*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 07, 2021, 10:52:35 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 73 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [DitV] A few questions from a new GM.  (Read 3995 times)
SAW
Member

Posts: 35


« on: July 16, 2009, 09:28:33 AM »

Hi there! My name is Scott and I'm completely new to the game, but I'm planning on GMing it, so, naturally, I've got a couple of questions even after reading through the book.

I've been reading a lot of the threads already posted here, but with so many its hard to find exactly what I'm looking for.

So, hopefully no one minds if a few of these questions have been asked before!

1) What's the Standard Operating Procedure when a Dog declares that someone is a Sorcerer? What the Dogs say regarding the Faith is pretty much fact, correct?

So, if they declare someone a Sorcerer, does that person gain all the benefits of being a Sorcerer regardless of them perhaps not having a cult, since part of the idea of the game is that the Dogs can't be "wrong" when it comes to the Faith?

--

2) Is it advisable to put a decent amount of pressure on Verbal Raises? Like, to enforce that the players can't just be like "Nu uh!" "Yeah huh!"?

Does that effectively put them in a position that sometimes they're forced to escalate or give, not because they're out of dice, but simply because they can't figure out how to "attack" the situation verbally? Or should you let the Dogs argue however they want and let the dice pool determine how much hot air they can blow?

--

3) How much is a good idea to reveal up front? I know the idea is that the Dogs should know something is wrong, but should you leave it largely at "Something is wrong. Here's the leaves, but you're going to have to search to find the roots."?

An example in the book with Brother Malachai and the girl is one where it didn't appear that everything was handed to the players up front. The affair and such had to be discovered through piecing things together.

In that situation though, would it be best to have someone tell the Dogs that someone in town is having an affair? Or just tell them that this guy wants to a second wife and then have some guilt be hinted at at first, and only blatently revealed if the Dogs totally miss it?

--

4) What's the opinion on having the town progression continue while the Dog's are in town? Like, have them walk in with just Pride & Injustice, and then have sin occur while the Dog's are actually present, and then have the first demonic attack occur after that.

Or should you pretty much just set the stage and not advance it beyond that once the Dog's have arrived?

--

Sorry for all the questions, and thanks in advance for any answers!
Logged
Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2591


WWW
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2009, 09:50:30 AM »

These are quite insightful questions!

1) Being a sorcerer in fact requires having a cult, that's the technical definition of the word, unless I misremember. My take is that the dogs might be right on the pertinent issue of Faith (whether this person is an evil sinner), but that doesn't retroactively change the in-setting reality to accord with their wrong understanding. In general, it's probably best to handle the "dogs are never wrong" thing as a direction for the GM to avoid bringing in ecclestical authorities or God himself to correct them; they are always right in the sense that the game is not about proving them wrong on moral or doctrinal points, and in the sense that everybody in the setting expects them to be right, but that still don't mean that the world rearranges itself on their word.

2) Group tastes differ on how much narration is required in conflict, but in all cases you'll want to require enough: a raise is only valid if the opponent can't ignore it, which is pretty much judged by the group. Call bullshit on those weak Raises, I say. In some groups this rule gives way when the players have mechanical strength but nothing to narrate; the more interesting option in my mind is to require the player to come up with something interesting (with help from others, if need be) or Give. After all, if he doesn't have any good arguments, how are we supposed to believe that his character wins the conflict. Somebody has to narrate why and how it happens, right?

3) Revealing content is the most important pacing tool the GM has in Dogs and some other games. Always reveal enough to keep the action going, and reveal it quick enough to not make the session feel too long. In other words, it depends on the dramatic considerations when and what you reveal. Consider: if you revealed everything at once, the game would be reduced into a cold moral calculus where the players would never need or want to consider their characters and their individual viewpoints. You need to give the characters time to form impressions and opinions, which is done through the gradual, uncertain revelation of town backstory. The intent is not to force players to guess, but to feed them the information through in-setting, textured sources. Do not bring in a NPC that tells them the whole story from an objective, impartial point of view: bring characters who tell what they know, in the ways they want to tell the story. Leave uncertainties which can only be cleared by force. In a word: let the players play.

4) Don't progress the town according to a pre-planned schedule, but if events naturally proceed to new sins during play, embrace it (and remember to adjust demon strength accordingly). Also note that church theology is not as important to the immediate story as consistent action is: during play events do not follow a clean progression of sins, they happen according to what people in the story want and decide and manage to accomplish. Let the characters argue about whether something is Hate & Murder after the fact, if the want.
Logged

Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2009, 09:52:36 AM »

Hey! Welcome.

