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Author Topic: [DitV] Three Dogs in Three Mills  (Read 8830 times)
Per Fischer
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Posts: 203


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« on: October 05, 2004, 04:32:26 AM »

I shouted out an offer to run a DitV game to my local area, which is basically a group of roleplayers playing at public places every Saturday and a group of players connected to the community around GEAS, the roleplaying society of the University of Edinburgh. I don't have a group that I play with regularly at the moment.

Three people were interested and we met up briefly to discuss the game and a play date. All three were experienced roleplayers, but with very different backgrounds. Steve already had a copy of the book, and he had played Sorcerer before. Pierluigi is Italian and has played a lot of traditional games in the past, from AD&D to Cyberpunk and Ars Magica troup style. Gordon is currently setting up an Ars Magica campaign and also playing in another group, AD&D fantasy if I'm not mistaken. My own background is all the way from basic D&D over CoC, Storyteller and many more mainstream games. I more or less lost interest in roleplaying a couple of years ago until Sorcerer popped up and kicked me very firmly in the balls.

I described that I was looking to check this wonderful game out, and also go further down the NAR road, with more player collaboration and contribution, and everyone was ok with that.

First session was character generation and getting to grips with the system, setting and rules for conflict resolution. I had read the rules book a couple of times, played around with the rules, generated a character, a town and a bunch of NPCs. I had also read most of the posts around here and reviewed and briefly discussed the game on my "local" Danish message board. Steve had read the book, but neither Gordon nor Pierluigi knew anything besides my brief description of it and answering a couple of questions. By some weird, strange coincidence it turned out that Pierluigi has a degree in literature and wrote his thesis on the Mormon faith!! Very handy.

Enter the player characters.

Brother Zachery (played by Steve)
BACKGROUND: Complicated History (reformed alcoholic gun fighter)
STATS
Acuity: 5d6
Heart: 3d6
Body: 3d6
Will: 4d6
TRAITS
Bad at drinking 2d4
TB (bad cough) 2d4
Cold eyes 1d6
Quick draw 1d6
Grizzled 1d10
Righteous killer 1d10
Vengeful 1d6
RELATIONSHIPS
His old partner Isaac 2d8
Partner's wife 2d6 (If I'm reading the sheet correctly)
Paul (enemy) 1d6
BELONGINGS
Coat 2d6
Horse 1d6
Gun 1d8+1d4
Book of Life 2d8
Jar of earth 1d4
Knife 1d6
Whisky bottle (full but opened) 1d4
Isaac's old gun 2d8+1d4

Brother Jeremiah (played by Pierluigi)
BACKGROUND: Well-Rounded (Ex-teacher and scholar. Taught at the Temple once)
STATS
Acuity: 4d6
Heart: 5d6
Body: 4d6
Will: 4d6
TRAITS
Strict 1d6
Good with children 1d8
Interest in black arts (stricly academic!) 2d8
Loner 1d4
Exorcism 1d6
RELATIONSHIPS
Mayor of xx town 1d8
Possessed girl 1d8

Brother Buck (played by Gordon)
BACKGROUND: Strong Community (The kid. He is only 15.)

STATS

Acuity: 2d6
Body: 4d6
Heart: 5d6
Will: 2d6

TRAITS

Innocent: 2d8
Good with animals: 2d6
Passionate: 1d6
Naive: 1d4
Riding: 1d6

RELATIONSHIPS:

John O'Mally, My old town steward 3D10
Mary Jones, my free thinking teacher 2D8
Pack of Coyotes: 2d6
Brother john 1d6
1d6, 2d8 Remaining

BELONGINGS

Coat: 2d6
Holy earth 1d6
Book of life 1d4
Horse 2d6
Rifle 1d6+1d4
Dog 1d6

Character generation went smoothly, and we all opened up to contribute to the characters along the way. We played through two test conflicts to learn the resolution system. First Brothers Buck and Zachery tried to stare each other down without pulling their guns. It was a moment-to-moment action where Buck finally spooked Zachary with his fearless naivity, and Zach drew back, one small step closer to opening his whisky bottle.

The next action was a conflict between brother Jeremiah, who turned out to be a very strict, very by the book (at least outwards) believer in the Faith, and NPC brother Hiram (played by me as GM), who had decided to quit the Faith and go east. Jeremiah entered Hiram's house, standing in the doorway with a low sun behind him, casting a long shadow on the floor before him. The conflict quickly escalated as Jeremiah drew his gun as reciting a passage from the Book of Life about the dangers of leaving the path of the Faith. Hiram freaked, drew his gun and fired first, hitting Jeremiah in the shoulder with 5 dice of Fallout. Almost unmoved, Jeremiah calmly raised his gun and fired back at Hiram, who gave in and promised never to leave the Faith, non even consider it, please don't shoot me again etc.

