*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
January 22, 2022, 07:04:13 PM

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: 76 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [DitV] Reoccurring NPCs / Towns in Dogs  (Read 4727 times)
Jacob
Member

Posts: 19


« on: August 10, 2006, 05:08:30 AM »

Iím getting ready to start running my first DitV campaign, and one of my players has mentioned that she would really like to emphasize on in-game relationships. She pointed out that in the past Iíve overlooked strong NPC friendships / loved ones / trusted allies, and that allied NPCs Iíve ran in the past never really Ďconnectedí with the party. This is something Iím really trying to address both for her interest in the game and as a growth opportunity as a GM, and DitV's Relationship attribibutes make this a great system for this from a design point of view, but the pacing and flow from town to town seems to make this difficult. Does anyone have any tips on injecting strong reoccurring non-antagonistic NPCs in a DitV campaign?

My idea was to have the Dogs operate in a small geographic area, traveling back and forth between a small group of towns and a handful of farms / ranches in-between, so the players have more opportunity to interact with the same NPCs, but that would lead to the same towns being subjected over and over to the rather dire situations that take center stage in a Dogs game. I wouldnít want the players to get the impression that Faithful communities are sinful corrupt places. (ďHere we are, back in Two Hills Branch again. I wonder what terrible atrocity was committed THIS week?Ē) If I go this route Iíll probably tone down the Ďsin dialí in my campaign, and have the Dogs take on more mundane issues, and keep murder and other mortal sins for the occasional Ďbig whammyí. Iím afraid that might lose the playersí interest, especially my other player, who is looking forward to a more high energy game with the Ďsupernatural dialí cranked up high.

Any ideas?
Logged
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2006, 05:54:12 AM »

Remember that it's not YOUR choice whether the PC's re-visit an old Town.  That's under the players' control.
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
Moreno R.
Member

Posts: 389


« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2006, 06:51:36 AM »

It's not the perfect solution to your problem, but it could help: remember than the relationship of the character could be "accessed" (it's the right word?) with a flashback, or by letter, or even without communicating with them in any way.

For example, the character could remember (or imagine) a conversation with a loved one that could help him in facing a problem. Or could receive (or write) a letter ("write" work even better because seeing that the dogs are the ones who do the postal service, it could be written with no intention to post it). Or, in a conflict with a large time scale, a friend of the character could do something to help him even if he lives in a different city.

The other solution is choosing relationship that are not tied to a place (nomadic mountain people, merchants, other dogs, wandering preachers, bounty killers, a traveling carnival, a wild animal, a beloved fiction author that you search in the library of every town, etc.)

Another again it's to have a relationship following the character (with or without his approval), like for example a insufferable "fan", or a misty-eyed wanna-be girlfriend, or an enemy bent of revenge. (or even a demon. and we all know what does it mean to have a relationship Th a demon...)

You could even reverse the first option: instead of meeting with some person and remember him after the meeting, you could know that in town x, at the end of your "round", you will meet someone (that you love/hate/have curiosity/etc.) and you could imagine him in the previous cities.

Logged

Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
baron samedi
Member

Posts: 137


« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2006, 07:05:16 AM »

Hi Jacob,

You might want to try to go up a level, and develop a Sin Progression that affects a large number of towns, with repercussions in many of them.

For example, if the Dogs saved people in Town A from sin, they go to Town B,

Having region-wide preoccupations might help strenghten the link between the communities and a common stake :
- a single railroad
- a dam that could overflood the region
- a war with the Territorial Authority threatening many towns, perhaps inspired from the "Mormon War" (cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_War)
- restless tribes of Mountain People attacking many towns

For an example, I suggest you check out the movie THE PATRIOT, with Mel Gibson. You'd see how people can meet the same NPCs over and over without being always at the same place.

If the war erupted between 2 groups of the Faithful (e.g. those aligned with Terrirotorial Authority, those that aren't), with the Ancients of Bridal Falls City involved in negotiating with their leaders (offstage) but with the Dogs dealing with the day-to-day conflits strifed by demons "out of control", you'd be able to keep this "inside the community" and go forth from one town to another.

Erick




Logged
oliof
Member

Posts: 449

Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


WWW
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2006, 07:36:53 AM »

Most important: The players will flag the npcs they're interested in by taking relationships to them. If they kill those in conflicts, that doesn't mean they won't play a role later, as these dice come into play in a conflict that is about them, i.e., whenever someone confronts them about killing these people.

