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Independent Game Forums => lumpley games => Topic started by: Mark D. Eddy on October 10, 2004, 07:33:39 PM

Title: Well, I've got my copy now...
Post by: Mark D. Eddy on October 10, 2004, 07:33:39 PM
And, behold, it is very good.

I even wrote a Haiku to celebrate:

Dogs in the Vineyard:
Wild West Saints fall into sin,
Holy lawmen come.

I may be alone in this, but I think that the coolest part of the game is the Creating NPC's chapter. A lot of goodies are scattered about, but that chapter really makes me excited about the idea of running a game.

I'm going to be making up a town, next.

Title: Well, I've got my copy now...
Post by: johnmarron on October 12, 2004, 06:41:05 AM

I think it's cool that the game inspired you to write a poem!  As soon as I got my copy, it inspired me to burn my first CD ever (I'm a little behind the technology curve), a compilation of music to listen to while working on the game.

John Marron

Title: Well, I've got my copy now...
Post by: lumpley on October 12, 2004, 06:47:58 AM
Mark! I can't wait to see your town.

Tell me what you like in the NPC chapter. You're right, you're the first person who's singled it out.

John! What's on your CD?


Title: Well, I've got my copy now...
Post by: johnmarron on October 12, 2004, 09:18:58 AM
Quote from: lumpley

John! What's on your CD?



Its a mix of three main types of songs.  First, some recent stuff by Natalie Merchant (she used to be the lead singer for 10,000 maniacs) that has some country/folksy vibe to it.  A lot of her recent songs have some religious themes to them (One called Saint Judas seems particularly appropriate for Dogs), and her album "House Carpenter's Daughter" is all traditional and modern folk music, with some good hymn-like songs (Wayfarin Stranger, Poor Mourning Pilgrim), ballads, and fiddle tunes.  I played around with the idea of basing each town in a dogs series on one of her songs, but they don't deal with enough different sins explicitly for this to work very well.

The next type of song is traditional 19th c. Appalachian ballads (many of them from the soundtrack to  the movie Songcatcher).  Lots of these harken back to much older folk songs from the British Isles, and there are some good murder ballads, songs of unrequited love, and some gospely religious stuff.  I figure these are the kind of songs the Faithful would have brought west with them from Back East,  stuff they would listen to and sing themselves, when not in temple.

And finally, I put on a bunch of old timey (early to mid 20th c.) upbeat country, gospel and religious tunes (more fiddle).  This helps me get into the mindset of someone with a simple, sincere faith and belief in the Good Book as the literal truth (not my usual mindset...)

I've found that what music inspires somebody about a game is pretty variable and personal, but that's what gets me fired up to think about Dogs.


Title: Well, I've got my copy now...
Post by: Mark D. Eddy on October 12, 2004, 07:54:52 PM
Creating the NPCs' stats seperate from the actual character (Who is designed in Town Creation) is a novel idea for me. It  makes the work of creating a (non-player) character much more intuitive, I think. I'm likely to see the character in play before figuring out the stats this way, the opposite from my usual method of statting out the NPCs before I put them  into motion.

Here's my town, so far:

Alfred's Junction is a fairly small town, not all that far from Bridal Falls City. It's been pretty quiet since a Dog retired there with his wife and took over as Branch Steward, but appearances can be deceiving...

Step 1A, Pride:
Almost everyone in town agrees that Brother Cuthbert is too young to be Branch Steward. Sure, he's got experience that no one else in Alfred's Junction has, but he's barely nineteen.

1B, Injustice:
Pretty much everyone agrees that Brother Dunstan, the town's blacksmith, would do a better job. He's got a family, he's well-known, everyone agrees that he knows Alfred's Junction and the Book of Life like no one else in town. Except that Brother Dunstan doesn't want the job. So, his time is being taken up by people who he has to keep referring back to Brother Cuthbert.

1C, Are we done?:
Not by a long shot.

2A, Sin:
Sister Hilda, Brother Dunstan's wife, is one of the most vocal of her husband's supporters. Hilda is indulging the sin of DISUNITY, doing her level best to undercut Cuthbert's authority among the women of the town.

2B, Demonic Attack:
The demons are making damned sure that any time Brother Cuthbert's authority is invoked with respect to a woman in the town, his decision turns out badly. This includes most obviously the problems of a handful of marriages, which have been either infertile (Brother Japeth and Sister Charity), abusive (Sister Irene never stops haraunging Brother Ichabod, while Brother Lot regularly beats Sister Angelica), or unlucky (Brother Ezekiel was thrown from his horse, leaving Sister Ruth a widow after less than a month of marriage).

2C, Demonic Habituation to Sin:
Sister Hilda only paints the picture: the rest of the women of the town talk about the decisions that Brother Cuthbert has been making, and have decided that she's right. They're beginning to work on the menfolk.

It just so happens that Sister Althea, Brother Cuthbert's young wife, is the youngest of Sister Hilda's sisters. Hilda is fifteen years older than Althea, and their mother died giving birth to Althea, leaving Hilda to raise Althea.

