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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 61 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Hotwater Branch -- Feedback wanted  (Read 7881 times)
DannyK
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« on: November 14, 2004, 07:14:04 PM »

OK, I hope the Forgeites aren't getting Town Fatigue; after weeks of creative block, I finally got a town thrown together, and I'd appreciate some feedback.  

"Hallowed Ground" Players, Stay Out!
Albert, this means you!

I'm setting the game in the mythical Southern Fringe of Faithful territory, a place separated from Bridal Falls City by rugged terrain and bad roads, with easier access from gentile country.  It's a treacherous place, much given to heresy and fanaticism.  There's also a troop of T.A. soldiers around, trying to keep a lid on things.  I'm going to refer to people by roles, not names, to keep things easy to understand.  

The town of Hotwater is a house divided: part is purely secular, a trailhead and watering hole for the miners and ranchers further South.  Their part of town is called "Babylon", due to the presence of a tavern and a whorehouse.  The other part is called "Kingstown", and is made up of the Faithful.  Nothing separates the two parts but a row of white-painted fenceposts. Kingstown has a large general store, which is frequented by both halves of Hotwater.

SOMETHING’S WRONG
The store owner has recently started raising his prices for the non-Faithful, causing anger and resentment among them and feelings of superiority among the Faithful.  Tensions are worsening in Hotwater: a drunken miner killed a young Faithful man, and a masked posse burned the tavern where he was drinking in retribution.  

PRIDE
The Store Owner, has been growing and prospering for years in his monopoly position.  Feeling superior to the Non-Faithful, is engaging in price-gouging against them.  He  keeps some of his excess profits and kicks the rest back to the Steward to help the poor and needy.  

INJUSTICE
The non-Faithful of Hotwater are being squeezed by the raised prices, and have made plans to open a second store of their own.  Meanwhile, the good people of Kingstown are doing well, because they enjoy reduced prices and the Branch's emergency fund is flush with cash.

SINS
Violence – The burning of the tavern.
Greed - getting unjust gains from the non-faithful
Apostasy – the Boazite Knights (see corrupt worship)
Lust -- ditto

DEMONIC ATTACKS
The demons are feeding the flames of hatred and suspicion among the people of Babylon.  They inspired a drunken miner to pick a fight with a faithful man, and guided his fall so that he struck his head on a stone and died.  
The demons are also playing the other side of town, whispering in the ears of the young men.  They have become grandiose and delusional as a result, and have formed their own secret society to defend Kingstown from the unbelievers, with the Stewards' Son as leader.

FALSE DOCTRINE
THE FAITHFUL SHOULD RULE AS KINGS OVER THE NON-FAITHFUL

CORRUPT WORSHIP
The Steward's Son and many of the other young men have formed a secret society based on the Boazite Knights, a sacred military order found in the obscure book of Jereboaz.  The Knights band together to avenge the Faithful; they've also been going to the whorehouse as a group.  

FALSE PRIESTHOOD
The cult is overseen by the Steward's son.  He has contempt for the Steward and the Store Owner alike, and feels that he and the Knights should rule the town.

SORCERY
The demons visit the Knights with hallucinatory visions from the Book of Life and counsel from prophets of old on the best way to smite the unbelievers.  They instigated the burning of the tavern and the destruction of the wagon train.  The Steward's Son is teaching the others how to become possessed so they can fight with the strength of ten.

HATE AND MURDER
The Knights burned the tavern.  Guided by visions, they ride out shortly before the Dogs arrive to attack and burn the wagon bringing goods for the new store.

WHAT DO THE TOWNSPEOPLE WANT FROM THE DOGS?

The Steward is way out of his depth, and wants the Dogs to fix things without him having to do anything.  

The Steward's Son wants the Dogs to affirm the righteousness of the Knights, and ideally join with them.  He won't brook with interference.  

The other Knights want to enjoy the fruits of their victory.  

The Store Owner wants the gentiles to settle down and keep buying his stuff.  He doesn't want a new store to open.

The Tavern Owner wants revenge, by fair means or foul.  

