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Author Topic: [DitV] Town of Wellcome  (Read 6861 times)
Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« on: May 03, 2005, 09:05:07 PM »

I designed this town for my first session, played last night. I wasn't able to post it here for advice, as I finished it just before we played (after 3 days of looking at a blank screen).
I think I made it too black and white, but there's a second group I plan to play it with, so can anyone offer suggestions for improvement?

By the way, one of the NPCs was inspired by Clint Eastword's character in Unforgiven :)
--------------------------------------
Town of Wellcome

Pride

Wesley Cutter – former soldier, gunslinger, deserter, bandit, all round bad sort.
Ruth Middleton: the young girl that nursed Wesley back to health when he staggered, bleeding, into the community one rainswept night, healing his body and touching his soul. He vowed to put his old ways behind him, but refused to convert to the faith. Wesley was Proud – he was a sinner and knew it, and believed he did not deserve the redemption offered by the Faith. But since he is not of the Faith, it is not his Pride which allows the demons in.
Samuel Jacobson the town blacksmith, betrothed to Ruth. He believed Ruth should be his. He didn’t realise it, but he didn’t really love her – she was a prize, the sister of the Steward, cementing his position in the community.
Rachel and Garvey Hotchkiss: their eldest daughter had been killed by bandits, Territorial Authority deserters, and they had converted to the Faith to get away from violence and sin. This brought it all back. Rachel argued that none of them were safe with such a villain in their community.
Steward Zachary Middleton: father of Ruth, far from approving of the match. But, as hard he found it to accept, the King told him the union was right and so he married them.
He wasn’t prepared for the community’s ongoing unrest caused by Samuel and Rachel, and felt he was on the verge of losing control. Then Ruth and Wesley announced they would settle on a small farm outside the town. With them out of sight, no longer a constant reminder and threat, and nothing bad happening, the Steward was able to calm things down. For a while.

Injustice
Ruth was no longer able to live as a full member of the community – she had been the town’s schoolteacher, and so not only was she being denied a righteous duty and pleasure, the children were denied her too.
Also, had Wesley been accepted by the community, he would have converted, something he needed to overcome his violent nature – so he was denied the Faith.

Sins
Rachel Hotchkiss (Deceit, Disunity)– took over the duties of schoolteacher. She immediately began poisoning the minds of the children, including her own adolescent son, against Wesley. She didn’t have much good to say about Ruth either - Ruth must be some kind of corrupt sinner to consort with an evil creature like him.
Schoolchildren: Several of the elder children had gone out to the farm and spoiled crops, vandalised property, and did the usual stuff kids do when they’ve got a safe scapegoat. On more than one occasion, Wesley almost caught them, to be pulled back by Ruth.
Samuel Jacobson (Deceit, Disunity)- As the blacksmith, he was often called out to the Cutters, to repair or replace tools and other metal items (which he ensured were in continual need of repair). He began to tell lies to his friends, claiming that he had seen signs that Ruth was being beaten. He told the Steward, who immediately went to check it out. Ruth denied it, and the Steward counselled Samuel against speaking ill of others, while beginning to wonder if Ruth was covering for her husband.
Samuel told others that the Steward knew Ruth was being mistreated and did nothing – he was frightened. Or maybe he was being noble in a way – sacrificing his daughter to the beast, so the beast would not come into town and gun them all down.
Naturally, Rachel and Samuel spend time together, kindred spirits drawn together.

The Demons Attack
Spellbound by Sister Rachel’s tales, the older schoolchildren found themselves dreaming of the power and fear enjoyed by villains like Wesley Cutter, and their ability to tame corrupt women like Ruth Cutter.
Samuel Jacobson was visited by dreams of his lost love in the arms of Wesley Cutter. He also dreams of the Steward gibbering in terror, giving Ruth to Cutter. And of the Steward dead, and Samuel taking his place, leading the community out of this darkness, with Ruth at his side.
Many of the townsfolk likewise dreamt of Cutter storming into town, murdering the men in their beds and taking the women…
Some of the men dream of being Wesley, beating up their neighbours to enjoy their women who were encouraging them. Of killing Wesley and taking his wife – proving their strength. While the women began to dream of strong powerful men taking them away from their spineless husbands…
In the day time, people started looking at each other differently, and wondering if things could be different…
Samuel and Rachel started to talk more openly about rescuing Ruth and driving that monster away, and more people started to listen…
Even Steward Zachary and especially his wife Patience have found themselves wondering if their daughter was safe…
Adam Middleton, son of the Steward, and Job and Jasper Jacobson (brothers) are caught fighting. They are hauled before the Steward, and Adam tells his father of the things the boys are saying about Ruth.
The boys are getting more and more unruly, and the Steward tells Sister Rachel that she needs to attend to them.
Adam Middleton[/b] and some other boys have been bunking off school to go and visit Ruth – they are getting a bit creeped out by Rachel’s lessons.
Jacob Jacobson, Samuel’s brother; his wife Judith; Virgil & Temperance Baker: The Bakers and Jacobsons are neighbours, but lately Jacob and Virgil are arguing a lot. Judith and Temperance are each becoming unsatisfied with their husbands, each wishing they had the other. Temperance has gone to the Steward suggesting that floozy Judith is trying to lure her husband away. “And he does spend a lot of time mending their fences…”

