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Author Topic: [DitV] Tower Creek, Edge Hill  (Read 6638 times)
IMAGinES
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AKA Rob Farquhar


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« on: March 04, 2006, 05:04:39 AM »

Ladies and Gentlemen, friends and Forgeites – the drought has been broken. Earlier today, I got my first game in six months. Heck, it’s even been sixteen months since my last consistent gaming, and this looks like quite a promising first start.

What caps it off was that the game I ran was Dogs in the Vineyard, a game I’ve been itching to play since I bought it last September, and I ran it for a pair of gamers my wife and I only met for the first time a week ago.

Some general back-story: In October 2004, after getting sick and tired of living and working in Sydney, I decided that something my wife Vickie and I had talked on and off about for around a year; moving back to the house she owned in Cairns, around two-and-a-half thousand kilometres North. We would be saying goodbye to friends, including our gaming circle, although that had pretty much fallen apart at the beginning of the month. I'd accepted that the Cairns gamign scene was basically nonexistent, and that we'd be lucky to make any friends who were already gamers.

Since the move, making new friends, let alone gamers, has been tricky. There are RPGers in Cairns; there's even an annual convention, ReefCon, held at one of the mid-city high schools. The thing is, most are schooled in D&D 3.5 (ReefCon is RPGA-sanctioned games only, so Living Greyhawk or, if you're lucky, Living Force), to the extent of having debates over the application of errata and such. The remainder prefer the World of Darkness. We’ve met some of the latter, and we’ve got along civilly, but not well, with them. There are no gaming stores outside of a toy store in Smithfield that stocks Games Workshop miniatures and a board game / puzzle store that sells polyhedral dice, and a second-hand store run by a gamer that mostly stocks supplements for early games like Time Master.

Two weeks or so ago, I received an e-mail from a gent who’d just moved up from Brisbane; he’d found my web log before the move and decided to get in touch once he and his family arrived. Both himself and his wife are keen gamers. We struck up a dialogue via IM, then over the phone, and we met at their place last Saturday. Compatible personalities? No problem. We all enjoyed each other’s company throughout our visit, swapping histories, gaming preferences, favourite SF shows, why Brisbane and Sydney suck, that kind of stuff. Somewhere in there, Vickie and I managed to interest Simon and Cristel in Dogs, and we promised to come back today so I’d run it for them.

Unfortunately, after having a scrambled-egg dinner last night, an allergy to eggs that had lain dormant in Vickie for twenty years decided to flare up again, and she got very little sleep for itching all over. The wonderful woman insisted I go along without her (mainly as I’d been suffering gaming withdrawal symptoms for most of the year gone), and I packed my book and notes and wandered over there today.

So, after some shopping we got into character creation. Simon and Cristel both struggled to get a grip on Traits and Relationships; this might’ve been because they’ve mostly played AD&D 2nd. Edition (not keen on 3rd Edition or v3.5) and various versions of Traveller since they started in the hobby. The book wasn’t passed around so much as it was read by me. (Thankfully, I have a decent speaking voice, if I may say so.) I definitely remember a few blank looks from the two as I tried to explain things.

It’s also worth mentioning here that Simon and Cristel have four young girls aged from two to eight; they manage them very well, but interruptions are inevitable, which makes wrapping your head around a rule set as fundamentally different to AD&D an uphill slog.

Still and all, we got through assigning dice and, as the hosts were literally making lunch (homemade pizza, very very nice), we took a bit of a break before getting stuck in on the Initiation Accomplishments.
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2006, 05:37:39 AM »

So, after dice allocation, we had two Dogs:

    Sister Amelia, played by Cristel. Complicated Community was her background.
    [li]Stats: Acuity 3d6, Heart, 3d6, Body 4d6, Will 5d6.[/li]
    [li]Traits: Abrupt manner 1d8, Love to cook 1d8, Great love of animals 1d6, Obsessed with cleanliness & tidiness 3d6, I'm a Dog 2d6.[/li]
    [li]Relationships: Aunty Sandy Bono 1d10, Uncle Sampson Bono 1d4.[/li]
    [li]Notable Belongings: Coat in the colours of an indian summer 2d6, huge shotgun 2d8+1d4.[/li]
    [/list]

