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Author Topic: [DitV] Questions! 1. About tradition among the Faithful  (Read 1046 times)
Paul T
Member

Posts: 369


« on: April 17, 2010, 07:11:03 AM »

I just wrapped up the first Town of my first non-one-shot Dogs game, and a few things came up in the game I have questions about.

The first few are about the Faithful lifestyle and mores. The PCs made their own judgements about these things, which was totally cool, but I'm curious how other people have handled them, and what's kind of the most likely case in such a situation with a society of this sort. I have no experience with Mormonism, nor with traditional, small-town religious communities, so I'd like to broaden my understanding of how these two situations might be seen and handled within such a society.

1. Forced marriage

Can a Steward force someone to marry against their will (and be right doing so)? In my Town there was a situation where there was a young, unmarried woman living in the village. I figure that this kind of situation is very awkward in a "pseudo-Mormon" society: that this young girl would need to be either adopted by a family or married off to someone. So what happens if a) no one adopts her, and b) she doesn't want to marry?

My Steward's decision was that marrying her (to himself, in this case, for Prideful reasons, but that's a side point) would be a necessary solution to maintaining harmony in the town. The Dogs didn't like that one bit, of course, and even called it false doctrine.

I'm curious what people think of this situation. In the game, the Dogs are in the right (mostly because they have the guns and the Book), but what happens absent their authority? What are some good alternative solutions? How would "real" people in a similar society deal with this kind of situation?

2. Stewardship roles within a family after a death

We have a family of:

* A grandfather
* His two wives (one old, one young)
* Two grandsons (their parents are out of the picture, died long ago)

The elder grandson leaves town to go become a Dog, and then returns to find that his grandfather has just died, leaving his two wives and the young brother. Now, the Steward has agreed to adopt the remains of the family, by marrying the two wives and taking the younger brother into his household. So, in my game, the older brother, the Dog, steps up and says, "Uh-uh. You can't marry them without my permission, because..." [not in his words, but:] "...they're under my Stewardship now as the eldest surviving man of the family."

Again, that's how it went down in the game. But is there any tradition or custom for dealing with this kind of situation in real-life small religious communities? Particularly since the older brother was barely of age, and the older wife really *wanted* to marry the Steward. Can he refuse her wish to marry the Steward? Whose Stewardship does this all fall under?

I'm fully ready to hear that these are all totally ambiguous situations, too--that's why I set them up that way in the Town--but I'm curious if anyone more knowledgeable about real-world small religious communities like the Faithful can share how different traditions would deal with this kind of situation, if any standard exists.

Thanks!

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Noclue
Member

Posts: 304


« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2010, 11:02:43 AM »

1. Forced marriage

Can a Steward force someone to marry against their will (and be right doing so)? In my Town there was a situation where there was a young, unmarried woman living in the village. I figure that this kind of situation is very awkward in a "pseudo-Mormon" society: that this young girl would need to be either adopted by a family or married off to someone. So what happens if a) no one adopts her, and b) she doesn't want to marry?
Quote
You don't have the authority to decide this. Let the Dog's decide things and just play the town.

Quote
My Steward's decision was that marrying her (to himself, in this case, for Prideful reasons, but that's a side point) would be a necessary solution to maintaining harmony in the town. The Dogs didn't like that one bit, of course, and even called it false doctrine.
Awesome. The Dogs are doing their job.

Quote
I'm curious what people think of this situation. In the game, the Dogs are in the right (mostly because they have the guns and the Book), but what happens absent their authority?
Nothing. In a DitV game at least.

Quote
What are some good alternative solutions? How would "real" people in a similar society deal with this kind of situation?
That's an interesting question. But a potential distraction for a GM unless you limit it to informing your NPCs' choices.

Quote
So, in my game, the older brother, the Dog, steps up and says, "Uh-uh. You can't marry them without my permission, because..." [not in his words, but:] "...they're under my Stewardship now as the eldest surviving man of the family."
Cool! Conflict!

