Helping rules

Just a quick question on helping rules – more of a contextual thing really, looking for examples of when helping is appropriate and when it’s not, and how you’d rule it.

My group has six players – if one of them is making a roll, can potentially all of them add helping dice when appropriate? Would this also apply to NPCs?

For example, a Stealthy vs. Observation roll to sneak up on a group of seven Orcs in a forest. One player rolls Stealthy, another player has the Stealthy skill and adds in a helping die, and yet another player adds a helping die with their Forest-wise for a total of 8 dice. They each describe what they’re doing to help the approach. The orcs all have B2 observation. Can one of them make the test and the other six help? (8 dice!) What if the group was 40 orcs? I realize not all of them would be “on guard duty”, but really just wondering what the limits are here and at which point would be appropriate to cut off the helping dice.

Check out the slowest, loudest, dumbest (and noisiest)-rule. They used to be stickied, but now I can’t find them. They’re in the Adventure Burner.

The rule is simply that when it matters that all succeed, the one with the lowest skill rolls and the others help.

Combine it with the Too many Cooks-rule which state that it’s not always managable to get unlimited help. (Picking a lock, fighting in a tight corridor, seducing the elven twins, reading that fragile scroll…)

I’d be sure to add +Ob. to a test were 8#men were traversing a forest, as opposed to two guys. Oh, I might also add something for equipment, but I don’t believe it matters that much to those who know how to employ stealth. (Coocko-watches and talking parrots aside.)

Often it makes sense to only let one person help with any given skill. With stealth, someone’s good at Stealthy—they muffle all the jangling metal, give tips on how to step lightly, smear mud on exposed skin, and recommend against coughing. Other Stealthy folks can’t help more. It’s already covered. The Forest-wise could add more, maybe, by pointing out good concealed approaches, or by stirring up distracting woodland creatures elsewhere. But you can’t just have everyone do one tiny thing. If you’re helping, you’re helping with that skill to the best of your ability, and it’s probably that no further help helps. Got it?

For groups of observers, you let only one person be the defender, usually. It’s just convenient. Don’t let them all help, or a ten man group becomes all-seeing, but do raise the Ob a little. I’d say maybe in a band of 40 orcs they’d put two together at each guard picket, so +1 Ob. A heavily guarded encampment might get +2 for even more eyes.

Perfect advice from both of you, and exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!

I read through the Help section of the Adventure Burner last night too, as well as looked up those referenced rules. All makes sense now.