      Brother Cornelius, played by Simon. Strong History was his background.
      [li]Stats: Acuity 4d6, Heart, 3d6, Body 3d6, Will 3d6.[/li]
      [li]Traits: I have a calming voice 2d10, Good with animals 1d6, quic ahnds 2d8, never slips 2d8, I'm a Dog 2d6.[/li]
      [li]Relationships:Betty the school teacher 2d6, Hank the bartender 1d8.[/li]
      [li]Notable Belongings: Coat whose pattern illustrates his family history 2d6, family heirloom pistol 1d8+1d4, blanket 1d6.[/li]
      [/list]

      After lunch, we went into Initiation conflicts. Simon and Cristel were a little vague when it came to setting their characters' hopes, but we kibbitzed a bit and I recon we came out with some cool ones:

      • Brother Cornelius went first, with "I hope I can establish my skill as a quick shot." We set the scene as one of the alleyways in town, with Cornelius and a Temple teacher at one end and a paper silhouette of a gun-toting Mexican bandit at the other. Cornelius needed to get all six shots within an inch diameter in the centre of the silhouette befor ethe can the instructor dropped hit the ground. We came up with some natty Raises, with Simon describing Cornelius' gun smoothly clearing its holster, and me raising the wind at the other end of the alley blowing the target gently. Cornelius won, and gained "Quick draw 1d6" as his initiatory trait.
      • Sister Amelia's conflict was fun: "I hope I can convince my dorm-mates to get to first class on time and clean." We set the scene as Amelia, having got up early and preapred, returning to her dorm to find her fellow trainees just waking up. There was some verbal back and forth, with the dormers Raising how one can learn best with a clear, well-rested mind and how the instructor was lenient when it came to morning tardiness, and Cristel bringing in Amelia's obsession and, right at the end, her abrupt manner. Her Accomplishment trait? "I convinced others of the importance of cleanliness 1d6." Because she Took a verbal Blow, Amelia took her compulsive urges out on her coat, which due to its now-faded colours (from over-washing) dropped to 1d6.

      Although I wanted to whip up a town based on the flags on Simon and Cristel's character sheets, they'd made it clear the week before that they wanted me prepped and ready to go when I got there. So, as the example branch from the book, Tower Creek, has been getting good press about these parts lately, I decided to turn the text into a one-sheet (I have the .pdf version) and run them through it. It's rather late as I write this, though, so I'll write the actual play up whern I get a few moments tomorrow (busy day though; chores and such). In te meantime I'll send Simon and Critel the URL for this thread; hopefully, they might comment on their experience of play!

      (Oh, by the way: Vincent, if you're reading this? Simon used to be Mormon. In fact, when Vickie and I got talking about Dogs in the Vineyard last week, they started wondering whether we were trying some sort of conversion tactic, not helped by the fact that I'd brought DitV and Primetime Adventures in my smart fabric briefcase. We re-assured them that we're not members of any faith.)
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      « Reply #2 on: March 04, 2006, 02:54:50 PM »

      Okay. So: Yesterday's Actual Play.

      First off, I'd just like to mention that Simon and Cristel have a superb place (in the Cairns suburb of Edge Hill) for gaming; their house ahs a covered patio area out the back with reinforced flyscreens between the low wall and the roof, lighting, and fans. A photo of it on the web got Simon and Cristel to sign a contract on the whole place sight unseen while they were still in Brisbane. (Thankfully, the rest of the house is great too!) They've also got a nice, huge-arse table that's about perfect for getting a gaming group around. (Their dinner-table is a little small.)

