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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 138 - most online ever: 660 (January 18, 2023, 03:22:41 PM)
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Author Topic: More on Dogs and action-adventure, but for long-running campaigns and Exp.  (Read 3083 times)
zornwil
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Posts: 86


« on: June 13, 2007, 10:41:55 AM »

As mentioned in my other post of today, we are doing Dogs with action-adventure more and more.

One thing that we haven't decided on is how Experience/Fall-out should work where we might be using this for an ongoing (years) campaign.  The campaign in question is a superhero one (it's already gone years, though on a bit of a hiatus, originally using HERO but moving now away from that due to the preference for the Dogs mechanics).  The central issue here is that Dogs (again, rightfully for its intent) witnesses rapid character growth.  That's great for a limited-run campaign, which any sort of Dogs game typically is (though I noticed from the boards a few individuals seem to be doing some long-term ones and getting into huge dice ranges).  But for something indefinitely ongoing, and especially reflecting a genre known for its relatively static characters (but with varying power levels/sudden surges as needed for the story), this doesn't work work as well. 

A friend and I have been kicking around some ideas, not sure I'm satisfied with any of them yet.  Perhaps the most intrigueing one is that session or storyline Fallout/Experience is not carried on to the next session or storyline (so basically you start with your "permanent" sheet, and you copy that to a new one which is marked up, then at the end you can "toss out" the session-based sheet).  This allows the PCs to build up their forces against what they face and the climax to include all their learnings/etc..  Reflection would apply to the permanent sheet as the indication of what you took away and continues on with the character. 

Of course, one could also beef up NPCs, but another concern is dice pools getting ridiculously big in an ongoing campaign and therefore conflicts taking too long (although in theory one could just have a session-long Stakes, "do we get the bad guys," but that introduces new issues of Stakes being too high practically). 

Interested in anyone's thoughts who has dealt with anything similar.  I also realize an answer could be "use a different RPG," which is entirely valid, but we are really digging the Dogs mechanics and my feeling is that this is a problem that isn't so hard to solve that we shouldn't at least try to do it with the core Dogs mechanics.   Thank.
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- Wilson
lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2007, 12:43:07 PM »

The permanent sheet / storyline sheet, with only reflection fallout going onto the permanent sheet, sounds genius to me. What a great idea.

-Vincent
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zornwil
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Posts: 86


« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2007, 01:07:09 PM »

Thanks for both your responses!  I passed along to my friend who came up with the session idea your "genius" comment, and that helps encourage us to try it out.  Actually from emailing each other we've gotten pretty far down this path already, so I think it's pretty likely this is how we'll go. 
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zornwil
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2007, 07:14:43 PM »

Having another thought suitable, I think, for group action-adventure play:  Group Traits:  Players can build a Group Trait - "We work well together" or "We argue like hell" or "We have this trick where we combine into one super-duper enviro-friendly big guy...." and so on.  PCs can only invoke a Group Trait if all agree!  In event of disagreement, whether PCs break into a Conflict to decide this is of course up to the play group and the "someone's not just saying yes" rule.  This idea could take a whole bunch of shapes, perhaps the simplest one being that Reflection Fallout only gives the PCs each ONE possibility (basically the Experience list with the options from the "or this" Reflection list, but no "choose Reflection and possibly choose again from Experience" - we're working on this for action-adenture, more on this as we suss it out), but the group gets 1 Group Reflection which can feed these Group Traits (I suppose this could also be Group Belongings and so on - maybe even Group Uniforms!)  As you can probably tell, I like this idea.  I think it works for team-oriented action-adventure.  It can be things like "Protocol #1:  Flank and divide the enemy!"  "Protocol #2:  Corbomite Maneuver!"  And so on.
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- Wilson
lumpley
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2007, 06:49:37 AM »

Be sure to check out Bonds from Afraid, if you haven't. A Bond gives you dice upfront, with your stat dice, as long as it's true. "I never cut my hair 1d10" for instance. Group Bonds could be super cool - "we work together well 1d10," everybody gets it in every conflict just as long as its true, but you don't need to invoke it directly into a raise or see.
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zornwil
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Posts: 86


« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2007, 03:01:05 PM »

Thanks, actually I have been checking out Bonds in Afraid, just last night I was reading through all the Afraid stuff.   I have been thinking about them, but I missed they were rolled up-front just like Stats. 
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zornwil
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Posts: 86


« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2007, 08:34:29 PM »

As I've been rereading through the rules much more intently and reminding myself of things and rediscovering things, I'm starting to see that I'm maybe a bit of a fool about just how long one has to play in a Dogs-type game before becoming "too" effective against serious opposition, even taking into accunt that an action-adventure game requires a more "PC versus NPC" dynamic and loses at the least somewhat the morality dynamic (directly, anyway - our PCs argue so much and have gotten quite heated, gone around each other, almost come to blows, etc., that that's still essentially a part of our games, regardless, as it is I have found with many groups).  We're now close to playtesting something (granted, we'll have to see exactly what "something" is in the coming week!) probably on the 30th and will continue, I hope, to play our long-running supers game using these mechanics on our give-or-take monthly schedule and see how it goes.  We'll even have a bit of a control experiment in that our other action-adventure game will be allowed to grow just normally and we'll see how that does.
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