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Author Topic: Impressions from a demo of Dogs  (Read 3073 times)
ks13
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Posts: 67


« on: July 21, 2004, 03:06:36 PM »

This goes way back to a demo that Vincent ran at Vericon, many, many months ago.

I have to say that I was rather lost, or perhaps that the concept never really fell into place for me. Most of this is probably due to feeling completely in the dark about what the game was about. I know absolutely nothing about Mormons, so when you say the game is about Mormons or a Mormon-like society, it doesn't tell me anything. For most people it seems to bring about some image or framework with which to work, but I have nothing to go with. How do I roleplay something which I have no reference point for at all?

The issue of playing a religious character isn't problematic, but I would find it a lot easier to work off of a made-up religion that is described in a few paragraphs and everything else is an interpretation of that. DitV implied that you have some starting point grounded in a real religion. But not knowing what's involved in the Mormon culture, how they act (in a general sense), address each other, or express their religious views didn't make it easy to jump into the game (for me).

The other part of not knowing the game, made it difficult to decide on allocating the dice and choosing a character concept. Are demons "real", or of the "personal demons" sort? How does the training session fit into the overall game? These issues however only existed because I had no game material to review before hand. I am not the type that likes to jump into things without knowing what I'm dealing with.

Regarding the mechanics - the short play session didn't allow me to figure out the details of it, but the allocation of dice was very interesting, and it made a lot of fun to be a spectator. Sort of like watching a tennis match. A point could be made with a single shot, or on a prolonged back and forth rally. The idea that the more involved (and more time spent on) the dice resolution, the bigger the outcome, is pretty cool.
At least that is what I seem to recall.

-Al
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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the glyphpress


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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2004, 07:16:41 AM »

It sounds like you needed more information about the world in which it takes place. That's been covered more in the current incarnation, at much urging on my part, but I'm not convinced it's enough.

Quote from: ks13
This goes way back to a demo that Vincent ran at Vericon, many, many months ago.

I have to say that I was rather lost, or perhaps that the concept never really fell into place for me. Most of this is probably due to feeling completely in the dark about what the game was about. I know absolutely nothing about Mormons, so when you say the game is about Mormons or a Mormon-like society, it doesn't tell me anything. For most people it seems to bring about some image or framework with which to work, but I have nothing to go with. How do I roleplay something which I have no reference point for at all?


Well, that's probably not true. Check out High Plains Drifter for the kind of plot Dogs engenders, then add demons of a more supernatural sort.

Quote
The issue of playing a religious character isn't problematic, but I would find it a lot easier to work off of a made-up religion that is described in a few paragraphs and everything else is an interpretation of that. DitV implied that you have some starting point grounded in a real religion. But not knowing what's involved in the Mormon culture, how they act (in a general sense), address each other, or express their religious views didn't make it easy to jump into the game (for me).


You don't have to know anything, really. The players make it up as they go, but this is covered better in the book now.

I'm replying before Vincent here because this is a bigger "I told you so" than was previously offered, and I think it's very directly related to the potential success of the game.

To summarize the salient issue stated here: Al wanted to play in a world. He devoted only one paragraph to the mechanics and the rest to wondering what the world was like that he was supposed to be in.

I've never known anyone to play an environment straight out of the book, but I've never known anyone to own just GURPS or HERO without at least one worldbook, either.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
lumpley
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2004, 09:11:19 AM »

Al, thank you!  If you want, you can read the current-ish text here.  It's in .rtf format, sorry.

Your questions - what's the Faith?  What are demons?  Where does this training thing go? - are just right.  I'm sure I didn't give you enough to go on in the demo.  I hope that with a smaller crowd and a bit more warning I would have, but who knows.

But also, in a more modest form, those are exactly the questions that I have after character creation.  I'd love to hear what you make of the game text in that regard.

That demo was really useful to me.  Thanks!  Even if it didn't gel for you.

J., I argue with you soon!

-Vincent
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ks13
Member

Posts: 67


« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2004, 02:56:23 PM »

I think a lot of the issues that came up for me, could simply have been taken care of if I had actually gone over more game information beforehand. Being dropped in cold didn't suit me, especially since it seemed like everyone was already a step ahead and had a much better idea of what was going on.

So to that end, I will now go check out the game text. Perhaps it will offer a new perspective on the demo.
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