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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: McCarthyists in Tinseltown  (Read 6510 times)
jknevitt
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« on: December 18, 2004, 07:34:58 AM »

DitV, except with Communist-hunters in Hollywood in the 1950's.

Discuss.
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James Knevitt
clehrich
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2004, 07:54:45 AM »

Eeeew.  Twisted.  Clever, though.

My problem with it is I'd have a lot of trouble having the remotest sympathy for the McCarthyists.  If they had some sort of evidence, that's one thing, like the VENONA decrypts, but you'd have to construct a whole alternate history thing to explain why the McCarthyists are genuinely going after truly dangerous people in Hollywood.
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Chris Lehrich
jknevitt
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2004, 07:58:53 AM »

Quote from: clehrich
Eeeew.  Twisted.  Clever, though.

My problem with it is I'd have a lot of trouble having the remotest sympathy for the McCarthyists.  If they had some sort of evidence, that's one thing, like the VENONA decrypts, but you'd have to construct a whole alternate history thing to explain why the McCarthyists are genuinely going after truly dangerous people in Hollywood.


Ah, but that's the point, see?

They could be innocent. Hell, they could vote Republican. The point is that the McCarthy Dogs do their job with the same fervor and gusto that reg'lar ol' Dogs do theirs -- it's just that this time, the "town" might be perfectly fine.

What happens when the Dogs go after problems that don't actually exist?
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James Knevitt
clehrich
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2004, 08:21:19 AM »

No, I got that that was the point, but I'm just saying that I wouldn't touch it with the proverbial 10' pole unless there were something cutting across the basic horribleness of the situation.  It's kind of like, "Let's do Dogs but we'll be Gestapo agents rooting out Jews!"  Ick.  Or has someone proposed that too?
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Chris Lehrich
jknevitt
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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2004, 05:57:35 AM »

It IS a bit of a button-pusher, although I would assume the Gestapo Dogs would be a much worse play experience.

Just thinking out aloud. :D
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James Knevitt
Leningrad
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2004, 11:11:03 PM »

Quote from: jknevitt
It IS a bit of a button-pusher, although I would assume the Gestapo Dogs would be a much worse play experience.

Just thinking out aloud. :D


I don't think it would be worse by any stretch of the imagination.  Game quality, for me, isn't entirely related to subject matter.  I can see myself and some trusted friends roleplaying the experience of the Gestapo from their own point of view and while it would inevitably have it's uncomfortable moments, I think it would be an experience.

To each their own.
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olleolleolle
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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2004, 05:44:29 AM »

Quick shopping list of things and concerns for a Commie-hunting, or a Gestapo campaign:
    [*] A world-view, described. This incorporates "Who The Enemy Is", and "What Will Happen If No One Stops This World-Eating Menace". Plausibility? Make it work, using any methods and means, even if it turns the world upside down.
    [*] Enticements to the players that this world-view (or ethic, if you will) can work, in this setting and situation. The ethic needs to be motivated, and motivational. Think of it as shocking players out of their day-to-day views, using drama as an "opener".
    [/list:u]

    I am a player in a Hero Wars (Glorantha) campaign, and at first I was a little uneasy about the ethos of the gameworld, but when the above points had "opened me" to play this way, I was allured, craving more of the Other Ethic.

    However, the Gestapo game, it'd need very hard work on the first issue on the list to even be interesting. Feeling the touch of the ethic, not just going through the motions, that's what I'm after here, and I don't see a Gestapo game getting there. For me. (Glorantha is another comic-book, one that I like, OK? :))
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    Joshua A.C. Newman
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    the glyphpress


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    « Reply #7 on: December 22, 2004, 11:35:36 AM »

    Yeah, someone proposed Nazi Dogs earlier, too. Here's the thing I see with these ideas: if you can set up a world where the Dogs are right, where the players can get behind it, then you're set. If you recoil at the idea and you're indulging in it because it feels naughty, I don't think it will last. I would even say it might threaten the integrity of the gaming group if you don't pay attention.

    The important thing here is that you make something that you and your players can get into every week. If you make a situation where the players are forced to think about horrors of a most personal and human nature that they are perpetrating then you'll find yourself switching games or players really quick.

    I have a player who didn't want to play Dogs because of the way womens' roles are described. I don't know if she belives me yet that we can do whatever the fuck we want.[/b]
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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.
    Leningrad
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    « Reply #8 on: December 22, 2004, 03:51:45 PM »

    I could never play a game of Nazi Dogs that was intended to last for more than a single session.  A one-shot might be an interesting exercise, though.
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    Roger
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    « Reply #9 on: December 23, 2004, 11:05:27 AM »

    As a bit of an outsider to the whole DitV thing, I suppose what I find most interesting is the assumption that your basic stock DitV is not already Gestapo Dogs.

