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Bringing in the Coat and Guns

Started by Rafe, August 01, 2009, 11:50:08 AM

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Hi, all,

I've got two questions.  First, when can a Dog use his coat as a belonging to bring those dice into a conflict?  One of my players brainstormed using it as intimidation:  "I sweep the tails of my coat over the grips of my pistols." and thus bring in the 2d6.  I thought that was awesome.  When/how else could the coat be brought in?  I suppose part of my concern is having it stack with the "I'm a Dog" trait.  Could it also be used in a gun or knife fight?  For example, on a See, the player rolls coat dice, sees with 2 dice and says "Matthias spins when he sees Jacob raise the revolver, his coat flying around him, making it hard for Jacob to see where his actual body is.  The bullet tears a hole through my coat but misses me."  ?

My second question is:  Can a gun be brought in during the talk part of a conflict?  For example, talk seems to be going downhill but escalating would be a really bad idea.  Instead, a Dog draws his gun as a very unsubtle threat.  Roll the gun dice?

So I guess these are both a single question:  how far can narrative go to influence dice being brought in?  I don't want to forestall their resourcefulness and creativity, but I don't want this to go down the road of breaking Rule 0 (aka, Don't Be A Dick).

Thanks in advance for replies!

Lance D. Allen

One of the basic rules of Dogs is to check the temper at the table. You probably know who your most critical player is. When someone narrates something to get dice, glance at that player. Is he nodding? Is he frowning?

Look around at the other players. If no one is making an objection, then it's probably good.

For the record, I've seen the coat used to comfort a crying girl, stop bullets, and cow Stewards as a symbol of authority. If it stacks with "I'm a Dog" then it stacks. All of the things you mention are excellent uses of the Dogs coat.

Re guns in talking: Yes. Your group may decide that it doesn't get full dice because it's not being used to shoot, so it's an "improvised intimidation device". Again, look to your most critical player for guidance. I would let it roll its full dice, though. Just remember that once an object's or trait's dice have been rolled, that's it. You cannot roll them again no matter how many times you work them into narration.

That "most critical player" rule is pure gold. Mine it. If *you* are normally the most critical player, then look to the second most critical when you're GMing.
~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls


Don't forget that guns have a powerful effect on story. I used to always ask the players, if they brought in guns, if they minded if I could use the gun in my narration too.

Guns go off! Especially the vintage used in this setting. Guns make people judge their users. Sure, guns intimidate, but they have all kinds of juicy psycological side effects. Consider the person who would never dream of violence,  but would also like someone to die. If this person sees another weilding a gun as a symbol of authority, their whole motivation can change.

After a while I didn't need to ask my players, because whenever they pulled out a gun it was in full knowlege that I could spin it how I wanted.


Simon C

There's always a drawn-in breath when anyone brings in guns in our Dogs game, even when we're just talking.  We had a pretty ugly run-in with shooting in our first town, and so we're all very scared of them.

Worst thing that ever happened to my character was the seven-year-old boy he was facing down pulling my gun from my holster and pointing it at me.  It was nasty.


Great answers!  Thanks a bunch.  I like the "critical player" aspect.  In the uses we've had for coat, guns and such thus far, everyone's been into the scene and it's always worked.  I'll keep an eye on that, though.  I also like the idea of using just the belonging dice for guns, but not the +1d4.  The 1d4 can be rolled if things get escalated to shooting.

Simon, our group is the same:  Guns have been drawn, but only one of the three Dogs has ever fired a shot.  One Dog even went into a situation where a boy was firing a rifle at him... and he talked the kid down!  In our first session, there was a scene towards the end where things went crazy pretty fast, so the players have seen what a firefight means.  One Dog was shot twice, I think, and had verbal Fallout, as well.  The follow-up conflict was to save him from dying and it was a close one.  So they see the consequences.  :)

Again, thanks, all!