Back on BITS!
(A reminder: BITS is a proprietary Body-Interaction-Thought-Specialty game system for tabletop roleplaying games.)
This time, I’ve been thinking awhile on how to handle large groups. Since humans can only track about seven different things at a time, I thought it best to figure out how to make anything more than a small gathering feasible.
Members of a group have similar capabilities. Everything they do, they do together and at the same time.
Groups have a rating that indicates their size.
0 – An individual. Does not use group size.
1 – A gang or squad of ~10 or fewer individuals
2 – A company, century, or mob, ~100
3 – A demi-legion or town, ~1000
4 – An army or division, ~10k
Ratings also show how many extra actions the group may take.
When a group acts against another group, that action has advantage or disadvantage if the acted-against group is smaller or larger (respectively). For example, an individual 0 is always at a disadvantage when acting against a group 1+.
Certain actions committed by a group may have disadvantage or not be available at all. For example, a group would have disadvantage on being sneaky, or having a 10k army fit into a Manhattan apartment.
To resolve an action by or against a group, the threat tier of an individual member of the group. Different threat tiers should be grouped separately from each other.
A group has a state of health like any individual Being. However, when a group reaches 0 for their state, they break up into D6 (a dice roll of 1 to 6) of the next smallest group. That means a rating 4 10k group at 0 state breaks up into 1 to 6 rating 3 1000-member groups.
As a choice, when a group reaches 0 for state and breaks up into smaller groups, a second D6 may be rolled to give the new group a state 1 to 6 to represent the harm already taken.
BITS is all about keeping things simple yet deep in what it can be used for. The system attempts to address a lot of the problems other systems run into, and handling large groups (“mobs”) has always been a sore point.
With the BITS use of groups, everything from street fights to clashing armies can happen with a solid dynamic between all engaged. Since BITS also handles social conflicts with the same mechanics as physical violence, inciting mobs or inspiring a legion can be accomplished with the group mechanics here.
It came to my attention that perhaps an individual shouldn’t be able to face down an army of 10K. But then I remembered the brutally brilliant (and violent) “Crazy 88’s” fight in Kill Bill – the player, as hero, ought to be able to have a try at beating the odds 😉
And that’s how BITS handles groups!
Will be sharing more BITS content over the next few weeks, including revisiting some sub-par implementations of the past.
If you’ve ideas on groups, share ’em! In the meantime, cheers to your play ~