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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 32 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [DiTV ] All the Dogs do is murder!  (Read 3860 times)
dyreno
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Posts: 13


« on: April 11, 2008, 05:45:55 PM »

All the Dogs do when we play is murder folks! The way the players see it, talking is something the Devil loves to do, and they don't want nothing to do with it. I might introduce the Steward, and if they don't behead/stone cold shoot/hang him it's only because they have been too busy beheading/stone cold shooting/hanging some other poor Faithful person!

I hear ya man. Every time i introduced a new character they jump at the chance to find a reason to kill them (or at least one of them). I introduce a steward in need with a town over run by sin. They blame the steward and want to kill him. The regional steward hands them a route and suggest they take along a homeless family (that one PC personally promised to take care of) so they can help locate them in a nice new town. They argue, complain, and disrespect him to no end and finally throw the family on a train all by themselves and say farewell. I introduce a nice friendly old man who is an ex-dog transporting freight and 3 sleeping dogs in a covered wagon. They threatened to kick his ass or kill him if he didn't get down off the wagon so they can check through the freight for a reason to kick his ass or kill him.

Needless to say about half way through, i threw up my hands and tossed my game notes aside. I think there's a huge gap between how i viewed the dogs and how a few of the group did. I saw them as warriors of the faith who go out and hold the faith together. Help the down trotted and protect the innocent. Battle evil demons, false prophets, and fiendish sorcerers using the power of god and the might of their heart.

They viewed as "Here's your gun and right of ultimate authority above everyone including the prophets and ancients. You can out right kill anyone ya want  as long as you label it as religious righteousness. Now I'm gonna turn my back so y'all can fire off a couple of shots into the back of my head just for shits and giggles."

I am thinking about trying to run it again with a different group as well. It's a great system so i really don't want to just give up on it.
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lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2008, 06:26:22 PM »

Rough!

Yeah, pretty much if they don't care about helping people, the game won't work.

(I split this out of its original topic just for housekeeping reasons, no big deal.)

-Vincent
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JC
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2008, 01:57:43 AM »

how about having them judge their little brother, or their father, or their girlfriend?

just a thought
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Ward
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Posts: 16

Jonas Matser


« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2008, 05:23:44 AM »

how about having them judge their little brother, or their father, or their girlfriend?

just a thought

I totally agree with JC, if they take a certain moral stance, try to find out how far they will go. It sounds like your players might be a little out of control, but in general this idea (which is pretty central in the book, IMO) should help focus the game a little. Find out where your players (or their characters) do draw the line with regards to this violence. If they play this mean, you should definitely stoop to their level and pull out family, friends, utterly innocent young girls, whatever might freak them out, and put them in their way.

- Jonas
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Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2008, 06:11:55 AM »

Interestingly enough, I've had similar experiences with some Dust Devils groups. Must be something about the western milieu that brings on the psychosis.

Apart from really pulling out all the stops in putting out hard choices, my recipe is to show genuine shock and worry as a co-player of the game: I'm there to play with these human beings, and I want to understand why they make the choices they make. Discuss it with them and be clear with your signals of surprise and shock when they kill innocent (albeit fictional) people just like that. Often enough such players have picked up the social signals, which have then helped them to figure out the expected context of the game - usually the problem has been that their expectations for the game, weird as they were, had little to do with my expectations.
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dyreno
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Posts: 13


« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2008, 09:39:27 AM »

I really did try to get my "killer dog" back  on track and establish what was acceptable by the common standard. It was just a lost effort in the end. When i originally pitched the idea of Dogs in the Vineyard my "killer dog" was really excited because he had listened to a podcast group called "Warston Hall" play through a five session adventure on www.RPGMP3.com . I think that's where we're getting off to the wrong page. I'm not driving their story forward I'm driving my story forward. He keeps telling people how things work and whats whats based off that groups story. Then the whole group gets thrown off by two people telling two different views of whats acceptable. The session just started to drag along as the confusion continued to build until i reached the point of throwing up my hands and tossing my notes aside.
Even my attempt to shake things up a bit went over kinda badly. I started off by tossing them right in the mix as the local regional dog summoned them straight from the temple to his residence with a horrid problem on his hands. A chest was sent to him from Blue Creek filled with four watchdog coats riddled with bullets. He wanted to send them to investigate while he gathered more dogs. My "killer dog" was stern about not going and in-fact blamed the steward and wanted to judge him instead. With some boos from the other two and me rolling up a quick doctor dog to go with them they were off to Blue Creek. They fought the evil fake dogs that ruled the town and found the townspeople dead and dying locked in the local church. I threw a wrench into the mix when i introduced a wicked demon that was impervious to physical and gunfighting conflicts. Trying to get them to think outside the box or let them tryout their ability to exercise a demon in the name of god. When i tried to set the mood and put out some plot seeds, he kept interrupting me and wanted to keep trying to put bullets into his head or bury him in the well. I called it quits and just had the calvary show up with the steward leading the way. He literally said the hell with the tough demon that murdered the people, i can kill that steward. He handed him a knife and expected him to commit suicide. I was so tempted to have the steward and the senor dogs out right strip him of that coat. I gave it a second try with two more PCs joining and still we couldn't get going.
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dyreno
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Posts: 13


« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2008, 09:44:54 AM »

Just as a note I'm not saying that Wartson Hall didn't run a good game. They're a good group of guys and i really enjoy some of their audio.Here's where you   can listen to some of their work on WWW.RPGMP3.COM. (http://www.rpgmp3.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewforum&f=47&sid=dbe37038790984d4b4705d264bc5fe88)
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Ward
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Posts: 16

Jonas Matser


« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2008, 07:25:31 AM »

Sounds like you have some out of game talking to do to see what everyone expects from the game. Ron and some other who usually post in Actual Play often have great advice for just these kinds of situations.
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Indy Pete
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Posts: 9


« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2008, 05:56:59 AM »

I hear you man, I so do.

It still stumps me how folks can be sold a game about pseudo-Mormons in a West that never quite was which always degenerates into a bloodbath. I haven't yet played a game of DitV where the Dogs haven't blown/hung/burned folks in the Town to death given very little provocation.

It's become something of a running in-joke at our club, so much so that we've got Anti-Dogs in the Vineyard running this weekend, haha :)

http://www.ukroleplayers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=41424#p41424

I tried with the whole 'make the sinner their sister, their father, their mother' approach, but they dang gone hung them too. I ain't complaining too much because the sessions are still fun, but it's a different kinda fun from what I envisioned when reading the book.

Cheers
Pete
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Moreno R.
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Posts: 547


« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2008, 06:35:58 AM »

It still stumps me how folks can be sold a game about pseudo-Mormons in a West that never quite was which always degenerates into a bloodbath. I haven't yet played a game of DitV where the Dogs haven't blown/hung/burned folks in the Town to death given very little provocation.

I don't know, this never happened to me in playing DitV.

No, I am not saying that sometimes there wasn't a bloodbath. I am saying that, playing a lot of cities with my gaming group, there was NEVER a bloodbath. (if you don't count the very first time we played, with a GM who wasn't still on the page about the game and narrativism, and he believed that he could push the dogs around to follow "his story" with a lynch mob. We wiped the floor with them, leaving a lot of dead in our the dust). At most there were one or two dead for town, sometimes none.

In one town, one of the players (ironically, the same player who GMed the game above) took a bullet from another dog, to save a sinner.

I have seen bloodbath usually at convention, demoing the game to people who still didn't understand the game, having not played it nor reading the book. In this situation people usually create characters that are "little torquemadas" because this is what they expect from the game from "what people say". It's a problem of expectations,not of the game: If people think that a bloodbath is what is expected from them, this is what happen (Narrattiva began to use pre-generated characters in their demo games in Italy to avoid this pervasive "little torquemada" problems. They help a lot. For example, one of the pre-gen is gay, and another doesn't really believe in the faith. Nobody could mistake these characters for killing machines)

Did your player read the book, before playing it?

Anyway, there is the simple possibility that DitV isn't a game for your players. No game is good for everybody.
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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
wreckage
Member

Posts: 18


« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2008, 12:18:48 AM »

So set up a town for a bloodbath? Eh? Eh?


Sorry, relurking now.
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....but you can call me Sam
lumpley
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« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2008, 04:07:09 AM »

... That's a great idea.

I like it.

-Vincent
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wreckage
Member

Posts: 18


« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2008, 05:56:30 AM »

I mean, if the Dogs want to ride into town whompin' and a-stompin', howsabout a town full of Very Bad People desperate for some spaghetti-western styled ambivalent -yet shockingly final- justice? Such evildoers can be expected to be heavily armed and committing depraved acts on the main street in broad daylight. Have them leer a bit whilst behaving in a singularly ungentlemanly manner. Then it will be FUN when they die!

The leer is important. They must leer.

Suggested source material: Pale Rider, High Plains Drifter.

Also, yay! Approval!
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....but you can call me Sam
lumpley
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« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2008, 06:59:50 AM »

Remember to give the evildoers their appointed dice and powers! (For which, see pages 127-130.) A town full of Very Bad People means a lot of hurt, dice- and fallout-wise.

Now I really want to play this town.

-Vincent
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Blankshield
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« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2008, 10:57:29 AM »

I did play this town.  It was awesome.

http://indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=15338.0

James
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I write games. My games don't have much in common with each other, except that I wrote them.

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