*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 30, 2021, 04:18:49 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 88 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Coming up on first game  (Read 3207 times)
SabreCat
Member

Posts: 12

Edward "Sabe" Jones


WWW
« on: January 31, 2006, 06:01:21 PM »

It looks as if I'll get a chance to GM a game of Dogs within the next week.  I've read the book, and I'm curious about a couple of things that maybe you can help me with before I dive in...

1) An example hope for initiation is "I hope that my character solved a serious problem without resorting to violence" (pp. 28-9).  Isn't that an example of hedged stakes, though, which the GM is urged not to allow (p. 77)?  Or is it supposed the stakes will be different from the stated hope?

2) I'm a bit fuddled on how a conflict gets off the ground; I get the negotiation of stakes pretty well, but when does it happen?  Suppose the burned gent from Boxelder Canyon (p. 115) comes up to the PCs and starts hassling them about the Steward and his sorcerous wife.  Should I as GM immediately kick in "he wants you to go pound on the Steward's door, roll your Acuity + Heart"?  Or keep an eye on things until the PCs resist in some way (since if they agree with the guy from the get-go, there's no conflict to roll about), then do similarly?  Or wait until one of the players calls for conflict herself ("I want this guy to go away, let's roll")?

3) Traits using d4s tend to make it more likely that you'll have to Take a Blow.  Why might a player voluntarily bring one in, then?  I'm fairly certain there's no way to "compel" use of a things-don't-go-smooth Trait the way one might in, say, FATE.

Thanks for your help, I'm really looking forward to this!
Logged

Blazing Rose: A Story Game of Romantic Rivalry - Dating sims.  Harem anime.  Jealousy, competition, and friendships under strain.  But above all: love!
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2006, 06:23:25 PM »

If your players are not pulling in their d4 traits, then they don't understand the system well enough.

D4 traits are a GODSEND.  Yes, they get you fallout more often than not.

Fallout is a GOOD thing.

Let's say you're taking fallout in a verbal exchange.  Which would you rather have... 3d4 fallout, or 6d4 fallout?
Logged

"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
Supplanter
Member

Posts: 258


WWW
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2006, 06:48:59 PM »

Hi SabreCat: We're starting our own Dogs campaign tomorrow night. Cool. In order:

1. I don't feel qualified to respond to this one.

2. The NPC doesn't have to initiate a conflict here, I don't think. The NPC is, among other things, a way to Actively Reveal the Town in Play. You COULD just narrate the NPC refusing to give the Dogs even a moment's peace. Then maybe the players initiate a conflict with stakes of just shut off a minute for crying out loud. But maybe they just go deal with Steward/Sorcerous wife. (If they decide the Steward's wife is NOT Sorcerous, then they might choose to initiate a conflict to get the NPC to stop slandering her.)

3. d4 traits mean you're more likely to take fallout. But they also mean you're more likely, all things being equal, to win. Because when you come down to it, they're x number of extra dice you can't otherwise have in a conflict. Say you've got three dice on the table and I've got three dice on the table and your dice look better than mine. If I can roll a couple of extra d4s, they may make the difference between Giving and winning. And you might get lucky! A d4 that comes up 4 beats a d8 that comes up 2. Plus, as Fred says, Fallout can be good. Plus, it can be just plain fun for the player when traits make trouble for the character.

Best,


Jim
Logged

Unqualified Offerings - Looking Sideways at Your World
20' x 20' Room - Because Roleplaying Games Are Interesting
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2006, 07:00:30 AM »

Hey, good questions.

1) I've written about this here: [DitV] "...without resorting to violence." Read that post and feel free to ask followup questions.

2) Each of the three ways you suggest is fine. Mix and match, to your taste. Running the initiation conflicts will give you a feel for it, and by the end of the first session it should be easy. If it's not, come back and tell us what went wrong.

3) This one has four answers. A technicality, a prediction, a reassurance, and an observation. In order:

3a) When you bring a trait into a raise or see, you roll its dice. You can't refuse to roll its dice. So if she says "I adjust my glasses" (presuming something like "I'm nearsighted 1d4") as GM you can say "here's your d4, roll it now" and she can't refuse.

However, she is never compelled to push the die forward in a raise or see. She can give or escalate or whatever and leave that d4 sitting right where she rolled it.

3b) She'll want to use them, though, once she sees the rules in action.

