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Author Topic: Dust Devils: Last Stand!  (Read 3975 times)
Matt Snyder
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« on: July 29, 2002, 08:10:53 AM »

Howdy, folks.

After getting away from the computer for a weekend, I sat down for a feverish last leg on the Dust Devils rewrite. The text is nearly complete and weighs in at almost triple the content in the playtest version. GenCon here I come!

The revision includes a number of rules clarifications and revisions. I must give a big thanks to Ron for much of those; he really did a thorough review. The game now includes much of what he's suggested!

Anyway, I thought I'd lay this on everyone here to see what you think. It's a new rule I devised for character "expiration." Call it the last stand mechanic, perhaps. Anyway, here goes:


Quote


The Road to Hell

When a character reaches zero in any single attribute, his time of reckoning has come, whether he's ready or not! Now, reaching zero may indeed mean the character will be dead and gone. However, the character’s actual fate is up to the player. He may die, retire, go mad, settle down, move on or otherwise end his struggling days.

Here’s how it works. When a character reaches zero in any single attribute after a conflict, he's on his last leg. The player continues to play normally. He may continue to narrate as play progresses as other players can, and he take part in conflicts that do not involve the zero-rated attribute. However, should the character take part in any conflict requiring the use of that attribute, it will be his last.

In place of the zero-rated attribute, the player uses his Devil rating to determine how many cards he receives in the Deal. He still adds the other relevant attribute to this total. (If the character has two relevant attributes that are both reduced to zero, then he receives a number of cards equal to double his current Devil rating.) The player may also discard and re-draw a number of cards equal to his Devil rating. This is in addition to any relevant cards re-drawn using Knacks.

In addition, the player automatically receives rights to narrate the conflict. If two or more characters enter a conflict with zero-rated attributes, the controlling players must bid for control of the scene using any remaining Chips. Other players, including the Dealer, may not bid in this case.

Players and the Dealer should be keenly aware of the importance of this crucial moment. The player should make every attempt to enter such a final conflict in a way that involves his Devil. Players may wish to Fold or otherwise maneuver while they have a zero-rated attribute in order to reach a meaningful final conflict.

The player should carefully consider the results his character’s last stand. For example, if the Devil rating draws a winning hand (i.e., if the character wins the conflict), it could indicate that the Devil has finally taken hold of the character. Only his desperate effort to fall back on the support of Devil allows the character to win out. Conversely, a character might use his Devil as a terrible means to a heroic end. He passes on, among much infamy and derision, as a Devilish soul, all while earning the safety or redemption of others.

This is really a chance to go out in style and steal the show as narrator. Players should make every effort to make their characters’ last conflicts memorable and dramatic.



I'd love to hear what folks think of this, especially if you've read or even played DD before.

'Course, if you don't like it, I blame the peyote ...
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Bailywolf
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2002, 09:52:24 AM »

Looks like a good dramatic mechanic...quite workable.  


Way back when DD was still in its early stages, the possibility of blending in gritty occult elements was kicked around... have you given this any further thought?  

-Ben
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2002, 10:05:02 AM »

Quote from: Bailywolf
Looks like a good dramatic mechanic...quite workable.  


Way back when DD was still in its early stages, the possibility of blending in gritty occult elements was kicked around... have you given this any further thought?  

-Ben


Yep. I have indeed. Due to obvious time constraints, I won't be putting any information regarding this in the "GenCon" edition, but I'm still thinking about adding material to help people add supernatural elements or other types of play like sci-fi or Road Warrior-esque.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Jake Norwood
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2002, 10:17:27 AM »

Actually, I'm going to vote against the occult. There are LOTS of occultish games for every genre, and this would turn DD into another Deadlands, which is not what we want.

On the other hand, the idea of using DD for mad-max or whatever is pretty cool, but needs to be a supplement or another game using the same mechanics, but customized (ala Chaosium or White Wolf).

When will the finished (er, GenCon) version be available for us cowpokes?

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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Bailywolf
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2002, 10:27:55 AM »

I'm not asking for DD to be converted into an exclusively occult (or whatever) game, but rather I'd like to see "plug in" style expansions which adapt the core mechanics and dramatics of DD to include some weirdness.  

