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Author Topic: [DitV] My first attempt to make a town.  (Read 3309 times)
Lagnath
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Posts: 13


« on: April 10, 2006, 03:39:24 PM »

Alright, below is a description of a town I have written up using the outline in the DitV book. Before I get into the details of the town I wanted to say to this game really makes putting a scenario together easy. I did the work on this town over the course of 30 minutes in a bleary haze after I woke up this weekend. That also serves as a disclaimer, If I missed something obvious please write it off to my sad state and kindly tell me what I'm missing.

Ice River Province: A community of the faithful in higher up into the mountains. Primarily a mining town. I imagine the river that flows past the town might go on to contribute to the Bridal Falls. The area's cold, even colder because it's October and winter's coming on early.

Prologue: The towns steward has passed away of natural causes, the faithful have written a letter to the Dogs Temple in Bridal Falls asking to send them some Dogs to oversee the communities re-election of a steward.

The Cast:
Brother Hiram: One of the communities elders, the towns Intirim leader.

Brother Zachery: The owner of the mine at Ice River. Brother Zachery is a simple man, and not really well cut out to run such a large operation. He has inherited the operation from his father and is doing the best he knows how. None the less tensions in the town are running high because of problems within the mine.

Sister Avagail: Brother Zachery's wife.

Constance: Avagail's daughter.

Edward: Son of a faithful woman and one of the Mountain people. He works in the mines. Edward is caught up in several of the towns conflicts.

Brother Zeke: Town store owner.

Towns pride (Section A)

1a: Brother Hiram (the intirim leader) thinks that he could run the mine more profitably than Brother Zachery, while he's probably right that he could his motives are flawed. He wants to take over the mine and force the workers (mostly Mountain Folk) to work for lower wages. He doesn't feel they deserve to earn as much as the few faithful miners.

1b: Sister Avagail wants her daughter to marry a "well off man". While she is right to want her daughter to marry, her motives as well are flawed. Her daughter (Constance) doesn't want to marry Zeke she wants to marry Edward.

1c: Constance: Constance's pride (believing that she should be able to choose who she marries) is arguably the smallest of the sins of the town. She truly does love Edward, and given time he wants to propose to her. Edward however is busy trying to fight for more fair wages for the miners.

1d: Edward: At the time the characters arrive Edward has nothing  but the purest intentions in his heart. He is listed in the pride section because if things continue down their present course constance might persuade him to sleep with her without first marrying her.

Towns Injustice (section 2)

2a Brother Hiram's actions are leading to disquiet among the miners. He's made it his public intention to take over the mine, and he isn't shy about his opinion of the Mountain People. The faithful among the miners resent his opinion even more than the non-faithful because they understand just how good the Mountain People are. If someone doesn't act soon the miner's may turn to thievery to "get what they deserve".

2b: If Sister Avagail keeps pushing Zeke to propose to her daughter and keeps pushing her daughter to accept his courtship she will drive her daughter futher and further away. Her daughter will feel "trapped" and might try to seduce Edward in to sleeping with her.

2c: Edward wants to prove himself. He wants to prove himself to both Avagail and Constance and do right by the other miners. He's on the cusp of doing something rash (like starting a miner's revolt) in order to get what he wants.

False Doctrine (Section 3)
3a: Brother Hiram's actions will lead him to push Zachery harder and harder to sell the mine. If he finds that he can align Avagail to his cause he will try to bring her on his side. His false doctrine will be to use plain bigotry to convice the faithful that the miners don't deserve to earn as much as the faithful.

3b: Zachery most likely won't create any false doctrines himself. Though if he isn't careful he could get caught up with his wife in Brother Hiram's plot.

3c: Sister Avagail wants to persuade her husband to sell the mine. She doesn't want Edward to make something of himself and make himself a suitable suitor for her daughter. She's most likely to align herself with Brother Hiram and support his false doctrine of bigotry.

I've stopped here. The town is on the cusp of entering into false worship and from their could easily fall into false priesthood, hate  and murder. I think the town has plenty of conflicts to keep my characters busy.

I've intentionally left each person in the town at the cusp of acting on their perceived injustice. I want the characters to find a town that appears fine on the surface with lots of problems boiling underneath. I also want to limit demon activity in this first encounter (this will be our first ever session of DitV). I want the characters to gradually experience towns that are farther and farther from the faith. In addition the reduced demon activity makes this town a little safer for a first run into an RPG.

What everyone wants (Section 6)

6a. Brother Hiram wants the dogs to approve of his proposal to make himself both steward and owner of the mine. Additionally he wants them to share his stance towards the miners.