      So, I whip out the sheet for Tower Creek, my pre-filled Six Nameless NPCs stat sheet and my rules index (Vincent, that pullouts file is bloody marvellous, thank you!) and introduced the players to the town. As they rode up to it, a townsperson saw them coming, ran into the meeting-house and rang the bell; people started coming out to watch as the King's Watchdogs rode into the branch. Cristel, I think, asked whether she got a sense of the town, and I told her that things weren't quite right; it was still a good summer and the branch seemed prosperous, but Sister Amelia still got a sense that the people weren't as at ease as they should be.

      Brother Cornelius and Sister Amelia met the town Steward, whose name was (after a quick consult of the names list at the back of the book) Archibald, at the steps of the meeting house. He invited them in, sat them down, offered them a drink and came out and told them of the problems he was having with his wives, how Sister Edie had not fallen pregnant in the six months he had taken her as second wife, not that he had had many opportunities to do so as Sister Bethia had made so many demands on his time.

      Fairly quickly, Simon and Cristel started asking for details; how did the whole approval process for a second wife took, how long it had been since the last Dogs had been through, etcetera. I think that it's a fairly standard mindset encouraged by traditional games; you know, get as much detail as possible befor egoing ahead so that you don't make the "wrong" decision. Simon and Cristel agreed that it's pretty much standard practice for them in  game. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure I'd fallen into a traditional gaming mindset myself, you know, the one of "If you don't have it prepared, wing it." I'd forgotten one of the cardinal rules of Dogs - if you can't or don't want to answer a question with a "yes" but it's not a conflict situation, say to the players, "I don't know; what do you reckon?" So I think we all inadvertently contributed to the length of time things took before we actually busted otu our first conflict. Still, I know for next time.

      The crowd had dispersed by the time the Dogs finished their chat with Steward Archibald - I didn't see things going toward a conflict and I wasn't really sure how I could push the situation toward it. Either way, they'd agreed to bless Sister Edie. I wonder whether having the crowd wander off was a mistake - it would have given them the chance to experience the whole "shaking hands and kissing babies" aspect of being a Dog. (Rock star!) I think I could also have conveyed a branchwide sense of relief; you know, now that the Dogs are here things'll get fixed up. Again, note for next time.

      Anyway I was still able to narrate an introduction to the passing Brothrer Cyrus, who seemed a bit furtive, but mustered his courage and asked the Dogs for a covnersation. I also threw the grieving mother at the Dogs, hoping to do a sort of cut between Brothers Cornelius and Cyrus, and Sister Amelia and the Mother. That little tactic was greeted with a smiling "don't split the party" conversation between Simon and Cristel, although on the other hand the grieving mother would have been an obvious priority over whatever Cyrus' troubles were.

      So, the mother asks the Dogs to name her baby, and I started driving toward what I'd read had been a "cool moment" in other writeups of Tower Creek play; when the mother takes them to the baby's grave. Now, I think it was aroudn thsi time that I started noticing what I'd call a guardedly uncertain look on my players' faces; I think I took it to mean, "Okay, what's this weird shit this guy's throwing at us?" I started worrying that I'd presented them with an issue that, given Simon and Cristel have four kids, was a bit beyond their taste and "safe gaming" preferences. Still, I persevered, hoping things would sort themselves out. Again, there was a bit of "timelines and facts" questioning to figure out exactly what had been going on; where was the mother's husband (shit! That's right! Where was her husband? There's no mention of him in the sheet! Er, okay, make that up; yes, no out-of-wedlock sin here, husband's probably at home), was there a midwife (her, yeah, one of those too, no, just gave the mother some regualr medicines the night before, probably nothing that could account for the baby's sudden stillbirth).

      The Dogs took the mother back to her house, where they found a genuinely overwrought husband being comforted (properly, mind you) by the midwife. Sister Amelia put the mother to bed, and the two Dogs went to have a quick word with the midwife who'd not done or seen anything that could have accounted for the child's sudden death in the womb - although she did see the Steward's young second wife out with Brother Cyrus on her way home. It looked like they didn't want to be seen, although they didn't notice the midwife, and they seemed to be headed out to old Sister Wilhelmina's place.

