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Author Topic: [DitV] Relationship Dice  (Read 14791 times)
Darren Hill
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Posts: 861


« on: May 05, 2005, 01:22:18 AM »

In this old thread:
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=10953
Vincent suggests a rule for replenishing Relationship Dice over time.

Quote from: lumpley
Between towns, choose 3 dice, roll 'em, 1-3 you get it, as above. To be fiddled as actual play results warrant. Running out of Relationship dice means that you're dependent on these for new relationships, which means sometimes you'll have 'em and sometimes you won't. You can also rebuild slowly if for some reason you don't assign relationships in a town.


Is anyone using a rule along these lines?
If I get a campaign started, I was planning to increase everyone's starting relationship dice (with a bias towards the Community backgrounds of course), but this seems better.
I think though, the roll to get new dice should be based on starting Background Type.
If you start with 4d6 4d8 3d10 Relationships, that advantage is gone after a few towns. If you start with 3d6 4d8 3d10 Traits, that head start stays with you - you are constantly building on it.

Quote from: lumpley
I'm also going to wait on actual play before I do anything to Relationships with sin 'n' stuff.

This is something else that bothers me. I was thinking of having Group-type relationships cost 2 dice to get 1 dice. Hadn't figured out how that would work with fallout/experience-induced relationships yet.
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lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2005, 05:53:21 AM »

The available relationship dice options in reflection fallout work perfectly. Read them carefully to see what I did instead of tying it to background.

Making group relationships "cost" double dice is an atrocity I can't possibly support.

-Vincent
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Darren Hill
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Posts: 861


« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2005, 06:17:12 AM »

Quote from: lumpley
The available relationship dice options in reflection fallout work perfectly. Read them carefully to see what I did instead of tying it to background.


Those options are:
- Add any two dice to your unassigned Relationship dice.
- Add 2d4 plus any one die to your unassigned Relationship dice.
- Rewrite the description of your coat to reflect damage, wear, repairs or replacement.
- Choose again from the reflection / experience Fallout list.

I might agree with you if that last option wasn't there. I'm tempted to remove that option.
[edited to add: I do like those options by the way]

But it's possible the options work well for you because, as you've said elsewhere, you don't run long campaigns. In a longer game, when the starting characters have also used up all their starting Relationship dice in towns they don't visit often, the balance of dice will shift to the trait-based characters.

Quote
Making group relationships "cost" double dice is an atrocity I can't possibly support.


A stronger response than I expected. Why is it so horrible?
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lumpley
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2005, 06:35:55 AM »

There's this thing that happens sometimes when people see Dogs. They go "holy FUCK, the characters are effective! I gotta put a stop to that! How can this possibly go well if the characters run around accomplishing all their goals all the time?"

It's nonsense. The meaning of the game, now look I'm talking about the MEANING of the game, depends on the characters being effective and accomplishing their goals. Your job as a GM isn't to keep them from accomplishing exactly what they want to accomplish, it's to design good towns and then play the townspeople fully and with passion. I promise, the Dogs can win every single conflict easily and the game still works, it's still challenging morally and it'll still engage you and your players. Losing a conflict once in a while is a spice, not a staple.

Minmaxing Dogs is playing Dogs well. Some gamers, some GMs, have a really hard time with that, and it seems that you're one of them.

-Vincent
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Valamir
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2005, 07:26:30 AM »

That's absolutely true in play.

In our recent game one of the initiative achievements was "I want to make a friend at Dog School".  This character had little in the way of Social niceities and was going to get buried by the GM dice.

The player found a way to escalate to Gunfighting (which she was good at) at to get enough dice in order to win.

The key thing here wasn't whether or not she COULD make a friend.  Dogs have enough dice that the CAN do almost anything right from the start anyway.  The key was that she was willing to kill somebodies pet dog in order to make a friend.

The system provides almost no limitation on effectiveness.  Because the system isn't concerned with limiting effectiveness.  The system is concerned with making the player's choose where their effectiveness comes from.  When your only tool is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.   Do your characters have a wide range of tools on their character sheet?  Or do they have 1 really big hammer (like a super high gun fighting stat).  

As Vincent noted earlier...the character with the super high gun fighting stat is a Dog GM's dream come true.  The question isn't "how good is he with a gun".  The question is "given that so much of his character's effectiveness is tied up in that gun, how often will he use it"  i.e. at what point do all the innocent townfolk start looking like nails to him.

That's why doubling the cost of relationship dice as a way of limiting effectiveness is an abomination in this game.  You WANT the players to have that kind of effectivness at their disposal.
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Darren Hill
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Posts: 861


« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2005, 10:51:07 PM »

Quote from: lumpley
There's this thing that happens sometimes when people see Dogs. They go "holy FUCK, the characters are effective! I gotta put a stop to that! How can this possibly go well if the characters run around accomplishing all their goals all the time?"


Quite possibly they do. I'm just posting to point out that it's not my worry. I routinely run games where the players are pretty much the most powerful people around, and where what they choose to do, not whether they succeed or not, is the driving force of the game. So that's not my concern.
My concern is the rate of chance of characters. But I've rambled enough about that, so I'll shut up now :)
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Darren Hill
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2005, 11:53:50 PM »

Quote from: Valamir
That's why doubling the cost of relationship dice as a way of limiting effectiveness is an abomination in this game.  You WANT the players to have that kind of effectivness at their disposal.


