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Author Topic: [DITV] Orchard Plains - Same gun, different shooters  (Read 2861 times)
Glendower
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Posts: 182

My name is Jon.


« on: February 21, 2007, 10:41:23 AM »

I ran Orchard Plains again, this time with my Tuesday night group.  They comprised of Dave and Wes, from my original AP and first post to the Forge here, and then through all my experiments with Indie games.  They tried Primetime Adventures, Capes, and a 10 session game of Burning Wheel

I have a special place in my heart for Dogs in the Vineyard, and I was proud to get a chance to try the game out with them. Now initially I was a very worried about trying the game because of the religious content.  I didn't want to offend anyone at the table.  Of course, I shouldn't have worried, communication resolved my worries almost immediately.  To quote one player: "What we do isn't real, it's just a game."  I did want to mention that I like my Tuesday group, a lot.  They're a group of tolerant, friendly guys who are willing to give something a fair shake.  They even tried Polaris!  And uh, yeah.  The Polaris game was one AP I am terrified to actually post.  I love the game, but it went really poorly. 

But that's not what I'm here to talk about.  I'm here to talk about how one town with the same situation is affected by two different players.  Now, for interest's sake, the first time I ran Orchard Plains, which I detailed over here, went really well.  Tonight's game went equally well, though sadly I forgot my recorder last night.  I have to go with my swiss cheese memory and the two or three notes I scribbled down.   

The first thing I did was read a bit of the setting.  Not too much of it, but I wanted to give them a good idea of what the setting was all about, and what their characters were supposed to be doing.  I then demonstrated how conflicts worked.  Now I did this because last time I ran the game with Erica and Aaron, they had a lot of problems understanding things like how a 1d4 affected the die pool, and what all the die pools meant.  It really slowed down character creation, because they thought they would make a "gimpy" character.  When I explained the conflict system to Dave and Wes, their characters flew onto the page. 

Wes picked a Well rounded Background for Bartholamew Josiah Polson, who's traits included "Open and friendly"(2d8) "Righteous Dog" (1d6), Wrangler (2d6), Naive (1d4), and the greatest one of all... "My pappy says..."(1d6).  You gotta love how the traits paint a picture of the farm-raised, good natured Bart, and his 5 Body and 5 Heart show that country living grows boys BIG.  The coat for Bart had a large resolute Bull embroidered on the back, the bottom embroidered with gold wheat sheafs, the top a sky blue.  When he walked, it looked like wheat waving in the breeze, against a clean blue sky.  It was all out of Wes' head.  I knew at that point that this game was going to rock.

Bart's accomplishment was "I hope I tame the wildest stallion of the ranch" and we launched into the conflict.  I rolled middling to poorly, and we traded raises like "the stallion charges you, with eyes blazing like a wildfire!" and "Whoa there big fella, I don't mean you no harm".  The stallion shattered the front gate and looked to escape, when Wes pulled out Bart's "Naive" trait and says "All the King's creatures need a friend!".  He won with his d4 trait, and didn't even take fallout!

Dave took well rounded as well, and Jeremiah Goodspeed was created.  His traits included "Out of shape" (1d4), I am the hand of the king (2d6), Logical Arguments (2d6), and the iconic "Let the gun do the talking (2d8).  With a high Acuity, Will and Heart, he represented a more intellectual Dog, but with a Body of 2, one that definitely could use a big farmboy companion.  His coat was primarily gray and blue, with a red cross pattern on the front and back. 

Jeremiah's particular achievement was "I hope I solve a serious situation without pulling my guns", so I framed a rash of thefts in the dormitories of those training the way of the Dogs.  Jeremiah walks into the dorm early to see brother Ezekiel rummaging through his stuff, with half a dozen other Dog's personal belongings in his hands.  Dave rolled very poorly, and I rolled awesome.  He was forced to take fallout, and eventually escalated to physical with the raise "You want to steal my jar of earth too?  Do you?  Well here!  Take it!" and shoving the jar of earth into Ezekiel's hands.  However, Dave managed to win the accomplishment, rolling around 6 dice of fallout in the process (getting a long term fallout result, but also some experience fallout). 

