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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: Washing the blood off our hands  (Read 19975 times)
Solamasa
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Posts: 50


« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2005, 07:46:50 PM »

Not to be facile, Thomas, but we were using the conflict rules at that point:  the rules that state "say yes or roll dice".  

Could I have put Hector through the conflict resolution process to determine if he blew his brains out?  Certainly.  Would it have been the best way to close his story?  The resolution we wanted?  The best timing, the most dramatic, and, most importantly, the most enjoyable for all?  After sweating through a gruelling, intense and climactic conflict in the gunbattle with Lazarus?  A conflict that, yes, was intensely enjoyable, but also physically and emotionally draining for all of us?  It would have gone over like a lead balloon.  So we said "yes".  The rules work, and the proof was in the pudding.

And while I don't think it comes as any surprise that all the same, yes, we are huge fans of conflict, I'll just reinforce the point by mentioning that pretty much the entire evening up to that point was one conflict or another.  We certainly put the dice through their paces.   There were three conflicts in the last scene alone:  does Simeon get past Hector? (All talk).  Follow up:  does Hector stop Simeon in the threshold?  (All hell breaks loose).  And for added complexity, a simultaneous conflict from Ishmael: does Ishmael find Robert in the middle of the raging demonic windstorm?

- Kit
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Solamasa
Member

Posts: 50


« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2005, 07:55:54 PM »

Thomas, and just an addendum so you know that I do have a sense for what you're talking about:  we've certainly had incidents throughout the three month stretch of this game where we've looked back at some in-game event and said amongst ourselves, hey, wouldn't that have been much cooler as a dice-spewin' conflict?  In fact I remember at the start of our second session, I looked at everybody and said, hey, guys, us players can call for conflicts, eh?  It wasn't a revelation, exactly, but the dice did start hitting the table more after that.  

(Oh, we were so young then!)

- Kit
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Solamasa
Member

Posts: 50


« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2005, 11:10:29 PM »

Brief note: This is Kit's wife, player of Brother Simeon, hijacking his account since the registration email is being slow and I'm impatient.

Quote from: lumpley

Anybody else in your group reading this, I'd love to hear from you too.

-Vincent



It still kills me that Lazarus had to die. Out of all the Dogs, he was by far the worthiest. He didn't turn things into personal ego trips, as Simeon and Hector were wont to do. He rolled with the punches (most of the time). And he had tremendous grace under fire. That Lazarus died and Simeon lived is an irony that is a little sad, because if the world was at all fair it should have been the other way around. But alas, I think Brother Lazarus was simply too good for the Dogs world - even if most people dismissed him as Mountain Folk scum.

In the end, Simeon's returns to Bridal Falls is more of a tragedy than a triumph. The one person he felt kinship for among the Dogs is dead, the group broken and disbanded. For him, returning to the center of the Faith is not an act of triumphant defiance. If anything, it is defeat. The ways of the East are too alien for him, and a halfbreed would never be welcome among the Mountain Folk. Did Simeon retain his faith? Yes. But he lost that stubborn idealism that even firefights with demons hadn't been able to shake.

As for favorite moments... how can I possibly choose? Instead, let me say that never before playing Dogs have I been so tremendously immersed in a character. I've had the experience through Live-Action Roleplaying, but never in tabletop. So for me, it was immensely satisfying to discover that this sort of roleplaying was possible in tabletop, and that tabletop could be so much more than the few agonizingly horrible campaigns that I suffered through. ("They laugh at you for being a girl. ...and now they're talking about poop." -actual DM quote)

This immersive quality is one of the most liberating things about Dogs that lets you throw caution (and the rules) to the wind and say 'fuck it, I'm going balls to the wall and if I die, so be it'. There was the time when three of the Dogs were cornered by a posse of twelve men, and the leader uttered the fateful words 'I don't think this town is big enough for the two of us'. In another game, my instantaneous response of 'I shoot him in the face' would have probably made the other players look at me like I'd just grown horns. "Are you insane? There are twelve of them! With guns! And we have no cover!" But instead, the other players cheered and reached for their dice in glee, and what followed was one hell of a slow-mo old-fashioned Western gunfight (with a hint of divine luck). Amazingly, we all survived. That time.