If they don't kill them, it's surely OK to have them recur often, since it honors the players' interest in these npcs. Don't forget that there may well be drifters and stablehands that come up in a lot of towns.

Also, there is the implicit 'blood' relationship. In each town, have some of the pcs be related to some of the npcs  - especially where it will make it harder them to dish out judgement.

Regards,
    Harald
Logged

Jacob
Member

Posts: 19


« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2006, 07:44:49 AM »

Baron, Brother Blood, I really like both your ideas. I think a decent mix of both would really be advantageous.

Vaxalon, you bring up a good point, but based on my past experiences, my presentation of the game will influence how the players interact with the towns and the NPCs. Unless I encourage the players to return to a particular town or revisit a old friend or loved one, I donít think it would really occur to them. I can foresee the players rarely returning to a town where they forged a strong relationship. Unless I either nudge them back there or pull the NPC out of the town to cross their path again, they may feel like I neglected the NPC ally and the relationship.

From my perspective the players never bothered to try and forge strong relationships with my NPCs in the past, from their perspective my NPCs never Ďcame on strong enough.í They find in-game relationships important, and want me and my NPCs to initialize and take the lead in developing the relationships. Thatís OK by me.

First, I think I'll encourage correspondence with out of touch NPCs (maybe introduce the telegraph to makes things easier?) and role-play the correspondence one on one through emails between games, to give the players excuses and motivations to revisit NPC friends and loved ones. I know one of my players will love the idea.

Iíll also encourage flashback scenes as a way to gain Relationship dice in a conflict. Itíll motivate the players (so they get more dice in a conflict) and build on relationships. I donít expect this to be used often, but itíll provide the players with another avenue.

Iím hesitant to add an overarching problem or conflict. I was hoping to keep Dogs more centered around personal conflicts. But thatís another cool idea, too.

Thanks for the help, guys!
Logged
Bret Gillan
Member

Posts: 375

That's Bret with one 't' damn it.


« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2006, 07:54:52 AM »

Iíll also encourage flashback scenes as a way to gain Relationship dice in a conflict. Itíll motivate the players (so they get more dice in a conflict) and build on relationships. I donít expect this to be used often, but itíll provide the players with another avenue.
Relationship dice only come into play when the individual in the relationship is at stake or opposing the PC, so I'm not sure if this is a possible way to gain dice.
Logged
Jacob
Member

Posts: 19


« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2006, 09:49:23 AM »

Relationship dice only come into play when the individual in the relationship is at stake or opposing the PC, so I'm not sure if this is a possible way to gain dice.

I know, but under Improvised Things, there is a line saying you can use Relationships like Traits if the person you have a Relationship with arrives on the scene after the conflict has started. Think about a TV show: a flashback may take place in the past, but it is played out in the present. It therefore occurs during the conflict which triggered it, allowing a non-present NPC from the past to Ďinterruptí a current conflict (if you view events from the ďaudienceísĒ point of view, rather than the charactersí points of view).

Heck, I know that sounds wonky, but if it encourages my players to build strong non-adversarial relationships, it's cool by me. I don't want to open up Relationships to be used at Traits at the drop of the hat (that seems to 'generous') But I'm willing to reward inter-character development. Plus it might lead to cool scenes, like the Highlander TV show. (Hrmm... A DITV variant based on Highlander... Hrmmm)
Logged
baron samedi
Member

Posts: 137


« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2006, 10:05:17 AM »

Another thing, Jacob : you can adress these issues specifically with your players, OOC, and ask them outrightly "What NPCs would you like to meet again? Do you have any suggestions on how you can work it out?"

You could do this like a meeting before an improvisation match, discussing the global way to play a Town and its stakes with the players, and then play the town itself.

DITV's quite good with this style, as you don't need secrets.

Erick
Logged
Claudia Cangini
Member

Posts: 38


« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2006, 11:02:22 AM »

Jacob, there's also another thing I noticed happens playing DitV: the PC relationships with one another are often more intense than in other games.

I think this comes from the fact that people reacting to difficult choiches cannot avoid reacting strongly also to other people confronted with those same choices. I think in this game I've seen some of the hottest agreements/disagreements between PC.
Logged

--
Claudia Cangini

http://claudiacangini.deviantart.com/
(artist for hire)
baron samedi
Member

Posts: 137


« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2006, 11:27:19 AM »

Claudia's got a good point. Perhaps you can choose your NPCs that come back among those whose situations generated the greatest emotional challenges or divisions among the PCs. This is like pouring salt in an blistering wound, forcing the players to pick up that emotion again. (It's evil, but it works.)

