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[DitV] Tower Creek Branch in Beaverton

Started by ffilz, February 25, 2006, 10:18:38 AM

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I introduced the young couple in my gaming group to Dogs this evening. I had decided to invite just the two of them so I would be able to really try and pay attention to the young wife. While she still needed a lot of help coming up with responses, she was definitely way more engaged in this game than in any of our games in the past. I think with a good nurturing narativist play environment she will have the opportunity to really grow.

The characters (sex matches the players), I'll try and remember original stats:

Sister Solla Well
Her father was a doctor in a modest sized town so she was raised well educated. Strong History.
Stats: Acuity 6d6 Body 2d6 Heart 4d6 Will 2d6
Traits: Good listener 1d10, Natural healer 2d10, Mama's tonic will cure anything 2d8, Grandma taught me how to talk with people about their problems 2d8, Good shot with a gun 1d6, Good cook 2d6
Relationships: Dogs 1d6, Father looks down on me 1d4, Went to school with cousin Sam 1d8
Belongings: Coat lovingly made by family 2d6, Big well stocked medicine bag 2d8, Big shotgun 1d8+1d4, Finest clydesdale horse 2d8, Big book of life with fine leather binding 2d8

Accomplishment: Do I convince my father that I am worthy. Her father is brought with a broken leg and she must heal it. She succeeds and gains Father is proud of me 1d6.

Brother Sid Winder
Grew up in a small town, not very notable. Had a friend, Jacob, who vanished without a trace in his childhood, Complicated History
Stats: Acuity 4d6 Body 5d6 Heart 1d6 Will 5d6
Traits: Grab them by the scruff of the neck 1d10, Throw the "Book" at them 1d10, Can tie 'em up with anything 1d6, Tin can killer 2d4, Hold 'em, fold 'em and take the money for charity 1d4, Casts a 12 o'clock shadow 1d6, Whistle wetter with whisky 1d4
Relationships: Dogs 3d6, Prospector's pal 1d8
Belongings: Patchwork cowhide cloak 1d4, Silver tipped cross blade 2d8, Pair of pearl handled revolvers 2d6+1d4, Book of life with trick binding (hiding sacred stuff) 2d6, Big jar of earth with special cap (whiskey) 1d8

Accomplishment: do I learn about Jacob: Sid fights off a wolf at night and learns that Jacob is still alive. Gains Friend not killed 1d6, also takes Jacob as a relationship 1d8.

The accomplishment conflicts went well, though looking back, I'm not sure the traits gained were ideal, but the stakes were well set and the conflicts ran well. The players took to the mechanics very quickly.

The pair of dogs rode into Tower Creek, arriving just in time for dinner. Steward Ephraim came out to meet them and invited them in for dinner. They noticed the parlor was quite dusty while the dining room was well kept, soon finding out that Sister Edie was responsible for the parlor, while Sister Berthia was responsible for the dining room. Sister Berthia dominated the conversation at dinner and brought up Edie's barreness. Sister Solla tried to interrupt Berthia and give Edie a chance to speak providing our first conflict (the player initiated the idea for this conflict - cool!). Although many characters were at the table, I ran the conflict purely between Solla and Berthia. Unfortunately, Solla had to give, and Berthia dominated the conversation for the rest of the evening.

Sister Berthia took Sister Solla upstairs to the spare bedroom and asked her to convince Ephraim to put Edie aside. Sister Edie cleared off the couch for Brother Sid to sleep and then went upstairs to chat with Sister Solla. She spilled her guts about Brother Cyrus and her marriage to him (but not who performed the ceremony), and her fears that her infidelity had brought on her barreness. In the morning, Ephraim asked Sid to bless Edie to conceive.

Sid headed to talk to Brother Cyrus, while Solla headed to talk to her cousin Sister Wilhelmina. On his way to speak to Cyrus, Sister Patience and Sister Almena prevailed upon Sid to come name Patience's still born son. While waiting for Patience's husband (he wanted both present during the naming), he was told the story of how Patience had got up in the night to close a banging shutter and tripped over a shotgun which went off and blasted her, causing the still birth (with lots of blood).

Meanwhile, Sister Wilhelmina doesn't want to talk to Sister Solla. She is quite adamant, and eventually runs her cousin off by shooting her shotgun in the air. Sister Solla comes away with a 1d4 relationship with Sister Wilhelmina.

Sid then went and talked to Cyrus, and there was a conflict, but I don't recall much about it (Sid's player wanted a conflict, so I was quite happy to frame one). It was interesting and well played, just not memorable. It did get physical. He took I am NOT a marriage counselor 1d4 for long term fallout from this conflict.

