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Independent Game Forums => lumpley games => Topic started by: Darren Hill on June 18, 2005, 09:22:22 PM



Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: Darren Hill on June 18, 2005, 09:22:22 PM
I'm a little unclear on the ramifications of the Territorial Authority, and having Sheriffs that don't answer to the Faith.

I can see the potential for conflict between Dogs and the TA, but I'm a little conflicted - it seems like it could easily overshadow a campaign and undermine the role of the Dogs if handled badly. Which I might do, without more guidance!

If a Dog kills a Lawman (or some TA official), is he then a wanted man, and should expect bounty hunters and other lawmen to turn up everywhere he goes? Especially if the Dogs are circuit riders!
(This goes double for TA soldiers, of course.)

Are Sheriffs elected from the Faithful, or are they sent in from outside? I apologise if this is a blatantly obvious question.

My question is prompted by an idea of a Faith town that is being corrupted by that most traditional of Western villains, the property developer.

Going off at a tangent - the rules say how people can become possessed (followers of False Doctrine and all that). What about Non-Faith - can they be possessed? (I'd expect so - they are definitely following false doctrine, aren't they?) Can they be sorcerers?


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: Ul on June 19, 2005, 02:59:10 AM
The dogs answer to no one but their own conscience. They do not become "wanted" for killing a person. And no sheriff/TA have any authority over them, and neither is any sheriff/TA immune to their judgement, what they say IS the law.

I would imeagine, that in most faithful towns (which are teh ones the dogs are visiting) there wont be any non-faithful in a powerful position at all.

All stewards in all elected by the one above them, which are elected by the one above them, and the final step is the council of eldars in bridal falls.


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: sirogit on June 19, 2005, 04:59:39 AM
TA law enforcement(Sheriffs) are enforcers of secular law elected by the town. As they come from the Vineyard, they're overwhelmingly Faithfull, which makes their dealings with Dogs an incredibly conflicting affair (How do you tell Jesus that he isn't supposed to jay walk?) that I think would mostly have them deferring to the Dogs. A non-faithfull Sheriff would have a hell of a time working with the congregation if he was somehow elected.  

Other TA's are very most likely not of the Faith. It's probably why they try not to meddle too much in the Vineyard, except when taxes or mail are at stake.

There's lots of good reasons for the TA's to not try to have a war with the Dogs:

1) They've got towns with them. Towns that would very likely fight for them, and at the very least be unusefull witnesses.

2) The Vineyard's a pretty isolated place. This means that the Dogs aren't really a threat to the outside world if visitors watch their steps, and killing a Dog is a lot harder than avoiding them.

3) The TA is much more practical than idealist. I can easily imagine them cutting their losses at one law man and stick to concentrating their force in battles more convient.

Overall, I'd think that the decision to go after a Dog would depend on if they're posing an active threat to taxes and mail, if its possible to take on the Dog without taking on the Faith, and plain simple grudges.


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: lumpley on June 19, 2005, 05:22:30 AM
Darren:

Following the game mechanics will prevent you from handling it wrong. A sherriff, a bounty hunter, a soldier or officer or whole company in the Territorial army - they're NPCs. If they're hunting the PCs, something's at stake, you roll all those happy dice, you raise and see, somebody wins the stakes, people take fallout - it's all good and aboveboard.

Being hunted by the TA can't overshadow the game, because as GM you're still going to make towns where something's badly wrong and the Dogs still have to put it right. Being hunted by the TA, thus, is just one more complication the Dogs have to deal with.

So the whole thing is an opportunity!  You should create and adhere to the causality in your game world. It'll work out fine no matter what, I promise.

So...

Quote
If a Dog kills a Lawman (or some TA official), is he then a wanted man, and should expect bounty hunters and other lawmen to turn up everywhere he goes? Especially if the Dogs are circuit riders!
(This goes double for TA soldiers, of course.)


When in doubt, make it a conflict. "What's at stake is, do Texas Rangers show up in this town looking for you?" Roll dice, see and raise, etc.

Quote
Are Sheriffs elected from the Faithful, or are they sent in from outside?


The game text says something like "if a town has a sherriff, usually he's a Faithful who's been elected to the position by the town." The Territorial Authority doesn't care about the religious convictions of its civil servants, only insists that they keep peace and enforce law. So a lot of times you have an entirely church meeting, where the steward's like, "we'll have an easier time with the TA if we get a sherriff, you wanna be it?" and the guy's like, "sure." and the steward's like, "great, we'll hold the election thursday, anybody have any probs?" and everybody's like, "nope."

