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Author Topic: Giving a Talk about Dogs in the Vineyard  (Read 2967 times)
oliof
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Posts: 449

Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« on: January 16, 2006, 12:17:57 PM »

Hi there,
I will be giving a talk about Dogs in the Vineyards next weekend at FROST, a convention in southern germany. To be more precise, I'll be the co-host to the talk, which was Daniela's idea. Daniela is a proud member of Nexus, which is a registered society for the advancement of role playing as a hobby, and there is the head of Projekt Odyssee (mainly[?] german), a project for writers of free (and indie) rpgs.

I introduced Daniela to Dogs at a convention (threads that sprang from that here[/url, [url=http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=17596.0]there] and over there). She promptly bought a copy from the stack I bulk ordered from Vincent, and used the town creation rules to create an adventure for Engel, which was a great success (but Daniela is a great GM anyway) at the new year's convention she attended.

Now, we both deem DitV to be a great tool for GMs besides being a great game in and of itself. I am fairly sure Vincent wanted it that way. It lays bare some important mechanics to improve the game (reprotagonizing the PCs, reinforcing player decisions as being one of the most important parts of it, and a way to evoke narration while at the same time giving it structure so everyone who wants to has their part in it.

We want to give a talk about how knowing and playing Dogs in the Vineyard can improve your GMing, even in other games. Unfortunately this has been a rather short term assignment, or I would have ordered some more copies from Vincent. Maybe for the next convention... Of course, I will be offering a game as well, because I think that does teach people more than two people raving fanatically about their latest pet game

My question to Vincent specifically: Did you write down design goals before you started out with DitV, and would you share them? What do you think is the part that is most important for people to learn from dogs for other games as well?

My question to all: What parts of DitV did you use in other games? I don't mean just using the complete game with a different setting, but supporting a completely different game (like Daniela did with Engel, which is similar enough to DitV nonetheless)? What did it teach you about GM duties you weren't consciously aware of before? What did it teach you about your playing habits and qualities?

Thanks for your input!

Regards,
    Harald
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Frank T
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2006, 01:25:57 PM »

I'm not Vincent, but you might want to check out this Blog entry. Good luck with your talk. Sadly, I can't be there.

- Frank
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lumpley
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Posts: 3453


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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2006, 12:56:34 PM »

My question to Vincent specifically: Did you write down design goals before you started out with DitV, and would you share them?

No, I didn't. I can answer questions, though, if you have any more.

Quote
What do you think is the part that is most important for people to learn from dogs for other games as well?

GMs should actively reveal the town in play.

-Vincent
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cdr
Member

Posts: 93


« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2006, 12:19:05 AM »

Things in Dogs that have had a major influence in my GMing other games:

Say Yes or roll dice.

Actively reveal the town in play.

Only the players decide if what their characters do is right or wrong. (This was quite the thunderbolt of revelation.)

The character sheet as a mechanism for signalling what the player cares about to the GM (and the difference between
that and what a player might say he cares about).  Especially Relationships.

The way damage and reward are smoothly linked into the conflict resolution.

That longevity is not the measure of success for a campaign.

And indirectly, Dogs and Sorcerer led me to the Forge (which I'd been aware of but ignored before) and the ideas there and in Vincent's blog, which have been quite an eye opener.  I've learned and thought about RPGs more in the last year than the 30 years previous.

Good luck with your talk!
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oliof
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Posts: 449

Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2006, 11:35:15 PM »

Hello,
just wanted to say thank you to Frank, Vincent, and cdr. Quite possibly, I will have more questions after having given the talk. I'll be primarily responsible for presenting Dogs proper, and running the game afterwards (I might be able to do one game on saturday and a second on sunday).

Reports to follow!

Regards,
    Harald
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oliof
Member

Posts: 449

Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2006, 07:24:05 AM »

Hey Folks,
the talk was quite a success, although we were short on time in the end. As the whole western and religion angle seems to produce a lot of confusion, we toned down concentration on the setting in mid-talk. We did the beginnings of a sample town creation in the star wars universe.

I got four players interested in the straight DitV game I did afterwards, which was a general success. Although most gamers were acquainted with narrativistic games like Engel (with the original Arcana rules set, which was left out of the english translation), there was some disconnect with the conflict resolution mechanics.

Thanks for the input, all of it found it's way into the talk some way or the other.

Oh, and Daniela got back at me for pitching her as a very active member of the clubs she is in. I was called a 'Dogs Professional', which I find quite funny considering I still learn from the game every time I run it (and I still have to play it).

Regards,
    Harald
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