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Author Topic: Questions about the Dogs universe  (Read 2688 times)
Andrew Morris
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« on: November 30, 2005, 09:07:45 AM »

I'm putting together a town, and I ran into some questions about how the Dogs "world" works. I realize some of these might have been addressed in the text and I simply missed them, and that others probably fall into the category of "decide for yourself," so please try to mention if your answers are from the book or just your opinion on how it should work.

1) How much do the TA and Faithful overlap? Can Faithful towns have a TA authority, like a mayor or sherrif, or something?

2) Barring a TA in the role, do/can Faithful towns have a sheriff or simiar position?

3) How far away is Back East? Right over that mountain ridge, or weeks of hard travel?

4) In a Faithful town, how are crime and punishment addressed, when the Dogs aren't present? Is there a jail?

5) For the "something's wrong" part of town creation, can the Pride begin with someone in the town who's not a member of the Faith? A visitor or TA representative?
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Jason Morningstar
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2005, 09:12:46 AM »

It's your universe, first of all, so you and your players get to establish the answers to all those questions.  That's on page 5 of the first edition.

Regarding the TA:  "Representatives of the Territorial Authority will generally be either a claims officer or other bureaucrat, or a circuit rider not unlike you Dogs. Only larger towns will have any sort of Territorial law enforcement— a sheriff— but he’s most likely to be Faithful, elected to the job by his congregation." (page 9)

I can't see any reason why somebody outside the Faith can't be a huge part of what's wrong.  Rock on!

--Jason
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lumpley
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2005, 09:23:01 AM »

3) One in ten people die in the trek from Back East to Bridal Falls City. It's a long way, through hard and hostile land.

Sooner or later the railroad will come through, though. Maybe that's already happened in your game, maybe it'll happen sometime during, maybe it won't happen until long past - that's up to you.

4) A bigger town will have a jail (and yep, a sheriff), a smaller town won't. If you care whether a particular town has a jail or not, you can always say so as you're describing the town as the Dogs arrive.

5) Yes.

-Vincent
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Andrew Morris
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2005, 09:55:25 AM »

Okay, great. Thanks. Oh, and I just thought of one more question. Murder is at the bottom of the "something's wrong" chart, but what about manslaughter? For example, trying to knock someone out, but killing them accidentally.
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2005, 10:13:29 AM »

Murder is at the bottom of the "something's wrong" chart, but what about manslaughter?

I think that's a distinction the Dogs will have to make.
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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.
lumpley
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2005, 10:16:56 AM »

There's two kinds of murder: sin murder and hate murder. I've written about this before, I wonder where...

Ah! Here.

Tom's question:
Quick question:

  Could you go from Pride to Sin to Murder?

  We've got Bro Ben thinking he deserves a second wife and sleeping with Sis Abigail.  Bro Fred, Sis Abigail's boyfriend finds out and shoots Ben dead.

  Would this sequence of events just not happen?  Would the Heresy be really short?  Something else?

My answer:
This is good.  I haven't managed to communicate clearly on this issue yet; maybe this time.

In the sitch you describe, Bro Fred's murder of Bro Ben is a sinful response to the injustice of Bro Ben messing up Bro Fred's relationship with Sis Abigail.  It's just more sin.  Maybe the demons, allowed to attack the town because of Bro Ben and Sis Abigail's affair, have been putting pressure on Bro Fred, provoking him to violence; maybe it's just in his nature to shoot people who screw his fiance.  Either way there's no heresy or sorcery or anything like that, just pride -> injustice -> sin.  This sort of thing happens outside the Faith all the time, and inside the Faith occasionally - the Faith serves to keep its Faithful more or less from killing one another in a passion.  (So does any civilizing institution - murders of passion happen in the corrupt, decadent, but essentially lawful Back East less often than they do in the frontier towns.  All very normal and just like a Western.)

When you the PC Dogs get to the bottom of Bro Ben's murder, you'll be like "well, that's a relief.  That boy oughta learn not to shoot people but praise God we're not up to our eyeballs in cultists."

The murders that follow from false priesthood and sorcery have an entirely different tenor.  They're senseless, or ritualistic, or their victims are innocent - good people who threaten the cult.  When you dig into those murders, you don't find tidy little romantic triangles.  You find occult significance, motives that don't add up, dirt on the upstanding in the community - the murder is the tip of something big and sinister and it promises more murders to come or more murders already done and covered up.

So it's not that you'd skip heresy etc. to get to Bro Ben's murder, it's that murder exists in two places in the sequence, and they're different kinds.

That answers your question, I hope, Andrew? Manslaughter, like any murder, can be just a sin, or it can be the fulfillment of hate - it all depends on the town.

-Vincent
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Andrew Morris
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2005, 10:23:21 AM »

Yes, perfectly. I was thinking of sinful murder, and worrying about its effects on the hierarchy of what's wrong. This solves it neatly.
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