You've touched upon one of my major role-playing pet peeves -- stealth scenes involving multiple characters.Marras in [url=http://www.grandheresyforums.com/viewtopic.php?p=329#p329]another thread[/url] wrote:Usually stealth scenes are pretty solitary scenes. You actually play solo at these times and while it is great for the player it sucks for the rest of the party. Obviously that is not a problem with video games
In modern (or futuristic) RPGs we have used stealth as a group like when we infiltrated a Russian helicopter base in Twilight:2000 game. It was great but of course someone is bound to botch a roll at some point and then it's time improvise and hope you reach your objective(s) before having to retreat. I have also enjoyed reading these infiltration scenes in books (both in fiction and in spec ops missions that have been written).
Let's say we have three characters trying sneak in somewhere. Two roll awesome and one just... has no skill, rolls bad, etc. That character should be somewhat able to follow the lead of the two others but... That's not how games work. More likely than not, the whole party will be detected.
Basically I'm imagining the tribal camo stealth scene from Conan the Barbarian, but where Valeria just happens to rolls bad while infiltrating and... we skip that all creepy cannibalistic cult exposition, going straight to combat. Which would suck. And even if it didn't mean instant failure, the whole scene would drag on about her crappy stealth... which isn't how fiction works.
Another example is The Fellowship of the Ring movie, where Merry and Pippin keep constantly breaking stealth. They make the fire that attracts the Nazguls, they throw the rocks into the lake and disturb the Watcher in the Water and then cause that whole Moria battle with the skeleton, chain and a bucket.
Now, while one could argue that these actions were the narrative effects of their crappy rolls or non-existent skill... I don't really buy that. Instead, it feels to me more like they had the Stereotyped flaw and the Narrator simply Tempted them into playing up their food-oriented, playful and curious nature.
To prove that, all hobbits are actually pretty good when actual stealth is sorely needed, a'la them all hiding under that tree root as the Nazgul sniffs the fresh forest breeze above them. (Narrator: "C'mon, you're a Stereotyped hobbit. It's totally appropriate to rip a fart right now." Pippin: "No way! Keep your damn points." Merry: "Yeah, screw you... This is serious.")
As such, I think with multiple characters on the line... failure and detection should be more about Flaws and less about dice rolls.