      Right about then, the Dogs decided it was high time to have a word with Brother Cyrus about his problems. That's when things started picking up.
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      « Reply #3 on: March 04, 2006, 03:53:59 PM »

      When they arrive at Brother Cyrus' place, he'd drawn the baths that he'd earlier offered to the Dogs, and Sister Amelia, being obsessed with cleanliness, immediately and gratefully took Cyrus up on the offer, leaving Cornelius and Cyrus to have a confab. Here, Cyrus asked Cornelius to solemnise his marriage to Sister Edie. Edie had come to him a couple of months ago after the machinations of Sister Bethis had driven her out of the marriage bed, and she sought comfort with Cyrus, who'd always had feelings for her but was too late to make his court. Edie had told him that she wanted to marry him, and that she'd that it was okay by the King of Life for her to have a second husband (I think I forgot the bit about how she thought turning the unfaithfulness into another marriage would cure her barren-ness). Sister Wilhelmina had married them a month or so ago, and they'd been meeting at her place.

      Brother Cornelius took it upon himself to correct Cyrus' mistaken beliefs, totally shaking the poor boy to the bone. Looking back, that could have bene a conflict right there, but I didn't quite pick it up at the time. Instead, I kicked one off by having a shaken Cyrus stand, draw his gun, and declare he was going to kill that lying, deceiving witch Edie. Out with the dice!

      Now, I like this whole "pre-create NPC stats and assign NPCs to them as you need" jazz, but coming up with names for Traits kind of put the brakes on the start of our conflicts. At the time it felt as though I was slowing things down a bit, and Simon gave me a couple of good-humoured digs about not being prepared. Lesson for next time? I think that the best thing to do is keep some scratch notes of any traits, behaviours or facts I introduce during portrayal of NPCs and turn them into Traits when the dice come out.

      Now, there was a bit of discussion in the early stages about how Sister Amelia could get involved, as she was in the next room running a bath. As Simon and I had only Seen and Raised once, I decided that rather than hunt through te book for any rulings I'd simply let Cristel roll her Talking dice and join the clonflict that way.

      Now, I won't go into great detail about the back-and-forth of Raises and Sees. Suffice to say that we were all learning, but it was I think fairly easy to get the hang of. The main thing, I think, that confused Simon and Cristel for a while is that Margin of Success (by how many your dice total beats the other guy's Raise) when you See a Raise isn't important, just how many dice you use to See. Explaining that earned me a bemused look or two, but they accepted it and things rocked on after that.

      What I want to say here is just that this whole conflict business is rocking. An important note - sometimes as a player but almost always as a GM, I've found combats in traditional RPGs boring as heck. It's doubly frustrating because what's sold me on most of my favourite trad-RPGs (Heavy Gear, Starship Troopers, etcetera) are cool-looking combat machines. (Any wonder I read 'em more than I play 'em?) All those feats and options and managing stats and stuff, it just takes the bit that's always exciting, and fast-paced in the movies and makes it dull as dishwater.

      Not so here. I rapidly went from being uncertain of what I was doing and worried about how my players were reacting to the town to concentrating on what was happening right there and then, where the Dogs and NPCs were in the Shared Imaginary Space, what they were doing, how they were doing it, dice tactics and the like. Now, it didn't hapen all in a moment - in the first conflict I was having a tough time coming up with interesting Sees and Raises, but by the time the players sorted out poor Cyrus and got to Sister Wilhelmina, I was jazzed, man, I mean jazzed!

      The whole Raises and Sees business is a big part of that, of course - it's an easy and immediate guide to who has the upper and, and it maintains a solid, thumping pace - if Ron's analogy of GM-as-bass-player holds, then Dogs in the Vineyard's Raises and Sees system is surely a damn good instrument.