Quote
Again, that's how it went down in the game. But is there any tradition or custom for dealing with this kind of situation in real-life small religious communities? Particularly since the older brother was barely of age, and the older wife really *wanted* to marry the Steward. Can he refuse her wish to marry the Steward? Whose Stewardship does this all fall under?
The Old Testament has a good story about what happens when an younger brother refuses to marry his older brother's widow. It's even got a name- Onerism. Not enough time right now to flesh that out though. More later.
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James R.
Paul T
Member

Posts: 369


« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2010, 12:02:03 PM »

James,

I think you've misunderstood my question. I'm not asking for GM advice in this thread, but curious about how these situations play out in "pseudo-Mormon" life. This game is already played out; the Dogs have made their judgement, it's done. The Dogs rules and advice are totally sufficient to handle these ambiguities in play.

In retrospect, though, I am very curious how this operates in such a society in the real world: what happens when there aren't a bunch of Dogs around who come in and judge how things are going to go down? How do such societies deal with these situations?

It's useful to me as related to Dogs play primarily in terms of a) making such Towns believable and consistent, and b) setting up "what would happen if the Dogs never came?" in future Towns.
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Noclue
Member

Posts: 304


« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2010, 12:27:08 PM »

Ah, yes. I did misunderstand. Completely. Sorry.

I'm always interested in discussing how real life faith communities deal with issues. One quibble, there is no "psuedo-mormon" life outside the games played and the little guidance provided in the text. The text doesn't address most of your issues. So, we can only address how we've dealt with them at our tables.

Also, I was rushing: The word I meant was Onanism. It's from the biblical story of Judah's son Onan, who spills his seed rather than impregnate his wife. It's quoted as a prohibition against masturbation, but most Jewish teachings on the passage see the moral issue to be that "Onan refused to do his sacred and moral duty by his brother's wife.

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James R.
Paul T
Member

Posts: 369


« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2010, 12:36:07 PM »

James,

Yes, good! I'm using "pseudo-Mormon" as a shorthand for "the sort of society Dogs presents"--and really only Vincent can answer that. And similar real life cultures (with Utah Mormons from the 1800's probably being the closest match) would be a good source of inspiration for that, but I'm not too familiar with them. Both are interesting to me, so speculation about either would be interesting to me!

Also, very interesting about Onan! I'll have to read up some more on that...
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Noclue
Member

Posts: 304


« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2010, 02:44:46 PM »

Yes, good! I'm using "pseudo-Mormon" as a shorthand for "the sort of society Dogs presents"--and really only Vincent can answer that
I wonder if this is true. I have this book and it tells me some stuff about the world inhabited by the Dogs. And it doesn't tell me some stuff. I'm not sure anyone really has primacy in filling in those details.

One of the things I love about the game is that it puts enough of the Faith in the text to provide flavor and beliefs and passions, but leaves so much open to interpretation and doctrinal arguments. All these loose ends are wonderful because all the players get to have ideas about what's right and wrong and we get to argue them out in the game and force others to accept our characters interpretations, or not, as the dice see fit. The Faith and the world it resides in is never really the same thing twice. And my steward in one town can think "Damn straight a steward can force you to marry against your will!" While in the next town over my steward could be thinking "If the King of All LIfe meant them to wed, he wouldn't have hardened her heart against him. Who am I to gainsay her?" And neither steward is right or wrong. And even if we have a conflict, the stakes can't be "Am I right?" only "Do you accept that I am right."

Sorry, just rambling thoughts provoked by your thread.
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James R.
lumpley
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2010, 06:49:59 AM »

I have opinions, but they're just my opinions.

1.
Ceremony performed with authority is binding, but...
A righteous steward wouldn't do that, but...
If she said yes, she meant it and it counts.

2.
This one will be a fight every time. Both stewardships apply.

If the Dog and the steward are both righteous, they will agree what needs to happen, so...
If they disagree, one or both of them are not following God's guidance, but...
Of course each will think that the other's the lost one.

A wise judge will look to the neighbors. If there's no cult in the town, the neighbors will take the correct side. They want peace and happiness, and will see which side is the greater threat.

-Vincent
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Paul T
Member

Posts: 369


« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2010, 08:03:37 AM »

Nice, Vincent.

Does anyone have any examples or sources on real-world customs related to this kind of situation? I'm curious how existing societies deal with these ambiguities.
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