Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.

Main Menu

[DitV] First Town: GARDEN TOWN

Started by Moreno R., May 14, 2006, 02:27:05 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Moreno R.

Hello! As I promised in this thread I am posting Garden Town. It's the first DitV town I have created.

I had three "design goals" in mind: (1) nobody really believe himself "evil", and everybody has "good" reasons (he thinks) for what he do. (2) every "step" of the ladder from "pride" to "hate and murder" it's made by a different characher (sin spread like wildfire in a community), and (3) the "False doctrine" is "all you need is love"

#1 is for realism, and to give some hard choices to the Dogs. #3 is because I feel like it, and to use a "false doctrine" that the players could have some difficulty to recognize as such (I had the False Doctrine told as matter-of-fact to the Dogs in the first hour of play, and they didn't recognize it). # 2 is because I felt like it, too, but I had some plan to play the Town as a little "mistery", too. Let the dogs think that all ended with Hiram and Lavinia's sin, and after they resulved that, surprise them with clues about something bigger. In retrospective it was an error, the ploy backfired on me because it played on my old instinct as an old-time "problem solving game master" and I absent-minded stalled the play too much making the Dogs search for clues. But nothing force the GM to play the town like this, it could be revealed as easily as any other town.


1) Father Cornelius is PROUD. He is the Steward of Garden Town, one of the better run town of the faith. There's no crime, no sin, everybody is happy, no-one suffer. No-one in the faith, at least, because he make the one black sheep leave the faith...
Father Cornelius had another branch, but when the old Steward of Garden Town died, six years ago, the townspeople asked him to come. He was already famous for his wisdom and his piety, and was running a little branch in the hills. He answered the call of the people of Garden Town, coming to live there with his (very silent) wife, Marilla, and his two daughters, Lavinia (17 years old now) and Prudence (14 years old now).
And all was good, in Garden Town, if not for one person. Only one person. Cyrus, the drunkard.

Father Cornelius really tried. I the dogs ask, he can recall many times he tried to help Cyrus. He found him work in a barn, but cyrus a night drank too much and dropped a lantern burning it. At the end, Father Cornelis had to accept that Cyrus was too much for him. He could admit failure, ask for help, try again and again. Cyrus is not evil, it's only weak. But Father Cornelius could not adim that it was his "not be good enough" the motive fotr his failure to save Cyrus. it HAD to be something wrong inside Cyrus that NOBODY could heal. So he decided that, to save the basket, he had to lose the apple. He banished Cyrus from the faith and from the town, to avoid corrupting the good people of the town with his wiked ways.

This created
2) INJUSTICE: Cyrus is cast away. Have to live in a old barrack out of town, can't enter in the town anymore. He is a son of the King of Life, but nobody is helping him to save his soul anymore. Worse: his only son, Hiram (19 years old now), have to live like this, too (even if he is not banished, can go to town and can enter church, and he has to work in the town to put food in his father's table)

Out of the protection of the faith, Cyrus is an easy prey for the demons, who begin to use him to plot the downfall of Father Cornelis and Garden Town. He (and they) influence Hiran, motivating him to study the holy scriptures and the book of life, to became "a better steward than Father Cornelius". But it's a study without true calling. Hiram it's not becoming a steward, he is really becoming a sly lawyer. Hiram is prey to envy, to rage, to lust. Lust in particular on Lavinia, Father Coenelius' eldest daughter.  A girl who had to leave all her friends behing in the old town in the hills, and now find very difficult to find new friends in the new city. She and the drunkard's son, both outcast (in a different way) because of their fathers, became first friends and after that more than friends.

Now, Hiram could ask Father Cornelius for his daughter's hand. If Hiram wasn't his father son. Demon play with his mind and his emotions, he believe that Father Cornelius hate him and his father, he believe that he will never permit his marriage with his daughter. He deeply resent this injustice.

3) SIN (Lavinia and Hiram) So he and Lavinia SIN (sex) and SIN AGAIN (apostasy) to cover their sin. He tell her that her father's anger is enough of an obstacle to their love that they can be "married" in the eye of the King of Life (exchanging the vows in a secret ceremony) without having to have a public ceremony with a true Steward. He really believe this, because in his mind he really believe Father Cornelius to be some kind of monster. And She believe him because she is a simple girl and... simply believe him.

