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[DitV] Comprehensive Alternate Setting Thread...

Started by foucalt, October 04, 2005, 07:52:28 PM

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I just recently ran Dwarfs in the Mineshaft at Conception XI, which went down quite well; basically just Ditv with the background stripped out and replaced with the dwarven society of Terry Pratchett's Discworld. No major modding required beyond replacing 'guns' with 'axes' and 'coats' with 'beards.'
Caveman-like grunting: "James like games".


Quote from: knicknevin on February 07, 2010, 08:35:52 AM
I just recently ran Dwarfs in the Mineshaft at Conception XI, which went down quite well; basically just Ditv with the background stripped out and replaced with the dwarven society of Terry Pratchett's Discworld. No major modding required beyond replacing 'guns' with 'axes' and 'coats' with 'beards.'

What did you do with the sin stuff and town-creation?


Considering setting up a game using Deadlands, "Deadlands: The Agency in the Vineyard",

Pretty good fit if you replace "Demonic Influence" with "Fear" (though as it happens, they are much the same in Deadlands) and set the characters up as either members of the Agency or the Texas Rangers, plus make the minor tweak that the Reckoners require a human-starting-point to kick-start their influence (i.e.: as the sin(fear)-chain rises the Reckoners have more local influence, and can send in ever-nastier servitors to do their will), so the players need to root out the human problems that are drawing in the nasties...

Yeah, I know it's using one RPG as the background for another RPG - but I always quite liked the Deadlands backstory - just felt that the system sucked,


Hey all. First post here.

Let me say that I'm a huge fan of Dogs in the Vineyard. The system is elegant, cinematic, cool. The characters and the gameplay style it encourages is heavily social, which I love. The nature of the game is part investigation and all creativity. The energy flowing from these short pages astounds me, and ever since I played it the first time two years ago I have measured all of the other games I play against it as the standard. For the record, I really enjoy lots of the other indie games churned out by some of the very people on this forum (DRYH, Polaris, etc). But moving on to the actual topic itself.

Last summer I ran a short series of Dogs in the Vineyard games for one of my gaming groups. The group wasn't feeling the Mormon religious depth, and so I substituted the base setting for antebellum South Carolina, roughly basing the game on the Regulators movement, though chronologically displaced to about the 1820s or 1830s. Nullification is a hot button issue, the taboo discussion of racial mixing and the silently suppressed fears of slave insurrection is never spoken of but omnipresent. Racial and class issues, egalitarian freedoms versus the wisdom of the landed gentry classes of South Carolina were the main issues. The "civilized" gentlemen rely on the Regulators, rough customers willing to ride light and take the Law into their own hands, to master the settlements between the swampy Low Country and the mountainous, half-settled and half-wild lands of the Upcountry and the Piedmont. The Law was substituted for Faith; elements of ceremony were legal-themed. The game remained semi-Western in its aspect - eventually the enemies of the Regulator movement formed bands of so-called "Moderators" who constitutionally claimed the same powers as the Regs. Things got interesting.

It was a huge hit. The game was short, yet the four sessions I ran of it has left deep indelible impressions on all of the players, and myself too. If anyone is ever interested in running this Southern Antebellum version of Dogs, I would be happy to provide the few resources I used to make the conversion.

I told you all that so that I could tell you this: Dogs has been so well received that I'm going to attempt an even more ambitious, more complete conversion of the game sometime this Fall. I'm willing to hear whatever feedback and input this forum is willing to provide.

The game is called Eyes in the Stockyard. The players will take on the role of Pinkerton Detectives during the period of the 1880s-1890s (private "Eyes" as they were called). They will be set on the trail of famous cases from this period. It will be a very dark game, where players hunt monstrous killers with minimal scientific and forensic aid, relying on guts and intuition and logic to piece together the crimes. The Law plays an important role but the focus of the game has shifted away from the exercise of unlimited power and actually highlights the helplessness of the Eyes themselves. They can only observe, prod local law enforcement, and the actions they take have a decent chance of hurting themselves in the long-run. They are constrained by the limits of the law on a wild frontier and in corrupt, uncaring cities. And each character is locked in a struggle with his own inner demons, which slowly poisons their ultimate quest for Justice.

Since the game has yet to be run and I don't want to divulge more specific information on the case(s) should one of my players stumble across this forum, I'm going to be spare on campaign details and simply relate to you the rules changes and the relatively minor changes to the character sheet.

Any time a character would ordinarily gain Experience from Fallout, they may opt to earn a Hunch instead. Player's can only earn one Hunch, after which more cannot be accumulated until the Hunch is used. Unlike normal Experience perks, once used a Hunch are gone forever.
Hunches can be used for 3 Purposes:

1.   They can allow a player to unveil a Clue or gain a small hint about a crime scene or ongoing investigation instantly without using sleuthing/deductive abilities.
2.   They can allow a player to try and guess an opponent's Trait in Conflicts, and if they guess one Trait correctly, they may then roll the number/size of the Dice for the opponent's relevant Trait as if it were their own.
3.   They can at any time be exchanged (traded in and lost) for a new 1d6 Trait, Relationship or Belonging relevant to the character's behavior and story progression.
If a character or the group has completely hit a dead end in an investigation, they may obtain Hunches through a successful Conflict scene against their own personal demons.

*Note however, that this can be dangerous because Fallout taken in conflicts against oneself still have the potential to inflict serious damage up to and including character "death" (from stress-related ailments such as heart failure or lasting psychological trauma). Damage taken in "Hunch hunting" is still very real! Instead of gaining "Experience Fallout" the player ALWAYS gains a Hunch in Conflict against their Demon.

Giving in to or being beaten by personal Demons also raises the overall Demonic Influence in the story, with consequential bonuses to Demonic villains in subsequent scenes.

Legal Themed Elements of Ceremony
Producing a Warrant (Search or Arrest) (d8s)
Calling a Suspect by Name (d4s)
Invoking Legal Authority/Citing a Crime (d4s)
Issuing a Pardon (d6)
Displaying a Badge (d6s)
Reading Suspects Their Legal Rights (d4s)
Soliciting a Confession (d6s)
Three in Authority (d8s)

Demonic Influence
Whenever a PC calls for a conflict but there is no clear opponent, use overall Demonic Influence (so far for this town or session). Likewise, when a player wants to battle a Demon for a Hunch, roll 4d6 + Demonic Influence.

What's the worst the Eyes have seen?

Cruelty and Corruption: 1d10
Blood: 2d10
Depravity: 3d10
Butchery: 4d10
Madness and Evil: 5d10

Cruelty & Corruption: Callousness of society, corruption of morals and ethical standards, wickedness.

Blood: Once blood enters a scene. Murder, violence, cutting oneself while shaving. Once blood is spilt the Demonic Influence raises.

Depravity: Something more wrong than mere violence. The gleaning of a sinister plot; learning a dark truth; bringing highly distasteful facts to light; stooping to new personal lows. Suffering from crises of faith. Having deranged thoughts and/or acting on them, depending on the character.

Butchery: Mass murder. Multiple deaths; uncovering a record of slaughter; acquiring grisly evidence. First hand experience required to elevate the character's Demonic Influence!

Madness and Evil: Learning the fullness of the plot. Suffering mental and/or physical trauma. Directly challenging the source of Madness and insanity. Trying to understand the inner workings of a broken mind.

A section has been added to the character sheet:




Each character's demonic influence steadily rises over the course of play. I have not yet decided whether there will be or should be a mechanic to lower Demonic influence a character is suffering, which means that the game will get much harder as it progresses. This also limits how long story arcs can be... but thematically it may be worth it.

Thoughts on that and anything else welcome. What do you guys think?