*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
June 29, 2022, 04:46:20 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 81 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1] 2 3
Print
Author Topic: Is a Good Town a Good Idea?  (Read 12514 times)
Lisa Padol
Member

Posts: 365


« on: October 22, 2005, 11:31:17 PM »

I had an idea for a town pop into my head, and I'm wondering how viable it would be.

Okay, I know 99% of the towns the Dogs visit should have Pride and Problems, 'cuz otherwise, why are you playing this all out? Is that right, so far?

But, at the same time, I thought it might make an interesting change if, after a bunch of towns, there was one where folks weren't (yet) doing anything wrong. Supposing Steward Artex asks the Dogs to visit on account of he's worried that young Sister Sarah is trying to go beyond the bounds of what a woman should do, riding and shooting and unwomanly stuff like that, when she's supposed to be marrying Brother Benedict.

And say Sister Sarah's feeling just terrible about this. She wants these desires to stop -- she knows she ought to be all feminine and she's not being proud. Nope, she's relieved to see the Dogs, and wants them to pray with her so she can stop wanting this stuff she oughtn't to want.

Thing is, if Sarah is sincere and all, one logical answer is for her to become a Dog. Female Dogs are supposed to ride and shoot, aren't they? Maybe the King of Life is sending a message here.

Now, one can go the route that the Stewart's at fault for not seeing this, but is this necessary? And what if Benedict isn't a bad guy either? He loves Sarah, but feels that somehow, it just ain't right to marry a woman what doesn't want to marry him. But he's doing what his father tells him, and he's courting the woman he loves. Sarah's doing what she ought to, being receptive to a suit and trying to stop wanting something she's not supposed to have.

Is this a terrible idea for a town? Is it mandating an ending? After all, if the GM isn't saying at any point, "Gee, you know, female Dogs get to ride and shoot", the players might never think of this. They might pray with Sarah and oversee her marrying Benedict. Maybe they drive these desires out of her, figuring its the result of demons. Whatever.

It can be complicated further, of course -- say Sister Wilhemina loves Benedict, but wouldn't think of standing in his way of marrying Sarah, and, though brokenhearted, accepts the will of the King of Life as interpreted to her by her father and her Stewart. And so on.

The point is, I've got this town where I'm doing my best not to have Pride be there at all. Along come the PCs, and they're free to do whatever they want, and they actually could make everyone happy. This is done as a once-in-blue-moon thing, and that's presuming the group doesn't decide there really is Pride, in which case, well, I suppose there is.

Does this work? Is it something one should try?

-Lisa
Logged
Mikael
Member

Posts: 206


« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2005, 05:12:15 AM »

Hi Lisa

That´s a very interesting idea. I am not enough of an expert to judge whether it ought to be done, but I can certainly speak for myself. We are just starting, but after we´ve gone through a few more towns and the players become accustomed to methodologically rooting out the Pride, your Good Town will be a refreshing change of pace. Of course I hope that the players do not become too used to the Problem Towns either.

The only thing that concerns me is that you seem perilously close to having a "right" solution all thought up, as indicated by your "what if they never think of making her a Dog?" I would not trust myself with such a town, even if I were dead determined not to steer the players towards "my" solution. A prerequisite for a Dogs town, Pride or no Pride, seems to be that the situation is complicated enough that I, as a GM, am not completely sure what I would do if faced with the town´s problems.

Cheers,
+ Mikael
Logged

Playing Dogs over Skype? See everybody's rolls live with the browser-independent Remote Dogs Roller - mirrors: US, FIN
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2005, 05:31:25 AM »

Indeed.

That's not to say that you don't have the foundation for an interesting town there... but I would be sure to use it as an unusual change of pace, the cracker between the pinot noir and the liebfraumilch.
Logged

"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
two_fishes
Member

Posts: 30

Mark M


« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2005, 07:50:10 AM »

I think it'd be fun to see what the dogs do about it. Throw it at them and follow their lead, right? Do they soothe everyone's worries, or do they start stirring everything up and make it boil over?
Logged
TonyLB
Member

Posts: 3702


WWW
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2005, 07:53:56 AM »

I think it will bore people.  They will believe (rightly) that their presence is not required by the story.  Yes, they can take their place in it, but the story could equally well turn out fine without them.