The system is a hoot. It's totally scalable and builds up tension very quickly. We had reversals, blocks and dodges and a lot of blows taken. We all ended up liking to take blows because of the Fallout. It's actually "good" to get hurt in this game ;)

INITIATORY CONFLICTS

Brother Buck wanted to see if he had managed to break a seemingly unbreakable horse. He entered the pen of the horse with all his fellow initiates sitting on the fence around him. He tried "horse-whispering" and almost succeeded had it not been for brother John, who spooked the horse on purpose by suddenly clapping loudly. Buck quickly escalated to physical and managed to grap (this boy is fearless, ah tell ya) the horse and calm it down immediately.

Brother Zachery faced up his partner Isaac's old nemesis Paul with the Bridal Falls as a backdrop. Paul was a notorius gun fighter whose trademark was to shoot his victims in their gun hand during a fight. Zach wasted no time and drew his gun like lightning and fired. Paul had to take the shot in his left hip, and fired back from a kneeling position, hurt, wounded and surprised. And missed. Zach took Paul down with his next bullet. Then he walked over to the injured man, drew Isaac's old gun and blew a big hole in Paul's right hand.

Brother Jeremiah tried to exorcise a demon that had possessed one of the girls at the Temple. He had seen her eyes occasionally flash red and had a good idea of how to drive it away, combining both Faith and his dark arts studies. If he failed the demon wound jump and possess him instead. Jeremiah entered the girl's room while she was sleeping, book and jar of earth the ready. The demon sensed him immediately and cunningly exposed the girl's naked leg as a temptation. Jeremiah managed to stare straight ahead, laying hands, reciting and anointing the girl with earth until the demon finally left her body.

I don't know about you guys, but I can't wait 'till next time. The town of Three Mills is waiting. It's winter, colder than anybody remembers.

Per
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Per
--------
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
mindwanders
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Posts: 106


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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2004, 05:03:12 AM »

I'm the player playing Buck.

I liked the system and the free wheeling way that character creation was done. Although I think If I'd not already been playing around with FATE, I would have had a much harder time getting my head around the idea.

The system is very nice, although I think I got away with calling on more dice than I should have (I tended to pull things in with very tenuous reasoning). And I think that's something that the group as a whole should feel free to veto if they don't see how something is relevent.

We allowed the use of relationships to be invoked with flashbacks, which worked well for me becuase of my Strong Community background. I think I would have struggled in both of my contests if I hadn't been able to do that.

I'm really looking forward to the next session and seeing how it works in an actual adventure.
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lumpley
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2004, 06:02:52 AM »

Tell me what Traits the players took for their characters from their initiatory conflicts!

Quote from: Gordon
...I think I got away with calling on more dice than I should have (I tended to pull things in with very tenuous reasoning). And I think that's something that the group as a whole should feel free to veto if they don't see how something is relevent.


That's the sort of thing I expect every group to work out for themselves in the first session or two. How tenuous is "too tenuous"? How strong a case justifies dice?

-Vincent
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Per Fischer
Member

Posts: 203


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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2004, 07:39:49 AM »

Quote from: lumpley
Tell me what Traits the players took for their characters from their initiatory conflicts!


Yesss, master!

Jeremiah chose Exorcise 1d6, Zachary Vengeful 1d6, and I think Buck ended up with Riding 1d6, he already had Good with animals 2d6.

Per
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Per
--------
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Per Fischer
Member

Posts: 203


WWW
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2004, 04:20:53 PM »

We finally got around to meet and play the first session of Three Mills. I won't reveal all of the town just yet, because we still have some more to play.

May I say, it was a pleasure to plan and GM. I did the town, two handfuls of NPCs and a lot of open ends, and I kept saying to myself: "Escalate, escalate, reveal the town, drive toward conflict and DO NOT have a solution in mind". It worked. We played around 3 and a half hours, but I can only give you parts of it, so much happened I can only give a broad picture.

Anyway, brothers Buck, Jeremiah and Zachary entered the town of Three Mills a bittely cold, freezing winter's day. The town was gripped in the coldest winter anyone could remember, covered in snow, and nobody, not even the steward Sheriff Ardell Cassity, was out to greet them. Some houses had the tree of life painted on them wih charcoal, others had wheat scattered outside windows and doors.

