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[DitV] Does this town sound too complicated?

Started by adjectivemarcus, January 13, 2010, 03:43:25 PM

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Hi, first post! I recently put in an order for the book, and have been avidly reading the pdf.

This is my first attempt at a town - I don't have any players yet so it's not exactly tailored.

Exodus Cross

Pride - I am better than everyone else

Edward and Robin Newton are brothers aged 20. They're identical twins. Their father is Malachi Newton, the town's doctor.
They think they're so smart, and have made good use of their similarity in looks - they've taken to skipping town to Foundersville, a local non-Faithful town where they've racked up debts of about $600 through gambling and whoring. But no-one can say for certain which of them it was. In truth, it's been both of them, taking it in turns.

Thaddeus Johnson is a widower, he and his pretty daughter Alice moved here in the Spring from Boxelder Canyon. She is very flattered to be being courted by the doctor's son, a handsome young man who she think is called Edwin. He's so much smarter and more handsome than the other local boys, she deserves nothing less.

Alice doesn't realise it, but she's being courted, and bedded by both the brothers. They think this is hilarious. Neither wants to marry her.

Torvin Hanson is enforcer/right-hand of the criminal boss of Foundersville, who's been sent here to find "Moses Smith" - the alias the brothers use in Foundersville. Since they saw him arrive in town two days ago, the brothers have kept out of his way.

Steward Smith had a son called Moses, who ran away. Now this thug is here, saying Moses was in Foundersville just two months ago, and demanding money. He has no reason to doubt him - so should he pay him? He doesn't have $600. Perhaps he should try to settle for a compromise - would he accept his daughter Susannah going to Foundersville to work it off? She's been mighty uppity of late, and it'd be good to get her out of his hair. Apparently she'd be working as a seamstress.

The brothers aren't working, so their father is struggling to make ends meet. He's taken to performing confidential abortions for money, and without the consent of the fathers of the girls involved.

The local girls think Edward and Robin are vain and foolish, and are frankly glad they're not interested in them. They envy Alice's good looks, and without being asked to help have decided not to let on that there's two of them.

Alice is now wondering if she's pregnant. None of the local girls will be telling her about the doctor's sideline.

Demonic Attacks:
Suddenly everyone unmarried is feeling lusty. There's not one unmarried local boy or girl over the age of 14 who hasn't been sleeping around.

This has resulted in a surge in business for Malachi.

False Doctrine


Corrupt Worship
Malachi is routinely assisted by one of the girls who came to him previously for help, Sister Susannah (the Steward's daughter). The two of them and the girl requiring the abortion routinely pray for guidance before performing the procedure, and then again thanking the King for showing them what had to be done after the procedure.

False Priesthood
Malachi is the false priest. The girls in the town who've been to him know that the lantern being put on the peg outside his back door means he's expecting to perform an abortion and so many of them pray at the same time.

The demons have been making all extramarital sex result in immediate pregnancy and also making the abortions painless and easy to bear, lacking any guilt. The local girls have stopped seeing sex as something with consequences. This is making their False Priest risher. Soon he'll conclude that he shouldn't stop even when he becomes richer than the rest of the Branch.

Alice hasn't been sleeping around though, so the demons want to kill her, and her unborn baby. They've complicated the pregnancy so that the birth will kill her, unless she has it aborted.

Edward and Robin want the Dogs to leave them be. They think they can outsmart them.

Malachi wants the Dogs to agree that it's right to help the distressed girls. He's likely to admit what he's been doing.

Thaddeus Johnson wants the Dogs to marry his daughter to that nice young man he met. He doesn't know there's two of them.

Alice wants the Dogs to convince "Edwin" to marry her before her father finds out she's pregnant.

Torvin wants the Dogs to leave him be - he wants $600 from "Moses" or his father. Or he'll take Susannah back to Foundersville where his boss will make her a whore.

Steward Smith thinks everything's fine, mostly. He'd quite like it if the Dogs would escort Torvin and his daughter to Foundersville, and when they get there try to find his son and convince him to come home.

Susannah and the other local teens don't want the Dogs to find out about the sex. They suspect the Dogs won't be very progressively thinking about it all.

The Demons want the Dogs to worry about the identity of "Moses" and will encourage them to uncover Edward and Robin. If they're killed their father will still continue to perform abortions, and they'll still hold sway over the town.

If the Dogs don't come:
When he discovers his daughter is pregnant and the boy won't marry him, Thaddeus will take his gun and go to the Newton house. Whichever of the boys comes out first he'll kill.

The other Newton boy will flee the town to Foundersville, where he'll be recognised and quietly killed in a back alley.

Torvin will take Susannah east to become a whore, unless he hears the debt's settled by murder before he leaves.

Susannah will jump at the chance to be a whore, even if Torvin has been told to cancel and come home. She has unrealistic expectations of sex though (as well as the painless and safe nature of abortions). She'll scorn contraceptive devices (too painful looking!) or herbal remedies (why bother?), and die on an abortionist's table within the year.

Thaddeus will keep his daughter  in the house, intending to take the baby to Foundersville and leave it on the hospital doorstep..

