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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 65 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Town: Bat Eshta/Skeleton Dell  (Read 5657 times)
Supplanter
Member

Posts: 258


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« on: February 16, 2006, 08:50:11 AM »

I apologize in advance for the shocking lack of sex. Instead you get: dinosaurs! We're not done with this one yet, though everything's been revealed to the Dogs, so there's nothing here that Bill and Nate shouldn't read, if they're around.

Bat Eshta
Bat Eshta is a small town at the southern end of the Panhandle. It’s snug up against the foothills to the East, with rolling farmland South and West, and a river just north of town. Beyond the river is scrubland and a high pass to the Panhandle proper. The rocky eastern foothills belong to Mountain People. Relations have traditionally been good. Recently, dinosaur bones have been found on the Mountain People’s land. A naturalist from Back East is after the bones, but Bat Eshta’s Steward wants to send them to Bridal Falls City for the greater glory of the King of Life. Right now the Steward has a camp at the southern end of “Skeleton Dell” and the Naturalist at the northern end.

1A Pride
Steward Abraham is a convert from Back East, a learned man who left an Atheist Seminary when he let the King of Life come into his heart. He made the perilous journey westward ten years ago. He’s a short, roly-poly man with a full beard and lank brown hair. He studied Naturalism in college, and the discovery of the bones fired his imagination. It can’t be accidental that the King of Life brought Br. Abraham to this place at this time. And he’s damned if he’ll let “Bat Eshta’s bones” be stolen by some faithless mountebank with a little learning.

1B Manifests as Injustice
Steward Abraham’s wife, Constance, and brother-in-law Wiley are running ragged, trying to get messages to and from the dig so that the harvest and the town don’t fall apart.


2A Sin
Steward Abraham is neglecting his Stewardship.  He’s camped out at the dig with a dozen armed men, keeping off Mountain People and the Eastern Naturalist, Charles Drinker and his own (armed) diggers. The townsfolk are short of direction and bodies for the harvest season.
Br. Wiley has grown so frustrated trying to get Steward Abraham’s response to issues facing the community that he has begun making stuff up: he presents the best solution he can think of as “What Brother Abraham says to do.” (Lies.)

2B Demonic Attacks
The demons are inspiring mistrust between the Mountain People and the town. This month has seen the first Mountain People “raids” on Bat Eshta ever. Okay, it was a couple of drunks, but one of them got shot and now the Chief, Grey Eyes, faces pressure to deal with all the encroachments and slights. The drunks were actually mad at Prof. Drinker’s bunch but decided one white man was as bad as the next.


2C What the Demons Want
The demons would love for young Brother Wiley to set himself up as the new Steward without authority from the Faith. They’d also like war to break out among Mountain People, Easterners and Town. Famine would be bonus!


3A False Doctrine
Steward Abraham is feeling intense time pressure to get the bones collected – and also, you know, the harvest – before the snows come. He’s begun to imply that if one did the Lord’s work with a clean heart one could labor on the Sabbath without Sin.

3B Corrupt Worship
In town they’ve cut the last two Sunday services short. Nobody’s gone to the fields – yet – but they’ve done everything but that: the men spend hours “puttering around” in ways that square away work that’s already been brought in and prepare for the work to come tomorrow.

3C What the Demons Want
 The demons want those parishioners in the fields under the hot sun on the Sabbath.

3D Anything Else
We need Federals! There’s a squadron of eight federal cavalry riding to Professor Drinker’s “rescue” – a lieutenant, a sergeant, a corporal, a scout and four mounted riflemen.

6 What They Want from the Dogs

* Steward Abraham wants the Dogs to run off Professor Drinker’s bunch.
* Sister Constance wants the Dogs to not embarrass her husband.
* Brother Wiley wants the Dogs to help with the harvest and sundry town dramas.
* Professor Drinker wants the Dogs to drag the Faithful away so he can control all of Skeleton Dell.
* Drinker’s expedition – a dozen armed Atheist Easterners – want the Dogs to fuck right off already, and the same with the rest of them crazy cultists.
* Grey Eyes wants Handel’s people gone and the Federals occupied elsewhere. He wants the Dogs to deliver justice for his dead brave. He understands perfectly well how Faithful society operates and holds the Dogs responsible for resolving things to his satisfaction, now that they’re here.
* Two Deer's friends want revenge for the dead brave.
* Brother Roderick, who shot Two Deer when he and a friend went on a drunken, nighttime ride through town, wants honor and respect for defending the place. He certainly doesn't want to be punished for the sake of Faithful-Mountain People comity.
* Sester Bedelia is upset by the way "Steward Abraham" (really Brother Wiley) resolved a dispute with Brother Newton's family about the terms of a labor-for-labor exchange - she says Brother Newton promised to provide parts and effort to fix her husband's reaping machine.

