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Author Topic: [DitV] Multiple opponents and high stakes  (Read 2377 times)
Dr_Pete
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Posts: 12


« on: June 16, 2009, 09:32:52 AM »

I played in an awesome game of Dogs, my first, over the weekend.  A point came up which seemed like kind of a tough call, and I was curious to hear feedback/feelings about it.

The situation:
A four player game, with lots of intra-party conflict.  Two dogs want to kill an NPC, one is willing to fight to defend him, and one is a bit on the fence, but siding with the defender PC.

Conflict starts out talking, with 2 Dogs vs 2 Dogs.  The one on the fence drops out of the conflict when he runs out of dice, rather than escalate.

The conflict between the other 3 escalates to weapons, and to firearms.  Once it gets this vicious, the one who had dropped out earlier, seeing the implicit stakes in this new level of conflict wants back in to help/defend the lone Dog.  He's now willing to go to weapons to help his fellow dog, but it's not so clear he's invested in the stake itself.

Should he be able to sit out a period of conflict, then escalate himself back into it, or is out out?  We ended up playing with "he can roll, but only assist" but in retrospect, I'm not sure I liked that compromise.  Any thoughts?
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lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2009, 10:17:47 AM »

Dogs' rules don't handle this situation perfectly, alas.

My solution: when he wants back into the conflict he's already dropped out of, treat him as an improvised thing. Is he normal, excellent, big, both, or crap?

-Vincent
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craggle
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Posts: 2


« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2010, 06:18:27 AM »

Curious here: would the Afraid options of escalating be able to apply to Dogs in this case, the ones where dice are discarded, the new ones rolled, and there are options for others to join the conflict?
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lumpley
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2010, 07:37:02 AM »

Yes. If you're playing by Afraid's rules, a character who dropped out earlier can rejoin a conflict when it escalates.

I don't know whether Afraid's rules are any good! I don't endorse them for Dogs in the Vineyard.

-Vincent
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Paul T
Member

Posts: 383


« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2010, 05:47:31 AM »

In my recent Dogs game, we used that rule a few times, and it seemed to work pretty well.

Once, we even allowed a Dog to join a conflict under way *even though it was already a Guns conflict*. He just didn't get to roll any Stat dice at all. It worked really well in that scene, and with a lucky roll he saved the day (so to speak). As a standard practice, I think that one could be problematic, though.

Where it gets complicated is if there's a large multi-way conflict. In those situations, it's hard to put a label on the entire conflict, and probably better to break it up into smaller conflicts. That's where it can get messy: for instance, if you allow someone to make a single Talking Raise, and then move to Guns, they suddenly have a large dice advantage over the others that's not really reflective of what's happening in the fiction.
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Falc
Member

Posts: 86


« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2010, 03:33:53 AM »

Dr_Pete,

I think you sort of indicated the underlying problem in your original post.

Quote
Once it gets this vicious, the one who had dropped out earlier, seeing the implicit stakes in this new level of conflict wants back in

I've noticed it myself a few times, how stakes seem to take on a life of their own and change during a conflict. By the letter of the book, I believe that the original conflict should just be ended somehow and a new (follow-up or not) conflict should be started with the new stakes. In practice, of course, I find it very unlikely that it'd play out like that.

But it would, I think, have been a good solution. The lone dog could have given on a See, declaring he gets shot and momentarily passes out from shock. The other two walk away to kill the NPC, the 4th Dog comes to the fallen one and helps him back up. They then proceed to chase after the others to try and stop them once again (though I believe they'd need to get some more backup to fulfill all the rules for redoing a conflict). Cinematically speaking, I'd say it's a valid way to go.

Of course, all of this hinges on one important question which you didn't quite answer: what did the 4th Dog want as stakes? Was he by now really concerned for the life of the NPC, or was he trying to prevent his fellow dog from getting killed? In the latter case, I do believe that using him as an improvised thing fits better, even though a determined Dog should perhaps be worth more than just 2d8...
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