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[DitV] Narrating Giving + Fallout. Was this valid?

Started by Web_Weaver, November 24, 2006, 09:37:52 AM

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Last night I ran my first town, and we began to get to grips with how DitV actually plays.

I chose to run the Whitechurch Branch straight out of the book, to get a handle on the player's style and their character's worldviews.

Their first conflict was with the store owner, over his high prices and his obvious wealth and pride.  As written, the storekeeper is not a member of the faith, and is profiteering from the bad-luck of farm tools wearing out unnaturally fast. I played him as a happy capitalist, in the spiritualist church, who used supply and demand, to justify his new wealth. So, his actions, though an essential part of the town's sin, could be defended when the Dogs inevitably started pointing out his pride and or injustice.

I talked the stakes down from "convert him to the faith and then convince him to abandon this injustice", to "make him ashamed of his actions".

After an interesting conflict, one of the players decided to raise against the shopkeeper and a fellow player as they threatened to go into physical escalation. His raise was to intervene and cool down the situation, and it was at this point I gave. I narrated that he felt ashamed, in the face of this reasonable action, from a devout man and from the Dogs judgment over his pride.  I stated he would reflect on his pricing policy that night.

BUT, I had also taken 5d4 fallout in the contest.

As this was the first full session, I wanted the players to see why I took the fallout when I did, so I revealed to them that I was giving him a trait of "ashamed to have married into this faith" (he was married to a PC's faithful cousin).

The players felt I was cheating, by twisting the conflict. I will resist giving my justifications, and ask:

Was I abusing my position, or was I doing my duty?

Tim M Ralphs

Hi Jamie,

My understanding is that the fallout is in addition to the stakes. You gave, so the shopkeeper is ashamed of his actions with regards to the prices. (It seems that this is what the stakes were even if they weren't explicitly stated as such.) In addition you took 5d4 fallout, and now have to roll to see what other complications arise.

Being 'ashamed to have married into the faith' is valid fallout. Maybe his wife gave him hassle for being rude to Dogs. But this is not an interpretation of the stakes, it's as well as loosing the conflict. It's not clear from your write up if this is how you played it, and if this was made clear to the players.

Does that make sense?
...the Mystery leads to Adversity and only Sacrifice brings Resolution...


Hi Tim,

Thanks for the validation of the fallout, as I was going through some doubt over it.  I see the fallout as relevant and a twist that has repercussions, but one that could be seen as running contrary to the conflict from which it emerged.

I have also been reflecting on my presentation, and believe my error was in timing. In my rush to demonstrate, and despite my care to explain each outcome, I drew equal attention to the fallout and the conflict outcome. The players, not clearly understanding the mechanical purpose of the fallout in this instance (as an aid to future conflict generation for the GM), were understandably confused. They saw it as me manipulating the outcome against them (which in a way it is but for different reasons), and reacted in a competitive manner to what they saw as a competitive action on my part; notably being much more focused on the next stake selection.

In retrospect, I should have delayed such discussion (if discussed at all), until the end of the town, when PC fallout issues are also in the players mind, and review and reflection are probably best suited.


It seems to me that you changed the stakes in that the implicit actions he was shown to be ashamed of was the over-charging.

His shame at doing what he'd done leading on to being ashamed of marrying in to the faith, fine.