Splitting the Party in an Argument Conflict (with other NPCs)

So I’m planning on having one conflict that involves two different parties of NPCs who both want something. If the party agrees with one side or another, they will argue against the other side (the mice they agree with won’t take the spotlight, but may provide some helper dice).

What happens, though, if the party is split with some arguing one side and others arguing another? Should I include the NPCs?

My gut reaction is to have just the PCs involved in the conflict; I don’t want the conflict to be the players watching NPCs arguing against each other with an occasional PC action in the middle.

On the other hand, it seems off to have the party solely responsible for the fate of the NPCs involved without them having any say in the matter.

Has anyone run into a situation like this?

The best is to have the players’ characters on both side of the argument, if you can get them to take opposite positions. That being said, I’ve had argument conflicts where a player chose to support an NPC against the rest of the patrol, and threw in help occasionally.

It should be noted that characters who help with disposition are committed to that side for the conflict and will be required to take action periodically during the course of the conflict. Are there relationship ties (or Beliefs or Instincts) that you could lean on to set up a rift between the patrol mates?

Oh yeah, I’m thinking it will be 50/50 chance of splitting the party (it all will depend on if they work together for the good of the group or fight for their own individual BIGs). It’s because I think it is so likely that I’m asking.

There are 2 other mice on each side. For 3 PCs, if it splits 2:1, then that single guardsmouse’s side could be 2 NPCs and 1 PC. That may be lame for that player (the other side could be 2 PCs and 1 NPC, or just 2 PCs).

Perhaps I could have a group of 1 PC and 2 NPCs, and let the PC handle actions as if they were paired with 1 other mouse. So order would go PC, NPC1, PC, NPC2, PC, NPC1, etc.

Can you cut down to two opposed NPCs, or would they just get rolled by the player characters in the conflict?

Yeah, I need 2 on each side in case the party presents a unified front.

I’m thinking in this case it would be worth abandoning the “everyone contributing dice to a conflict has to take action” rule in favor of keeping the focus on the players.

I was thinking something similar. Might be worth dropping the prescribed alternating actions if the players get involved with both sides. Or, if you end up with, say, only one player mouse on one side of the argument, drop one of the NPCs and divide the actions between the player and the remaining NPC, focusing on how the character helps the NPC on his off actions in order to keep focus on the player.