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Author Topic: Dogs in the IRC - Initiations  (Read 10228 times)
Jonathan Walton
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« on: October 03, 2004, 07:10:21 PM »

Hoo doggie!  Well, we've got a fistfull of great characters now, so why don't we start setting up some great initiation scenes for them.  What we need for each character is first the "I want to ______" statement that describes something you want to accomplish during your training to be a Dog and then, derived from that, a conflict that embodies that embodies that desire.  

Since more heads are smarter than one, I'm going to throw out some suggestions, based on the desires some people have already put forward for their characters, but suggestions are welcome:

Claire (Jared): Resolve doubts about whether I really deserve to be a Dog.

So I get to play all your insecurities, all those parts of you that say "No, you can't do it.  You should have left this stuff to your sister."  Sweet.  So what if your sister comes to visit you at the Temple and there's some sort of crisis while she's there, and we get to see which of you handles the problem?  What should the crisis be?

Doyce (Jubal): I'd say that Jubal wants to find out if he still has a knack for knowing Evil when he sees it.

So I get to play the clandestine Evil, the subtle sneaky Evil that wants to avoid your knowing gaze.  And since this is Dogs, we can all decide what the Evil is beforehand and then figure out if you can spot it.  Maybe the Evil that Jubal tries to spot can be somehow related to the crisis that Jared and his sister compete to resolve?

Even if you're not going to play with us, Doyce, I think we can at least give you a taste of initiation.

James (Jezebel): Id like Jezebel to have to use her beauty as a positive thing, and maybe get an inkling that its not just a demon-curse..

This is more difficult, I think. I get to play the demonic, beguiling side of beauty, the part that tempted David and made you break his nose.  I have this inkling of a vision where Jezebel attends to a dying man and tries to brighten his darkest hours, or something like that.  We could fight over whether he ends up seeing you as an Angel, coming to carry him Above, or a Demon, dragging him Below.  How's that work?  Other suggestions?

Those of you who haven't articulated secret desires yet, it's time to throw down!  Let's get ready to 'rassle!
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Blankshield
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2004, 10:26:30 PM »

Quote from: Jonathan Walton
Hoo doggie!  Well, we've got a fistfull of great characters now, so why don't we start setting up some great initiation scenes for them.  What we need for each character is first the "I want to ______" statement that describes something you want to accomplish during your training to be a Dog and then, derived from that, a conflict that embodies that embodies that desire.  

Since more heads are smarter than one, I'm going to throw out some suggestions, based on the desires some people have already put forward for their characters, but suggestions are welcome:

James (Jezebel): Id like Jezebel to have to use her beauty as a positive thing, and maybe get an inkling that its not just a demon-curse..

This is more difficult, I think. I get to play the demonic, beguiling side of beauty, the part that tempted David and made you break his nose.  I have this inkling of a vision where Jezebel attends to a dying man and tries to brighten his darkest hours, or something like that.  We could fight over whether he ends up seeing you as an Angel, coming to carry him Above, or a Demon, dragging him Below.  How's that work?  Other suggestions?


That could work for me.  I had in mind a simpler sort of scenario where someone approached Jez who wouldn't have approached her if she wasn't pretty.  Establish de facto that 'being pretty made the difference' and the stakes are about whether Jez sees and recognizes that.  I would play Jez as she is, hating her beauty and fearing it's source, you would maybe play the someone that her beauty made a difference for, or perhaps a teacher trying to make her see it after the fact.

In hindsight I realize that's because I didn't type quite what I meant.  I wrote "have to use her beauty" when I meant "have to see her beauty"

James
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2004, 10:49:38 PM »

I'd honestly prefer some suggestions from the peanut gallery.  I have some ideas for challenges, but I haven't been able to put it into words.

One possibility is take one of the traits I have done and turn it into a challenge.  Particularly, "I hope that I learned to handle the sight of blood."  But that seems a little weak, somehow.

Thoughts?

yrs--
--Ben
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Jonathan Walton
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2004, 12:59:06 AM »

Quote from: James
I would play Jez as she is, hating her beauty and fearing it's source, you would maybe play the someone that her beauty made a difference for, or perhaps a teacher trying to make her see it after the fact.


That would work for me too, it's just a little... safe.  No emotional investment or risk necessarily, and I was hoping to push some buttons right from the get-go.  Unless we could throw in a hint of danger, such as maybe she gets approached by someone who's celibate (?) or married, like an older minister, and she thinks she's being hit on.  I have in my mind a couple of ways this could go (I don't know if I can articulate them), if you want to try something like that.

Ben, what about something like "I want to show these yokels a thing or two." :)  That way, if you win, you've strengthened your pride, and if you lose, your character might have to rethink his approach a bit.  There's no reason that your secret desire has to be to accomplish something overwhelmingly positive, after all.