Now, I love Orchard Plains because the situation is really grabby.  I asked them to decide who was related to brother Alden (Bart's second cousin), and who to Josephus (Jeremiah's Uncle).  Again, someone picks a bunch of the apples and eats them, feeding a few to his horse.  I think it was Bart this time around.  It led to similar amusement later on, when they discovered that the apples were bad. 

I had it start with an echoing gunshot, the screams of Sister Grace as she cradles her fallen father.  The Dogs jumped into a healing conflict, similar to the first time I ran it. 

They didn't have as much supernatural this time around, the wound wasn't healed, he'd still bear the wound and the scar, but he'd live.  That was a conscious decision on their part, I let them know the supernatural was entirely within their hands, and even asked them if they fully healed him with their words and ceremony, as a viable option.  Their decision really shaped the supernatural dial that continued through play.

Once the conflict was over, Bart went over to Alden's Orchard while Jeremiah took Josephus to his home to talk about what happened.  I used a cross cut to have both Bart and Jeremiah get similar information, regarding the barn raising, Felicity's proud words about her baking, and the pie that made all that ate it sick.  Sister Grace tells Jeremiah, adding in her barbed words about Felicity, and Alden does the same, pinning the blame securely on Felicity's pride. 

Bart engaged in the second and final conflict of the night, "Does Alden confess to Bart?".  I played up the wounds on Felicity's back, and Alden's bitterness towards himself and the Steward.  One Blow that Bart took was "I guess the apples are fine, me and my horse ate a bunch on our way here",  I had Alden use the raise of "You shouldn't have stolen and eaten my apples!  Those apples weren't yours to take!  You and Felicity should have known better!"  Bart won by escalating to physical and breaking down the door that Alden shut in his face, and towering over him in a rage.  Alden confessed his knowledge of the fungus on the apples, that was making people sick.

There was a nice little moment before final judgment where the two dogs talked about what to do.  They met in the orchard and discussed who would be punished and how, and it was a neat little piece of negotiation.  I was alert for any kind of disagreement, and let them know that they could move to conflict at any point if they wanted to, but they were happy just to play their characters and briefly discuss their game plan.  They agreed that Alden needed some judgment for his willingness to grow poisonous fruit, as did Sister Grace for her poisoning words.

They got all the people together, and rendered judgment.  Alden had to endure the lash, just as he let his daughter pay for his own pride and greed.  He also had to burn down his own orchard.  They decided that Josephus being shot was the judgment of the King of Life, and that his punishment was to live with the wound knowing it was deserved.  And Sister Grace was taken by the Dogs to family in the next town over, where she'd live her life for ten years time. 

We wrapped it up.  They were really pumped by the conflict system, and got a kick out of playing the characters in the setting.  We did reflection experience, and that was it. 

Same town, different judgments.  I really want to run this town with my third group to see what path they decide to take, and what judgments they decide to make.  It is really fascinating to see the decisions, who the players zoom into for punishment, and who they forgive.  Not to mention how easy the system is to teach to people.  They picked it up right away during the achievement, and already I had them reversing the blow, taking the blow during conversation on purpose to increase the chance of experience fallout, being sneaky about pulling in traits, using relationship dice, it all went really smoothly.  It's a testament to the great system Mr. Baker put together. 

Best of all, I got another Dogs game this Sunday, with Aaron and Erica.  I'm trying to decide what town to do next!
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Hi, my name is Jon.
lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2007, 01:24:09 PM »

I didn't notice this post until just now.

Very cool! I like running the same town for different groups. It's ... well, it's a confirmation that the game works like I meant it to, with me as GM simply NOT directing any outcomes.

-Vincent
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