Can this be a source of pride and sin all by itself? Of course! Might this person's loyalty between official TA duties and religious submission to the Dogs be put to the test? Oh baby yes. Write on the town sheet something like "Brother Mitchell wants the Dogs to not make him choose between law and Faith" and see what happens.

Are some sherriffs nonFaithful sent in from outside? Sure. That's up to you, in town creation.

Quote
Going off at a tangent - the rules say how people can become possessed (followers of False Doctrine and all that). What about Non-Faith - can they be possessed? (I'd expect so - they are definitely following false doctrine, aren't they?) Can they be sorcerers?


Aren't all nonFaithful religious leaders sorcerers? Isn't possession the essential religious experience of all nonFaithful?

Whether you want to take that hardline position in your group, I dunno, feel free to back off from it.

Either way, being a secular authority can't make you a sorcerer. To be a sorcerer you need to be the minister of a congregation (if even a very small one); it's only and always an issue of spirit.

-Vincent


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: Darren Hill on June 19, 2005, 10:51:20 AM
Thanks, Vincent - that's given me the perspective I need to be comfortable about using the TA & Law, and the potential for town creation is great. Also, great clarification on the sorcerers/possessed.

You've also raised a very interesting question:
Quote from: lumpley

When in doubt, make it a conflict. "What's at stake is, do Texas Rangers show up in this town looking for you?" Roll dice, see and raise, etc.


How would I run a conflict like that? Can you give a short example of how it might go - along with mentioning which stats are being used, who raises and sees and with what?


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: lumpley on June 20, 2005, 05:37:11 AM
Oh, sure thing. Let's see. I'm the GM, you're the Dog.

Me: What's at stake is, do Texas Rangers show up in this town looking for you?
We roll. You roll acuity plus heart, I roll 4d6 plus demonic influence.
Me, raise: Texas Rangers have been tracking you since that murder back in Bower's Bluff.
You, block or dodge: There were no witnesses, remember? Raise: They think that Brother Finch did it.
Me, taking the blow: They questioned Brother Finch extensively [grim, significant look]. Raise: His daughter came forward with her suspicions about you, to spare him further "questioning."
You, block or dodge: Alma wouldn't do that. Raise: She sent them off toward Marston.
Me, out of dice: I give.

We could play it out physical instead of social, with the raises and sees being all about how you hid your tracks and stuff, if we wanted. Then you'd roll body plus heart.

I could roll the Texas Rangers as an NPC if I felt like it, instead of rolling 4d6 plus demonic influence.

-Vincent


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: Darren Hill on June 20, 2005, 08:47:19 AM
That last line anticipated my next question :)

Great example. I've copied it to show my players, who are even less savvy with this sort of (director stance?) stuff than I am.


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: Darren Hill on June 20, 2005, 09:00:32 AM
Still trying to get my head around some aspects of this...
In such a conflict, how would you justify fallout - especially fallout in which an injury occurred?


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: lumpley on June 20, 2005, 09:18:24 AM
An injury is just a permanent d4 trait or two, right?

"Sister Alma ratted me out 1d4."
"I don't trust women 1d4."
"I'm not as sneaky as I think 1d4."
"I've got a guilty look 1d4."

Or a d4 relationship:

"Sister Alma 1d4."
"Brother Finch 1d4."
"The Texas Rangers 1d4."
"My frickin' hoofprint-leaving twig-breaking horse 1d4."

Also always remember that you can justify your fallout by any part of the conflict, you don't have to justify it by the individual blow you took.

-Vincent


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: Sydney Freedberg on June 22, 2005, 09:16:39 AM
Quote from: lumpley
"My frickin' hoofprint-leaving twig-breaking horse 1d4."


Every time I think about this line, it makes me happy.


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: Darren Hill on June 22, 2005, 02:44:17 PM
Quote from: lumpley
An injury is just a permanent d4 trait or two, right?


Sorry about not replying to this earlier. The main conceptual difficulty I was and still am having was with that other element of injuries - that you might keel over in need of medical attention, or even die.
When in this kind of conflict, how does that work? Who takes the injury and how do you justify it in the scene?


