Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.

Main Menu

GMs: Creating Scenarios

Started by lumpley, February 03, 2004, 03:35:56 PM

Previous topic - Next topic



Draw a circle.  Put a dot and arrow in it for each PC plus one for the Territorial Authority plus one for the Faith.  Leave room; you can add dots whenever you feel like it.

You can also repeat steps if you want.  A town might have one situation going all the way up to murder, and a second, unrelated situation still at the sin level,  and then four more budding prides.  If I wanted a town to take more than a session or two to sort out, that's how I'd do it.

1a: Pride.  Scroll through the list of Pride thingies.  Choose whichever one jumps out at you.  Attach it to one of the dots and write a (very short) paragraph.  
1b: Injustice.  Pride creates injustice.  How is somebody better off or worse off than everybody else, because of the pride?  Attach it to one of the dots and write a paragraph.  
1c: If you've attached something to every dot, and if the situation seems grabby enough to you, you can stop.  Skip ahead to step 6.

2a: Sin.  Unaddressed, injustice leads to sin.  The advantaged person becomes bold or the disadvantaged person becomes resentful - either way, they break the rules. What's the sin?  Attach it to one of the dots and write a paragraph.
2b: Demonic Attacks.  Sin allows the demons to attack the town.  What form does  their attack take?  Attach it to a dot and write a paragraph.
2c: The demons want the sin to become habitual.
2d: If you've attached something to every dot and if you're happy with the situation, you can stop.  Skip ahead to step 6.

3a: False Doctrine.  Habitual Sin and/or Demonic Attacks create false doctrine.  Either the sinner invents false theology to justify the sin, or the victim or witness of the attacks creates false doctrines to explain or repair what seems to be a failure of the Faith.  What's the false tenet?  Attach it to a dot and write a paragraph.
3b: Corrupt Worship.  False doctrine expresses itself in bad religious practice  or an incorrect use of ceremony.  What's the form it takes?  Attach it to a dot  and write a paragraph.
3c: The demons want the false doctrine to win over other people.
3d: If you've attached something to every dot, and if you're happy with the situation, you can stop.  Skip ahead to step 6.

4a: False Priesthood.  When a corrupt worship has three or more worshippers, it  becomes a false priesthood.  Who is the cult leader and who are the cult?  Attach 'em to dots and write a paragraph or two.
4b: Sorcery.  A false priesthood commands the service of the demons.  What does  the cult have the demons doing?  Attach it to a dot and write a paragraph or two.
4c: The demons want someone to kill someone, plus they want whatever the cult wants.
4d: If you've attached something to every dot, and if you're happy with the situation, you can stop.  Skip ahead to step 6.

5a: Hate and Murder.  Eventually someone kills someone.  The demons especially like it when a) the very Faithful and b) possible threats get murdered.  Attach the murder to dots or a dot and write a paragraph.
5b: Stop now, or repeat 5a until the situation is grabby enough for you.  Unresolved, murder leads to more murder.

6a: What does each dot want from the Dogs?  Write a sentence or two for each.
6b: What do the demons want in general?  What do they want from the Dogs?  What  might they do?  Write a paragraph.
6c: If the Dogs never came, what would happen - that is, what's the next step up the "what's wrong" ladder?  Write a sentence or two.

You're done!


Example One: the Boxelder Canyon Branch.

1a Pride: The Territorial Authority guy thinks he deserves his living without working. He's a Faithful who's been assigned to negligible civic duties - keeping census  info and reporting it annually - but he thinks that it's enough to warrant his family's maintenance.

1b Injustice: Because he spends his time pestering the town for more money instead of working, he, his wife (Brother Artax's aunt) and their children are dirt ass  poor.

1c: I've attached something to the dots pointing to the Territorial Authority and to Brother Artax.  I have three unattached dots: one pointing to Brother Benjamin, one pointing to Brother Cadmus, and one pointing to the Faith.  I keep going.

2a Sin: The TA guy's wife, Bro Artax's aunt, makes whiskey and sells it to the town's farmhands on the sly.

2b Demonic Attacks: The church meetinghouse burned down.  Brother Benjamin's uncle was badly burned in the fire.  He's healing but pissed off.

2d: I still have one unattached dot, pointing to Brother Cadmus, and the situation doesn't seem baked yet.  I keep going.

3a False Doctrine: Bro Benjamin's burned uncle blames the bishop for the fire, because the bishop's grandmother is a (converted) Mountain Person and lives in the bishop's house.  It's dumb bigotry, but he's decided that the bishop's Calling is invalid.

3b Corrupt Worship: Bro Benjamin's burned uncle has taken to ceremonially praying for the bishop's grandmother's death.  

3d: I'm happy with the situation, but I still have that unattached dot!  I make  it Bro Cadmus' younger brother, a farmhand newly arrived in town, and he's listening too hard to Bro Benjamin's raving uncle: he's a potential convert to the potential cult.  Good, all done.  I skip to step 6.

4, 5: skipped.

6a the dots:
- Brother Artax's aunt, the TA census guy's wife, wants the Dogs to stay out of  her business.  She wants to keep her whiskey a secret.
- Brother Benjamin's uncle wants the Dogs on his side vs. the Bishop.
- Brother Cadmus' little brother wants the Dogs to tell him who to trust, but not to tell him to stop drinking whiskey.
- The TA census guy wants the Dogs to side with him, that he deserves to be paid a living wage for his (negligible) civic office.
- The Bishop wants the Dogs on his side vs. the uncle.  He especially wants to convince them that his grandmother is a convert with no malice in her.

