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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 77 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [DiTV] San Miguel Branch  (Read 4991 times)
Mayuran
Member

Posts: 75


« on: August 03, 2005, 08:48:12 PM »

hey, gang, this is the second town I've created.  The first had some problems which I realized were both lingering illusionist tendencies, and including a "mystery" which prevented the players from having perfect information to hand out judgement as they saw fit.  As a general commentary, I've been told that I never create "likeable" NPCs.  I would like to brush that up to my poor social skills, but if anyone has some hints to make some of these folks more "likeable" it would be much appreciated.

Something’s Wrong-

In the town of San Miguel, in the South West reaches of Faithful territory, blood has been shed. 

The residents of San Miguel are the second generation of indigenous converts, old time converted settlers, and the original Faithful who settled in San Miguel a generation back.

The young Steward, Brother David, a son of converted Mountain People, was shot down two months ago after instigating a conflict with a silver mining company operating in town.  He walked into a bar full of drunken miners, tried to get them to repent their sinful ways, and got two bullets in the gut for his troubles.

The mine is land in trust owned by the town. A mining company, the Blue Horn Mining Co, leases the right to use the mine.  Blue Horn Mining Co. is from out of town, and its owners have nothing to do with the Faith.  Due to the growth of the mine, there are many non-faithful now working there.  The town is growing, faster than the faith.  A hotel and a bar are about to be built near the miner’s camp.

Many of the local faithful have begun working as miners in the years since silver was found, and in fact the foreman in charge is a Faithful member, Brother Elijah.

The town’s doctor, an educated gent from back East, Brother Paul, has taken to drinking heavily.  He tried to save Br. David’s life from the gunshot wounds, and blames himself because he was drunk at the time.  He is losing his faith.

Sister Claudia, Brother David’s younger sister, has organized many of the non-mine workers and the wives of the mine workers – who see their husbands and fathers lead into worldliness.  Amongst them is Sister Patience, whose husband Br. John is an alcoholic and beats her.  Br. Johnny is a youngen’ who works in the mines, and his Pa takes all his earnings to drink more.

However, without a strong leader in the community (that is, in the minds of the Branch, a Steward), the Branch is levitating towards Br. Elijah’s complacency with the mine company, and allowing the mine company to have greater leadership over the town.

This is not a “whodunit” – the man who shot Br. David, a young faithful man named Br. Edgar, was drunk at the time.  When he realized what he’d done, he lost his mind.  He has been locked up by the local territorial authority, pending trial.

(What I am attempting to convey is the “mining company” in the place of the “demons.”  Thus those who have become influenced by the worldliness of working in the mines risk being possessed.)

Pride:
The people of San Miguel have become rich on their silver mine, which has been operating for a few years.  They have started to want more material goods, many of which are provided by the stores of the company operating the mine.  Brother Elijah is a good example, as he has become quite wealthy as the Foreman.  He also wishes to have Sister Claudia as a second wife, a point of contention between him and Brother David.

Br. Paul has fallen to drinking, partially due to his Eastern “educated” ways.

Brother David, rather than requesting help from the regional officials or even the territory, attempted to take on these issues of materialism with the company.  He challenged his Branch about it, but tried to take on the company alone.

Sister Claudia has been organizing with many of the women and elders in the town, taking on much of the Stewardship following her Brother’s death – not necessarily because she thinks she is best suited, but because no one else will.

Br. John knows his wife and son have no right to stand up to him, and that his authority is supreme at home.

Injustice:
While the lease of the mine to the Mining Company creates some wealth for the town, it has not been fairly distributed.  There are clear differences in status developing.  No one quite goes hungry or without clothing, but some certainly look down on others.

The rise in drinking amongst some of the faithful miners has led to tensions.  Br. Elijah looks the other way.

Br. Paul’s drinking has hampered his ability to help the townspeople as a doctor.

Br. John smacks around his wife and kid whenever he feels the urge.

The influence of the mining company diminished the influence of the Steward, Br. David.

Sister Claudia’s indignation at the plight of the townspeople has led her to organize outside of traditional branch methods.