The question "What would happen if the Dogs hadn't come?" is an important one in town creation.  It's the overall stakes that drive the Dogs.  "If we don't help, these people will all be dead and damned before spring."  This town lacks that drive.  "If we don't help ... the Steward will feel uncomfortable, but he'll get over it, and everyone will adapt."
Logged

Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
Lance D. Allen
Member

Posts: 1962


WWW
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2005, 09:25:54 AM »

I think that I'm mostly in disagreement with Tony. A town like this would be less spectacular, but it would definitely be nice for those who'd like to explore the color of the setting a bit more. In my experience playing the game, the "normal" things that Dogs do, blessing babies, performing marriages, delivering mail, interpreting doctrine, etc. are rather underplayed. Sure, these things usually happen in towns, but they're usually in the denoument of the town, and are frequently thrown in as afterthoughts ("Oh yeah, and we marry the problematic young couple that next Sunday, before things can get all weird again") A session spent exploring these aspects in greater detail would sit just fine with me.

Now that isn't to say that it couldn't be a bit more interesting. Basically, I'm seeing this as more of a proto-town, in that it doesn't have the complicated twists that usually make up town creation. What it needs to have is plenty of potential for it. What if the Dogs never came? Pride, leading to Injustice, Sin, etc. Basically, if the Dogs didn't come now and stop it in it's tracks, it would become a normal town setup, rife with conflicts for the Dogs to solve on their next loop through.

I think every Dogs campaign should have the occasional town that's really quite okay, and at least one that is a complete and utter sin-fest, burn the whole mess to the ground and salt it to make sure the filth perpetrated there never rises again. It keeps the PCs on their toes, keeps the game fresh.
Logged

~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Pôl Jackson
Member

Posts: 33


« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2005, 09:45:30 AM »

To a certain extent, I agree with Tony. It sounds to me like you're talking about a session that is almost purely color,  with very little conflict. Some players might find that boring.

But! Some players might really enjoy it. So, ask them! "Are you all interested in visiting a really low-key town next, where there's a lot of exploration but not a lot of conflict?" See what they say.

I can't see doing it more than once for any particular group of players. But after a particularly hard, blood-and-death town, maybe they'll want a breather. But at least warn them first! You don't want them to come expecting a normal Dogs game, only to get frustrated by the slower pace.

(By the way: Another good low-key scenario could be the Dogs returning to the Dogs' Temple. Maybe not a lot of conflict, but you get to meet the Dogs' teachers, old school friends, old rivals, etc.)

 - Pôl
Logged
Mikael
Member

Posts: 206


« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2005, 11:16:24 AM »

Does Lisa´s idea really mean that there is no conflict or that things would be "slow"? Life is not fair, and the life of Faithful even less so, so there can be plenty of non-Prideful conflict like the ones described by Lisa, even if they are unlikely to escalate to guns. (But they could, if the Dogs are bumbling and very heavy-handed fools.) I could imagine that these conflicts would be extra challenging for the average Dogs to handle, as there is no easy hierarchy of sin to fall back on.

That said, some could see this as breaking some kind of contract with the players. I wouldn´t, though, if the conflicts are interesting and relevant to the players.

Cheers,
+ Mikael
Logged

Playing Dogs over Skype? See everybody's rolls live with the browser-independent Remote Dogs Roller - mirrors: US, FIN
lumpley
Administrator
Member
*
Posts: 3453


WWW
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2005, 02:32:25 PM »

I urge everyone to use the town creation rules in the book! If you don't, all bets are off and don't come crying to me!

-Vincent
Logged
Falc
Member

Posts: 80


« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2005, 03:03:29 PM »

I'm not actually certain that the town described doesn't follow the rules. I mean, when I read the description, it seems to me there's a whole lot of Injustice going on. Sarah who's torn between her desire for adventure and her desire to be a good woman. Benedict, similarly torn. Sounds like Injustice to me.

So where's the Pride? Something must have caused all this, and you seem to have skipped over it: who put these ideas into Sarah's head?

Maybe it was her father, who led an adventurous life and told her bedtime stories about it. He was Proud of his adventures and wanted to share them with his daughter. And now, if the Dogs don't interfere, well, either Sarah will marry Benedict but she'll always be haunted by the thoughts of what might have been. Or she does go off to become a Dog and Benedict loses the woman he loves. And you know what? If Sarah's father is dead by now, well then there truly is no-one left to blame.

Low-key, yes. Probably, little to no conflicts. Can it get pretty intense? Yes, if the Dogs start caring enough about both Sarah and Benedict.

I think it's important to note that having Pride doesn't have to mean that you are evil, that you want bad things to happen. From what I read, I think this is what you're really trying to avoid. You don't want someone to be the cause of it all. But there always is, and if this person had nothing but the best intentions, well that just makes it all more interesting.
Logged
Neal
Member

Posts: 143


« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2005, 06:33:31 AM »

Low-key doesn't mean there's no conflict.  You have Pride, with Sarah stepping outside her role as girl and daughter.  You have Injustice, with Benedict being forced to put his courtship on hold.  Are they the kinds of Pride and Injustice that will lead to Sin and Demonic Attacks?  Probably not.  But Sarah's regret and Benedict's understanding nature don't take away the fact that there are Pride and Injustice here.