False Doctrine
The actions of the Hotchkisses and Samuel Jacobson have given birth to the false doctrine: Unbelievers cannot live with Believers.

Corrupt Worship
Samuel Jacobson has taken to praying for the death of Wesley Cutter, so that he can have Ruth.

False Priesthood
Several people in town have accepted the false doctrine, and are looking to Samuel Jacobson as their leader. Maybe, they whisper, he should be the new Steward. Old Zachary isn’t doing a good job of keeping those damn kids in line. And then there was the scandal of the Jacksons and Bakers – he’d soon put them straight.
But there’s another, far more creepy priesthood in town.
To try to keep the unruly schoolchildren in order, Sister Rachel has started leading them in prayer…, and the way she does it gives birth the false doctrine: Sister Rachel knows best.

The Hammer Is Cocked – the Setup
One stormy night, as Samuel was returning from the Cutters, he met travellers on the road - bounty hunters. They’d been hunting their quarry a long time and were tired – they’d accept just about anyone now. They laughed and told Samuel he need not fear, he was the wrong size, and told them to have a drink with him – “and tell us, do you know anyone in the area of about this age, size, appearance? Someone no-one would miss? Maybe a troublemaker – we could do you a favour and take him off your hands?” His tongue loosened by fear, sinfully drunk, Samuel told them of Cutter.
(The bounty hunters weren’t demons, but they had been steered into this situation by demons.)
He returned home, elated that Cutter would soon be gone. He woke in the morning with a hangover, and terrible guilt over what he had done.
The next day, Cutter arrived in town bearing a wounded and pregnant body. The bounty hunters met their deaths at Cutters hands, but in the fighting, Ruth took a bullet…
As the doctor worked to save Ruth, the town gathered in the Faith meeting house (also the schoolhouse). It was rowdy. Rachel raved about the violence that Cutter had brought on their community, and the boys under her charge called for Cutter’s head.
Samuel, horrified that Cutter had survived, tortured himself wondering how much Cutter knew. “Is he going to come for me?”
All the community knew for certain was that Ruth had been shot. Had Cutter done it himself?
The Steward, sick with worry over Ruth, dashed back and forth between the doctor and the crowd, and found himself wondering if Samuel and Rachel had been right all along – had he been frightened of Cutter, and deceiving himself? Had his fear killed his daughter? So he loses control over his people.
The mob, having worked itself up into a frenzy, goes to burst in on the doctor and grab Cutter to make him pay for what he did to Ruth. But Cutter is gone…
Garvey Hotchkiss: he’d been a military doctor Back East, before is conversion. Now he was a simple farmer, who also served as the town doctor when needed. He was called in to attend to Ruth – and Wesley told him, he’d better do a good job “or else”. Wesley watched and helped as he struggled for 36 hours, but she died under his knife. But not before he saved her son (and probably his own life in the process). Garvey saw Wesley’s soul laid bear as he took hold of his son and wept.
Garvey began to realise what an injustice he and his wife had done to Cutter, and guilt crept in…
Patience Middleton: the Steward’s wife had helped Garvey, and wailed at the death of her daughter. She grabbed her grandson from Cutter and told him to get out, go, begone! “Ruth is dead because of you – and I won’t let you visit the same fate on my grandchild.”
Cutter staggered away from her, and his face hardened, making Garvey think of the grim reaper. “Ma’am, everything you ‘good’ people have whispered about me is true. One of the men who did this is out there. I’m going to find him. I’m going to visit my wrath upon him, like the good old days. And then, good sister, I’m coming back for my son. Don’t stand in my way…”
Lakey: one of the bounty hunters fled, injured, into the hills as Ruth took his bullet. The demons had guided him to this place of death, but they left him now to seek shelter in the hills. He knows Samuel told them how to find Cutter – will he live to tell his tale...?

