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Independent Game Forums => lumpley games => Topic started by: Willow on June 08, 2006, 03:05:30 AM



Title: Accomplishments: Does This Really Work?
Post by: Willow on June 08, 2006, 03:05:30 AM
In the character generation portion of the rules, there's talk of accomplishments.  (pg 28-32)  This is a fine part of the game, but something seems off about it.  For conflicts involving a Dog's inner turmoil, such as "I hope I overcome my tendency to act like X," as opposed to "I hope such and such external event happens," it's advised that the player take the role of the Dog trying to remain the way they are and the GM takes the role of the forces trying to change them.  It's right there on page 29, under a big 2b.

I don't buy it.

As a player, suppose my stakes are the exemplar "I hope my character learned not to swear so much."  I'm going into a conflict with a goal for my character to stop swearing.  But according to the rules and the example, that only happens if the GM wins.  So I'm already in a lose-to-win situation:  I only get what I wanted if I do *badly* in this contest.

That's why we have stakes!  So the GM can't screw us over by saying "haw, haw, you made your roll too well, you blow up and die."

But it's worse:  in Dogs, I choose when I lose.  I can give at any time.  What stops me from giving right when the conflict starts and getting what I want?  It's cheesy, sure, but that's just evidence that there's a bad rule that needs to be punished.  (Of course, the GM can always say, "haw haw, I give.  you stay the way you are.")

But let's assume that you and I are mature enough to not give immediately and actually try to play out the conflict and get inside the sides.  Here's the thing:  since when you lose is voluntary, I will always be second guessing the involved judgement:  Could I really keep going?  Did I just give in early to get what I wanted?  Have I put up enough of a show of fighting for something I don't want?

To me, Dogs is about pushing the boundary of what you're willing to go through to get what you want.  It's not about pushing the boundary of what you're willing to go through to get what you don't want.


Title: Re: Accomplishments: Does This Really Work?
Post by: coffeestain on June 08, 2006, 04:15:36 AM
Willow,

It works just fine.  Just reverse roles.  Always have the Dog play the role the player wants to win.  I've done it quite a few times and it's always been a pertty heady conflict, though more often than not I'll try to find an external conflict to represent the internal change if possible.

Regards,
Daniel


Title: Re: Accomplishments: Does This Really Work?
Post by: Alex F on June 08, 2006, 04:24:28 AM
Hi Willow,

If you desperately want something for your character you should take it as a trait or relationship. The accomplishment is for things that you think would be cool to explore - events that you think are interesting to form part of the backstory. You may have a preference for how you think things may ultimately come out, but you want to play the events out to some dramatic conclusion, otherwise you would just take the trait.

If you do have a preference, then you would want to align yourself with it, to allow your play to flow more organically; however, there is no reason that your preference will line up with the character's. That is why 2b appears, because there are many cases where I might think "It'd be cool if Bro Nate was put upon to give up cussing while in training, and maybe he even wants to - but I'll be damned if he will!"

If I were you I would use 2b as and when it feels organic. Don't force it if it makes you uncomfortable. But bear in mind that an accomplishment, like much of Dogs, is a process that is in itself meaningful, not an obstacle to get toward a result.


Title: Re: Accomplishments: Does This Really Work?
Post by: Brand_Robins on June 08, 2006, 08:58:08 AM
In accomplishments like that I always ask the player "So, do you, OOCly, want the character to make it or not?"

If they say they do, I play the opposition and they have to win to change. If they say they don't, then I play the change and they have to win to stay the same.

Not so tough, really.

Here are some examples of this sort of thing in play: http://spaceanddeath.com/geekgrrl/bitv/BitV_May_02_Session_1.txt and http://spaceanddeath.com/geekgrrl/bitv/BitV_May_09_Session_2.txt and from a different game http://games.spaceanddeath.com/yudhishthirasdice/25



Title: Re: Accomplishments: Does This Really Work?
Post by: Arturo G. on June 08, 2006, 10:53:17 AM

As Alex and Brand says.

Don't forget that you will get a new trait, no matter if you get or not the accomplishment. This trait may give you the edge to win a conflict, but only if you include in the narration something related to the result. Thus, the accomplishment is perfect to add some quirk to the character that is founded on actual play, and you are interested on. For example, would my character manage to control this kind of emotion? If she does not manage to do it from the beginning (she does not get the accomplishment), how would this affect her life and job afterwards? Both alternatives may be interesting, but probably the second sounds like more fun.

Arturo


Title: Re: Accomplishments: Does This Really Work?
Post by: lumpley on June 08, 2006, 12:57:34 PM
Every time I've done it, it's worked.

Dunno what else to say.

I had one recently where the player said "I hope my guy learns to respect women." I said "okay, you play the side of him that doesn't respect women, and I'll play the fellow student - a woman - trying to force him to change."

