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Conservation of Ninjutsu


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A friend of mine was discussing a scenario he's working on which would include ninja (probably in a semi-comic way, but I'm not certain). Something be mentioned was the cliché of one ninja being almost unstoppable while a horde of them are  individually rather hopeless weaklings, leading another friend in the discussion to point to The Conservation of Ninjutsu trope. And at that point the chat moved on to which system would handle it best and how.


I suggested Hero, thinking offhand that a communal VPP might be possible: all the ninja can access it, but can only use points not currently being used by someone else, so more ninja means fewer points available to each one. It would need to cover combat skills and martial arts though, which I recall has been discussed before here as definite house rule territory.


Then I wondered if the horde would effectively act as hit points for a single character sheet, with martial skill falling as the numbers rose. 


And then I wondered if this had already been covered either here or in an existing book, which should probably have been my first thought but there we are.


Any thoughts on this, either pointing me towards an existing option or suggesting something else? Thanks.


Clarification: What my friend is thinking of is sort of effectiveness of ninja equal to X, where their individual effectiveness is affected by how many of them join the fight. Effectiveness equals X divided by number of ninja, if you like.

Edited by BigJackBrass
Clarification added.
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On 12/18/2022 at 7:41 PM, Ninja-Bear said:

You just describe them as one hit wonders! You (the GM) declare hit many hits the ninjas take before they go down.  You can do something like a regular hit they need two hits. A great hit like rolling 3-5 they are done.

That takes care of them being a mass of  low-grade individuals, but doesn't address the idea that the more there are the worse they get. I think my friend is hoping to run the fights so that ninja act a bit like dye in water: the more water you have, the weaker the colour it's.

On 12/18/2022 at 7:26 PM, Duke Bushido said:

Try the Swarm rules,in I-don't-remember-which issue of Adventurers Club.


I have all of them, I think, so I'll have a dig through. Thanks.

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You could do it with a complication: susceptible to more allied ninjas, drain x amount from stated ninja abilities, with the standard effect rule, so you get a base subtraction from each listed stat per y ninja.  For example, for each doubling of ninja you lose 3 points from DEX, SPD, PD, ED, Multipower Ninja Abilities, and Martial Arts, then make a chart of degradation.  With 2 ninja you lose this, for 4 you lose this, etc.

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