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: TonyLB on June 22, 2005, 02:48:01 PM
"My frickin', hoof-print leaving, twig-snapping, cliff-falling-off-of horse  2d4."


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: James Holloway on June 23, 2005, 12:56:13 AM
Quote from: demiurgeastaroth
Quote from: lumpley
An injury is just a permanent d4 trait or two, right?


Sorry about not replying to this earlier. The main conceptual difficulty I was and still am having was with that other element of injuries - that you might keel over in need of medical attention, or even die.
When in this kind of conflict, how does that work? Who takes the injury and how do you justify it in the scene?

How could you? You'd need to escalate to guns in order to take that level of fallout.


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: Darren Hill on June 23, 2005, 01:32:05 AM
Quote from: James Holloway

How could you? You'd need to escalate to guns in order to take that level of fallout.


First, are you saying you can't escalate in such conflicts? I don't see why not, but I'd be happy to use such a rule if necessary to avoid cognitive dissonance.
But in any case you can take injuries from Physical fallout.
If you roll two sixes, that's 12: someone has to roll Body.
If that Body roll fails, the Fallout is bumped to 16, and someone is in need of medical attention.
If that someone doesn't get medical attention, they die.

I'm just having a problem figuring out how that works in the context of these remote conflicts. I love the idea of such conflicts, so its important to me to figure out how they work.


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: GB Steve on June 23, 2005, 02:31:49 AM
Quote from: demiurgeastaroth
If that someone doesn't get medical attention, they die.

I'm just having a problem figuring out how that works in the context of these remote conflicts. I love the idea of such conflicts, so its important to me to figure out how they work.
In my game this happened to a player who was giving first aid. It was the Fort Lemon scenario. The PC has a conflict with the the fallen steward of the brethren at the fort. Drunkenly this man managed to shoot of his own toes when the escalation got to guns. The player tried to heal the NPC and in the attempt took 8d fallout, got a 12, failed his body roll and started to die.

I suggested that the effort in calling on the King of Life to heal a sinner had sent him into some kind of seizure. The 8d fallout made it very hard to heal him and 3 other dogs took fallout as a result. It's the worst injury any Dog has taken in the three sessions I've played.

The lesson is, I think, that you can be quite creative in deciding on what caused the injury, and given the kind of game that Dogs is, can involve the group in coming to some concensus.


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: Warren on June 23, 2005, 02:58:34 AM
How about (assuming Escalation, of course):

"Those Rangers must have winged me with a bullet as I was making my getaway from that last town, and now the wound has become infected?"


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: Warren on June 23, 2005, 02:59:39 AM
How about (assuming Escalation, of course):

"Those Rangers must have winged me with a bullet as I was making my getaway from that last town, and now the wound has become infected?"


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: James Holloway on June 23, 2005, 03:43:49 AM
Quote from: demiurgeastaroth

But in any case you can take injuries from Physical fallout.

Right -- you just can't drop dead from it.

Off the top of my head, for injuries I'd say that 'rode like hell through badlands to get away from the law and done tore hisself out.'

If you escalate to guns, you can easily take this level of fallout -- but if you escalate to guns, I would expect the GM to give narration like "yeah, you've lost 'em after you fired that warning shot across their path... or so you think until they kick in the door and come in guns blazing." And there's no problem imagining how you might wind up shot there.

Conflict feeds narration like narration feeds conflict. It's all good.


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: Darren Hill on June 23, 2005, 03:48:01 AM
I'm getting confused. Just so I'm clear: are the last few posters aware we're talkiing about conflicts that the player's characters aren't actually involved on?
If not, have a look back at Vincent's second post in this thread, and my post immediately preceding it.


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: Warren on June 23, 2005, 05:18:15 AM
Yeah, I am aware that the conflict didn't happen in the past, but that doesn't mean you can't narrate a conflict that happened 'off-screen'. To continue the example conflict Vincent gave, wouldn't it be possible for something to go like this:

You, block or dodge: Alma wouldn't do that. Raise: She sent them off toward Marston.

Me, escalating to Physical, block or dodge: They couldn't find any evidence of you on the road to Marston. Raise: But they did see tracks from your horse leading them here.

You, taking the blow: Yeah, they're on my trail. Raise, escalating to Physical: But I drive my horse real hard so they can't catch me.

Me, out of dice: I give.

Now, if you roll real badly on the fallout dice and get injured, that could be something like "I drove my horse so hard that it threw me when it stumbled. I didn't think much at the time, but now I don't feel so good, and I've just noticed that my pantleg is covered in blood."

