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Author Topic: Some newbie questions about DitV  (Read 3139 times)
Bjorn
Member

Posts: 12


« on: March 13, 2007, 02:00:58 AM »

Hi, I just bought the game and have some questions. Some of these might be terribly naive but here goes.

1) How important is it to have a basic foundation in how cristianty works to get the setting to work? How many of the ten comandments should you preferably get right on a quick pop quiz? (I had to go to wikipedia to get more than four.) If played with a very secular group (as our regular group is) I'm afraid that "flow" would be quite difficult to achive when players have to look up what is religiously ok at each junction.

2) I find this statement "If someone has a problem with the dogs actions they can take it up with the King of Life" very powerful and intriguing. However it seems that it is simply left hanging. What is supposed to happen when someone does? In general I feel quite unsure of how to handle god and frankly i find the subject gets very little given the overt religious nature of the game? For instance how are you supposed to handle if a dog prays for guidance? (Something I'd expect to happen within the hour of starting play, isn't this what religious types do when faced by a dilema?)

3) In various places it says to add or subract 1 to a stat, that is suposed to mean one DIE, right? (Because I don't see how having something like Body 4d6+2 would work.) 

Overall the game seems very intriguing, even if I feel that in some places it hails some things as relutionary that I've been doing for 15 years and which I consider as standard play while in others almost glossing over some things that truely are cutting edge...

/Bjorn
 
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Bjorn
Member

Posts: 12


« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2007, 03:46:52 AM »

One more...

4) Is there some special significance to each dog having a special coat that I just don't see? For me this is just inexplicable and weird...

/Bjorn
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Warren
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Posts: 167


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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2007, 04:12:56 AM »

Hi Bjorn!

1) How important is it to have a basic foundation in how cristianty works to get the setting to work? How many of the ten comandments should you preferably get right on a quick pop quiz? (I had to go to wikipedia to get more than four.) If played with a very secular group (as our regular group is) I'm afraid that "flow" would be quite difficult to achive when players have to look up what is religiously ok at each junction.
You really don't need to know much about Christianity to play in this game. The Faith is it's own beast, and it's pretty much left up to the group to define. I find it helps that the players know roughly what is sinful according to doctrine (on p.107 of my copy), but it's not vital.

2) I find this statement "If someone has a problem with the dogs actions they can take it up with the King of Life" very powerful and intriguing. However it seems that it is simply left hanging. What is supposed to happen when someone does? In general I feel quite unsure of how to handle god and frankly i find the subject gets very little given the overt religious nature of the game? For instance how are you supposed to handle if a dog prays for guidance? (Something I'd expect to happen within the hour of starting play, isn't this what religious types do when faced by a dilema?)
The main thing to remember is that God (well, the King of Life) is not an NPC. The question about praying for guidance is dealt with in this thread:

Player:  "I pray to the King of Life for guidance."
GM:  "And you receive it.  What does the King of Life tell you to do?"

3) In various places it says to add or subract 1 to a stat, that is suposed to mean one DIE, right? (Because I don't see how having something like Body 4d6+2 would work.)
Yes; add or subtract one die.

4) Is there some special significance to each dog having a special coat that I just don't see? For me this is just inexplicable and weird...
I just consider it to be a simple "mark of office" thing; like a cop has his badge, a Dog has his coat. And it just looks cool Smiley

I hope that helps!

Warren
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Warren
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2007, 04:19:08 AM »

Oops; I forgot something:
1) How important is it to have a basic foundation in how cristianty works to get the setting to work? How many of the ten comandments should you preferably get right on a quick pop quiz? (I had to go to wikipedia to get more than four.) If played with a very secular group (as our regular group is) I'm afraid that "flow" would be quite difficult to achive when players have to look up what is religiously ok at each junction.
You really don't need to know much about Christianity to play in this game. The Faith is it's own beast, and it's pretty much left up to the group to define. I find it helps that the players know roughly what is sinful according to doctrine (on p.107 of my copy), but it's not vital.
It's not vital because the players can choose to have their characters enforce, ignore or even reject the doctrines of the Faith as much as they like. 
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lumpley
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2007, 07:29:32 AM »

Let's see.

1) Not at all important. The thing to emphasize is that the Dogs are there to make things right, however seems best to them.

I usually say something like "here's what people believe, your characters were raised with this: pride leads to sin, sin lets demons in, if you deal with demons you're a sorcerer, and sorcery leads to murder. When Faithful murder Faithful, look for a sorcerer." That's about all you need to know to play, and your character doesn't have to believe it herself, even.

I could probably get only six or seven of the ten commandments without looking them up, is all.

2) What Warren said.

If an NPC takes something up with the King of Life, you do exactly what you've done all along: play the NPC true. That may very well include having her go straight up to the Dogs and say "I took this up with the King of Life and He tells me you're sinnin' lyin' bastards and - " bam! with the shotgun. Then you roll dice. Nothing exceptional, no rules for God but the regular ones.

3) What Warren said, too.