6b. Sister Avagail wants the Dogs to convince Zeke to propose to her daughter and marry them. She also would like the Dogs to "put people like Edward in their place".

6c. Constance wants the Dogs to marry her to Edward. Additionally she wants them to help Edward work out the miners problems.

6d. Edward wants the Dogs to help him straighten out the situation at the mine. He also wants to marry Constance, but it's not his #1 priority.

6e. The Demons want the town to continue without a Steward or with Brother Hiram as the Steward. The Demon's work their influence on the town by driving Brother Hiram towards owning the mine and driving the miners into further hardships. They know that once Hiram owns the mine it's a matter of very little time before the situation explodes and the opportunity for the most murder of the faithful presents itself.

Hooks

Since the characters that are going to run this town haven't been rolled up yet I don't have a 100% grasp on where I want to put the plot hooks in. There are going to be two Dogs for this adventure so I'm open to suggestion as to who would be the best characters to give the Dogs some relationships to.

I appreciate any feedback in advance.

Thanks,
Anthony
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Andrew Morris
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2006, 08:43:44 PM »

Welcome to the Forge, Anthony.

Your town sounds fine to run as is, but here are some initial suggestions.

You've got a whole lotta Pride. Maybe too much, though that's up to you and your players. All the other stuff can stem from a single incidence of Pride. In fact, I can't think of any town I've created that had more than one starting Pride. You don't have to track things so absolutely, either, if you don't want to. One Pride could lead to three Injustices, which lead to one False Doctrine, if that's how you want it to play out. Rooting out multiple Prides might be fun, but it might also be overlooked.

Also, for Pride 1b, I don't see how that's Pride. Now, if Avagail is preventing her daughter from being courted by any available and interested menfolk because she believes Constance is "too good" for certain suitors, then yeah....I can see that as Pride. Is that what you meant by it?

Anyway, just some first thoughts. Got any specific questions? Oh, and be sure to post a report on the actual play experience so we can all see how it turns out.
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Lagnath
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Posts: 13


« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2006, 02:47:07 AM »

Good point about 1b. I think you've hit on what I had in mind, guess my own notes didn't really end up fleshing that out the right way.

As for the second point. Since I haven't actually run the game before I wanted to present the characters with a situation where they "had plenty of time". I also wanted to create a town where I could have characters "go either way" (be either good or evil) depending on how characters reacted to them. I'm trying to stick to the "let the players tell you where the game should go" tenet and not design a town where even I'm 100% sure who the "bad guy" is.

If there was a way to precipitate all of the main characters from a single instance of pride I would be open to suggestions because that might unify all the towns problems a little better.

Thanks for the feedback. I'll post actual play sometime in the future, sadly I live so far now from a really good gaming group I usually don't play much unless I travel about 130 miles to where I used to live, so I may not get an opportunity to run this for several weeks.
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ffilz
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2006, 11:27:44 AM »

Constance's pride is more of an injustice. You can move Edward's pride to the "what happens if the Dogs don't show up" section or the "what Edward wants from the Dogs" section. That gets you down to two prides which isn't so bad.

The sin hierarchy descriptions in general feel like they have too much "what might happen" in them. Be careful of boxing yourself in too much for when you actually run the town.

Frank
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Frank Filz
TheHappyAnarchist
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Posts: 47


« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2006, 07:35:11 AM »

As a note though, something that has been suggested before is to have the first town be really really bad and clearcut fallen from the faith.
Don't give alot of time to think, sorcery and possession abound, all hell is breaking loose.
This encourages the players to act and judge right away (keep in mind, you don't have to make the reasons or motives clearcut at all)

Then you can get into the more subtle situations, where they may have to ferret out the sin.
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Lagnath
Member

Posts: 13


« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2006, 08:30:26 AM »

I appreciate everyones comments about the write up. I'll consider them when I undertake re-writing the town later to adopt some of these points.

I am interested in one thing. From my perspective (as someone who hasn't yet actually played the game) I would think it would be better to start subtle so that your players have time to adapt to their jobs without immediately calling on them to judge extreme situations. My intuition tells me to let my players have their characters better felt out before I throw the book at them.

I'm not worried about this batch of players not acting in character, they are top notch players. So I'm interested why it's better to "reveal" all that DitV has in the first game as opposed to leaving some of the problem steps unexplored for future towns.

I'll probably redo the town to push it a little bit more toward one definite conflict as opposed to several "about to happen" conflicts. I may have the miners already in open revolt and splash in some more bigotry. Various acts of vandalism may serve as the method through which the "demonic influence" acts.