Then Sister Solla went to heal Sister Patience and was successefull, though it was a struggle (at this point, that conflict was 4d6+3d10 for demonic influence). Sister Solla had to take a walk in the woods to contemplate things (short term fallout).

Then Brother Sid went and talked to Sister Edie to gain the final bits of information about Sister Wilhelmina's sorcery (and of course he quickly realized she was the cause of the baby's stillbirth). So off he went to confront Sister Wilhelmina. Out came the demonic influence and eventually, Brother Sid was blown off the porch by a foul wind. He took a 1d4 relationship with Sister Wilhelmina.

The two dogs fetch Steward Ephraim and march back to Sister Wilhelmina's house to get her to confess. Brother Sid opens the conflict by trying to shoot out a window, but the glass doesn't break and reflects the bullet back at him (a reversing the blow). They had a knock down drag out fight, with Sister Solla eventually giving rather than taking a gunshot wound (Sister Wilhelmina had a quick reload 2d8 trait, and raised an 18 to shoot both Solla and Sid). Sid took the blow with 3 dice. Sid eventually prevailed (a memorable exchange was raising 7 with his 2d4 tin can shooter, being blocked by Wilhelmina's 2d4 You wouldn't shoot a lady would you? - rolling exaclty a 7!) having taken another gunshot for 3 more dice. Sister Wilhelmina confessed as Brother Sid found he was mortally wounded. I allowed him to participate in the followup conflict to cast out the demon as his dying act.

Casting out the demon was ultimately successeful, though Sister Solla took 3d8 fallout, and rolled a 14. Her 2d6 body could not see that, so now she was dying (she had been punched in the face). Since there were no other dogs, I again allowed Sid to try and heal her (still really all one scene). I started with a big raise, describing how the punch had broken her nose and drove a bone into her brain (the players reacted with shudders to that). At one point, he convinced an angel to follow him rather than escorting Solla off to heaven. Sid finally prevailed, patching up the last of Solla's wounds by tearing strips from his now bloodstained cloak (fallout from a previous conflict). Sid really had to dig hard to save Solla (having only 6d6 from their stats, and facing 5d10 demonic influence plus 3d8+9d4 fallout - I had considered not rolling the demonic influence since the demon had been cast out). It was interesting to realize that all that experience hunting fallout (she took than 9d4 all in one blow) can come back to bite you if you need healing. I think the 9d4 came from Wilhelmina reversing a blow with a 10, and coming back with a 20 raise (d10s can be nasty...) - good thing it was just words...

Sister Solla's judgement was to escort Wilhelmina back to Bridal Falls, to disolve Ephraim and Edie's marriage, and to properly marry Cyrus and Edie.

The game ran a bit longer than I had hoped, but I felt the pacing went well. I definitely enjoyed myself, and both players said they enjoyed it. I observed some good back and forth between the players during character generation which was great.

What I really was glad was that the young wife never froze up the way she did once in my Arcana Unearthed game when she was suddenly put in a position of having to translate for the party. She needed a lot of help coming up with sees and raises, but always responded to our probing and suggestions. My biggest fear was that she would totally not enjoy narativist play. We did have a few sees without very strong statements (though I think we did a bit better than my first game, where it seemed like several times sees got passed over without a backing statement).

I had a few moments of frantically hunting for rules. I definitely need to buy the book, rather than squinting to read from a 4-up printout of the PDF (I didn't want to blow too much paper at work). One I never found, and perhaps I read it online, were the rules about conflicts with the same stakes (I sort of remembered that things needed to be different, so I required the final confrontation with Wilhelmina to start with fighting or guns, and both PCs, but it seems like there was one more bit that needed to be different). I also was confused when the 3d10 demonic influence kicks in (the text says heresy, which is not one of the levels in the sin ladder). I'm sure I messed up a few things.

Frank Filz


Oh, a couple more things...

One cool thing - Sister Solla raising by shooting her gun, but not using her biggest dice so Sister Wilhelmina would be able to see with 2 dice (Solla didn't want to shoot to kill - but she needed more dice).

And the final bit before I go off to bed: Congradulations on Dogs being the first game that I've run that I wouldn't dream of changing a single rule! The game works, and it was a blast to run, and I'll run it again even though I don't get to advance any characters or anything (in fact, as I understand it, should Sister Wilhelmina feature in a future town, she will have totally different stats and traits - she'll grow anew from a fresh proto-NPC - and that's the way it should be).

Frank Filz