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Author Topic: Ceremony in Firefly in the Vineyard  (Read 10541 times)
Judaicdiablo
Member

Posts: 43


« on: September 22, 2005, 04:45:49 PM »

There are 3 guiding principles to the Firefly in the Vineyard setting.  You may interpret them as you like.

“A captain's goal was simple: find a crew, find a job, keep flying.”

“Let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job, and then I get paid. “

“You're on my crew. Why we still talking about this?”
   (for context the full exchange is listed at the bottom of the post)

Ceremony is a formalized method of inflicting fallout.  These are the types of things that a person can say or do to another (in an appropriate circumstance) that can not be ignored and can change that person (because really, that is what Fallout is about.)  As clarified by Vincent, Fatal Fallout does not mean the character has to die.  Only that they must leave the story.  That fits in well with how I have put together the below list.

Based on these 3 quotes I have put together the following:

- Invoking the Past (d4). This means simply declaring that you have a connection to that person and are able to put demands on them.
- Calling by Name (d4). When you call someone by their full, whole name, with authority, they can not ignore you.  Simply put, when you use someone’s middle name (for example), they know you are pissed.
- Laying on Hands(d6). Physical contact between two people can create a powerful connection.  When done with purpose it can not be ignored.
- Speaking of the Job (d6).  Complete the job and you will get paid.  If you don’t get paid, you don’t keep flying.
- Acclamation of the Crew(d6).  The crew comes first.  For good or for ill.  Speak of the crew with authority, and they can not ignore you.
- Making the Sign of Money (d6).  Money is the fuel that keeps a ship flying and the crew together.  You make the Sign of Money by holding your right hand up at shoulder level, arm bent, palm towards you, while rubbing your index finger and thumb together.
- Anointing with the Blood of the Ship(d8).  Without the ship you have nothing. 
- Three In Solidarity (d8). Whenever possible, have at least two other Crew standing by your side.  When the Crew are united, their position is strong.


I am seeking comments and suggestions.  Does something seem wrong or can you think of something better.  I would love to hear about it.

--Brandon

“Simon: Captain... why did you come back for us?
Mal: You're on my crew.
Simon: Yeah, but you don't even like me. Why'd you come back?
Mal: You're on my crew. Why we still talking about this?”)

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Joshua A.C. Newman
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Posts: 1144

the glyphpress


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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2005, 09:54:34 PM »

I don't think you need three. I think it's We Got Each Others' Backs. That is, two.

What does "Anointing with the Blood of the Ship" mean?

What are the "demons" in this setting? What does this ceremony do?
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Judaicdiablo
Member

Posts: 43


« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2005, 10:29:56 PM »

Quote
What does "Anointing with the Blood of the Ship" mean?

Its a reference to Oil.  Basically, if the ship dies, you die.  The idea of this bit of ceremony is that you can make someone back down or feel bad if what they are doing could be bad for the ship.

Quote
What are the "demons" in this setting? What does this ceremony do?

There are no demons.  Just other people who have additional training, are meaner than other people, or are basically bad asses.  Sure I will still can them possessed and Sorcerers (for convenience) but there is nothing super natural about them.  A great example could be a companion.  She has a Relationship of 2d8 to the Companion's Guild.  He is considered "possessed" and is given Cunning, thus she gets to add 2d8 to any social conflict.

In order to put things in perspective, here is my modification to the Town Creation terminology for FitV

Pride        ->    Pride
Injustice   ->    Injustice
Sin          ->    Sin
Demonic Attacks  ->    Misfortune (something bad is happening)
False Doctrine      ->    Justification (I know I am doing something bad and this how I explain it away)
Corrupt Worship   ->    Aggrieved Actions (what has been done that goes directly against others)
False Priesthood  ->    Ringleader (Someone's in charge ...  )
Sorcery               ->    Powerful Influence (   ... and is getting the benefits)
Hate & Murder     ->    Hate and Murder

It all works out pretty nicely.  I'll put up my town creation sheet with my Actual Play report for our first actual session if people are interested.

--Brandon
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IMAGinES
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Posts: 141

AKA Rob Farquhar


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« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2005, 06:46:54 PM »

Quote
What does "Anointing with the Blood of the Ship" mean?

Its a reference to Oil.  Basically, if the ship dies, you die.  The idea of this bit of ceremony is that you can make someone back down or feel bad if what they are doing could be bad for the ship.

So, could Kaylee and other grease-monkeys take a d8 Trait to reflect their almost permanent state of anointment?
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Always Plenty of Time!
Mikael
Member

Posts: 206


« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2005, 08:56:00 PM »

It all works out pretty nicely.  I'll put up my town creation sheet with my Actual Play report for our first actual session if people are interested.

Yes, I am definitely interested in an AP post. I am specifically interested in what you have in place to provide the Crew the same kind of absolute moral right and obligation to judge that the Dogs have, since that is one of the key elements of Dogs to me: it prevents the players from just saying "hell, this ain´t our problem" (Jayne), keeps them focused on the Town issues instead of the interpersonal ones, and really puts them on the spot to make the tough moral judgements.

I perfectly understand if you are really more focused on getting "the Firefly feel" than creating a functionally equivalent alternate Dogs setting. It would still be nice to hear your thoughts on this.

Thanks,
+ Mikael
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John Harper
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Posts: 1054

flip you for real


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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2005, 02:08:13 AM »

I'm one of the players. I'll try to answer your question, Mikael.

The characters don't have an obligation to judge. But we, the players, have decided to only play out jobs in which moral judgments are made (in the vein of "Shindig" and "The Train Job"). Jobs that don't have the judgment aspect won't be included as part of our series.
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Mikael
Member

Posts: 206


« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2005, 08:16:36 PM »

The characters don't have an obligation to judge. But we, the players, have decided to only play out jobs in which moral judgments are made (in the vein of "Shindig" and "The Train Job"). Jobs that don't have the judgment aspect won't be included as part of our series.