      The other big part was setting of what's at stake. Most NPCs in trad-game combats are like the fence Ron mentioned; they're just more obstacles who stand up and get shot, or mob the heroes one at a time. They're just there to fight and die. Yesterday's game brought it home that stakes are what make it conflict of interest, and they work best if they're personal to everyone involved; that way, it's clear what everyone's fighting for, and makes it easier to determine if, when and where an opponent will lay down arms. It turns opponents from cardboard targets into real people. And even if the stakes mightn't change from town to town (sooner rather than later, you're gonna hit another "Does X kill Y?", just as you'll hit "Oh, more orcs / Bugs / gangsters"), the whole thing seems geared to keep each new conflict fresh, interesting and exciting.

      So, yeah, Brother Cornelius and a dripping-wet, naked Sister Amelia manage to talk Cyrus out of killing Edie. Poor bugger, realised what a sinner he's been, can't be righteous, nothing but shame, decides to take the only way out he can - puts the gun up to his head and pulls the trigger.

      Yep, follow-up conflict. Great stuff, Amelia narrates lobbing her Book of Life between Cyrus' gun and his noggin, they restrain and disarm him, we de-Escalate (if you will) to Talking, they tell him, if you blow your brains out, which poor soul will be left with cleaning up the mess? and the poor guy says, but I'm a mess now. Who'll clean me up? That's what we're here for, they say.

      Holy shit. Now that's worth Giving on.

      Now, here's one thing that has me a little confused; this whole arena business. I mean, it makes sense at first, but itns not exactly clear whether two sides in a conflict can remain on different arenas; i.e. one guy Escalates from Talking to Fighting, but the other stays on talking, or only goes up as far as Physical in response (or maybe even not Escalate at all if he reckons he has enough dice). Now, I'm pretty sure the latter is the case, and there're some pretty awesome examples of it in Wolves of the North (speaking of which - just as Moose in the City sold me on Primetime Adventures, Wolves of the North sold me on Dogs), but can someone clarify that for me?

      So, after a bit of discussion, the Dogs decide that it's time Sister Wilhelmina spilled her part in the adulterous goings-on.
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      « Reply #4 on: March 04, 2006, 04:46:10 PM »

      Now Simon syas he's a little cautious about having the Dogs charge straight over Wilhelmina's in case demons come flying out of the cupboards and such, and I'm thinking, "Oh. Yes. Supernatural Continuum. Hmm. Forgot to mention that, didn't I?" So I explain to Simon and Cristel that actually, no, that won't happen, because although the game can accomodate it, you guys've made your characters without any really supernatural-keyed Traits, and that's kind of my fault because I didn't suggest it to them during character creation. And they're all, oh, so this game can do all sorts of supernatural coolness, that's great, because we'd like something more Buffy, and I say, Fantastic! Okay, next time we do this, we'll make up new characters and ratchet that ol' supernatural dial up to eleven. And they say, Great! (Which is a good sign that they like it, don't you think?)

      So yeah, they go over Wilhelminas, and I think I really should have started the conflict with them at her front door and let them set the arena, but someone saids something about kicking the door in before changing their mind and deciding to knock, and damn it, I wanted to kick things off with a door being kicked down! So they knock, and Sister Wilhelmina, who just wants the Dogs gone, opens the door, sees them, and slams it again with a "Go away!" So the boot is aplied to the door, and we're go on another conflict, stakes "Does she spill?" There's some pushing and shoving, with this frail old lady with her grey hair back in a  bun shoving Brother Cornelius halfway across the room, but Sister Wilhelmina gets unceremoniously dropped into a chair and told to tell everything she knows.