Still, Lisa, I'm not sure the town is "grabby enough," as Vincent puts it in the rules.  I think maybe you're focusing so closely on this couple that you're ignoring other possibilities.  Your town makes me think of Little House on the Prairie, and that's fine.  But even that sleepy prairie town had a Nelly Olsen sticking her nose into other people's business, spreading gossip around, and stirring up conflict.  It had the occasional visitor from "back east" who brought problems in his wake.  It had misunderstandings which escalated into envy and resentment.  I'd keep working on this town.  You might make a decision at the outset that there will be no blood-and-guts backstory here, nothing like the snarled mess your players just came out of.  Still and all, you could have a few (rather than one) compelling sets of characters, each involved in their own "low-key" entanglements, with the potential for escalation "if the Dogs never came."

What do the other women in the town think of Sarah's gender-bending behavior?  What do the older men at Benedict's job site say about him behind his back?  What about that prudish piano teacher with her strict ideas of how young women should behave (and the ear of every young girl in the town).  What about the guy who lost out on work to the more capable Benedict, and who is now candidly discussing who will wear the pants in Benedict's future household?  Surely not everyone in this town is as patient and understanding as Benedict is, or as self-critical as Sarah is, and surely one or two are shocked at Sarah's behavior and dismayed at Benedict's passivity.  What sorts of issues is all this stirring up in other households?

I don't see any problem with a low-key town, so long as it has enough going on to make the players feel their roles in the town are important enough to justify their time and attention.  Lancing a slowly-festering boil of envy and resentment in a bucolic little town might just be "grabby" enough; holding someone's hand while she works out her own gender-role issues probably isn't.
Logged
Josh Roby
Member

Posts: 1055

Category Three Forgite


WWW
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2005, 09:05:09 AM »

I wouldn't do it, Lisa.

As Tony points out, the town you describe does not require the Dogs to be there.  Your players will feel like they aren't needed and are not the spotlight of the adventure.  I imagine it will come across as pretty limp.

Which is not to say that there aren't well-adjusted towns out there -- in fact I'd guess that a bunch of them are, and the Dogs visit them -- it's just that those towns shouldn't get screen time.  We don't ever see the bathroom in Star Trek for a reason -- it's not the focus of the show.  The GM and players can make references to the nice towns that they've passed through while they're hip deep in the conflicted towns, but making the "good"/unconflicted/boring town the focus of a game session is not going to be very interesting.

If you are looking for some counterpoint, something to demonstrate to the Dogs what they're fighting for, then I'd suggest starting up a game session with the Dogs leaving such a town and headed into the town with problems.  You might even shake things up (game-structure wise) and say "You were just in Pleasant Vale, a town without any problems at all, and now it's time to head up the road to Deadman's End.  Everybody say one thing that they did in Pleasant Vale before we move on."  That lets the players get a little involved in how things are 'supposed' to work without focusing too much attention and game time on the near-utopia.

Remember, the best way to examine the ideals of a society is when those ideals are being threatened -- not when they're working seamlessly in the background.
Logged

Ben Lehman
Member

Posts: 2094

Blissed


WWW
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2005, 07:45:58 PM »

I just want to try a different angle with this.

Okay, I know 99% of the towns the Dogs visit should have Pride and Problems, 'cuz otherwise, why are you playing this all out? Is that right, so far?

BL> Any town with something going wrong has pride.  You're trying to have a town with something going wrong that isn't anyone's fault.  This is impossible.

Quote
And say Sister Sarah's feeling just terrible about this. She wants these desires to stop -- she knows she ought to be all feminine and she's not being proud. Nope, she's relieved to see the Dogs, and wants them to pray with her so she can stop wanting this stuff she oughtn't to want.

Pride: Sister Sarah wants to turn away from the King's gifts to her.

yrs--
--Ben
Logged

Joshua A.C. Newman
Member

Posts: 1144

the glyphpress


WWW
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2005, 09:13:35 PM »

Yeah, dig, Lisa, I think what you want here is a town where there's a lot of color, where the problems are personal. Go through town creation with that in mind and see what you cook up. If you can't cook up a town with the town creation rules and your ideas, it probably won't fly. But I'll bet you can.
Logged

the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Andrew Morris
Member

Posts: 1233


WWW
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2005, 06:16:37 AM »

Pages: [1] 2 3
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!