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[DitV]Fall Valley Branch

Started by Simon Kamber, April 10, 2005, 11:23:12 PM

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Simon Kamber

(First a note to my potential players. Since I'm not sure yet who I'll be running this town for: If you know me, don't read this)

The town of fall valley lies in fully faithful territory in a valley surrounded by mountains. The town thrives mostly on farming, but each month except for the winter months, a cart with supplies arrives from a branch on the other side of the mountains. The town is heavily dependent on these supplies, as the farms do not yield enough to keep the town self-sufficient. Apart from these monthly visits, the town is mostly isolated.

Something is wrong!
Brother Daniel owns one of the large farms south of the city. Last year, his farm yielded an unprecedented harvest. Naturally, Br. Daniel was overjoyed. Other citizens were less thrilled though, especially because Br. Daniel forgot his manners and openly claimed that he deserved his luck, that he had worked harder than anyone else. This was the King of Life's reward for his dedication.
The luck did not last, however. Not too long after the harvest had been brought home, Brother Daniel's barn caught fire. The fire was quenched, but a large part of the harvest was lost.

When Daniels farm burned, several of the other farmers were quite gleeful. They felt that it was only fair. The Steward Br. Zachary even suggested, in private of cause, that the King of Life had punished Daniel for his pride.

During the next few days, the whole town was utterly silent on the matter. No one stepped up to help Daniel, even though that would have been the custom. Everyone knew that if no one helped Daniel, he and his family would be starving this winter. But then again, hadn't the King of Life himself punished Br. Daniel for his pride?

When the next cart arrived, Daniel suggested that he should be given a larger share of the goods. He was going to need it for the winter. Brother Zachary opposed this. It was, he argued, Br. Daniel's own fault. Some of the other townsfolk, like Brother Samuel, quietly agreed with Br. Daniel, but as the steward, Br. Zachary holds a lot of power in the town, so no one spoke up against him. As the food was split, Br. Zachary managed to secure more than his part. Brother Samuel saw this, but he was too afraid that Br. Zachary would turn on him next, so he did nothing.

Demonic Attacks:
When winter came, the demons made their move. Rats appeared, and began to eat away at the grain stored in Br. Daniel's barn (which had not yet been fully rebuilt). Later, the rats also appeared at the (to the demons) appropriate time in Samuel's barn.

False Doctrine:
As a result of this, Br. Zachary and his supporters started saying that the King of Life was sorting out in Fall Valley. Br. Zachary claimed that he was being rewarded for his faith, and that Br. Daniel and Br. Samuel were being punished for their sins and their faithlessness.

"The king of life divides the goods justly according to strength of faith"

Corrupt Worship:
As Br. Zachary's stocks kept growing, and Br. Zachary kept preaching his false doctrine, his power in the town grew. He has begun talking of the King's justice, and claiming that he is the only one in the town who knows the King's true will, and people have begun to believe him. Those who haven't been hit by disaster and starvation either agree with him, or pretend to agree with him lest he turn on them next.

As Br. Zachary started to gain status, the demons turned to him. They have begun supporting his claims with "miracles" and "punishments". Zachary himself is convinced that he is enacting the King of Life's will. When Sister Sarah, Br. Daniel's wife, spoke up to him, she was struck by illness. She died yesterday, which dealt the final blow to Br. Daniel's doubt. He is now convinced that Zachary is speaking the truth, that the King of Life has punished him for his pride.

Hate & Murder:
Brother Samuel is aware of what is happening. He knows that Br. Zachary is in the wrong, but untill yesterday, he hadn't really considered that demons might be involved. Yesterday, however, he entered his barn to see an unusual amount of rats feasting on his grain. That was the spark that ignited his rage. Last night, he sneaked over to Zachary's farm and lighted his home on fire, well aware that Zachary, his wife and his kids were sleeping in there. One of the kids hasn't woken up since, and is going to die soon if things don't change for the better. The other is already dead.

Who are the people, and what do they want:

Brother Daniel
Brother Daniel initially wants the Dogs, and through them the King of Life, to forgive them so he can get some food and feed his starving children. If they convince him that Br. Zachary is lying, he will want a new steward. Either way, he doesn't condone Br. Samuels arson (if he isn't convinced Zachary is lying, he'll believe Samuel sinned to deserve the rats).

