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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 26 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [DitV] Questions from a first-time GM  (Read 1008 times)
Caesar_X
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Posts: 84


« on: October 27, 2008, 09:25:19 AM »

I ran Dogs for the first time this weekend, and had a fun time. But ended up with some questions about confusing issues or where I thought I might have made a wrong decision.

Here's a link to the AP that one of my players wrote: http://www.story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=7975&page=1#

Here are the questions that I asked after the AP:

1. I had mentioned to Chris and Robert earlier to let me know if they saw any actual "signs" of Demonic Influence. Should I have told them what the effect of that would be in advance?

2. When Robert stated that Brother Azariah saw Sorcery in Sister Lavina, was I right to roll the 4d10 of Sorcery dice and add to her pool immediately? My quick take on it was that if Azariah saw Sorcery in her, then it must be true.

3. Was I overstepping my bounds as a GM or deprotagonizing Robert to declare that Lavina was forcing Azariah to go convince Hiram to marry her when the Dogs had already given Hiram the night to think over his decision?

4. When Azariah left Lavina to go find Hiram, I was confused about what to do. It didn't really feel right to have him go right after Hiram (see question #3). And we considered having Brother Azariah have an "internal" scene where he tried to cast Lavina's influence out. But in the end, we agreed that it made more sense to have Brother Ebenezer waylay Azariah and talk him off the cliff. Ebenezer won and that felt like the right thing to do. But I still have doubts about that scene transition.

5. The next morning at breakfast when Robert had Azariah..ahem...call the demon in Lavina out, I was confused about the rules. Was Lavina now considered to be a "Possessed Person"? I looked through those rules (pg 129) and they didn't really seem to fit the situation. So I decided to have Azariah in conflict with the actual demon (pg 133) , and I used the 4d6+Demonic Influence (4d10) + 2d6 of helping dice from Lavina's father Edward who naturally thought his daughter was being threatened. My take was that the Dogs were really battling the demon directly and trying to force it out of Lavina. Right or wrong?

6. Could someone concisely explain the Ceremony rules? It seems like you can't just use those Ceremony dice whenever you want, but I did let them use Ceremony (pg 73) when trying to exorcise the demon out of Lavina. Do they get to use all of the ceremonies that they want? Only some? We muddled through it, but that was all a bit confusing.

Thoughts?
Chris
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Noclue
Member

Posts: 351


« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2008, 11:35:44 AM »

1. To me, the answer to that question is always "Tell the players."

2. Chris, you do realize you don't need the Dogs to tell you when there's demonic influence in a town, right? Did Br. Azariah take a relationship with the demon? Otherwise, the presence of demonic influence wasn't going to help him in the conflict with Lavinia.

3. No. The stakes of "If I win you immediately go and (try) to convince Hiram to marry me." Are fine, regardless of any previous agreements with other NPCs or PCs. Nothing's decided forever, only for now.

4. Having him immediately find hiram and force him to marry Lavinia was no problem, if that was the stakes. If Eb wants a scene where he intervenes, and stops Hiram that's also fine. I admit to being a tad bothered by the process whereby the table was uncomfortable with the last conflict and had to reach a consensus whereby Eb was chosen to defuse the situation.

5. hmmm...my Dog-fu isn't good enough without the book in hand. I think what happened at the table is fine, but you could have also gone a different route (possessed person with a sorcerer somewhere in the town) without breaking things.

6. You can perform a ceremony whenever you want. There are no ceremony dice just fallout.
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James R.
Warren
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Posts: 167


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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2008, 09:32:19 AM »

1. I had mentioned to Chris and Robert earlier to let me know if they saw any actual "signs" of Demonic Influence. Should I have told them what the effect of that would be in advance?
Maybe. I generally don't, but I don't think it hurts either way.

2. When Robert stated that Brother Azariah saw Sorcery in Sister Lavina, was I right to roll the 4d10 of Sorcery dice and add to her pool immediately? My quick take on it was that if Azariah saw Sorcery in her, then it must be true.
Personally speaking, I would say that despite what the Dogs think, as the town writeup hasn't progressed through False Doctrine, Corrupt Worship and False Priesthood, there is no Sorcery going on in this town before the Dogs arrived. That also means, in my book, that you can never get a Demonic Influence of more than 2d10, regardless of what the Dog thinks.

That being said, you could of had Lavina take a Relationship with the Demons in that conflict (using whatever free Relationship dice she had at the time), making her a Possessed person. That means she can could ask the Demons for help, gaining those 4d10 and enabling supernatural special effects. (p69). If you didn't decide to do this, then despite Azariah seeing Sorcery in her, he was mistaken. But who amongst the rest of the townsfolk would not trust in the word of a Dog?