      And I figure, (a) it's probably kinda where she wants to go anyway, and (b) I wanna get those Hate and Murder 5d10 for the follow-up, so I give, have her crazy eyes burn holes in the players as she denounces the King of Life, announces she has truck with greater powers, that she took the life from the mother's womb to restore Edie's fertility and that she'll show these pathetic whelps a thing or two with her long rifle, which she uses to send some lead-jacketed pain at each of them. Follow-up conflict: Does Wilhelmina kill the Dogs? They get an extra two d6s thanks to Wilhelmina's fallout from the last conflict, and I roll a boatload of dice for Acuity, Will, the gun, an "ornery old crotchet" Trait, her sorcerous Relationship with a demon and that lovely 5d10.

      (Cristel wanted Amelia to put a bullet through Wilhelmina during her rant, but I said, "Hey, the stakes were that she spills, so let her spill." Again, maybe a mistake, as Cristel had a pretty good start of a conflict there, and there's not much difference between Does Sister Wilhelmina kill the Dogs? and Does Sister Amelia kill Sister Wilhelmina?, but damn did I want that 5d10!)

      So anyway, there's gunshots, Brother Cornelius grabs Sister Wilhelmina's barrel, she goes over onto her ass with her rifle pointed at his chest, he takes 3d10 Fallout, there's a flurry of pistol-shots from the Dogs, Sister Wilhelmina rolls along the floor out of the way, she comes back up again, takes another shot, sucks up 5d10 Fallout worth of bullets, most of her dice are gone except for a handful of ones - and it's about six PM by then, and I want to wrap things up, so I say bugger Escalating and Give. The Fallout gets rolled, and whaddya know? Two tens, one less sorceress. Thankfully, Cornelius only took long-term Fallout there.
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      « Reply #5 on: March 04, 2006, 05:12:30 PM »

      So by that point it was about ten past six, and I'd been away from my lovely wife for around eight hours, and much as I love these two cool new gamers I've met I wanted to get home. So, we talk a little about what to do about the rest of the town? We still have a cuckolded husband who doesn't yet know it, a selfish (?) first wife, an adulterous second wife and her well-meaning "husband" and what that all means for the rest of the Faithful of Tower Creek.

      I decide to try and wrap things up tonight rather than saving the resolution for another day, which meant that I just went with Saying Yes a lot rather than starting new conflicts. Simon and Cristel directed a couple of questions my way, but mostly talked it out with each other. In fact, I left them to come up with a solution for a while so I could pack my gear up. There was a private airing seasion with Archibald, Bethia, Edie and Cyrus when the Dogs revealed everythign they'd discovered. In the end, the whole second marriage / affair situation was chalked up to mistakes compounded by bad advice. Edie's marriage to Steward Archibald was anulled in the name of easing pressures within the Branch; the Steward's vows to Bethia were re-affirmed and Edie's and Cyrus' marriage was solemnised by the Dogs in front of the town at the meeting-house. Perhaps an easy way out; we were dealing with a town of religions conservatives, after all, and although none can justly complain about the Dogs' judgment, that doesn't mean some won't rally the town in unjust action against what they'd see as condoning sin (the Dogs did have a preaching session to the town about the sins they'd uncovered). Also, it really didn't give much of a chance to introduce Edie and Bethia and their perspectives on the situation. (I mean, heck, what if Edie didn't really love Cyrus, she just wanted to make the union official so she would be barren no longer?)

      Oh, yeah - I completely forgot to link the Dogs to the town by Blood Relationships; although I swapped Brothers Artax and Benjamin in the book with Amelia and Cornelius, I forgot to establish Bethia as Amelia's cousin and Wilhelmina as Cornelius' aunt. Boy, would that have made things interesting, not to mention the fact that the players might've had their Dogs gone to their relatives earlier on. 

      Nonetheless, it was a great first session, and it gave me a better idea of how I can run a more solid one next time. (I'll also be interested to see how Simon and Cristel work supernatural effectiveness into their next characters, not to mention what happens when Vickie joins the group!) Hell, maybe the next batch of Dogs will have to visit Tower Creek sometime, and I can present them with some consequences extrapolated from their earlier Dogs' judgment...
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      « Reply #6 on: March 06, 2006, 03:24:01 PM »

      Hi, folks,

      Although my first-ever DitV session was good, I definitely want to make sure my GMing skills are improved for the next one. So if there's anything you see - or don't see - in my write-up, please ask.

