Assisting Force Powers

Transferring this discussion with Tal’Raziid on the Discord #gm-discussion to here for a more permanent record. Motivation was how to help do a stronger Force thing than one PC can do alone. Most frequent example in media is using Move. Came up with this.

Assisting Force Powers (Strength/Magnitude/Force Harder edition)
All force users must have at least the basic power being used; if they do not, they cannot assist. Alternatively, they may assist with a boost die but not a force die (GM/narrative discretion). The force users must all spend a maneuver to coordinate , then must have sequential initiative slots. Each assisting force user may allocate commit one (1) Force Die to the check. ; force users with a Force Rating of 3+ may allocate two (2) Force Die to the check (if there is a force user with a Force Rating of 5+ they may allocate three (3)).

Force power strength/magnitude/range may be extended beyond that of the primary user by one rank per helper if each helper has at least one rank combining the multiple force users’ ranks, but requires spending an action for a Discipline check by each assistant of difficulty Hard and primary user must make Discipline check of difficulty 2 +<# ranks added>. a Destiny point per added rank may be spent to pass all the Discipline checks but still requires the spent action. [Yes, the action cost is intended to make this much more difficult to use during combat.]

Each helper should roll their committed force die during the main check. Use of Dark side pips causes strain both to the helper & primary actor if both Light side users, but only one Destiny point need be spent. If helper is user of “other side”, must contribute primary user’s Force pips to not cause them strain but helper suffers strain and pays appropriate Destiny cost.

Tal’Raziid also had an easier version, but I thought it was too easy. Use it if you like.

Easier Force Assist

Force Assist Maneuver
Whether a character is trying to Force Move a moderately-sized starship or is healing the most critical of injuries in a fallen ally, it never hurts to have a little bit of help.
Performing the force assistance maneuver allows an ally within short range to perform a 2 Difficulty Discipline check. If successful, an assisted ally may reroll one Force die as part of a Force power check. Several characters can use the force assist maneuver to allow more rerolls to the check, although each individual die may only be rerolled once. All rerolls must be used on the force assisted character’s next turn, otherwise, they are discarded. The Game Master should use his own discretion when allowing characters to force assist one another and with what difficulty. For example, while it is unfeasible that some force powers may benefit from collaboration, in the case of greater distance between the force users and a desperate situation, the Game Master may have them perform the Discipline check with increased - or even upgraded - difficulty.

In structured time, assistance does not require subsequent initiative slots, merely a single maneuver on the character’s turn. I do not think this should be handled any differently. The assist maneuver represents the character taking some time to help the other character, and for all intents and purposes that assistance often happens on the other character’s turn.

I’d say that in order to assist, you must have at least the basic Force power. The assisted character gains access to any upgrades the other character(s) have as part of the check (like someone with Expert Tracker assisting a tracking check).

As for the effect, I think it makes sense to add a single Force die to a maximum of 6. Other than that, it’s just a matter of upgrades provided.

Your system is unnecessarily complicated, in my opinion. If it works for you, do it, but it seems to me that it should be made much more simple. At most, I’d say make it an Action requiring an Easy Discipline check. But I would not require subsequent initiative orders.

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Agreed on removing adjacent maneuver’s requirement.

Not clear on what you are suggesting with “gaining access to upgrades” from the helpers. If two players each have Size of 1, together they should be able to move Size 2. That’s what I meant by “combining ranks”.

Combining ranks is an idea, but I think that could get quickly out of hand. If you have one with Move and 4 size upgrades, and another with Move and 3 size upgrades, then two Force-users can drag a Vindicator around. Or a Star Destroyer if both have 4.

The “gaining access to upgrades” just means that you take the highest rank of each category. So if Player A has Y2 and Player A has Y3, then Y counts as 3. Like with skills assistance.

Ah, yes. Could limit it only to +1 rank, but my original suggestion was to pass an increasingly difficult Discipline check. Maybe difficulty should equal the #of desired ranks? That may make more sense.