I don't know if Vincent had "negative" desires in mind when he wrote Dogs, but I don't see any reason you couldn't have a desire in the form "Indulge in sin X without anyone knowing."  After all, I mean, those are the kinds of secret desires I had going into my own schooling.
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Doyce
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2004, 05:51:12 AM »

Quote from: Jonathan Walton
Doyce (Jubal): I'd say that Jubal wants to find out if he still has a knack for knowing Evil when he sees it.

So I get to play the clandestine Evil, the subtle sneaky Evil that wants to avoid your knowing gaze.


Actually, I suppose the stakes would be 'prove that my old TA lawman instincts are still useful as a Dog.'

Here's an example of one way it could go:

I'm seeing some sort of scene where... okay, there's a kid who's currently in Temple as a dog-in-training who's always rubbed me the wrong way -- he just hits all my "this one is a real problem" buttons.  Problem is, these are all 'old' buttons, and by the lights of the Faith, there's just nothing concrete to point at.  Jubal's new faith has made him distrust his instincts a bit, because he doesn't want to act with Pride in his mortal abilities.

Maybe he's right to doubt, maybe he isn't.

Anyway, so Jubal's out in the town running errands and he sees this kid moseying along in his Sunday best and it just twigs his old buttons something fierce.  Something in the set of his mouth -- nothing you could take to court, but there it is.

He decides to follow the kid, sees him knock and enter at the home of a well-to-do family with a pretty daughter who opens the door with a less-than-happy expression on her face.  Jubal watches this, puts a few things together, and figures the Boy is taking advantage of this girl while her parents are out -- blackmail, something -- again, no real proof, but damn it just feels right, y'know?

When the boy emerges awhile later, Jubal confronts him down a quiet street, telling him that he's almost a Dog now and he should fess up to the elders.

Is he right, or is his TA experience from the outside world tainting his view of an otherwise innocent courtship in the Faith?

Possibilities:
He wins, gets a bit of a rep for having a nose for Guilt, but makes an enemy of the kid (who's now maybe even an ex-dog? who knows)

He loses, gets a bit of a rep for being a little too willing to see the worst in people (or, he WAS right, but didn't have the guts to push it all the way, so he gets "Doesn't have faith in his old instincts." or something)... and STILL makes an enemy out of the kid :)

I don't know what you'd be playing in that, honestly -- it's an elusive thing.  Maybe we know going in that the Guilt is a sure thing, but the resistance is my own unwillingness to back my instincts... OR, the guilt isn't a sure thing, and resistance is the kid's own ability to stonewall.  Guess it can't exactly be both.
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Blankshield
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2004, 07:06:13 AM »

Quote from: Jonathan Walton
Quote from: James
I would play Jez as she is, hating her beauty and fearing it's source, you would maybe play the someone that her beauty made a difference for, or perhaps a teacher trying to make her see it after the fact.


That would work for me too, it's just a little... safe.  No emotional investment or risk necessarily, and I was hoping to push some buttons right from the get-go.  Unless we could throw in a hint of danger, such as maybe she gets approached by someone who's celibate (?) or married, like an older minister, and she thinks she's being hit on.  I have in my mind a couple of ways this could go (I don't know if I can articulate them), if you want to try something like that.


Something like that could certainly work, especially if it had been (say) setup by one of her teachers who recognizes her rejection of her looks and thinks its a false humilty (ie: Pride) that needs to be knocked down before she'll make a good Dog.  So he has someone who comes to the Temple with a legitimate problem (like your older married guy or minister) approach Jez in private about "somethin' I need a little help with"

I like that.  The conflict then becomes me being Jez 'as she is', mistrusting this guy who's obviously up to no good, and you playing the possibility that she can see past her built-in prejudice.


Quote
Ben, what about something like "I want to show these yokels a thing or two." :)  That way, if you win, you've strengthened your pride, and if you lose, your character might have to rethink his approach a bit.  There's no reason that your secret desire has to be to accomplish something overwhelmingly positive, after all.


The thing that sort of stuck out at me looking at Cyrus is similar to Ben's thought above, but coming from a different direction.  Maybe something like "Show that all this fancy booklearnin' is good for something out here"  I mean, we look at his traits and we know it's good for something, but he's probably a little out at sea.  Learn to shoot?  Ride a horse?  Preach?  Where does a thorough knowledge of accounting practises come in handy out here in the back end of nowhere?

Just a thought.

James
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DannyK
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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2004, 07:21:27 AM »

For Esau, I hope he can handle a confrontation without resorting to violence.  He can't beat up everyone from here to Texas, after all.
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anonymouse
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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2004, 01:28:41 PM »

The only thing I've been able to come up with is, "I want to match up to Grandfather Laurent's initiation." Certainly a proving-yourself thing.. but I dunno, it feels a little weak. It fits, but doesn't feel -interesting-.

