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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 71 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: "We're only doing what the Faith says!"  (Read 4283 times)
lumpley
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« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2006, 06:05:31 AM »

Hey Matthijs. I think I've been made disoriented by everyone's suggestions and guesses, so forgive me if this should be obvious.

The problem you're having is how the players are behaving during play - they giggle, they group-think, they duck responsibility - not what they're having their characters do, right? Their characters could do the exact same things to the exact same people and you'd be just fine, if only the players approached the process with, I dunno, some gravity or something - is that right?

-Vincent
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ivan23
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« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2006, 07:02:57 AM »

Quote
I point out that it's a fiction, the faith hasn't been defined anywhere ...

I don't want to muddy things up here, but in some rather crucial and meaningful ways, the Faith has been defined in terms of what is and is not virtuous and/or sinful in the "Creating Towns" section of the rulebook. I think Vincent's done a great job of setting up sins that a wide spectrum of players can and will disagree with.

When we played with Paka at GenCon, I was lucky in that I agreed with the sinfulness of what was happening as a Dog and a player. He kept escalating and I had absolutely no problem escalating right back against the black-hearted bastards who were grinding down the poor. But Paka was also very clear with us that *we defined the faith,* that we should stop quoting the bible and start making stuff up for the Book of Life.

If I've got that kind of assurance from the GM when I personally disagree with the Faith Vincent's provided us with, then I'll happily go against the canon and set up my own rules for what's virtuous and what's sinful. The other players might fight me over it, and I'll stand up to them, using the game mechanics as far as they'll go. I'll defend someone whose "love transcends sin and virtue" (p. 67 in my book) or who "doesn't welcome a righteous subsequent wife" (p. 68) against the other Dogs, unto violence and death if need be, based on what I believe to be right and true and fair.

If I don't have that kind of assurance - or, worse yet, if I make those decisions and get slapped down for it; not by my fellow players but by NPCs or Prophets and Ancients later in the game - well, then, I'll withdraw back to the Faith-As-Written and play a character who I disagree with, because the GM apparently wants to run certain things as virtuous and certain things as sinful.

So. Are you supporting your players? Are you taking a big black marker to "this is virtue and this is sin?" Are you keeping the lists of who has stewardship over whom out of their sweaty little hands?
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matthijs
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« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2006, 09:27:04 AM »

Hey Matthijs. I think I've been made disoriented by everyone's suggestions and guesses, so forgive me if this should be obvious.

The problem you're having is how the players are behaving during play - they giggle, they group-think, they duck responsibility - not what they're having their characters do, right? Their characters could do the exact same things to the exact same people and you'd be just fine, if only the players approached the process with, I dunno, some gravity or something - is that right?

-Vincent

That's... almost right. I'm seeing signs (I believe) that at the points where I want them to immerse the most, to be caught up in their characters' moral troubles, they withdraw. In a few cases, it's been sort of "Hey, look what extreme things I can make my character say!", instead of "Shit... Listen to me, I'm saying these extreme things."

(Ivan, I'll come back to your comments, you may have some points there).
« Last Edit: April 14, 2006, 09:28:52 AM by matthijs » Logged

lumpley
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« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2006, 11:43:19 AM »

More information-gathering: why do your players want to play Dogs in the Vineyard? What jazzes them about it?

-Vincent
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matthijs
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« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2006, 02:05:08 PM »

Different stuff for different players. The conflict system got some of them hooked - the way raises etc. build up dramatic tension. But I believe the judgement part of it is a major factor for most of them. We've focused on that, but haven't always had the time at the end of the evening to actually role-play it. The feeling of power, and being allowed to play totally black/white-viewpoint characters, seems to be part of it. But honestly, I haven't asked them, so I'm guessing.
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matthijs
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« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2006, 02:08:13 PM »

Ivan - I reread your post. No, I'm _very_ up front and explicit about the players having defining power. I've said it in so many words several times. "You decide what the faith is. It's your call." To which they sometimes reply, "yes, but mormonism is such and such, and the mores of the time was such and such, and it wouldn't feel realistic to play with modern-day sensibilities".
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Vaxalon
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« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2006, 11:39:11 AM »

matthijs, If the players want to play with synthetic morals derived from their knowledge of real world morals of the time, let them.  They're just getting a little sim in your nar, that's all.
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
Adam Dray
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« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2006, 12:21:47 PM »

Maybe this will resolve itself over time. Escalate from town to town. Push them a bit.

"You killed 20 year-old Brother Absalom because he was sleeping with his older sister. Killed her too. Apparently their false doctrine spread to the next town and Sister Pertinence is sleeping with her older brother. Gonna kill them too? He's 19 and old enough to know better but she's only 8 years old."

Take what they do, escalate, and say, "Yeah, what about this?" Do that enough and maybe they'll start showing more of themselves as players.
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Adam Dray / adam@legendary.org
Verge -- cyberpunk role-playing on the brink
FoundryMUSH - indie chat and play at foundry.legendary.org 7777
matthijs
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« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2006, 03:43:08 AM »

Take what they do, escalate, and say, "Yeah, what about this?" Do that enough and maybe they'll start showing more of themselves as players.

That's probably the way to go... give it some time. (Oh, and Vaxalon, you're right - the characters are theirs, after all).
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