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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 73 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Dogs - Our first game  (Read 6257 times)
HOT
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Posts: 16


« on: February 24, 2005, 06:17:53 AM »

This isn't really an actual play, as I don't have all the details of the other characters and setting. It's more of an "first impressions" post. I hope Matthijs can supply with some details or make a more comprehensive playreport.
Last weekend Matthijs invited to an game convention in his home outside Oslo. We were 13-14 people from the www.rollespill.net forums who got together to play indie games and socialize. Three of us arrived early saturday afternoon so it was agreed that one group would play Martin Bull Gudmunsen's "Moral", while the rest of us would wait for the others and start playing Dogs when they arrived. After a game of Pantheon everyone had arrived and we were ready to play.
Matthijs instructed the seven of us into making characters and it went more or less smooth. Several of us chose complicated history, I chose strong history. We made quite different characters, from the vengeful judge to the nurse. One had a criminal background, another a sinful past, a third a problem with talkin to authority, a fourth was always right and had a short fuse. I chose to play brother Melchizedek who was a righteous servant of the King of Life, with traits like "Thundering Voice", "God-fearing", and "Respected", he was more of a talker than a shooter (although he had 1d8 in shootin').
The time came to accomplishments and first out was Brother Elijah who wanted to stop feeling remorse about his criminal past. So the scene was set that his mentor spoke to class about sin and forgiveness and Brother Elijah stormed out in tears. The mentor then confronted him and masterful play by Matthijs as the mentor and Gorby as Brother Elijah, made this one of the most poignant and emotional accomplishments in this game. All of the accomplishments were well played and it seemed that most of us felt that this was a good tool for us to connect with our characters. By the way Brother Elijah couldn't stop feeling remorse even after counselling with his mentor.
My accomplishment was trying to save my sister from sin. Brother Melchizedek was approached by his (flesh and blood) brother Verity (I nicked the name from Orson Scott Card), and they rode out to see her. Me and Matthijs rolled our dice and with a 12 he tells me with an evil grin that my sister is pregnant. I have to take the blow and tells Matthijs that something inside Brother Melchizedek breaks and that he'll never look at his sister like he used to (my long term fallout gave me the relationship "Coolness towards sister" at 1d4). I activate my thundering voice and tell her to stop this sinful life and to return to the fold. She has to take the blow and she returns to the family.
The other accomplishments were: The vengeful judge managed to bring justice to his uncles killer, the gambler managed through humiliation and dignity pay off his debts to the saloon, Sister Rakel saved her mentor with her nursing skills, Brother Ishmael were tricked by the mentors to question their authority and Brother Micajah made us all believe he was right by referring to scripture.
After we played through the accomplishments, it was time for dinner and we had to wait to the next morning to play the real adventure. I was pretty enthusiastic about the game and I wasn't the only one. Two of the players had to leave that night and so we were only 5 players the next day. I will have to continue this another time, but Dogs made a favorable imprssion on us!
HOT
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"Her breasts are wrinkly and saggy, but Menander finds them incredibly beautiful!"
- Age really doesn't matter in the romantic and hedonistic game of Bacchanal.
lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2005, 09:50:29 AM »

That's a lot of players! Even 5 is a lot. How'd it go with that many?

-Vincent
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matthijs
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2005, 02:18:28 PM »

Chargen with 7 players was actually not a problem at all. We were all getting into the rules, so everyone was paying attention to explanations and trying to grok the rules from each others' conflicts. My impression (it's hard to read 7 minds at once) is that the players were really getting into each others' accomplishment conflicts. Several times we had a round of applause after resolution.

When we were down to 5, and started playing, I ran one of Vincents towns, I believe - the one where the steward Brother Jeffs has umpteen wives, and the young men have hired lawyers. We had three conflicts, I believe:

- The Dogs were talking to Brother Jeffs, sitting down to dinner the evening they arrived. One of the Dogs, Brother Melchizedek, was pushing the steward about his many wives, and hinting not-so-subtly that all the excommunications might be due to poor stewardship. Jeffs stood up, his face an angry red.

At stake, IIRC: Will he succumb to the Dogs' authority?

They read him scripture, argued, he beat his fist on the table, threw the table over. Dogs win, Jeffs sits down on his chair, breathing heavily, no table in front of him, only Dogs staring at him.

- The Dogs in the street outside, later in the evening. Three young men are on their horses, saturday night, ready to ride to the next ungodly town to party. Brother Wilford, excommunicated, is stinking drunk on his horse, a bit farther away. Young Peter is _very_ ready to go.

At stake: Will the Dogs calm the boys down?

Talking, shouting, Peter yelling "I'm going to have a woman tonight!", the Dogs dragging young Peter off his horse and reading from the Book so he's crying ashamedly in the dirt. NPC Brother Benjamin then makes a speech: Yes, he wants peace like the Dogs say, but now the situation is out of hand, the boys must be allowed to go. The Dogs have to give, and the boys ride out of town to join up with Brother Wilford. Drunken shouting and laughter is heard.

- Next morning, walking in the streets. A not-quite-elderly couple meets & greets the Dogs. They say how they don't want their daughter to marry Brother Jeffs, it's not right him having so many wives.

At stake - this is an interesting one: Will he make a good enough impression that the Dogs will consider him for the position of Steward? One of the players initiated this, and the players wanted him to be their candidate, so I had to try to prove him a bad candidate :)

The players narrate how other townspeople greet him respectfully, children run up to him etc. I narrate his wife saying things like "you used to think about that 30 years ago", him saying "I was too scared then. I would still be.", him shaking a bit due to his age. Sins from the past: Another couple of the same age pass on the other side of the street, their grown son the spitting image of our man, the wives giving each other ice-cold stares. It's obviously our man's son - he's been unfaithful, many years back. The players show how the man and his son nod to each other, friendly and respectful - he's managed to set things right along the way.

