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Author Topic: [DitV]Life and death conflicts  (Read 10407 times)
Simon Kamber
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Posts: 175


« on: May 20, 2005, 11:06:02 AM »

This is one of those theoretical threads that aren't based in something I've actually experienced in play. In the Dogs rulebook, there's an example conflict on page 51-52 that describes and ambush. The example concludes that because the Dog won't be killed right away, the GM doesn't have to pull his punches. That it's not cheating because the Dog isn't dead unless the conflict is won by the assassin.

I've thought about that. And I disagree. Even in a Dogs game, I'd consider that a breach of the social conflict. Especially so in Dogs, in fact. Because whether he likes it or not, the player is now in a conflict that will, if he gives, mean that he is dead. And even if he wins, he will have to take lethal fallout when he's shot with a gun because he cannot give!

In normal conflicts, you can choose whether a conflict is important enough to take a blow with guns. But unless the players have made choices that they knew were likely to piss someone off to the point that a followup with their lives in the stakes was the consequence, then declaring a "You are attacked, do you die?" conflict is, in my opinion, going too far. I even think it's worse than the same thing done in games like D&D, because in Dogs a lethal situation is usually something the characters brought upon themselves and the GM isn't expected to put their lives on the line.

What do you think? Do you disagree here, or have I perhaps got something wrong and that isn't what the book says at all?
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Simon Kamber
Eric Provost
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2005, 11:33:04 AM »

You're incorrect, but only because you're missing a rule.

If you give, or loose a conflict where your life is the stakes, you don't loose your Dog immediately.  In fact, you only take 4 dice of fallout.  It's easier to survive giving than fighting in most cases.

-Eric

[edited for clarity]
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TonyLB
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2005, 11:36:29 AM »

What if the Stakes are "I want to kill your Dog dead"?  Wouldn't giving mean that the Dog dies?

EDIT:  The "four dice of fallout" thing is making me think that there's a specific rule that I'm forgetting.  Page number, maybe?
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neelk
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Posts: 126


« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2005, 11:39:14 AM »

Vincent is right, as usual. Here's a bit from my last session. Some of the PCs were off in the wilderness with a band of runaway slaves, and the Territorial Authority and all kinds of bounty hunters were after them. The stakes of the conflict were, "Do the people hunting you capture and lynch you and all the ex-slaves?"  So, this went on, with raises and sees being things like clever ruses and overwhelming numbers of searchers, and then one of the players made a Raise like this: "As the army closes in, I ride off alone and meet them, delaying them long enough for the slaves to flee our camp."  At that point, everyone was like "Wow!", so I had the TA Take the Blow, and then on my next go I just Gave. So the slaves got away, because Brother Exhumations heroically offered himself up for capture to delay the army.

Remember that what actually happens in the conflict is determined by the raises and sees that people make.  And that can change how badly you want the outcome to happen.

So in the ambush, a Dog can make a Raise like, "It's a red day, a bloody day for the enemies of the King! I ride into battle and each shot I take, takes a life, until the hammers of my guns fall on chambers as hot and empty as Hell." And if he's got dice to make me Take the Blow, then unless I Give a dozen ambushers are going to be dead. Do I really want him that badly?

Or the Dog can say something like, "I call out, 'Caleb, I know you're there. You and your men come in peaceful, and I swear on the Book of Life that I will stand beside you at your trial and take your punishment in your place.'" And now it's going to be so damn tempting to Take the Blow and then give, because jeez, this is a once-in-a-lifetime get-out-jail-free-chance.
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Neel Krishnaswami
Eric Provost
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2005, 11:39:19 AM »

Um... Sorry, I'm away from my copy of Dogs and my password to get a copy from the Forge Library, so page numbers escape me.

But yeah, that's why "Is your Dog murdered in her sleep?" a kewl conflict, instead of a crappy one.  We've played that one.  It's hot.

Um... Is there somebody who knows the rule and has their book handy who can get us a page number?

-Eric
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xenopulse
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2005, 11:44:51 AM »

Page 54 of the pdf:

"Thereís another way to die than by taking bad Fallout. Whatís at stake is: does my character kill yours? Itís possible for you to lose the conflict without taking any Fallout aítall, let alone rolling a 16+.

When that happens, treat it exactly as though your attacker hit you with four dice Fallout, of the size appropriate to his weaponó d10s for a gun, d8s for an axe, etc.ó and you rolled a 16. If you get medical attention, we roll over into this new conflict: are you dead? If you donít, we donít: youíre just dead."