3c) If a player never ever ever uses her d4 traits, that's fine. The game won't break.

3d) This particular concern you have, "how do I make sure they play their disadvantages?" falls under a more general concern people have, something like "how do I make sure things are hard enough for them?" It comes from experience GMing games that place high demands on their GMs without providing adequate support - typically, illusionist games. I hope and recommend very strongly that you stick with the game's town creation rules, to the letter.

Let us know how it goes!

-Vincent
Logged
Alex F
Member

Posts: 69


WWW
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2006, 12:45:52 PM »

Hey Sabrecat, on your issue one I'll suggest a rule of thumb that applies to accomplishments as well as stakes more broadly.

 If a desired accomplishment/stake rings alarm bells, which your example clearly did for you, consider adding or subtracting something that keeps the spirit but twists it slightly. So in our recent game Jim played Sister Hannah, a devout but timid Dog. Jim was interested in putting this character into an accomplishment centring around violence and how far she would resist using it. So far, so your example. But the tweak he gave it was phrasing it as 'Do I become a warrior for the King of Life?', where he 'played to lose' (as per p29 2b).  By narrowing the stakes it opens up the options. For example, he was free to escalate to fighting or even gunplay, as long as he narrated it correctly: 'firing in fear, just to make the conflict stop'; 'stung to her very heart, she struck back with a personal, animal rage' would all have been kosher ways to escalate.* The stakes allowed her to lash out and be violent, as long as she wasn't acting as a warrior. Which was totally cool for Jim, as that was the interesting issue behind the whole violence thing.

This is especially important when the stakes come from a player, as they are flagging what they think is cool/important to them, so it'd be a shame to say 'i dunno about X... try something else?' when you can say 'great stuff! only, how about X+Y', or better still 'great stuff - give me a little more. Why X? In every case?' It makes sense as GM to be worrying about workable stakes (I know I spent at least a third of my mind on that) but don't forget it's as important to have meaningful stakes - stakes the character cares about.

*Of course, these stakes would have struck some other stuff out of bounds, e.g. 'she rides the itinerant Dogmatist's point down with a ruthless counterargument. There can be no challengers to the king of life!' might be close to breaking these stakes. That's just to say every stake must limit certain narrations.
Logged
SabreCat
Member

Posts: 12

Edward "Sabe" Jones


WWW
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2006, 11:52:54 AM »

Thanks for your help, everyone!  It'll definitely take a while for me to get the hang of how conflicts and stakes work, but I suppose there's only so far I can go on it before I get a chance to try.  The game looks like it'll happen the 10th, unless the group decides to try Primetime Adventures instead, so be thinking of me, heh.

I did encounter a couple more questions as I reviewed the book some yesterday, though, if you still have the patience for me...

4) Some experience options allow you to change the die type of something on your character sheet.  There's nothing incremental about that, right?  So you can go right from "life gets complicated when this comes out" d4s to "I own the scene when this comes out" d10s (I do exaggerate, but you know what I mean), or the other way around, if desired?

5) Do people run NPC Dogs in their games at all (outside, I suppose, of initiations)?  What would be some pros and cons of introducing such a character?
Logged

Blazing Rose: A Story Game of Romantic Rivalry - Dating sims.  Harem anime.  Jealousy, competition, and friendships under strain.  But above all: love!
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2006, 01:19:05 PM »

4) Right. Some groups play "only adjust by one die size"; I consider them to be actually playing "change to whatever die size you want," where they WANT to change dice by only one size.

5) If you're going to have NPC Dogs in a town, they have to appear in the town writeup. If they appear in the town writeup, they're totally fine.

-Vincent
Logged
ffilz
Member

Posts: 468


WWW
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2006, 04:19:26 PM »

On d4 traits and taking the blow...

In my accomplishment conflict, I avoided taking the blow. And missed out on experience.

In play, realizing that, in one conflict, I pushed forward all my little dice, and took 6d4 fallout (later in the conflict, I took 3d4 additional fallout). And I was actually bummed I didn't roll my pair of 4s to get long term fallout. I wanted to add a d4 relationship, instead I had to settle for a d4 relationship in my next conflict (which I damned well did pull out an use).

Have you played since you originally posted this? How did your play go? What did you learn?

I've learned a LOT about the game (and myself) from our chargen session and dealing with one town in our first play session.

Frank
Logged

Frank Filz
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!