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Independent Game Forums => lumpley games => Topic started by: Yokiboy on December 23, 2004, 12:30:26 PM



Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: Yokiboy on December 23, 2004, 12:30:26 PM
Or perhaps the subject should be, "Help me sell Dogs to my players!"

They agree that the conflict resolution mechanics are sweet, but hate the setting. I knew it would be a hard sell, but they don't want to touch it with a ten foot pole!  :o

Apart from the "A Land of Balm and Virtue" is their a shorter intro to the setting and the Faith?

My buddies were interested in alternative uses for DitV, such as running a Judge Dredd game, or paladins in a typical D&D-style fantasy setting. Has anyone tried either?

TTFN,

Yokiboy


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: jc_madden on December 23, 2004, 03:39:17 PM
I think you just answered your own question.  Your players seem to like the mechanics but not the setting, they're willing to try DitV but only under the crutch of something familiar.  FINE!  There you go you've introduced them to it.  If they like Judge Dredd and then replace demons with augmented perps and heywire robots and you are SET.  Hell don't even change much of the stats and call the foes what you wishe, they'll hardly notice.  No good?  They want to be paladins on the witch-hunt???  Sweet, replace demons with witches, wizards, or different demons and BAM you're ready to play.  They get a taste and they like it, you're happy they're happy.  Then one day you say hey guys want to try revisiting DitV?  

Even if this doesn't work what's so wrong with not running DitV the way it was intended?  The way I see it in this day and age with RPGs and thier groups you've got two types:  #1 good friends that have all gamed together for a long time and #2 a few shmoes who answered a geek-board add at the local hobby shop.  If you're #1 you have GOT to run what your players like or they will not be happy and loosing your group isn't an option.  If it's #2 RUN WHAT YOU LIKE, you will attract the players that want to play that game.


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: Judd on December 23, 2004, 05:35:12 PM
You are quasi-mormon gunslingers, saving old west towns on a mandate from GOD.

If that doesn't get 'em, I play something else.


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: Blankshield on December 23, 2004, 09:16:45 PM
My one-line sell was "Mormon paladins in an old west that never quite was."  I combined it with raving endlessly with slavering praise in person and on my weblog, which most of my circle of friends and gamers read.  I just would not shut up about this game until I had hooked enough people to sit down for it.

One of the snippets from my blog that hooked a player was:
Quote
Dogs is focused on the hard question and there is literally nothing in the game that is not an arrow pointing to the player saying "Well, what are you going to do about it?"

Dogs kicks you out of the nest and says "fly or fall."

Damn, I want to play that game.


James


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: Joshua A.C. Newman on December 24, 2004, 03:05:08 PM
I just leave to Mormon aspect out of it. It's not what makes the game fly. It's not what makes the story fly. It's really just inspiration. You can say that it's a Weird West setting, or you can say it's a Western, or what Sword 'n' Sorcery would be in the 19th century U.S.


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: Callan S. on December 25, 2004, 05:23:39 PM
There does seem to be a push to keep that 'mormon' aspect though. Well, in at least I myself imagine most people would change it to some other type of belief thang.

I'm not too knowledgable about dogs in the vineyard (I'm here as casual research :) ), but I'd imagine the life of a normal mortal mormon (say that five times fast) is enough to explore on its own (given an apt ruleset). To be a mormon angel is kind of adopting the mormon faith rather than exploring it.

Actually, I'm getting the feeling the answer to that would be an emphatic 'NO! It's all about exploring the mormon faith'. Okay then, but in the tradition of nar mechanics so far, what's the attraction of the nar theme defaulting to that?


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: Blankshield on December 25, 2004, 10:53:41 PM
Quote from: Noon
There does seem to be a push to keep that 'mormon' aspect though. Well, in at least I myself imagine most people would change it to some other type of belief thang.

I'm not too knowledgable about dogs in the vineyard (I'm here as casual research :) ), but I'd imagine the life of a normal mortal mormon (say that five times fast) is enough to explore on its own (given an apt ruleset). To be a mormon angel is kind of adopting the mormon faith rather than exploring it.

Actually, I'm getting the feeling the answer to that would be an emphatic 'NO! It's all about exploring the mormon faith'. Okay then, but in the tradition of nar mechanics so far, what's the attraction of the nar theme defaulting to that?


To me, it has really squat to do with the mormon faith.  I have very low exposure to the actual beliefs of the Mormons, and I suspect much of it is biased.  When we play the game it isn't about "what would a mormon do" it's all about "what would YOU do?"  The quasi-mormon setting is just that: a setting.  As several threads here have indicated, it could work very well in a lot of different settings.   The nar underpinning of Dogs - if there is such a thing - is "you have the authority to pass judgement.  How do you use that authority?"

When I use mormon in my catchphrase, it's a tag for people to grab on: "Mormon paladins?  WTF?" which lets me launch into more depth and start my slavering fanboy routine.