And then I had to Take the Blow! I got confused and starting narrating how the old man was so forgetful he didn't remember that the child was his grandchild - then I suddenly remembered: Taking the Blow meant I had to show he was competent! So I had him pick up the young boy, his arms still strong, his hands still able, the child full of confidence in him.

To be honest, I don't remember who won the conflict in the end. I think it was the Dogs. We had to finish then.
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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the glyphpress


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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2005, 04:12:32 PM »

That last conflict there is pretty choice.
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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.
HOT
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Posts: 16


« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2005, 04:19:32 PM »

Yes we won that conflict and we found our perfect candidate for a steward. As for too many players; if we'd stayed seven then perhaps it would have been too many, but when it came to the actual playing we were five. I feel as Matthijs that we were focused on each others accomplishments. There was always something that made us know the other characters better during the accomplishment. I at least felt that the accomplishments made us closer to our characters and made things "personal". I gave Brother Melchizedek 4d8 to a relationship with his (possibly) future bride. Although I later found out that the relationship were not natural in the Mormon society, I kept it anyway and when we met Brother Jeffs I felt that he was Melchizedek's nightmare. Brother Melchizedek was among the most judgmental towards Jeffs, wanting to either execute or excommunicate him. It was in line with how I saw Brother Melchizedek as unforgiving and his judgmental character, but the relationship with his future wife, mede things even deeper. It wasn't something I really thought of when we rode into town, but during the play, I could see how everything was connected. I think Melchizedek saved his sister, but never forgave her. What can I say but I want to play him more and want to play dogs more, but it probably won't happen until next years HolmCon if then.
HOT
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"Her breasts are wrinkly and saggy, but Menander finds them incredibly beautiful!"
- Age really doesn't matter in the romantic and hedonistic game of Bacchanal.
HOT
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Posts: 16


« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2005, 05:46:20 PM »

Thanks Matthijs for posting the game, I remembered certain episodes, but didn't have the necessary overview to post the actual play. You did however not mention the conflict against the the marshals who came with the subpoena. That was a satisfying victory for all of us, but espescially for my character who more or less started it ("You're outside your jurisdiction, you'd better leave) :D. Also that conflict really made us as a team. It happened the morning after our confrontation with the boys, and before we made the old man the perfect steward.

The first conflict with Brother Jeffs came about when we asked him questions about the problems he was having around the dinner table. He told us of the problems with the young boys and when he told us how many wives he had and how many women who were fready to marry we began to understand very well the problem he had with the young men. Brother Melchizedek had the trait "Recognize Sin" and pushed Brother Jeffs perhaps a bit to hard when  he said: "We shall have to see if this branch just needs pruning or of if we have to cut it off to avoid infecting the tree!" Brother Jeffs stood up and bellowed "This is NOT how it is done here!" It was then that Brother Ezekiel tipped the table over and approached him. What was at stake at this conflict I believe was if Brother Jeffs could make us judge hastily and condemn the young men outright. We won the conflict and Brother Jeffs could not coerce us and had to respect our authority. The relationship with Brother Jeffs however came off to a bad start.
HOT
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"Her breasts are wrinkly and saggy, but Menander finds them incredibly beautiful!"
- Age really doesn't matter in the romantic and hedonistic game of Bacchanal.
matthijs
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2005, 01:30:31 AM »

Ah, yes, that's right. What was at stake was whether he could push the Dogs so they'd make their judgment far too early.

The conflict with the marshals was pretty good. One of them did the talking; the other one, whenever it was his turn to raise, just said "Yep." or "Uh-huh." I had a lot of fun with that - "He goes 'Yep.' Raise seven.'" The quiet one got pretty desperate pretty quick when they found they were out of their league, escalating like hell - but having to take the blow. So he was standing there with his knuckle-duster, rubbing it across the knuckles of his other hand 'till they bled, pale and crazy and with murder in his eyes - and he had to back off; there were too many of the Dogs. If we'd played on, I'm pretty sure he'd have returned. And I would have gotten a chance to imitate the example from the book - murderous NPC attacking sleeping PC with lethal weapon, "what do you do now"?
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HOT
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2005, 04:34:08 AM »

Brother Ezekiel soon had a bad relationship with the dining room table. First he flips it over during the conflict with brother Jeffs. Then he gets pushed over it by the "mute" marshall. Brother Jeffs wasn't grateful however for our dismissal of the lawmen, another reason not to like him! ;)
HOT
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"Her breasts are wrinkly and saggy, but Menander finds them incredibly beautiful!"
- Age really doesn't matter in the romantic and hedonistic game of Bacchanal.
Roger Eberhart
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Posts: 38


« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2005, 06:41:15 AM »

Not sure the following is actually a conflict: At stake - this is an interesting one: Will he make a good enough impression that the Dogs will consider him for the position of Steward? One of the players initiated this, and the players wanted him to be their candidate, so I had to try to prove him a bad candidate :)

It sounds like you took a contrary position just to let this be a conflict. I could see maybe a conflict over convincing him he's worthy of being a steward. But it seems the players had already decided they wanted him to be their candidate, hence no real conflict unless he doesn't want the responsibility.
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matthijs
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2005, 09:08:27 AM »

Roger, I didn't initiate the conflict. One of the players specifically stated he wanted the conflict; I didn't even see it coming - they were just standing on the street, talking to the old guy.
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lumpley
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2005, 09:32:43 AM »

I wasn't there so my opinion shouldn't count for a blessed thing, but as author I fully endorse that kind of conflict.

Matthijs, I recognize the aha moment you had when you realized what Taking the Blow should mean. I have those too, even still.

Sounds like a great game. Too bad you couldn't play it through to the end!

-Vincent
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