    You're already playing a gang of righteous armed thugs who wander into random towns to root out heresy at gunpoint.

    I'm not trying to condemn DitV in any sense.  It just seems that objecting to other gangs of righteous armed thugs leans towards the hypocritical.



    Cheers,
    Roger
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    jc_madden
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    Posts: 37


    « Reply #10 on: December 23, 2004, 11:59:00 AM »

    It's all about point of view.  With any sort of RPG one usually doesn't have to operate under any assumptions (ex.  in fantasy "the gods are real" is a true statement because it can be proven).  When you breach into territory where there's any doubt that what you are doing is morally right there becomes a problem.  Now personally I have NO problem throwing this kind of delima at my players but some people cannot handle it.  Thier role playing experience doesn't go too far beyond talking with an accent.

    If you want to play Gestapo Dogs or McCarthy Dogs that's your paragotive but if you think it'll be a group breaker or put anyone out it might not be a good idea.  But chances are if you're playing DitV then you've probably experiences Kill Puppies so..... I'm guessing you're none too jaded.

    In a recent game I was playing in I had a hard time with the decision of one of my team mates but from a player/GM perspective.  My character is a CN elf ranger who hasn't the slightest qualms with doing some things that some may consider morally wrong, he is all about one thing; himself.  However the Paladin in the group is another story.  During one session we were engaging a troll and he wanted to parley.  Our big burly warrior talked with him and made an intimidate attempt.  The troll took offense and challenged him to SINGLE combat.  The troll circled a line in the sand and asked that all stay back and allow the two to fight it out.  NOW here's the conundrum, the PALADIN stated that if things went bad for our warrior he would make a mounted charge at the Troll.  Likewise my elf stated that he would pepper the troll with arrows should it look like he would lose.  Now I feel like what my CN elf was going to do was completely normal considering his alignment and moral views.  However the PALADIN stating that he would basically inturupt a single combat was to me dishonorable and against both his paladin moral code and his LG alignment.  The player stated #1 that i should butt-out and #2 that because his Paladin did not view ANY Troll as being worthy of honor, respect, or mercy that it was perfectly OKAY.  I had a real big problem with this, I stated that if it were my game he'd be getting warnings from his god in the form of lost abilities for even THINKING of dishonoring himself and if he persisted BYE-BYE paladin statuse HELLO act of atonement.  The only reason I brought this up to him is because I wanted to council him on his actions as both a fellow player AND his teamate in game.  Reasoning behind this is the current GM's style he DOES NOT issue warnings, you make a wrong call with your paladin and WHAM there goes your powers (he does however offer very easy and lenient attonement as well as more than 1 attonement per character, i do not).  We had a previous paladin in our group who lost his powers THREE fricking times from doing stupid things, I THOUGHT he'd have gotten the hint by the others example but NO.  As it turns out the fighter slew the troll and the delima was never resolved.  I asked the GM what he WOULD have done and he said we'd have to try it and see (not the answer I wanted to hear).  A bit off topic but point being that morality can be subjective sometimes and abolute others, it all depends on PoV.
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    Leningrad
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    « Reply #11 on: December 24, 2004, 02:50:07 AM »

    Quote from: Roger
    As a bit of an outsider to the whole DitV thing, I suppose what I find most interesting is the assumption that your basic stock DitV is not already Gestapo Dogs.

    You're already playing a gang of righteous armed thugs who wander into random towns to root out heresy at gunpoint.

    I'm not trying to condemn DitV in any sense.  It just seems that objecting to other gangs of righteous armed thugs leans towards the hypocritical.


    It's a good point, Roger, but I think, for me at least, the key difference is that the Gestapo operate under a system of assaulting minorities and groups deemed unclean by the current order.  If Dogs were about going into town and shooting all the Mountain People, well, that'd be different.  

    Of course, part of the excitement I have from DitV is that the game can be as grim as your players allow it.  If they become fascistic death-squads, well, that's what the Dogs are.  If they can stay kind-hearted but firm saints who happen to have to put down a sinner or two when it's absolutely necessary, well, that's good too.

    It's a matter of perspective and play.
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    Roger
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    « Reply #12 on: December 24, 2004, 08:26:45 AM »

    Quote

    If they can stay kind-hearted but firm saints who happen to have to put down a sinner or two when it's absolutely necessary, well, that's good too.


    Surely they could pull off the similar feat in a McCarthyism setting.  The odds of them actually killing anyone is pretty remote.



    Cheers,
    Roger
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