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Author Topic: [DitV] Wahanish Branch  (Read 7150 times)
Jason Morningstar
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Posts: 1428


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« on: April 02, 2005, 07:49:54 PM »

Hi Everybody,

I wanted to try building a town that wasn't so far along in the slide toward murder and sorcery, some place that was more foolish than evil or dangerous.  It could be a light-hearted break, but it'll also be interesting to see how Dogs choose to handle it.  Here's what I came up with - your feedback is much appreciated.

* * *

WAHANISH BRANCH

Wa-Hah-Nish means “Low Standing” in the language of the Mountain People, and the first settlers took it as the name for their town.  In time it grew to be a prosperous little community of sheep and cattle ranching high in the southeastern foothills, with a mixed population of Faithful and unbelievers.  The Faithful are outnumbered by about three to one, but things are usually very cordial.  

The Steward, brother Amos Mock, owns the largest store in town, the Tree of Life Cooperative.  He is also the chairman of the school board.  

SOMETHING’S WRONG
 
The Dogs arrive for the annual Independence Day celebration, which occurs in early July.  Independence Day is not a holiday recognized by the Faith, which has a somewhat strained relationship with the government Back East, but in communities with large unbeliever populations (such as Wahanish), it can’t be avoided.  It is a time for community picnics, friendly contests, brass bands, patriotic speeches, and parades.  God’s Watchdogs will, no doubt, have a grand old time.

Here’s the thing – in Wahanish, the various contests have gotten a little out of hand, and the reputation of the Faith hangs in the balance – at least to the Faithful of Wahanish.  A lot of people are focused on winning blue ribbons, to an unhealthy degree.  Since they are vastly outnumbered, and it isn’t even an important holiday for them, the Faithful traditionally don’t do very well.  This year, though, it will be different!  

PRIDE

Brother Amos, the Steward, has put subtle pressure on those in his Stewardship to demonstrate the superiority of the Faith through achievement during the Independence Day competitions.  He’s not only treating his Stewardship like power, he’s also playing favorites and spending a lot of time and energy on those most like to “make a good showing”.  Others – heads of households – are following his example, and everyone is tightly wound with anticipation and anxiety.  The most foolish of the Faithful, spurred by the Steward, have loudly and arrogantly proclaimed that this will be “their year”.  

The Ladies Sewing Circle, led by Sister Tamar Ward, has created a parade float.  They’ve chosen, as their patriotic theme, “The Women of the Great Rebellion”.  To impress the judges, Sister Tamar has gathered the most attractive Faithful girls and dressed them in soldier’s clothing, ragged from battle in interesting and exciting ways.  They carry old-fashioned muskets and escort flag-draped cart carrying a papier-mache bust of Liberty, naked and golden.  All of this has been done in great secrecy, and the bawdy float wagon is under a tarp in the Ward’s locked barn.  The Steward, who sold them the notions and gold paint, has a good idea what’s going on.

The boys of the Faith, led by Jesse Van Der Hayden, have rigged the foot race, which is the biggest sporting event of the day.  The local unbeliever church and the Branch each field a team of their best young runners, and they race on either side of the creek for about a quarter mile.  Each night for a week they have been busy “watering” the unbeliever side of the river bank to reduce the firm clay to wet, slick mud.  If all goes as planned, they will win for the first time ever.  

A bunch of Faithful men, without the knowlege of the Steward, have bet pretty heavily on the outcome of the foot race.  Brother Balt Van Der Heyden leads this group of a dozen men, mostly fathers of racers.  

INJUSTICE

Righteousness suffers.  The people of the Faith must either answer the call of their husbands, fathers, and Branch Steward and sin, or defy them and humiliate the Faith in the eyes of the greater community.  Of course this isn't exactly reality, but that is how people see it.

SINS

Worldliness – Sister Tamar and her sewing circle are greatly looking forward to their startling parade debut as alluring re-enactors.  In fact, they’ve enjoyed trying to outdo each other in designing the most artfully revealing “uniform”.  The costumes don’t look much like what soldiers wore in the Great Rebellion, but they are eye-catching.  

