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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)
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Author Topic: character drama versus passing judgement  (Read 3661 times)
Adam Biltcliffe
Member

Posts: 56


« on: March 02, 2006, 08:21:43 AM »

So I walked in on an interesting conversation between two of my Dogs players a while back in which one of them was saying that she'd rather maneuver to get what she wants without going through a conflict to get it. I was kinda worried about this, so I asked her about it a while later, unfortunately only managing a brief discussion. She said that generally she's more interested in seeing her character gain the respect of the other Dogs than she is in resolving the town's problems, and so she finds the conflict resolution system unsatisfying because it doesn't account for her motivations.

I'm not really sure how to respond to this; my instinct is that the game is like this totally by design because it's supposed to focus on the Dogs passing judgement on the twon, not on their own inter-Dog politics. But that answer feels awkward, and I'm wondering whether anyone else could offer any useful insight?

adam
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Valamir
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Posts: 5574


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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2006, 08:34:54 AM »

Quote
She said that generally she's more interested in seeing her character gain the respect of the other Dogs than she is in resolving the town's problems, and so she finds the conflict resolution system unsatisfying because it doesn't account for her motivations

I'm not sure I entirely follow.

The Duty of a Dog is to solve the town's problems...its what they do.
This particular Dog isn't particularly interested in solving the town's problems...
but yet she wants to earn the other Dogs respect...?

How does she envision earning the respect of the Dogs if she isn't dedicated to her duty?


Regardless, I think there is an easy solution to the problem.  It lies in Fallout.  Fallout lets Dogs take additional Traits...Traits like "I've gained a new found respect for Sister X 1d4".  Fallout is generated from Conflict...ergo...

Further, it seems to me perfectly acceptable to make the earning of respect the actual stakes of the Conflict.  Sure, the premise of the conflict has something to do with the town's problems...but I see no problem with "So what's at stake is, 'can I win the respect of my fellow Dogs, in the process'".  That sets up a conflict between Her and the other Dogs present...where the raises and blocks can be both of they trying to solve the problem and either disagreeing with the appropriate solution and debating which way to go, or even working together on the solution but vieing for who "gets the credit for it" so to speak.

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Vaxalon
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Posts: 1619


« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2006, 08:38:46 AM »

What was her accomplishment like?
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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
Adam Biltcliffe
Member

Posts: 56


« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2006, 09:04:41 AM »

Sorry, I paraphrased badly. It's not that she doesn't want to see the town's problems resolved, but she recognises that there are likely to be a bunch of ways to resolve them to the Dogs' satisfaction, and her vested interest (as a player, as I interpreted her comments, although I could be wrong) isn't in making sure that the solution reached is the one she most wants to see, so much as in making an appearance of lending support to the other Dogs when they try to implement their own solutions.

I can't see a non-awkward way to work this into the stakes of a conflict, 'cause if some other Dog is in a conflict trying to get their way, there's no real way to run a parallel conflict with the stakes of does she help out or not. I guess possibly I could frame a scene where the Dogs talk about what's gone down as they're leaving the town where she can push for recognition of her valuable role in a conflict all of her own, but I don't know if the players would buy into it.

To answer Fred's question: her character is the daughter of a particularly accomplished female Dog, and the conflict was "can I be recognised for who I am, not for who my mother was?" I set up a scene where one of the old teachers at the temple singled the character out to help when another student was injured, telling her that he was sure her mother would have passed down her remarkable healing skills (she also had a trait about taking care of the injured). She argued with the teacher, made him go and tend to the victim himself and received the trait "I care more about my reputation than the welfare of others 1d6".

Reading that last paragraph again, I can totally see the thematic potential of this character. I just can't see how to convince the player to bring it into the game.

adam
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Valamir
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Posts: 5574


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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2006, 09:50:02 AM »


I can't see a non-awkward way to work this into the stakes of a conflict, 'cause if some other Dog is in a conflict trying to get their way, there's no real way to run a parallel conflict with the stakes of does she help out or not. I guess possibly I could frame a scene where the Dogs talk about what's gone down as they're leaving the town where she can push for recognition of her valuable role in a conflict all of her own, but I don't know if the players would buy into it.

