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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 38 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [DitV] I'm not sure if I'm getting the rules completely  (Read 1884 times)
Shoo
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Posts: 4


« on: October 08, 2009, 07:10:30 AM »

Hi all :)

I'm going to run my first DitV game tomorrow, but I still feel that don't understand some parts of the game. If anyone could explain them to me, I'll be very grateful. :) Sorry for my English, my native language is Ukrainian.

1) Fallout seems to contain all sorts of options - both "good" ones that make character more powerful (more likely to win future conflicts) and "bad" ones that make him weaker. I understand that getting 1d4 traits is going to "bring trouble", but it is still a competitive advantage. What is the reason for players to ever choose "bad" options? My players come from D&D background and the idea of making a character weaker would seem strange to them.

2) How objective sin is? E.g., if Dogs say that it's not a sin to have sex without marriage and everybody in town starts doing that - would demons be able to influence town? What Dogs say is doctrine, isn't it?

3) Is initiation important? I have ~4-5 hours for this game. What would be better to give players a feel of the game - to try to fit both initiation and town in one session, play town right after creating characters or split initiation and town into two sessions?
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Shoo
Member

Posts: 4


« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2009, 07:28:47 AM »

Two more questions :)

4) Can there be conflicts between Dogs? Can one player say "I persuade your character that ...", start a conflict, win it and thus force another player to do as he wants?

5) What if player says "I persuade this sinner to repent and not to sin anymore" - is it a valid stake? Why can't Dogs use this in every town on every sinner?
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lumpley
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2009, 08:07:49 AM »

I like to answer rules questions. These are good.

1) It's just fine for the players to always choose only the good options. Some players occasionally choose the bad ones, but no player needs to.

2) In town creation, the GM says what sin is, objectively and with finality. The Dogs' in-play judgments have no power to change this procedural point.

What Dogs say isn't doctrine.

3) Initiation is important! If time's short, do have initiation, and be prepared to stop play before you've resolved the town. It's better to do character creation and initiation than it is to finish the town.

4) Everybody has to agree to the stakes of the conflict. If "I persuade your character that..." is okay with the other player, it's okay.

It's much, much better to go with stakes like "your character goes along with mine" than "I persuade your character." As GM, step in and reword stakes aggressively, when they seem iffy.

5) If "I persuade this sinner to repent and not to sin anymore" is okay with you as the GM, it's fine. Otherwise, no, it's not valid - everybody has to agree what's at stake. Again, reword stakes aggressively, and push for smaller stakes whenever you can.

Followup questions welcome!

-Vincent
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jlarke
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Posts: 19

Grump


« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2009, 10:53:34 AM »

Shoo, about the "bad" outcomes from Fallout, the appeal becomes a little clearer after you've played for a while. A player might start with a character concept that says his Dog is a man of peace who never shoots first. Three towns later, he has a character sheet full of traits like "Shoot the Sorcerors first 2d4" and "Always vigilant for ambushes 2d6." Those are useful traits, but wow, this man of peace has become a hardened shooter. The player can embrace that by improving or increasing those traits, but he's also free to show the character returning to his code of peace by reducing or eliminating those violent traits.
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My real name is Jason Larke.
Simon C
Member

Posts: 510


« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2009, 11:41:58 PM »

A mistake we made when we started was to wait too long to get to the "judging" part of the town, the bit where the Dogs know everything that's going on in the town, and they decide what to do about it.  We'd spend too long making sure we had all the information before making a move.  That meant by the time we got to making judgements, we were all tired, and rushing to get done for the night.  Don't do that!

As GM, do what the book says, and reveal the town as quick as you can.  Especially with players coming from a D&D background, they're going to be expecting to be hunting out the sin, uncovering secrets and stuff.  This should be like 10-20% of the town, tops.  The rest should be them deciding what to do about it, doing it, and dealing with the fallout from that.  Read the GM section again, because everything in there is gold.

