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Independent Game Forums => lumpley games => Topic started by: jrs on April 09, 2007, 09:23:07 AM

Title: What I like about DitV
Post by: jrs on April 09, 2007, 09:23:07 AM
After a long hiatus, our group has started playing Dogs again.  I'm the GM and I've reworked Judd's (Paka) New Gidea town for our play.  It's great to see how the players and their characters interact with the town.  And I have re-discovered what I really like about running Dogs--having the town and its occupants revealed to me through the other players.  I have this town with its established wrongness and the various NPCs confronting the Dogs and no predetermined outcome of events.  You'd think that there would be no surprises with the actual background of the town and what has already taken place.  And then wham, a player will literally take my breath away.  It happened yesterday, when one of the players and I role-played a conversation between his character and a NPC.  He questioned the townspeople's behaviors.  Not a judgement type of question; more of a "Isn't that's real interesting" kind of question.  It was something that I had not considered, and revealed the town to me in a new way.  It gives more depth to the town than I had previously imagined.  I love that.


Title: Re: What I like about DitV
Post by: lumpley on April 09, 2007, 11:24:23 AM
I'm excited to hear that you're playing the game more.

I think I know what you mean about learning about your NPCs from the players. At least, in the middle of the town I often find that I like NPCs I expected to dislike, and vice versa. Is that the kind of thing you mean? An NPC's choices and motivations come into a kind of sharp relief in play, that you don't see while you're writing them up?


Title: Re: What I like about DitV
Post by: jrs on April 09, 2007, 12:37:01 PM
That's close, but not quite it.  You are right, playing out the townspeople does make them more real to me, and I do start having like's and dislike's that I did not hold previously.  There's something more which I will try to describe.  I'll start by writing a little about what happened in play. 

As I mentioned above, I rewrote the town New Gidea (  Much of the stuff is the same except I axed all the printer aspects, I shuffled events around a little, and I added some new people.  I set it up to focus more attention on the Clarissa character, and changed the town's name to New Horeb.  I play the town to show the townspeople as angry and wanting violence as a solution to their problems with a bit of bad-mouthing of the Steward to justify their actions.  Now, I do have a bit written up about the Steward.  He isn't a bad Steward.  He is overwhelmed by the events in the town, and he's thankful that the Dogs have arrived to help him sort it out.

So there is this scene where one of the players has his Dog track Leah to Seth's hideout; the Dog reveals himself to her on her way back to town, offers her a ride and strikes up a conversation.  He isn't letting on about knowing where she's been, and he's not trying to get a confession.  It's just a conversation, no conflict in sight.  Due to earlier events Leah has cause to be thankful to the Dogs.  Without revealing the whereabouts of her husband, she confides that she believes her husband's actions were wrong, but she doesn't want to see him out-right killed in anger.  She says that Seth should have gone to the Steward first.  This is when the player as Dog asks, "Why didn't you?  Why has none of the townspeople with grief gone to the Steward?" 

And this gives me pause.  I play out Leah's answer that she does not know.  I do not know.  I don't imagine the Steward as a bad sort.  It is true that he did not see the Pride and Injustice that started the wrongness in the town.  It is just that in this town the people do not have faith in the Steward.  It doesn't seem like much of a shocker all written out like this, but it was for me during play.  I was so focused on the active townspeople that I did not consider the Steward a major factor.  I like what this says about this particular town. 

So, I guess the issue is that the other players reveal my own prejudices in creating the town the way that I did.


p.s. I think have a thing about Stewards which I'm realizing as I write this.  Earlier in this forum, I'd asked about using townspeople as improvised belongings with the specific desire to have that town's Steward be used in that manner (and I was thinking d4 instead of d6).

Title: Re: What I like about DitV
Post by: lumpley on April 13, 2007, 08:07:52 AM
Here's me seizing upon your PS instead of your main point, alas. But, stewards!

The last town I GMed, I decided that for once the Dogs were going to have to deal with the steward instead of lining him automatically up with the villains. It was great. He was like, "hold on, what did you think I could do about it? Drag my own parishoner out into the street and put him down? That's YOUR job, not mine." Very grudgingly, they allowed as how he had a point.