Lastly, Dogs helped me reform a lot of bad cognitive habits when it came to roleplaying. I am by no means an experienced roleplayer - Dogs brings the total number of games I have played to five (Vampire, Dungeons and Dragons, Inspectres, Buffy, and Dogs). And yet I still found myself struggling at the beginning to come to grips with the idea that I could control the story, that it wasn't my job to figure out what it was that the DM wanted us to do and do that. Breaking out of that world where the DM controls everything and we just figure out how the DM wants things to go was painful, and intimidating - especially given that I had just enough experience to realize how inexperienced I was. But by the end, I couldn't get enough - and every Thursday had me bouncing up and down all day. I get to play Dogs!

If Dogs has a weakness, it is this. It is, if this can be said to be a weakness, TOO intense if one plays it with a group of excellent roleplayers (as I am fortunate to be a part of). It is an intense, visceral, draining roleplaying experience which superlatives cannot describe. When Brother Lazarus died, I'll admit that I had tears in my eyes. And especially after the intense, but immensely satisfying end of the campaign, I feel an overwhelming need to play a few sessions of something very fluffy and not requiring deep thought. (There is No Spoon has been bandied about as a possibility)

...sorry to ramble on at such length. But it's been hard to stop thinking about it today and I like getting it out of my head and onto a screen.

-Solamasa's Wife/Br. Simeon
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Bankuei
Guest
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2005, 06:19:17 AM »

Hi Anna(right?),

Quote
Lastly, Dogs helped me reform a lot of bad cognitive habits when it came to roleplaying. I am by no means an experienced roleplayer - Dogs brings the total number of games I have played to five (Vampire, Dungeons and Dragons, Inspectres, Buffy, and Dogs). And yet I still found myself struggling at the beginning to come to grips with the idea that I could control the story, that it wasn't my job to figure out what it was that the DM wanted us to do and do that. Breaking out of that world where the DM controls everything and we just figure out how the DM wants things to go was painful, and intimidating - especially given that I had just enough experience to realize how inexperienced I was


It's very interesting how quickly this "brainwashing"(yes, that's what I'm calling it) kicks in.  The more "experienced" people are only reinforces this over time.  But its very interesting to see how for the few games that you have played how quickly the "GM controls everything- but doesn't tell you what you really ought to be doing" sort of play gets ingrained.

I love to know what you thought roleplaying would be like before you played your first game, and how that measured up to the sort of play you were talking about, and to this last run in particular :)  I think a lot of us come to the hobby wanting one thing and getting another, but I'd like to hear your experiences.

Chris
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FruitSmack!
Member

Posts: 35


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« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2005, 08:41:14 AM »

Howdy!  This is aaron, the GM of this fantastic mess.  ;)

I would have to say that the best part about the game from my GM'ing stand point was that I could shift my focus from having to spoon feed every bit of the story to simply setting up the situations of the towns and then just reacting in a realistic way to what the players do.  It was very refreshing.  I mean, thats how I usually run most games, but this one really is geared twards that.  I dont really have much more to say about the game itself rules wise.  Im not really that good at discussing stuff like rules and all that jazz you guys nomally talk about on The Forge.  I will say though, that they made for a very, very intense and enjoyable game.  Probably one of the top 3 that Ive personally ran and been a part of.

Which really is another quick thing I liked about it.  The entire game was truely a shared story.  Simply put, the game wouldnt have been half as good if the players hadnt had the control that they did.  There is no way I could have come up with all the story and such that led up to the fantatic ending.

As far as favorite parts in the game, I have two:

1.)  The gun fight that Anna mentioned above.  One of the follow up conflicts was after the smoke cleared.  I applied fall out to the 'leader' of the bad guys and he lived by the skin of his teeth.  Br. Simeon was kneeling over Br. Hector to lay hands upon him with his back turned to what they thought was a street full of dead.  The entire conflict was if this guy shoots Simeon in the back while he is prasing up on high to keep Hector alive.  The conflict took only a split second of "game time", with raises, blocks and dodges such as "He cocks the hammer of his pistol back and thinks of his family giving him the resolve to carry out this murderous act for the good of them" and "Br. Simeon's ear twitches and he drops his hand to his gunbelt".  It was very suspenseful.  I think everyone at the table was quite and on the edge of their seats to see what was going to happen (if you've ever read "The Dark Tower", it was very much like the scean in the last book with Eddie Dean and the sheriff of the breaker's town, now that I look back on it).

