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[DitV] Finally! My first time running DitV is done! Used Orchard Plains.

Started by 14thWarrior, July 18, 2007, 07:45:34 PM

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Well, it took me over half a year, but I finally got a group together and we played some Dogs in the Vineyard.  The group I managed to pull together consists of a great bunch of guys with great senses of humor, and adventurous spirits willing to try something new.  We were all new to non-tradtional gaming, so there was definitely a learning curve and headspace adjustment to be made; I think we're still adjusting to it, but that will come with time.  Everyone had a good time, and everyone is up for more; so I'm taking that as a good sign.

My group consists of four dogs as follows:

Ezekiel Martin - A preacher's son who was sent to Bridal Falls City to receive Dog training after his father was killed, and his town was destroyed by an evil man referred to by Ezekial as 'The Dark Man'.

Caleb Shannow - A former criminal who was given a book of life to read while awaiting his execution date.  Caleb should be dead; his memory of the noose being slopped over his head and cinched around his neck, and the gallows trap door dropping open under him are clear.  But somehow he survived the execution; he turned wholly to the King of Life and journeyed to Bridal Falls City to receive his training as a Dog.

Remy Armstrong - A wealthy, charismatic, well-read, nobleman of sorts from the eastern territories, Remy found that his life had no purpose and suddenly left his family and home to 'find himself'.  What he found was the Faith; it gave him purpose, it gave him clarity.  It was clear that his calling to the Faith from the faithlessness was a sign by the King that he was meant to be a Dog.

and, Noshi - A half-blood mountain man, brought into the fold of the Faithful, Noshi mixes ancient mountain folk culture with the teachings of the Faith to offer a wholly unique perspective on things.

The town we ran through was Orchard plains, using the suggestions provided in that thread to make the situation very dramatic and gripping.

Due to our unfamiliarity with the system, character creation took longer than expected; we ended having to finish the town in a second session.  Fortunately, we hadn't gotten very far into the actual town play when we stopped, so picking it back up during the second session was easy.

Here's a bit of a summary of events:

The Dogs approached the town and entered the vicinity of the Apple Orchards; they picked a couple of apples, and determined that there was something wrong with the apples.  They then found a crying and hysterical Grace, slumped over Josephus' bleeding, gun shot, body.  Noshi, being a strong healer, aided by various elements of ceremony, and the help of his fellow dogs healed Josephus, and prevented his demise. (yeah, we turned the supernatural dial pretty high, though I admit that I don't think I kept the supernatural dial consistent throughout play).  Grace and Josephus told the dogs their side of the story.

The dogs realized that they needed to talk to Alden.  Here, the group split up.  Noshi took Grace and Josephus to the house where the sick farmhands were, to see to their healing; the others made their way to Alden's homestead to confront him.  When they got Alden's home, he quickly defended his actions, saying he couldn't just let Josephus kill daughter.  The dogs quickly turned the argument around to the tainted apples, and demanded to know why he let Felicity take the fall for making the townsfolk sick, when he knew all along that the apples were bad.  While Remy continued to interrogate Alden, Ezekial headed upstairs to see to Felicity.  Another slightly supernatural healing saw her pulled away from the grave, and even got her a scar-free back.

Given the repercussions of the tainted apple scandal on the whole town, the Dogs decided that Alden needed to confess his pride and sin to the whole town, publicly.  Meanwhile, Noshi performed a mass healing of the sick farmhands, and instructed everyone who could, to gather at the town hall. 

At the town hall, the Dogs made Alden confess, breaking the tainted apple scandal wide open.  They then decided that the apple harvest, though surprisingly not the entire orchard, needed to be burned in a cleansing ceremony to rid the orchard of its taint.

Josephus was demoted from his position as Steward, a decision to which he took exception; he began arguing with the dogs, eventually throwing a punch at Ezekiel, which Caleb stepped right into absorbing the shock with his coat (remember, supernatural dial high).  Having nothing else to throw at the Dogs, Josephus realized that the dogs were right; he willingly submitted to their judgment.  Josephus was ordered to travel to Bridal Falls City to petition the Faith's elders for funding to build the new schoolhouse that the tainted harvest was to have provided.  Josephus pointed out that since the orchard still stood, they would only lose the one year's income from the apple crop, and the town could wait a year to build the new schoolhouse.  The Dogs reminded him that the point of their order wasn't how badly the town needed the schoolhouse, but rather that they deserved it after all the sin perpetrated by Alden and Josephus and their kin in the town's midsts, and that Josephus needed to do this to prove his continued worthiness for the post of Steward.

