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# of Players for DiTV ?

Started by cra2, December 17, 2008, 09:58:29 AM

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Starting to read the rules for DiTV.
Loving the theme.
Hoping to run it in 2 weekends.

Question though - I recall reading somewhere that it's really not suitable for more than 3 players or so.
Is that so?  Why?



When circumstances force me to run it for 5, I resign myself to the fact that 3 of them will get to really play and 2 will just get to watch, contributing only color. It's just how the game works - a combination of the scale of town creation, the effectiveness of any given PC, and the time and attention the dice demand.

In a long-running game, it's probably fine. In any given session, 3 of them will get to play and the other 2 will just watch, but it'll be a different mix all the time and over many sessions it'll even out.

3 players is my favorite number to run the game for.



I've never run it for more than 4 players.  Four is fine, three is better, two is fine.  I wouldn't run a full game for one, although the 15-minute demo for one is supergood.  I could easily see a 5-player game going like Vincent said, 3 active and 2 mostly watching, but I've never run one myself.

At DunDraCon last weekend someone advertised an 8-player 8-hour game of Dogs, and wound up running for 7, in a somewhat modified setting.  I just watched chargen and the first accomplishment (which went well), and I ran into one of the players on a break at the half-way mark and he said it'd been fun so far, mostly talking through things rather than using the conflict mechanics.  I'm very curious to find out how things eventually turned out.


I ran Poison'd for eight players, but then Poison'd is a very different game. Even then some players sat and watched more than others.

That GM was either foolish or immensely talented. Sounds to me like they played Dogs without the mechanics being important to the game, which seems silly to me, so likely the former.


I ran Fort Lemon for four players this weekend. It ran right on time; character generation including accomplishments was finished after one-and-a-half hours, Fort Lemon itself ran for about three hours. At the end, two Dogs not only put down their mantle, but left the faith completely.


Every game of Dogs in the Vineyard (save for two) that I have ever run has been for just a single player.  The gaming group has evaporated, so it's just a one-on-one thing.  The most I've ever played with is two other players, which ran well, but never long enough to flesh anything out.

I know it's not ideal, but I find with just a single player, the game runs without a hitch.
- Keith Blocker

David Artman

Quote from: lumpley on December 17, 2008, 10:03:36 AMIt's just how the game works - a combination of the scale of town creation, the effectiveness of any given PC, and the time and attention the dice demand.
Could I get you to unpack that a bit, Vincent? If you can in something short of a Massive Essay.

Seems to me that, beyond three Dogs, one would want to do two things:
a) Get them aimed at each other. No, it's not YOUR Aunt who's the False Worshiper... it that Dog there's! This will also mitigate the fact that 4+ Dogs should utterly roll over any opposition in town, up to and including a mob and the Territorial Authority backing a Sorcerer with 5d10 of Demonic Influence. (Hmmm... would it work to dial down the number of dice the players get to build Dogs?)
b) Bifurcate the problems. Maybe make two (or more) inter-related Sin Progressions, in a given town (a city?) without turning it into two parallel games at the same table. Yes, scene management would be a challenge, but the Dogs often want to split up and root out, anyway, so might as well amp up the number of opponents, so to speak.

But I'm sure you're more familiar with the core of the system's balance, and I guess that's what I'm asking about.

(P.S. Finish Mechaton! I should make that my sig....)
Designer - GLASS, Icehouse Games
Editor - Perfect, Passages


Good points, David.
I second the motion to have Lumpley "unpack" his statement.  :)


I don't really know what else to say about it.

The town creation rules create towns with problems this big.
One Dog, in action, can take on this much.
One Dog's actions require this much time and attention from the group (based on, simply, how much time it takes to see, raise and escalate through a conflict).

1 town's problems divided by how much 1 Dog can take on = about 3 Dogs.
1 3- or 4-hour session divided by how much time 1 Dog's actions demand = about 3 Dogs.

Having more players at the table means you need more problem in the town AND more hours in the session, if you want every Dog to get to do a whole Dog's worth of stuff.

Anybody still wants me to say more, ask me direct questions, maybe? That'll help me.



Are Dog minutes seven times as much as people minutes?

(I had to.)

So mathwise, you are saying there are about 3-4 Dog hours of play per town, traditionally 9-12 total Dog hours of play.


I don't follow! Try again with different words?



I regret injecting the silly.

I was repeating your numbers back to you in another form.

You say a typical game has 1 towns probelsm which equals about 3 Dogs worth of action.

1 dogs action is worth about 3-4 hours.

So a typical town has about 3 X (3-4) or 9-12 hours of total play built in.  in THEORY one Dog might do a whole town in 9-12 hours, 2 in 4-6, 3 in 3-4, and 10 in one hour.


Oh! No, one town requires about 3 Dogs' worth of action to deal with, and also requires 3-4 hours of real-world play. So each Dog's portion of the town, one Dog's worth of action, requires an hour to an hour twenty of real-world play.

1 town's problem = 3 Dogs' action = 3-4 hours play

1 Dog's action = 1/3 town's problem = 1-1.3 hours play

It is already kind of silly to try to formulatize it like this, but the point is that if you have a fourth player, you still have only 3 Dogs' worth of action in the town, so not every Dog can have a full share. Four players can work okay, everybody gets a skimpy game, is all. But if you have five players, odds are somebody's going to be effectively a spectator.