Anyhow, I'm interested in more discussion about why it's better to throw so much at the players up front. Rant, discuss, flame, whatever. It's just strikes me as interesting.

Anthony
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lumpley
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2006, 08:52:23 AM »

Here's what I've said about it in the past:
I specifically did not want to ramp up all the way to Hate and Murder. This was the first town (and the first game) for this group of Dogs (and players), so I wanted to start lower-key as contrasted with future towns.

Totally not picking on Mischa here - I imagine he did right by his group. But I've read this a couple few times, this thing about starting new players off easy by making a town that maxes out at sin or maybe false doctrine. Where on earth does that come from?

To me, it reads like "I want to start my players off easy, so I'm going to have them take on a town mired in the shades-of-gray of small sins and subtle doctrinal points. Then when they really get their legs under them - when they've really established an understanding of the game's doctrine and theology, and they really care about the nuances of their characters' consciences - then they can take on a town where the problems are clear and life-or-death and they can kick their ass."

Isn't that, like, exactly backward?

-Vincent
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Lagnath
Member

Posts: 13


« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2006, 11:19:15 AM »

I see your point that it's harder to unravel subtle problems and would therefore usually be easier to give them straight forward problems off the top but my concern is along a slightly different tack.

First off, let me say I probably could have cleared this up in an earlier post and probably should have.

What I'm worried about is this; Since the characters are probably not going to be involved in long campaigns (I would generally only imagine running a half dozen or so sessions before moving onto other characters) is it best to blow all your interesting demonic tricks early. I want to keep things fresh for each session and I'm worried lots of demonic possession etc becoming overplayed. (This argument has it's own counterpoint, however, Which is that they won't be involved in long campaigns so things  might never get stale).

I'm not sure how I'm going to get the best of both worlds. I think i'm gonna try to up the ante on the complications on the town, but I'm pretty sure I don't want outright sorcery yet. Nothing says incidental murder can't come before demon inspired murder. The faithful could in moments of high emotion be moved straight to murder. Perhaps the miners will have already murdered someone and they won't confess who in the mob participated and who didn't. The players would have to choose between judging the whole mob or weighing the effects of bigotry as justification for murder. Putting the conflicts at that point would certainly be much more immediate and engaging.

Anyhow, very good points all around. I'm gonna send the town back to the bubbling back cauldron of my mind and see what it comes up with. I'll post an updated town after words if I think it warrants it. Hopefully I'll also get a chance to report on actual play within a couple of weeks as well.


Anthony
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lumpley
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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2006, 11:41:38 AM »

Cool, I'll look forward to actual play.

Whatever I say that makes sense to you, use that; whatever doesn't, please just write me off. I can talk in generalities, but I'm not there, so what do I know?

Like with Mischa, I expect you'll do right by your group.

-Vincent
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TheHappyAnarchist
Member

Posts: 47


« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2006, 01:51:53 PM »

I think I have emphasized the wrong thing in my post.

It is not the amount of sorcery or tricks, or the crazy ramping up of the first session.

It's making things a bit more clear cut.  They aren't quite into their roles yet, so judging things that are grey may be a bit difficult for them.

Oh, and I haven't said this yet, but your town rules, and is added to my list if I ever can convince people to play straight up Dogs. :)
(which, if my Jedi campaign goes well, they may just do.  I live in Utah for chrissakes! They should be all over this. ^.^)
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Rustin
Member

Posts: 91


« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2006, 09:20:57 AM »

This is a great town write up you clearly-- yet briefly-- described the town in a way that I could grasp all the meaty issues quickly.  I like that.  Well done. 

I just want to respond to your comment about where to put the plot hooks.

The great thing about Dogs is your list of "what they want" replaces the need for plot hooks.  In a way you-- as the GM --will not be responsible for the plot at all, that is the Player's job.

Remember, the NPC's will view the Dogs as the means to get what they want.  If an NPC wants something and they get the Dogs backing, it is good as done.   What worked best for me was to have the NPCs approach the Dogs, usually separately, and just have them say what they want from the Dogs early.  As the players decide how they want to manage all the interrelated conflicts plot emerges. Rebuffed NPC's act violently, backed NPC's may over reach.   I usually felt that what the NPC's wanted, they wanted Passionately-- even if it means they need to kill a few Dogs.  But it is always the Players the drive the plot of the story.

Again, great town, i'll probably steal the mine and discrimination situation for my next town!

Rustin,
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