A Sorcerer meets Cuthullu meets Dust Devils game....hmmm

And has anyone read anythign about this new SciFi series Firefly?  Developed by JW of Buffy fame- it has been called a "space western" and promises to be pretty damned cool.

I for one have this weird urge to set a Dust Devils game on some dusty frontier world riddled with rare McGuffin crystals (used to power hyperdrive engines, but their weird emmisions interfere with modern technology and induce psychic mutations in the populace).  Gunslingers are replaced with psychics... but everyone still has his devil...
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2002, 10:29:24 AM »

Quote from: Jake Norwood
Actually, I'm going to vote against the occult. There are LOTS of occultish games for every genre, and this would turn DD into another Deadlands, which is not what we want.

On the other hand, the idea of using DD for mad-max or whatever is pretty cool, but needs to be a supplement or another game using the same mechanics, but customized (ala Chaosium or White Wolf).

When will the finished (er, GenCon) version be available for us cowpokes?

Jake


I hear you Jake. Something about the game works even better when the supernatural is only a metaphor (i.e. the Devil, of course!). The idea discussed a while ago was to create "Ghost Town" as a module of DD in which the characters were ghosts, a la TNT's movie "Purgatory" from a year or two ago. Mad Max mod. might work similarly. No specific plans for these as yet, but perhaps I'll whip something up for Clinton's RPG Evolution.

As for when DD will be available, here's the deal:

The game will be available in print form (albeit Kinko's special ... but it'll still be nice, I promise!) at GenCon. I'm planning on printing up 30-50 copies, which will sell for $10 at the con.

After GenCon, I'll make those same print copies available on my www.chimera.info web site for $10 + shipping, as well as a for-sale PDF version at a lower rate. If I play might cards right between now and this weekend, print and PDF copies might be available before the con.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2002, 11:04:32 AM »

Yeeeeeeaahh!!

I'm there, Paypal a'clickin'.

That Devil mechanic is very similar to the Endgame condition in Violence Future, and I think it's perfect, wonderful, and necessary for Dust Devils. Thematically, the two games are great partners.

Best,
Ron
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Demonspahn
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2002, 11:07:55 AM »

Hi Matt,

I have a question.  How setting heavy is Dust Devils and how easily could it be adapted to a more surreal setting like Stephen King's Gunslinger/The Dark Tower series?

Pete
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2002, 11:13:52 AM »

Quote from: Demonspahn
Hi Matt,

I have a question.  How setting heavy is Dust Devils and how easily could it be adapted to a more surreal setting like Stephen King's Gunslinger/The Dark Tower series?

Pete


Pete, Dust Devils is not at all setting specific. Well, at least not beyound the obvious framework of the West as envisioned in films like Unforgiven, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider, spaghetti westerns and so on.

Truth is, the revised version of Dust Devils may be too _scant_ on setting information. Ron recommended in his review that I take some time to analyze Western styles. I had hoped to do so, but time just ain't my friend. I will probably write it up later on and offer it as a free "patch" for folks that are interested.

Anyway, I'm sure Dust Devils could very easily be adapted to fit a Gunslinger-like game. In fact, I've considered picking up the first novel for ideas (can't believe I've never got around to reading that yet  ... oh well, I'll just stack on the other 80-odd books I own and haven't yet read).
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Demonspahn
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2002, 11:33:28 AM »


                  Pete, Dust Devils is not at all setting specific. Well, at least not beyound the obvious framework
                  of the West as envisioned in films like Unforgiven, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider, spaghetti
                  westerns and so on.


Cool.

Anyway, I'm sure Dust Devils could very easily be adapted to fit a Gunslinger-like game. In fact,
                  I've considered picking up the first novel for ideas


It's an awesome series but I'm a biased King fan and some people don't think the story gains momentum until about mid way through the 2nd book.  It's not your typical western.   For a really bad comparison, the Gunslingers are sort of like Jedi with guns, trying to protect the universe which is starting to collapse and fold in on itself.  At times the alternate realities overlap---some worlds are very similar to ours while others are totally alien.  

Anyway, it does sound like Dust Devils would be a good fit, especially with what I can garner of the Devil aspect, as the Gunslinger himself has a lot of inner demons.  

Thanks Matt,

Pete
-who would probably buy the game anyway, just because of the awesome cover.  :)
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