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[Dogs] Notes for 3 Alternate Settings

Started by oreso, April 01, 2006, 11:10:43 AM

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Some notes for alternate settings that I'm thinking of that I didnt find in the stickied list. DitV is currently in the post, so I dont actually know anything at all yet (other than what I've gleaned from reviews), but anticipatory enthusiasm is hard to ignore.

I'm just wondering if there are any problems, or anything folk want to add. If there's interest, I'll add more notes later (particularly, I'll be playing Naruto with my little brothers pretty soon).


Naruto: Ninja out of Hidden Leaf [naruto: ninja wa konoha no soto ni imasu]
1. Trash-talking, dattebayo!
2. Showing off, powering up, etc
3. Taijutsu, shuriken exchange
4. Full Jutsu, bloodline techniques, releasing your inner daemons, etc

Ninja missions are never simple (or at least, not the ones they televise) and completing your objectives is not always easy when innocents can get in the way and friends may have to be sacrificed. People who abandon the mission may be trash, but people who abandon their friends are worse than trash. What happens when your ideals and dreams and your country's interests contradict? What's your "ninja way"?

Gotta specify a Dream (a personal goal), and a reason for it. "I will definately become Hokage so that the whole village acknowledges me!", "I must become stronger so that I can defeat my brother", etc. This will motivate alot of your character's actions so always consider it. This Dream may well change, but only in scope, probably not in quality. For example, I imagine that Hokage Naruto will still be driven to get people to acknowledge him as the best Hokage.

Your accomplishment during initiation is replaced with some kind of telling event from childhood. Such as, being picked on or shunned (can you deal with it, Naruto could, Gaara couldn't); people having high expectations (can you match them, Hinata didn't, Sasuke did). Does your friend become your rival (Sakura and Ino) or vice versa (Rock Lee and Neiji). For added authenticity, sort out these flashback sequences at length by interrupting the most intense bits of action (only don't, cos it's a crude way of sustaining suspense, and it's annoying). 

Star Trek: Starfleet in the Final Frontier
1. Negotiation      Open hailing frequences
2. Intimidation    Shields up, weapons armed
3. Fisticuffs       Targetting weapons, shields down to 72%
4. Phasers      Firing photon torpedoes!

So obvious and fits so well. Escalation is something always approached carefully, even by Kirk, and spreading human virtues always a covert motivation (by example, if not by preaching). Do you break the Prime Directive and help out the down-trodden, stop injustice, rescue a crewmate or save the ship? How about now? And now? NOW? Can you give aid to your former enemies? How many red shirts are you willing to sacrifice for the ideals of starfleet?

Technobabble solutions make 'things' (whatever they are) better, a piece of Crap becomes a Normal subspace emitter, a Normal deflector can now emit High Quality poloron bursts.

Technobabble solutions can also neutralise the enemies advantage; a High Quality cloaking device becomes a Normal inconvenience, while modified shields make those Big disrupters seem more Normal sized.

Technobabble solutions are usually possible, but they always take time. The fallout from buying this time is usually, but not always, worth the solution.

Equilibrium: Clerics in the Nether
1. Interrogation, reasoning and pursuasion.
2. Restraining, sparring and knockouts.
3. Kung Fu, pistol butts and maiming.
4. Guns, swords and killing.

Relationships are maximum of d4s for people on Prozium, and they have -1 Heart but +1 Will compared to normal. People on Prozium aren't so good at pursuasion, they lack the passion and imagination, but they have formidable resolve once things escalate.

Feelers, conversely, have +1 Heart but -1 Will. Feeling for your enemies is a drawback when trying to shoot at them, but a boon when you are trying to make them question things (of course, they'll still shoot you). 

People just coming off Prozium have an even stronger surge of +2 Heart and -2 Will, becoming dangerously emotional. This fades after a week or so.

Particularly strong Clerics can convert Heart into Will for short periods of time, transforming their passion into implacable fury. This is regardless of the presence of Prozium. Non-canonically: each time they do so, Heart is permanantly reduced by one, and Will permanantly increased by one. The price for being a force of nature is that part of your humanity to man dies.