Alice will not find out about the abortions, and will die in childbirth. Overcome with grief, her father will first smother the newborn and then kill himself.
Throughout this, the demons are still making sex available, abortions risk free and painless. Eventually they'll work to have the Steward killed and Malachi put in his place, and the town will turn into a sex cult proper.


It certainly looks good and interesting. I don't believe there's such a thing as a town that's 'too complicated', but there is a lot happening and I see a lot of conflicts just ready to go, so it will take some time to get to the bottom of things in play. If you and your players are okay with that, cool, but if you were to be looking for something that you can wrap up in one evening in order to introduce people to the game, I'd advise against this one.

David Artman

Quote from: Falc on January 13, 2010, 05:46:58 PM... but there is a lot happening and I see a lot of conflicts just ready to go, so it will take some time to get to the bottom of things in play. If you and your players are okay with that, cool, but if you were to be looking for something that you can wrap up in one evening in order to introduce people to the game, I'd advise against this one.
I'd caveat this statement with one addition: the "vanilla" way to play DitV doesn't really involve investigation or a lot of ground-pounding to "get to the bottom of things." The conflict, the sin, even who's lying and who's not should be evident *to the players*, so that you can drive at their beliefs about morality, sin, and so forth. That's a big part of Say Yes: get past all the slog of he-said-she-said and KNOW who's doing what to whom... but dispensing judgment on those sinners is supposed to be the hard part (for players).

So I'd say it could, yes, be a slow town to play... if you make it so with your pace of reveals. Or it could rock right into a serious flurry of activity, if you wanted to see it play out in a single, four-hour session. Hell, start the first scene in town with Torvin dragging Susannah to a wagon, the Steward encouraging her to go along quietly, and maybe a town hussy or two watching on while waiting for her turn to get an abortion. (OK, the last bit might be pushing it.)

Hmmm.... now that I think of it, I'd say the Steward is a bit of a weak character. A chump (thinks his daughter is going to "work off" $600 debt sewing--HA!) and rather blind ot his people's lives (the whole town humping and aborting while he merrily preaches from The Book of Life). That's fine... but it makes a THIRD Major Problem for the Dogs--they can't just tell this guy the low-down, slap him a bit to "wake him up," and then move on. No, they'll probably be stuck with this town for a spell, until a new Stewward can be appointed (all assuming they handle the worst of the sins).

OK, and another thing: Vincent almost always says--and you *almost* have it explicit)--"Take a first town all the way to murder." And that can deal with the Shit Steward Situation: he's turned up dead JUST BEFORE the Dogs get to town, and his daughter is all-but being kidnapped, and no one's doing anything about it (because they're all kind of happy to see the two of them out of the picture, so the Doc's Sex Cult can flourish--but the DOGS might think it's intimidation by the thug's heavies!). And so you get rid of the weak Steward (somewhat plausibly) while also thrusting the action forward AND linking in the Susanna/"Moses" story with the sex cult thing (whereas now, they really seem to run orthogonal to each other, only ever so slightly crisscrossing through the characters of the Steward and his daughter).

Hope this helps. It's going to be a kind of wild first town, that's for sure. As a brief aside: what have you got to answer the Kill 'Em All Solution--very common in beginner play, when the sin is "obviously horrid" and the sinners aren't highly sympathetic, related to the PCs, both, and/or cute, doe-eyed children? ;)
Designer - GLASS, Icehouse Games
Editor - Perfect, Passages


"getting to the bottom of things" was perhaps a poor choice of words on my part. I didn't mean that it would take time to find out what's wrong, but that there are so many conflicts waiting in order to get things 'right'.

There's an outsider trying to abduct a towngirl into a life of faithlessness. I doubt he'll survive :-)
There's a weak Steward who might need a conflict to grow a spine.
There's a whole slew of girls who need to be set straight.
There's a cult leader.
There's two troublemaking twins.

If you have an experienced group and start it off in high gear, then yes, it's feasible in a single session.
If you have new players who aren't familiar with the game rules, I strongly doubt you'll get it finished.
If you want to do full character creation in the same session, it seems impossible.

That being said, it is a very grabby town, which would make it ideal for multi-session play since I'd expect people will hardly be able to wait until they can finish it.


Thanks for the advice guys. Although this is the first town I've weritten, I suspect it won't be the first one we play, as I'm going to want to do chargen and initiation in the same evening.

I hadn't thought about the Steward being murdered already, but reading that (and other posts on this forum) has made me think more about the Dogs as coming in after the events, not during.

David Artman

Quote from: adjectivemarcus on January 14, 2010, 09:53:10 AMI hadn't thought about the Steward being murdered already, but reading that (and other posts on this forum) has made me think more about the Dogs as coming in after the events, not during.
I was still thinking "during," as a MAJOR in media res start with a bang. The Steward being killed is really neither here nor there (as I see it--YMMV): if he's not dead, he's incompetent and will be replaced; if he is dead, he's out of the picture and must be replaced. I just think it would be grabbier if the Dogs show up as the shit's hitting the fan than if they show up while it's all simmering. For one, you get to the actual game play (not "investigation") in seconds; for two, the Dogs are usually so powerful (relative to NPCs) that they will be able to easily get a handle on the situation, if it is still at the simmer stage--divide and conquer.
Designer - GLASS, Icehouse Games
Editor - Perfect, Passages