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Author Topic: Herding Extras  (Read 1219 times)
pawsplay
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« on: March 23, 2010, 04:57:20 PM »

This probably has wider applications, but I am thinking of a specific example. The feat Followers says you have access to your followers in non-dramatic scenes. What happens when a dramatic scene occurs? Are there specific guidelines or techniques I should keep in mind when balancing the intended utility of the feat (standard NPCs who assist in non-dramatic scenes) versus the imaginary world (people do not magically apepar or disappear according to arbitrary game rules)?

Example 1: The PCs take their followers and undramatically delve into the Scary Forest, where they encounter some guards. After, they press on to the Lair of the Dragon, creating a dramatic scene. What happens to their followers? How should I handle it as a GM if the players insist on trying to get their followers to enter the lair, and assuming the followers are no fools but logically would feel bound to obey the PC?

Example 2: The PCs are hangin' with their followers, and an NPC with dramatic entrance attacks.

Example 3: The PCs are in the Scary Forest, and encounter the guards. The players make some snide remarks, so in a fit of pique, I spend some action dice and make the scene dramatic.

Options I've considered:
1. The followers are ruthlessly narrated out of the scene. They will not enter the lair, they scatter when the scary NPC shows up, and they are abducted by aliens during the encounter with the guards.
2. The followers are inconsequential. They don't make effective attacks, the NPCs largely ignore them, they don't block movement, and if the players goad the NPC into doing something, I allow the follower to be devoured as a free action without a roll.
3. The followers can only be summoned in a non-dramatic scene. Should they unfortunatetely stumble into a dramatic scene through such events as the above, they may try to flee or politely excuse themselves if it is logical for them to do so, otherwise they simply face the peril that has befallen them.
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Doublebond
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2010, 05:52:39 PM »

I was under the impression you couldn't call or summon your followers during a dramatic scene.

You don't have much time to send a messenger for help when a dragon attacks your inn while you sleep, after all.
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Agent 333
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2010, 06:44:53 PM »

I'm fairly sure Doublebond has the correct assumption.
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TheTSKoala
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2010, 06:49:03 PM »

I believe, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong paws, that he's asking "What happens to the followers, who are already IN THE SCENE, when a dramatic scene triggers?"
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Doublebond
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2010, 07:08:22 PM »

I believe, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong paws, that he's asking "What happens to the followers, who are already IN THE SCENE, when a dramatic scene triggers?"

And I'm pretty sure they stay right where they are. You can hardly expect them to disappear magically once the dragon shows up. The feat goes thus:

Quote
You may summon your followers once per adventure
during a non-Dramatic scene

But that is the only mention of dramatic scenes in the feat text. It does not specify that they cannot be in a dramatic scene, but rather only that you cannot summon them once you are in one already. This is probably done following the reasoning that if the GM starts a dramatic scene when you don't have your followers, he probably doesn't want you to have them during that scene.
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pawsplay
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2010, 10:01:28 PM »

This is one of the perils of learning from the book rather than gaming with the larger FC community. It never occured to me that the restriction might purely restrict calling in the cavalry, rather than a general prohibition on using followers to defeat villains in dramatic scenes, en masse.
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pawsplay
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2010, 11:43:43 PM »

We now have an ambiguous answer in Q&A.

Quote from: Crafty_Alex
IMO, the point is that Followers don't help you when the chips are down (fair weather friends and hangers on, mostly). I would probably scatter them as soon you ask them to carry this piece of jewelry into the fires of Mt. Doom for you, or as the dragon with Dramatic Entrance shows up...
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Sletchman
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2010, 12:03:51 AM »

We now have an ambiguous answer in Q&A.

Quote from: Crafty_Alex
IMO, the point is that Followers don't help you when the chips are down (fair weather friends and hangers on, mostly). I would probably scatter them as soon you ask them to carry this piece of jewelry into the fires of Mt. Doom for you, or as the dragon with Dramatic Entrance shows up...

Bear in mind he did say "I would".  I agree if they are already around when a dramatic scene starts they could chip in, as long as they aren't scared off [which is quite plausable based on their level of training vs the thread of the attacker/scene].  It'd have to be a judgement called, based on the particulars of the moment.  Do the mooks really wanna hang around for what you guys are doing, or will they hightail it?  Any of the three you listed in your OP work fine, as does a 4th option of "they hang around and chip in",
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Rhishisikk
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2010, 12:45:40 PM »

I also do not approve of "poof they're gone".  However,
1) the followers only engage standard characters
2) as archers, they don't engage in non-archer tactics (no melee)
3) the PC actually respects his followers rather than treating them as minions.

That said, none of us really CARE what their names are, and we refuse to let the player role-play his interactions with them during game time.  AND we're playing in a "fantasy war" campaign, where it's easy just to throw in an extra squad of enemies.  So this works for our group - be warned it may not work for yours.
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