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Author Topic: Questions  (Read 6379 times)
HenryT
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Posts: 22


« on: January 23, 2006, 08:40:47 AM »

A short list of things that came up during my first game of Dogs (description posted to Actual Play).

1) Traits, Raises, See, etc. all seem to have a lot of flexibility, but it's often hard to think of good ideas on the spot.  (Especially, I had trouble coming up with good traits for NPCs on the spot, and our conflicts seemed a bit repetitive.)  Is there a list anyway with examples?  Or could there be?  Coming up with Traits would definitely have gone better if I could have passed around a printout of "101 Unusual Traits" or something like that.

2) Practically every conflict involved the phrase, "I say that I'm a Dog, and this is within my authority.  Then I roll 1d6 for 'I'm a dog'."  Is that right?  Are we being too generous about invoking traits?

3) During conflicts, Raising in a circle got to be kind of a pain--several times, people wanted to respond (and especially escalate) after someone else's Raise or See, but it wasn't their turn.  This was especially true when one Dog was leading an argument, and the others were just backing that one up.  Are we doing something wrong with this?  I saw a mention that another group would let arguments be one on one, and then if it went bad, the lead would give and the others would join in.  Does that work better?

Henry
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Adam Biltcliffe
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Posts: 56


« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2006, 09:09:31 AM »

I have a total of about seven hours' of Dogs experience under my belt, and I'm very definitely still learning, so take this with a grain of salt. But here's some thoughts:

People do seem to find coming up with traits hard, but it probably helps to make sure everyone gets that they have nothing to do with effectiveness, and everything to do with what you think is cool enough about your character that you want the system to force you to drag it up again and again in play. I've never tried the "I'm a good shot" trick Vincent describes in the book, but lots of people seem to claim that works pretty well.

Coming up with traits for NPCs is hard. I can't quite figure out if this is somehow cheating or not, but one trick I worked out is this: When the NPC makes some statement or action which is central to how you see them, make it a trait there and then and roll the dice for it. So I have the NPC say "I'm not going to stand and watch while my husband sends the town to hell with his sinful ways", and I fill in next to one of the unassigned traits on the NPC sheet "I won't stand idle in the face of sin", and then I roll whatever new dice that just gave me.

(Others: is this a good idea?)

There seem to be some traits (like "I'm a dog") which come up every conflict. It hasn't been a problem yet.

It was (I think) me who posted earlier today about doing the one-on-one arguments thing; it seems to work fine, since the Dogs conflict resolution system is totally made for this sort of back-and-forth. But I've not had much of a chance to see how things work out when you're going round the table, so I don't know if there are ways to make that work equally well. For the one-on-one thing, you need givable stakes; so far my Dogs haven't hit a situation where someone else is forcing the conflict on 'em and there's no choice but to set the stakes high from the get-go.

I'm looking forward to seeing what others have to say.

adam
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Warren
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Posts: 167


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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2006, 09:12:50 AM »

Hi Henry,

I think these points have all been addressed before. Sorry to give you a bunch of links to other threads, but hopefully they will help.

1) I also find coming up with Traits (certainly for NPCs) to be tricky to do 'on the fly'. The [DitV] Assigning traits to NPCs on the fly thread has some more on that.

On the other hand, if players were having trouble up with traits at character creation you can look to this thread which discusses what to do about this pretty well.

2) What qualifies as a valid Raise and invocation of a Trait is something your group has to agree upon yourselves, but going for a more "Show, don't tell" vibe may help. This is discussed further in Monotonous conflicts.

3) I generally play this so that the Raises happen in 'best roll' order - unless there is an obvious reason not to, with Sees following on like Vincent describes in this post. But yeah, Giving and then launching a followup conflict is a good way to handle stuff like this.

-Warren
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xjermx
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Posts: 63


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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2006, 06:43:08 AM »

Hello folks,

Regarding Dogs in the Vineyard,  I am working on getting a game started with a few friends, and am trying to make sure that I have a proper understanding of the dice system and the theme/feel of the game.

I made up a test character and created an initiation and outlined it.  I'd appreciate it if anyone who wants to could comment/critique it.  Am I on the mark or am I missing something?
---------------------
My character will attempt to "Craft a fine wooden table for my family"

He has Body of 4d6 and Heart of 3d6, and a Trait of "Woodworking" at 1d6
I roll 6, 5, 5, 5, 4, 2, 2, 1.

Opposing GM roll 4d10 and 4d6.
GM rolls 9, 9, 6, 5, 5, 4, 3, 1.

I initiate the conflict, and raise two dice, a 6 and a 5. "I carefully cut the
raw wood into shapeable pieces."