Also, encourage the players, and don't be afraid to give them "out of game" information.  Go ahead and say "I think you know everythibng there is to know now", as well as "You can see this guy is lying" and "She's hiding something".
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Shoo
Member

Posts: 4


« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2009, 02:28:46 AM »

Thanks for the answers! I ran the game and it wasn't very good, but at least one player wants to give it another try, so I'll have a chance to make it right next time. :)

My main mistakes were that:
1) I didn't give players all the information soon enough;
2) the town wasn't sinful enough (I stopped on Demonic Influence);
3) there was a event that had to happen in three days (players were aware of that, though) that resulted in "This is what happens. What do you do?" - ... - "Okay, nothing more happens today, let's skip to the next day." I feel that this is boring and the game needs to be driven by actions of players, not by schedule.

On the other hand, what should I do if players say "okay, we wait and observe". Continue with progression of sin and describe observable changes?
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Noclue
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Posts: 351


« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2009, 10:25:17 PM »

Hi Shoo. Sorry to hear it didn't go well, but I'm glad you'll get another go at it. I think it might help if you start off with a consensus that you're all learning something new and there's bound to be misfires along the way. Make sure everyone is okay if things stumble a bit until you are all comfortable, and its okay to help each other if there's any confusion.

 I'd like to comment on some of your points:

1) I didn't give players all the information soon enough;

This is such an easy mistake to make. It happens all the time. One suggestion, look at your list of what everyone wants from the Dogs and decide before you play how all the NPCs are going to try to get those things to happen. And then have them try to get them to happen within the first 1/2 hour after the Dogs hit the town. So, if Sister Constance wants the dogs to annul her marriage because Brother Ezekiel is an adulterer, have a scene in mind where she immediately goes and tells the Dogs just that. If there's a murderer hiding in town, don't make the dogs hunt for clues. Throw the clues at them. Heck, have the ghost of the victim visit them in their sleep and accuse his murderer..anything to avoid an investigation.

Quote
2) the town wasn't sinful enough (I stopped on Demonic Influence);
There's a thread started by Simon C called something like [DITV] Two simple rules questions. Vincent shows Simon how to really amp up his town with moral complexity and nastiness. I think it is a worthwhile read on this subject. See, if you're going to give up all the information as in #1 above, what's the game going to be about? It's not about investigating and wandering around lost for hours. It's about all these hard choices the Dogs have to make with the information you've just dumped all over them.

Quote
3) there was a event that had to happen in three days (players were aware of that, though) that resulted in "This is what happens. What do you do?" - ... - "Okay, nothing more happens today, let's skip to the next day." I feel that this is boring and the game needs to be driven by actions of players, not by schedule.

On the other hand, what should I do if players say "okay, we wait and observe". Continue with progression of sin and describe observable changes?
[/quote]

Yeah, this whole setup is an invitation for inertia. It would probably be best not give the players a notion that they can just wait around for a Thing to occur, but here's the thing about schedules. You're in control of the progression of time. If you've got nothing interesting to do for the next three days, skip to the Big Event. If you have some things you want to see come out in play before then (and I should hope you do), frame scenes. Don't ask open ended "What do you do?" questions. Frame the Dogs into scenes. Your NPCs aren't going to wait no three days. The Demons don't want to wait three days. There should be a few NPCs that the Dogs have relationships with...put their bodies and souls in peril and see how the Dogs handle it.

Never, ever, ever "describe observable changes"...frame scenes. Don't let the dogs just hang out and watch. The town needs them to act.
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James R.
Noclue
Member

Posts: 351


« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2009, 10:27:58 PM »

Oh, and the thread I referenced above is wrong. It should be [DITV] What are demons for?
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James R.
Warren
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2009, 01:44:30 AM »

Don't ask open ended "What do you do?" questions.
Yeah, I agree. I don't know if I got this tip from Vincent or somebody, but I have found with Dogs (and a lot of other indie RPGs) it's a lot better to ask the players "OK, What do you want to achieve next?" rather than "OK, What do you do?". Just that turn of phrase makes the player response more active and I've found it's easier to skip time and frame scenes appropriately.
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lumpley
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2009, 05:43:03 AM »

Not from me! I say "what do you do" almost exclusively.

Shoo, here's a link to the thread Noclue's talking about: [Dogs] What are the demons for?

-Vincent
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Noclue
Member

Posts: 351


« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2009, 09:38:38 PM »

Yeah, I'm not suggesting that everyone should avoid the "What do you do?" question. I'm specifically recommending it for Shoo and his group because it seems to be leading to passive play where no one has a clear idea what they want to do next.
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James R.
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