The Dogs Arrive
As the dogs arrive, it is only hours since Cutter has ridden out into the hills, looking for Lakey.
Steward Zachary and Patience are in the physicians house with their grandson and dead daughter. Garvey and Rachel are with them. Rachel is gently hinting that, given the circumstances, he should hand over stewardship to someone not burdened by grief –Samuel maybe… (Garvey is beginning to feel sick.)
Samuel is outside, gathering the mob, preparing a posse to go and hunt down Cutter. He tells them that old enemies of Cutter turned up looking for him, and in the fighting Ruth was killed. He plans to come back for his grandson to take him away from the Faith – and will kill anyone who stands in his way.
So, they plan to go looking for him, guns blazing, while leaving a heavy guard here at the schoolhouse.

What Do the Townsfolk Want From The Dogs
Wesley Cutter, Unforgiven: he wants the Dogs to get out of his way. He wants to kill Lakey, in as painful a way as possible. He then wants to come back to town, take his wife’s body back to the farm and bury it, and then take his grandson far from here. He wants to kill anyone who stands in his way. Actually he just wants to kill, period.
If he is allowed to torture Lakey to death, he will learn of Samuel’s part and will kill him and his entire extended family. Anyone who stops him – well, their family dies too.
What he needs, however: To bury his wife, to see justice done for her death, to be reminded of why he fell in love with her, to be accepted by the town, and to be converted to the faith.
Samuel Jacobson: wants the Dogs to kill Cutter for him and especially to kill the bandit before his guilt is discovered. He wants the Dogs to appoint him the new Steward, and to validate his false doctrine. He wants the Dogs to bring his Ruth back to him.
Rachel Hotchkiss: wants the Dogs to approve her use of prayer in school, as well as unorthodox teaching methods. She wants them to remove the weak Steward, and appoint someone stronger – certainly not her spineless husband. Someone like Samuel. (Note: they only had the one son: Rachel is now barren, but now thinks it’s Garvey’s weakness that is at fault.) She wants them to kill her husband, so she can marry Samuel.
Garvey Hotchkiss: is suffering a loss of faith. He came here to escape sin and violence, but it is here anyway. He wants the Dogs to restore his Faith in the community. He wants them to take the hate from Rachel. He doesn’t want the Dogs to expose his part in the rabble rousing. He doesn’t trust Samuel, and thinks he is a bad influence on Rachel.
Zachary Middleton: is overcome by rage and guilt; he knows the King was trying to tell him that danger was here and he failed to recognise it. He thought it was the people in the community that were in danger – not his daughter. He wants Cutter - and the violence he brings with him - gone, and he doesn’t care how. He wants to keep his grandson. He wants them to find him at fault, and so remove him from office.
In a few days, he would naturally change his outlook because he is an unusually good man – but by then, without the intervention of the Dogs, it’ll be too late.
Patience Middleton: Patience is Ruth’s mother. She wants to keep her grandson in the Faith. She wants Cutter to convert so that he can be with his son – failing that he must leave. She doesn’t want him killed. In a way, Ruth is part of him. She wants the Dogs to turn her son from violence.
Adam Middleton: wants to find the killer of Ruth and kill him. He wants the Dogs to teach him to kill. But he doesn’t blame Cutter, because he had been visiting Ruth and so knew him. He wants the Dogs to get rid of Rachel as a teacher, and teach the Jacobson’s a lesson.
Jacob and Jasper Jacobsons: want the Dogs to give Rachel everything she wants. They want to kill someone, anyone.
Jacob Jacobson, Samuel’s brother; his wife Judith; Virgil & Temperance Baker: the women want the Dogs to kill their husbands and either allow them to marry their neighbour, or marry the Dogs! The men went the Dogs to kill their neighbours, and maybe their own wives, so they can have their neighbour’s wife.
Lakey: he wants the Dogs to rescue him from Cutter and the town.