So you're automatically at 16, but the four dice are used for the healing part, I believe.
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Eric Provost
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2005, 11:46:51 AM »

Thanks Christian.

Heh.  I realize we totally missed the auto-16 bit.  We always just went with the 4dice of appropriate fallout.

-Eric
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neelk
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Posts: 126


« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2005, 11:47:10 AM »

Check page 46:

Quote

When a character s critically injured but gets medical attention, I scoop up all of the Fallout Dice the player just rolled, add the Demonic Influence, and roll the lot. If the character s dying but didn t roll any Fallout  -- if the character's life was named as what's at stake in conflict, for instance  -- I roll 4d6 plus the Demonic Influence.


I think the rule xenopulse noted, where the die size depends on what happened, makes more sense.
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Neel Krishnaswami
Eric Provost
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2005, 11:51:13 AM »

I think that might be a simple typo.  I mean, you're referring to the 4d6 instead of 4d(appropriate), right?

I bet that's what Vincent meant.

Vincent?

-Eric
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Eric Provost
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2005, 12:01:38 PM »

So, now that everyone is finding this rule, I highly reccomend this:

Is your Dog murdered in his sleep?

It took us two attempts to figure out how one can run such a conflict, but once we got it... golden.  Fantastic.   Brilliant.

-Eric
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2005, 12:05:37 PM »

I think the rule Neel quotes only applies to the medical attention conflict; Which would mean that it's easier in general to recover from an "I kill you!" conflict that a genuine shoot 'em up conflict. Not sure if that's good or bad, but that's the way it's intended, I think.
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~Lance Allen
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lumpley
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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2005, 02:45:13 PM »

It's 4d(appropriate) plus demonic influence, whatever the circumstances. The "4d6" is a relic.

Simon, if you still aren't convinced, give it a try.

-Vincent
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Simon Kamber
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Posts: 175


« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2005, 02:59:53 PM »

The rule about being killed through stakes stating that it's "just" 4dX fallout had escaped me. I still can't find it in the printed version, do any of you have the page number?

However, that still doesn't change the question. It's less likely to end with the character dying. But I'd still feel that my position in Dogs, of all games, was violated if the GM declared an ambush scenario that I had in no way paved the road for. If the GM went "You're riding towards the town of jumping jack falls when suddenly a guy with a big black hat jumps onto the road and yells 'you're not entering this town, DIE!', starting a conflict with the stakes 'do you die?', I'd be all 'wait, nonono, you can't do that!'.

If I had brought it upon myself by killing the guys family, justly or unjustly, then that works for me. But without a cause of my making? No way!

EDIT: To Lumpley's simultanous post: Sorry, I don't play that often. "Giving it a try" and running a conflict that I believe will violate the way I want the game to run isn't an option. Could I get you to try to explain to me just how it works? And more importantly, how it stops the player from being completely deprotagonized if the conflict should result in his death (unlikely, I know, but still). If I'm killed, I want it to be my own damn fault!
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Simon Kamber
Eric Provost
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« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2005, 03:04:36 PM »

Um...I think you've got to try it to believe it.  I'm really of the belief that, if a Dogs player is unwilling to let their character go, then they will live.  That's it.  In the last session we played we got into a very bloodly gunfight.  17d10+4d4 fallout for my Brother Divid.  It was close, but I survived it.  I don't think that 4d10 fallout has any chance at all of killing any Dog.  Period.  You could skip rolling and just say that all the dice came up 10s.  [edit:  I was meaning in the follow-up healing attempt.  If you give in the conflict, then you don't roll the d10s, you just have 16 fallout]  The Dog will still live if the player wants it to.

I do not think that there is any way for the GM in Dogs to kill off a PC without it being something the player wants too.

-Eric
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Simon Kamber
Member

Posts: 175


« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2005, 03:08:18 PM »

Quote from: Technocrat13
Um...I think you've got to try it to believe it.  I'm really of the belief that, if a Dogs player is unwilling to let their character go, then they will live.  That's it.  In the last session we played we got into a very bloodly gunfight.  17d10+4d4 fallout for my Brother Divid.  It was close, but I survived it.  I don't think that 4d10 fallout has any chance at all of killing any Dog.  Period.  You could skip rolling and just say that all the dice came up 10s.  [edit:  I was meaning in the follow-up healing attempt.  If you give in the conflict, then you don't roll the d10s, you just have 16 fallout]  The Dog will still live if the player wants it to.

Just to clear it up: Are you talking about "rolling-into-a-healing-conflict" 4d10, or 4d10 regular fallout? Because if you roll regular fallout with d10, there's always the chance of two 10s.
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Simon Kamber
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