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Conflict questions: fighting over weapons, escalating to see

Started by thrall, September 14, 2005, 10:31:59 PM

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I just ran my first Dogs game ever (a one shot), and loved it. The actual play is/will be here:

We came across a couple questions about conflicts that I hope haven't been covered before:

1. During a conflict, two characters wrestle over a gun (or other weapon). The stakes are something else, so it's not a question of who gets the gun. It seems to me that either character could then use the gun to escalate to gunfighting, even if they don't have total control over it; if they escalate first, then they get the dice. Of course, if it's a six-shooter, the other character could then escalate using the same gun and get the dice, right?

2. The rules say you can escalate to See, but I'm a little foggy on if your escalation counts as both your See and your Raise. For example, Seeing by "pulling my gun and firing," would seem to be both the See and your next Raise, since your opponent can't ignore it. The examples seem to support this interpretation, but am I reading them correctly?

-- Bryan Thrall


My take on these:

1. I see no reason why both people couldn't both roll dice for the same gun.  I'd say that the unarmed one would need to force the other to take the blow when raising with "I grab your gun" in order to actually acquire it.

Note that only one side escalates to shooting.  If I draw my gun and shoot at you, the conflict has escalated and you should roll in your acuity and will immediately--even if you don't have a gun!

2. It's common to combine a see and a raise in a single action.  "And so, by virtue of my impeccable logic, you have to admit that I'm right."  "Right, wrong, I'm the one with the gun.  Eat lead!"

Either way, the dice work the same.  First you see, then you raise.

Frank T

QuoteNote that only one side escalates to shooting.  If I draw my gun and shoot at you, the conflict has escalated and you should roll in your acuity and will immediately--even if you don't have a gun!

Is that true? I didn't play it that way... Don't have the book at hand right now. I thought, though, that the trick was that each player has to decide whether this conflict is worth escalating.

What's at stake is: Will you ask God for forgiveness? I'm the Dog, and I'm talking to you, using all my talky traits and my cloak and whatnot. You are losing. You pull your gun on me. So you roll your will (we've already rolled acuity), say it's 4d6, plus your gun 1d6 1d4. If I also get to roll my will without escalating back, and we say my will is 5d6, odds are I'll still be winning. Probably I won't even have to take a blow.

On the other hand, if I only get to roll my will if I also escalate to gunfighting, I have to make a choice here--would I rather pull my gun on you, or stay in the conflict without escalating myself (risking fallout), or give? Sounds much more interesting to me. In fact, it was one of the things I adored about Dogs.

Vincent, can you sort this out?

- Frank


I'm pretty sure the rules say that the conflict escalates and everyone rolls new stat dice (if any) when anyone escalates it.

I also think this question came up before in another thread and there are other people who prefer what you prefer, Frank. Not sure which thread it was but there was an interesting argument.

If you want to not use a gun when the conflict has escalated to gunfighting, you can still make that decision, and not roll your "I can shoot a pidgeon at 200 yards 1d4" and "Big Assed Revolver 2d8+1d4" traits. Also not deal any d10 fallout. I think the decision not to shoot is still significant even if you got the Will dice because someone else started shooting, etc.


Here's the most recent thread on the subject: Escalation.

Here's me in that thread:
Quote from: lumpley on July 19, 2005, 12:30:36 PM
"Escalation" just means which stats you get to roll. If you engage with a gunfight, you get to roll acuity and will. If you engage with a conversation, you get to roll acuity and heart. Et cetera.

If you don't want to roll acuity and will, don't engage with the gunfight. No skin off my nose.

Your group gets to decide what "engage" means. Like I say here, your group should follow the lead of the player with the highest standards.

Here's Tony in reply:
Quote from: TonyLB on July 19, 2005, 01:30:10 PM
FWIW, I've played it both ways now, very deliberately, and I do see the controversy, though perhaps I see it differently than others will.  I'm going to toss out my overall 'gestalt' of observations on this, and people can pick it apart... but I don't intend to make a huge lecture of it, or show all the steps of my thinking, unless what I say confuses people more than I think it will.

Your Dogs young, demur, female cousin slaps him for something he said that she thought was "inappropriate."  Now with either set of rules the Dog (in-character) has a choice about whether to respond by slapping her back.

If your system says that he only gets his dice when he slaps her back then it makes that into a player decision as well, often in terms of whether they want to risk losing the Stakes.  Which means that the player is more constantly forced back upon the question of exploring his own character.

If your system says that he immediately gets his dice as well then the only reason (mechanically) to slap her back is either (a) you've got traits that would access or (b) you want to do her more fallout.  Either way, you're now engaged in a situation where what you are exploring is the interaction of this particular Dog with society as exemplified in the context of this one town.  You are, in short, playing a less introspective game, and one in which the situation that the GM has prepared has more of a spotlight position.

Honestly?  I'd play it the first way with experienced players and the second way with those new to Dogs.  But that's just me.

My position remains, very strongly, that when you engage with a gunfight in any capacity, you roll acuity and will ... but you and your group get to decide what "engage with a gunfight" means. Does it mean you have to pull a trigger? Okay, that has <this set> of implications. Does it just mean that there's a gunfight happening around you, whether you're shooting or not? Okay, that has <this other set> of implications.

Tony's very astute about what the implications are; if I were sitting down to make the decision with my group, I'd take his opinions seriously.

You can also, instead of sitting down to make the decision with your group, make it anew and on the fly every time it comes up. That's how I play. As always, I defer to what my players want, this time.



Oh and I should say: Thrall, have we answered your questions?