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Author Topic: Dogs in the IRC  (Read 19831 times)
Jonathan Walton
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« on: September 29, 2004, 07:18:10 PM »

Okay, I'm done thinking about this game.  Now I've got to play it.

So, let's play Dogs on IRC, as soon as possible.  I'm 12 time zones away from most of you guys, but that doesn't matter.  We'll find some time to play.  If the first session goes well, we might have to find a regular time to play, but let's not overextend ourselves initially.

Here's what I'm interested in, as a GM: emotional trainwrecks of the wuxia variety (without the kungfu silliness, obviously) where there are no solutions that don't break someone's heart (or head), exploring the times when bad people do good and good people do bad, and giving some serious agency to the Mountain People (none of the victimization or peace-loving earth spirits crap; they're angry and they have good reasons to be).  If you want to play, PM me or just post here, listing a few of the themes you might be interested in exploring.  I'll do my best to pitch you situations that you'll dig, though I throw a mean curveball too.

Depending on Vincent's whim, we could even post characters here and try to collaboratively tweak them into an interesting and narratively-potent stew, so people could have an example of how character creation might work.  Then, we could take things to IRC and do some hair-raising intro scenes.

Can ya dig it?
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2004, 08:57:29 PM »

Yo.

I am particular interested in playing a character that comes out of a non-functional society / family.  Not necessarily for the angst, but they know corruption when they see it.  The question is whether they know grace when they see it, too, or goodness.

yrs--
--Ben
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Vaxalon
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2004, 04:37:02 AM »

Heya.  I can't commit to a game at this point (I'm way overcommitted to other stuff) but I just wanted to say, "Yo, thanks for putting Dogs in IRC."

Yo, thanks for putting Dogs in IRC.
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
lumpley
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2004, 05:45:13 AM »

Yes, please use this forum for as much as the arrangement and setup as you like, up to and including character creation. Thread appropriately.

-Vincent
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DannyK
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2004, 07:42:25 AM »

I'm gearing up to run my own online Dogs game, so I'd be very grateful for the opportunity to take a test drive.  

I'm interested in an angry young man type.  A character who's usually tightly wound and under rigid control, but every so often the beast in him just needs to let loose.  He might beat the crap out of some poor soul, or go drinking and whoring for 24 hours in a heathen town, or spend a day riding the range, cursing himself and God.  Then, back to the job, to punish in others what he can't accept in himself.
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anonymouse
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2004, 11:36:56 AM »

Here's what I'm interested in, as a player: Dogs as conduits of His Power and Will, and how much is too much in a given situation; the idea of inheritenace, particularly of power, sin, and fate, and are you beholden to this inheritance; is there a Better Way to God's will than the way of Dog?; shamanistic implications of "Dog" perhaps contrasted with Mountain People avatars (think Shadowrun).

I'll definitely need a character-creation walkthrough (no book yet.. been in an RPG slump, and I'd like to play a game first before buying), either here or PM or IRC, or just pointing me to an old DITV thread and I'll cobble together some proto-stats based on that, then tweak it here.
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You see:
Michael V. Goins, wielding some vaguely annoyed skills.
>
lumpley
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2004, 02:58:55 PM »

Well let me provide some text.

Quote from: Dogs
Creating your Character
Your characterís initiation took two months at the Dogsí Temple in Bridal Falls City. The teachers there proved, trained, educated, initiated, and inspired him or her. The Dogsí Stewards then assigned your character to companions and a route.

Itís your responsibility to create a character suited to service and within the genre of the game.

1. Choose one:
- Well-rounded: 17d6 for Stats, 1d4 4d6 2d8 for Traits, 4d6 2d8 for Relationships.
- Strong History: 13d6 for Stats, 3d6 4d8 3d10 for Traits, 1d4 3d6 2d8 for Relationships.
- Complicated History: 15d6 for Stats, 4d4 2d6 2d10 for Traits, 5d6 2d8 for Relationships.
- Strong Community: 13d6 for Stats, 1d4 3d6 2d8 for Traits, 4d6 4d8 3d10 for Relationships.
- Complicated Community: 15d6 for Stats, 6d6 2d8 for Traits, 4d4 2d6 2d8 2d10 for Relationships.