Say, a kind father of young kids they liked in the last town comes after them with his brothers, revenge on his mind, because the murderer they spared in this very last town killed them.

Sometimes, a town from the past can come to the PCs even as they enter a new one...
Logged
Moreno R.
Member

Posts: 389


« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2006, 06:16:05 PM »

Iíll also encourage flashback scenes as a way to gain Relationship dice in a conflict. Itíll motivate the players (so they get more dice in a conflict) and build on relationships. I donít expect this to be used often, but itíll provide the players with another avenue.
Relationship dice only come into play when the individual in the relationship is at stake or opposing the PC, so I'm not sure if this is a possible way to gain dice.

Jacob already answered with the examples of a relationship used as an "object" with a flashback, but it's not the only way to "gain dices" with a past relationship.

Some examples:

1) John loves Mary, who lives in a city he visited some months ago. She is waiting for him to return, when he will not be a Dog anymore, to marry her.
These relationship dices are available when his love of Mary is a stake (when someone try to seduce him, for example, maybe even if someone try to kill him, meaning that he will never see her again), o when she is the opponent (John want to do something that could make him lose her forever, like doing a federal crime, for example. BEFORE trying it, John has to force himself with a conflict with Mary as opponent. When he win that conflict, he can keep the fallout as a bonus for the follow-up conflict - the crime -.)

2) Jeremiah is John's teacher, mentor, role-model, all in one. Jeremiah teached John everything he know about firearms, honor and brawling.† Someone says something that John doesn't agree to, and John begin a conflict with him. He frame the conflict as "I want to continue to believe that what Jeremiah teached me about this is the truth". So his relationship is a stake.
And it's really easy create a conflict in which Jeremiah is the "opponent" as in the example above, to get the dices for the relationship.

3) Joshua is John's father. He always said to John "you are a failure. You will not be able to do anything in your life". The relationship could be "the thought of my father make me always insecure and nervous" (and in this case it could be one of the opponent in every conflict you wanted to use it), or "I will prove myself to my father" (and in this case it could be at stake in every conflict you want to use it)

Logged

Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2006, 04:08:40 AM »

I'm going to wait for Vincent to weigh in on these.  I have my opinions but I have been wrong before.
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
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2006, 06:56:38 AM »

Short answers today. I'm not curt, just busy.

Only roll relationship dice a) when the person is your opponent; b) when the person is at stake; or c) instead of improvised belongings dice. Don't stretch these rules.

Dogs isn't about the long-term relationships between the Dogs and the townspeople. Trying to make it be so won't improve the game!

-Vincent

Logged
cdr
Member

Posts: 93


« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2006, 09:12:14 AM »

I'd definitely preach against the heresy of using Relationships as Traits -- they each have their own function, and muddling them together is doing no one any favors.  If you want to always be remembering what your grandpa told you, take it as a trait!  "Grandpa taught me everything I know 4d4" or whatever.

If you build a town with the ladder of sin and follow the GM advice (reveal the town aggressively in play, escalate, escalate, escalate, say yes or roll the dice) the NPCs should be plenty grabby and intense, and reach a satisfying resolution that doesn't require coming back to them over and over.

Or if Mountain Folk themes appeal, I note the Mountain Folk are nomads, so may show up in multiple towns.  Maybe the Mountain Folk have adapted the tenets of the Faith and that's spreading like wildfire through them, and threatening to lure some of the Faithful away into the New Faith.
The Ghost Dance might be a useful source of ideas.

That said, I wonder whether it might be possible to structure a Dogs campaign around a trip back east, plus maybe the return.  Paka had a great idea for a town that was actually a train headed east, but if you want more time set it before the railroad comes to the Territory, so the Dogs are along to guard a caravan headed east, and make those folks up as a town, but then also make "towns" for various stops along the way, so you get a recurring cast of non-Dogs but also new blood in each game.  (Is "Wagon Train" out on DVD yet?)

So you'd have the young man headed east to learn to be a Doctor, the family that's given up the Faith and leaving the territory, the mysterious ex-Dog who plans to go east and kill the President so he won't outlaw Polygamy in the Territory, or whatever.

Mind you, that's not what I'd choose for my first campaign.  I'd play it as written and see how things turn out, then try running variations on the theme. As the PCs get more and more entangled with each other's hearts, you may find the players may not mind that NPCs come and go, after all.

But stay away from the Relationship Heresy, I beg you!

--
Carl

"Let me tell you about my Grannie 3d10"
Logged
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!