      Do any of you have any questions or recommendations?
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      « Reply #7 on: March 07, 2006, 05:22:51 AM »

      You've got lots of stuff on how you ran the game and that you were stressing about not implementing various mechanics etc. 

      However, I'm curious how your players reacted to the game on follow-up. You seem really enthused about Dogs. Pardon me, but it seemed, upon reading, that your enthusiasm was a little bit too pushy/preachy, especially with people were only used to the simple, straightforward plotting of D&D. A lot of your write-up was focused on /you/ running the game and how everything went /IC/, without a lot of focus on how the players were reacting to the game, especially to a different style/pace than what they've experienced in the past.

      I'd be curious to see what would happen if you called them later on and asked stuff in a laid-back fashion like: Did you enjoy the game? Was it your cup of tea? Is it the kind of thing you could see yourself doing in future?

      Don't guilt them out; just gently try to sound out what their honest opinions were. I've just seen overly enthused people scare off players by ramming a favourite setting/system down throats with too much gusto.

      (This may not be the case, but it's what occured to me after reading your write-up).
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      « Reply #8 on: March 07, 2006, 02:55:35 PM »

      Belinda... thank you. That's just what I needed to read right now.

      However, I'm curious how your players reacted to the game on follow-up. You seem really enthused about Dogs. Pardon me, but it seemed, upon reading, that your enthusiasm was a little bit too pushy/preachy, especially with people were only used to the simple, straightforward plotting of D&D.

      Heh heh heh! Simon's comment about whether we were religious is starting to make a bit more sense...

      A lot of your write-up was focused on /you/ running the game and how everything went /IC/, without a lot of focus on how the players were reacting to the game, especially to a different style/pace than what they've experienced in the past.

      Yeah. I think I see your point. It was very me-focused, wasn't it?

      I'd be curious to see what would happen if you called them later on and asked stuff in a laid-back fashion like: Did you enjoy the game? Was it your cup of tea? Is it the kind of thing you could see yourself doing in future?

      I'll give it a go, but I'll take my time with it. We're talking about other games right now (I wouldn't mind just playing for a little bit rather than GMing).

      Don't guilt them out; just gently try to sound out what their honest opinions were. I've just seen overly enthused people scare off players by ramming a favourite setting/system down throats with too much gusto.

      Well, Simon and Cristel could be being polite to the only other gamer they've met so far in Cairns, but they did seem reasonably keen on giving it another whirl sometime, especially if I up the supernatural levels.

      (This may not be the case, but it's what occured to me after reading your write-up).

      No, I think you nailed it, Belinda. It was a bit too, they were a little weirded out, but then suddenly I was having a great time, wasn't it?

      If you don't mind me talking about myself more, I was pretty wired when I got home after the game, due to a combination of cola and my first actual session after a year or so of frustration (I've tried to organise other games, including a DitV one over Skype, but they keep getting indefinitely delayed), and I wrote the above in a Me-Too, Wanting-To-Share frenzy. After re-reading the posting guidelines for the Actual Play forum, those posts look like what's not needed here.

      Ah, well. Live and learn. I'll get a bit more gaming in before I post any more AP again.

      Again, Belinda, thanks.
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      « Reply #9 on: March 08, 2006, 01:10:45 AM »

      Well, I had another look over the Actual Play posting guidelines, and I'm pretty sure the above posts fall into the "Me Too / Socialising" category instead of examining a point. So, folks, my apologies. I'll leave this thread alone.
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      Always Plenty of Time!
      lumpley
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      Posts: 3453


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      « Reply #10 on: March 08, 2006, 07:04:47 AM »

      Don't give up! There's plenty to talk about in here.

      What was your favorite in-game moment, and what was your favorite between-players moment? Were they the same or two different times?

