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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 27 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Dogs] Taking the Blow and Seeing in Talking Conflicts  (Read 1862 times)
Simon C
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« on: September 27, 2009, 03:31:56 PM »

I get how this works in the rules, but what does it look like in the fiction?  I kind of get how it could go, but I want to see some examples.
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Brand_Robins
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2009, 09:36:29 AM »

Raise: "You, Brother Colin, are a yellow coward, hiding behind your coat and your gun." Brand's lips curl back from his yellow, ragged teeth as he spits the words like venom. Everyone in the room watches, nervous, shifting from foot to foot.

See: "No, Brother Brand," Colin's voice is calm, even, "I am a watchdog of the Lord, and even though you are angry now, the truth is I am doing this for love, not fear or hate." The room calms, heads nod and everyone looks at Brand with pity and worry in their eyes.
 
vs

Take: "No.. you're the coward, you rat fucked son of a bitch!" Colin's voice is hoarse, his hands trembling. "I'm a Dog, damnit, and you better listen!" Everyone in the room looks downright nervous now, watching Colin like they're worried he might do something stupid.

Or:

Raise: "Brother Colin, you remember what it says in the Book of Life: 'Suffer the sins of the children, for the fault is not to the young no more than to the sheep. Look ye to the shepherd.' How can you want to punish this girl, when clearly her mother is at fault for her sins?"

See: "Brother Brand, you know that Zedikiah 14:12 is not about the duties of Dogs, but is advice to the Steward of a branch, and is about looking to his own conscience. I want to punish this girl so that she will not make this mistake again. The mother... the mother is another issue."

vs

Take: "Damnit, stop spewing scriptures at me! I know what the book says, but we've got to go off book on this one!"

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- Brand Robins
Noclue
Member

Posts: 351


« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2009, 11:07:33 AM »

Simon, have you ever been in an argument and you know you're completely in the right, and then the other person says something that knocks you right on you ass and makes you question the meaning of life and your place in the universe for just a moment, and then you blink and you're sure you're completely right again?

It looks like that.
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James R.
Simon C
Member

Posts: 510


« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2009, 07:42:00 PM »

Ok, cool.

That's what I thought.  I guess what I'm asking is if taking the blow compells you to accept something has changed in the fiction, the way it can in physical conflicts.  Like if I say "I toss your Daddy's book of life into the stream" and you take the blow, the book is getting wet.  If I say "Go cook me some eggs" and you take the blow, are you headed to the kitchen?
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Noclue
Member

Posts: 351


« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2009, 10:52:27 PM »

The book example is an interesting one. If I narrate throwing your book into the water, the book is in the water unless you narrate stopping me. If you're taking the blow, I would assume the blow came from the dunking that the book received. In that case, yes, the book's in the water. If the blow is something else, like say the stakes were that you show you care about your father, you can totally go ahead and save the book while taking the blow. But, in most cases the book is going to get wet.

The "Go cook me some eggs" doesn't compel you to start cooking, but you're going to have to take some kind of blow from the words. To determine what, we need context. Perhaps you're a young woman who was brought up in a chauvanistic parents, struggling to prove that you're as good as the other Dogs. If the stakes are about humiliating your PC, taking the blow might mean you start towards the kitchen instinctively and then turn around feeling shamed. Perhaps the stakes are that you're trying to control your temper. Taking the blow then, might be about raising your voice in response to this insult.

I guess I'm saying that taking the blow is all about the context of the argument.
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James R.
Simon C
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Posts: 510


« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2009, 11:31:05 PM »

Going by the maxim that seeing blocks a raise's execution, and taking the blow blocks a raise's effect, I'm not sure you're right, and I think it's independant of the context.

If my raise is to throw your book in the water, my execution is getting the book wet, and my effect is to win the stakes of the conflict (say, making you show you care about your father).  If you see, you stop my execution (the book stays dry).  If you take the blow, you block the effect (the book gets wet, but you don't show you care about your father.  You do get fallout though).  If you give, the book stays dry, and you show you care about your father.  This is what's cool about conflicts in Dogs.

