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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 76 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [DitV] Assigning traits to NPCs on the fly  (Read 10793 times)
Moreno R.
Member

Posts: 389


« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2006, 10:27:57 AM »

I typically obtain a sensefull NPC, but somehow fitted to that conflict. I mean, looking after the game at the NPCs page I find some traits clearly tailored to increase the opposition to the NPCs during specific conflicts. I don't like that.

It doesn't bother me, because I think this about these number: they represents the importance in the story of these traits.

Look at the Dog's trait and relationship.  You will see often something like "my older brother, whom I worship and with whom I always close and caring 1d4" and "this old man I saw once across a field in Bowers Draw 2d8"  (yes, it's the example in the game manual. Page 26). Because (citing again the manual) you "assign the dice based on how interesting you think the relationship is".

If the "value" of a trait/relationship is NOT assigned thinking about it's importance in the Dog's life, but based on the importance in the player's eye, I think that the same should be true of NPC, too.

A NPC could be the most accomplished guitar player in all the west, but if he doesn't use the guitar with the dogs, it's not important. It's not worth dices.

If a NPC try to kill the Dogs with a gun, he could be the worst shot in the city, but for the players that gun is really, really interesting in that moment.

So, I have really no problem in giving the traits in the middle of a conflict, basing the decision on what the NPC is trying to do in that moment. It's the most interesting thing in that moment, so it's the right way to spend dices.

Your mileage may differ, but if you try to think about the issue from this point of view, maybe your problem would disappear.


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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
Brand_Robins
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Posts: 650


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« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2006, 11:02:00 AM »

So, I have really no problem in giving the traits in the middle of a conflict, basing the decision on what the NPC is trying to do in that moment. It's the most interesting thing in that moment, so it's the right way to spend dices.

That's a large part of how I do it. The one thing I'd add is that I'm pretty careful to make it "what would make this conflict more interesting" rather than "what would make me more likely to win."

Because A is all awesome. B is only awesome some of the time.
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- Brand Robins
Moreno R.
Member

Posts: 389


« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2006, 11:23:46 AM »

So, I have really no problem in giving the traits in the middle of a conflict, basing the decision on what the NPC is trying to do in that moment. It's the most interesting thing in that moment, so it's the right way to spend dices.

That's a large part of how I do it. The one thing I'd add is that I'm pretty careful to make it "what would make this conflict more interesting" rather than "what would make me more likely to win."

Because A is all awesome. B is only awesome some of the time.

I agree.  But the game rules take care of that: if the GM use the proto-NPCs from the rules, it's almost impossible to beat a REALLY determined player with the dices (the bigger trait you get are 2d10 or 3d8, not a big deal at all). All he can do is making victory really "interesting" (in the Chinese Curse sense) for the players. So, even if the GM would like to "win" against the players, he really can't, and has to learn to play in another manner (DitV is really the first rpg I ever saw that force you to play it well, if you want to enjoy playing it...)
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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2006, 12:11:21 PM »

The way the game is set up, the GM gets more d10's on his side (with demonic influence) so he can inflict fallout on a reliable basis, but the PC's get more dice in all, and as such can win conflicts on a reliable basis.
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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
Joshua A.C. Newman
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Posts: 1144

the glyphpress


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« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2006, 09:28:11 AM »

Fred, where'd you get that quote in your sig? We just finished that game last night and I have comments to comment!
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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.
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2006, 10:09:08 AM »

Actually... I don't know.  I saw it, thought it was cool, and grabbed it.
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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
lumpley
Administrator
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Posts: 3453


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« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2006, 11:09:45 AM »

It was a conversation about bringing your fellow Dogs into conflicts, not about our game.

Post actual play, J!

-Vincent
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Joshua A.C. Newman
Member

Posts: 1144

the glyphpress


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« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2006, 11:13:19 AM »

I will do it!
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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.
drnuncheon
Member

Posts: 155

Some call me Jeff


« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2006, 01:10:21 PM »

I think this is part of the problem. When I have a clear idea of the character and her place in the whole scene of the town problems I don't have so much trouble to come up with some reasonable traits.

Gonna take the GMing advice and run with it a bit, here:

If you don't have a clear idea of the character and her place in the town, are you sure she's important enough to be the opposition in a conflict?  Maybe you should just be saying yes?

(and wow, thread necro...should we split off, Vincent?)

J
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