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Author Topic: [DitV] Dogpile  (Read 6011 times)
cdtatro
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Posts: 3


« on: November 07, 2006, 07:45:18 AM »

I'm starting a Supers game using Dogs in the Vineyard soon and before I begin, I'm having trouble getting my brain around how conflicts where all the players dogpile on one NPC will work. (this really has nothing to do with the Supers part and is just as relevant to pure DitV).

You see it in the genre a lot: the X-Men all charge against Magneto, the FF against Dr. Doom, the JLA against Starro, everyone in the DCU against the Anti-Monitor, the Teen Titans against Slade. Usually there are a mass of mooks to wade through first.

So here's the first question: do I run the mooks as a separate Conflict, hoping to get some Fallout against the PCs to weaken them before they take on the Big Bad? Or just add on a bunch of dice to the Big Bad and have the whole thing as one big conflict?

And here's the second part: even if I give the Big Bad a Trait of "Endless Army of Disposable Mooks" he still has to See against all the PCs in succession. Unless he rolls really well and can use the same die to Reverse against a bunch of people, that's going to run his available dice dry pretty darn quick. Figure with 5 players, that's likely 10 dice I will need to use just to See their attacks, plus another 2 to do my own Raise. And that's just to get through one "turn". The players will each have to See my attack and do their own Raise, so they're only burning through probably 4 dice of their pool in each turn. Really, there's no way I can keep up or even have decent enough dice to make them take Fallout unless my pool is 30 or 40 dice!

The example in the book about Multiple Opponents gives me the structure of how this works, but that example is a 3 against 2 fight so it's a little more balanced. 5 against 1 is going to be harsh.

Any help or advice?  Is the key giving my Big Bad a lot of d10 Traits and hoping for repeatable Reversing?

Thanks,

Chris
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Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2006, 07:59:28 AM »

Look at the rules for using groups of people as a single opponnent.  As gamemaster, if you want (for some reason) to lay the smackdown on the PC's, there are plenty of ways to generate enough dice to do it.

The question that comes to mind is... why do you want to do that?
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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
Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2006, 08:20:08 AM »

You might want to check out the rules for Afraid over on the lumpley.com site.
Afraid is a variant of ditv for horror games, but one of its mechanic allows for one guy facing multiple foes to keep his See dice over several raises.

In default DitV, groups of PCs will always have the advantage over individual NPCs unless you beef them up to horrendous levels and then it's a tricky balancing act.
And then  there's "take fallout to weaken them for the big bad" idea - that doesn't make much sense in DitV unless you're hoping for injury. Falout mainly makes you stronger in DitV.
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ffilz
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Posts: 468


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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2006, 08:47:45 AM »

It's also worth remembering that Dogs is not about winning the conflicts, but about the decisions made on the path to resolving the conflicts, and how they are made.

Don't worry quite os much about amassing dice for the NPCs, more concentrate on using the dice you have effectively, and more, push the players with hard choices to make about when to bring their traits in and when to escalate.

Throw in the villain's adorable 8 year old daughter...

Frank
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Frank Filz
Gugliandalf
Member

Posts: 33


« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2006, 09:15:13 AM »

You might want to check out the rules for Afraid over on the lumpley.com site.

Where the heck are they? :)
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Gugliandalf
aka Guglia aka Giovanni Gugliantini
Remember, Luke, say "yes" or roll dice
Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2006, 09:26:33 AM »

Force me to use google, will you? Okay, here:
http://www.lumpley.com/comment.php?entry=201

If you use them or some bits of them, I expect Vincent would appreciate some feeback - they are playtest documents.
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cdtatro
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Posts: 3


« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2006, 09:54:58 AM »

Force me to use google, will you? Okay, here:
http://www.lumpley.com/comment.php?entry=201

If you use them or some bits of them, I expect Vincent would appreciate some feeback - they are playtest documents.

Over the summer I played in a Delta Green flavored Afraid game. I don't know if the GM ever posted AP or feedback here. But I don't know if we missed that part about a group NPC being able to use the same dice against all opponents or what. That's clearly the answer I'm looking for.

But yeah, Afraid is a good twist on Dogs. I'm definitely using Circumstances for my game (Under the Mask, Nemesis, Weakness, Reputation).

And to answer Vaxalon, I'm not so much interested in delivering a beat-down to my players as I am to not having a paper tiger Big Bad who is supposed to be all threatening and menacing but gets taken down without any real effort or consequence or sacrifice on the part of the PCs.  Dramatically, that is always dissatisfying. From a game perspective, I'd want to taunt them with previous failures, tempt them to swiitch to his side, maybe even make them question their trust of each other or take away whatever the PCs value. I don't need to break their bones to hurt them.  That's what villainy is all about. And part of being a hero is about what you will give up to stop the villain. As I see it anyway.
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Gugliandalf
Member

Posts: 33


« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2006, 11:04:30 AM »

Force me to use google, will you? Okay, here:
http://www.lumpley.com/comment.php?entry=201

If you use them or some bits of them, I expect Vincent would appreciate some feeback - they are playtest documents.

Sorry, didn't even think about google! :lol
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Gugliandalf
aka Guglia aka Giovanni Gugliantini
Remember, Luke, say "yes" or roll dice
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2006, 06:53:52 AM »

And to answer Vaxalon... From a game perspective, I'd want to taunt them with previous failures, tempt them to swiitch to his side, maybe even make them question their trust of each other or take away whatever the PCs value. I don't need to break their bones to hurt them.  That's what villainy is all about. And part of being a hero is about what you will give up to stop the villain. As I see it anyway.

You know, you're allowed to open conflicts where the stakes are "Make Captain Danger distrust the Blue Orchid" or "Make Polly Purebread fall out of love with Underdog" rather than "Deliver the beatdown on Harry Hero"... I don't know if you've tried these.  They work wonderfully in Dogs.
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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
cdtatro
Registree

Posts: 3


« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2006, 09:32:02 AM »

Yes, I've seen those done in Dogs/Afraid (I've played but not GMed). But in order for them to be effective, I need to be able to effectively challenge the involved players' collective dice pool. That's the point of my question here: how to handle a many-against-one conflict, whether it be a physical beat-down or an emotional one.  I think I've got a handle on it now.

Thanks for your input, everyone.

Chris
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Andrew Cooper
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Posts: 724


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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2006, 12:18:39 PM »

I would suggest you use Conditions like in Afraid.  If a superhero is in an "Alone" condition you don't have to worry about having an uber-beefy villain that has to take on all the characters.  As long as the PC in question is "Alone" no one can aid him.  Now, because it is a superhero game I might modify the conditions a bit.  The ones in Afraid are aimed at a horror genre.
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