The Hotel Owner, who's trying to start up the new store, wants the violence to stop so he can get back in business.  He won't know his wagon train has been burned until the dogs (or TA cavalry) tell him.  

The miners want to pay decent prices again, and want the arrogant faithful to leave them and their whiskey alone.

The T.A. cavalry lieutenant, if he gets involved, wants the Dogs to either settle things or get out of the way so he can settle them, his way.  

WHAT DO THE DEMONS WANT?

The demons want the Knights to go further, to offend ever more greviously against the gentiles, and for the gentiles to retaliate in kind.  They want the Knights to take over the town and spread their false beliefs to other troubled towns of the South.  

WHAT DO THE DEMONS WANT THE DOGS TO DO?

The demons want the Dogs to side uncritically with the Faithful, not take the Knights seriously, and blame the Mountain People for the burned wagon train.  

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THE DOGS DIDN’T COME?
The Knights would eventually burn the whorehouse and take the women as their wives, and the Son would take over from the father.  If that takes too long, the demons would like the Tavern Owner to lead an angry mob into Kingstown to burn the store to the ground and kill some Faithful.  
Either way, a reign of terror takes hold in Hotwater and the town becomes a fortified stronghold of heretics.  

KNOWN ISSUES:
--I'm concerned that this is a boy's own story so far, with no significant female actors except the passively acting prostitutes.  
--I also haven't figured out any way for the rest of the Kingstown community to play a role in the situation, but they should.  
--I'd appreciate feedback on whether the "Knights of Jereboaz" are OTT.  I'm thinking they might make nice recurring villains if some or all of them escape into the hills to live as bandits.
--The Dogs in my game are a big, brilliant but lazy fellow; a perky young lady from a long line of Dogs; and a very handsome half-breed who's got issues up to HERE.  His Dog coat is a weird parody of a cavalry officer's coat -- I love that!  Any suggestions on more ways to hook the town into their characters is also great, particularly suggestions for who should be who's relative.
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lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2004, 07:26:11 AM »

Hey Danny.

Good town. I never get Town Fatigue!

I think the Knights are cool, and if you don't see obvious blood relations, dump it on your players, like "big smart lazy guy, you have blood in this town: who?"

Quote
--I'm concerned that this is a boy's own story so far, with no significant female actors except the passively acting prostitutes.
--I also haven't figured out any way for the rest of the Kingstown community to play a role in the situation, but they should.

Well there you go. Two probs, one solution.

This Steward has a wife, his son has a mother. What does she want the Dogs to do?

The shopkeeper has a wife, what does she want? The hotel guy in Babylon has a wife too, how about her?

The Knights all have Faithful girlfriends - or else there are a bunch of girls pissed off that the town's best young men won't court them. What do they all want?

Also, no reason the prostitutes have to be passive. If you were them, what would you want the Dogs to do?

-Vincent
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Jason Morningstar
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Posts: 1428


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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2004, 10:36:52 AM »

Your town looks great.  Your Knights of Jereboaz strongly remind me of the real-life Danites, and I'd encourage you to read Schindler's "Orrin Porter Rockwell - Man of God, Son of Thunder".

The Danites got their name from Genesis 49:17:  "Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward."

They rejected scarier names like "Destroying Angels" and "The Thresher".  It'd be cool if any "escapees" among your Knights ended up defending the Faith along the border, as freelance hit-men terrorizing unbelievers who cause trouble.
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DannyK
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2004, 11:17:06 AM »

Thanks for the feedback.  Hotwater was inspired, very loosely, by the Mountain Meadows Massacre, where a bunch of gentile settlers were massacred by locals dressed up as Indians (or by Indians, depending on whom you believe).  

The idea of them becoming border ruffians or regulators is a great one.  They'd be a sort of competition for the Dogs.  

Unfortunately, the game seems dead in the water... I hope I didn't kill it with my weeks of creative block.  Is it just me, or is town creation a lot tricker than it looks?  I can create a whole pocket universe in Nobilis in a fraction of the time it took me to create this little town.
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