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[DitV] three's company

Started by Adam Biltcliffe, January 12, 2006, 01:44:38 PM

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Adam Biltcliffe

I was going to mention this in the Newton's Rock thread, but I figure it's a completely different topic, so I'll make a new thread.

The requirement for there to be three members of a cult before the "what's wrong" ladder can get up to hate and murder seems to make it hard to come up with small, close-knit (ie. few NPCs) towns that still have bloodshed going on. Is there any particular reasoning behind this clause of the town creation rules?

Lance D. Allen

I don't have the book readily available, but I'm pretty sure that you don't have to actually have a cult before you can get to hate and murder. If you think any combination of things prior to a cult leads directly into hate and murder, then you should be able to do so directly.

On the other hand, I do believe hate and murder is pretty tightly defined; A Steward leading his branch to hang or shoot a man because he truly believes that the man is irredeemable and a hazard to the Faithful isn't hate and murder. I'm likewise pretty sure that a single member of the branch killing another for the same reason (feels the other is a hazard to the branch and cannot be turned aside any other way) isn't necessarily murder, and it's definitely not defined as hate. (though your Dogs may see it differently, and as in all things DitV, you should follow that lead.. The killer may be 100% sure he was lead by the King to do what he did, but if the Dogs say he's wrong, then he's wrong).

Vincent or anyone with a book handy, please feel free to tell me if I'm wrong on either point (whether hate and murder can follow without a cult, and what is defined as hate and murder). This is just my take on the question.
~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls



I'm having a hard time finding the post in which Vincent talks about it, but I think you're spot on.  According to the book, hate and murder from the Hate & Murder portion of town creation is ritualistic, senseless, and target innocent victims or those who threaten the cult.  It's an entirely different flavor of the sin.

Crimes of passion, accidental murder, and that sort of thing can exist much, much closer to Pride.



The standard "bloodshed" answer is that there's two kinds of murder: sin murder and hate murder. I've written about this before.

Tom's question:
Quote from: bluegargantua on February 19, 2004, 04:10:42 PM
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:
Quote from: lumpley on February 19, 2004, 04:56:19 PM
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.

So there's bloodshed without a cult.

BUT! Read carefully there about the difference in tenor between cultless bloodshed and hate-murder.

The reason that a cult needs at least three members is that that's the way it worked in the religion of my childhood.

But this?
Quote from: Adam Biltcliffe on January 12, 2006, 01:44:38 PM
The requirement for there to be three members of a cult before the "what's wrong" ladder can get up to hate and murder seems to make it hard to come up with small, close-knit (ie. few NPCs) towns that still have bloodshed going on.

I don't see it. How few NPCs are you talking about, that you don't have room for three cultists? Why on earth do you want a town so small? How on earth would a town so small feed itself, let alone develop entrenched heresy?


Adam Biltcliffe

I wasn't referring to the actual size of the town, only to the number of people significantly embroiled in the problems the Dogs are facing. Admittedly, this was motivated by the "fewer named NPCs equals simpler town" philosophy you just disavowed in the other thread, but I guess the assumption I made which led me to ask the question, and which I'm now curious about, is this one:

How important is it that the other cultists be 'real' people, in the sense of somehow being tied into the whole affair of pride and injustice and what-have-you? If, after step 3b of town creation, I want me a sorcerer, but no NPC I've written down so far has cause to fall in with the false priest, is it a okay to just make up a couple of impressionable townsfolk and have them be the rest of the cult? My initial fear is that this would lead to black-and-white bad guys and boring decisions for the Dogs, but I guess if you consider the other cultists as furniture and just think of "finding other people to back you up on your heresy" as another step on the pride -> murder ladder, it doesn't really change that much, as long as the relationships before and after that step are still interesting.

Or am I wrong, and having people who are deeply entrenched in the branch's problems and also under the sway of a sorcerer is somehow the subtle key to the whole magic of the town creation process?


Nah, don't worry about it. Just make up a couple of culties. At the end, say what they want from the Dogs of course - but you don't have to dig them in pre-cult.




in addition to what Vincent said, it's OK to make up for cultists that just join the cult for their own reasons, I think. It's also OK to have people be part of the cult for 'weak' reasons. The demon's won't care if Sister Martha supports the cult leader because she has always been near her cousin, or because she really hates the steward who didn't court her when she was young.

In my last town, the three cult members had totally different ways to get there, but met at a 'crossroads' when they had developed false beliefs that were incompatible with the Faith, but where compatible enough so they made up for a cult.

I had three different types of pride that only in combination led to false priesthood. Each one would have gone up to false doctrine at most, but this way we had active sorcery, and weren't far from murder anymore.