Ok, this could work, and you probably have an AP story to back it up. Still, there is a difference, significant or not: based on the example episodes you listed, your characters will be judging themselves, or deciding what they should do, whereas the Dogs are judging the community, or what the congregation should do.

As a marketing ploy, I am trying to set up a Dogs game that uses the Firefly universe as a background. Nothing fancy, just give them a ship and have them hit some backward Faithful planets. This thread brings to mind the possibility of having the Dogs encounter the crew from the series delivering some recreational drugs, for example. It might be that the crew do not know what they are delivering, but with their "We do the job, we get paid" mentality, a conflict just can not be avoided...

Cheers,
+ Mikael
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John Harper
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flip you for real


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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2005, 11:59:37 PM »

I think it's a difference of perception, Mikael. I look at Shinding and The Train Job and I see Mal judging the community he finds himself in, and then taking decisive action that affects that community (with swordplay, in one case). Not so much "what should we do?" but instead "what do these people deserve?"
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Frank T
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2005, 12:25:06 AM »

As Jayne put it: Pretentious. Yeah, that's what I love about Firefly. Alright, Jayne isn't exactly a Dog. But Mal? Kaylee? Simon? The Shepherd? You bet.

Still flying,
Frank
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Mikael
Member

Posts: 206


« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2005, 03:35:08 AM »

In order to put things in perspective, here is my modification to the Town Creation terminology for FitV

Pride        ->    Pride
Injustice   ->    Injustice
Sin          ->    Sin
Demonic Attacks  ->    Misfortune (something bad is happening)
False Doctrine      ->    Justification (I know I am doing something bad and this how I explain it away)
Corrupt Worship   ->    Aggrieved Actions (what has been done that goes directly against others)
False Priesthood  ->    Ringleader (Someone's in charge ...  )
Sorcery               ->    Powerful Influence (   ... and is getting the benefits)
Hate & Murder     ->    Hate and Murder

Did not see the sheet as a part of your post. Have you now actually used the above process to create a Job? Any changes/comments?

Also, did you end up using the Ceremonies outlined in this thread?

Cheers,
+ Mikael
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Judaicdiablo
Member

Posts: 43


« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2005, 12:31:32 PM »

Quote
Did not see the sheet as a part of your post. Have you now actually used the above process to create a Job? Any changes/comments?
Quote
Also, did you end up using the Ceremonies outlined in this thread?

Alas, that was Session 0 and not the first actual session so there was no Job creation sheet.  The ceremony stuff is new for this week, so we'll see if it comes up at tonight.

--Brandon

"He's not the first psycho to hire us nor the last. You think that's a commentary on us?" -Mal
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lumpley
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2005, 01:17:59 PM »

Hey, I've been thinking. In straight Dogs, ceremony is mostly useful vs. sorcerers and possessed people - villains and thugs. It seems like your ceremony is aimed more at fellow crew. Is that right?

I'm not saying good or bad, I'm just asking.

-Vincent
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John Harper
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Posts: 1054

flip you for real


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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2005, 01:34:37 PM »

That looks right to me. I think conflicts among the crew are going to be front-and-center important for this game, so it makes sense. I think we're all picking up on the "we're a family" vibe -- with all the strife that entails.
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Judaicdiablo
Member

Posts: 43


« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2005, 01:36:21 PM »

Quote
Hey, I've been thinking. In straight Dogs, ceremony is mostly useful vs. sorcerers and possessed people - villains and thugs. It seems like your ceremony is aimed more at fellow crew. Is that right?

I am envisioning several key situations where it would apply:

1) Crew vs Crew so that you can still be talking and inflict bigger fallout.
2) Crew vs someone like Badger ("You hired us for this job and things didn't go right cause you didn't tell us something")
3) Crew vs someone like Patience ("We can all get what we need, but this here is the job and we are 3 in Solidarity")

Now the trick to using Ceremony in this way, is that the person being talked to has to respect the speaker enough to accept it.  Mal could use Ceremony vs Badger, but he could not use Ceremony against an Alliance Captain (cause he just doesn't give a crap.)

--Brandon
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Judaicdiablo
Member

Posts: 43


« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2005, 12:29:49 PM »

Quote
Also, did you end up using the Ceremonies outlined in this thread?

Just a quick update.  We had our first real session last night and Ceremony did come up.

It was the climatic fight of the evening between the crew and these two bruiser thugs.  They had watched the thugs kill a guy and then set the stakes.  The stakes were basically over who was the big dog in town.  If the PCs won then the thugs wouldn't hassel them anymore and if the Thugs won, the PCs would keep their nose out of the Thug's business.

We were getting down to the wire (lots of dice running out) and Jeb decides that there are three of them left and he invokes the "Three is Solidarity" against the Thugs.  Basically, "While we stand together, you can't put us down."  Now I had forgotten about Ceremony and so I countered with "Annointing with the Blood of Ship" by saying, "Y'all better keep your heads down because all sorts of terrible things can happen to a ship in dock.  It would be terrible thing if that became unflyable piece of junk and you were trapped on this moon till the end of your days."  Then I rasied with a 17.  Only Jeb, the engineer was able to Block or Dodge.  The captain even gave, rather than taking the 4 or 5 d8 that she would have needed to take.

I realized that I also could have raised with Making the Sign of Money (thus only doing d6s in fallout), and I almost reversed myself, but the group agreed that, that was the perfect raise.

Conclusion:

Ceremony has its place, I think it just needs a more Firefly esque name.

--Brandon

"Mal: Well look at this. 'Pears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?
Zoë: Big damn heroes, sir.
Mal: Ain't we just."
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