Sister Sarah, Brother Daniel's wife, is dead from her illness

Brother Samuel
Brother Samuel wants the Dogs to replace, and punish, the steward. He also wants them to restore Daniel to his senses. He doesn't considers his own arson a sin, and he doesn't seem to care about the children. He does have a small daughter of his own, sister Patience.

Sister Abigail, Brother Samuel's wife
Sister Abigail is chocked by the change to her husband. He has been acting depressed, and spent a lot of time "thinking", since the supply cart arrived. Then yesterday when he saw the rats, he snapped. She wants the Dogs to return her husband to his former self.

Brother Zachary, the Steward
Brother Zachary wants the dogs to punish Samuel for his sinful crime. He does not want them to touch upon his false doctrine, which he doesn't believe to be a false doctrine per se.

Sister Rebecca, the Steward's wife
The stewards wife is all in tears after the fire. With her one child dead, and the other dying, she doesn't care about much else right now. She wants the dogs to save her child and to punish Samuel harshly. She has noticed that her husband has been acting strangely lately, and she does want him to stop his false doctrine, but right now, it's just not important to her.

Brother Hamilton, the stewards youngest son, died in the fire.

Brother Thaddeus, the stewards eldest son
Br. Thaddeus is currently in coma, hanging on to life by a thin thread. He will die if the dogs don't tend to him. If saved, he believes Samuels crime is a great one. Like his mother, he has noticed that the steward has been acting strangely, but doesn't consider it important.

What do the demons want
The demons want the false doctrine to grow and prosper. They want any bad luck to be seen as a crime.

What do the demons want the dogs to do
The demons want the dogs to punish Samuel without touching on the false doctrine, thereby confirming Br. Zachary in his beliefs.

What would happen if the dogs didn't come?
The townspeople would hang Samuel in the street, and this "justice" would reinforce their belief that Br. Zachary is right. Soon, the demons will have their will and they will begin to act on "signs from the King of Life" without further confirmation.

EDIT: Wrote this up for use as a first town for a group that haven't played dogs yet. After reading this through again, I realize that it's become quite a lot more complex than the original idea, so I'll probably write up a more simple town for the first game, and leave this one for another session.

Still, since it's the first town I've written, I'd appreciate some general input.
Simon Kamber

Jason Morningstar

I think this looks good.  It is very straightforward and includes the full spectrum of bad things that can happen in Dogs, so there will be some serious challenges.  I also like the dying child, which can lead to some powerful scenes not directly related to resolution.

One suggestion - Brother Daniel's boasting was pretty minor in relation to the punishment the town inflicted on him.  Would it would make things a little murkier and more difficult if his sin was greater and the town a bit more justified in shunning him?

How do you see the demons aiding their faction when the Dogs begin to get involved?


Lance D. Allen

I think the town is perfect, and way harsh. Any Dogs going through it are going to come out the other side shaken, I think.

Don't change it. It's very straightforward. Just make sure that the NPCs actively approach the Dogs, stating their side of things, their wants, and it'll run like a dream, I think.
~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls

Simon Kamber

I think I'm probably going to up Br. Daniel's level of bragging a bit, perhaps even have him hinting that the other farmers are lazy, and leave it at that. I didn't intend for his sin to be a major one, just enough to start the avalanche (or is that really "just"? ;) )
Simon Kamber

Lance D. Allen

Yeah, I like the idea of his bragging being a fairly minor sin. It segues nicely into the potential for every minor slip up or mistake being punished by the new cult, and it begs the lesson that even the small things can, unchecked, have large scale consequences.
~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls

Simon Kamber

I played through West Cotton Fields this thursday. I plan on changing this town a bit to fit the themes we ended up with in that game. I have a few ideas:

- Up Zachary to Enoch's level of sin. This guy is an asshole. No redeeming qualities! Might even have a few possessed cult members backing him up. No reason not to shoot him at all ... except that his wife already lost one (two?) children, and she's begging the Dogs to make him stop, and let him live. Does she (!) deserve mercy for his sins?

- Have another steward. Basically, Zachary isn't the steward, just the guy pulling the strings in the town. As soon as he saw what was coming, the steward wanted to change it. Only, Zachary's power was too great. If he stood up to Zachary, he would risk being trampled under Zachary's political power in the town, and probably strung up too if he didn't die of the plague before then. So in effect, the steward hasn't done a thing about it, just like Br. Job of West Cotton Fields. However, unlike Job, he'll approach the dogs and ask for help.

What do you think about those changes?
Simon Kamber