2. Divvy your characterís Stat dice between Acuity, Body, Heart and Will. Give every Stat at least 2 dice.

3. Create some Traits and assign your characterís Trait dice to them.

4. Create a couple of Relationships and assign some of your characterís Relationship dice to them. The rest of your characterís Relationship dice are Available.

5. Write down your characterís Belongings and assign them their dice. Remember to describe your characterís coat.
- Itís normal: 1d6.
- Itís excellent: 2d6.
- Itís big: 1d8.
- Itís big and excellent: 2d8.
- Itís crap: 1d4.
- All guns get an additional 1d4.

6. When your GM comes around to you, say something that you hope your character accomplished during initiation. Make it whatís at stake in a conflict, set a stage, roll dice, See and Raise, and at the end give your character the outcome as a new Trait at 1d6.


Here's a bit more supporting text about Traits:
Quote from: Dogs
Words vs. Dice: You can create your characterís Traits as tidbits of history: ďI used to break horses with my dad.Ē You can phrase them as simple facts about your character: ď Iíve worked with horses and I know how they think.Ē You can phrase them as skills: ďhorsemanship.Ē You can phrase them as attitudes: ďIím very comfortable working with horses.Ē

You canít give your character more Traits than youíve got dice to assign, but you can double up (or even triple up) dice on a single Trait if you want. The only limit is that all the dice you assign to a given Trait have to be the same size: ďhorsemanship 2d6Ē is fine, ďhorsemanship 1d4 1d6Ē isnít.


Also, Michael, be sure to grab the pullouts from my website.

Oh, hey, everybody, just to be clear: I'm not playing, but I'll watch and if you need anything, ask.

-Vincent
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Jonathan Walton
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2004, 05:06:54 PM »

Awesome.  It's a throwdown at the hoedown.

So, so far we've got Ben, Danny, Michael, and then Claire and James (who PMed me).  Five sounds like a great number, because if we have scheduling conflicts or cats catch on fire, losing one or two won't keep the rest of us from playing.  If you really want to get in on this, but haven't contacted me yet, send a PM and I'll write you back if we start losing people like a Sunday carnival in Utah.

So I'm in Nanjing, China, as I said, and Claire's on the great continent of Australia, but let's try to schedule around that.  However, I don't want to use this thread to work out scheduling, so everybody email me from the address you want to use for the game and we'll hash it out off-thread.  Right now, let's assume that there are no problems and everyone's gonna play.

And Vincent's given us a blessing to use the lumpley forum and even been so kind as to post the character creation rules (thanks, V!) so what are you waiting for?  Let's make some Dogs!  I'm gonna sit down with the town creation rules today and sketch out a community, saving the details to be inspired by your characters.
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beingfrank
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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2004, 05:43:39 AM »

Ok, character creation!  I'm going to need some assistance too, because I'm not book-enabled either.  Also I'm not very familiar with the genre and tropes so part of this is a challenge for me to get my head around those.

Collaborative character creation sounds like a good way to go.  I've got some ideas for a character that I've started to pull together, and I'm happy to throw them out and see what people like/dislike and so on.  It's not the first idea I had, but I like this better.  I'm still not sure how lots of things apply, so I might be on completely the wrong track.

I want to play a fairly new Dog, who never expected to become a Dog, and whoís got some rather mixed feelings about being one.  Heís a guy who was a good kid and stuck to the straight and narrow, so may have trouble dealing with sin, or having understanding of those who have sinned, because heís never really been bad himself.  I wanted him to have a reasonably high status background, so that heís not totally unfamiliar with the idea of respect, but that status came from someone else, not his own qualities.  So I make him the son of a moderately important man in the community.  Whoís important in this society?  I didnít want his father to have a position in the Faith, because that gives a different dynamic, so an important profession is better.  What about a gunsmith?  That could give the character an interesting approach to guns and violence.

So this is where Iím starting from:

Jared

I never thought Iíd become a Dog.  Didnít ever enter my head.  That was my sisterís thing.  Ada and I were good kids.  Learning, working hard, helping Da, keeping out of trouble.  She was my big sister and took it on herself to keep us both out of trouble, but we never went looking for it anyway.  A few years older than me, she was always smarter, stronger and better than me.  And Ada wanted to be a Dog.  It was that way as far back as I could remember.  She was bright, and strong, full of courage and full of faith, and when she wasnít picked I think it broke something in her for a while.  Thatís what comes of wanting something too much, I guess.

