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Author Topic: [DitV] Why sending them to Bridal Falls should ok  (Read 5549 times)
Claudia Cangini
Member

Posts: 38


« on: August 08, 2006, 11:09:08 AM »

Since Vincent already gave some direction about who and what for should post in the “Send them to Bridal Falls” thread, and not wishing to contradict him, I took the liberty of starting a new thread to adress the matters raised by Liminaut and others.

Liminaut, hope you won’t mind if I split your post to better answer it.

Look at it this way.  You write up a town, including "What happens if the Dogs do nothing".  The players come in, look around, ... and leave.  They do nothing.  A few months later, they decide to come back to the town.  What stage is the town in?  The original write-up or the "if the Dogs do nothing" stage?

I’m always a bit suspicious of conversation about roleplay going “but what if X happens?”, because in my experience this usually ends in everybody going endlessly “and what if it happens Y? Or Z?”, I’ll do my best to avoid it in this case...

The set up you describe here above strikes me as quite unlikely in DitV.
“If the Dogs do nothing” something is seriously wrong with the group, probably at social contract level or at least we have a very bad prep on the part of the GM.

The setting and premise of the whole game makes it so that characters are meant to be hooked by certain situation. If the GM feeds them a Town made as per game instructions how can they just ignore things?
And if they do something, anything really, about the town who is the GM to decide their intervention wasn’t significant enough? It is not his place to judge such a thing.

Also how come the players decide to go back to the town? It’s the GM deciding which Town they’ll meet next!

Again it seems to me people try to find group agreement trough play using rules or plot or whatever when really the problem is in what people want from their gaming.
This cannot be adressed by any rule. People have to share a fundamental agreement about “what’s fun” BEFORE sitting around a table playing a game.

I’m aware I’m stating the obvious, especially for Forge standard but even recently I’ve seen often post by people worried about things that were obviously (to me, at least) screaming for a simple, friendly dialogue. Thus my general feeling that in roleply people there’s not enough talking. Am I the only one under this impression?
Please note the above is a general statement meant for no one in particular.

Also for sure many problems could arise from a misunderstanding about autoriality between the players (and GM).
I won’t comment about this since many people are addressing this issue with real dedication and insight here:

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=20791.0

Liminaut, I don't think it's appropriate to punish the players for choosing something that you as the GM don't agree with or see as a cop-out.

When I wrote "Think about things from the NPC's point of view" I meant that absolutely, positively, literally.  Would the character _want_ to go back to Four Bridal Falls?  In Wolfen's case, the answer is probably yes.  Bret's original post, it sounded like the character would probably not want to go back.

Given that the character doesn't want to go back to Four Bridal Falls, what are the logical outcomes of that event?  Maybe the fellow hitches a ride back east or something, or maybe something more cinematic happens.

You and Claudia have a very good point that if a second "town" like this was done in a spirit of punishing the players the game would go south very quickly.  And I can see from the language of my post (especially "see if they send somebody off to Four Bridal Falls again") that you could have thought that was my intent.  But I really was coming from a "Think about things from the NPC's point of view" perspective.


You say “Think about the NPC point of view”, ok but, really, what would be the point in it?
I’d agree if the players shows a special interest in pursuing this kind of plot, otherwise DitV gives me all the tools I need to create engaging Towns. Better still, supposing the group already has some Towns under his belt at this point, I could create Towns tailored to my players, addressing their characters development.

If the roaming NPC issue serves this end, than okay, but I would avoid carefully giving my players the feeling their decision and past actions were inconsquential or, even worse, “wrong”.

Because I’m sure of it: if your players send someone to Bridal Falls and the GM decide the NPC leaves a trail of terror and death in his path this is unmistakenly what your doing: you’re saying to your players “you were wrong” despite any spirit in the making.
 
I feel DitV is all about “people confronted with difficult choices” which I think is very far from “people confronted with difficult choices and then implicitly judged by GM for those”.

Of course if the PLAYERS judge and even shoot one another for those same choices that’s all well and good ^____^

What I mean is I think in this game you should always mantain in the central stage your players interest.
I couldn’t care less for a NPC point of view UNLESS it can serve a PC development BUT avoiding the undermining of the player’s choices value.

Quite a rant I made... Hope I've been able to explain my thought.
Best!
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Claudia Cangini

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

Posts: 22


« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2006, 06:08:43 PM »

I can see how in some situations sending to Bridal Falls could be perfect. In others I could see how it would allow a group of characters to defer a hard decision - a cop out.

Now the GM would have options then, right? What I would choose is to create another town down the road with similar issues, and see if the characters/players had grown any to handle it differently

But, by the same token, why not put them in a situation where the players see that by not making a decision (ok, sending to the Falls is a decision, but it is a decision not to decide if it is on the cop out side) that there are consequences - they are Dogs and have a responsibility, afterall.

There are risks with that. The players and GM need to understand what is happening and why, and it can't be a "punishment" of the players. But I do think it can be a valid tactic. Unless I have missed something.
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Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2006, 03:58:39 AM »

I can see how in some situations sending [an NPC] to Bridal Falls could be perfect. In others I could see how it would allow a group of characters to defer a hard decision - a cop out.

Yeah, and whose job is it to choose which is which?

They've made a decision.  It is, by definition the right one.
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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
Andrew Cooper
Member

Posts: 724


WWW
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2006, 08:05:30 AM »

I'm with Fred on this one.  According to the rules it is emphatically not the pervue of the GM to pass any sort of judgement on how the players deal with the situation.  If he does so, he's cheating because the rules say it isn't his job.  The players could look at the town situation, decide that everyone in the town was guilty, that the town deserved what it brought upon itself, and they could leave and let the town implode as justice.  If that is their decision, it is by definition the correct one.  The GM doesn't get to define God in DitV.  The players do.

