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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 88 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Christ figure in Dogs  (Read 4628 times)
Parsolamew
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Posts: 14


« on: December 11, 2005, 09:37:00 AM »

Okay, this is mostly a question for Vincent, and as such I realize it'll be some time before it gets answered.  Just had a thought/town idea or two based on the strangest dream I've had in a while, and realized I -didn't- know this.

There really doesn't seem to be any mention of any sort of Christ figure in the Faithful's doctrine as spelled out in the book.  I'm curious if that's a purposefully decentralizing attribute written in, or just something left open to the players.  As a secondary curiousity, I'm really not sure what role that sort of figure poses in -actual- Mormon faith.  Has anyone written such things into their games/towns, or considered the positives and negatives of that sort of authority figure complicating the Dogs'?


-Ben
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Vaxalon
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Posts: 1619


« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2005, 09:42:06 AM »

I've always left those elements up to the players.

In one game, a player decided that one story of the King of Life had him bound to a tree by his enemies, left out to die of exposure.  He survived the ordeal, however, and the Tree became his symbol.
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"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
Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 2591


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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2005, 09:53:13 AM »

Vaxalon has a kernel of an answer there; to me it always seemed self-evident (well, a lot of Dogs seems self-evident to me) that The King of Life is Christ. That's very similar to many RL epiteths that are used about Christ, and evangelical Christianity seems to generally emphasize Christ so I didn't give it a second thought. I don't know if mormonism has some other meaning for these symbols, though.

To turn it around: is there a reason to attribute a separate Christ-figure?
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Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
Levi Kornelsen
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Posts: 210


« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2005, 11:04:38 AM »

To turn it around: is there a reason to attribute a separate Christ-figure?

For my own group, at least, yes.

In general, my own players have a history of prefering the religions and faiths in their games to be based on fully real religions  - enough to recognize and give them something to draw upon mentally, but fictionalized or altered enough for them to maintain a slight 'comfort' distance.

For the game I'll be starting, just to keep to this preference and to encourage player creativity in this regard (for making up quotes from the good book, for example), I can see value in having a few clear elements in the belief structure that, while having little effect on play, clarify this ficticious state. 

Having the King of Life die on an actual tree rather than a cross, as suggested, would almost certainly fit that mold, for us.

But that's a group tendency for my players, not a statement about players in general.
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Steve Marsh (Ethesis)
Member

Posts: 39


« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2005, 03:33:35 PM »

http://www.mormon.org/question/faq/category/questions/0,8789,895-1-16,00.html

for some really simple ways to reference the real world version.
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Vaxalon
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Posts: 1619


« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2005, 08:42:40 PM »

Of course, the figure who was bound to the tree in the real world was Odin.  I'm sure that one of my players knew that, but I didn't tell the rest.
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"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
Steve Marsh (Ethesis)
Member

Posts: 39


« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2005, 10:59:27 AM »

Of course, the figure who was bound to the tree in the real world was Odin.  I'm sure that one of my players knew that, but I didn't tell the rest.

No man should trust a woman's words, or what a woman speaks.

Spun on a wheel were female hearts, in their breasts are planted deceit.

Yep, the ol' one eyed wanderer with the cynical bent ...
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Sydney Freedberg
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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2005, 11:20:16 AM »

Of course, the figure who was bound to the tree in the real world was Odin. ...

True -- but since we only know the Nordic myths from versions written down after the coming of Christianity, it's possible that the "Odin on a tree" story was invented in imitation of the Christ story. (Pagan does not always predate monotheist!).

The one time I've gotten to play Dogs (as a PC, not GM), I pretty much poured conventional Christianity right into the game, invoking traditional Christian phrasing and Gospel stories all the time. But then I go to church (Episcopalian aka Anglican) a lot, my wife and I got married in a 90-minute service with full Mass, our baby's been baptized (at another 90 minute service), and in college I read the entire King James's Bible cover to cover as a scholarly/devotional exercise. So I think my comfort level with organized religion is a little higher than most gamers', judging from the frequency of "but can't they Jedi?" responses to the Dogs setting.
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Danny_K
Member

Posts: 198


« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2005, 01:31:37 PM »

I think the rules do a very nice job of leaving the details of the Faith open.  It's clear that it's a monotheistic religion with a complicated set of expectations for people's behavior and a strong prophetic tradition.  You can map Christianity onto that, but  Judaism fits just as well, and you could certainly give it a strong Islamic flavor too: there's no separation between religious and secular authority, upstanding male Faithful get multiple wives, etc. 

I don't think it changes gameplay much, but it can make for some fascinating color.  I'd love to play in a Dogs game where the townfolk were all on edge because it's Holy Month, and nobody is allowed to eat or drink until the sun sets.
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I believe in peace and science.
Sydney Freedberg
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2005, 02:27:44 PM »

INJUSTICE: I eat lunch.
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DevP
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Posts: 576


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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2005, 02:46:05 PM »

A character in my game has a brother who's doing some rather terrible suffering as a result of the Dogs' actions (AP report later if I can), and I'm somewhat thinking of the possibility of making *him* something of a Christ figure. Not necessarily with the end-point of crucifiction, but with the implication of him going around and having trouble follow.

What might be the implications of this, and how best to dicuss this? I think I should mention it explicitly, rather than make it a "GM SECRET" thing.
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Sydney Freedberg
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2005, 06:46:30 PM »

But isn't moral judgment the players' job, not the GM's? It's hard for you to say or even hint "this guy is kinda like Jesus Christ" without conveying any moral stance! Interesting, but very very tricky.
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