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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 93 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [DitV] Questions spawned by my first session  (Read 7310 times)
Jason Morningstar
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« on: December 12, 2004, 10:58:06 AM »

I posted a session I ran yesterday in actual play, and running Dogs for the first time really raised some questions.  Also, this session was really a test of the system for us - we played under some time pressure, so I chose to have the cult jump-start the mayhem earlier than might otherwise make sense.  We didn't have time for a truly leisurely exploration, and I wanted to see how fights worked.  

1.  I initiate a conflict.  My opponent immediately escalates to guns.  I don't even have a gun - what happens?  Do I automatically have to give?  Even if I could, in theory anyway, jump her bare-handed?  We had trouble with escalation.

2.  What's at stake is:  "will the sorcerer "break character" in front of the townspeople?"  Do the townspeople collectively see and raise?  Is it just between the Dogs and the sorcerer?  When the Steward steps in on behalf of the Sorcerer, wishing to defuse the conflict, where does he fit in?  We found the rules for mutliple parties in a conflict, and helping others in a conflict, really confusing.

3.  I encountered an odd situation - maybe because we didn't frame what was at stake appropriately.  What was at stake was "will Bethany tell the Dogs what she is up to?"  She's a sorcerer and does not want to reveal her demonic influence, but she also does not want to answer that question.  If she uses her demonic influence dice, she can win, but in winning, she loses.  WTF?

4.  Escalating seemed wonky at times.  Example:  Dog slaps sorceress, escalating to physical - cool, he needed the dice.  But unless she wants to give, the sorceress has to slap back, which didn't seem right at all.  By acting innocent and pitiful and put-upon, she was actually in a position of strength, so why should she fly off the handle (escalate?).  Because, according to the rules, she had to if she wanted to stay in the conflict.  Unless I'm mistaken...

One note:  We rolled dice in conflicts and laid them on the table, and my players on several occasions said "OK, it is obvious that we cannot win this conflict.  Even with our traits, spiritual techniques, etc, we're out-diced from the get-go.  Why are we even trying?"  This was against a strong sorcerer with 5d10 demonic influnce - a big challenge.  She added her 5d10 at her first opportunity.  The players felt that the results were pre-ordained, and I had to encourage them to think creatively and try to bring stuff into play that would help.  

I suspect that we misread and misapplied some rules, so feedback and comment would be really helpful.
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Blankshield
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2004, 11:52:47 AM »

Quote from: jasonm
I posted a session I ran yesterday in actual play,


Cool!  sounds from the actual play that it went really well!  I'll see if I can answer some of your questions.

Quote
1.  I initiate a conflict.  My opponent immediately escalates to guns.  I don't even have a gun - what happens?  Do I automatically have to give?  Even if I could, in theory anyway, jump her bare-handed?  We had trouble with escalation.

4.  Escalating seemed wonky at times.  Example:  Dog slaps sorceress, escalating to physical - cool, he needed the dice.  But unless she wants to give, the sorceress has to slap back, which didn't seem right at all.  By acting innocent and pitiful and put-upon, she was actually in a position of strength, so why should she fly off the handle (escalate?).  Because, according to the rules, she had to if she wanted to stay in the conflict.  Unless I'm mistaken...


Do you have dice?  Then you're fine.  Each individual in a conflict escalates on their own, independently of the others.  You could be shooting at me (escalate to guns) while I'm standing there like the pillar of God, chanting from the Book of Life and calling you to task for your wicked ways (just talking) and that's totally fine.  Your number 4 is the same thing.  Dog escalates to physical, sorceress stays talking: all good.

Quote
2.  What's at stake is:  "will the sorcerer "break character" in front of the townspeople?"  Do the townspeople collectively see and raise?  Is it just between the Dogs and the sorcerer?  When the Steward steps in on behalf of the Sorcerer, wishing to defuse the conflict, where does he fit in?  We found the rules for mutliple parties in a conflict, and helping others in a conflict, really confusing.


The challenge is between the players and the GM.  Those are the people seeing and raising.  If the players want the townspeople to pressure the sorceress, the players use them in a raise.  If you want the steward to intervene for the sorceress, you use him in a raise.  If he's joining the conflict on his own merits, roll his dice and wade in.  If he's basically just color, use the sorceress' dice.  (make her up a trait called "the steward believes I'm a good person", roll it and have him step in.)  Kinda like the henchman getting shot example in the book.