However, to get a relationship with a Demon, I have always understood that the character must either be a) a willing, knowing heretic or false prophet -- that is a believer in false doctrine; or else b) a sinner within the false priesthood of a Sorcerer (p129). As no False Doctrine has developed in the town, then technically, I would say that Lavina couldn't willingly believe in something that doesn't yet exist, so she couldn't become possessed.

But you could say that Lavina believes in something like "Love is more important than a Father's Stewardship", which would be a False Doctrine, which she would willingly, knowingly believe in, so she can take a relationship with the Demons, call on them for aid and become possessed by them. (This is why I believe that towns which go all the way up to Hate & Murder are simpler than ones which don't).

3. Was I overstepping my bounds as a GM or deprotagonizing Robert to declare that Lavina was forcing Azariah to go convince Hiram to marry her when the Dogs had already given Hiram the night to think over his decision?
Nope; that's fine (assuming the stakes are something like "Azariah will go and try to convince Hiram to marry Lavina").

4. When Azariah left Lavina to go find Hiram, I was confused about what to do. It didn't really feel right to have him go right after Hiram (see question #3). And we considered having Brother Azariah have an "internal" scene where he tried to cast Lavina's influence out. But in the end, we agreed that it made more sense to have Brother Ebenezer waylay Azariah and talk him off the cliff. Ebenezer won and that felt like the right thing to do. But I still have doubts about that scene transition.
I think framing a scene where Azariah is hammering on the door of Hiram's house in the middle of the night (or something similar) would have been fine following on from the previous conflict. But it was also fine to have Chris interrupt and ask for a conflict where Ebenezer confronts Azariah before he reaches Hiram.

5. The next morning at breakfast when Robert had Azariah..ahem...call the demon in Lavina out, I was confused about the rules. Was Lavina now considered to be a "Possessed Person"? I looked through those rules (pg 129) and they didn't really seem to fit the situation. So I decided to have Azariah in conflict with the actual demon (pg 133) , and I used the 4d6+Demonic Influence (4d10) + 2d6 of helping dice from Lavina's father Edward who naturally thought his daughter was being threatened. My take was that the Dogs were really battling the demon directly and trying to force it out of Lavina. Right or wrong?
If Lavina hadn't taken a Relationship with the Demons, she can't be possessed, so Azariah has just stabbed a young girl in the heart without warning.

However, if you had it so that Lavina had taken a relationship with the Demons in #2, then when she got attacked, you could choose for the Demons to let her die (as above), or come to her aid and Possess her (giving her a bunch of extra dice and some possession powers -- Cunning, Ferocity, etc.) If she were a Sorcerer (and had a 4 die relationship with the Demons and at least three heretics following her), she could command the demons for help, but she isn't, so the Demons can do what they hell they want.

In this case, I generally rule that you have a conflict like "Do the Dogs drive the Demon out of Lavina?", where they are in conflict with Lavina supported by her relationship to the Demons & the Demonic Influence. At the end of it all -- win or lose -- it's the poor girl (still possessed or otherwise) who has to take all the Fallout inflicted upon her by the Dogs.

But as you set it up with a "direct" conflict with the Demons, you worked out the dice correctly (p133).

6. Could someone concisely explain the Ceremony rules? It seems like you can't just use those Ceremony dice whenever you want, but I did let them use Ceremony (pg 73) when trying to exorcise the demon out of Lavina. Do they get to use all of the ceremonies that they want? Only some? We muddled through it, but that was all a bit confusing.
You don't get extra dice for Sorcery, the Ceremony rules just change the Fallout dice inflicted. If the Dogs are in conflict with a possessed person or sorcerer, they can use Ceremony if they want. If they are fighting a Demon directly, they will have to use Ceremony -- other actions (like shooting it) would be ignorable, and therefore invalid Raises.

But let's say that the Dogs are fighting a possessed Lavina. One of them could do the Physical Non-Fighhting action of anointing her with Sacred Earth as a Ceremonial Raise. They don't get any extra dice to use, but if Lavina takes the blow, she would take d8s in Fallout, rather than the normal d6s an Unfaithful person would have taken from being smeared with mud.

(Looking back at this, all of my reply is basically a very long "What Noclue said". Oh well!)
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lumpley
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2008, 09:38:02 AM »

I like the answers so far, including especially Carl's in the Story Games thread. Has everybody covered all your questions? If you have any left, or if you have followup questions, I'm happy to help.

-Vincent
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