2.)  In another town, the four of them were discussing the fate of the Steward who had fallen for a Cathyan whore, who in a fit of depressed rage (he was about to be found out and realized that they could never be together) planned to murder her and then kill himself.  A bit of concious slipped and he couldnt bring himself to follow through, leaving the poor girl severly injured in the assult.

The Dogs gathered with him in his office to discuss, then moved just the four of them out to the main worship room to discuss and walk out.  They of course never got that far because an argument about what should be done erupted about the intentions of the Steward and the crime was of passion (so flog and banish) or that he had murder in his heart so hell do it again (string him up).  The best part though was that it even wasnt about the Steward, but about the relationship between Simeon and Hector.

Here the rules really shined, because the argument escallated into Br. Simeon punching Hector in the nose in the middle of the Branch.  It was just amazing how easily the rules can "push" the game to exteam actions when its something that  really matters to the player/character.  I loved it.

Point two also brought up something that I really liked and havent seen happen too often in RPGs and that is  "meaning" behind whats going on.  Case in point, almost all the conflicts between the Dogs were never about the actual conflict.  Not really.  Sure, whats at stake might have been "Do we hang the Steward?", but the conflict was much more about the relationships between the characters, which was definatly shown in the experiance and fall out that got taken after said conflicts.

Anyway, Im rambiling and drifting into theory, which Ill leave to those on here that are much smarter than I (although I do love reading it).  

Vincent, let me say that Dogs in the Vineyard has got to be one of the best games Ive played.  Thank you very much for your hard work in bringing it together.

aaron
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FruitSmack!
Member

Posts: 35


WWW
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2005, 09:10:43 AM »

Oh and one other thing..

If there was one thing that we could all agree on about this game, I think it was that the intensity was so great for the sessions that it was physically and mentally draining at times.  The constant pressure and build up of even the smallest conflicts, not to mention the ever present spector of escalation, made the games a very good "brain workout".  Many times we would get done with a two or three hour session and feel like we had played an all-nighter.

aaron
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ironick
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2005, 11:32:38 AM »

My favorite part of the game itself is character creation, specifically the Accomplishment part of it.  Whereas in most games, you might write up a character background, that's really just for you and the GM.  Sure, you might tell the other players about it, or even let them read it, but actually having the other players be there and experience the role-playing of it really connects you to the other PC's in a way I have not experienced in other games.  You understand where the character has come from and what kinds of experiences made them who they are, because you were there with them.  Instant immersion, not only with your character, but with everyone else's as well.

As far as in-game favorite moments, I really, really liked the confrontation of the witch in the Brine Flats.  Yes, Lazarus *did* get his mouth filled with his father's seed (thanks a lot, Aaron!), but it was the only time I got to roll in my relationship with my birth parents;).  It was that moment in the game that I think we all truly worked together in unity like no other, and it truly impressed upon me how scary a group of Dogs who are unified in purpose can be, both mechanically and story-wise.
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lumpley
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« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2005, 09:02:22 AM »

Quote
It was that moment in the game that I think we all truly worked together in unity like no other, and it truly impressed upon me how scary a group of Dogs who are unified in purpose can be, both mechanically and story-wise.

From this to your tearing yourselves apart ending! Beautiful.

Thank you all for playing my game and writing about it. Thank you!

-Vincent
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ironick
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2005, 02:01:32 PM »

Quote from: lumpley
Quote
It was that moment in the game that I think we all truly worked together in unity like no other, and it truly impressed upon me how scary a group of Dogs who are unified in purpose can be, both mechanically and story-wise.

From this to your tearing yourselves apart ending! Beautiful.

Thank you all for playing my game and writing about it. Thank you!

-Vincent


I think I can safely speak for all of us when I say that it was our pleasure, Vincent

-Nick-
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