(Sorry for the double post earlier, by the way)


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: James Holloway on June 23, 2005, 06:11:37 AM
Quote from: demiurgeastaroth
I'm getting confused. Just so I'm clear: are the last few posters aware we're talkiing about conflicts that the player's characters aren't actually involved on?
If not, have a look back at Vincent's second post in this thread, and my post immediately preceding it.

Sure, but as soon as the player picks up those dice, the character is involved in the conflict. You're asking how you would justify injury fallout without physical conflict.  The answer is that you can't -- how can you get physically injured without some possible source of injury? But you did get physically injured. Ipso facto there must have been some source of injury.

Now, I suggested one ("gosh, all that fleeding through the pouring rain and now I have pneumonia" or whatever) that doesn't actually require contact with the enemy. I'm sure you can come up with some others -- starvation, hostile Mountain People, the baking heat of the sun, a bad fall from the horse, whatever. My "kicking the door in" example was shady because it's assuming the stakes within the conflict, I admit.


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: lumpley on June 23, 2005, 06:12:52 AM
Okay, Darren, this is the good stuff.

Under most circumstances, if your character's not present, you'll take d4 Fallout. Remember that the fallout dice you get depend on the details of the raise, not on which stats are in play.

"They catch your trail past Silver City," even though you've rolled Body and so have they, will usually inflict d4s. The raise doesn't implicate the character's physical self at all. Just as James says.

So mostly it's not a question. I can easily imagine a group playing with all kinds of remote conflicts that never, ever, ever inflict fallout past d4s.

SO, play it easy if you like. If your character's not there, your fallout can't go past d4s. No sweat.

BUT, that's not the interesting solution. Valid, perfectly functional, you should totally play that way if you want, but it doesn't reach into Dogs' coolness.

What follows depends on this: your group wants remote conflicts to inflict d6 or higher fallout. You get in your guts that fallout is the causality of fiction, not the causality of the game world, and you're psyched about that. You want "they catch your trail past Silver City" to be as life-threatening as "they tie you up and toss you in the back of the wagon."

Me, raise: they catch your trail past Silver City.
You, taking the blow: Crap. That means ... crap.

You take 3d6 fallout. You roll it: 12. You roll Body: not good enough. Bump to 16, your character needs "medical attention" or he'll "die."

First of all, you take two permanent fallouts. You can't take "I'm physically hurt" in any form, because you couldn't justify it out of the conflict. Your character wasn't even there, how could he be hurt!

Possible traits:
"Doom is on me d4."
"I watch the horizon d4."
"I gotta prepare for the day d4."
Possible relationships:
"The Texas Rangers d4."
"My be-danged horse d4."
"Murder d4."
"Silver City d4."

That part should be easy by now.

Go read this excellent post (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?p=156356#156356) by Ron, then come back.

We bump you to 16: your character needs "medical attention" or he'll "die."

Let's start with "die." Must it mean bodily death? Of course not. "Die" can mean any kind of leaving play for good. "I can't take it, I ride west." "They catch me and take me to trial." "Why would the King of Life have me kill? My faith's broken, I return to Bridal Falls to be released from duty." Any form of "I'm no longer a Dog."

So: your character needs "medical attention" or he'll be out of the game for good.

Now do the same to "medical attention": "medical attention" can mean any kind of dedicated support from another character.

Your character needs the dedicated support of another character or he'll be out of the game for good.

Now it should be really easy to see how that "medical attention" conflict might go. It might go like this!

Me, raise: You find yourself too scared to sleep, you keep jumping awake, gun out, every time the fire pops.
Your friend, block or dodge: that only happens once; after that I recite prayers with him before bed. Raise: the King of Life takes away his fear.
...And so on.

-Vincent


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: Warren on June 23, 2005, 06:47:40 AM
Wow, Vincent - that's great! I had never thought of medical attention like that, but it just opens up so many cool possibilities!


Title: [DitV] The Law
Post by: Darren Hill on June 23, 2005, 02:45:12 PM
Thanks, Vincent. Reading that post was a great "Doh!" moment - I'm familiar with that approach to injuries from Trollbabe and use it a lot in Fate, but it never occurred to me here. So I'll say it again, "Doh!"

Also, thanks to everyone else who tried to wrestle with my boneheadedness. :)