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Author Topic: [DitV] Willow's Run  (Read 4385 times)
coffeestain
Member

Posts: 165


« on: July 04, 2005, 10:54:41 AM »

Something's Wrong
Willow’s Run branch is plagued by illness. Starting with Br. Jebediah’s wife, Sr. Prudence, women have started falling ill with the fever. In addition, the town’s normally peaceful Mountain People neighbors have started raiding; scaring away caravans, burning empty buildings, and even injuring some of the Faithful.

Pride
When Sr. Prudence fell ill with the fever, Br. Jebediah took her to the branch’s non-Faithful doctor, Doc Henry McPherson. Henry told Br. Jebediah that his wife’s illness was serious and that he knew how he could get medicine from some of his peers Back East, but that the medicine would cost a considerable sum. Henry's pride in his own abilities is enough to turn Jebediah away from the righteous path and both men forsake faith for science.

Injustice
Br. Jebediah knew that folks Back East often pay a hefty sum for the crafts and goods of the Mountain People, which they use for decorations and curiosities. So he gathered his three boys together and rode off to steal some of these items.

Sin
Disunity & Faithlessness – Br. Jebediah is stealing from the Mountain People because he didn’t trust in the plan of the King of Life.

Worldliness – Br. Jebediah’s eldest son, Matthias, is planning on taking his banditry to a new level; preying on the Faithful and merchants.

Demonic Attacks
Br. Jebediah’s faithlessness has let the demons in and they’ve decided to profit from the situation. First of all, they’ve arranged it so that Br. Jebediah’s theft happened to include some artifacts of extreme importance to the Mountain People, which has incited them to their current level of
hostility. In addition, they’ve started spreading Sr. Prudence’s fever to other women in the branch, causing additional desperation. Finally, they’ve started whispering to Matthias, telling him that he could become a very wealthy and powerful man if he’d stop raiding the Mountain People and start stealing things from passing caravans or other Faithful.

False Doctrine
A sin against the non-Faithful is no sin at all.

Corrupt Worship
Br. Jebediah believes his actions are the will of the King, and the method by which the King has chosen to save the life of his wife.

False Priesthood
None yet, though Br. Jebediah and his sons are on the brink of becoming a cult. He only needs to convince another of his sons apart from Matthias that their actions are the will of the King and they will become three.

Sorcery, Hate & Murder
None yet

What do the townspeople want from the Dogs?
Br. Mark wants the Dogs to negotiate with the Mountain People and stop them from attacking. He’d also like them to somehow provide the necessary medicine.

Br. Nathaniel wants the Dogs to help restore Br. Jebediah’s faith and bring him back to the light of the King. He’d also like them to pray over his wife.

Br. Flint wants the Dogs to join him in a posse to end the danger presented by the Mountain People.

Br. Jebediah wants the Dogs to tell him that what he and his boys are doing is right by the King. He’d like their assistance and, in the end, just wants his wife back.

Br. Matthias wants the Dogs to get out of his way so he can start expanding his operation. If they approve what he’s currently doing, all the better.

Doc Henry wants the Dogs to stay as far away from him as possible; he’s just not comfortable around them.

Ahhoamo wants the Dogs to return his peoples’ goods and to stop the townsfolk from attacking them.

Motowanama wants the Dogs to die, along with anyone else he can stick his axe into, until or unless he can get his artifacts back.

What do the demons want?
The demons want Br. Jebediah and his boys to lead the town into killing the Mountain People and, ultimately, to banditry in order to meet their ever increasing needs. They also want the town’s women to die of the fever OR to be healed through the use of the medicine and therefore
shake the foundations of the Faith.

What do the demons want the Dogs to do?
The demons want the Dogs to tell Br. Jebediah that stealing from the Mountain People is right, at least in circumstances this dire. They’d also be very pleased if the Dogs would join in the carnage.

What would happen if the Dogs didn’t come?
The Mountain people would be slaughtered to a man by the angry townspeople who would use all of their money to purchase the medicine to cure the women. Having no reserves for supplies or food, the town would turn to outright banditry, and kill those who disagreed with the decision, in
the name of survival.