GM Blocks or Draws, using two dice, 9 and 3.  "The wood is difficult to work
with, it splinters and is full of termites."

GM Raises with a 9 and 5. "And the woodpile is dwindling. It is winter, and here
you are using wood that could be saved for fuel to make a rickety table."

I'll have to Take the Blow, with a 5, a 5 and a 4. "The wood is dwindling, still
I wish I could craft something for them before I leave."

I could raise, but I have 3 dice left, a 2 a 2 and a 1.  The GM has 4 dice left,
a 6, a 4 a 4 and a 1, so I'm way outclassed.  I've failed to craft a table.

I take three fallout dice from Taking the Blow. 3d6. Great, I roll 6, 6, 5.  Not
only have I failed to create the table, I've injured myself.

I roll body, 4d6.  I get 6, 4, 2, 1.  I can see the 12 with my three dice of 6,
4, 2.  I will recover without medical attention.  However I take a Long Term
Fallout, and add 1d4 to a relationship, Jedd, a rival young man.  He observes
my failed attempt to craft this table, and there will be no mercy.  I also add
"Failed to craft wooden furniture" at 1d6.
-----------------------


Also..  Couple of quick questions:

Question:  What dice does the GM use for conflict for situations like this
outside of initiation?

Question: Should dice be visible to everyone around the table?

Question: What if you cant see a raise- if you do not have enough dice to meet
the number?
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Warren
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2006, 07:47:52 AM »

The accomplishment looks broadly OK. Although you could have maybe brought in some other Traits to try and overcome the GM's dice rather than Giving - that depends on the exact details of your character and narration, however. I don't think that your fallout dice would be d6s, either - the Raise against you was non-physical, so I'd suggest that would cause d4s.

If the GM had raised "Your frozen hands become numb as you work on the table, and your weakened grip causes you to hammer your thumb rather than the nail." instead then you would have taken d6s Fallout. Also, "I hope I craft a fine wooden table for my family" seems like a fairly weak Accomplishment to me, but that's really a matter of personal taste for you and your group.

Also..  Couple of quick questions:

Question:  What dice does the GM use for conflict for situations like this outside of initiation?

If a conflict like this is actually relevant (and the GM doesn't want to just say "Yes") then he would roll 4d6 + Demonic Influence (as described on page p76 of Dogs revised). There are ways to make the resistance a character as well. See this thread for details.

Question: Should dice be visible to everyone around the table?
Yes.

Question: What if you cant see a raise - if you do not have enough dice to meet the number?
You have to find a way to drag in other Traits, Belongings or assign some unused Relationship dice. Or you Escalate to get more attribute dice. If you can't do any of that, or you have got all the dice you can and you still can't see a Raise, you have to Give.
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dunlaing
Member

Posts: 308

My name is Bill


« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2006, 08:07:59 AM »

I would have escalated right to gunplay and just shot that frickin' table. That'll learn it! With the extra dice, you probably would have won, and your folks would have a good story to tell people.

"Why is there a bullet hole in your coffee table?"
"Oh that? My son made that for me while he was studying to be a Dog."
"A Dog? You must be so proud!"
"We are. It was either become a Dog or become a carpenter and, well..."

More seriously, you could escalate to talking and ask someone else for some advice or help. Or you could escalate to non-gun violence and just whack the wood with your fist. It works on fixing TVs, it might work on building furniture.

Plus, Traits. And, if the stakes were "build a table to impress my Ma" you might have been able to roll the 1d6 for a Blood relation since she's part of the stakes.
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xjermx
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2006, 05:31:34 PM »

Thanks for the feedback.   I picked that task for initiation sortof out of the air.  I wanted to do something that didnt see to me to be a "face to face" encounter.  I intentionally wanted it to be against something more object based, in order to try to better figure out the system.

And thanks, Warren, for pointing out that the raise was not physical.  I got lost in the overall task being physical in nature.
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dunlaing
Member

Posts: 308

My name is Bill


« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2006, 07:01:29 AM »

The idea of taking Fallout based on the narration of the Raise, not on the type of conflict seems to catch a lot of new players. I've seen a bunch of posts here where people get stuck on it.

Also, I've seen a bunch of posts where people seem to forget that they can escalate or bring in traits and relations in the initiation conflicts. I think the initiation conflict is a brilliant idea and a great teaching tool, and the GM should make a point of suggesting as many possible tactical options to the player, not so that the player will win the initiation, but so that the player will learn them.
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Supplanter
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2006, 08:41:21 AM »

I invite people to correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that in play, you might "make a table" with nothing more than a See or a Raise. Making a table is in itself a task, not a conflict, so what matters is WHY you're making the table.