Sin:
Little Johnny is tired of seeing his momma get hit around and having his earnings taken… he’s saved a little bit up and is going to buy a gun from the company store to make his Pa listen.

The Miners are partaking in worldliness.  Br. Elijah is encouraging this by saying nothing – in fact his dedication to the mine operation borders on Apostasy.

The spread of alcoholism amongst some miners had led to violence at home.  Little Johnny getting hit around by his Pa a bit too frequently… Sister Patience showing up at the Church with a black-eye.

Br. Paul’s lack of clarity and “cultured” mentality is part worldliness, part faithlessness. “It’s okay for me to have a drink on the side… the King o Life has forsaken me!”

The drinking has caused some fights amongst the town folks, anger and resentment follow. 

And, of course, Brother David was shot dead.  This wasn’t a culmination of hate and murder in its most brutal form, but a senseless and spontaneous act caused by too much liquor, and a little whisper from the “demons.”

False Doctrine:
Br. John told his wife, in a bout of anger, that “David wasn’t a good Steward because of his dirty Mountain blood.”  Someone in the mine gave him that idea.

Br. Elijah believes, and secretly tells his workers, that “anything is okay in moderation.”

What do the people want:
Br. Elijah wants the Dogs to declare him Steward, and marry him to Sister Claudia (a second wife).  Hell, even if the mining company left town he’d still be in charge of the miners (and with a little more power).  He’ll do anything to make it seem helpful to the Dogs.

The Miners Wives and the Non-Miners want a more Faithful view about wealth.  They want the bars shut down.  They wouldn’t mind the mining company gone – as they see the mine as a way for the town to sustain itself, not to get rich.

Ss. Claudia wants the Dogs to drive the mining company out of the town.  She knows the people can take care of things and survive on their own.  She wouldn’t mind being the leader of the community in her brother’s place, but is conflicted about her role as a woman.

Br. Paul wants the Dogs to condemn him for his sins – in fact he wants to die for failing Br. David.  If one of the Dogs puts a bullet in his head, he’d thank them for it.

Sister Patience wants her real husband back – the one who wasn’t a violent monster.  Little Johnny wants the Dogs to teach him how to shoot a gun.

What do the Demons want:
In general, they’ve already got what they want… the money of the townspeople, and their eventual dependence on company goods (and liquor).  If the Dogs come in and lay bare the rift in the Faith, maybe some folks will leave the religion altogether.

Also, it would be great for Brother Paul and Sister Claudia to get lost.  They’re the last threads of consciousness in the Branch – and both of them are on the edge.  If Sister Claudia is driven into a conflict with the miners, they know she will lose.

They wouldn’t mind if the Dogs saw all the finery in this town and said “hey, we deserve this too!”

If the Dogs never came:
Brother Johnny would make a pass at his dad, mess up and get himself and his ma killed in a confrontation with Br. John.  Br. John will commit suicide in rage, setting off a chain of grief and violence.

Br. Paul will hang himself in his office.

Sister Claudia will push an open confrontation with the miners, following Sister Patience’s death.  But half the community will be too shocked to react.  She’ll lose.  Brother Elijah will drive her out of town, if she can’t be made into a wife.

The mining company will, bit by bit, buy up the town and the mine itself.

San Miguel will slip from the faith into sin and indecency.
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Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1962


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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2005, 07:58:19 AM »

Quote
Br. Elijah wants the Dogs to declare him Steward, and marry him to Sister Claudia (a second wife).  Hell, even if the mining company left town he’d still be in charge of the miners (and with a little more power).  He’ll do anything to make it seem helpful to the Dogs.

The Miners Wives and the Non-Miners want a more Faithful view about wealth.  They want the bars shut down.  They wouldn’t mind the mining company gone – as they see the mine as a way for the town to sustain itself, not to get rich.

Ss. Claudia wants the Dogs to drive the mining company out of the town.  She knows the people can take care of things and survive on their own.  She wouldn’t mind being the leader of the community in her brother’s place, but is conflicted about her role as a woman.

