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Prepping for DitV at ConQuest

Started by John Kim, August 24, 2005, 11:48:57 PM

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John Kim

So I signed up to run a Dogs in the Vineyard game at ConQuest.  I've got six hours officially, but I expect to wrap up by five. Following Vincent's advice (from The Forge, June 20, 2005), this will be character creation in full followed by a short town.  He suggests Tower Creek from the book, but my plan is an original one (inspired by modern-day history of Dugway Proving Grounds, an Army Chemical Weapons testing area in Utah).  I've only run Dogs once before, but it went pretty well.  I reported it as "Harnies play Dogs in the Vineyard". 

I'm going to bring a big load of dice, and have forms prepared.  I've used the GenCon pullouts, but one addition is that I want a sheet explaining the four character creation options.  (I'm also not thrilled at having to turn the town sheet back and forth from straight to sideways.)  I may go to the library to see if there are picture books which are good for inspirational material to have at the table. 

The one big change that I expect compared to my first run is in tactics, in particular for group conflicts.  In my run, the players would tend to approach group conflicts by all rolling, then usually in the first round the others would lend their highest die to someone who had rolled well.  With only one die left for that Go, they would then tend to drop out and let the person they helped win the thing.  I was turned around by reading MCroft's explanation of how exchanging help can be used to Reverse the Blow.  I think I'll explain this to the players as part of the setup. 

Since I don't have characters yet, I don't have a lot to post about the event in the nominal website I have.  One zany option that occurred to me was including my writeup of the town.  Has anyone done Dogs in an "open note" fashion where the players may know in advance what the secrets of the town are?  I don't think I'll do it since it seems like it would change the game considerably, but it was interesting to consider. 
- John


Aren't there five background types, including Well-rounded?  I usually read those off but it would save some time to have them summarized on a handy handout.

After just getting back from Gencon I decided to go to Conquest as well so I hope to run Dogs there in open gaming (probably Tower Creek which I like a lot, or maybe Paka's Jericho Flats that he ran at Gencon, or both).  I hope to get into your game if it isn't already filled, since I've run 9 times and never played yet, but if more players show up than you have room for I'd also be happy to offer to run for them separately.  That worked very well at Gencon.

--Carl Rigney

Mike Holmes

Do you have the essence of the town down to an abstract? Usually for a con you sorta hint about the nature of the conflict up front in the blurb. I think you could get away with that in this case, if it was subtle enough. Something like:
QuoteUsually Green Valley is the sort of peaceful and prosperous town where crops flourish, and the people always have smiles on their faces. But not lately. Reports are that Green Valley is brown this year, crops are failing, and smiles are few and far between. Could it have to do with the four new families that have arrived in town from back east in the past year somehow? Is the steward keeping the righteous on the path of faith in Green Valley? Or is it just a bad year? Time to send in the Dogs of the Lord to find out.
Gives a sense of the nature of the town's problems, and some potential leads that you're going to give in the briefing to the players anyhow up front.

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Oh John, I meant to say: the "1st Edition" pullouts are the better.