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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 68 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Crazy Character Idea  (Read 1208 times)
jllama
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Posts: 6


« on: October 28, 2002, 08:55:43 AM »

Hey everybody,

I'm hoping to run a one shot Dust Devils game this weekend, so I've asked my players to start thinking of character ideas.  One of my players, we'll call him Chris (because that's his name), always seems to come up with comic character ideas.  This time is no exception.

He wants to play a black ex-sheriff, like in Blazing Saddles.  He'll be on the run from the lynch mob.  His devil is that he has a NEED to sleep with white women.

My first thought was to say, "No way."  Dust Devils is supposed to be dark and gritty, not a farce.  Now, however, I'm leaning towards letting him use the idea.  He's excited about the character and therefore excited about the game.  

What do you think?  Should I send him back to the drawing board?  If I give in, what are some ideas on integrating him into the demo scenario in the rulebook?  Anything I should keep in mind when I run the game?

Later,
Cody

PS.  I'm very impressed with the pdf.  Great job, Matt!!!  Everybody needs to buy a copy.
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Valamir
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2002, 09:05:13 AM »

There are certainly alot of ways that that character could be played very dark and gritty.  Think about how differently his pursuit of white women would be framed in a movie like Unforgiven than in Blazing Saddles.  It could actually be pretty powerful.

Regardless you and all players should be very clear on whether the game is to be dark and unforgiving, or somewhat comical ahead of time and then make sure the characterization fits with the decision.  But the concept itself could easily be made to work either way.
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2002, 10:26:58 AM »

Quote from: jllama
Hey everybody,

I'm hoping to run a one shot Dust Devils game this weekend, so I've asked my players to start thinking of character ideas.  One of my players, we'll call him Chris (because that's his name), always seems to come up with comic character ideas.  This time is no exception.

He wants to play a black ex-sheriff, like in Blazing Saddles.  He'll be on the run from the lynch mob.  His devil is that he has a NEED to sleep with white women.

My first thought was to say, "No way."  Dust Devils is supposed to be dark and gritty, not a farce.  Now, however, I'm leaning towards letting him use the idea.  He's excited about the character and therefore excited about the game.  

What do you think?  Should I send him back to the drawing board?  If I give in, what are some ideas on integrating him into the demo scenario in the rulebook?  Anything I should keep in mind when I run the game?

Later,
Cody

PS.  I'm very impressed with the pdf.  Great job, Matt!!!  Everybody needs to buy a copy.


Well, Cody, what can I say. I mean, Blazing Saddles is one of my all time favorite comedies. Among the top 3 or 4 funniest movies in my book.

But then again, Dust Devils ain't exactly Mel Brooks. Can it work? I dunno, but my hunch is not easily. That is not to say that a black sheriff character concept couldn't work. In fact, it'd work VERY well in Dust Devils given the right character and agreement among players. I say let your player do it, but try to encourage him, along with the other players, to keep humor at a tolerable level, and explore the powerful Devil he's set up in a serious way. Let's face it, interacial sex in the 1800s is no small matter! Alternatively, you might encourage him to select another Devil, but keep the same concept.

All that said, here's another caveat about humor. Dust Devils dances dangerously with humor in two specific ways, at least. First, the Trait descriptions can be pretty funny sounding, and the flavor of cowboy talk might push the tone over the humor hump, so to speak, depending on how the traits are worded.

Second, and more importantly, the conflict resolution mechanics of Dust Devils can really make for some bizarre, slapstick situations, especially if the players take the Attribute difficulty very literally (gouging eyes for Eye Difficulty, for example ... nyuk, nyuk, nyuk). In fact, the game I ran for several Forge regulars got pretty silly. It was a kind of Wild Bunch shootout gone wrong (well, even worse, anyway!). A good time was had by all, but it's just something worth remembering that Difficulty in the game can get down-right silly.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Bankuei
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2002, 11:14:09 AM »

Often times people take something uncomfortable and deal with it through humor.  To be honest, race is one of those things.  We can all laugh when we watch Chris Rock do a white people vs black people comparison, but its a real hot button topic if you bring up Rodney King, OJ Simpson, or Diallo.  

Playing the race issue brings up a lot of ugliness about humanity in games, and may make more than a few folks uncomfortable, just as religion or sex does.  As Ron has pointed out before, its the players who have to care, and its the players' emotions that will come up in gameplay.

If your friend wants to play a gritty version of that character, I highly recommend Elridge Cleaver's Soul on Ice, in which he has an entire essay going deep into the black man/white woman fetish and a lot of other race issues as well.

Of course, you may wish to talk to the other players to determine what is comfortable and uncomfortable for everybody.

Chris
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Clay
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2002, 09:43:23 AM »

I'd be inclined to call the character more than a little risky.  Given that the intro scenario you describe starts off involving a rope, I'd say that things look a little dark for our negro friend.

There is some historical precident for the negro cowbody, and if you're going to deal with the gritty side of things, it might be worthwhile to do some research.
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Clay Dowling
RPG-Campaign.com - Online Campaign Planning and Management
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