What Do The Demons Want?
They want Rachel to educate the kids in her own way. They want the Dogs to get distracted by Cutter, killing him then move on. They want women to seduce their male neighbours, and those male neighbours to kill each other in jealous rage or to take their wives.
If The Dogs Never Came
Cutter kills a bunch of people before dying in the firefight, thanks to demons assisting Samuel.
Samuel becomes Steward, after several of the children murder Zachary and Patience.
Garvey dies soon after and Samuel marries Rachel, and the village turns to a hellhole of abuse, as the people become what they fear Cutter was.
Wesley Cutter
I didn’t design the other characters ahead of time, but I did design Cutter ahead of time because I wanted him to be seriously dangerous if they fought him. I worried I may have overdone it, but it turned out not to be the case)
Stats: Acuity 7d6, Body 7d6, Heart 4d6, Will 10d6
Traits: I will have vengeance: 4d4 (was: Ruth was my salvation: 3d6); I’m a mean mother: 2d8; I’m a good shot: 2d10; I’m at home in the wilds: 2d6.
Relationships: Ruth’s Killer: 2d10; The Town: 4d4; Sin of Violence: 2d8; His Son: 2d6
Belongings: Trusty Old Rifle 1d8+1d4, Trusty old Sidearm 1d6+1d4; Big Machete +1d8; Ornery Horse +1d6.
--------------------
Sorry about the length :) I struggled for a few days to come up with something, then a few hours before the sesison it all splurged out. Designing the town was something that very much did not come naturally.
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Lance D. Allen
Member

Posts: 1962


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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2005, 11:26:38 PM »

One notable problem stood out: The Faithful living with non-Faithful is against doctrine, according to the book, so your first false doctrine isn't.

Other than that, it seems like a town ripe for explosion. It is a bit black and white, but when it's as complicated and interwoven as this is, that's pretty much okay; There's not going to be an easy solution (short of the Raven Option: Burning the whole town to the ground, and starting over..) and unless the Dogs are just that blessed good, there's no way they're going to be able to resolve this town without some fatalities and some people angry or hurt.

Some of the sins don't relate well to the central situation, so you may want to either build them up a bit more or remove them; The situation between the Jacobsons and the Bakers seems kind of a side issue, and I could see it becoming a red herring.. If one of the Dogs happens to catch it just right, they could go haring off thinking that situation is much bigger than it is. If you're hoping to do this in one session, things like that aren't conducive.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2005, 11:41:09 PM »

Quote from: Wolfen
One notable problem stood out: The Faithful living with non-Faithful is against doctrine, according to the book, so your first false doctrine isn't.


Is that the case? The rulebook says, "There aren’t many nonbelievers out here among the Faithful, but there are some. It might be, for instance, that the claims officer is a stodgy old churchgoing Atheist, while his faddish wife holds sťances or reads Tarot."
I realise that example doesn't say it's okay for them to marry. One of the example towns I read had a Faithful married to an Unbeliever, but that wasn't exactly canon.

Quote
Some of the sins don't relate well to the central situation, so you may want to either build them up a bit more or remove them; The situation between the Jacobsons and the Bakers seems kind of a side issue, and I could see it becoming a red herring.. If one of the Dogs happens to catch it just right, they could go haring off thinking that situation is much bigger than it is. If you're hoping to do this in one session, things like that aren't conducive.


I'd introduced that one mainly to use as an example to show exactly what shape the demonic attacks were taking, and how screwed up the town was becoming. I can see the danger you mention - as it happened, I didn't use it because of time constraints.
Also because of time, I didn't get to bring into play Sister Rachel's congregation of children, which in retrospect I'm glad about. That situation - Rachel turning the schoolchildren into her cult - seems to me to be way too juicy (possessed children - do we kill them?), and deserves a session all on its own.
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Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1962


WWW
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2005, 11:54:21 PM »

Quote
Is that the case? The rulebook says, "There arenít many nonbelievers out here among the Faithful, but there are some. It might be, for instance, that the claims officer is a stodgy old churchgoing Atheist, while his faddish wife holds sťances or reads Tarot."


There is that. I was thinking more in the heirarchy of sins, under, I believe, Worldliness where it lists (I paraphrase) sleeping in the same room as a non-believer, and failing to show discomfort in the presence of corruption. I don't have my book handy so I'm working from memory, but I think I've got them right. Those always stuck out in my head because I thought they were the nitpickiest sins in the book.

Quote
Also because of time, I didn't get to bring into play Sister Rachel's congregation of children, which in retrospect I'm glad about. That situation - Rachel turning the schoolchildren into her cult - seems to me to be way too juicy (possessed children - do we kill them?), and deserves a session all on its own.