Fun stuff, although I am not familiar with Naruto, and your explanation seems to assume some sort of background.

Anyway, what kind of "What´s wrong?" chain would you use for Star Trek?

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


Yeah sorry, in a n00b fanboyish way i kinda assumed everyone would be familiar already.
Wikipedia knows all, but the short of it is young ninja's growing up and doing ninja things. Its lighthearted, with some pretty standard themes; lots of the characters are looking for a sense of identity or getting people to acknowledge them, resolving conflicted loyalties, etc. Convincing the badguy of the error of their ways is as important as stopping them, and everyone Naruto has come into contact with becomes a better person through his example (and usually cos he kicked their ass).

I'm fighting the urge to write an essay, but the main reason DitV appealed to me for this sorta thing was because of the conflict resolution where characters choose to raise the stakes to make their case, and accept higher consequences, or they give in.

For example, in one memorable fight, Gaara represents an untouchable opponent, he isolates himself from everyone so he can no longer be hurt. He is naturally awesome and utterly nihilistic. Rock Lee has no natural talent, but he has bags of hard work and conviction. To even compete against Gaara, Rock Lee has to sacrifice his health by using forbidden techniques that push his body past endurance (plenty of escalation and taking blows so he can make higher raises). Despite this, Gaara still wins by easily crippling his opponent, but he has to take some fallout himself, in the form of being touched by Rock Lee's determination. 

A more concrete reason for using DitV is because Naruto regularly visits different countries (all within walking distance of course) with their own internal relations and problems that the ninja have to navigate and resolve. Tools to help create these places would be mighty useful.

As for Star Trek, I only have an idea in broadstrokes what i want, but im sure that alot of the themes in ST mirror the action in DitV. Oh well. I'll attempt to hash it out some, but im sure someone else could do a better job much easier.

Assuming ive gotten the idea of a "what's wrong" chain, in the more TOS format where they go from planet to planet fixing things, the Pride is usually an inhumane tradition or practice or corrupt system. Injustice is thus in the form of those dissaffected with it, or when a member of their own crew or an ally falls afoul of it. The Sin is then when the alien's actions become explicitly illegal from the Federation's POV and allows the ship to take a hand against them without breaking the prime directive too much, this is usually because the aliens are hypocritical (but this is not always present). Daemonic attacks are the ways in which the aliens are hurt by their own inhumane policies (again not always present). The False doctrine is the inhumane policy itself, as it is that aspect of strange and repugnant alienness that the ship has to come to terms with or change for the better. There may well be some strong factor of "If the ship never came...", where the alien's actions will lead to destruction too.

So I'd say:
1. the mistaken alien custom.

2. how this hurts:
a) the ship
b) the aliens themselves
c) some other group

3. Alien hypocrisy, corruption, or other justification for involvement?

4. Consequences if the ship never came?

Like, Kirk runs across a planet where war is computerised and people casually suicide when they are told they are casualties, Wesley is sentanced to death for stepping on the grass, the Maquis aboard Voyager are taught that discipline is good and terrorism is bad, O'Brian confronts the Cardassian legal system where you are convicted before the trial, Worf sorts out Klingon politics (many times) by being more Klingon than Klingons themselves, Chakotay shows a Kazon boy how much better human children are treated, Picard foils a plot where someone masquerades as the devil by being a raging rationalist, Janeway helps end the Q civil war by telling them to stop being silly, the Ferengi stop being greedy and mean to women just cos. 

Gah. I have no idea ^_^



To the sounds of fanfare and much rejoicing, DitV dropped through my letterbox this morning. Hurrah!

I've been playing around trying to reconcile Naruto with DitV but its just too much. I had a look at my intended audience (my early teen brother et al) and couldnt justify adding the tactical crunchiness i know he wants with the 'convictional' crunchiness i think he should want. Instead, I'll just transfer the town creation from DitV and add a mechanic that supports acting towards your Dream to a tactical homebrew that supports self sacrifice. Ah well.

