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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [DitV] Character creation  (Read 2621 times)
coxcomb
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Posts: 202


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« on: March 11, 2005, 09:34:07 AM »

My group got together last night to play Dogs in the Vineyard for the first time. We took the whole session to make characters and get them through their accomplishments, which is kind of sad, but it worked out OK even with the slowness.

We got three pretty cool characters out of the mix:
Brother Zeke is a sharpshooting convert from back east with lots of secular book learnin' and some skill with machines. He's played by Henry, who has the least roleplaying experience of the group but still has some old-school habits built in.

Sister Lucinda is lovely young woman who's great with animals and kids but also has "Wit as sharp as a pin (2d6)". She has an animal companion--he's a raccoon. We didn't bat an eye over this detail, though it does seem strange. She's played by Lyle who has been roleplaying for twenty-five years or so. Like me, Lyle spent most of that time playing Champions/Hero System.

Brother Nathaniel is a simple farmer strong in the faith. He's not sophisticated, but his heart is pure. He's played by Mike, who is the newest member of our group and has lots of experience with RPGs in the past (though I don't know the details). He wrote "I am a Dawg" as a trait, which I told him said a lot about Nathaniel and we all thought it was cool.

We played out the accomplishments of initiation.

Brother Nataniel saved some students from a burning library. Very straightforward conflict which he won handily (he's built for that sort of thing).

Sister Lucinda didn't learn to be more tactful and keep her tongue in check when appropriate. One of the boys at the temple mockingly offers to "protect her" from a rat. She says she isn't afraid of a silly rat. He says she doesn't seem very ladylike. She implies that *he's* the one afraid of the rat because it's got bigger genitals than he does. Boy-o-boy She's gonna hafta learn to stop that at some point, but she's built to not learn it, so what are you gonna do?

Henry decided that it would be cool if Zeke learned to reconcile his secular learning with his new-ish faith. We played the scene out in one of his scripture classes at the temple. Zeke decides that all of this scripture stuff is well and good, but it was written down by people, right? So why put all this authority behind it. The teacher is like, "Yeah, people wrote it down, but the King of Life works through people all the time. Just because He didn't write it with his own hand it is still his word." Then Zeke says that people are fallible and might not transcribe the right words. The teacher says that the King of Life knows this and plans accordingly, and that everything is as the King of Life desires.
So maybe not the best exchange, but Henry ran out of dice and took some fallout as well as losing the conflict. He got the "I learned the place of science in the Faith" trait, a temporary -1 to Will fallout and an additional die of Heart for his strengthened faith. These results are very cool and make lots of sense.

Things We Liked
*Everyone is impressed by the way the conflict resolution rules make talking your way out of situations the best way to go. The fact that you are less likely to get hurt *and* more likely to get experience from settling things peacfully is incredibly cool!
*Once we got into it, the resolution mechanics were very smooth. The seeing and raising was natural and the fallout made sense to all.
*All three players both commented on teh coolness of, and actively used, the reference at the bottom of the character sheet.

Things We Had Trouble With
*Making decisions about characters. This isn't the game's fault at all, but it was our only problem of the night.

That Thing About Old Dogs and New Tricks
Yet again (this happened in our forray into Capes as well), there was reluctance to state actions for characters with authority. Mike was seeing with things like, "I'll try to find an entrance that's safe" and I had to say, "Don't *try* to do something, *do* something, then I'll counter if my dice allow it." Traditional RPGs have done a great job of smashing the storytelling instincts of my group, for which I curse them forever! (Not really, but it does piss me off).

And By The Way, Vincent, You Suck
You have no right making a game this cool. I say that, and I don't even give the smallest shit about quasi-mormons in quasi-Utah. I read through this game and then start to play it and I think, "Why the hell do I think I should be designing games? Clerly Vincent's gonna make all the good ones."
So that's it. You suck. But, please, keep sucking! ;-)
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Jay Loomis
Coxcomb Games
Check out my http://bigd12.blogspot.com">blog.
ScottM
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Posts: 221

Fresno, California


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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2005, 09:52:05 AM »

How does Sister Lucinda's racoon work?  Is it a relationship, an ability?  I'll be interested to see how she brings it into conflicts.

Can you expand on Things We Had Trouble With: Making decisions about characters?  I don't quite get what you're saying here.

Anyway, another cool sounding group if Dogs. I'll look forward to the next installments.
--Scott
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Hey, I'm Scott Martin. I sometimes scribble over on my blog, llamafodder. Some good threads are here: RPG styles.
coxcomb
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Posts: 202


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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2005, 10:34:33 AM »

The Raccoon is defined as a Belonging. We figured that since horses were mentioned in the belongings section in the book, that would be the best place for it. I'll be curious to hear whether Vincent has had that sort of thing come up before, andhow he handled it.

All I mean by trouble making decisions about characters is:
1.) People took a long time settling on traits and stuff. The freeform nature can be a little daunting to people used to picking stuff ala carte as happens in so many games.
2.) We didn't have any problems with the actual rules.
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Jay Loomis
Coxcomb Games
Check out my http://bigd12.blogspot.com">blog.
Jason Newquist
Member

Posts: 66


« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2005, 11:00:20 PM »

Quote from: coxcomb
The Raccoon is defined as a Belonging.


Absolutely.  Man shall have dominion over the Beasts and Earth.  Makes a lot of sense to me.

-Jason
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ironick
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2005, 10:01:54 AM »

We had an old three-legged dog with the requisite name of Tripod in our DitV game.  As already stated, we simply put it down as a belonging and it worked fine.  He actually died in the final showdown in our game and it was actually very sad.
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Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1962


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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2005, 06:31:57 PM »

Interestingly, animals can be either, depending on the relationship between the characters and the animal.

In my Dogs group, Raven has a dog companion which he will, IC, tell you "ain't his dog". It's listed as a belonging. A belonging he lost during the first town, and regained as part of his post-town experience.

Recently, Thaddeus gained a 1d4 relationship to Dog.

It's all incredibly fluid. Maybe later Raven will gain a relationship with his own dog. Who knows? It's very cool how it works.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
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