I guess what I find hard about talking conflicts is that it's much harder to gauge what the "execution" of a talking raise is.
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lumpley
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2009, 06:22:57 AM »

Simon, it sounds like this isn't a problem you've had in play, just something you're worried about, yeah?

My advice would be to grab a friend and a handful of dice and give it a try. Use the standby demo scenario: "your older brother, right, his 14-year-old son has been sneaking money and taking it to the prostitute. Now you meet your brother on the road. He's got his shotgun, he's going to go murder her." Make some just talking raises and see how taking the blow vs blocking or dodging works.

-Vincent
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Simon C
Member

Posts: 510


« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2009, 10:49:12 AM »

Hi Vincent,

We're halfway through our fifth Dogs town right now, so I feel like I've got a bunch of experience with talking conflicts.  The thing is, we're just starting to understand the potential of the mechanics when you're strict about the IIEE process.  We recently had a really neat physical conflict that demonstrated how taking the blow and blocking are markedly different, and important.  The problem is that in talking conflicts, the difference seems less important.  We've had a lot of talking conflicts where taking the blow or seeing don't seem to have mattered.  I think it's because it's hard to pin down what the "execution" of a talking raise is - what do you get if they take the blow?

We've had some really good, intense talking conflicts, but it's never felt vitally important whether you take the blow or not.  Does taking the blow mean conceding their point, for example? Brand's example seems to say yes.  Can I make someone do something they don't want to do (without treading on the stakes)?
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lumpley
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2009, 11:14:44 AM »

Oh! That changes things.

In just talking conflicts, the difference is generally less important. It doesn't surprise or worry me that you've had a lot of just talking conflicts where it hasn't mattered much or any.

The general purpose of the just talking arena is to get you to escalate out of it. Accordingly, no, you can't make anybody do anything. If "go make me eggs!" is the raise, then "okay, okay, eggs coming up" is a perfectly legit way to take the blow, of course, but so is "yeah, you have a point, maybe I should make you eggs. But I'm not going to."

I've emphasized "general" because there will be times in play when a just talking conflict, or the just talking phase of a conflict, will be crucial, and when taking a just talking blow vs blocking or dodging it will make all the difference in the world. Those occasions, though - you'll know them when you see them, and they'll take care of themselves. If you haven't had any yet yourself, that's okay. Maybe you never will.

As a rule, though, the way to get something is to escalate.

-Vincent
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Simon C
Member

Posts: 510


« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2009, 01:19:50 PM »

Thanks Vincent, that makes sense.

I think we have had conflicts where the taking the blow seemed important.  A recent town where my dog was basically being told (by one of the other dogs) that he wasn't good enough to do the job, and he should just quit.  She was saying all this incredibly harsh stuff, but it was all true, and my dog was just taking the blow all over the place. 

So it seems like in talking conflicts, taking the blow can be more of a thematic statement about what your character believes, or how a particular point affects your character,
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Noclue
Member

Posts: 351


« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2009, 10:04:58 PM »

Thanks Vincent, that makes sense.

I think we have had conflicts where the taking the blow seemed important.  A recent town where my dog was basically being told (by one of the other dogs) that he wasn't good enough to do the job, and he should just quit.  She was saying all this incredibly harsh stuff, but it was all true, and my dog was just taking the blow all over the place. 

So it seems like in talking conflicts, taking the blow can be more of a thematic statement about what your character believes, or how a particular point affects your character,

Definitely. For instance, in the above example, if you take the blow, that doesn't mean you have to quit. No matter how man times she lays into you and how true and right she is, taking the blow does not mean you have to quit. You may feel like the lowest piece of pond scum at the end of the argument, you may completely agree with her that you should quit, but you don't have to quit unless those are the stakes and you lose the conflict.
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James R.
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