      Now Simon syas he's a little cautious about having the Dogs charge straight over Wilhelmina's in case demons come flying out of the cupboards and such, and I'm thinking, "Oh. Yes. Supernatural Continuum. Hmm. Forgot to mention that, didn't I?" So I explain to Simon and Cristel that actually, no, that won't happen, because although the game can accomodate it, you guys've made your characters without any really supernatural-keyed Traits, and that's kind of my fault because I didn't suggest it to them during character creation.

      Oh no! That's MY fault.

      Setting the supernatural dial should happen over the course of the whole first couple of sessions, not wholly from the traits the players give their characters. When a player says "in case demons come flying out of the cupboards," that's prime for you as GM to mentally tick the supernatural up.

      The whole deal with "setting the supernatural dial" is to through play establish standards for what can and can't happen in the game. Not through discussion, not through GM will, through play. And not finally-in-stone, either, ever. Even ten sessions in you can have something unprecedentedly supernatural happen. The key is your group awareness that it's unprecedented.

      -Vincent
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      IMAGinES
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      Posts: 141

      AKA Rob Farquhar


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      « Reply #11 on: March 10, 2006, 02:02:01 AM »

      Don't give up! There's plenty to talk about in here.

      Hi, Vincent. Thanks for stopping in!

      What was your favorite in-game moment, and what was your favorite between-players moment? Were they the same or two different times?

      Damn. I know the play was only a week ago, now, but... the whole thing's hazy. I'm even reading over what I wrote last Sat/Sun, hoping it'll jog some memories, but it's like reading somebody else's AP report. I'm always shocking when it comes to remembering specifics of conversations after the fact. I think we were a little bit too busy feeling our way to have any really stand-out moments.

      Come to think of it, I think my favourite between-players moment was that bit I mentioned when we briefly discussed the supernatural continuum and the players liked the idea of playing it with a little more Buffy-ness. I felt, "Aha, so they're liking the idea of more play!" and "Right! That'll help make play more enjoyable for them! Great!"

      Oh no! That's MY fault.

      Setting the supernatural dial should happen over the course of the whole first couple of sessions, not wholly from the traits the players give their characters. When a player says "in case demons come flying out of the cupboards," that's prime for you as GM to mentally tick the supernatural up.

      The text did give me the sense that it was player traits that indicated it; all other mentions seemed to be "remember that supernatural continuum? Here are some examples of how it applies here..." It's a relief that I don't have to worry about re-doing characters from the ground up.

      On the other hand, my wife wants to play sometime too. Back to the first hand, she has an existing character from that voice chat game that never got to the first town. And back to the second hand, I know all players are meant to make characters as a group, but once again on the first hand my wife would prefer to keep her character...
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      Always Plenty of Time!
      Mikael
      Member

      Posts: 206


      « Reply #12 on: March 11, 2006, 11:49:04 AM »

      Hello

      Two comments straight out of the Dogs FAQ list that does not exist:

      Now, I like this whole "pre-create NPC stats and assign NPCs to them as you need" jazz, but coming up with names for Traits kind of put the brakes on the start of our conflicts. At the time it felt as though I was slowing things down a bit, and Simon gave me a couple of good-humoured digs about not being prepared.

      The rules state that "You can name his Traits now
      or when you need them" (emphasis mine). I recommend the latter option of naming the Traits only when you bring a given Trait into play, not naming them all when you start the conflict. This does make NPCs harder to deal with, since all of their Traits tend to be useful in that one given conflict - which is good - and makes for a smoother game. At least our group has not even noticed the delay.

      Quote
      Hell, maybe the next batch of Dogs will have to visit Tower Creek sometime, and I can present them with some consequences extrapolated from their earlier Dogs' judgment...

      This is an often-warned-against path to Hell, which needs to be approached carefully if selected at all. I recommend checking the recent threads in the lumpley forum before going there.

      Cheers,
      + Mikael, who often fondly remembers the weeks spent diving in Cairns
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