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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 47 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [DiTV] Problematic Town Creation - Hobbestown  (Read 3784 times)
Pôl Jackson

Posts: 33

« on: August 12, 2005, 01:53:48 PM »

This is my first post at the Forge. Hi!

I recently purchased Dogs, and intend to run it for my game group Real Soon Now. I came up with a cool situation for my first town: an unfaithful wife is rejected by her husband and by her family, and is given shelter by the local preacher. Now, half the town is outraged at the preacher, and refuses to come to sermons.

This town took me over a week to write! My problem was that I didn't know where to start. Who's Pride starts the whole thing off? The unfaithful wife? The husband, for neglecting her? The father, for rejecting her? The preacher, for "showing comfort in the face of sin"? I even had a draft that laid blame squarely with the town gossip!  The nature and focus of the town really seems to change, depending on how "something's wrong" is defined. I eventually went with the father, but I still don't know if that's the strongest choice.

I think that my problem comes from having a town concept that doesn't fit neatly into the Pride-Injustice-Sin chain. (Or if it does, then I'm having difficulty seeing it.) Has anyone else run into this problem?

Here's what I eventually came up with for the town. I'd love to hear any feedback. (Is it "grabby" enough? Should I change the root problem? Is there anything that doesn't make sense? What would bump up the "cool" factor?) Keep in mind that I'm intending to run this town immediately after character creation, so I want to keep it fairly simple.

Thanks in advance for your time!


Town:  Hobbestown (“Hobston”)

What's gone before:  Randal and Bethany Hobbes are recently married, and Bethany has just given birth to her first child... a child who looks nothing like Randal. In fact, the child bears a striking resemblence to dark-haired Steven Lords, a travelling Easterner who occasionally comes through town. Brother Randal is furious at this evidence of Bethany's unfaithfulness. He forces both Bethany and her child out of his house, and promises bloody violence if they return. Bethany goes to her father, Reuben Bell, but he forbids her presence in his house, as well. As a last resort, she begs Preacher Willis for shelter.

Pride:  By forbidding Bethany into his house, Brother Reuben is neglecting his stewardship over his family.

Injustice:  Sister Bethany is left homeless, with a newborn son to feed, dependent on the kindess of others.  Preacher Willis, sympathetic to her plight, has allowed her to stay at the church.

Sin:  Over half the congregation (the Hobbes and Bell families, and their friends) are outraged that Preacher Willis would let Bethany stay at the church.  Most of them have stopped coming to sermons, in protest. Instead, Brother Reuben has been giving his own sermons at the Bell ranch. He's taken to using snakes in his preaching, something he's seen his Mountain Folk ranch hands do. [Apostasy]

Demonic Attacks:  It's a bad season for rattlesnakes. Two horses and some livestock have been killed by rattlers, and there have been some close calls with people. Little Amy Brown almost died from a rattlesnake bite, but Brother Reuben was able to suck out the poison. This makes people even more inclined to listen to Brother Reuben's snake-sermons.

What do the people want?

Coretta Bell  (The Gossip).  Young Coretta (Bethany's sister) wants to be the first one with news about the Dogs, and the first one to bring the Dogs news.

Reuben Bell (The Stern Father).  Brother Reuben wants the Dogs to kick out Preacher Willis, and assign him as the new preacher. He doesn't care what happens to his daughter, as long as he doesn't have to deal with her.

Bethany Hobbes (The Unfaithful Wife).  Bethany wants the Dogs to forgive her sins, and reunite her with her husband and family. She doesn't want anything more to do with Steven

Steven Lords (The Easterner).  Steven wants the Dogs to convince Bethany to give up the Faith, and to come back East with him. Failing that, he wants custody of his son.

Preacher Willis (The Preacher).  Preacher Willis wants the Dogs to convince his congregation to come back, and to heal the rift between Bethany and her family.

Randal Hobbes (The Cuckold).  Brother Randal wants the Dogs to annull his marriage to Bethany. He also wants Preacher Willis kicked out.

What do the demons want?
The demons want the the congregation to continue to stay away from church.

What would happen if the Dogs didn't come?
Brother Reuben would continue his preaching, leading to false doctrine and false priesthood. Eventually, the priesthood would decide that the only way to deal with Bethany, Willis, and all their supporters is through hanging. Murder!


- Pôl Jackson
Eric Provost

Posts: 581

« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2005, 02:41:24 PM »

Hiya Pol, welcome to the Forge.

I think you've got a pretty good town there and you should run it.  As is.  Mostly because I think that there's no substitute for actual play.  Everything that anyone may suggest here will only be guesswork because in the end it's up to you to know your group and what will be grabby and interesting enough for them.

As for the time it took you to write the town.  Yeah, I think that's kinda common for people who play Dogs for the first time.  I think it's often because people are still carrying baggage from old games about the way you're supposed to do session prep.  Would I be right if I guessed that you had most of this town in mind before you sat down with the town creation rules and then found it difficult to make the town you already had fit to those rules?  I guess that because that's what two of my fellow players did when they ran Dogs for the first time.  My advice there is to sit down with those town creation rules in front of you and a mostly clean slate in your head.  The cleaner the better.  Those rules are good and they work.  Trying to get around them isn't nearly as good as just trusting them to give you a good town.

Good luck to you and make sure to post how things go in the Actual Play forum.  We'll all be interested to hear how things go for you and your group.


Jason Morningstar

Posts: 1428

« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2005, 04:12:39 AM »

Who's Pride starts the whole thing off? The unfaithful wife? The husband, for neglecting her? The father, for rejecting her? The preacher, for "showing comfort in the face of sin"?

Yeah, what Eric said - don't sweat it.  This town looks great to me!  Each of those people is going to have a different story and want something different.  Coretta seems a little weak, since she doesn't actually want anything from the Dogs beyond what she can manifest herself.  There's a reason she's a gossip and she ought to want the Dogs to address that, whatever it is.  But seriously, rock on! 

Pôl Jackson

Posts: 33

« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2005, 03:12:58 AM »

Eric:  Good advice! I'll be sure to post in Actual Play when I'm able to, you know, actually play. (Soon, I hope!) In answer to your question: I tried to keep an open mind when writing the town, but there were a couple of elements that I wanted to include (the cheatin' wife, the preachin' snake handler). I thought that these were details that I could slip in during the write-up. In retrospect, I think that it was these pre-concieved elements that tripped me up. I've since written up another town, and that one only took me a couple of hours. So, improvement.

Jason:  Good point about Coretta. Now that I think about it, I think she's looking for attention and validation from the Dogs. I'll ponder it further.

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