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New Group for Dust Devils

Started by Clay, December 14, 2002, 03:31:20 PM

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I played Dust Devils with my regular group last night. The game was a great success, and we have added it to our permanent repetoir of games.  We played the scenario out of the book, with slight modifications.  One of our players is female, so she played "Red" Sally.  Sally was only really mentioned as a side character, so I made her the Madame of the Red Roof Saloon, which she had acquired after sticking a knife in her pimp (the previous owner) and spending an enjoyable night watching him die from a punctured lung. So "skeletons in her closet, knife in her bodice" was her devil, with "dangerous as an injured bear" as one of her traits.

One of my regulars is an avid wargamer, and he generally likes systems with lots of numbers and complicated bits. He took to the poker and narration mechanics like a cat to a bird feeder. In the final scene, when Zeke (played by a different player) defeated the mayor and the sherrif with a spade flush, high ace, he bid for the narration and gave a beautiful narration that included the sherrif finding his gun inopportunely empty and both the mayor and the sherrif being defenestrated from the second floor of the Red Roof Saloon.

We also introduced the Spavined Horse Livery Stable, run by Roberto "Big Nose" Diez and his hanger on Louis Rodriguez (and just never mind how far Kansas is from the Mexican territory). Diez ran a pot still out the back of his stable, where Zeke got his liquor. Customers who irritated Red Sally were also served a special brew from Diez (you can guess the most readily available adjunct available at a livery). The mayor and the sherrif, after humiliating Red Sally in her own bar, received just such a special treatment (i.e. They won with two pair against her one pair, but she won the narration and decided to inflict difficulty from the loser).

We laughed something terrible through most of the evening, especially about how "Gentleman" Jim Harris was the best hung man in town. The humor went down from there.  It was a great time, and we'll be playing again.
Clay Dowling - Online Campaign Planning and Management

Matt Snyder

Wonderful to hear it, Clay. This is a great post. People really seem to have a good time with the Hanged Man scenario, and often use the so-called "NPCs" as their own characters!

I'm curious. How much in this session did your players co-operate "in-game"? How much did they conflict and/or compete?

Now, how do the answers to these above questions jive with how people were cooperating or competing as players?

I ask because people often play the hanged man with, say, Zeke and Jim in a shootout, much to the enjoyment of all, rather than the frustration of the loser (as in "You jerk, you killed my character!") That just doesn't seem to happen in my experience, and I'm curious to know if you had the same ...
Matt Snyder

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra


I had actually anticipated a Jim/Zeke shootout.  My group is used to Cthulhu and Deadlands (for which Dust Devils is my cure), so all of the other players were interested in making sure that the hanging "took"  before they did anything rash like attempt to kill Jim again. They figured he might take it amiss.

I played up the bully aspect of the sherrif and the mayor, and this tipped Zeke's hand. This worked particularly well when they tried to push Madame Red Sally around. Sally's player works somewhat like Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: the surest way to galvanize action from the other players is to put her character in danger.

The players were extremely cooperative.  The characters were more likely to be competitive, but not in direct opposition.  There was definitely a competition to see who could kill the sherrif and the mayor first, and Zeke won out there.  The most telling example of cooperation though what when Gentleman Jim's player bid to take the narration of Zeke's triumph over the sherrif and the mayor.  The narration portrayed Zeke as the redeemed anti-hero, defeating those who had used him to their own ends.
Clay Dowling - Online Campaign Planning and Management