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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 82 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Forcing an Outcome  (Read 8600 times)
Valamir
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« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2004, 06:57:20 AM »

Yeah, I have to say Dog's decision = God's Will does nothing for me either.

That's way too easy and way too pat.  

There's a big difference between:

"Everything I say and do is always Right automatically"  and
"Everything I say and do is always Law automatically"

The first is terribly boring.
The second is a big kick in the teeth.


In terms of the meta nature of drawing the players into the decisions of the game, the first means the player's never really have to think about anything they do.  Whatever they do, even on a whim, is automatically the will of God, so players can do whatever they want and still be 100% in the right.  Boring.

The second means that whatever they do, even on a whim, is automatically legal...meaning they can't be held accountable by the laws of the Church.  But the fact that it might not be Right gives the players something to wrestle with.

The player must then struggle to come to grips with their own internal real world interpretation of what a Good, Merciful, and Just God wants.  Whether atheist, devout, or non practicing everyone has an idea of what God should be like.  What the commandments of God should be like.  DitV forces players to think about their own internal ideas of an ideal supreme diety...determine what that ideal supreme diety would want them to do...and then do it.

That's where the good stuff comes in.  That's why I'm badgering Seth to run this game for us.
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bluegargantua
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Posts: 167


« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2004, 08:12:26 AM »

Quote from: Valamir


There's a big difference between:

"Everything I say and do is always Right automatically"  and
"Everything I say and do is always Law automatically"

In terms of the meta nature of drawing the players into the decisions of the game, the first means the player's never really have to think about anything they do.  Whatever they do, even on a whim, is automatically the will of God, so players can do whatever they want and still be 100% in the right.  Boring.

The second means that whatever they do, even on a whim, is automatically legal...meaning they can't be held accountable by the laws of the Church.  But the fact that it might not be Right gives the players something to wrestle with.


  See, I think I reach the same place you do, I only come at it a different way:

  If I (as a Dog) am an instrument of the King, and if everything I do is what the King would do, then how do I reconcile the differences in opinion between myself and the other Dogs (who are also, always right)?  Can I turn a blind eye to the suffering of a family because the King said their youngest boy had to die?  In my role as Dog, I'm always right and there's no need for me to explain or justify my actions.  But when I'm riding on the trail between towns and I'm really just being me, then I've got to try and puzzle out God's grand design.  Because if I'm feeling uncomfortable about stuff I've done in God's name and I can't explain it away to myself, then it's my faith that's questionable.

  If player's don't bother to have these soul-searching moments every now and again, they probably haven't grokked what Dogs is all about no matter how they approach the question of Dog's Will vs. God's Will.

later
Tom
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The Three Stooges ran better black ops.

Don't laugh, Larry would strike unseen from the shadows and Curly...well, Curly once toppled a dictatorship with the key from a Sardine tin.
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2004, 08:16:23 AM »

Hi,

That makes sense, Tom. It doesn't match in my mind to what you originally posted a bit back, but no matter - I do think we're all agreeing now.

Best,
Ron
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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Posts: 1144

the glyphpress


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« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2004, 12:07:00 PM »

Quote from: Ben Lehman
Huh.  Without the ability to willfully go against the King of Life's intentions, Dogs would lose a lot of its punch for me.

You are judging God's people.  Similarly, you shall come to judge God.


Sure, the Dogs can do wrong by the King, but they have to do it willingly. The King tells them what to do. Ask the players what the King told their characters to do and see what comes out. If their characters sinned against the King by disobeying His wishes, you've got some good gnarl. Did they do the moral thing, not what the King wanted? Even more gnarl.

Doesn't lose its punch for me, not one little bit.

My favorite Dog, Benjamin, fears that he doesn't hear the King's voice. He thinks he's making it up, that he's not worthy to hear His voice, and that his mentors were wrong about his abilities. That sounds like Pride to me.

Plenty of fun to be had there.
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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.
Brennan Taylor
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« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2004, 02:56:19 PM »

Quote from: nikola
My favorite Dog, Benjamin, fears that he doesn't hear the King's voice. He thinks he's making it up, that he's not worthy to hear His voice, and that his mentors were wrong about his abilities. That sounds like Pride to me.


It's a perverse sort of Pride, but I can see it. It's basically Pride in his own perceived inadequacy. Interesting.
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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the glyphpress


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« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2004, 08:54:21 PM »

Quote from: inthisstyle
It's a perverse sort of Pride, but I can see it. It's basically Pride in his own perceived inadequacy. Interesting.


