Houserules: Teamwork Tests for Hacking, First Aid, Extended Tests

Teamwork tests are basically a team working together. They involve a leader and their assistants, whose skills can give a hand. Runners often teamwork when it comes to Negotiating pay with the Johnson (which may in fact piss off the Johnson, at least 1 Johnson in Shadowrun Missions gets a bonus if the runners insist on tagteaming him), and occasionally when it comes to other things. And both PCs+NPCs do so with Rituals because honestly they’re usually a pain in the neck otherwise. Same goes for creating Foci.

Upside of a teamwork test is more hits average, plus the higher limit can make a big difference. Downside is a single point of failure, who then carries the Edge burden to make up for a screw-up.

The question then is, when can you teamwork? Take Perception for example. If you do a Perception test to see if you notice something suspicious, or when you’re about to run into an ambush, each player rolls individually. If you decide to search a room together then it’d be a teamwork test.

There are several cases where it’s not really clear on how Teamwork tests would go, the following are rules for some of those.


Rule: All parties face the full reduction penalty in an Extended Test

If you’re doing an Extended Test, you lose 1 die each roll. This signifies the limit of your abilities. In the end you’ll risk screwing up more. So what would happen on a Teamwork test? And what happens if someone joins in after a while? Would they still contribute their full dicepool, letting you cycle assistants? Or would you already be at the point where they too cannot properly contribute anymore?

The proposal here is simple: All parties involved face the full penalty. If you’ve rolled 4 times already, everyone, no matter whether they’re fresh assistants or not, will face the -4 penalty. Say your teammember has 6 dice on Hardware and helps you with whatever you’re doing. The second roll they’re at 5, the third at 4, the fourth at 3, and after that the chance is too great that their aid will get in your way (critical glitches!) so you thank them for their help and finish without them.


Rule: Teamwork hacking tests are allowed with sufficient marks

When Hacking, you can easily be with multiple entities. A Technomancer has Sprites, a Decker can have Agents, or you could even have multiple hackers. So what is the value of this outside cybercombat? The answer is surprisingly little. You still need the Marks, which means more people trying to score Marks, which means a higher chance someone screws up and the system goes on high alert. The biggest advantage is that if the system DOES go on high alert, you got more shots at getting some last-second commands in before the big guns come out.

If teamwork tests are allowed, then there’d actually be an upside asides from ‘being able to get more stuff done before the system fries us’. You’d have better chances of success on doing so.

The obvious restriction here is that you need the Marks to perform the action in order to help. No 0-Mark Sprites letting a TM do a 3-Mark action.


Rule: Scoring Marks cannot be done as Teamwork test

When you score a Mark, it’s just for you. These Marks cannot be shared in any way, the only things that can share Marks are ICs in Hosts. So a teamwork test here wouldn’t sound very realistic. As such, while still allowing Teamwork tests on hacking, this rule would block them for Marks.


Rule: Techomancers can help their Sprites get Marks

Since Technomancers are hard enough to play already, and unlike Deckers and Agents their Sprites are tied to them, this rule would ignore previous limitation for TMs.


Rule: First Aid Teamwork faces same restrictions & threshold

Two default types of tests are opposed and threshold. With a threshold, you either hit it or you don’t. However, a third type exists, where you’re sort of opposed by the threshold and any hits past it will make a difference.

First Aid involves circumstantial penalties, Full Body Armor penalties, Essence Penalties and a threshold as well. Only hits past 2 count for healing. So how would this work for a teamwork test? Normally you’d just add all your hits as bonus dice, but things are tougher here.

Not to mention that the wireless bonus of +6 for a Rating 6 Medkit can quite easily push you to higher results, making assistance rather easy to handle normally.  That is, assuming you have a decent Logic and more than just elementary training in First Aid. And even without that you’d easily score 3 hits, while those 3 hits by themselves would only be 1 box healed.

So to properly showcase the difficulties in First Aid, here we apply the exact same difficulties to an assistent: They face the same kind of penalties, and only hits past the threshold of 2 can result in bonus dice for the leader.

Example: The team’s visiting a Street Doc for their badly-injured Street Sam. Said Street Doc has 8 dice for First Aid. The place itself is properly sterilized for +1 and the Street Doc uses a wireless Rating 6 Medkit, for a total of +7 dice, but the Sam’s Essence of 1.42 means a -2 for only +5 instead. In total the Street Doc has 13 dice.

The team’s Hermetic picked up a bit of First Aid herself and brought her own Rating 6 Medkit. Combined with her stellar Logic she has 8 base dice +5. As assistant the mage rolls 4 hits, which is 2 net hits. The Doc then gets to add those 2 hits to his dicepool, reaching 15. He rolls 6 hits, which means 4 net hits so 4 boxes healed. After this the Mage casts Heal on the Street Sam, which faces a -4 from the Essence penalty. She Pushes The Limit and manages to score 6 hits, meaning that in total the Street Sam has been healed 10 boxes. Had she tried operating him in the Street, he’d likely still be walking around with 3 more damage.

 

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