1. No. As GM, when you create the town, you decide who's a sorcerer and who isn't. The Dogs can't do anything to change that.

("The Dogs can't be wrong when it comes to the Faith" isn't part of the idea of the game. It's a persistent misconception.)

2. Over the course of the first couple few sessions you'll figure out, as a group and for this group, what counts as a good raise. You should participate actively in that process: when a player makes a raise you think is too thin, ask for more.

3. Actively reveal the town in play. Don't infodump. Have NPCs tell the Dogs only what they know, and what's in their self-interests to tell them.

In a town like the ones in the book, it'll take 2-3 hours of play for the Dogs to get to the bottom of everything that's going on.

4. I think you'll find that the Dogs can stop things from happening faster than you can make them happen. I strongly recommend that you create towns that go all the way to hate and murder, at least for the first several towns, before you start creating towns that stop short.

That said, yes, you should let the town's situation advance after the Dogs arrive.

Eero's answers are good.

-Vincent
Logged
SAW
Member

Posts: 35


« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2009, 10:31:40 AM »

 If tThanks for the input! Would either of you mind taking a quick look at this Town I wrote up? This is the other thing I'm definitely shakey on, and would really appreciate some advise on.

---

Town Name: Sanctuary Valley

PRIDE: Sister Abigail is a young girl who wants to be a Dog, a daughter of two deceased Dog's herself. Unfortunately, this pushes her out of her proper role as a young woman--she rebuffs suitors while attempting to learn to ride and shoot in preparation for her eventual elevation.

Brother Marcus, the town Steward, is set that his son (Brother Jacob) is going to be one the greatest Dog's the Faith has ever known.

INJUSTICE: Sister Abigail pretty much manages to outshine the boys her age when it comes to most everything she tries to accomplish. This puts the boys in a bad light as the families and the older boys expect them to be able to beat a girl.

On top of this, the Steward won't support Abigail's desire to become a Dog because he wants his son to be one--unfortunately, Abigail manages to best Jacob at just about everything Dog-related.

SIN: Jacob decides that he is simply going to end the competition on his own terms by knocking Abigial out of it all together. He gathers the other powers and they rig a horse's saddle to bust during a jumping contest, which sends the girl into a hard fall.

DEMONIC ATTACK: The demons have their way in with Jacob's gang at this point and use it to sabotage -them- in return, allowing the injured Sister Abigail to continue to out do them. The demons want to push the boys and their families to the brink. It also makes Abigail look like some sort of sorcerer.

FALSE DOCTRINE: Jacob leads his gang in the belief that no woman should naturally be as capable as a man, and that the King of Life would never -really- want a woman to be his Dog.

CORRUPT WORSHIP: Jacob and his gang begin praying to save themselves from Sister Abigail and her demon possession, to weaken her and destroy her, preferably by Jacob's hand.

FALSE PRIESTHOOD: Jacob, leading the gang in this, creates a cult and becomes a Sorcerer himself.

SORCERY: Jacob uses his sorcery to cause other accidents to befall Abigail and her adopted family, hoping to break her spirit.

This is when the Dogs show up, their arrival giving Abigail a new strength and a final hope to reach for her dreams. If the Dog's don't act quickly enough, then this can lead to Abigail's murder at the hands of Jacob's gang.


WHAT PEOPLE WANT?
SISTER ABIGAIL: She wants the Dog's to send her off to Bridal Falls with their blessings to become a Dog herself.

BROTHER MARCUS: He believes the bad things that have begun to happen to Abigail are punishment for her continuing pride. He wants the Dogs to side with him, but beyond that, he wants them to praise praise his son and encourage him to be sent off to Bridal Falls.

BROTHER JACOB: He wants Abigail broken, much like a horse. He wants the Dogs to shatter her dreams of becoming a Dog and, in fact, persuade her to marry him to supposedly ease the bad blood created in town--in reality, he just wants to be completely above her.

BROTHER SAMUEL: Jacob's younger brother and a hesitant member of his cult. Samuel just wants his brother back.

WHAT DEMONS WANT? The demons have a couple things they wouldn't mind. First, they wouldn't mind if the Dogs encouraged Abigail and sent her off to Bridal Falls instead of Jacob, as this would push the boy over the edge.

Second, if they break Abigail's spirit and force her to marry Jacob, she'll likely commit suicide or he'll kill her in short order, leading to all sorts of bad things happening after that.

