The traditional RPG adventuring party is a group of strangers brought together to battle evil. We all know “You meet in a tavern,” or “The government recruits you as a hand-picked team to fight the villain.” But what about a team specifically put together before adventuring: a military unit (G.I. Joe), a school class (X-Men) or even a band (Josie and the Pussycats)?
You can simply say that’s how the group came together; it provides a built-in quest giver (the General, the Professor, the Band Manager) and a reason to stick together for more than a single adventure. But it also provides an option for Team Benefits. Your adventuring party can select one of these when the characters are created, and can add more as they increase in levels (one suggestion is when all the characters reach level 2 or 3). They make characters slightly more powerful than ordinary Domino Writing-style USR characters, but only in certain situations. Like most rules options, it adds a little more “crunch,” but the goal, as always, is to keep it Unbelievably Simple.
Team Benefits can be used by everyone in the group. They require one action per character, and it doesn’t take effect until all the characters have “spent” their action on the Team Benefit. For example, the players may not want to all use their turn in the same round to use a Team Benefit during combat — if they did, the enemies would get a free attack (since no one would be attacking the enemies on that turn). A Team Benefit can only be used once per game session.
Here’s a few examples of Team Benefits, inspired by similar rules from the Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition Players Handbook II, and the Fantasy Flight Games Deathwatch RPG.
The heroes automatically succeed at one action roll for an action that the entire group is doing together (for example, searching for tracks or inspiring the common people to rise in rebellion, but not picking a lock or driving a car).
+2 to all melee attacks by heroes for the rest of the combat encounter.
One character (of the heroes’ choice) can take another turn immediately.
One character (of the heroes’ choice) immediately regains all of his Hit Points or Narrative Points.
Stand Your Ground
+2 to all defensive rolls by heroes for the rest of the combat encounter.
+2 to all ranged attacks by heroes for the rest of the combat encounter.
What kind of Team Benefits will your heroes use?