Who’s Who
Br. Mark Abernathy – Steward
     Sr. Naomi Abernathy – Wife and sick woman
          Sr. Miriam Abernathy – Daughter and midwife
          Br. Paul Abernathy – Son and dry goods merchant

Br. Nathaniel Sweeney – Preacher
     Sr. Emeline Sweeney – Wife and sick woman
          Br. Noah Sweeney – Son and carpenter
          Sr. Rebecca Sweeney – Daughter and school teacher

Br. Isaac Flint – Territorial Authority lawman
     Sr. Hannah Flint – Wife and sick woman

Br. Jebediah Cleary – Miller
     Sr. Prudence Cleary – Wife and sick woman
          Br. Matthias Cleary – Son and blacksmith
          Br. Isaiah Cleary – Son and farmer
          Br. Phineas Cleary – Son and farmer

Henry McPherson – Doctor

Ahhoamo – Tribal chief of Mountain People tribe
     Naku – Wife and spiritual leader
          Motownama – Son and raid leader
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coffeestain
Member

Posts: 165


« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2005, 11:35:07 AM »

I ran the first part of this town last night for my dogs and it was pretty interesting.  First of all, allow me to introduce the protagonists:

Sr. Abigail is a Dog who was forced to judge her husband for adultery before she started her initiation.  Finding him wanting, she executed him with his own shotgun.  Since then, she’s been unable to judge fairly based on gender, always treating women with a light touch and always punishing men as hard as she can get away with.

Br. Payden was a gambler from Back East who started plying his trade in a Faithful town.  He was caught, but saved from the gallows by a group of Dogs who saw the light of the King in him.  He doesn’t believe in the Faith, but bluffed his way through initiation.

Br. Aaron is a heavy-handed, hard-hearted, gunslinging bringer of justice who has recently discovered he has an ability to heal others with his faith as well as kill them.

Br. Joshua is a repressed homosexual, “cured” by the Faith but living in a world of temptation and secrecy.

Our Dogs were riding into town during the evening when they heard gunplay from over a nearby hill.  Cresting it, they discovered Br. Isaac and two boys from the town trying to fend off Motowanama and his little raiding party.  Br. Payden fires a shot into the air and startles the Mountain People, who begin to flee.  He and Br. Aaron give chase while Sr. Abigail and Br. Joshua ride to the townsfolk to tend wounds and get information.  Br. Payden and Br. Aaron can’t quite stop Motowanama from fleeing, but during the course of the conflict (which ranged from physical to verbal), they were able to discover that the Mountain People just wanted their artifacts back.  Br. Payden indicated he understood and Motowanama told him to meet back here tomorrow evening with the artifacts if that was truly the case.

Cutting to the inside of the town, the Dogs start talking to the townsfolk and meet Mark, who explains the situation with the sick women and asks them to find a way to get him the medicine.  Payden, who has family Back East, begins to consider options, but the others aren’t keen on pursuing that avenue of resolution.

At this point, there are some clumsy attempts from everyone to issue challenges that would determine what the root of the problem in town is, and most of them are rejected due to the fear that if they’re failed, the Dogs have pretty much lost the town.  Payden’s player settles on “Can I find someone who can tell me where the artifacts are?”  Winning this conflict leads him to Br. Nathaniel, who is reluctant to reveal his information.  Payden follows up with another challenge to convince the preacher to reveal information that was confessed to him in confidence and succeeds, both parties finally agreeing that they’re on the same side and it’s not the job of the other to obscure or hinder the King’s work.  The process felt a little clumsy to me, but Payden’s player said he enjoyed it a great deal.

The Dogs confront Jebediah in his home and he’s waiting for them.  There’s a brief discussion between he and the Dogs about desperation, necessity, and the fact that the Mountain People aren’t Faithful, but they decide that he’s not justified in his actions even if they feel his motives were pure.  Br. Aaron takes this opportunity to ward off Prudence’s death for a little while with his faith, Br. Payden gathers up the artifacts to return to the Mountain People, and Sr. Abigail/Br. Joshua stay with Br. Jebediah.

Now for my two favorite parts of the session:

Br. Payden meets with Motownama and returns the artifact to the proud warrior with Br. Aaron keeping watch from a nearby hill.  Motownama suggests he is surprised, but pleased, at this resolution and also tells Payden that Jebediah’s boys are still raiding.  Br. Payden asks about the sickness and Motownama indicates that his people are familiar with it and that it is a “sickness of the soul” and requires special rituals to banish.  Br. Payden is torn, not knowing what to do with this information or how he would ever present it as an option to the Faithful.

