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Author Topic: "Dogs in the Vineyard" meets "Blade of the Im  (Read 1299 times)
eruditus
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« on: November 01, 2004, 06:54:58 AM »

Check out my post on this subject and please tell me your thoughts...
http://www.livejournal.com/users/eruditus/
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Don Corcoran, Game Whore
Current projects include The Burning Wheel, Artesia and Mortal Coil
"All Hail The Wheel!"
Joshua A.C. Newman
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the glyphpress


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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2004, 08:46:21 AM »

I think it's an obvious fit. If your players have seen, say, Yojimbo and Seven Samurai, they should be all set.

The catch is that, of course, if they haven't, they won't know what they're doing and it will be awkward. The themes are universal to human social breakdown, sure. The specifics of the films - the swords, clothing, food, and other physical anthropology - really should be known. They're used as symbols in the movies and your players should have that opportunity, too.

Unfortunately, I think this means that there are two good options and two bad ones:

1: You have players who have seen a pile of Kurosawa and maybe some trash 60s Chambara and they'll jump right in.

2: You have players who are into it enough that they'll watch Yojimbo and see how it works. They'll probably be hooked. (Incidentally, Yojimbo is a great example of fallout in action).

3: You have players who think Yojimbo is stuffy because it's black and white, then treat it like homework for a game, and they'll resent it.

4: You have players who like Legend of the Five Rings and want to run around in scorpion armor kicking ass.

Option 3 is tragic and option 4 probably won't be very satisfying to do with Dogs.

My guess (based on my own experience with exactly this kind of thing) is that you're 1, another player is 2 (but you're hoping for more) and are risking 3. You probably don't want to get near 4.

I think it's a really neat idea. I'd sure as hell play.

This also reminds me of Journey to the West, where there's more on an ensemble than Yojimbo and Sanjuro. Seven Samurai seems good on the surface, but the morality in question is that of the eponymous seven, not the village.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
eruditus
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Posts: 69


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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2004, 10:53:19 AM »

Keen observations and your probably right on all accounts.  

As for Seven Samurai being more about the question of the seven, I disagree - to a point.  I think this would make an excellent DitV game.  The Pride/Injustice is obvious and probably stops there - easy, stop the raiders.  However, interactions and dealing with Fallout raising the questions about the Dogs' own moral ambiguities could easily be a viable focus for a game or two.  Mercy vs Conviction.  The age old samurai dichotomy of honor vs compassion.  

In my Dogs game thus far we already have a question: what do the other Dogs think about Edgars perpensity for mechanics (technology).  Since there is no "clear" description of its effects and its moral weight in the Book of Life (that I described to the players) then its up for interpretation.  How will it be handled.  The only think controlling the actions of the Dogs are the ancients and more directly, other Dogs.  A similar perspective exists for samurai and monks.  I definately plan on exploring the sins of the Dogs as much as the sins of the towns.

Hmmmm, the coat as Scorpion Armor....

::just kidding ::  Next we'll eb descibing our tatoos :D
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Don Corcoran, Game Whore
Current projects include The Burning Wheel, Artesia and Mortal Coil
"All Hail The Wheel!"
Joshua A.C. Newman
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Posts: 1144

the glyphpress


WWW
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2004, 01:55:05 PM »

Quote from: eruditus
As for Seven Samurai being more about the question of the seven, I disagree - to a point.  I think this would make an excellent DitV game.  The Pride/Injustice is obvious and probably stops there - easy, stop the raiders.  However, interactions and dealing with Fallout raising the questions about the Dogs' own moral ambiguities could easily be a viable focus for a game or two.  Mercy vs Conviction.  The age old samurai dichotomy of honor vs compassion.  
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Yeah, that's good fodder for players. But, to stick with our example, the Pride is in the hands of the Magistrate, who is only even mentioned once. The seven are stemming the tide of injustice, not passing judgement on it. The only time the morality of the peasants is called into question is when it turns out they've been hunting down wounded Samurai for their goodies. So the Pride is in the hands of the Daimyo, I suppose, who are even more abstract.


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In my Dogs game thus far we already have a question: what do the other Dogs think about Edgars perpensity for mechanics (technology).  Since there is no "clear" description of its effects and its moral weight in the Book of Life (that I described to the players) then its up for interpretation.  How will it be handled.  The only think controlling the actions of the Dogs are the ancients and more directly, other Dogs.
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And the King Himself. What the King tell Edgar?

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A similar perspective exists for samurai and monks.  I definately plan on exploring the sins of the Dogs as much as the sins of the towns.


I think that's a neat idea, but remember that the question of the sinhood of a particular action is in the hands of the Dog who committed the act, not other Dogs, the Ancients, or the Book of Life.

I bet there's lots of good stuff there, where the Dogs are actually discussing what the King says to them. It's liable to get pretty kooky.

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Hmmmm, the coat as Scorpion Armor....


Wait, does that actually exist in Legend of the Five Rings? Cuz I made it up out of my brains because I thought it was ridicuously over the top.

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::just kidding ::  Next we'll eb descibing our tatoos :D


Ooh, great image. If I ever get to play Benjamin (a Mountain Person convert) again, it will turn out that he's covered in geometric scars. The scars are where his tatoos used to be, but they all burned out of his skin when he converted.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
eruditus
Member

Posts: 69


WWW
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2004, 02:40:25 PM »

::shudders::

My new game is using branding as body-art :D
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Don Corcoran, Game Whore
Current projects include The Burning Wheel, Artesia and Mortal Coil
"All Hail The Wheel!"
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