It turned out the town had only two mills, one of which was only the black site of a fire. Three Mills featured two general stores in the main street. There was an older store called 3 Mills Dry Goods and a more thriving one called Mrs Ohlsson's Dry Goods. Mrs Ohlsson came out to greet the Dogs and asked them, over a bowl of hot soup in her store, to dig up the body of her husband, who died last year, and sanctify his remains. The Dogs were surprised the local steward didn't sanctify the corpse, but Mrs Ohlsson revealed tension between her family and the owner of the local mills and 3 Mills Dry Goods store, the Kinlaws. She claimed the sheriff was on the side of the Kinlaws. He even arrested her son Dwayne for burning down the mill.

Sheriff Cassity arrived and took the Dogs to his office. Just risen from bed, a bunk in one of his cells, he offered them a cup of coffee and immediately realised his mistake. Quickly changing the subject, he agreed to dig up Mr Ohlsson's body from the frozen ground and sanctify him, claiming that Mrs Ohlsson didn't want him to do it initially. And that she was a bad influence on the town, being unmarried an all. And a witch.

I think it was brother Buck who said: "So, who is lying?" A theme for the night.

The Dogs were installed in the house of Jacob Kinlaw, owner of the mills and the other store. His wife Ezebel was in bed with a fever, and we had the night's first real conflict when young brother Buck, sided by his two colleagues, prayed for her recovery. The seemingly unconcious woman suddenly stiffened in response to his reciting and lashed out a hand to grab  Buck's throat. With incredible cool Buck removed her hand and kept reciting from the book of Life. Ezebel reversed the blow and her arm went back for Buck's throat with unnatural strength. Buck was saved by remembering what his old steward told him about feverish people: put them in the snow to cool them down, and they did. (Poor Ezebel took 13 in fallout).

Meanwhile, the sheriff had gathered a couple of men to dig up Mr Ohlsson's body. Dwayne Ohlsson rushed to the graveyard and was holding the sheriff at gun point when the Dogs arrived, telling him not to do it. Brother Buck overcame him easily in a conflict by telling him that they, the Dogs, had ordered the digging and were going to sanctify the body. Afterwards they interrogated Dwayne before handing him over to the sheriff.

Dwayne denied he was involved in the fire. The judge released him because Amy Winthrop testified that they were together the night the fire happened.

"Unchaperoned?" brother Zachary asked. Looooong silence. Dwayne admitted he liked Amy and wanted to marry her. He didn't like that she was working in that saloon. The faces of the players were at that point total chok. Saloon? What?

The Dogs visited a house with the charcoal tree of life on the door and met an old lady and her husband. They didn't want anything to do with what was going on and only painted the sign because they had seen others do it. Then they went to houses with the wheat outside. The first place they were completely rejected by a non-believer and the next was the house of Elaine Stoops. Zachary stared her down and intimidated her to tell that Jacob Kinlaw had told her to use the wheat to protect her house - and that Mrs Ohlsson was a sorceress, a witch.

Jeremiah entered the town's saloon, a barn building behind Kinlaw's goods store, owned by the cripple Travis Pleasant. Inside, people were smoking, playing cards and drinking, and noises of women giggling were heard from the first floor. Almost petrified, Jeremiah called upon the King of Life to all the sinners inside, but only managed to draw the wrath of owner Pleasant and two card playing cowboys. In an intense conflict, guns pointing at each other, Jeremiah wisely backed off (crap dice and fierce opposition). And he didn't even get to talk to Amy.

Per
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Per
--------
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Per Fischer
Member

Posts: 203


WWW
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2004, 02:49:28 AM »

I forgot to mention that we played some time at the beginning of the evening without any conflicts - I think we were all unsure about getting into dice rolling and possible rules debates. When the first conflict appeared it went very smoothly, and after that everybody was more relaxed. It worked.

A nice factor is that all the dice are out in the open for all players to see - this means that everyone is getting some sort of picture of how the current conflict is going to swing - maybe even giving suggestions adding to the stress of the player having to make the decision. More than once we had a player not in the current conflict suggesting tactics and dice choices.

We didn't have any shootings, but two situations with characters having to make decisions at gun point - and they decided to back down. One of them was me playing NPC Dwayne Ohlsson holding up the sheriff, the other was Pierluigi's character Jeremiah being pushed out of a saloon by two cowboys waving their guns at him.

Per
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Per
--------
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
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