Multiteam Conflicts - Goals and Outcomes

This seems to be something that comes up quite a lot, so apologies for asking another conflict based question.

My question is how are multiple teams used in terms of goals and outcomes.

Let’s take an example. The Mouse Guard patrol wishes to convince a town leader and his armed followers to stand down peacefully. They’ve gathered evidence, recruited people to their side, and confront the leader in the town square. This is a perfect time for conflict mechanics to come into play.

We’d give the leader a meaninful goal like “I want to convince the crowd to stand down and get the Mouse Guard arrested for meddling”.

Now, we have 5 mice on our patrol, so the game’s recommendation is that we split the Guard into two allied groups. How and why should the goals between the two groups be different?

Now the conflict plays out. One of the Mouse Guard teams has their disposition reduced to zero. But the other team survives and successfully reduces the disposition of the town leader to 0. What happens in this case?

Or let’s say that the allied mice did have sufficiently different goals - Maybe one team wanted to convince the mayor and his followers to join the cause, while the other team wanted the mayor and his followers to submit to custody and trial. What happens when they win? Whose goal gets followed? These options are mutually exclusive, or at the very least, success in one goal significantly hampers the other goal.

Ok I’ve read through some of the other threads on the matter and the summary seems to be

  • The GM should put the players in situations where they have to take on multiple tasks independently, which they can fail or succeed at independently. Meanwhile, if the opponent suceeds, both tasks fail.

  • If necessary its ok to have a conflict without two teams, the philosophy behind trying to get two teams is to a) give everyone something to do and b) also bring BIG to the fore, so as long as you keep that in mind.

Have I successfully answered my own question?

My only followup to this is… if the goals are really seperate, should the helping rules apply? If one group is fighting an animal and the other group is trying to evacuate the town, do the helping rules apply? It all seems a little abstract and convoluted.

And now I’ve found this thread and completely answered all questions to my satisfaction. Mods can delete or leave? Don’t know how to delete threads.

It’s not really a helpful thing to say because it’s not available yet, but because of the confusion you and others encountered, Luke completely revamped these rules in 2nd edition. Glad you figured it out! We’ll leave the thread here. It’s nice to have the links in one place!