Well it seems to me that that if Dog #2 is engaged in a Conflict and Dog #1 says "I shoot Dog #2 in the head", then Dog #2 must See.  If they Block that, then they don't get shot...if they Take the Blow, then they get shot in the head and take Fallout.  At the end of the conflict, that Fallout gets converted into something, likely representing damage from being shot in the head.

Why not handle this the same way.  Dog #2 is engaged in a Conflict and Dog #1 raises and says "my skillful handling of the situation causes Dog #2 to respect me".  Dog #2 must See.  If they Block that, then they don't respect Dog #1...if they Take the Blow, then they do and take Fallout.  At the end of the conflict, that Fallout gets converted into something, likely a Trait representing the respect.


But it really isn't that awkward to simply make the respect the Stakes to begin with.  Brother J and Brother B are having an arguement about their faith.  The Dogs want to intercede.

One COULD set the stakes as "Whats at stake is 'can we reconcile Brs J & B'".  Or one could say "What's at stake is 'Will the other Dogs start treating Sister X with greater respect due to the way she handles Brs J & B'"

That doesn't strike me as awkward at all.  All of Sister X's raises and sees can be about what she says and does with regards to J & Bs arguements...but...every one of her raises also target's the other Dogs...because they are directly tied to the Stakes.  If the other Dogs give then Sister X wins the Stakes and the other Dogs must behave more respectfully towards them going forward.

The arguement between J & B is about as inconsequential as a no name NPC taking a bullet as part of a Block...they exist solely to provide opportunity for the Conflict.  They can be handled entirely by what's narrated with Raises and Sees instead of by the Stakes.

Maybe I'm reaching beyond what Vincent would do here, but that seems pretty sensible to me.
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jburneko
Member

Posts: 1351


« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2006, 09:56:08 AM »

What you are describing is totally possible and it doesn't even require special stakes.  I played Dogs at a con and in my head my character was all about trying to reconcile his science heavy back east education with his newer Faith.  That was my initiation conflict and I failed to reconcile.  So on my sheet I had Faith vs. Reason as a trait.  This was present in almost every conflict because I brought it into play even if the stakes were, "Get this sinner to confess."  There's nothing like trying to coax a Faithful to commit to sinning and being forced to bring that trait out by switching from "This is just between you and me and god" to "In the end, this is just between you and me."  Painful stuff for my character.

In the specific case about your player wanting her character to be recognized for who she is and not who her mother was, the simplest thing for you to do (you are the GM right?) is bring her mother up as Raises against her in conflicts.

Stakes: "Get this sinner to confess."  Raise: "I trusted your mother, can I trust you?"
Stakes: "Cast out this Demon."  Raise: "The demon says he sees your mother burning on the other side."
Stakes: "Gun down the villain."  Raise: "You mother would never have resorted to such crued methods."

Hope that helps.

Jesse

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IMAGinES
Member

Posts: 141

AKA Rob Farquhar


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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2006, 06:26:58 PM »

... her vested interest (as a player, as I interpreted her comments, although I could be wrong) isn't in making sure that the solution reached is the one she most wants to see, so much as in making an appearance of lending support to the other Dogs when they try to implement their own solutions.

I can't see a non-awkward way to work this into the stakes of a conflict...

My apologies if I'm misinterpreting this, but why try and work it into stakes, or have a set of parallel stakes running? Why not simply involve your player's Dog in the conflict and let her character contribute to other Dogs' raises via the Helping rules on page 72? The other players should decide whether her Dog's assistance affects their Dogs in a meaningful way.

If the player in question wants her Dog to gain something (respect) from the other players' Dogs, should she kibbitz with them and see whether they buy into the idea?
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Always Plenty of Time!
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