Alright, what about this.
You put 1 die in Group relationship, you get 1 die.
You put 1 die in a Single relationship, you get 2 dice (or 2 single relationships at 1 die).

This actually is more appealing, now that I think about it.

Does this change the objections?
Honestly, I'm not bothered about limiting effectiveness at all. What I'm trying to do is make each option equally attractive.
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cdr
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Posts: 93


« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2005, 01:25:39 AM »

Perhaps I'm missing something.  By "groups" do you mean institutions, like the Faith or the Dogs? p40 in "Conflict & Resolution" points out that you only use relationship dice with an institution if your opponent is a person with authority in the institution or what's at stake is your status with regard to the institution.  It's not like a person where you get the dice when they're your opponent, or they're what's at stake, or when they come to your active aid in a conflict.

So if you're planning to lay a lot of smackdown on Stewards, then taking dice in a relationship with the Faith makes a lot of sense (and seems fine to me, because its telling the GM you want a lot of conflict with people in authority in the Faith). But I don't see why that would need to cost more than a relationship with anything else?
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Darren Hill
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2005, 02:35:57 AM »

Quote from: cdr
Perhaps I'm missing something.  By "groups" do you mean institutions, like the Faith or the Dogs?


I mean any relationship that can be recurring across multiple towns without needing a single NPC to be present. Insititutions, Sins, even Demons (it may be the same demon, but it's always available).

Quote
p40 in "Conflict & Resolution" points out that you only use relationship dice with an institution if your opponent is a person with authority in the institution or what's at stake is your status with regard to the institution.


This does bring to mind a question I had forgotten about.
In character design, you must have a Trait along the lines of "I'm a Dog," or take a relationship with the Dogs.
If you take a Relationship with the Dogs, when can you use it, because that "what's at stake is your status with regard to the institution" is not clear to me.
Could you use it in any case where you are attempting to solve the problems of a town - because if you don't succeed, your status with regard to the institution might well be compromised.
Or, is it much more specific - you can only use it when you are attempting to prove something to your superiors, for instance? But that doesn't seem right given the premise of the game: Dogs don't really answer to anyone else.
Confused...
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Darren Hill
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Posts: 861


« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2005, 02:55:25 AM »

You can take a Relationship with an institution like Faith or Dogs, and probably Territorial Authority.

Could you take a Relationship with, say, "Outlaws"?
What about (different question) "the McMurdough Gang"?

Or would these be taken as Traits instead?
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lumpley
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« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2005, 05:35:47 AM »

I hate to tell you this, but the answer is to take traits and relationships that make sense to you. Tell your players to take traits and relationships that make sense to them.

Can you? Would you? Do you? Hell I don't know. Write down words that make sense and that everybody knows what you mean.

Screwing around with making some relationships "cost" more than others is a terrible idea. It's a throwback to a really stupid and outmoded - or at least incompatible with Dogs - approach to RPG design.

If your group decides that "obviously" group relationships are better than individual relationships, then I guess that means that everyone in your group should take only group relationships. That doesn't bother me a bit, it shouldn't bother you either.

-Vincent
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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the glyphpress


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« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2005, 12:47:22 PM »

Quote from: demiurgeastaroth
You put 1 die in Group relationship, you get 1 die.
You put 1 die in a Single relationship, you get 2 dice (or 2 single relationships at 1 die).
...What I'm trying to do is make each option equally attractive.


A Relationship with Farmers is pretty useful. A relationship with Farmer Ted, taken the moment you draw on him, is really useful - for a minute.

They overlap, you dig.

Relationships:
 Dogs: 6d4 (I didn't want to join)
 Sr. Watchdog Rebekah: 4d10 (I'm in love with her)

There! You've got stuff to fight about! That's what relationships are for.

Why is it better to make Rebekah worth more dice than Dogs?
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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.
Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2005, 05:30:06 PM »

There's a couple of questions here that haven't yet been answered.

1. Institution Relationships:
The term 'institution' (and examples in text: Dogs, Faith) suggest to me actual, formalised institutions.
Can this kind of relationship apply to loose groups, such as "Outlaws" or (nikola's example) "Farmers".

2. With a Relationship with the Dogs, you can use it "when what's at stake is your status with regard to the institution". I may be being dense, but I'm not clear what that means. To help me see, can someone suggest three different examples of this?
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Darren Hill
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Posts: 861


« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2005, 05:36:07 PM »

Quote from: nikola
A Relationship with Farmers is pretty useful. A relationship with Farmer Ted, taken the moment you draw on him, is really useful - for a minute.


But less useful than a Relationship with Farmers. :)
I'm happy to let this point drop though. I'm not going to see eye to eye with you, and that's okay.
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Eric Provost
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« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2005, 05:48:07 PM »

I think perhaps that the point is that it really dosen't matter if the relationship with Farmer Ted is more or less useful than a relationship with Farmers as a whole.  What does matter is that your choice of relationships tells us all about who you want your character to get into conflicts with.  If you take the broad scope of Farmers, then we know that you don't care which farmer you get into conflict with, you just want to get into conflict with farmers.  On the other hand, if you just have Farmer Ted as your relation, then we know that you're specifically interested in conflicting with or about Farmer Ted.  It's not the power of your character that's important, it what you're telling us about your character that is.

-Eric
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