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In FATE Core, mobs use Teamwork rules for their rolls. For each mob member after the first, the roll gets a +1.

Is there a limit on how many people can combine skills on one action, or are ten mooks with Average Fight really rolling at +10? Or do I have to artificially control the difficulty by splitting them based on the players' skills?

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No, there is no limit specified anywhere in the Teamwork rules for how many people can work together. Yes, even mooks can gang together to Fight at +10. Ten mooks would in fact attack at +11: one mook's +2, and the other nine adding +1 each.

It is up to the players of a game to moderate this and artificially control the difficulty.

If you're concerned about a +10 attack, though, bear in mind: if you've put a single person up against that many mooks, that person is already in a very dangerous situation and the conflict might not go their way anyway.

The Fate rules wouldn't specify such a rule anyway.

It's not too surprising they don't do anything about this. There's two reasons why.

1. It would just get in the way of legitimate play.

The books offer you plenty of guidance on keeping things sane and fun, but if you want to run things at a higher power level, which you can, any attempt by the rules to limit things quantitatively would just be disruptive to peoples' attempts to do that.

If you wanted to run a large gang fight without making a hundred dice rolls, or have a dozen people gang up against someone who's singularly powerful (or singularly unfortunate), any arbitrary upper limit set by the Teamwork rules would only get in the way. And you can do this if you want to.

If you don't want to be in that circumstance, it's your responsibility as players to not create that circumstance in the first place.

2. The narrative, not the rules, should help you keep things sane.

Fate is not a rules-first game. The rules are pretty important, but they're not the entire system. If you're in a situation where you're wondering whether 50 people should be able to gang up to Overcome a steel door, you shouldn't be looking to the rules to help make sense of this.

Consider the narrative, and whether it makes narrative sense for those 50 people to gang together and help. Maybe they can — the door is big enough, they've got enough space, they're using a giant battering ram — or maybe they're in a tiny cramped passage and past a certain point, extra people isn't going to help.

Also, consider whether there's any fun value in stopping them or saying no.

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You are generally correct in how the numbers add up- though it's actually a bit worse. Each mook adds +1 to the original mook's score, which is probably a +2 in whatever he's spending his time doing. Yes, this means large crowds are very dangerous. Speaking from experience in non-rpg combat, this is makes very good sense to me.

Your last sentence looks like you have an odd misconception however. While splitting people up as appropriate to skill level "...do I have to artificially control the difficulty by splitting them based on the players' skills?" Lets say you have three PCs, and ten mooks. You could have three very different fights here depending on how you want to split them.

  • If they stay as one giant mob, then the fight is going to be highly asymetrical- Your PCs will be taking three actions to the mob's one action, making all sorts of aspects and then letting one of them tag it for a big hit, moving around to avoid letting that ten shift slam hit them- because if it hits them, they are almost certainly taking a consequence as the mob sorounds them and beats the snot out of them. This will feel like a fight against a single giant godzilla. As a GM, this is very easy to adjucate.

  • If they split into three roughtly equal groups, then this runs like a equal battle- There are just as many turns on both sides, and the skill numbers should be about even. (Three such mooks cooperating is a +4, and one group of four is at +5.) Your players won't be able to take advantage of their many turns to stack aspects as easily, or if they do then the bad guys will be stacking aspects right back. A good time had by all.

  • You could, if you prefer, split into ten 'groups' of one man each. This would take an annoyingly large amount of time to DM, as you'd wind up making three or four moves in a row, but would be an almost opposite problem as the giant mob. Here, if your mooks can manage to place aspects, they are almost certainly going to quickly stack up and beat the snot out of your PCs. Fortunately, I doubt with those low numbers that they're going to actually succeed in maneuvering that often. Your players will still take time to go through and crack their heads one at a time though.

None of these options is entirely wrong. Some are better for certain goals or stories, and some are easier are harder fights depending on how your PCs tend to operate and require more or less amounts of GM work, but me and two buddies can win any of those three fights. There is not one method you 'have' to use, and you can mix it up as much as you like- Maybe one group of eight and another group of two are running around. I tend to split groups into groups about equal to the number of PCs involved in the fight, since it makes things easy for me, but occasionally I use a single giant mob when I want the players to have to get clever. One last note: Cunning players will do their best to alter the group size using aspects, provoking one or two of the giant mob to come over this way, or using stealth to lure a few of them over into this corridor to investigate that sound. This is exactly how you would fight a large group (picking them off one by one) as well as being perfectly within the rules and making a good story. Realistic, rule abiding, and narratively interesting? Sounds like a win to me!

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