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Author Topic: [DitV] Character accomplishment, (re)use of items, inconstant traits  (Read 2104 times)
DamienNeil
Member

Posts: 18


« on: September 01, 2005, 09:01:56 PM »

So, I bought and read through the rules.  I'm still getting over how cool Dogs is, and desperately hoping for a chance to actually play it sometime soon.  But I've got a few of questions:

During character creation, if a character's accomplishment is "growth, learning, or a change of habits", the player takes the part of the character before the change happens.  This seems like it will cause a certain lack of tension--the player could get what he hoped for ("say something you hope your character accomplished") just by giving on the first turn!  Is there any incentive, other than a pure desire to play out the story, for a player to take fallout during this conflict?

Next question: During conflicts, players obviously have a great deal of leeway in bringing in their traits and belongings, which is well and good.  So, picture a session where a gunfight breaks out (not that that ever happens, I'm sure): Raise: "He levels his gun at your heart and lets fire."  See: "Caught by surprise, I have no chance to react...but the bullet hits the medal I wear around my neck and is deflected."  Okay, that works.  Then the player pulls the same trick in the next gunfight.  And the next.  Not working any more.  How would one avoid this?

And, one more question: What happens when an event occurs that invalidates a trait?  For example, someone with "I've never fired my gun at a living thing" as a trait goes ahead and shoots someone.  Rewrite the trait, while leaving the dice alone?  "I've only fired my gun at three people, two cats, and a coyote" isn't the most flavorful of traits.

Thanks for any answers!

- Damien
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Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2005, 09:22:38 PM »

During character creation, if a character's accomplishment is "growth, learning, or a change of habits", the player takes the part of the character before the change happens.  This seems like it will cause a certain lack of tension--the player could get what he hoped for ("say something you hope your character accomplished") just by giving on the first turn!  Is there any incentive, other than a pure desire to play out the story, for a player to take fallout during this conflict?
If they understand how the system works, and the conflict is non-physical, they might want to prolong the contest purely to get fallout. Regardless of what it's called (even, "fear of demons"), it always makes you stronger.
But there's no problem with giving on the first turn - if they want to, they can. The new trait gained in the accomplishment can end up being used in much the same way whether the player wins or loses, so it's no problem.
You might want to encourage the player: "this is a test of the system. You can give on your next see or the one after - why not play through a couple of raises and sees to get a feel of the system."
Also, if you're worried that a Give might occur on the first turn, make that first Raise a small one, like a 7 - one that can be Blocked by the player's middle dice without a problem.


Quote
Next question: During conflicts, players obviously have a great deal of leeway in bringing in their traits and belongings, which is well and good.  So, picture a session where a gunfight breaks out (not that that ever happens, I'm sure): Raise: "He levels his gun at your heart and lets fire."  See: "Caught by surprise, I have no chance to react...but the bullet hits the medal I wear around my neck and is deflected."  Okay, that works.  Then the player pulls the same trick in the next gunfight.  And the next.  Not working any more.  How would one avoid this?
The way I use is two pronged:
1) mention that he has used it that way a few times already, can't he think of something else? If he can't - that's okay.
Note: In Dogs, I'm not sure the GM has the authority to disallow outright a player's narration - I don't do it anyway. If the rest of the group is groaning, "not again," at that point some gentle encouragement to change the narration should be given.
2) Suggest other ways of using the medal: maybe on a raise, the player draws attention to the badge, getting to roll its dice. Or while talking, he stands, poliching the badge. Or in a gunfight, sunlight glints off it, blinding his foe for a moment.

When bringing in a belonging, I don't think it has to be critical to the success of the task - it just has to be a central part of the player's narration.

I'll leave your last question to someone who knows :)
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lumpley
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2005, 05:43:54 AM »

Hey Damien, welcome!

QUESTION THE ONE:

You: I hope I overcome my temper.
Me: Okay, I'll be the teachers trying to impose moderation upon you, you be your temper.
You: AWESOME! I RAGE! You're going DOWN!

That's why nobody just gives on the first raise. We really enjoy playing our characters' weaknesses, and there's no mechanical benefit to giving.

QUESTION THE TWO:

Nobody's going to be boring on purpose. Don't sweat it.

On the distant off chance that someone is boring on purpose, Darren's answer's right on.

QUESTION THE THREE:

You aren't allowed to change the dice of a trait except through fallout, that's very explicit, but there's no provision anywhere in the rules for changing the text of a trait or relationship.

Now you could, if you felt like it, do something like "at the end of a town, in addition to reflection fallout, if any of your traits have become false, rewrite them to true, but leave their dice alone." Or you could add "you can also rewrite the text of the trait" to all of the fallout options that allow you to change the dice of a trait. Be sure to make changing the text of a trait mechanical in some way, not just "you can change the text of a trait whenever it becomes not true," and you'll be fine.

But how I play is, no changes to the text of a trait ever. "I've never shot anyone 2d6," then you shoot someone, now what you have on your character sheet is a trait that's all but impossible to bring into play.

That's what I recommend, because it's pure, and believe it or not it doesn't hurt anybody's fun.

But either way, here's what you should do. You should not mention it to your players when you sit down to play. Keep your options open. If it actually comes up, glance around the table, get a read, and make your decision then.

I predict you'll choose to play my way. If you don't, that's fine of course, but that's what I predict.

-Vincent
« Last Edit: September 02, 2005, 05:45:33 AM by lumpley » Logged
DamienNeil
Member

Posts: 18


« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2005, 09:01:17 AM »

But how I play is, no changes to the text of a trait ever. "I've never shot anyone 2d6," then you shoot someone, now what you have on your character sheet is a trait that's all but impossible to bring into play.

Ah!  (Lightbulb moment.)  That makes perfect sense.

Thanks for the answers!  They were most helpful.
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