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Author Topic: Family?  (Read 1967 times)

Posts: 22

« on: January 20, 2006, 01:38:21 PM »

I just got my copy of Dogs in the Vineyard yesterday, and I want to jump right in and try running it this weekend, while I'm still excited--probably one of the example towns given in the book.

One thing I noticed is that in every example town, every PC has a relative among the named NPCs.  On the other hand, I don't remember any of the towns I've seen described on this forum having NPCs related to the PCs.  Also, I'm not clear how that works out in the setting--it seemed like people mostly married within a given town, so the bulk of a given person's relatives would presumably live in the same town.

So, my question is, regarding having NPCs who are related to the PCs.  Is it important to the game, something I should have in every town?  Or maybe a good thing to have in the first town or two, and then less frequently later on?  Or is it not that important, and maybe something to do for flavor every once in a while?


Posts: 1619

« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2006, 02:45:31 PM »

It's not so important that it should happen in absolutely every town, but it is important enough that it should happen often.

"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
Darren Hill

Posts: 861

« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2006, 05:29:10 PM »

This is a tool to help you tie the players characters more deeply into the situations going on in town. It's worth using frequently.
I did try to create a family member for exvery PC for every Town.

A lot of the published towns don't have these listings, because they are being presented as complete towns. To mention the PC-family relationships would tie those towns to a particular group, and might distract from the essence of the town being proposed.
I.m sure that in many of those cases, the town's creators linked some of the town's NPCs to their PCs when they actually played the towns.

Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 1113

Master of the Inkstained Robes

« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2006, 09:10:10 AM »

I try to make sure that, if there's no direct family relationship in the town, there's at least an indirect relationship, "This man courted your ma before she married your pa" kind of thing.  After the first town is done, I back off on that a little bit, and sprinkle it with links to one of the character's defined relationships - the brother of that steward you befriended, etc.  This helps tie the towns together.

That said, it's really easy with published towns to take existing characters and go "oh, this is your relative, and this is yours" etc.

Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming
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