does the job need (assistants)? How hard is the job? The job should be appropriately difficult that those people are required and one person couldn't conceivably do it quicker or easier.

A simple surgery might not require that team to be successful, but a real complex one would be slow and dangerous alone.

Exception might be something like a race car pit stop where a single bad team member might put a tire on wrong, and to me that would be more focused on that character.

In the example you gave, I think as part of the story it might need a break down?

"But I'm just a waitress!"
"I know, but today you're my assistant. Now we're going to restart his heart using this car battery." *Cheesy 80s disaster movie music*

The above example could involve all kinds of things such as fainting etc ... I think the question is to ask, what does it mean in my group's story?

The example of a person with 1 first aid walking into a surgery I think would be more to do with the surgeons involved noticing it before something happens. A failed check might result in a negative, if the surgery fails it damages the patient ... then check if the surgeons notice, and continue till patient is stone cold.

In a realistic scenario I think it would be unlikely for such an assistant to stay long or get far in a 14 hour surgery. I just wouldn't treat such a dramatic event as a single collaboration roll I guess.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:03 AM   #8
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Default Re: Skill Roll Collaboration?

I specifically permit individuals with First Aid to assist Surgery. I would say that a lot of professional nurses in certain specialties have First Aid as their primary job skill . . . well, what GURPS calls "First Aid," whose main roles are (1) stopping bleeding (pp. B420, B424), (2) treating generalized shock (p. B424), (3) resuscitation (p. B425), and (4) clearing airways (p. B428). Really, these are all valuable skills in a surgical environment. My rule is that since three people can surround a supine figure to pin him (p. B392), three can surround him to help him, too. I allow up to two First Aid rolls by helpers to give a person with Surgery a bonus. Since First Aid defaults to full Physician, I allow Physician to work, too – and also Surgery, of course.

I also allow up to one further person to roll vs. Electronics Operation (Medical) in a fully equipped theatre. That, too, gives a bonus. It represents competent assistance with whatever monitoring equipment and scopes are available.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: Skill Roll Collaboration?

Note however that sometimes people aren't collaborating so much as doing another necessary job. The anaesthetist for example.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: Skill Roll Collaboration?

Similarly, some jobs may require more than one worker, and trying to do them with less would give a skill penalty. If the operation requires three hands, then a paramedic who has to do it without an assistant is at a penalty.
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