But this private sin is not enough for the demon. In the following years, while Lavinia and Hiram keep their "secret marriege" a secret from everybody (they think), the demon play with his fears, he is afraid that Lavinia could leave him, or betray him, so he become abusive, violent. At the same time Lavinia is being courted by Thaddeus (22 years old now), "the best bachelor in town", the perfect epitome of everything it's good and nice in a boy (play him like someone who could be a star in a teen soap-opera, not like some church-going bore). He really love her and she like him very much, too.

For a while she repeal his courtship, but at the end she doesn't want to lie to him, so she tell Thaddeus everything.

But Thaddeus forgive her, and still want to marry her in a rightful marriage (didn't I tell you he is the perfect epitome of everything it's good and nice?). He ask for the council of an older and respected Ancient of the faith, that confirm to him and Lavinie that the marriage with Hiram is void. So she can marry Thaddeus.

But now Lavinia feels like a concubine. She believe that she is not worthy of Thaddeus. So Thaddeus did what many men had to do in order to marry: he told Lavinia everything that he could tell her to make her feel "right", even if he didn't believe it himself.

4) FALSE DOCTRINE (Thaddeus): He told her that to be in the grace of the king of life, "all you need is love", that everything that come from love can't be a sin, that yes, her first marriage was valid when she loved Hiram, but now it's no more. He tell her that women should be able to divorce men who treat them badly (and he really believe this), and add that women should be Steward, too, so the church would be more sensitive to their problem (and he really believe this, too).

He think that he is saying these "sinful" things only to his bride-to-be. He doesn't notice Prudence, her little sister, hidden nearby. Nobody ever notice little Prudence. Not Hiram and Lavinia when they met, all these years, before and after their "marriage". Not Father Cornelius when she studies his books. Prudence is the little girl that do nothing wrong ever and nobody notice. Prudence has alwaya the maximus marks at school and it's "business as usual" for her, while Lavinia get to be praised if she get better than her usual "D". Prudence liked Hiram and not even Hiram noticed her.

Prudence, for whom the words of Thaddeus are the hope and the promise to a better life. To be a Steward herself. To decide about her life. To be free.

5) CORRUPT WORSHIP For Prudence, the word that Thaddeus doesn't know she heard are Holy Doctrire. HER holy doctrine.She talk about this with her best friend, Ermeline (14 years old now), and they talk about it with some boys they like, Derrick (19 years old now), Virgil (18 years old now) and Archibald (15 years old now, Virgil's Brother).  Prudence know everything there is to know about the ceremonies of the faith (she already read all of his father's books. Two times.). She now believes that she is entitled to use them if it is "for love". And at that age, is easy to fell in love with someone...

6) FALSE PRIESTHOOD: Prudence celebrate two marriage ceremonies (she and Derrick, Ermeline and Virgil. And they begin to search for a bride for little Archibald). She is now a SORCERER, and the demons follows her "blessing" in the ceremonies: they protect these unions. They norture and protect "love" (in the form of lust) in the youngs of the town. No matter who has to suffer. All Prudence sees is that these unions are, clearly, protected by the king of Life: too many times something happened to help them, to not think about them as miracles...

7) HATE AND MURDER : Derrick, Virgil and Archibald see that "love" (lust) is right and good, and protected by the lord of life. Clearly, all the old people who keep the girls inside to keep them away from love are bad, stupid people, who will be punished one day by the king of life.  Adelia, the old, nosy widow (who is an aunt of one female dog) who call their parents every time she see something "sinful" happening (and for her, walking too fast is sinful...) more that the others. She is clearly a witch who is against the King's of life will. With her around, Archibald will never be able to talk to the girls he likes! They know that Prudence would never approve to doing harm to anyone, but Prudence is a girl, and girls can't understand what a Real Man have to do sometimes, right? And they are Real Men now, and they know how to treat a old witch...


Hiram: Lavinia left him. He is so angry that he has told everybody about his marriage. Now Lavinia is hiding in her house, shameful. Thaddeus is angry with hiram. Cornelius is angry with hiram and is afraid that Thaddeus will change his mind about marrying Lavinia, and he think that Thaddeus is the last chance fr his daughter to became an honest woman.   Hiram run to the dogs as soon as they arrive. He say "she is my bride, we exchanged vows before the King of Life. They are taking my bride from me". He want Justice!