About Starfleet in the Final Frontier. Its not gonna be the same as the show by a long shot, but i think the changes are for the better;
It will be easier to have more NPCs, and more NPCs will have personality.
Inter-crew conflicts will last longer (though i reckons a pseudo-escalation (more dice and more fallout) to those pulling rank on a subordinate is good).
More inclined towards personal or social conflict rather than ship vs 'strange new phenomena' (though i guess this could be done, it would just be boring, like Dogs vs Daemonic Influence on its own). Of course, streange new phenomena can feature in conjunction.

As noted, the 'Path to Evil' is gonna be a little different in ST. The PCs will be battling with reforming or stopping the attitudes and actions of various groups (different governments typically (or representatives thereof), but smaller groups also feature) and who arent going to have cause and effect chain of features (a group could be a threat to the Federation, for example, without being hypocritical or dysfunctional). Its more of a 'Recipe for Evil' than a 'Path'.

Nature: How are the group's values or attitude different to the Federation's 'standard'?
Behaviour: How is this difference in nature expressed through the group's actions? 
Dysfunction: Do the actions damage the group itself?
Injustice: Do the actions damage a third party?
Danger: Do the actions damage the ship or its crew?
Hypocrisy: Are the actions inconsistantly applied?
Tyranny: Do the actions benefit some more than others?
Threat: Do the actions threaten the Federation or its interests?

And of course, the Evil is only just Difference that you've judged, and even then, do the players have a right to enforce that judgement?
It is the responsibility of the ship to:
Uphold the Prime Directive, by not explicitly meddling in other cultures or their natural development.
Protect and serve the Federation and its interests.
Spread the values of the Federation without violating the other two instructions.

Plenty of room for conflict there methinks.

A sample scenario:
Background: The ship has been ordered to escort a Cardassian and Federation ambassador to some diplomatic talks concerning a planet that the Cardassians are willing to hand over to the Federation. On the way (in Cardassian space) they receive a distress signal by a freighter underfire. The freighter is being fired upon by a Cardassian cruiser.

Nature: the Cardassians are ruthless mofos, but they certainly keep the peace.
Behaviour: the Cardassian cruiser is firing upon the freighter for smuggling.
Injustice: the freighter is smuggling people, people who want to escape the Cardassian regime. These people may well become terrorists.
Tyranny: the Obsidian Order doesnt want to lose its grip on the populace.

What do the people want:
Cardassian Ambassador: sweep the whole thing under the rug, but he hasnt the authority to order the cruiser and he doesnt like the escapees anyway. Willing to withdraw from talks and keep the planet if the Federation imposes themselves.
Cardassian Cruiser Captain: stop these terrorists from escaping justice (execution).
Federation Ambassador: feels for the escapees, but not much. has the authority to give the escapees sanctuary quite easily, but would rather smooth relations with the Cardassians.
Federation Ambassador's Aide: feels for the escapees as a former Marqui member himself. Willing to disobey orders for them.
Escapee Leader + some Members: obviously militant, wants to avenge his family.
Other Escapee Members: wants to save their families from persecution.

If the ship never came:
The escapees would die and be added to the nameless statistics in the Obsidian Order's encrypted databanks, but the Cardassians and Federation would have a stronger peace.   

Chris Peterson

What about DitV meets Polaris, something like "Knights of the Order of the Stars at Utmost North"? The rules are pretty different, but I imagine some of the Polaris characters' motivations about fighting demons and the end of the world could fit into the DitV rules.


er, you could, but every time you could play Polaris and you don't, the King of Life slays a kitten. ^_^
On a slightly more serious note, they aim towards pretty different narratives, so I'd just go for Wolves in the North and play slightly suicidally unless you really like the particular colour Polaris has.

Anyhow, while I'm here, some more Star Trek spam. Feel free to chip in with ideas on this or anything. This thread aint going no where particular.

Replace relationships with loyalties. These represent the institutions, ideals or people that the character values. They are used identically to relationships (ie. when they are at stake or against them). Typically, crewmen are at least loyal to the ship, and they are loyal to Starfleet in general.
If they live and breath Starfleet rather than simply being loyal to it, they should probably take it as a trait rather than a loyalty.