WHAT IF THE DOGS NEVER CAME? If the Dog's never came, Abigail would likely have been killed, either from her broken spirit, or through Jacob sending his possessed gang to murder her. This would then leave Jacob at the top, and soon being a Dog simply wouldn't be enough, and the boy would attempt to simply take the town over and raise himself up as its leader.
Logged
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2009, 10:44:04 AM »

It's a very good town.

You'll want to add another few NPCs. Abigail's mother, for instance, her father, a couple more boys in the cult, their families. What do they want?

I strongly recommend that you start off with a town that goes all the way to hate and murder. This would make a good second town, and an excellent third town - as good a third town as I've ever seen.

-Vincent
Logged
SAW
Member

Posts: 35


« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2009, 10:50:33 AM »

It's a very good town.

You'll want to add another few NPCs. Abigail's mother, for instance, her father, a couple more boys in the cult, their families. What do they want?

I strongly recommend that you start off with a town that goes all the way to hate and murder. This would make a good second town, and an excellent third town - as good a third town as I've ever seen.

-Vincent

Yeah, I realized about the need for more NPCs. Abigial's adopted parents, definitely. As well as some more of the boys and their families. Maybe a family that's sort of lost some prestige and wants their son to succeed to get a leg up.

And I originally took this one to Hate & Murder, with Abigail not letting her spirit be broken and then Jacob sending his gang after her and blaming it on the Mountain People. But then I thought it might be interesting if the reason Abigial's spirit isn't broken is because the Dog's show up, and are therefore sort of the cause of Abigail's murder.

Though, I suppose instead of Abigial being the original murder victim, it could be her adopted father who gets offed first, and then the Dog's show up and have to sort things out before Jacob can get to Abigail as well.

I guess it surprises me that going all the way to Hate & Murder is actually better for first towns. My initial reaction is to want to start off small. But I'll definitely bump it up!

Thanks a bunch for the advise.
Logged
SAW
Member

Posts: 35


« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2009, 11:37:45 AM »

Here we go. I added in Hate & Murder, and brought in 4 more NPCs, which also really expanded on the seedy under-pinnings of the plot, I think.

Thanks for the input! Would either of you mind taking a quick look at this Town I wrote up? This is the other thing I'm definitely shakey on, and would really appreciate some advise on.

---

Sanctuary Valley

PRIDE: Sister Abigail is a young girl who wants to be a Dog, a daughter of two deceased Dog's herself. Unfortunately, this pushes her out of her proper role as a young woman--she rebuffs suitors while attempting to learn to ride and shoot in preparation for her eventual elevation.

Brother Marcus, the town Steward, is set that his son (Brother Jacob) is going to be one the greatest Dog's the Faith has ever known.

INJUSTICE: Sister Abigail pretty much manages to outshine the boys her age when it comes to most everything she tries to accomplish. This puts the boys in a bad light as the families and the older boys expect them to be able to beat a girl.

On top of this, the Steward won't support Abigail's desire to become a Dog because he wants his son to be one--unfortunately, Abigail manages to best Jacob at just about everything Dog-related.

SIN: Jacob decides that he is simply going to end the competition on his own terms by knocking Abigial out of it all together. He gathers the other powers and they rig a horse's saddle to bust during a jumping contest, which sends the girl into a hard fall.

DEMONIC ATTACK: The demons have their way in with Jacob's gang at this point and use it to sabotage -them- in return, allowing the injured Sister Abigail to continue to out do them. The demons want to push the boys and their families to the brink. It also makes Abigail look like some sort of sorcerer.

FALSE DOCTRINE: Jacob leads his gang in the belief that no woman should naturally be as capable as a man, and that the King of Life would never -really- want a woman to be his Dog.

CORRUPT WORSHIP: Jacob and his gang begin praying to save themselves from Sister Abigail and her demon possession, to weaken her and destroy her, preferably by Jacob's hand.

FALSE PRIESTHOOD: Jacob, leading the gang in this, creates a cult and becomes a Sorcerer himself.

SORCERY: Jacob uses his sorcery to cause other accidents to befall Abigail and her adopted family, hoping to break her spirit.

HATE & MURDER: When her families hardships only seem to make the girl work harder to keep them afloat, Jacob lashes out, seeking to break their family's back--by killing her father. Without her father, the family can't survive without Abigial being married to someone able to take care of them, a role which Jacob just happens to be willing to fill.