Interestingly, the Dogs decided that while Josephus was away, Grace would stay with Alden's family, in his care, and to work for his family to make restitution for her sins and transgressions against Felicity.

The last remaining issue to resolve, which was resolved quickly in the final minutes of the session, was the love triangle 'tween Meshach, Grace, and Felicity.  The Dogs interviewed Meshach and ascertained that he fancied Felicity.  They decided that Meshach could finish his courtship of Felicity, and the two would eventually be wed; in that meantime, they ordered Grace to stop pursuing Meshach.  (I think part of the decision was for Meshach, and his new wife Felicity to leave town, at least for a while, to make a new life for themselves.

All in all, it was a successful, and fun experience.  In hindsight, I think some things could have been done better to really amp up the action, and make the town that much more gripping:

  • There were times when immersive discussion ensued.  They were excellent opportunities for conflicts, that we just failed to capitalize on; in the future, I'll work to recognize those situations as conflicts and drive play towards the dice more, to create more dramatic situations.
  • I think I underplayed Grace's part in this whole thing.  Given that our supernatural dial was supposedly cranked up, I should have really capitalized on her being a sorceress, commanding demons.  I should have had demons either possessing the sick farmhands, or present near their beds, exacerbating their illness.  I also should have possessed by Josephus by a demon, commanded by Grace.

I'm going to start planning the second town for these dogs soon; I think I'm going to find a town with strong elements of sorcery and possession so that I can practice up on bring those elements into play.
Leo M. Lalande



I have one piece of advice: don't worry about the supernatural dial. You set it implicitly, through play, over the first few sessions, not explicitly or up front. I never even talk about it, when I play, I just follow my gut when I'm making raises and sees.

Thus, your use of "supposedly" is exactly right!



Yeah, the seemed a clear division of when the supernatural was high, and when it was low.  When we talked about characters and such, at character creation there seemed to be an indication that the players were going to want to play with a high supernatural content.  Indeed, the opening scene, once they got to the dying Josephus in the orchard, which in hindsight I realize would have been an excellent opportunity for a conflict - "do you get to Josephus before he dies?", started out with a conflict to heal Josephus and prevent his death.

Noshi, the half Mountain Man took the lead in the healing conflict, and the supernatural dial got cranked from the get go.  He invoked the name of the King of Life, he drew out the bullet and "stitched up" the wounds as if through psychic healing, and eventually even had to escalate (throughout both sessions, Noshi's player had the awful luck of rolling copious quantities of 1s and 2s - though he gained a lot of experience for it all); when he escalated, he drew his big bowie style knife and started cutting himself, "magically" drawing the wounds away from Josephus and onto himself.  It was very cool.  But the supernatural dial just about got turned off completely after that.  The only other time the supernatural dial was turned back up was, coincidentally, during two other healing conflicts; otherwise the supernatural dial stayed down low.

In discussions after the session, all the players concurred that they liked having the supernatural dial turned low for this town's problems, and not having any major physical demonic manifestations; however, they also all agreed that in other towns, with other problems, they would likely enjoy a more physical demonic presence.  I wonder if that's really true though.  The way they got into discussing the morality of the situation, and who was really the cause of it all, was amazing; again, being new to the game, we now realize that a lot of discussions between players were missed opportunities for conflicts.  In any case, as the GM it was amazing to see the players driving play pretty much all on their own.  I liken a good game of DitV to creating a computer program.  Your town writeup is the program code, and your opening scenes where you present most, if not all, of the town's problems is the command to execute the program.  If the town is well 'coded', the program runs itself. :D

Leo M. Lalande


Hi Folks!
We played DitV today. It was the first time we tried it and i used Orchard Plains.
I cannot share to much details about it coz (1) my English is really bad and (2) I dont have enough time for that. BUT!
The two player was really satisfied both with the system and the town. The introduction of the system was a little heavy but after the first conflict everything went well. The highlight of the performance was when the two dogs were argued about who have to expiate: the women or everybody XD. The talking escalated to gunfight, than to physical (running), and at the and to fistfight. Every trait relationship and belonging were used in this final contest. Totally awsome!!!
So thank your for everything!
from Hungary