Ship to ship combat. Not really happy with the ship being another character. Needs to be a 'working as one' feeling without getting bogged down. Any ideas?
Ships have Body and Acuity stats, the Captain provides Heart and Will.
Officers may add traits relating to their duties, but only one officer per go may be used (at the Captain's orders).

Additionally, officers may, instead of using their trait, do something special, such as a cool manouevre or some hardcore power rerouting. The officer starts a parallel conflict, taking a go every time the ship does. The officer chooses how many D6 to face. It is an Acuity + Heart roll, with any relevant traits applying. The number of D6 they faced are now halved rounding down and turned into D10s and immediately added to the ship.
Only one officer may do this at a time.   
Gah. this is real dodgy. Maybe they should just stick to away missions ^_^

think of the kittens!


Hmm, I'd just stat the ship up as gear. And run the conflicts normally. You'd need to work a little bit at exactly what things count for what kinds of fallout and what stats to use. The only trouble I see is what to slot in for "fighting". Talking is obvious. Shooting is obvious (phasers, photon torpedos, etc). Physical is pretty easy (maneuvering - though it's a bit odd that body applies). To get fighting, you could divide shooting into shooting to threaten/disable and shooting to kill.

Frank Filz


the ship conflict escalation is no problem, as you say, shooting to disable is pretty different from shooting to kill. In the show there is a clear divide between a phaser exchange until one side is disabled or gives up and both sides being intent on blowing the other outta the sky with photon torpedoes and with consoles exploding, systems failing, etc.

For physical, its not manouevring (though that might be part of it), its charging weapons and raising shields and maybe firing a warning shot and giving an ultimatum. Basically revealing to the enemy how hardcore your ship is and how willing you are to use it.

As for combat, having it work out like a battle between the officers kinda fudges the difference between ships. I mean, say if there are three players in your group and one cant game today, your ship has been reduced in effectiveness by a third. Surely the NPCs who take your posts arent that incompetent ^_^

I'm all for downgrading the importance of the ship compared to the crew, but i want a proper feeling of the PCs working in conjunction with one another. If everyone fights together its gonna be wierd, like, since when does anyone but the captain matter much during negotiation?

How about, the PCs keep their dice to themselves, but only one of them can Raise or See at a time. Would this work?
This way having more players only increases your endurance, not how easily you can overwhelm.
Also, the ship dice replace the Body scores of each crewman dependant on their station. Its just wierd that Worf would be a better tactical officer cos he's buff. And this way, an agile ship could give a high Body score to the Navigation officer or something.

Or, even further, not only can only one person Raise or See at a time, but everyone loses dice together. This would remove the endurance thing too, but still allow folk with good dice to shine once other officers have done contributing (cos obviously they will have been sacrificing their low dice).

This would need serious playtesting, but could this kinda idea work? does it fit?


since when does anyone but the captain matter much during negotiation?

I haven't watched Star Trek in ages, but as I recall, there was all sorts of activity on the bridge during negotiations. Visualize each time someone on the bridge saying something, or being shown to do something, as a raise for that character's player. Of course if some of the bridge crew are NPCs "helping", then the captain gets the 2 extra dice plus one trait.

If not all the players are present in one session, then the ship doesn't fight as well: yea, and the Enterprise doesn't fight so well when some of the people aren't on the bridge. This really is just the age old problem of dealing with absent players. But remember, you'll be running this as a group conflict, so the effect of a missing player isn't quite as bad as it seems (and the missing player could be brought in as NPC help, for the +2 dice plus a trait).

You can also adjust the impact of the ship if different bits of the ship are different pieces of gear (the phasers, the shields, the photon torpedoes, the comm station, the engines, etc).

I would try this out without mucking with the mechanics first. Only if it really doesn't seem to be working, then muck with the mechanics.

Also consider - remember, you're not pre-planning what a particular ship encounter/conflict will look like, or if it will even happen, so lots of opportunity to react to the players present. The conflict will arise out of active play. And consider, even if all the players are present, it may turn out that the captain is the only PC who participates in a particular conflict.

Frank Filz