Well, it's more accurate to say that he knows better than his mentors and he frickin' knows better than the King.

I use him as an example because what he does, formally, is the moral thing to do because he's a Dog. That doesn't mean that the conflict between his morals and What The King Said To Do isn't there.

He shot someone at one point because he thought that person deserved to die. That person had just that moment finished his baptism; he was free of sin. But Benjamin didn't see it that way, and thought it would be better if he was in Heaven than down here doing atrocities. Was that the King speaking? Was it Benjamin's anger? Who knows. Was it a moral thing to do? You bet. Was it the most moral thing to do? Who knows!

The point is that the conflict of morality vs. the actions of the moral can still be at odds, and therefore interesting to play.
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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.
DannyK
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« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2004, 09:42:18 PM »

Well, I got the game tonight and read in in a room full of noisy kids, so my head is still spinning a little.  The setup is brilliant: If I'm reading it correctly, the moral status of the Dogs is left radically open, undetermined by setting or system.  
Quote from: Dogs in the Vineyard

Your character might be a destroying angel or a remorseless monster... your GM and fellow players can't tell the difference, only you can.


That's the Nietzschean Superman, dressed up in a colorful coat and battered sombrero.  That's awesome.  I've got to read it a few more times in a quiet room, so I'll stop babbling now.
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Jonathan Walton
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« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2004, 06:03:57 AM »

Quote from: DannyK
That's the Nietzschean Superman, dressed up in a colorful coat and battered sombrero.  That's awesome.


Hells, yeah.  Dogs are like Wagnerian heroes, descending from the realms of the gods or the Castle of the Grail to lay judgement down from on high, simply because they're better than everyone else.  It's only the intentionally biased perspective of the game which keeps this from being Pride as well.

It's so brilliant.  The players of the game know that the Dogs are acting with incredible Pride all the time, whenever they lay judgement on other people and act as the hands of the King of Life.  However, the game itself, with its spin-doctoring, teaches that pride only resides in others (including other Dogs and possibly even other PC Dogs), not in your own character.
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Ben Lehman
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Blissed


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« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2004, 10:11:55 AM »

Quote from: DannyK
That's the Nietzschean Superman, dressed up in a colorful coat and battered sombrero.  That's awesome.


Quote from: Jonathan Walton

Hells, yeah.  Dogs are like Wagnerian heroes, descending from the realms of the gods or the Castle of the Grail to lay judgement down from on high, simply because they're better than everyone else.  It's only the intentionally biased perspective of the game which keeps this from being Pride as well.


BL>  There is one important difference, though.

The Dogs aren't demigods.  The Dogs are, literally, just people.  Nothing special.

They aren't doing this out of any nietzschean pride.  Their doing it because, god knows, someone has to.  It is not to revel in their own power.  It is to save their people.

This is *awesome*

yrs--
--Ben
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clehrich
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« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2004, 10:45:18 AM »

Quote from: inthisstyle
Quote from: nikola
My favorite Dog, Benjamin, fears that he doesn't hear the King's voice. He thinks he's making it up, that he's not worthy to hear His voice, and that his mentors were wrong about his abilities. That sounds like Pride to me.


It's a perverse sort of Pride, but I can see it. It's basically Pride in his own perceived inadequacy. Interesting.
As I just told Vincent, I'm definitely going to be working on a 16th-century Inquisitors version of Dogs, and you just pointed out one reason why.  For the Catholic priest, what you're talking about here is the most typical form of Pride, the subtle one that everyone kind of misses.  

Basically it goes like this: I am unworthy, but I hear tell that God loves me anyway.  Nope, I suck, He can't possibly love me.  To put it quite differently, God might think He loves me, but I know better than God.  This is called Pride.

So the idea is that decent Christian people often fall into sin and stuff because they think it's not worth trying to avoid sin since they suck anyway, so they spend their lives telling God to buzz off and to stop loving them.  This is what the Church is for: to help them see that, no really, it really is possible that God loves them anyway, because God isn't like us and He can love us no matter how shitty we are.

So for me, this type of Pride that you describe in your character Benjamin would be the starting point for the cycle of sin in an Inquisition version of Dogs.

Which, clearly, has to be called Hounds --- as in Domini Canes, the Hounds of the Lord.  :>
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Chris Lehrich
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