4) The coats are a reference to Joseph's coat of many colors, and to the folk magic I was raised with.

I'm not surprised that some of the stuff I've treated as revolutionary is stuff you've been doing all along. I know several people for whom that's true.

I'm curious: which things seem revolutionary to you that the game glosses over?

-Vincent
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David Artman
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Posts: 570

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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2007, 08:33:23 AM »

As no one has said it, yet, I will:

There are many variants on Dogs that use the basic system and progressions and such, but which shift the "color" away from a religious west that never was to totally different settings. Those setting still have morals, and the settings' "Dogs" are moral agents, free to define "sin;" but all the other trappings of the game change (including the "weird" coats).

Refer to this sticky thread at the top of this forum:
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=17107.0

Hope this helps;
David
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2007, 09:57:16 AM »

Being a moderately experienced and sometime enthusiast Dogs player, I'll chime in a bit my ownself.

1) How important is it to have a basic foundation in how cristianty works to get the setting to work? How many of the ten comandments should you preferably get right on a quick pop quiz? (I had to go to wikipedia to get more than four.) If played with a very secular group (as our regular group is) I'm afraid that "flow" would be quite difficult to achive when players have to look up what is religiously ok at each junction.

If you're American, or probably even european, you've probably got a basic understanding of Christian morality, considering that it was the baseline for most laws and social mores in most western countries. Basically, don't lie, don't steal, don't hurt people, don't fornicate, and help people when you can. Work hard, don't brag too much. Sure, Christianity, law and social expectations have gotten a bit more complicated than that over the years, but that's the baseline. This baseline is what allows people of different faiths to be able to play Dogs meaningfully, I think. When they deviate from the baseline, it says something. When they conform, that also says something.

At any rate, beyond that, the book gives a pretty good idea of what the Faithful in particular believe, and as Vincent pointed out, your players shouldn't feel constrained by those rules, unless they choose to be. They are the true voice of the King; All the traditions of the people pale beside that.


2) I find this statement "If someone has a problem with the dogs actions they can take it up with the King of Life" very powerful and intriguing. However it seems that it is simply left hanging. What is supposed to happen when someone does? In general I feel quite unsure of how to handle god and frankly i find the subject gets very little given the overt religious nature of the game? For instance how are you supposed to handle if a dog prays for guidance? (Something I'd expect to happen within the hour of starting play, isn't this what religious types do when faced by a dilema?)

I won't try to repeat advice already given. It's all good. Basically, the game isn't really about God. It's about people who believe, and who are believed, to be the true Voice of God. His existence or lack thereof is unimportant (within the game, of course) beside the simple fact of that belief. Even the supernatural level doesn't have to include a decision as to whether or not He exists; The power of belief itself is enough. Also, even the Faithful are human, and possess human flaws as greed, fear and anger. A Faithful may believe that his actions are the will of the King, but that doesn't make it so. A Faithful man may even lie, saying that the King has told him to do something. He might do so because of demonic influence, or just because he's a bastard like that.


3) In various places it says to add or subract 1 to a stat, that is suposed to mean one DIE, right? (Because I don't see how having something like Body 4d6+2 would work.) 

Yes, it works as you interpret it.

4) Is there some special significance to each dog having a special coat that I just don't see? For me this is just inexplicable and weird...

Are you a Star Wars fan? Imagine a Jedi without his lightsaber. Now, he could probably deflect blaster bolts or kill people just about as easily.. But would he be nearly so cool? The coat is a badge of office to the Faithful, a reminder of duty and of love to the Dog himself. It's the Dog's consecrated vestments, and something to keep him warm on a cold, windy night. It's also the roadmap to where he's been; Burns, patched holes and bloodstains give mute evidence to the Dog's travails.

Screw lightsabers. Dogs coats are freakin' cool
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Bjorn
Member

Posts: 12


« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2007, 08:12:28 AM »

4) The coats are a reference to Joseph's coat of many colors, and to the folk magic I was raised with.

Oh ok. That was basicly what i was searching for. I.e. if there was some basis for it in actual historic religious practice or mythology.

So if you're not partial to coats you could just have the dogs carry elaboratly carved crusifixes or whatever other symbol strikes your fancy?

I'm not surprised that some of the stuff I've treated as revolutionary is stuff you've been doing all along. I know several people for whom that's true.

I'm curious: which things seem revolutionary to you that the game glosses over?

Glossed over is probably a poor choice of words but I think that a lot of things in the conflict resultion is stated very dryly and matter of factly (i.e. without prideful language) compared to some things about town creation and "adventure design" and "GMing style" which I consider quite unspectacular but which are presented with a lot of fanfare.

But since pride leeds to sin maybe that is intentional?

Also I agree with Wolfen that morality in the western world is severly tainted/formed by judeo-christian values but in many ways that only helps you understand outcomes, not the process leading to those outcomes. In the end I guess all morality tends to be reduced to some variant of "Be nice... Or else!"

Thanks everyone for the clarifications
/Bjorn

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