While this mechanic is not discussed in any version of the rules, just as the “Task Assistants” rule recognizes the advantage of having multiple characters attempt to perform certain tasks, there are also cases where having multiple characters engage in a task can be detrimental. The most common example is Sneaking, where it is easier for one character to go undetected than for multiple characters to go undetected. In such case, the GM may wish to employ the “Task Assistants” rule in reverse, by requiring the character with the LOWEST applicable attribute to make the Task Attempt, and applying a PENALTY based upon the number of characters engaged in the task (2 Characters = -1, 4 Characters = -2, 8 Characters = -3, etc.) Similarly, bonuses such as the +2 for “SK: Sneak” will only apply if all the characters are entitled to the bonus.
For example: Kelly (Stealth 6 with “SK: Sneak”), Diago (Stealth 5), and Mich (Stealth 7) are trying as a group to sneak past the guards of a port city. Applying the Task Assistants rule in reverse, Diago would be required to make the task attempt and would apply a -1 penalty (for a total of 3 characters) for a total Attempt Bonus of +4. Kelly’s “SK: Sneak” Peculiarity will not provide any bonus to this attempt, because neither Diago nor Mich have “SK: Sneak.”