The Forge Archives

Independent Game Forums => lumpley games => Topic started by: Mikael on January 10, 2006, 01:02:56 AM

Title: [Dogs of Fortune*] Alternate setting for Everway
Post by: Mikael on January 10, 2006, 01:02:56 AM
(* If this sounds too mercenary, I could go with "Dogs in the 'Way".)

This is to be a multi-part post. This first post deals with background and basic character conversion/mechanics. I apologize in advance for my posting speed, likely to be slow due to family stuff.


I am a part of a group of players who seem to find less and less suitable days to gather and play - families, work and whatnot being higher priorities, I guess. Given the fact that we play rarely, and with a group where most of the players like to have character continuity, my "Indie Game of the Week" crushes do not see a lot of play. So, in order to try them out, I tend to pick some rules and reuse them in my Everway campaign - so far the players have been patient with my ever-shifting rules, as long as they can follow the progress of their characters.

So. Having played one session of Dogs straight with another group, I am going to try to adapt it for Everway to get some of that conflict resolution goodness included. Also, I would like to be able to transfer some of that unique mixing of conflicting interpersonal agendas that the Town creation rules provide.

Overall, Everway and Dogs seem a pretty good match. The typical Everway scenario has the Spherewalking party enter a Realm on some Sphere, finding "something wrong" with the Realm. Often the wrongness is tied to the Fortune Deck or the gods. Thus the players are used to rooting out the problem and solving it. But how am I going to get the PCs to move from problem solving to hard judgments? I will come back to that after some basic mechanics discussion. If all you are really interested in is this fundamental "protagonizing" element of Dogs, feel free to skip to that section (later post).

Basic mechanics - character creation and conflict resolution:

I want Dogs conflict resolution and fallout rules and cannot be bothered trying to find a good game balance by myself. Thus I will ask the players to "convert" or "rebuild" their current characters with Dogs character creation rules, with some Everway color and additional twists included. By the way, the game balance issue is also the reason why I am not taking Vincent's Ars Magica(?) conversion as a starting point, even if it might have had more appropriate conflict and escalation rules.

Let's start from the Dogs background options. I think that they match nicely to the community-oriented, invent-your-own-background vibe of Everway, so let's just use them as-is.

Everway uses the four Greek elements as character attributes, and there's a relatively easy match to the Dogs character attributes. We'll use the elements to retain some Everway color:
Air - Acuity
Earth - Body
Fire - Will
Water - Heart

Players assign the dice to these attributes as in standard Dogs. They may use their Everway character attributes as guidelines, but they do not have to, if they have some new ideas about their characters.

Traits and relationships can be used as-is, even the Blood 1d6 relationship. Let's take the easy route here and say that Everway Specialties, Power and Magic all become traits, at the players discretion (again meaning that they do not have to be more faithful to their original character concept than they want to).

The thing that needs to be either a trait or a relationship could be something like "Thousand times have I solved your problems" in this setting.

Equipment works the same, except really fancy magical stuff needs to be a trait, and the "standard" items would be different. We'll get back to them later.

Conflicts run the same as in Dogs, except the escalation sequence needs to be fiddled with. Instead of Guns, we have Killing, which essentially means that the character is using his or her "best weapon" to try and finish the adversary. Each player has to define what this means for his or her character - whether it is a specific weapon, special power or a magical attack.

Based on our assignments above, here's the basic escalation sequence using Everway elements. On Everway character sheets, the elements are presented in a circle, with each element being a "slice of the pie". Each two adjacent elements form "half of the pie", and the combination is called a hemisphere. I have included the names of the hemispheres in parentheses.

Talking: Air + Water (Wisdom)
Physical: Earth + Water (Integrity)
Fighting: Earth + Fire (Power)
Killing: Air + Fire (Energy)

Here I think that the match with the Everway sensibilities is first significantly strained. For example, we have a magician who specializes in Water-based spirit magic, Water being the element of feeling, empathy and mysticism. Why would that guy's "Killing arena" be fueled by Air and Fire, when clearly his greatest potential lies in his Water? It might be better to let the players reorganize their individual escalation elements. The sequence of escalation from talking to killing stays the same, but the attributes/elements used for each step would differ from character to character. Thus the Water Spirit magic guy, for example, might have his Killing arena be an Air + Water (Wisdom) combo, instead of the usual Air + Fire (Energy). This might also let the players say something about their characters, in the way they select the hemispheres for each arena. One character's approach to talking someone into something might be to rely on his Integrity (honesty) while another might rely on her Power (forcefulness) and so on.

I guess this is still pretty basic stuff besides the option to reorganize the attributes used for various escalation steps, so please, comments on that, especially as you do not need to know Everway to comment.

Next: Justification for judgment, ceremonial fallout and modified Realm creation rules