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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 95 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [DitV] Relationship Dice  (Read 2865 times)
coffeestain
Member

Posts: 165


« on: June 29, 2005, 05:33:59 AM »

Hello.  I'm a short time lurker, first time poster.  Dogs is the first game that's inspired me to post here (or, for that matter, to play), so thank you for that Vincent.  You've got yourself some solid gold here.

That aside, I've been considering placing an additional restriction on assigning relationship dice and would like to know if anyone has suggestions on how this might affect play.  My thought is to disallow the allocation of relationship dice during a conflict.

My reasoning is that the ability to assign those dice in the middle of a conflict promotes saving relationships for conflicts a player feels they are going to lose, rather than allocating them to things they find interesting or that their character likes.  I feel this creates some danger of trivializing their intended purpose and causing them to become a dice pool that is reserved for emergencies.  In addition, I see some value in encouraging the players to assign them early as it helps the GM determine who the players are most interesting in becoming involved with.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Daniel
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Matt Wilson
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 1121

student, second edition


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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2005, 05:57:06 AM »

Hey Daniel:

My 0.02 is not to worry too much about how players might abuse the system. It may be that they prefer the strategic 'must win' sort of play to the point that they will look for ways to exploit rules, but restricting their choices won't really curb that drive.

I'd play as-is and see what they actually do. Besides, it might be that what looks from here as a lame use of relationships makes for some damn cool conflicts.
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coffeestain
Member

Posts: 165


« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2005, 06:06:24 AM »

Matt,

Thanks, that sounds like valid advice.  The only use of relationship dice I've seen so far was in response to conflict on the brink of loss, but it did create a satisfactory resolution and the resulting relationship is still an active part of play.

This might also be an indication that I need to remind and encourage the players to use their relationship dice more, as well.  We've only had two sessions with Dogs, so far, and this is our first attempt with any of the indie games commonly discussed here.

Thanks,

Daniel
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Lance D. Allen
Member

Posts: 1962


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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2005, 07:55:20 AM »

True Story: Had two players in my group in a long, drawn-out conflict end up doing exactly what you fear; The majority of both of their unspent relationship dice went into relationships with the person the conflict was about, and with each other; Given that the end result of the conflict was that the girl would be traveling with the Dogs, both of those relationships will have interesting ramifications down the road.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
coffeestain
Member

Posts: 165


« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2005, 08:01:37 AM »

Lance,

Thank you.  It seems that, in both of our experiences with this, the end result has been a relevant and potentially interesting relationship with continued value.

Have you encountered any problems with the characters having relationships to one another yet?  Is that something you would suggest discouraging?

Thanks,

Daniel
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ironick
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2005, 09:22:34 AM »

Daniel, I played in a DitV game that had exactly the kind of inter-PC relationships and conflict that you're asking about.  If you're interested, you can read more about it here: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=14494&highlight=

To sum up, though, there were two characters who were constantly at odds in thier judgements, which eventually led to an actual fistfight in the middle of a Branch.  During the conflict both players assigned relationship dice to the other combatant, to the tune of "Brother Hector is a tool" 1d4 and "I fear for Brother Simeon's soul" 1d8 (or something like that).  The point is, simply having the relationships colored the roleplaying between the two players for the rest of the campaign.  Was it interesting?  Hell yes!  Did it interfere with play for the other people?  Not that I could tell.  Granted, there were times when those of us not playing Hector or Simeon could see a conflict approaching like a train wreck, but it was never just for the sake of argument, and it always made sense and made things more interesting.  

Personally, I don't think it's a problem.  It made the game richer for us, literally unto the death of PC's.  If they want to spend their relationship dice like that, it's just harder to get more to assign later.  That's what I think, but take a look at our write-up thread and see if that's the kind of thing you mind happening in your game.  Your mileage may vary.

Nick
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Lance D. Allen
Member

Posts: 1962


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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2005, 09:22:55 AM »

(Caveat: I'm not the GM for this game, though I do take a stronger hand than the other players, for the most part)

It's not come up a whole lot in my group's game just yet, but I really don't see any bad issues. I've been itching to run a town, and I may just do that for my next turn up at GMing (myself and Lxndr alternate GMing on a weekly basis) as our TRoS game has reached a point where a short hiatus is natural.

When I am running a game, I will definitely not discourage inter-player relationships; Assigning relationships are just another way for the player to state what's important. In a previous session, Br. Malachai assigned relationship dice to assist during healing conflicts (he's basically our designated faith healer) and in the last session, relationship dice were assigned because winning this particular conflict was very important to the players in question.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
coffeestain
Member

Posts: 165


« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2005, 09:41:47 AM »

Nick,

Thanks for your reply.  I've actually read your play report already and enjoyed it very much, though I admit it didn't shine in my mind as an example of PC to PC relationships until you just mentioned it.  Also, it does appear it added to, rather than detracted from, your game and I believe it's a great example of the way relationship dice can be used responsibly within a group of Dogs.  My fear would be along the lines of players placing fist-fulls of dice in relationships with one another in order to create pools of additional dice to roll in most of their following conflicts that would affect the group as a whole.  Admittedly, I'm looking at worst case scenarios here and haven't had these negative experiences, but I'd like to be prepared to correct them or, at least, to recognize them if they could become an issue.

Lance,

You make an good point.  It seems perfectly reasonable to allow players to use relationship dice to indicate that they feel particular conflicts are important to them and then, by extension, that the things involved in those conflicts are as well.  A perfect example being your Br. Malachai who, while fighting desperately to save Br. Jacob's life, forged a strong bond with him that exists even when Br. Jacob is hale again.  The key, as in most things, would rely on the narration revolving around the addition of those relationship dice and whether or not the players feel it's an interesting and reasonable circumstance.

Thanks,

Daniel
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