Quote
3.  I encountered an odd situation - maybe because we didn't frame what was at stake appropriately.  What was at stake was "will Bethany tell the Dogs what she is up to?"  She's a sorcerer and does not want to reveal her demonic influence, but she also does not want to answer that question.  If she uses her demonic influence dice, she can win, but in winning, she loses.  WTF?


You're getting caught up in player versus character knowledge.  If the sorceress wins the challenge using demonic influence, then she doesn't tell the Dog's what's up.  Sure, the players know you dropped down 4d10 and grinned like an evil bastard, but that's how to play the game. :)

One of the things I stumble over (and Vincent says in the back that he keeps having to mentally step past) is that it is never wrong to let the players know exactly what the hell is going on.  This is what you got hit by.  "But if I use the demonic dice, then they'll Know!" to which the answer is: "So?  Now they know.  Now it gets interesting."

Quote
One note:  We rolled dice in conflicts and laid them on the table, and my players on several occasions said "OK, it is obvious that we cannot win this conflict.  Even with our traits, spiritual techniques, etc, we're out-diced from the get-go.  Why are we even trying?"  This was against a strong sorcerer with 5d10 demonic influnce - a big challenge.  She added her 5d10 at her first opportunity.  The players felt that the results were pre-ordained, and I had to encourage them to think creatively and try to bring stuff into play that would help.


Don't forget that the demonic influence is only as high as what the Dogs have actually seen happen, not as high as what is going on.  Other than that, you've got the right answer already: have 'em bring in traits and be creative.  Gang up: two on one.  Use followup conflicts: if the sorceress gets fallout dice, those turn around and add to what the Dogs roll in the followup.  If they know she's a sorceress, have 'em using ceremony.

Hope that helps!

James
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Jason Morningstar
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2004, 12:42:37 PM »

Thanks, that is very helpful.  I definitely misread demonic influence; she was using 5d10 from the start.  I also misread escalating a conflict!  It is a tribute to the game that, even with these fundamental flaws in our understanding, we all had a great time and nothing broke beyond repair.
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lumpley
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2004, 07:45:30 AM »

Jason - James' answers are right on.

I want to say a bit more about your #3!
Quote from: You
Example: Dog slaps sorceress, escalating to physical - cool, he needed the dice. But unless she wants to give, the sorceress has to slap back, which didn't seem right at all. By acting innocent and pitiful and put-upon, she was actually in a position of strength, so why should she fly off the handle (escalate?). Because, according to the rules, she had to if she wanted to stay in the conflict. Unless I'm mistaken...

To escalate to fighting, all she has to do is engage with the fight. You can think of "pitiful and put-upon" as her fighting style, complete with special moves and killer combos. Covering her face with her hands and sobbing as a Block, flinching piteously as a Dodge, taking her hands away to show the red bruise as a Raise - those are Body+Will moves for sure.

This is just like "I dive behind the woodpile" being a valid way to get your gunfighting dice when someone shoots at you.

Now - that's the author's ruling, but your group is going to have to work out standards for it in play. The sorceress' pity-fu wouldn't raise an eyebrow in my group, for instance, but yours might demand something more actively fighty. What counts as engaging with the fight, and what's too weak? Dunno. You'll figure it out (probably without noticing) over the course of your first couple sessions.

-Vincent
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Leningrad
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2004, 04:44:57 PM »

Quote from: lumpley
Jason - James' answers are right on.

I want to say a bit more about your #3!
Quote from: You
Example: Dog slaps sorceress, escalating to physical - cool, he needed the dice. But unless she wants to give, the sorceress has to slap back, which didn't seem right at all. By acting innocent and pitiful and put-upon, she was actually in a position of strength, so why should she fly off the handle (escalate?). Because, according to the rules, she had to if she wanted to stay in the conflict. Unless I'm mistaken...

To escalate to fighting, all she has to do is engage with the fight. You can think of "pitiful and put-upon" as her fighting style, complete with special moves and killer combos. Covering her face with her hands and sobbing as a Block, flinching piteously as a Dodge, taking her hands away to show the red bruise as a Raise - those are Body+Will moves for sure.

-Vincent


This seems like a perfect situation for the game, too, to show that fighting doesn't always have to be "I punch you.  You punch me."  I can completely see a Sorceror/ess acting this way, all the while grinning at the Dog who is beating him/her senseless because they both know how the townsfolk feel about some poor innocent getting bullied.

Lovely.
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