7 If the Dogs Never Come . . .

The townsfolk will start working on the Sabbath to get the harvest in - they'll still fail.

There will be bloodshed among the Mountain People, Professor Drinker's expedition and Steward Abraham's dig.

The Federals will intervene and put this part of the Territory under martial law for a time.

The townsfolk will eventually discover Brother Wiley's deception and burn him and Sister Constance out.

The town will fail. Some will lose Faith and move Back East. Others will move on to other Faithful towns, bringing their bitterness with them.
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Unqualified Offerings - Looking Sideways at Your World
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dunlaing
Member

Posts: 308

My name is Bill


« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2006, 12:19:19 PM »

there's nothing here that Bill...shouldn't read,...

...There’s a squadron of eight federal cavalry riding to Professor Drinker’s “rescue” – a lieutenant, a sergeant, a corporal, a scout and four mounted riflemen.

Ack! I didn't know that!

Anyway,...

This town has taken two sessions already (although the first session was after most of the session was taken up with character creation) so I had some time to think on things over the week. As I was thinking it over during the week, I figured that Brother Samson (my dog) would come down hard on the nonsense with the giant lizard bones (possibly shooting the dinosaur skull as a raise at some point). In play this week, Brother Samson grew to respect Steward Abraham (who has neglected his responsibilities, but whose heart is in the right place) and as such has pretty much bought in to the idea that Bridal Falls should get the bones for a future university for the faithful. I like that sort of thing (where the actual play goes in a different direction to the planned/expected) and Dogs in the Vineyard so far seems good at causing it.

I am missing out on the lack of sex. I have one trait and one relationship tied up in relations with women, and another trait tangentially tied in to that, and then the first thing I do is head out of town to the dig site where there are no womenfolk, leaving the womenfolk to Brother Zebulon.
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Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2006, 02:10:32 PM »

As I see it, it's perfectly "clean" play for you to say, "You know, Brother Samson has a lot of issues that would be more interesting to play out if he were in town rather than at the dig.  Can we say that they decide to send him to town rather than Brother Zebulon?"

Of course, that's good old 20/20 hindsight.
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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
dunlaing
Member

Posts: 308

My name is Bill


« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2006, 02:19:02 PM »

Actually, it was Brother Samson who suggested to Brother Zebulon that they split up the way they did, so it's all my fault. If I had been thinking that clearly, it never would have happened.
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Supplanter
Member

Posts: 258


WWW
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2006, 02:20:49 PM »

Don't worry about the sex. Next up: Sextown of the Women! This was the town I had ready to go before characters were complete.

As I told you guys last night, my "the players will surprise you thing" was very much that your and Mark's characters came down on the opposite sides I would have guessed beforehand. Mark loves dinosaurs and digs the actual Bone Wars history, and his character is an educated Eastern convert. So when he raised that "I've seen the Peabody Museum at Yale, so these bones don't impress me much," it was quite the moment. And when you visibly warmed to Steward Abraham's enthusiasm, that was another. And I had a lot of fun waiting to see if you were going to start punching each other over it.

I'm surprised the town wasn't "over" last night - my initial worry when I put it together was that it didn't seem like there was "enough to do," but most of the first session was chargen and initiations and we only play three hours at a time, plus we're still getting used to the system. It's useful to get an idea how much town fills out one of our evenings.

Best,


Jim
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Unqualified Offerings - Looking Sideways at Your World
20' x 20' Room - Because Roleplaying Games Are Interesting
dunlaing
Member

Posts: 308

My name is Bill


« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2006, 03:34:34 PM »

And, see, I'm not convinced that we'll finish it in our next session. We haven't seen the cavalry yet, we don't really know yet whether the shooting was Two Deer's fault or Brother Roderick's fault, the townsmen are backing Steward Abraham,... and Nate may come back next week. If Nate comes back, then we may be back to square one as far as the issue of Professor Drinker and who knows how he'll come down on the Two Deer issue?
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Supplanter
Member

Posts: 258


WWW
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2006, 05:42:36 PM »

Bill, I actually wonder if the Federals are a mistake - "too much town" somehow. I'm still just starting to develop my town creation skills. In any case, I certainly HOPE we wrap it up this week. But we'll see how it goes.

Best,


Jim
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Unqualified Offerings - Looking Sideways at Your World
20' x 20' Room - Because Roleplaying Games Are Interesting
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