Group schticks

Something that I've thought of is how to use schticks to increase the feeling of the players being one solid group. When I started to play Feng Shui with my new roleplaying group I asked them to work out a group community that they belonged to, mostly to ease up my work in how they is dragged into the action. I suggested groups like Mission Impossible and Charlie's Angels and they came up with a car firm that imports cars with the name Earnest Earls Dynamic Imports (I don't know if they wanted to paraphrase "dynamic due" in some way). On the outside it's a firm that specialized in hotting up imported cars but in reality it's a disguised community for masked avengers, heroes, sorcerers and such "supernatural" beings that had withdrawned from their "normal" lives.

It was perfect for me, because their boss could order them to do (or go to) all kinds of missions (like Charlie's Angels) and it wouldn't be hard for me to put in new player characters because I could say that they were working on the firm. Ok, that was the background... what I really wanted to say was while I told them to make up a group that they belonged to, I also told them to make up a group schtick. It could be things like they get +1 on damage until the last of the battle (or AV, I haven't made up my mind about that) if they do a pose during the battle (like Charlie's Angels) or that they got a favorite vehicle that they could buy schitcks to (like in the game Star Wars).

After those examples I ran out of ideas, so I ask you if you can give some suggestions on group schticks. The only restriction I got is that the players must do something together to use the schtick and everyone should be able to use it. As for my group they got free (and cool) cars at the beginning of every movie (like Bond) and a wealth level of at least working stiff.

I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm betting you don't have Friends of the Dragons. It has a great selection of group schticks already in it.

Now, if you've got that book and are looking for more schticks then I'll need to dig out my book so I don't duplicate the great ideas in it.


Oh, didn't know of that book. :slight_smile: Good that others have had the same ideas as me then. Did some research and I found that the group rules didn't follow my way of thinking, but you can't get everything, can you? :slight_smile:

As a reference, I don't use Friends all too often. When I do use it, I find story ideas and it gives me a good chance to stretch my grey muscle.

Maybe you were thinking of Sync Schticks (in same book) - My personal favourite is Back-to-Back (it increases Tgh for each person with that schtick). I've always left it open for my players to come up with their own sync's. I find one of them always asks if they can mold a Back-to-Back into a sort of Tandem fighting. Where each one with the schtick adds another +Str to the damage.

Is that more what you were looking for?

Yes. :slight_smile:

The thing I was thinking of was that the players pays a share of experience points to get schticks that everyone could draw benefit of. Say for example that they buy the sync sctick "Back-to-Back", but they only pay for it once. Then they have to forfill some conditions to activate the schtick.

Like a schtick called "Home, sweet home" gives +1 in damage if they fight in their own apartment... or "Car pool" that gives one fortune point once per session to use when they are driving in their favorite car.

But I'm lost at just giving +1 AV or +1 damage. It's just silly if I have five schticks that gives +1 damage, because that could be explained in one schtick with examples on how to vary the schtick. I want to think outside the box. One of the sync's (from what I understood from the name) gave the players mooks. That's a splendid idea that can give me inspiration.

You could also look at something that would allow the players to pool their skills. I find that there are times between fights where my players all want to use their (let's say) Demolition skill. It's kind of counter-productive to let them all get their go. If you go with the one player who has the highest AV you'll find the rest don't find their skills have a point, or will start an "arms race" to see who can get the highest skill in a group.

So let them work together with a sync schtick. I'd say to make use of their ranks to an extent, and to get them rolling the dice. I find it makes them feel like more part of the action.

Just a thought, I'll try and post more as I come up with 'em.

Disclaimer: I have Friends of the Dragon, but I've not read it for a while, but this could be in it.

How about allowing each player with the "teamwork" schtick (or whatever you decide to call it) and the relevant skill add +1 to the highest AV in the group working on that task. That way, they get a bonus for working together, and it means that they then may need to work out how many people they need to help set the fuses/weld a plough to the GMC van/etc, and how many team members they need still fighting to cover their backs.

Actually, I'm tempted to include that as a "teamwork" rule anyway ... [grin]

I like that one - reflects knowing the layout, where every heavy object is and just how sturdy the partitions are.

Aye, it does.

The way FoD tends to work, IIRC*, is that it defines a Group Schtick (or two) for each kind of Group Show - these include Library (handy for research), Authority (ever wanted to order FBI agents around) and that kind of thing, BackUp ("Who ordered the SWAT team?") and also mooks ("There are twelve butlers outside. And they're angry!"). And then also mentions the Sync Schticks (which work when every person in the group who has that Schtick.

[size=75]* I'm going to go home tonight, read it, and discover I'm completely wrong, aren't I![/size]

I think it should be tested out to allow a +2. This is mostly because I was trying to encourage just one person using a skill. It also makes it more worth-while as a schtick. One more reason is that I usually run a game with 3-4 players at a time. If all four had the same skill, it would only be the first player's highest AV with a +6. I think +3 in that situation might be too low.

Don't forget that it would affect Sorcery, Martial Arts, and Guns. So you've got an extra +6 in combat against one target, but all four of the players have used their 3 shot action to accomplish it. (And if it were me, would need to time out their actions to make sure they all acted on the same shot.)

Oops. Good point! Especially if they've had to spend a schtick on it. Hmm - there could always be a house rule for schtickless cooperation providing a +1.

Sounds like a good idea - and cinematically speaking, gives you that moment when all the heroes swing a punch at the same time ...