James


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: Callan S. on December 26, 2004, 02:54:18 PM
Oh, I just noticed the mormon thing seem to be kept in. I have a hard time believing the religious factor can only be used as color. Break dancing robots can be used just as color...their not exactly about soul searching questions. But when you add religion, something which is often about souls and searching 'em, to a narativist address of premise...I don't think you can just say one is only there as color and has no effect.

When I say 'using the mormon factor' I don't mean eveyone knows mormon life and is acting it out. I mean just imagining being some religious type person to the best of ones knowledge of religion in general, and naming it a mormon portrayal. Even that simple portrayal is surely not something easily seperated from nar addresses.

Basically I'm not asking what I can do if I want. The other posters in this thread had the same choice. I'm asking why, when given that choice, quite a few seem to have ended up keeping the mormon factor anyway, when I think it has a definite effect on any address of premise. It appears users are inspired to keep this factor by the material. I'm curious about this result.


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: Eric Provost on December 27, 2004, 06:52:37 AM
I've sold four players so far on it.  Each and every one I've sold by verbally demonstrating my own enjoyment of the game, and my conviction that they will enjoy it too.

For two of the players I used the "Let's just play it once, as written, and see if we like the mechanisms."-routine.  Worked on both.

For my two more stubborn players I used a stronger "If you play this game as written, and don't like it, I'll eat a shoe."-line.  Worked on both.   Although the jury is still out on if I need to get some soft, digestable loafers, I'm pretty sure that the two will really enjoy the game.

As for the Mormon bit, I've told everyone I've presented the game to;  "Don't worry about the Mormon angle, it's not Mormons, it's loosely based on Mormons, and the Mormon connection dosen't affect game play at all."

Hope that helps.  

Good luck.

-Eric


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: lumpley on December 27, 2004, 08:07:44 AM
Well, I chose the Mormon thing on purpose to express the Premise. Or else I chose the Premise on purpose to fit the Mormon thing. Either way they go together really well, by design. To fully swap out the Mormon thing you'd need to find something else that goes with the Premise just as well. (The Gestapo thing, the SS thing, the Committee for Decency thing - they don't.)

There are other things that'd work. I list a couple in the book. They all depend on the characters being committed to fighting injustice. Fighting injustice - notice, everybody! - not fighting evil, unlawfulness, or nonconformity.

-Vincent


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: DevP on December 27, 2004, 10:47:55 AM
Quote from: lumpley
Fighting injustice - notice, everybody! - not fighting evil, unlawfulness, or nonconformity.
I hope I'm not being pedantic, but do you have a thread where you explain this a bit, or else do I just need to read the book more? (I feel like Boondock Saints is still a valid situation for the game.)

What I thought, in terms of premise, is that the Dog-like figures need to be fighting a "good fight" on some level, but they're adjucating a system where there may be no clear answer.


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: lumpley on December 27, 2004, 11:34:40 AM
I don't remember Boondock Saints too well, but it seems to me that those two guys were all about righting injustices. Weren't they?

Is there any other way to define "the good fight" than "against injustice"?

Anyhow no, there's not a thread about Dogs' Premise yet. I don't know when or if there will be; I also don't know how much I could contribute to it. But good grief, don't read the book more, once through is all I could possibly ask.

-Vincent


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: DevP on December 27, 2004, 12:00:57 PM
Quote from: lumpley
I don't remember Boondock Saints too well, but it seems to me that those two guys were all about righting injustices. Weren't they?
They mainly go around killing the obviously, clearly bad organized crime people, of the sort who usually evade an implicitly weak legal system. Of course, they're rather gratuitous and tyrannical (and badass, sadly) in the process.

I think you could have a "good fight" without injustice, by strongly fighting off things that are evil or unlawful. Destroying those forces is cetainly a good fight, and I'm not sure what the difference is that makes them less suitable than "injustice" for Dogs, EXCEPT that "evil" and "unlawful" can lend them to rather rigid moral frameworks (evil=bad, or the letter of the law). I mention Boondock saints, because the only real injustice is that very, very bad people aren't removed by the legal system. I suppose that they're going after injustice, but they're really driving to unleash unholy shotgun fire on predatory shmucks, instigating a bloody wrath in the process.

If we're drifitng into semantic crazyland, then we'll just leave well enough alone since I think we agree.


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: Yokiboy on December 27, 2004, 05:09:11 PM
This is weird, but I did write a reply to this thread already, and it's not here, must've hit Preview and never Submit I guess... Anyhoo, it went something like this:

Quote from: Paka
You are quasi-mormon gunslingers, saving old west towns on a mandate from GOD.