Back in town, Br. Jebediah who has had his faith shattered and wants to take the punishment he knows is coming instead of his sons, begs Abigail and Joshua to punish him to the fullest extent of the King’s justice for the sins he’s committed as well as the sins he’s led his sons to commit.  He enters into a challenge with the Dogs to convince them to do just that.  Sr. Abigail blames him for the illness afflicting the women and gives, sliding her pistol onto the table!  Meanwhile, Joshua and Jebediah proceed to a bidding war in a conflict that ranges from verbal to physical to gunfighting, the end result being Joshua shooting Jebediah in the leg, kneeling over his prone figure with a pistol at his temple, and asking if he’s still ready to die.

We left the session at this point, since it was getting late, but I’m very interested in seeing what happens next.
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TonyLB
Member

Posts: 3702


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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2005, 11:54:39 AM »

Quote from: coffeestain
At this point, there are some clumsy attempts from everyone to issue challenges that would determine what the root of the problem in town is, and most of them are rejected due to the fear that if they’re failed, the Dogs have pretty much lost the town.  Payden’s player settles on “Can I find someone who can tell me where the artifacts are?”  Winning this conflict leads him to Br. Nathaniel, who is reluctant to reveal his information.  Payden follows up with another challenge to convince the preacher to reveal information that was confessed to him in confidence and succeeds, both parties finally agreeing that they’re on the same side and it’s not the job of the other to obscure or hinder the King’s work.  The process felt a little clumsy to me, but Payden’s player said he enjoyed it a great deal.

I'm really perplexed by that whole paragraph.

Why were you keeping the information from them?  It sounds like you were hiding it really hard, if they thought that they'd have to fight tooth and nail to get it.  So... why?  

Particularly, why is Br. Nathaniel hesitant to share information with the Dogs?  Doesn't he want them to restore Br. Jebediah's Faith and heal his wife?  It strikes me that telling them everything he knows is a perfect first step to making that happen.

Me, the moment they started wondering "What's wrong with this town?" I'd have had somebody barge in and insist on telling them, in vivid detail, what's wrong with the town (say "These people are stealing sacred artifacts!").  Then, as they stand to deal with that, I'd have someone else barge in and insist on telling them, in vivid detail, what's wrong with the town (say "Doc Henry is undermining the people's Faith").  After all, they can't start doing their job until they know absolutely everything you have prepared.  Best to get that done quickly.
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coffeestain
Member

Posts: 165


« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2005, 12:59:15 PM »

Tony,

This is actually why everything seemed very clumsy to me.  In effect, the Dogs entered town and spoke with the Steward, who gave them a good deal of information regarding what troubled the town and at that point, I fully expected them to approach Jebediah and/or wander back out of the Steward's house to be approached by other townsfolk, but they actually interrupted me to start challenges when I was completely prepared to just say "yes" instead of rolling dice.

Then followed some debate amongst them regarding what appropriate challenges would be, and Payden's challenge to determine if anyone knew who stole the artifacts was decided upon.

In hindsight, I could have simply given on the proposed challenge and had Nathaniel come to the Dogs, but I got the impression the players wanted to handle a challenge of this type so I went with it.  If they didn't want the challenge, they wouldn't have interrupted their already very successful methods of gaining information to propose it.

Likewise, with the followup challenge between Payden and Nathaniel, I suggested it because I felt it would be an interesting conflict of faith between Payden and the preacher that could help illustrate Payden's relationship with the Faith.  It had no purpose beyond that, and the information he gleaned from the conversation would have been revealed shortly after by another source - in this case, the other Dogs who'd finally decided to speak with Jebediah.

Dogs is our first attempt at Narrative gaming and this is only our third session.  I'm continually pleased at the fact that we can look back at our sessions and discover ways to tighten up our play, so I feel that we're learning quickly.  However, we still stumble from time to time.

Thanks for your observations,

Daniel
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Simon Kamber
Member

Posts: 175


« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2005, 05:41:29 AM »

Quote from: coffeestain
Br. Payden asks about the sickness and Motownama indicates that his people are familiar with it and that it is a “sickness of the soul” and requires special rituals to banish.  Br. Payden is torn, not knowing what to do with this information or how he would ever present it as an option to the Faithful.


Cool, just cool.
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Simon Kamber
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