Worldliness - Balt Van Der Hayden and his pals are gambling, for money, without knowing that the race is fixed – not that this will matter to the losers when it is inevitably revealed.  Balt’s son Jesse has promised him that they will win, and that was good enough for Balt to put down fifty dollars.  Others soon followed suit.  This is one area where the potential for violence is high.  

Deceit – the Faithful boys, led by Jesse Van Der Hayden, are flat-out cheating to win a race against stronger, faster opponents.  They feel that the Branch is depending on them not to fail, and certainly feel justified in “evening the playing field”.  After all, the unbelievers have three times as many boys to choose from!

DEMONIC ATTACKS
.  
Demons don’t need to get involved for this foolishness to serve their purposes.  The women’s parade float will be a scandal; the boys cheating will be uncovered; the gamblers will be held accountable.  The reputation of the Faith will be badly tarnished.  

WHAT DO THE TOWNSPEOPLE WANT FROM THE DOGS?

Everyone – from the Steward to the kids in the foot race – desperately want the Dogs to enter various contests showcasing their unique skills – there should be something happening for every Dog, from axe-throwing to trick riding.  If the Dogs get involved, the Branch’s own guilt will be lessened.  
 
Of course, they also want the Dogs to approve of their behavior and machinations, and will spill the beans when appropriate – hopefully after the Dogs have solemnly promised to participate in the festivities and signed up.  

The only Faithful who is not caught up in the madness is Brother John Ward, husband of Tamar, who knows what both she and the Faithful boys are up to, but is too timid to put a stop to any of it.  The Steward’s son, Henry, is missing his lower left arm and wasn’t chosen as a runner.  He’s fully up to speed on the boys’ tricks and is conflicted between reporting a sin and ratting out his pals.  

WHAT DO THE DEMONS WANT?

They’d love it if the Dogs fell into some prideful posturing of their own, but they’ll be pleased if the Branch’s plans simply unravel amid accusations and fisticuffs.  

WHAT DO THE DEMONS WANT THE DOGS TO DO?

Have a good time.  Showboat.  Show those unbelievers how cool you are.

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THE DOGS DIDN’T COME?

After a public spectacle and humiliating revelations of gambling and cheating, the branch would hunker down to prepare for the next Independence Day celebration, with extra Sin and a liberal dollop of False Doctrine added in.  

WHO’S WHO

Brother Amos Mock, Branch Steward, owner, Tree of Life Cooperative, Chair of the Wahanish school board
Silla Mock, his wife
Henry Mock, their son, missing part of his arm

Brother John Ward, farrier, husband of Tamar
Sister Tamar Ward, leader of the Ladies Sewing Circle Float Committee

Balt Van Der Hayden, ownere, Wahanish Beacon newspaper
Jesse Van Der Hayden, Balt’s son, runner and cheat

Luther Sibley, Mayor and owner, Wahanish Federal Bank, float judge, unbeliever
Cordell Bryant, Sherrif of Wahanish, float judge, unbeliever
Fred Hall, Lazy D ranch, cattle baron, float judge, unbeliever
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lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2005, 04:25:14 AM »

Lightweight my eye! Great!

-Vincent
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hix
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Posts: 531

Steve Hickey


« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2005, 12:26:08 PM »

Quote from: jason
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THE DOGS DIDN’T COME?

After a public spectacle and humiliating revelations of gambling and cheating, the branch would hunker down to prepare for the next Independence Day celebration, with extra Sin and a liberal dollop of False Doctrine added in.


How significant are these stakes in DitV?
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Cheers,
Steve

Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs
Ul
Member

Posts: 13


« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2005, 12:50:45 PM »

Quote from: hix
How significant are these stakes in DitV?


From what I can see not really that important, as the dogs after all, do come.

But it is a interesting thing to know, mostly because it (as GM) gives you a good idea in which to escelate (if needed for some reason) what is happening in town because of the dogs actions.
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I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every single moment of it
MikeSands
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Posts: 124


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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2005, 12:54:12 PM »

Quote from: hix
How significant are these stakes in DitV?


'not too bad right now but leave it alone and everything will go to hell"
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Simon Kamber
Member

Posts: 175


« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2005, 01:06:29 PM »

The abscense of demonic influence in this city seems kind of striking. Is this because you're going for a low-supernatural setting?