So that's what we did. And he rolled well and pushed hard enough and won. And he was like, "YES! She LOSES. I TOTALLY WI - wait a sec."

So Willow, have you tried it and it didn't work, or are you just talkin'?

-Vincent


Title: Re: Accomplishments: Does This Really Work?
Post by: Willow on June 08, 2006, 10:23:04 PM
"It'd be cool if Bro Nate was put upon to give up cussing while in training, and maybe he even wants to - but I'll be damned if he will!"

Ok, I get that.  That seems like the only time that I'd ever use the 2b option- basically if the player explicitly made it clear that he wanted me to.

Vincent- I'm just thinking and talking, but your for your example, if I was the player in question, why wouldn't I just give right away?


Title: Re: Accomplishments: Does This Really Work?
Post by: agony on June 09, 2006, 04:08:47 AM
"It'd be cool if Bro Nate was put upon to give up cussing while in training, and maybe he even wants to - but I'll be damned if he will!"

Ok, I get that.  That seems like the only time that I'd ever use the 2b option- basically if the player explicitly made it clear that he wanted me to.

Vincent- I'm just thinking and talking, but your for your example, if I was the player in question, why wouldn't I just give right away?

An accomplishment is not something which will make or break your character.  It is something which will add color and further develop his persona.

If you choose an accomplishment which you desperately wish to succeed and thus would give from the get-go on, you're not choosing an appropriate accomplishment.  You should never have a conflict where one of the possible results is unacceptable, accomplishes including.


Title: Re: Accomplishments: Does This Really Work?
Post by: lumpley on June 09, 2006, 05:45:55 AM
Vincent- I'm just thinking and talking, but your for your example, if I was the player in question, why wouldn't I just give right away?

Because when I say "okay, for this conflict you're going to play the woman-hating side of your character," your eyes light up. If you hadn't wanted to play your character as a woman-hater, at least partly, you wouldn't've chosen that issue.

This is the heads side to everyone else's tails coin. Yes, either outcome is acceptible - so is giving right away, come to that - but I'm giving you permission to play an unsavory side of your character and play it hard. It's pleasurable, liberating, and powerful. You could give right away, but you're having too much fun.

And let me be super clear: give right away if you want to. That's by the rules and just fine. It's not contrary to the spirit of the game in any way.

-Vincent


Title: Re: Accomplishments: Does This Really Work?
Post by: lumpley on June 09, 2006, 10:59:55 AM
Oh hey, let me add:

"I hope I won a fair fight."
"Cool! This guy attacks you in the barn -"
"I give."
"You do?"
"Sure. I kick him in the nuts and while he's down I rub horseshit into his hair. I'm writing 'I've never won a fair fight 1d6' on my sheet."
"Cool!"

Legit.

-Vincent


Title: Re: Accomplishments: Does This Really Work?
Post by: Vaxalon on June 09, 2006, 12:33:10 PM
I've always said that "Say yes or roll dice" applies to the players just as much as the GM.


Title: Re: Accomplishments: Does This Really Work?
Post by: lumpley on June 10, 2006, 02:27:08 AM
Willow? Are you convinced?

-Vincent


Title: Re: Accomplishments: Does This Really Work?
Post by: Willow on June 11, 2006, 01:11:16 AM
Not completely.  It doesn't help that your 'Fair Fight' example seems to me like how I invision the Knights of the Dinner Table guys playing Dogs.  :)

However, I'm able to see the case for such Accomplishment framing.  I don't really like it and probably won't use it in my games, but I think I get it.


Title: Re: Accomplishments: Does This Really Work?
Post by: lumpley on June 11, 2006, 04:23:15 AM
If that's what you see, then it makes sense that you don't like it!

The rule came out of actual play, an actual initiation that went really strangely. My advice, seriously, is to stay open to the rule - you might smack your forehead and go oh THAT'S why, when the time comes.

-Vincent


Title: Re: Accomplishments: Does This Really Work?
Post by: Warren on June 12, 2006, 03:56:22 AM
I think that fair-fight example rocks. It illustrates something about your character, doesn't it?

But also, one reason not to just Give straight away is to take some tasty Fallout. Fallout in accomplishments won't kill you (well, it could, I guess, if you started messing around with guns, but I would handwave that away this once - this ain't classic Traveller), but it could give you extra traits. And extra traits are more resources you can pull in during play, which makes your character more effective.

I dunno if that viewpoint helps any, but it works for me.


Title: Re: Accomplishments: Does This Really Work?
Post by: Blankshield on June 12, 2006, 07:41:37 AM
I had a kick-ass initiation use this rule the first time I ran Dogs. (way back here (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=13382.0))

Check out that Brother Archibald.

James