Meanwhile, @Marlow on Discord suggested a simpler version, which I attempt to summarize below. Others there criticized my draft rule saying results in overpowered Force use, which this addresses:

Simple Skilled Force Assistance
Follow Skilled Assistance rules, by combining best-of Force Ranking with best-of force power upgrade(s). And if a helper has equal in FR and relevant upgrades, they add (commit?) a Force die to the roll.
For example:

a. two FR1 PCs with Move, silhouette 1, roll two Force die.

b. Or FR5 with Move sil 1 helping FR3 with Move, sil 3, rolls 5 Force die (2 extra from helper) to move sil 3.

c. FR5 with no Move skill, can not provide Force Move assistance.

I agree with @P-47Thunderbolt that it probably could use some simplification. The providing ranks and upgrades on FP checks can be really useful. Though I too think the assistance should increase the Force dice pool as in the media they stress out many times that joining together makes them stronger. I’d limit it to +1 die/assistance regardless of Force rating just to not get ridiculous. It’s still strong for a new group, but managable at higher XP

I’m pretty sure it should only add +1 die. When you look at the Assist Maneuver, it only allows the addition of Boost dice, not skilled assistance. So to parallel that, you wouldn’t use the Force rating of the assisting character, you’d just give the assisted character a slight (well, slight is relative, but still) bump of a single Force die.
Again to a max of 6.

Using highest ranks I think is the easiest way to go for the Force power. If your goal here is to pull out all the stops and let them do totally ridiculous things like pull 8 Star Destroyers out of orbit in a single roll, more power to you, but that’s broken. For the actual houserule, I think it would be best to say best of both.

Part of that is that if you’re looking at the magnitude upgrade and both have it maxed out (still going with Move as the example, but all of this applies to multiple powers), then you can move 9 targets for 2 pips (or 18 for 3). That’s basically a discount both on total Force pips AND on Action economy since usually, one character would spend 2 pips to move 5, then the other would take an ACTION to move 5 more targets for 2 more pips. Changing it to additive allows you to basically perform a Force Power action on your ally’s turn, but it only takes a Maneuver and the Force pip expenditure is slightly better. If you then also take the highest Force rating, then you’re just using another character to perform the assisting character’s power, but with buffs.

TL;DR: If you combine ranks in Force power upgrades, it is hopelessly broken.

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OK, thanks for all the feedback. I haven’t played with Force powers much so I surely need the advice.

I’ve modified the original post to limit added Force die to 1/helper and added ranks to 1/helper. I also eliminated the Discipline check and simply required spending Destiny points per upgraded rank. The latter still makes it possible to do “more awesome” things with Force helpers but practically limits it.

Clean version without markup below

Assisting Force Powers

All force users must have at least the basic power being used; if they do not, they cannot assist. Alternatively, they may assist with a boost die but not a force die (GM/narrative discretion). The assisting force users must all spend a maneuver to coordinate, and commit one (1) Force Die to the check.

Force power strength/magnitude/range uses the largest rank among all those involved. A force power rank may be extended beyond that by one rank per helper if that helper has at least one rank, to a maximum of the ranks in the force power. A Destiny point per added rank must be spent.

Each helper should roll their committed force dice during the main check. Use of Dark side pips causes strain both to the helper & primary actor if both Light side users, but only one Destiny point need be spent. If helper is user of “other side”, must contribute primary user’s Force pips to not cause them strain but helper suffers strain and pays appropriate Destiny cost.

No, this is too stringent. What I was saying was you take the best of the ranks. If you have to spend a Destiny Point per added rank, it won’t do very much (especially since you can only spend 1 DP per check). I think it’s far simpler and makes more sense if you just take the best.

Ah, so you are saying FR help caps at +1, but rank upgrades may use the highest. A limited version of what Marlow suggested.

I still think we should allow for rank upgrades for a DP each. If players want to go wild and get +3 items/silhouette/range, let them do so if they have and want to spend 3 DPs. Maximum rank possible should be set at the maximum in the appropriate force power tree; going beyond subject to GM approval. Hmmm… that does sound like a signature ability; might want to make that a purchased custom talent, even could make it specific to the two force users that each has to buy… now it sounds like Coven, the nightsisters talent that started this line of thought.

Will edit the post from yesterday with suggested changes.