Dispositions & Monster Groups

In the Denizens chapter (Pg. 149) of the core rulebook and under the header “Monsters Helping Monsters” (Pg. 151) it says that groups of monsters, or different types of monsters, engaged in a conflict add +1 Disposition for each monster fighting on the side of the “monster team”.

I take this to mean that a group of 4 Kobolds engaged in a Kill Conflict would roll their Nature (if “swarming”) +3D (from the other helping Kobolds) and add their Nature +3 (number of extra Kobolds in group) to their result.
Total: 5D+5

However, in the Conflict Example chapter, Dro rolls the Kobolds’ Nature (2D) + 7D (the number of helpers) and rolls 5 successes. He sets the Kobolds’ disposition to 7 (5 successes + 2 Nature) and kills the eighth Kobold in a comedic aside.
Total: 9D+2

If I’m reading the rules correctly, those Kobolds in the play example should have had 14 Disposition (5 successes + 2 Nature + 7 Helpers).
Total: 9D+9

Am I missing something about monster groups? Why didn’t Dro add the extra monsters to their sides’ Disposition?

Hi there!

The confusion comes down to the difference between a monster’s predetermined disposition and ones that a monster has to roll for.

When you’re working with predetermined dispositions (for kobolds these are capture, convince, flee and trick), you take that number, add the number of additional monsters beyond the first, and you’re good. So if you’re trying to capture 4 kobolds, their disposition is 6 (base 3 + 3 helpers).

However, when you try to kill 4 kobolds, you determine their disposition differently. You roll one kobold’s nature (2D) and add 3D for the helpers (total of 5D). You then take the successes on that roll and add them to 2 (one kobold’s nature).

Let’s look at this in terms of the conflict example. The players attempt to drive off 8 kobolds. Drive off is not a predetermined disposition for kobolds, so they need to roll. Dro picks one kobold to be the boss monster. He grabs 2D to represent that kobold and then an additional 7D to represent the others. In all, he’s rolling 9D. He rolls 5 successes. His kobold boss monster’s nature is 2, so he adds 5+2 for a total disposition of 7. Since he has 8 monsters but only 7 disposition to go around, one of them can’t get into the conflict. See the aptly names Too Many Kobolds on page 69.

On the other hand, what if the party had taken my advice and tried to negotiate with the kobolds rather than fight them? Well, Dro might have decided that it was a convince conflict, which kobolds actually have as one of their predetermined conflicts. The base disposition would still be based on our kobold boss monster’s Nature 2. Then we would have added 7 (one for each helper) for a total of 9. The kobold boss monster would have gotten 2 points of disposition and the others would have gotten 1 point each.

Does that clarify things?

Hey Thor, thanks for answering! (big fan)

I’m confused by the “Monsters Help Monsters” header on Pg. 151:
Does the sentence, “When factoring disposition, add one to their disposition for each monster on the monster team” not apply to monsters rolling for an unlisted Conflict type?
Is there a difference between “Group disposition” and the disposition of unrelated monsters (Ex. a Troll, a Dragon, and a Lizard Man walk into a bar…)

No problem!

Does this clear things up?
[li]When factoring disposition for a predetermined conflict, add one to the disposition for each monster on the team beyond the first.[/li][li]When factoring disposition for another type of conflict, add 1D to the disposition roll for each monster on the team beyond the first.[/li][/ul]

That absolutely helps.
So basically, creature groups who know what they’re doing have more Disposition than a group who isn’t familiar with that kind of Conflict.

Thanks again!