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GM vs Players in Sin Hierarchy

Started by Vaxalon, October 09, 2005, 06:49:14 PM

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Quote from: Vaxalon on October 12, 2005, 11:59:41 AM
Vincent, if I'm wrong, I'm wrong... I'm willing to admit it.

Let me put the issue to you another way.

IF the players have misinterpreted the situation, and decided someone else is sinning than I have down on my sheet, what do I do?

What the players do about the sin can be anything and its the King of Life's will that they do so.  If they punish someone and it puzzles you, file it under, Mysterious Ways.


I also think its important to differentiate between What Went Wrong and How It Gets Fixed.

The GM is in charge of What Went Wrong. The players cannot change this.

The Players are in charge of How It Gets Fixed. The GM can (will/must) challenge this with good hard NPC play and challenged – but in the end its up to the players.

As part of saying How It Gets Fixed the PCs may place blame and judgment where they will, but only because they are Fixing It not stating how it actually happened. They don't get to say that, it is What Went Wrong.

Sometimes the two things will come very close together. Other times they wont.

Take a hypothetical: You have a town that starts with Sister Mary being proud because she makes the best lemonade, that ends with Hate and Murder as Brother Moriarty ritually murders his son and dances in his entrails. We know that What Went Wrong is that Sister Mary was proud, and from that came the injustice of Sister Loo not being recognized for her contribution to the ward, which led to....

But when the players come into the town and see the dancing in the entrails, they are very unlikely to say (or feel) that it happened because of Sister Mary. They will most likely put judgment elsewhere, gunning down Moriarty and giving Mary a slap on the wrist. Or, it is possible they will gun Mary down for opening the door to such horrid crimes, despite the fact that her crime was so minor. Or they may...

They may do a lot of things. They may say a lot of things. They may really feel, IC and OOC, that it isn't Mary's fault, or at best it is her fault for opening the door but that she can't be blamed for what came through (or they may do some shootin) – that is part of How It Gets Fixed. But no matter what they feel, she is the one that started it all. That is What Went Wrong.

There may be something relativistic about Dogs, but there is nothing existential. You can judge what happened as you would, but you can't say it didn't happen.
- Brand Robins


Quote from: Andrew MorrisSo what happens when the player sets the stakes as something like, "Br. Vigor's pride started this whole chain of events," when the GM has decided it was someone else's pride that did so? I know you're supposed to push for smaller stakes, so I have feeling that the answer is to not allow stakes like this, but how would you handle this in play, Vincent?

Quote from: lumpley
Exactly. "That can't actually be at stake," I'd say. "It didn't."

Aha! I see what you mean.

I guess this resolves part of Vaxalon's original question, about the power players have to inadvertently retcon history. They don't, because "retconning history" isn't a Conflict. And you've pretty much nailed the other side of it shut:

Quote from: lumpleyOnce play starts, all outcome bets are off. And it really truly doesn't MATTER whether the players have misinterpreted the situation you've created and assigned blame in a way that doesn't reflect the true history of the situation. We agree about that. The Dogs get to kick whoever's ass they want.

Right. Thanks! :-)

I have another question, but I really think it deserves another thread.
Always Plenty of Time!

Brian Newman

Could your stakes be, "Do I convince Brother Vigor that it was his pride and his fault that caused the trouble"?


Yes! For certain.

Or even, "do I convince everybody in the whole blessed town, and my fellow Dogs to boot?"



I think the core of the argument comes down to what actually exists in the game.  Some say that if it isn't in the SIS, and its existence hasn't been ratified by actual play, its authority is limited.
"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker


Quote from: Vaxalon on October 14, 2005, 08:52:09 PM
I think the core of the argument comes down to what actually exists in the game.  Some say that if it isn't in the SIS, and its existence hasn't been ratified by actual play, its authority is limited.

I say that myself. I've been saying that for years.

The thing is, Dogs has very clear processes for ratifying the various participants' contributions. One of them is this: if it's about the town's history before the Dogs showed up, the GM has full authority over it, and full responsibility to decide it, with no input from the other players.

Anyone (including the GM) who treats contributions about the town's pre-Dog history differently than that - they're diverging from by-the-book Dogs play.

Please acknowledge that you understand this, if in fact you do.

(Is diverging from by-the-book Dogs play, like, a sin? No. Whatever. But by-the-book Dogs play is the topic of the thread, so that's what we're going by.)