Hell yeah it does. I think I kinda got the impression that this would have been one of the main aspects of this town, but if it was mostly a sideline, then I agree that it's best to save that for a later session.

Are you going to post about the session?
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2005, 12:00:35 AM »

Quote from: Wolfen
Quote
Is that the case? The rulebook says, "There aren’t many nonbelievers out here among the Faithful, but there are some. It might be, for instance, that the claims officer is a stodgy old churchgoing Atheist, while his faddish wife holds sťances or reads Tarot."


There is that. I was thinking more in the heirarchy of sins, under, I believe, Worldliness where it lists (I paraphrase) sleeping in the same room as a non-believer, and failing to show discomfort in the presence of corruption.


Would the first of those apply if you were married to the non-believer though? Since the sexes aren't supposed to mix in that kind of situation anyway, unless they are married.

Quote
I don't have my book handy so I'm working from memory, but I think I've got them right. Those always stuck out in my head because I thought they were the nitpickiest sins in the book.

Yes, they are nitpciky :) I'd forgotten about them.

Quote
Also because of time, I didn't get to bring into play Sister Rachel's congregation of children, which in retrospect I'm glad about. That situation - Rachel turning the schoolchildren into her cult - seems to me to be way too juicy (possessed children - do we kill them?), and deserves a session all on its own.


Hell yeah it does. I think I kinda got the impression that this would have been one of the main aspects of this town, but if it was mostly a sideline, then I agree that it's best to save that for a later session. [/quote]

It was a flash of inspiration that came to me the hour before the session when I was writing the town. I then wanted to make it central, but in play saw the time ticking away and realised I wasn't going to be able to.

Quote
Are you going to post about the session?

I have started writing an actual play post, but got a bit stumped about what to actually include, and whether it would be of any interest - since most the issues it raised for me, at least, are being dealt with in rules-based threads here.
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Lance D. Allen
Member

Posts: 1962


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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2005, 12:10:26 AM »

::glances left::

::glances right::

Most people around here may harp on Actual Play posts needing some mention of in-play issues, observations, et al. They're not wrong, of course, as you should always bring these things up. For me though, my guilty pleasure is just seeing what happened. a good summary of the events, a few highlights, then the issues, observations and questions works for me. If I have thoughts on the latter, I'll chime in, but I really get a kick out of reading really cool play sessions, myself. Play sessions like Paka's, written half as a fictional narrative, are what really got me charged up to play DitV after the mechanics hooked me in enough to convince me to give it a look.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Jason Morningstar
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Posts: 1428


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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2005, 04:48:13 AM »

Oh, this is a fine town!  

I particularly like the schoolmarm cult.  On first reading I think your point of attack is too late for my taste; I think I'd have the Dogs arrive while Ruth is on the table.  Let the Dogs help save the baby or at least bless and name her baby, experience rather than hear about the violence.  There's a lot of backstory to absorb, though.  What happens if there is no time to get it all first hand?  

Why'd you choose to make Cutter so badass?  In terms of confrontation, I think it would be more powerful if he were essentially doomed (I mean, he is anyway) - and knew it going in.  If the Dogs are going to run him to ground and kill him like a diseased animal...

I definitely want to run this.
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Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2005, 06:25:46 AM »

Quote from: jasonm
Oh, this is a fine town!  

I particularly like the schoolmarm cult.  

Me too! :)

Quote
On first reading I think your point of attack is too late for my taste; I think I'd have the Dogs arrive while Ruth is on the table.  Let the Dogs help save the baby or at least bless and name her baby, experience rather than hear about the violence.  


That's a good idea - I think I'll do that next time.
Quote
There's a lot of backstory to absorb, though.  What happens if there is no time to get it all first hand?

Most of the backstory isn't for them, it's for me so I can get a handle on the characters. NPCs can tell them the salient details much more succinctly - it just helps me get in the heads of the characters.

Quote
Why'd you choose to make Cutter so badass?

Because he's a badass! :)
Quote
In terms of confrontation, I think it would be more powerful if he were essentially doomed (I mean, he is anyway)

I knew that if three of the players went up against him, they'd be able to take him down but not easily, which was in fact what happened - they won, even though earlier encounters had given him a relationship: Dogs 3d4 and one of the three was distracted for a while by dealing with someone else!
So he was doomed anyway, but your idea does have a certain attraction.

Quote
I definitely want to run this.

Yay! Thanks :)
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