Anyway, that was how things were, and Ada was getting over her disappointment and learning thereís more to life than sheíd thought.  Then I was picked to be a Dog.


Iím considering killing off their mother during their childhood, but Iím not sure if that changes the dynamic from what I want.

Well rounded

This seems the best choice for a young, new dog who hasnít had a complicated past, or much time to do much.  Though if anyone thinks differently, Iíd be glad to hear why.  Iím still working out how everything fits together.

Stats

Acuity   4d6
Body   3d6
Heart   5d6
Will   5d6

These are the only dice Iíve assigned so far, and thatís because I started and realised I simply didnít understand Traits and Relationships enough yet.  Everything is fluid.

Traits

Should traits be purely descriptive, or can they be aspirations?  For example would Ďgot to be as good a Dog as I think my sister would have beení a trait?  Or a Relationship?  Is it something thatís neither, but expressed differently in one, the other, or both?

And if thereís 3 sorts of dice for Traits that means I need at least 3 Traits, doesnít it?

These are some Iím considering at the moment:

Very new Dog
Good kid
Helped out my father making and fixing guns.
 Or maybe Got to play with all the guns my father made before he sold them.  Not sure exactly how I want to tie this in, but something about dadís guns goes somewhere.
My big sister wanted to be a Dog all her life and wasn't picked, and I never did and was

Relationships

Iím really unclear on what these should be.  And what should be a trait and what should be a relationship

Belongings

Where do dice for belongings come from?

Iíll just describe those Belongings Iím dead keen on so far.

Gun Ė The gun my dad made for my sister for her 16th birthday present that she gave to me when I went off to become a Dog
Coat Ė Both my mum and my sister took charge of making this.  The main colours are browns and earth tones, all in piecework, with patterns, some that stand out, and some that you donít notice until you take a second look, but with a black and white checked stripe along the cuffs to show that both sins and godliness always shows up on the outside in time, so I should live so that I should never be shamed by someone looking at me.  Itís very new, and still free of dirt and damage.


During initiation

Resolve doubts about whether I really deserve to be a Dog

This is just the first thing I thought of.  I'm unsure whether I should be making all of these things very distinct, so that the character has many different aspects, or tying them in together as much as possible, so that the character is richly interwoven.  My usual approach is to do the latter in character creation, but usually this stuff is not overtly part of the mechanics.  So I'm just a little confused.

All comments and suggestions welcome!
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2004, 06:09:30 AM »

Hmm... maybe we should spin out chargen into another thread?  No matter.

What I'm not grooving on with Jared is the trait selection.  Also, given that the father figures so big into the initial concept, he's surprisingly under-represented in the background.

Also -- "I'm a new dog" as opposed to "I'm a dog" is an interesting choice.  My assumption is that, unless we choose otherwise, we're *all* new dogs.  Right?

I also think a big issue here is "what did your sister think?"  I mean, we can explore that some in play, but what was her initial reaction?  I think a great place to express the way that your family things about your doghood would be in your possessions.  Most likely, you sister and mother are going to take point in making your coat, and your father is going to make a gun especially for you.

So let's look at traits.  Here are some vague suggestions for traits:

My Dad was a respected gunsmith
(I think that something about how respected your family was is a must.)

I used to make guns with my dad
or
Guns are like cousins to me
or
Played with all the new guns before they got sold

I never wanted to be a dog.

My sister always wanted to be a dog, but never was.

(I split these into two traits because I really think that they are two seperate things.  Particularly, I think that the first should probably have some bigger dice, and the second is a screaming d4 trait.  But that's my opinion.)

I'm a good kid is a great trait.


Don't worry about relationships for now.  You might want to put some dice into "my sister" and "my father" but that's about it.  Keep most of those dice for later.  (you can do this with relationship dice.)


Let's talk about belongings.

Every new dog coming out of Bridal Falls City has a coat, a gun, and a horse, unless you don't want the gun or the horse for some reason.  Now, I reckon that -- yer pa being a well-respected gunsmith and all -- you've got a mighty fine gun (if you don't, it says something about how things are between you and yer pa, don't it now?).  So that's either 2d6+1d4 if it's a normal gun, or 2d8+1d4 if it's a big ol' thing.  Likewise, if you've got a normal gun, that ain't too special, that's 1d6+1d4.  Really bad guns are 2d4.

