Difference between Group Rolls and Assistance

I don’t see a large difference between a Group Test (page 17) and Assistance (page 16). They’re basically the same thing or am I missing something?

In any case what I’ve been doing for Group Tests is as above - group leader rolls 2d20 (+AP) and everyone else rolls 1d20 but if the leader fails the group may still succeed if they meet the Difficulty. The leader makes things easier for sure but the group can still pull together a success.

My understanding is that the difference is mainly narrative.

Assistance is other players helping the one player to succeed. Whereas a group test is the entire group trying to achieve the thing together. As an example. Imagine your players encounter a sentry outside a Brotherhood base. They want to sneak past.

Assistance: The group leader wants to sneak past the sentry and he makes a sneak test. The other players assist him, maybe they make a distraction or they keep a lookout while he moves. Either way, they all succeed on their rolls and the group leader passes the sneak test. He successfully sneaks past the sentry, but the rest of the group are where they started because it was only the group leader making the test.

Group Test: The entire group decides to sneak past the sentry as one. The group leader has the highest sneak skill so he leads the test, he tells the group to follow him and he shows them where to go and tells them when to move etc. The group passes their tests and they succeed in sneaking past, because this was a group test the entire group has successfully snuck past the sentry.

So the mechanics are similar, but the circumstances when you’d use assistance or group test are different.

This is further complicated by the example of a Group Check on page 197 about sneaking in to a location. While not explicitly called out as a Group Check I don’t see what else a check for a group sneaking in to a location would be. In that case the difficulty increases by +1 for each additional person sneaking in.

I think you’re over complicating it. They’re different types of test used for different situations.

An assistance roll is for when Player A helps player B do something. Player B is the one that succeeds at the test.

A group test is when all the players are doing the same thing together. They pass or fail as a group. This is usually reserved for large activities that require them all to pass.

Another example. Imagine the players want to cross a minefield. If Player B wants to cross and Player A assists him, even if they succeed it’s only Player B that gets across. Player A helped out but he didn’t cross himself.

If the entire group tries to cross the minefield, then they’ll do it as a group. Player B leads the way because he has the most experience with minefields, but the entire team is moving at the same time so they succeed or fail as one.

That would mean that the only difference is one of narrative (which is fine) but that doesn’t work for me. I hate the idea that an entire group’s performance is based on one member (the leader) making the roll. Additionally if there’s no increase in difficulty based on the number of people then there’s generally no reason to even do a group roll. If something is D1, for example, then it doesn’t matter if it’s 1 person sneaking or 20 people sneaking. The leader still needs to succeed otherwise nothing else matters.

My House Rule addresses both of those issues.

Example using my HR…

Group is moving across the minefield. There’s 4 of them so the Difficulty increases by 4 (as per the example on page 197 for sneaking in to a house). Whoever is the best is still leading them (rolling 2 dice) but the entire group’s success or failure does not hinge on their success (remember in RAW if a Leader fails then nothing else matters). If the Leader fails but the group overall gets the number of successes necessary then they make it through unscathed. The Leader makes that more likely but isn’t strictly necessary.

For my game - that’s the difference between a group roll and an assisted roll. The Group Roll is not solely dependent on one person succeeding and is based on the capabilities of the group.

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