Thaddeus want the dogs to shut up Hiram, make him avay, and make him stop making is bride-to-be suffer. If not, He will have to shut up hiram by himself.

Cornelius want the dogs to stop hiram FAST, before Thaddeus change his mind oe he do something that could ruin his life.

Lavinia want to be reassured by the dogs that his prior marriage is void. And she want the dog that is her childhood friend to celebrate the marriage with Thaddeus.

Adelia want to tell everybody (expecially her niece the dog) how they should dress and talk. [The dogs in my game almost murdered her before the cultists did...]

If there's is a Male good-looking dog, Ermeline "fall in love" with him.

THE DEMONS: the demons want to corrupt the youngs of the city. They want the dogs to kill hiram, or make him go away, because they don't need him anymore, they are now inside the very house of the Steward. So they want to sacrifice Hiram and let the dogs believe they have made everything right in the city. But they follow the orders of Prudence, who ordered them to protect the marriages and "love" in general (so, if Ermeline will try to seduce the dog, they will help her, even if it could hurt their plans alerting the dogs). They would help even Hiram if he will "fight for his love" against the dogs.

The three boys will kill Adelia, in a ritualist manner, as a Witch (they will do this even if the dogs show up, so maybe this is not the right section to list this)
Thaddeus and Hiram fight. One of them kill the other, and will be hounded by the territorial law.
After this, Cyrus will try to kill Cornelius, but he will be so drunk that Cornelius will kill him in self-defense instead. This, with the shame on his eldest daughter, will broke him, giving the Demons free rein in this now-corrupted city.
In less than two years, modern-type free-love will be the norm between the young of the city. Peace and love, man!


one of the (female) dogs was the best friend of Lavinia, when they lived in the old city on the hills. They have not met each other for years. Lavinia want this dog to celebrate her marriage to Thaddeus (and yes, it's ironic that Lavinia want the female dog to celebrate the exact same ceremony that, celebrated by Prudence, was so much a blaphemy that gave her power over demons)

One of the (female) dogs is Adelia's niece. Adelia want to "help her dress and act properly" and want her to live in Adelia's house until they left the city. Pray for that dog's mental sanity, she will need all the help she can get...

One of the (male) dogs should be the object of Ermeline' attentions.

[specific to my gaming group]: in my gaming group, one of the player is playing a (female) dog who was a sort of "teacher's pet" in the dog's academy. Her favorite teacher was Thaddeus' uncle, and he talked many times about his nephew, saying to her that he was "the perfect match for her" and when she would left the "service" he would have make them meet.

[specific to my gaming group]: in my gaming group, one of the player is playing a (male) dog who has survived a big battle, and now is "cursed" to hear inside his head the voices of his old comrades who died, and has to search for their family to give them a small personal object from they deceased son/husband/father and give them the bad news. When he does that, the personality of the deceased almost take over his body until the deed is done.
One of the souls trapped inside him was the soul of the eldest brother of Lavinia and Prudence, the son of Father Cornelis that left the house many years ago...


(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)


Hey, Blood, :)

(Do you have a real name, by the way?)

Loved Garden Town. Well developed, plausible, and a veritable cauldron of judgement. Even reading everything in sequence, it's hard to come to terms with who's in the right and who's in the wrong. Great stuff.

João Mendes
Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon Gamer

Moreno R.

Quote from: JMendes on May 14, 2006, 03:19:29 PM
Hey, Blood, :)

(Do you have a real name, by the way?)

Yes: Moreno. I believed I did put my name in the signature below the message. (I see it, when I read my messages in the forum). I hope I didn't make some error that render it visible only to me...

Loved Garden Town. Well developed, plausible, and a veritable cauldron of judgement. Even reading everything in sequence, it's hard to come to terms with who's in the right and who's in the wrong. Great stuff.


(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)

Mark D. Eddy

I had an evil thought for this town. If there's a *female* dog, *Archibald* is called by the cult to marry her. And the cult won't take no for an answer, of course. This could lead to some really odd situations.

Note, too, that the Dogs could very well agree with the cult. At which point the kids aren't sorcerors any more, they're saints...

Mark Eddy
Chemist, Monotheist, History buff

"The valiant man may survive
if wyrd is not against him."