Also, being the gunsmith's boy and all, you might have more than one gun.  Like yer shotgun might be a fine shotgun, for 2d6+1d4, but yer revolver might be mighty fine and also bigger than a hog's head, for 2d8+1d4.

Now, your coat works the same way.  If it's a fine coat, well-made and with care but also having spiritual power, it'll have 2d6.  If it is the normal sort of coat that is made for dogs, it'll be 1d6.  If it's some piece of crap that your sister threw together because she was so angry that you were a dog, and her bitterness and resentfulness shines through, it's 1d4.

You also have a horse.  If it's a big horse, it's 1d8.  If it's a fine horse, it's 2d6.  If it's a big old mighty fine horse, it's 2d8.  If it's an ol' nag, it's 1d4.

Anything else that you might have?

yrs--
--Ben
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2004, 06:23:52 AM »

Okay, so I have three ideas for characters.  I want to hear from people if they are explicitly interested in one or would rather I avoid a certain one, etc.

1) A city-boy from the back East.  Raised amongst the secretive Faithful community of the East, his main problem is the struggles between the cultured, upper-class, libertine society he grew up in and being exposed to the true Faithful society.  His faith is going to be tested against his culture.

Possible Traits / Relationships / Possessions:
I'm a citizen of the Territorial Columbian Commonwealth
I could have gone to Harvard.
I've never ridden a horse before
I speak proper english.

two pearl-handled duelling pistols (2d6+1d4)
a fine, factory made rifle frock coat (2d4)

2) A more normal fellow, well rounded probably, possibly from a very poor farming town.  The point here is to make a character who isn't that fucked up yet, and let things play off of him.  If other people are more normal (like Jared above), I will play one of the other two.  If other people have crazy angst-train-wrecks, I'll play this guy as a straight man that I can bounce things off of.  I have some ideas for him, though.  One of which is that he is in love with the girl who made his coat, even though he's never met her.  (He didn't get the family's coat for some reason or another -- perhaps they were just too poor to spare the time.)

Idea for training challenge:
I hope my family did all right without the my extra hands on the farm.

3) Ah, the last one.  Suffice it to say that I have a character who has been kicking around in my head for a while.  I have this idea of playing someone who is coming out of a terribly dysfunctional settlement.  What exactly went wrong I'm going to leave up to later decision, but think sort of greek tragedy style.  In the end, the Dogs came in and killed almost all of the adults.  With no other place to go, he just sort of followed them back to Bridal Falls City...

The basic question with this character is "can I overcome my past, or am I still too entangled in it?"  It is possible that this character will be a Sorcerer (in terms of having a large relationship with a demon, not necessarily in terms of demonic practice) which also brings up "can I serve the King of Life by doing evil?"

yrs--
--Ben
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DannyK
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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2004, 01:46:14 PM »

Brother Esau

Esau hails from Jubilee, a little town on the edge of Mountain People territory.  His mother was of the Faith, but simple and wayward.  She had a passel of kids by different fathers, but Esau was the only one who had the Mountain look to him -- shiny black hair and straight white teeth.  He grew up big and strong, and got halfway adopted by the local Branch, Joshua Handy, who he helped out on the farm. Esau was mocked as bastard sometimes, when the Branch wasn't around.  He won most of the fights, especially when he got his size.  If he hadn't become a Dog, he'd probably have up and joined the Territorial Army, because he was sure 'nough going to end up with blood on his hands if he stayed in Jubilee.


That's right, the name's Esau.  If you're gonna say something about how I ain't no hairy man, might as well say it now and get it done with.  I heard it a thousand times.

Complicated History
Stats
Acuity 3D6
Body 5D6
Heart 3D6
Will 4D6

Traits
I'm the living proof of mother's folly, 2D4
I fight dirty when I'm mad, 2D4
I probably got the blood of Mountain warriors in my veins, 1D10
Joshua said  I was the best farm hand he ever had, 1D10
I can shoot straight, 1D6
I can ride a horse, 1D6

Relationships
A Mountain People chief I saw once, 1D8
Joshua Handy, 2D6
I will never let the Dogs down, 1D8
Available: 3D6

Belongings

Coat 1D8 This coat was donated to Dogs Temple by a good woman who couldn't or didn't spend the money for pretty colors. But it's big enough for a big man, well made, and Esau likes black and gray.  