Sounds like something Jake or Elwood Blues would've said, if they were Dogs.  ;)

jc_madden, to answer some of your questions, most of my group has gamed together for 20 years now. The reason I'd like to stick with the original setting, at least once, is that we have a tendency to over-complicate things otherwise, and then judge the game unfairly (sounds like a case of the Dogs ;).

Quote from: Blankenshield
To me, it has really squat to do with the mormon faith. ... When we play the game it isn't about "what would a mormon do" it's all about "what would YOU do?" ... The nar underpinning of Dogs - if there is such a thing - is "you have the authority to pass judgement. How do you use that authority?"

Beautiful Blankenshield! This is what I was looking for, some way of getting some of my more clos-minded friends to forget that I ever said anything about Mormons.

Quote from: lumpley
They all depend on the characters being committed to fighting injustice. Fighting injustice - notice, everybody! - not fighting evil, unlawfulness, or nonconformity.

Okay Vincent, I'll bite, why the emphasis on injustice as opposed to non-conformity for instance? What in the system breaks by shifting the premise away from the fight against injustice? Note that I have yet to play the game, but after a thourough read through, I fail to see why the system wouldn't handle such situations as playing Gestapo or SS agents during WWII. Their view on injustice is just different, right?

TTFN,

Yokiboy


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: lumpley on December 28, 2004, 06:34:04 AM
Nothing in the rules breaks. The players' (not PCs') relationships with the NPCs break.

Give it a try. In Dogs, the reason you root out and destroy evil is because it's hurting people who depend on you. In SSitV, the reason you root out and destroy evil is ... what?

Are you really going to make town creation rules where having a Jew in your town means that other townspeople go hungry?

edit:

I hate this post of mine. Let's see if I can salvage it.

If you set up to play SSitV, you must make town rules where having a Jew in your town means that other townspeople go hungry.

If you set up to play DitV, you can use my town rules, where having two men fall in love in your town, or having a woman act uppity, or having teenagers fool around with each other, means that other townspeople go hungry.

DitV is as offensive as SSitV. No doubt about it.

What you can't do if you set up to play DitV or SSitV is go without town creation rules at all. My impatience with SSitV and all its type is that I'm not seeing any town creation rules. Bring 'em on.

-Vincent


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: Yokiboy on December 28, 2004, 06:29:53 PM
Quote from: lumpley
Nothing in the rules breaks. The players' (not PCs') relationships with the NPCs break.

If you set up to play SSitV, you must make town rules where having a Jew in your town means that other townspeople go hungry.

What you can't do if you set up to play DitV or SSitV is go without town creation rules at all. My impatience with SSitV and all its type is that I'm not seeing any town creation rules. Bring 'em on.

This is the reason that I'm trying to convince my players to play the RAW at least once, before we start messing with the game. I know that adapting DitV to Judge Dredd is possible, but I don't want to mess around with the conversion prior to testing the original design.

I do find the rules for Creating Towns rather intimidating though, and feel that this is where I lose potential players. It just seems like in order to actually root out what's wrong in town, the players will have to understand how stewardship, male/female roles, sex/love/marriage, et al work in the setting. The guys I play with are good roleplayers, but lazy as all hell, and I don't see them reading the rules.

Could it be as easy as the example in the How to GM chapter:
Quote from: DitV
“Sister Abigail comes to you and asks you to marry her to her lover, Brother Ezekiel. Yes, they’ve been having an illicit affair and he’s already married. What do you do?”

That is, could, or perhaps should, I as the GM spell out Mormonism's views on in-game situations? Here's another example from the same chapter:
Quote from: DitV
“Things are awful! This person’s sleeping with this other person not with me, they murdered the schoolteacher, blood pours down the meeting house walls every night!”

Hmm... I think I'm starting to understand how this works. I'm still battling the effects of 20 years of simulationist roleplaying. Alright, I feel better about my chances of getting a game together now.

TTFN,

Yokiboy


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: lumpley on December 29, 2004, 06:54:24 AM
Yes!

It's very easy to communicate the NPCs' expectations to the players, and that's all you have to do. Just have the NPCs be fine and comfy with some things and outraged about other things, that's all the "Mormonism's take" you need.

The players need to know what the character creation chapter says about towns going bad, no more.

-Vincent


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: Yokiboy on December 29, 2004, 12:19:34 PM
Thanks for the help Vincent, and others. I am so psyched to be running this game. Looks like it will happen two weeks from now. Now if I can only get a game of Sorcerer off the ground as well I'll be in gamer heaven.

I am dying to try the conflict resolution system, it seems damn close to perfect IMNSHO.  :)

TTFN,

Yokiboy


Title: How do you sell Dogs to your players?
Post by: Eric Provost on December 29, 2004, 02:24:59 PM
Just wanted to pipe back in & say good luck.  I think you'll really enjoy how it turns out, even if it is a bit bumpy at first.  I'd love to see an Actual Play post updating us all on how your players feel about the game after a single session.

-Eric