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[DitV] Order of operations for applying fallout.

Started by Kevin.Weiser, April 26, 2010, 08:28:36 PM

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Is there a specific order to apply changes to your character as a result of Fallout?

We just had this situation come up Friday:

Esther took long term fallout. She picked:

"Change the die size of an existing trait or relationship to d4."

She got a 1 in her fallout roll, so she also chose:

"Change the d-size of an existing Trait."

To change the trait she just put to D4 into D10's.

Is that Kosher?


Going strictly by the book, yes.

However, everything in the book comes pretty much with the caveat "unless someone at the table thinks you're out of line". Did she have a decent explanation for picking these fallouts? The mere fact that you made this thread tells me she probably didn't. So let it slide this time, but call shenanigans if she tries it again.

Filip Luszczyk

The manual paints the game in rather broad strokes and it's not very good when it comes to conveying nuances (as you can probably tell from the number of specific procedural question threads in this forum). In this particular case, the text appears inconsistent. Step by step Fallout procedure suggests a fixed order. Pages 64-67 place experience as the last step. In the recap at page 81, that's explicitly the first step, though ("Do this and that. Continue."). I'm pretty surprised to discover it's the other way around in the detailed procedure, in fact. In play, I tend to consult recaps first, and since a similar timing confusion came up in my group, we've been applying the order from the recap strictly. Handling experience first prevents potential problems like the one from your account.

Jim D.

Yeah, that doesn't fly.  She essentially turned a disadvantage into a major help.  Does it make sense in the fiction for Esther to develop a negative relationship with someone, and then in the same breath decide she really, really likes him?


One frustrating thing about DitV is its steadfast refusal to forbid you from ruining your own fun. How did that fallout-experience combination feel to the player?

James R.


James is right. Or even more to the point, Dogs in the Vineyard isn't about quibbling the players out of dice. It's a legit move; do your fallout in whatever order seems good to you, case by case.


Jim D.

Heh, I kind of feel like that guy Vincent mentions in the Dogs rulebook, sitting in the corner and muttering, "that's weak".  :P

All things considered, Dogs is at its heart a collaborative game.  I'd say next time someone "pulls something like that", see if everyone at the table (GM included) can come to some kind of mutual agreement on how things are supposed to go down.  If I may, I'll blather for a bit on where my initial opinion resides, and how it may indeed change (I preface this entire diatribe with "to me", or "I think" implicit in each statement):

Like you probably already figured out, d4s are supposed to represent complications, for the very same reason that every gun in the game gets a d4; things just get complicated when some schmuck pulls out a piece.  That said, we're dealing with a game wherein the dice are reflective of the importance of a relationship and trait to a character.  Someone can very well have "I can't see without my glasses 2d10" and "I'm an expert marksman 1d4" on the same sheet.  To that end, I posit a way in which Esther's move does make sense -- she develops a complicated relationship with your NPC (1d4), but then molds it; her hatred or ire at this guy fuels her inner fire to succeed against him ( -> 1d10).  For a trait, say Esther realizes her old way of shooting (for example) doesn't work, maybe she likes one-handing her pistol but is limp-wristing it, and realizes a better way might be to brace against her other arm, which is more successful ( -> 1d10).

Short story long, Vince owns at foresight and critical thought a priori.  :P

Jim D.

*sigh* Electronic communications being what they are, I wanted to put this out there:

I don't mean any sarcasm by praising DitV or Vince the way I did.  I'm legitimately impressed with the quality of work; sometimes I fear the humor I stretch for with comments like that comes across wrong.  The "dice just falling into place" as a consequence of story really is an amazing variation on "conventional" RPG design, particularly since "breaking the game", as it were, doesn't matter, as we've discussed.  The more I think about it, the more the system strikes me.