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Support Rolls for Rituals

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  • Support Rolls for Rituals

    Do supporting character participating in ETU rituals face the same penalties as the lead caster on their Support rolls?

    Explanation: This is a wonky situation where we are dealing with SWADE rules in a system designed around SWEX. The biggest difference in SWADE Support rules and the old cooperative roll rules are that cooperative rolls were required to use the same skill as the lead character. Under SWADE Support rules, it is more narrative and open-ended.

    With ETU rituals, I feel like the intent was for the only way to support a lead ritualist to be to participate in a ritual using either the Occult skill or Smarts -2. So in my games, I have been keeping that tradition alive; there is a lead ritualist who actually completes the dramatic task, and the supporting ritualists have to make Occult rolls to Support. But here is the thing: do the Supporting characters need to deal with the ritual's base casting modifier penalty? I have been saying yes, but the way I'm now starting to view it is different. It comes in two parts:

    1. It's kind of silly. If you're casting a really difficult ritual (-4 casting modifier), then it's almost pointless to have everybody support at a -4. That virtually guarantees that nobody succeeds. The point of the supporting ritualists is to help the lead ritualist overcome that -4 penalty.

    2. Narratively, it really doesn't make much sense, either. Using pulp fiction and media as an example, supporting ritualists are usually just circled around the lead ritualist and chanting. The lead ritualist is doing all the heavy lifting. It seems to me like the Occult knowledge needed to hold hands and chant is much lower than to actually perform all the complex steps to "follow the recipe" of the ritual. Like, if a sous chef is the lead cook on a difficult dish, and he has his minions doing things like dicing vegetables for him, then I feel like they are all using the "cooking" skill, but the guy combining everything and cooking it has a higher penalty than the helpers who are each focused on one simple task.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Leatherneck556 View Post
    Do supporting character participating in ETU rituals face the same penalties as the lead caster on their Support rolls?

    Explanation: This is a wonky situation where we are dealing with SWADE rules in a system designed around SWEX. The biggest difference in SWADE Support rules and the old cooperative roll rules are that cooperative rolls were required to use the same skill as the lead character. Under SWADE Support rules, it is more narrative and open-ended.

    With ETU rituals, I feel like the intent was for the only way to support a lead ritualist to be to participate in a ritual using either the Occult skill or Smarts -2. So in my games, I have been keeping that tradition alive; there is a lead ritualist who actually completes the dramatic task, and the supporting ritualists have to make Occult rolls to Support. But here is the thing: do the Supporting characters need to deal with the ritual's base casting modifier penalty? I have been saying yes, but the way I'm now starting to view it is different.
    Per the ETU Conversion document, "Where core rules differ, the Game Master can use whichever version she prefers. Both versions will work just fine in your game, though those presented in SWADE are a bit more structured and streamlined."

    I think the issue with the above is it applies one effect of an old rule (the limit on Trait used) while simultaneously questioning whether to remove another effect (the penalties applied). Now, the GM can choose whatever they want, but the "official" recommendation is to do it one way or the other.

    Meaning, either the old way....

    Assistants must use Occult or Smarts–2 and suffer all the same penalties, but just one character could provide up to the +4 bonus (on a really good roll) and the lead only needs 5 successes in five rounds.

    Or the rules from SWADE...

    Assistants can use any skill (with GM's permission), they only suffer a penalty for the Task if they or the lead have a Club (which would stack), each is limited to providing at most a +2 bonus (with the same +4 max between all of them) with the potential for a critical failure to inflict a –2. Certainly easier to help, but a five round Dramatic Task requires 8 successes (not 5).

    Again, if as GM, someone wants to use some combination of those, that's up to them, but "officially," it's suggested to use one or the other.

    Hope that helps!
    Clint Black
    Forum Admin & Rules Answer Guy
    Savage Worlds Brand Manager

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