I could easily see the demons moving in when they started sinning in order to improve their chances to win the games. Something as subtle as making their cheating even more effective, and taking the rage when they are discovered to the next level. Nothing obviously demonic, just the hint of "something's wrong" as a result of their sin.
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Simon Kamber
Jason Morningstar
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Posts: 1428


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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2005, 03:15:24 PM »

I challenged myself to keep the situation well in hand, rather than follow the logical progression to murder and sorcery.  If nothing else, I'm thinking this will catch players off guard and force them to consider the responsibility of Stewardship in a different, lower-powered way.  I have a hard time seeing anybody ending up dead.

As for demonic influence, you could certainly emphasize that if you wanted, but I think they'd be subtle when things were going their way.  It'll be interesting to see if the *players* see demons here.  

Then again I could imagine a certain sort of Dog going along with the wrongness, rationalizing it like the Branch is doing, and having a blast.
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Simon Kamber
Member

Posts: 175


« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2005, 10:12:53 PM »

Quote from: jasonm
I challenged myself to keep the situation well in hand, rather than follow the logical progression to murder and sorcery.  If nothing else, I'm thinking this will catch players off guard and force them to consider the responsibility of Stewardship in a different, lower-powered way.  I have a hard time seeing anybody ending up dead.

Sounds interesting. Dogs has a habit of escalating seemingly innocent situations ;)

Quote
As for demonic influence, you could certainly emphasize that if you wanted, but I think they'd be subtle when things were going their way.  It'll be interesting to see if the *players* see demons here.

Yeah, the demonic influence would certainly have to be subtle. But it would be there, like it always is when the "sin" like is broken. Or would they? Is it all just coincidence?

Like you say, it'll be very interesting to see if the players see demons in the situation.
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Simon Kamber
hix
Member

Posts: 531

Steve Hickey


« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2005, 04:21:38 PM »

I'm gunna rephrase my question - 'cos it's exposed a blank spot for me about DitV.

Say the Dogs come to town and they do what the Demons want them to do. In other words, the situation deteriorates along the lines of 'What if the Dogs didn't come'. (NB: I'm not even sure this is possible; it sounds like the Dogs usually have demonic influence rubbed in their face and that they have to pass judgment.)

But let's assume the worst.

So, my real question is this. Assuming the following happens:

Quote
After a public spectacle and humiliating revelations of gambling and cheating, the branch would hunker down to prepare for the next Independence Day celebration, with extra Sin and a liberal dollop of False Doctrine added in.


... does that have any in-game effect on the Dogs? Do they take Fallout similar to this? Or is it just the next time they visit they find a deteriorated Branch?

Are there any consequences for a lack of judgement on the part of the Dogs? Are they held accountable by anyone?

(So many questions, but I am really getting to the point where I want to play this game.)
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Cheers,
Steve

Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs
MikeSands
Member

Posts: 124


WWW
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2005, 08:20:15 PM »

Quote from: hix
Say the Dogs come to town and they do what the Demons want them to do. In other words, the situation deteriorates along the lines of 'What if the Dogs didn't come'. (NB: I'm not even sure this is possible; it sounds like the Dogs usually have demonic influence rubbed in their face and that they have to pass judgment.)

But let's assume the worst.

Are there any consequences for a lack of judgement on the part of the Dogs? Are they held accountable by anyone?


No. It's up to them to judge or not. Presumably if they just let a whole lot of towns go into hate & murder, then the Stewards at the Dog's Temple will want to get some explanations from them.

In this case, the GM advice would probably make you want to build towns that push the question "why did you let that happen? what if it was worse in this way? or in that way?"

Quote

(So many questions, but I am really getting to the point where I want to play this game.)


Come along to our local games club tonight then!
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Simon Kamber
Member

Posts: 175


« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2005, 04:41:48 AM »

Quote from: hix
Are there any consequences for a lack of judgement on the part of the Dogs? Are they held accountable by anyone?

As far as I can see, nope. They represent the King of Life's will. That's the interesting thing. A dog is accountable to only one single entity, and that is you, as his/her player. Do you think it was the right thing to do to leave the branch alone?
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Simon Kamber
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