Br. Paul wants the Dogs to condemn him for his sins – in fact he wants to die for failing Br. David.  If one of the Dogs puts a bullet in his head, he’d thank them for it.

Sister Patience wants her real husband back – the one who wasn’t a violent monster.  Little Johnny wants the Dogs to teach him how to shoot a gun.

This part right here is your bread and butter. You've got plenty of potential to make these people sympathetic. All you have to do now is aggressively present it. You're gonna want to hit 'em early with these bits of information:

Sister Patience wants her real husband back – the one who wasn’t a violent monster.

Br. Paul wants the Dogs to condemn him for his sins – in fact he wants to die for failing Br. David.

Both of them ripe with sympathetic heartstring pulling. The former.. Well, I wouldn't put it past any but the most bleeding heart group of Dogs to put a bullet in Br. John and expect Patience to thank them for it, unless you get that she wants them to give her back her husband, not take him away. Chances are they'll go harshly, but won't kill him out of hand.. Or they might, and that's cool too, 'cause it says something. As for Br. Paul, despair is always one of the most sympathetic of sins, as is self-loathing due to a perceived failing. I could see either confessions before a mercy killing, or them rebuilding his faith, both very powerful scenes.

Sr. Claudia and the non-miners are already pretty sympathetic. I'd leave them be. I do see a bit of a problem with Br. Elijah, though. If your Dogs are the sort to look for a villain, he's the obvious choice. His sins in specific are fairly minor; Just a weakness of character, really, but I see nothing sympathetic about him. If that's cool with you, then let it be, but if not, then you'll need to think a bit about it. You want the Mining Company sort of filling in for the demons, which would make him basically the Sorcerer, as he's the liason to the company.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Mayuran
Member

Posts: 75


« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2005, 07:04:54 AM »

This part right here is your bread and butter. You've got plenty of potential to make these people sympathetic. All you have to do now is aggressively present it. You're gonna want to hit 'em early with these bits of information:

Sister Patience wants her real husband back – the one who wasn’t a violent monster.

Br. Paul wants the Dogs to condemn him for his sins – in fact he wants to die for failing Br. David.

Both of them ripe with sympathetic heartstring pulling. The former.. Well, I wouldn't put it past any but the most bleeding heart group of Dogs to put a bullet in Br. John and expect Patience to thank them for it, unless you get that she wants them to give her back her husband, not take him away. Chances are they'll go harshly, but won't kill him out of hand.. Or they might, and that's cool too, 'cause it says something. As for Br. Paul, despair is always one of the most sympathetic of sins, as is self-loathing due to a perceived failing. I could see either confessions before a mercy killing, or them rebuilding his faith, both very powerful scenes.

I would probably frame the scene with Br. Paul as them finding him in his office, slumped up against the door, passed out.  That would be their immediate cue to bring on the judgement... and if I can get the guy to plead for his punishment, we'll see what happens.  My players aren't the type to put a bullet in his head... especially if they see that the community really needs a doctor to help with all the alcoholism, violence, etc. But who knows...

Sr. Claudia and the non-miners are already pretty sympathetic. I'd leave them be. I do see a bit of a problem with Br. Elijah, though. If your Dogs are the sort to look for a villain, he's the obvious choice. His sins in specific are fairly minor; Just a weakness of character, really, but I see nothing sympathetic about him. If that's cool with you, then let it be, but if not, then you'll need to think a bit about it. You want the Mining Company sort of filling in for the demons, which would make him basically the Sorcerer, as he's the liason to the company.

Yeah, I considered that... but I didn't want to make him a sorceror (if it pushes into conflict, which is likely, I could possibly see him as being possessed).  My idea of making Elijah sympathetic would be that he says to the dogs "yeah, I know there are some problems with the miners... but it is those of them who are not of the Faith, and I'm doing work to try and bring them into the fold... etc." Especially cause he wants to be steward, and at the same time wants to portray the dead Steward as irresponsible ("he went into a room full of non-faithful sinners and tried to condemn them, of course he got a bullet in the gut").  But I think, in the end, they'll be more likely not to like the guy.
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