Consider your example character and a situation I just made up. He's trying to convince Patience to marry him. That's the conflict. You've escalated to Physical Not Fighting - a kissin' and a huggin' - but she's still not won. So you Raise:

A week later I guide her into the woodworking shop, hands over her eyes.

"There it is," I say, pointing at the new table I've been making. "That's the table for our dining room when you agree to wed me."

I now roll 1d6 for my Woodworking trait and a die for the belonging (table) too. It's Big. I'm going to claim it's not crap. Near as I, Jim, can tell, the rules are a bit soft on whether I get to say it's Excellent or not. I'm thinking that I describe hell out of the thing, claim it's excellent, and hope nobody cries "Weak!"

But the point is, my Dog made a table in no more realtime than it takes my turn to Raise to come around the, er, table to me.

Of course, if I wanted to tune the example, I'd be showing her *the bed* I made, not the table, but that's the idea. This kind of thing falls right out of the Time Tricks section of the book.

Best,


Jim
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Arvidos
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Posts: 10


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« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2006, 04:10:55 PM »

Also, I've seen a bunch of posts where people seem to forget that they can escalate or bring in traits and relations in the initiation conflicts. I think the initiation conflict is a brilliant idea and a great teaching tool, and the GM should make a point of suggesting as many possible tactical options to the player, not so that the player will win the initiation, but so that the player will learn them.

Slightly off topic, but I really want to mention this... One of my players had an initiation conflict on the subject "I hope I impress that girl". They're working in the kitchen, so he walks up to her stew, tastes it and is all like "Needs more salt" ("I'm a good cook 1d6") She teases him, saying he doesn't seem very manly. His dice is running out, he can't come up with anything to say... So escalates to physical and kisses her. Perfect.

What's cool about this initiation is that since he just wanted to impress her, he could even have gone to fighting and back-handed her for talking back. He would still make an... "impression" but she sure as hell wouldn't like him. If I have a point, I suppose it is that you might want to consider as well when doing initiations. :)
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-Arvid Axbrink Cederholm
Arvidos
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2006, 04:25:17 PM »

What's cool about this initiation is that since he just wanted to impress her, he could even have gone to fighting and back-handed her for talking back. He would still make an... "impression" but she sure as hell wouldn't like him. If I have a point, I suppose it is that you might want to consider as well when doing initiations. :)

Ach! I hate not being able to edit my posts... What I should have added, of course, is an insightful analysis of how this, along with Supplanters post, would display the nature of conflict resolution as opposed to task resolution for the fledgeling player - how means and side effects might change, while the ends will remain.
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-Arvid Axbrink Cederholm
dyjoots
Member

Posts: 91


« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2006, 12:48:37 AM »

I invite people to correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that in play, you might "make a table" with nothing more than a See or a Raise. Making a table is in itself a task, not a conflict, so what matters is WHY you're making the table.

Just as importantly, if there no conflict or nothing at stake except "Do I make the table?" then why even worry about it?  Just "say yes" and let the player describe the end condition of the table.
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-- Chris Rogers
xjermx
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Posts: 63


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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2006, 07:02:27 PM »

Ok, so quick question (I'm working my way back through the forums, and there's tons of helpful info and so forth in there. Thanks everyone!)

If during the course of a conflict resolution, it goes physical and punches are traded and there's some wrestling involved, and Bad Billy goes for the Dog's gun!  Who gets to roll the object dice for the gun?  Both?
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Warren
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Posts: 167


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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2006, 02:05:58 AM »

I have no idea if this is the 'right' way to do this or not, but in this situation, this is what I would do:

When Bad Billy raises "I grab his gun!" I'd say that counts as an improvised belonging for Billy, so he gets 1d6 or 1d4 when he does so (it's kinda a desperate or dumb thing to do, IMHO).

If the Dog Sees with something like "You're gonna have to prise that gun out of my cold, dead hands first!" he gets the Gun's dice - it doesn't matter what you do with a listed Belonging, you always get it's full dice.

What do people think?
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lumpley
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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2006, 07:19:24 AM »

The right way is to play it by ear every time. Your options are:

Only the person with it listed on her character sheet gets its dice.

Only one person gets dice for it per conflict, whoever uses it first.

Everybody who uses it gets dice for it, the first time that they each use it.

(In the latter two cases, remember that if it's listed on your character sheet you get its dice no matter what you do with it, but if it's not, you get dice according to how good it is for what you do with it.)

Do whichever is best justified by the immediate circumstances, and feel free to present all three to your players and find out which they prefer this time.

-Vincent
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