Team Combat

Team Combat

Here is a sample of team combat republished from the RisusTalk mailing list.

Not Teaming Up

You have a Skeletal Rat-horde (7) which is fighting three player characters (let's call them "Able", "Baker", and "Charlie"). The three player characters decide NOT to team.

Able decides which cliche he is using to fight the horde (Say "Swordsman (4)"). He rolls four dice, the Rat-horde rolls seven dice. Whichever has the lowest total (almost certainly Able) loses one die off his cliche.

Baker decides which cliche HE is using to fight the horde (Say "Barbarian (4)"). He rolls four dice, the Rat-horde rolls however many it has left over (probably still seven). Again, whichever has the lowest total (almost certainly Baker) loses one die of his cliche.

Charlie decides which cliche HE is using to fight the horde (Say "Wizard (3)". He rolls three dice, the Rat-horde rolls however many it has left over (probably still seven, unless it has rolled really badly). Whichever has the lowest total (almost certainly Charlie) loses one die of his cliche.

Another way of looking at this is to say that anytime someone is attacked, they get an opportunity to counter-attack. This approach to "turn order" is VERY DIFFERENT from other Role-Playing Games.

If Able, Baker, and Charlie insist on fighting the Skeletal Rat-horde (7) this way, they will almost certainly keep losing cliche dice until they are defeated. (Unless they have cliches that are comparable with the Skeletal Rat-horde's 7d6, which they won't under the basic rules of Risus) If you give an opponent or an obstacle a cliche score of (7) you are basically making it impossible for non-supers to beat in a straightforward combat. For example, in my Doctor Who Risus, I advocate using scores of (7) for Daleks and Cybermen, because the PCs should not be able to defeat these with straightforward combat.

When normal, 10-dice characters meet a foe with a (7) cliche, they are going to have to use some different approach. They should seriously think about teaming. Or pumping their cliches. Or taking advantage of the Skeletal Rat-horde's weaknesses. Or using an inappropriate cliche. Or forcing it into a type of combat that the Skeletal Rat-horde cliche can't be used in, so the Skeletal Rat-horde has to use the "when somebody can't participate" rules.

Teaming Up

Able fighting on his own is just normal combat. He rolls his cliche (Swordsman (4)) against the Skeletal Rat Horde (7).

Baker and Charlie decide to form a team. Baker will contribute his "Mighty Barbarian (4)" cliche. Charlie will contribute his "Barbarian Warrior (3)" cliche. Since Baker's cliche score is higher than Charlie's, he is designated the team leader.

When the Baker-Charlie team attacks, Baker as team leader rolls his four dice, and all four count. Then Charlie rolls his three dice, but only the dice that show six count (so if he rolls a six, a three, and a one, only the six counts). This is all added together. The Skeletal rat-horde (7) rolls its seven dice. (Note that effectively Baker and Charlie are being attacked as though they are one opponent. This is one advantage to teaming, so in effect the Skeletal Rat horde has one less chance to hurt the PCs).

If the Baker-Charlie team score is higher, then the Skeletal rat-horde loses a die of damage. If the Skeletal rat-horde rolls higher, then one of two things can happen.

1) Somebody, say Charlie, volunteers to step forward and take the damage. He then takes double damage (two dice instead of one), but then Baker gets a Vengeance bonus on the next roll and rolls twice as many dice (eight instead of four!)


2) Nobody volunteers to take the damage. Each member of the team rolls its cliche dice, and the lowest roller takes one die of damage and there is no vengeance bonus.

Actually, with the numbers I have given Able, Baker, and Charlie, the odds are still on the side of the Skeletal Rat-Horde (7). An opponent with a cliche score of (7) is going to be almost unbeatable, but that might have been your intention.