8 thoughts on “A quick and I think simple question.”

  1. I believe Jeremy Strandberg’s intention is for a Group’s HP score to represent the HP of each follower. However, when I personally use the follower rules for Freebooters on the Frontier, my house rule is that the HP score represents the whole Group, because I like the abstraction.

  2. Jason Lutes now you’ve got me curious as to how that actually plays out.

    Like, if you have a group of followers engage with an orc berserker, and the orc berserk does, say, 7 damage against the group’s 9 HP… what does that look like in the fiction? Are you describing 7/9ths of the group being killed or injured? One or two individuals being brutally killed and the others close to loosing their bowels? Or something completely different?

  3. Either of those descriptions might work, depending on the situation. Freebooters PCs start with very low HP (1d4 to 1d10), and the game emphasizes character mortality, so the brutal slaughter of NPCs suits the theme. I have also experimented with reversing the DW rules for getting attacked by multiple foes — if the Group has 5 members, I might ask the players to roll the orc berserker’s damage 5 times and apply the lowest result. It’s a handy way to abstract the idea that there’s a bunch of folks scrambling around in the melee, without having to track 5 individual HP scores. “The orc swings its great cleaver, and two of the porters end up spattered against the wall.” Of course, unless the Group is a squad of men-at-arms, they’re generally staying as far a way from fighting as possible.

    One thing I like about thinking of them all as a sort of lump is that when an individual is singled out with a name or other detail, we make a note of it, and they might graduate to full-fledged NPC at the next Make Camp or when the party returns to town. It feels like an anonymous crowd of level-0 folks getting winnowed down until the survivors stand out, and the PCs end up rooting for and looking after those survivors.

  4. Huh. I guess that Freebooters doesn’t have a principle of “Name every person,” then–which fits the more brutal tone!

    What you’re describing doesn’t actually sound very far off from what I suggest in the other thread. When resolving things for the group as a whole, it looks like you’re using the damage vs. group HP as a way to inform your narrative. I imagine in your example, if that orc berserker did more damage than the group’s HP, it’d have taken all the porters out, right?

    Definitely like the idea of rolling X times and taking the lowest die when the group of followers outnumbers the foe. Do you do something similar for PCs wading into a group of bad guys? (i.e. PC rolls X times and takes the lowest, while they roll X times and take the highest)

  5. I haven’t tried that, no. I think that would work great if a lump of enemies was defined as a Group and had a single HP score.

    When a PC wades in and gets the 7+ on their Fight roll, I have them roll damage and then either apply it to a single foe and carry over excess damage to the next, and do on; or distribute the damage evenly among however many foes I think they could reasonably hit. But I should emphasize that PCs in my Freebooters game are generally so cautious that I’ve only seen one instance so far of a Fighter wading in like that.

  6. I’m very glad I prompted this conversation. 🙂

    I’ve decided to go with each follower in the group has its own hit points for my own game, because I want them all to have a name. But I see it both ways.

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