Collaboration Made Easy

Skill Synergy Simplified

In order to simplify the mechanics for when multiple characters are working together on a check, the following rules are in effect:

1. The character’s involved will select the leader (typically the character with the highest skill), or the situation will define the leader.
2. All other characters assisting in the skill check with contribute a number of dice to the skill pool equal to their total dice pool (skill + stat) divided by 4, rounded up.
3. Each assistant that contributes at least +1 die to the dice pool of the leader will also add +1 to the limit on the test.
4. The test leader may only gain a bonus to their skill pool equal to their ranks in the skill. Characters that are defaulting may not gain any bonus from assistance.
5. Any situational modifiers will be applied a single time to the net skill pool of the characters participating in the skill check.

Example 1:
Sly Charlie (the group’s elf Face) and Big Mac (a troll Street Samurai) are interrogating a gang member. Charlie has a total of 9 (Skill 3 + CHA 6) in his intimidate, and Mac has a total of 5 (Skill 3 + CHA 2)

Sly Charlie will be the leader for the check, and contributes his full 9 dice to the check. Mac will be assisting, and will contribute 2 dice (skill + stat 5 divided by 4 and rounded up). This brings the net skill dice pool to 11.

Looking at the Social Modifiers table (SR5 p140), the following modifiers will apply:


  • NPCs attitude: Hostile -3
  • Character’s desired result: harmful to NPC -3
  • Character imposing (Big Mac) +3
  • Characters outnumber target +2

Adding the total situational modifiers (adding to a total of -1) to the net skill dice pool brings the total to 10 dice. The effects of having Big Mac assisting contributed to +7 dice the majority of the total (2 from skill, and 5 from the situational).

Example 2:
CyberTed and Matrix Mary are working on fixing a nearly-destroyed drone. Both have total skill pools of 9 (Ted’s Skill 5 & Stat 4 vs Mary’s Skill 2 & Stat 7), so it is decided that CyberTed will lead (and potentially get more bonus dice due to his higher skill rating). He contributes his 9 dice total, and Mary adds another 3 (9 divided by 4 and rounded up) for a net skill pool of 12 dice. Had Mary been the leader, Ted would have only added 2 dice, as her skill of 2 would limit the bonus dice she could receive from the assistant’s skill.

Looking at the modifiers on the Build/Repair table (SR5 p146), the following modifiers will apply:

Working Conditions:

  • Superior (using Ted’s drone repair shop) +1
  • Adequate (using Ted’s drone repair shop) +0
  • AR Enhanced +2

Adding up the situational modifiers (net modifier +3) to the net skill brings the total to 15 dice. The effects of having Mary assist are +3 dice (from her skill).

Closely Related Skills
At the GMs discretion, a skill that is closely related to the main skill can also be useful at assisting building/repairing. It follows the same rules for providing assistance, but the bonus provided is reduced by 1. In addition, the character with the main skill must be the leader of the test.

CyberTed and Sly Charlie are working on repairs to one of CyberTed’s drones. CyberTed has a skill pool of 9 in Auto Mechanics, and Sly Charlie has a pool of 7 in Hardware. The GM decides that hardware would be useful for fixing damaged electronics etc. in the drone and allows Sly Charlie to assist in the repairs. Sly Charliewould add +1 to CyberTEd’s dice pool; Hardware skill pool of 7 divided by 2 and rounded up equals 2, and -1 due to being a ‘related’ skill.

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