Rifle, 2D4 This rifle is practically a museum piece, but it's big and it still shoots.  
Hatchet 1D8 Plumb useful to have around.
Pony 1D6
Jar of earth 1D6
Battered Book of Life 1D6
Workman's tools, 2D6 The branch gave him this as a goodbye present.
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2004, 02:18:33 PM »

Quote from: DannyK
That's right, the name's Esau.  If you're gonna say something about how I ain't no hairy man, might as well say it now and get it done with.  I heard it a thousand times.


BL>  Esau is awesome.  But why isn't this a trait?  "Ain't no hairy man, heard it a thousand times" would be a great trait.

And, also, how do we see Esau and Jared getting along?  What's Jared's opinion about the mountain folk?

yrs--
--Ben
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Blankshield
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« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2004, 02:51:03 PM »

I'm going to a wedding rehearsal tonight and a wedding tomorrow, so don't have a lot of free time immediately, but I'll throw the rough idea I'd had for a character into the mix and if it fits well with the group I can flesh it out a bit more after the weekend.

Jezebel
A drop-dead gorgeous sister of the faith with a hard-nosed attitude come from growing up with those looks and that name.  

Possible traits:
Damn pretty
It's just a name
Pa always said never take no backtalk
I can see hypocrasy a mile away

James
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I write games. My games don't have much in common with each other, except that I wrote them.

http://www.blankshieldpress.com/
beingfrank
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« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2004, 03:45:50 PM »

Quote from: Ben Lehman
Hmm... maybe we should spin out chargen into another thread?  No matter.


It can always be split to another thread.  I read Jonathan's last post as a call for character creation and wanted to get something in before I had to sleep, so I just went for it.

Quote from: Ben Lehman
What I'm not grooving on with Jared is the trait selection.  Also, given that the father figures so big into the initial concept, he's surprisingly under-represented in the background.


That's a good point.  I've a much better idea of Traits now and it is a gaping hole.  I'll give it some thought.

Quote from: Ben Lehman
Also -- "I'm a new dog" as opposed to "I'm a dog" is an interesting choice.  My assumption is that, unless we choose otherwise, we're *all* new dogs.  Right?


I wrote it that way for two reasons, first because I was aware that others might want to play more experienced dogs, and second because the newness of it is important to Jared and I thought that was the key part of traits.  I'm happy with all new dogs or a mix as people like.

I'm aware I'm probably the least experienced in the game, so I set myself up as a pretty straight guy, so others can go with whatever craziness they like, and I won't do my head in.

Quote from: Ben Lehman
I also think a big issue here is "what did your sister think?"  I mean, we can explore that some in play, but what was her initial reaction?  I think a great place to express the way that your family things about your doghood would be in your possessions.  Most likely, you sister and mother are going to take point in making your coat, and your father is going to make a gun especially for you.


She wasn't very happy at first, but I want it to be a tension, rather than a break, so she came to terms with it enough to be happy for Jared and to wish him well, either before he left, or while he was training.

Though the idea of his coat being tainted by her resentment is very cool.

Quote from: Ben Lehman
So let's look at traits.  Here are some vague suggestions for traits:

My Dad was a respected gunsmith
(I think that something about how respected your family was is a must.)

I used to make guns with my dad
or
Guns are like cousins to me
or
Played with all the new guns before they got sold

I never wanted to be a dog.


'I never thought to be a dog.'  Hmm, this is a tricky one, because I'm trying to get across that it wasn't on Jared's mental landscape, he'd simply never envisioned it, let alone thought about it and decided it was something he didn't want to do.  About the same as he never considered he might become poet laureat of the penguin empire.  I think I need to ponder further.

Quote from: Ben Lehman
My sister always wanted to be a dog, but never was.

(I split these into two traits because I really think that they are two seperate things.  Particularly, I think that the first should probably have some bigger dice, and the second is a screaming d4 trait.  But that's my opinion.)


That all sounds good, but why is it a screaming d4 trait?  Not suggesting you're wrong, just want to understand why.

Quote from: Ben Lehman
I'm a good kid is a great trait.


Don't worry about relationships for now.  You might want to put some dice into "my sister" and "my father" but that's about it.  Keep most of those dice for later.  (you can do this with relationship dice.)


Ok, that's easier than I thought.  :-)

I think I'm good on belongings now, so I'll just work on those today.  Thanks very much.
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