2D, Are we Done?:
I think we are. Skip to step 6.

6A, What do they want?
Brother Cuthbert wants the Dogs to be his friends. He's not terribly concerned about the "hiccups" at the begining of his Stewardship as he calls them. He's actually being protected from knowing what's going on by Sister Althea and Brother Dunstan.

Brother Dunstan wants to go back to being the town's blacksmith, not the substitute Branch Steward. He's worried that someone he knows might be the source of the sin, but he doesn't even dream that his wife is involved.

Sister Hilda wants the Dogs to set Brother Cuthbert aside as incompetent, but feels that they won't support her. If there's a female Dog, she might approach her with her complaints.

The women of the town want things put right, somehow.

Brother Japeth wants children. He's worried that somehow he sinned when courting Sister Charity -- he had a rival, but he cut him out; he and Charity had sex just before Brother Cuthbert was appointed; they were the first couple Brother Cuthbert hitched.

Sister Charity wants children, too. She's Brother Dunstan's daughter, and his knowledge means that she knows they didn't sin. She's heard her mother talking in the women's meetings, and is worried.

Sister Irene has no clue she's being influenced by demons. She hopes that the Dogs will show he no-good husband the Way of Life.

Brother Ichabod doesn't actually mind his wife's "excitability" (as he puts it). He wants the Dogs to Name their baby: she is only two weeks old, so her Naming hasn't happened yet. (His choice is Prudence)

Brother Lot just wants the Dogs to instruct Sister Angelica to mind him. He doesn't realize that the demons are affecting his judgement.

Sister Angelica is the town's midwife. She's been married nearly thirty years to Brother Lot, and, while he's always been short-tempered, he never laid a hand on her before Brother Cuthbert's arrival. And now some girl-babies are not living past their Namings. She wants the Dogs to remove Brother Cuthbert, because he's obviously hiding some sort of sin.

Sister Ruth wants the Dogs to leave her alone. She doesn't know what happened to her husband.

Sister Althea knows most of what's going on. She's torn between loyalty to her husband and loyalty to the sister that raised her. She wants the Dogs to take care of the problem without any blood being shed, but she knows from her husband just how often the Dogs must kill the sinners.

The menfolk don't want any trouble. They're hoping the Dogs will do their thing and keep going.

6B, What do the Demons want?:
The Demons want to split the town on gender lines. Sister Hilda is the perfect wedge to do that, and they want her as their own false priestess. Seeing that Brother Dunstan is such a Godly man, it would make the victory that much sweeter. Hilda and Angelica, and either Althea or Irene can make the triad. They hope that the Dogs will do something to force the women into action.

6C What would happen if the Dogs didn't come:

Angelica would join with Hilda in the sin of Division, and the False Doctrine that the women of the community should choose the Branch Steward would result. Irene could be convinced of this position, especially when Prudence dies after Cuthbert Names her. That makes a False Priesthood, and things will go downhill from there.

Any thoughts or comments?

Title: Well, I've got my copy now...
Post by: lumpley on October 13, 2004, 05:40:12 AM
That's a sweet town, Mark. I think bro Cuthbert is awesome. Remind me: I'm going to have some pointed questions for you about him after you play this puppy.


Title: Well, I've got my copy now...
Post by: DannyK on October 13, 2004, 09:51:18 AM
I like it.  It's a good reminder to me as I make towns that you can have a very tense situation without any high weirdness or even going that far up the hierarchy of "what's wrong."  This one has lots of room to escalate.

Title: Well, I've got my copy now...
Post by: lumpley on October 13, 2004, 03:19:56 PM


Title: Well, I've got my copy now...
Post by: Mark D. Eddy on October 13, 2004, 06:40:09 PM
Thank you. Brother Dunstan and Brother Cuthbert were the first two people I placed in the town. It was *very* late in the outline that I decided to make them brothers-in-law. Sister Hilda was the third, and those three are why the town is Alfred's Junction (all Anglo-Saxon names...). This is designed to be a first town for the PC's. I'm still working on getting a gaming group together, though. If there are any other Dogs fans in Austin, I'd like to hear from them...

Given that I don't have a group together yet, I'll try to get this town to Actual Play once I run it. Are there any questions or thoughts that are appropriate for pre-play?

Title: Well, I've got my copy now...
Post by: Mark D. Eddy on October 13, 2004, 06:59:24 PM
A few additional notes, on ages and professions:

Brother Dunstan is in his late thirties.
Sister Hilda is thirty-four.

Sister Althea and Brother Cuthbert are both nineteen. Cuthbert has been steward for not quite four months (just over a season).

Sister Charity is seventeen. Brother Japeth is thirty (for what it's worth, his one-time rival is eighteen). Brother Japeth owns a large farm.

Sister Irene and Brother Ichabod are in their early twenties. Ichabod is a farmer, working with his father.

Brother Lot owns the general store. He's somewhere over fifty. Sister Angelica is roughly the same age, maybe less than fifty.

Sister Ruth is twenty-two, and struggles to keep her husband's farm running properly. She doesn't have any suitors yet -- she's still in mourning.