6b the demons:
- The demons want the farmhands to join the cult.  They'll attack the town where the bishop oughta be able to protect it, and undermine his authority where they  can.
- They want the Dogs to join with the uncle.
- They want the whiskey to stay secret.
- If the Dogs get close to the whiskey, the demons'll work overtime to implicate the bishop's grandmother.  They'll make it look like she's using them to attack  the uncle - that's a good twist!

6c if the Dogs never came:
- Sooner or later the cult would get its three members.  Then they'd overthrow the bishop, and the demons would whisper to them that leaving him and his grandmother alive is dangerous to them.  Eventually, murder!


Example Two: the Whitechurch Branch.

1a Pride: Brother Artax's neice is resisting the appropriate courtship of the bishop's son, for no good reason.  She just doesn't like him.

1b Injustice: Consequently, the bishop's son has become obsessed with her.  He's buying her more gifts than he can afford, burdening his family.

2a Sin: The shopkeeper, not a Faithful, is marking up his prices.  He doesn't consider it a sin to profit from injustice, but it is one.  He and his wife - Brother Benjamin's cousin, young, pretty, Faithful - are getting way rich and are lording it over.

2b Demonic Attacks: The demons want to make the situation worse, so they're breaking tools and making them wear out faster.  Brother Cadmus' aged uncle's farm is one of the worst hit.  The old guy values his independence - whether that's Pride too is up in the air.

3, 4, 5: skipped.

6a the dots:
- The bishop and his son want Bro Artax to talk sense into his neice.  The bishop would be content if he talked sense into his son.
- The shopkeeper wants the Dogs to keep their noses out.  They'll have to figure out how to deal with him given that he's not Faithful.  (Is he a Spiritualist, an Atheist, a Dogmatist or what?  Wing it!)
- His wife, Brother Benjamin's cousin, wants the Dogs to assuage her guilt. She  doesn't especially want them to convert him to the Faith - she loves him how he  is.
- Brother Cadmus' uncle wants the Dogs to stay over and help him get his farm back together, "just this harvest."
- Brother Artax's neice wants to marry Bro Benjamin or Bro Cadmus.

6b the demons:
- The demons want to drive prices and demand up, up, up!
- They want the bishop to pronounce that it's okay for the town to rob the store - which would be false doctrine.
- They want the Dogs to buy stuff, so they'll try to break their stuff too.  They don't want the Dogs to pronounce that it's okay for the town to rob the store -  because if the Dogs say it, it's probably not false doctrine.  That's what Dogs  do, after all.

6c if the Dogs never came:
- eventually the bishop would declare the store to be the congregation's property and run the shopkeeper and his wife out.  The demons would keep applying scarcity pressure - without the shopkeeper, how will the town restock the store? - until  it all blows up.


As I was looking over scenario creation, one thought struck me:

 Dogs have an awful lot of relatives.  I believe it's suggested that there's one relative for each Dog in every town they hit up.  That just seems real unlikely to me.

 "Oh look, a blood relation who lives miles away from where I was raised. Whatta ya wanna bet that he's up to his eyeballs in the sin infesting this town?"

 One potential out might be to say that Dogs and Church Leaders share some education.  They probably both get the same Theology class.  So you'll go out to a town and hey, it's your buddy/rival from Church school.  Kinda like how the Civil War generals all graduated from West Point together.

The Three Stooges ran better black ops.

Don't laugh, Larry would strike unseen from the shadows and Curly...well, Curly once toppled a dictatorship with the key from a Sardine tin.

Clinton R. Nixon

By the way - my post above should have been in "A Gigantic Favor". I'm going to go ahead and cross-post it there. Feel free to delete this one, if you like, Vincent.
Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games


Clinton - Ooh!  I can delete!  FEEL THE POWER!

Tom - Like Murder She Wrote.  You wouldn't want to be that woman's friend, they get killed all the damn time.

The answer is, sure!  The point of the relatives is to put people in town who have a strong claim to the PCs' attention.  However you do that is good with me.

In fact, having two relatives per three PCs would probably work fine, provided you don't always leave out the same PC.  In Clinton's Widder's Canyon, one of the PCs has no blood in town, but I don't think that player will get left out.  Have the tax assessor pounce on him.

(Personally, it doesn't worry me.  I've seen first-hand just how frickin' much my people breed - I have 110 first cousins, maybe more by now - dude, I have so many first cousins that the TENS is the significant digit - and when the expectation on young men is that they'll wander from town to town until they find a wife and settle down, well, if I went to ten towns, and found that in two of them I had no relatives, I'd wonder what was going on.  But that's just me.)


Brennan Taylor

I don't find the close blood ties to be all that unreasonable, either. This is a very tight-knit religious community that doesn't often marry outside the faith. To prevent serious inbreeding (not that there might not be problems in this area anyway), marriages will occur between communities often. Plus, everyone is gonna have a lot of kids, which means cousins galore. In my own family, I have 20, not counting second cousins and the like, and I'm not even a Mormon. :)