An idea I've been playing with is something I touched on in first post in the other thread, the "suggest themes" bit. It might be interesting for Hosea to want to find out if there's something really -to- this Dog thing, or if it ain't nothin' but a family thing. The "something" could be King of Life, or could be the shamanistic thing I mentioned (or both); I'd still really like to explore Dog vs, say, the Mountain People's "Eagles in the Valley", et cetera.
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Doyce
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2004, 02:10:18 PM »

Quote from: anonymouse
It might be interesting for Hosea to want to find out if there's something really -to- this Dog thing, or if it ain't nothin' but a family thing. The "something" could be King of Life.


Hmm.  Just brain-storming... the book mentions that at some point during training, each Dog has a moment of epiphany where they really figure out what being a Dog means to them... or something.  IDHMB.  Anyway, surrounded by this whole family of people who obviously felt a STRONG, CLEAR call to be Dogs, Hosea (great name, by the way) might be looking for his Burning Bush.  An initiation like "I hope my character finally hears the crystal-clear voice of the King, calling me to service." could yield some interesting results.  Failure could mean that his epiphany never came, or (also likely) that he didn't see it for what it was.
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Doyce Testerman ~ http://random.average-bear.com
Someone gets into trouble, then get get out of it again; people love that story -- they never get tired of it.
Blankshield
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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2004, 02:45:48 PM »

Quote from: Doyce
Quote from: anonymouse
It might be interesting for Hosea to want to find out if there's something really -to- this Dog thing, or if it ain't nothin' but a family thing. The "something" could be King of Life.


Hmm.  Just brain-storming... the book mentions that at some point during training, each Dog has a moment of epiphany where they really figure out what being a Dog means to them... or something.  IDHMB.  Anyway, surrounded by this whole family of people who obviously felt a STRONG, CLEAR call to be Dogs, Hosea (great name, by the way) might be looking for his Burning Bush.  An initiation like "I hope my character finally hears the crystal-clear voice of the King, calling me to service." could yield some interesting results.  Failure could mean that his epiphany never came, or (also likely) that he didn't see it for what it was.


The only problem with this, and I realize it doesn't come across to the folks that don't have books, is that if you don't get Inspired, you aren't a Dog.  If you aren't a Dog, either change the character or start over.  It's one of the things that made me sit up and grin about character creation, Vincent says right up front (paraphrase warning): 'It is your responsibility as a player to make a character that is a good Dog'

If you were going to do this, I would make it clear that the character gets Inspired either way, but the 1d6 trait at the end might end up (on a success) like "I heard the voice of the King" or on failure "That ain't how daddy said it happened".  As long as you do get the fire, it's all good.

James
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Doyce
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« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2004, 03:24:07 PM »

Quote from: Blankshield
The only problem with this, and I realize it doesn't come across to the folks that don't have books, is that if you don't get Inspired, you aren't a Dog.  


Right (I should have been clearer -- I have the book, I just don't have it with me right now).  

At any rate, I was probably wording my suggestion poorly -- that moment of epiphany should always be clear and definable... what I should have said was "Failure could mean that his epiphany just didn't feel like a 'real' epiphany."

I *really* like your "That's not how I imagined it/how daddy said it would be." version of failure.

That kind of failure gives it a vibe like like first-time sex -- you KNOW you just had sex, but you're comparing what happened to what you'd always HEARD about what happens, and you wonder if there's something wrong with you. :) *

"Where's the blazing white light?  Dad said there was a blazing white light and angels singing your name!"

Success would be recognizing that each person's calling is different... which is a pretty big deal for someone with a background like Hosea :)

[* -- I don't know if that tangent of conversation regarding a Dog's epiphany is at all helpful to the topic of Hosea's initiation, but I really do like that comparision. :) ]

----

Edit: clarifying the babble
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Doyce Testerman ~ http://random.average-bear.com
Someone gets into trouble, then get get out of it again; people love that story -- they never get tired of it.
anonymouse
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« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2004, 05:59:29 PM »

Wow, yeah, I like that a lot. That's mine, then. ;) Sound okay, Jonathan?
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2004, 06:18:16 PM »

Hmm...

I was thinking of -- "can I learn what it means to be a Dog?"  Or maybe "Can I get over myself?"  But those are too big.

What I need is something that's concrete, expresses the social tensions that Cyrus is facing, and doesn't resolve the character's struggles entirely.

"I hope I made a friend."

yrs--
--Ben
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Doyce
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« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2004, 06:38:40 PM »

Quote from: Ben Lehman
"I hope I made a friend."


Ooh.

Oh... oh that's good.  This is me clapping.
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Doyce Testerman ~ http://random.average-bear.com
Someone gets into trouble, then get get out of it again; people love that story -- they never get tired of it.
Jonathan Walton
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« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2004, 07:24:29 PM »

Quote from: Doyce
Oh... oh that's good.  This is me clapping.


Me too.  For everybody.  These are great.  

Except now I have to stop thinking of a Dog's epiphany as Mediocre Sex.  Thanks, Doyce.
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