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Bret Gillan
Member

Posts: 375

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


« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2006, 11:19:42 AM »

I have revoked my previous "cop-out" stance on any sort of judgment, and the understanding of Dogs "if they succeed at the roll, they're right" setup was mind-blowing. There's this habit of GMs to have a "right answer" in mind when pushing a problem towards the PCs, and even if the PCs succeed at their die rolls in confronting the problem, the GM will punish those "wrong" decisions by making bad consequences come about from those successful die rolls. "You weren't supposed to kill that NPC, that was STUPID and now all these BAD things are going to happen because of it!" - something Dogs explicitly forbids. This and the other thread on this topic has shoved my nose in this behavior in my own GMing.

So basically, I feel like I really get "say yes or roll the dice" now. Thanks folks.
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Taltos
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2006, 02:29:43 PM »

OK, so what 'I missed' was "say yes, or roll dice". A classic mistake.

As I said, the best choice is to perhaps present them a similar situation later, and see if their stance has changed.
Cool.

thanks.
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Moreno R.
Member

Posts: 389


« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2006, 08:02:32 PM »

I am in complete agreement with what Claudia said, but I would like to add an exception.

It's OK to see the Dog's judgment as "wrong" IF the player's say so.

If the players want to play Dogs who make mistakes, and return after a time to resolve the problems they caused, I think they should be able to do so.

The rules of DitV say that the GM can't judge what a Dog do, but they don't say the same thing about the player of that Dog.

(I played one time a Dog who REFUSED to judge a sorcerer, because he didn't think that he had the moral right to do so. This was something I wanted to say WITH my character, so if the GM had said to me "no matter, you are a Dog, you are always right" it would have been a violation of my authority over my character)

In the previous thread, someone talked about the difference between "right" and "wrong" motives to sending the "sinners" di Bridal Falls (it's not an exact quote, and maybe I am simplyfying too much what he said). Well, there is a very simple way to differenziate between the two cases. Ask the players. They are always right about the motives of their character.

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Ciao,
Moreno.

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

Posts: 1619


« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2006, 05:56:11 AM »

The players will tell you if they think that their judgement might need re-visiting.  They'll have the dogs return to that town.
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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
Liminaut
Member

Posts: 11


« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2006, 05:43:37 PM »

Hello all,

My apologies for not posting earlier; my job pulled me away and this is my first chance to come up for air.

I think I did forget what game this is.  If the PCs want to send somebody to Four Bridal Falls, and the NPcs wouldn't want to go -- that's a conflict.  And DitV is all about handling conflicts.  Since the players get complete veto power over the stakes, it is physically impossible for a GM to be vondictive here.

I'm kind of curious, though.  Let's say a groups of players sends some NPCs to Four Bridal Falls explicitely and intentionally as a way of avoiding passing judgement on a town.  The players want someone else to do it.  A few sessions later the players ask whatever happened to those NPCs and what the Elders judgement on them was.  What would you tell the players?



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==Ed Freeman
==If there's no such thing as magic, why do we
  have the word?
Liminaut
Member

Posts: 11


« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2006, 05:49:53 PM »

And now that I think about it, one way to answer my question at the end is something like:

"Well, the NPCs that you sent want their sin to be declared doctrine.  Do you have a conflict with this?  What do you think the stakes should be? How do you want the conflict to come out?"

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==Ed Freeman
==If there's no such thing as magic, why do we
  have the word?
Moreno R.
Member

Posts: 389


« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2006, 06:43:19 PM »

I'm kind of curious, though.  Let's say a groups of players sends some NPCs to Four Bridal Falls explicitly and intentionally as a way of avoiding passing judgement on a town.  The players want someone else to do it. 

What is the opinion of the players about this? They think their characters made the right choice? They think that their characters made the wrong choice? They are the only ones who could decide about this.

Quote
A few sessions later the players ask whatever happened to those NPCs and what the Elders judgement on them was.  What would you tell the players?

Why they would ask you? To know "what was the right choice in the GM's opinion"? Or because they want to follow-up their old decision?

In the first case (or if they didn't answer to the first question), I would tell them that the people they sent to Bridal Falls were killed by a Mountain People attack while they were on the road.  There was no judgement and no verdict.

In the second case, it would really depend on the situation. They want to atone for their "mistake" and think that they should have punished the sinners? In this case I would let them discover that these people got a really good lawyer and got away scott-free, and now live in the next city. If they instead want to atone for their "mistake" and think that they should have let these poor people go free, you should let them know that these poor people are being punished in the next city.

Always take the player's advice about these things. They want to "make right" their mistake? Tell them they made a mistake to "make right", so. They tell you they don't know? Don't tell them. They tell you their was the right choice? Don't ever tell them again about these people.

What you should NEVER do is Judge instead of the players.
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Ciao,
Moreno.

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

Posts: 861


« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2006, 08:18:22 PM »

And now that I think about it, one way to answer my question at the end is something like:

"Well, the NPCs that you sent want their sin to be declared doctrine.  Do you have a conflict with this?  What do you think the stakes should be? How do you want the conflict to come out?"


I think that's a very elegant way to handle that case, and very much in keeping with DitV's conflict basis.
Incidentally, the concept of conflict-at-a-distance has come up on the forum before. There's no reason the Dogs have to be physically present at Bridal Falls to take part in that conflict. They can still make raises and sees (and take fallout) using their traits, but just describing what's happening at Bridal Falls while this doctrine issue is being sorted out. Of course, they can also use a Raise to turn up and take part, but the fun thing is they don't have to.
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