This is when the Dog's come in


WHAT PEOPLE WANT?
SISTER ABIGAIL: She wants the Dog's to send her off to Bridal Falls with their blessings to become a Dog herself. She also wants the Dogs to find a way to keep her adopted mother from being ruined by her father's recent death.

SISTER MADELINE: She wants to see her daughter suceed. Sister Madeline was a friend of Abigail's mother, and when both her and Abigail's father died protecting a neighboring town from bandits, she took it upon herself to raise the girl as her own. And now that her husband has been murdered, she would also like the Dog's to guide her in what the King has planned for her survival.

BROTHER MARCUS: He believes the bad things that have begun to happen to Abigail are punishment for her continuing pride. He wants the Dogs to side with him, but beyond that, he wants them to praise his son and encourage him to be sent off to Bridal Falls, removing any traces of favoritism from the decision he would make on his own as Steward.

BROTHER JACOB: He wants Abigail broken, much like a horse. He wants the Dogs to shatter her dreams of becoming one of them and, in fact, persuade her to marry him--to supposedly ease the bad blood created in town, but in reality, he just wants to be completely above her.

BROTHER SAMUEL: Jacob's younger brother and a hesitant member of his cult. Samuel just wants his "old" brother back.

BROTHER ETHAN: Ethan is Jacob's right-hand man. He's an older boy, but he's not very compotent and wasn't very well-liked. When he saw a chance to step into the spot-light, he took it, joining Jacob's cause with very little prompting. He wants to protect Jacob to protect his own good fortune, and so he either wants the Dogs to see Abigail as a sorcerer and "free" her from demonic control, or to simply leave.

BROTHER NICHOLAS: Nicholas is the father of Ethan, and like father, like son. When Abigail's father was killed 10 years ago, he carefully watched who he thought would gain the Stewardship and fell to supporting them as quickly as he could. Despite his service to Marcus, his family is only mildly influential due to the respect still given to Madeline and her now late husband. Nicholas wants the Dogs to judge Abigail unfavorably, as that will reflect upon Madeline, but at the same time, he also wants the Dogs to encourage her--now without a husband--to marry him, so that his influence will be that much better cemented.

CAPTAIN REYNOLDS: Captain Reynolds is a middle-aged member of the Territorial Authority but not a member of the Faith. He feels heavily responsible for the death of Abigail's parents, as it was him who requested their aid in the situation that got them both killed. He wants the Dog's to set right the wrong he's done by giving Marcus a path to Stewardship, as he believes if Abigail's real father was still alive, that this town would still be a sanctuary.

WHAT DEMONS WANT? The demons have a couple things they wouldn't mind. First, they wouldn't mind if the Dogs encouraged Abigail and sent her off to Bridal Falls instead of Jacob, as this would push the boy over the edge.

Second, if they break Abigail's spirit and force her to marry Jacob, she'll likely commit suicide or he'll kill her in short order, leading to all sorts of bad things happening after that.

WHAT IF THE DOGS NEVER CAME? If the Dog's never came, Abigail would likely have been killed, either from her broken spirit, or through Jacob sending his possessed gang to murder her. This would then leave Jacob at the top, and soon being a Dog simply wouldn't be enough, and the boy would attempt to simply take the town over and raise himself up as its leader.
Logged
cra2
Member

Posts: 53


« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2009, 10:26:25 AM »

I'm confused about a couple of things re: your town.

1)  I don't get the role of Capt Reynolds.  What is he doing about the mounting problem?  What's the situation that got "them both killed?"  And why does he want to give Marcus a path to stewardship if Marcus is already the town's Steward?

2)  Seems like the demons' motives are muddy.  If the dogs do X - the demons are happy.  If the dogs do Y - the demons are happy.  And in either case, the events that will transpire will happen after the Dogs are gone and think they've solved the problems, no?   If they send Abigail off to become a Dog, Jacob snears under his breath, the Dogs leave, and then Jacob starts slowly exacting his revenge.  If they break her spirit, she sobs but accepts the WILL of the Faith and submits.  The Dogs leave and a year or so later, unable to accept her fate, Abigail kills herself.
Logged
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2009, 12:47:28 PM »

I meant to get back to this town. Thanks for reminding me!

It's true, Captain Reynolds is odd, since he doesn't appear in the progression. SAW, If you have him connected solidly to the rest of the in your mind, though, that's all you need.

I wouldn't worry about whether the demons want consistent things. It's not like Jacob's going to live through this anyway. I got a fiver says he doesn't.

ESPECIALLY if any of the PC Dogs are women.

-Vincent
Logged
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!