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Author Topic: [DiTV] Jedi in the Vineyard  (Read 4801 times)
Salar
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Posts: 9


« on: July 29, 2009, 01:14:12 AM »

Hi all,

Got together with 2 friends last night and ran a game of Jedi in the Vineyard. A jedi master and padawan caught up in the turmoil of the last years of the Mandalorian war. It was the first time I'd run a star wars game using Dogs in the Vineyard, and I think a good time was had by all. One of the players is already looking at running JiTV for his Wednesday night group.

I have always loved the idea of playing in the star wars setting, but have always been put off by mechanic heavy games, even saga edition just seems too OTT, but something like Dogs always seemed a perfect fit. Rules that supported rather than constrained all the crazy-ass jedi-ness and moral uncertainty of being the guy (or gal) that has to sort out an entire planet's problems.

I have read and re-read the forge threads dealing with how to run a SW game using Dogs, and felt there was a lot of over complication going on, so I basically left it as is and I don't think the game suffered for it. The one major changes that was made was that...

    * All Jedi must take relationships with "The Force" as well as "The Dark Side", with The Dark Side getting a free 1d4 and any use of the Dark Side automatically producing fallout dice. All jedi have access to the Dark Side, its free to use, but its gonna cost.
    * Force powers are non defined, you have the dice for relationships with both light and dark sides, simply describe what you're doing!

Otherwise, its pretty much vanilla Dogs.

The lads jumped in straight away and grokked the conflict system very quickly making good use of the freedom available when it comes to force powers. There was one scene with jedi versus sith with both leaping hundreds of feet around a vast arena, lightsabers twirling and clashing in vivid bursts of light before the sith is sliced in two high above watching jedi masters (it was part of initiation at the end of character generation).

The game centered around murder, inter-species riots, the drug trade and corporate greed in a strategically important mining complex in the outer rim towards the end of the Mandalorian war. The lads were able to do a couple of conflicts with one of the players jedi backing out of a conflict with the wife of a murdered miner when she threw "You'll be gone tomorrow, I have to live here" in his face and he realised his demands for information could cause more damage than help.

We're getting together in a couple of weeks to continue the game as the 2 jedi are descending deep into the mining complex in search of Jarath the Hutt...

John
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Salar
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2009, 09:58:46 AM »

Hi all,
The main purpose of the above post was firstly to say that DiTV has not disappointed...again. I also wanted to post the basic changes I've made to DiTV to play Jedi as well as see something put together that makes it easier to play rather than trawl the forum. Saying that some of the other threads have been very useful, and you will notice I have stolen stuff from them verbatim. I apologise for not attributing them, but most of the original threads are...

http://indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=13410.0
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=18977.0
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=14311.0
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=19617.0
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=17263.0

We're playing in the Old Republic in the period towards the end of the Mandelorian War when a largely decentralized Jedi order is slowly coming out of isolation to aid the Republic. Not all support is so freely given and there are schisms within the order as to whether take up arms or not. The dark Side is also lurking beyond the fringes of Galactic space but there presence can be felt, manipulating and subverting behind the scenes. The jedi are still guardians of peace in the Republic, but there is discord amongst the order.

1: Character Generation.
Use the normal character generation process but add the following...

1.1     Species

1.1.1      Add a couple of traits to describe elements of that species that interest you.
1.1.1.1     We've just been reading the introductory blurb from the saga setting book 'Knights of the Old Republic" about each species and making traits out of them.

1.2     Traits

1.2.1     Add "I am a Jedi" or something similar.
1.2.2     Add the trait "Attuned to the Force" - advance it as per normal, but there must be a minimum of 1d4 at start of play.
1.2.3     Add the trait "_____________ the Dark Side" - This starts with a free 1d4 and may be advanced.
1.2.3.1     Add something like "wary of...", "tempted by...", "Feels the draw of..." etc.
1.2.3.2     Advancement of the Dark Side trait shows a deeper knowledge of the Dark Side while advancement of a Relationship with the Dark Side shows how far down the path of Darkness the player has taken his character.

1.3     Relationships

1.3.1     Add a Relationship to the Light Side of the Force. There must be a minimum of 1d4.
1.3.2     A Relationship to the Dark Side can be added at character generation.

1.4     Belongings

1.4.1     Each Jedi begins with a lightsaber that they made themselves - describe it and assign dice as per the normal Things rule.
1.4.1.1     It (like blasters) gains the +1d4 bonus.
1.4.2     At least one of the group should have a starship, just name it for now until I can think how to do starship combat.

1.5     Accomplishment is run as normal.

2: Conflict & Resolution
...is unchanged except for the following additions.

2.1     Using the Force is treated exactly like the normal trait it is.

2.1.1     There are no mechanical constraints on how the force is used, nor is there a list of specific traits for each effect. There’s nobody left in the world that has not seen at least one of the Star Wars movies, and perceptions of how the force can and should be used are best left up to the group as a whole and should be talked through at the beginning of the game. At the moment I'm in 2 minds about having separate traits for force abilities.
2.1.2     Dark Side trait dice may included in a jedi's see or raise as per the normal trait rules.
2.1.2.1     However, taking up Dark Side dice must be narrated in a meaningful way into the conflict. There must be anger, despair, revenge and/or bitterness in the use of those dice. The decision to use the dark side must always be a big thing!
2.1.2.2     Use of Dark Side dice by a jedi in a conflict always produces Dark Side Fallout. (see 2.3)
2.1.2.2.1     Sith or (non jedi) Dark Side Force users do not roll Dark Side Fallout in this case.

2.2    Fallout

2.2.1     Normal Fallout rules are used with the following hierarchy of  Fallout dice.
2.2.1.1     Just Talking d4 / Physical but not fighting d6 / Fighting without blasters or lightsabers d8 / Fighting with blasters or lightsabers d10

2.3     Dark Side Fallout

2.3.1     Any conflict in which a jedi brought dark side dice into play must roll for Dark Side Fallout at the conclusion of the conflict. This is as well as any normal Fallout received throughout the conflict.
2.3.2     Roll all the Dark Side trait dice used in that conflict as well either 1d4, 1d6, 1d8 or 1d10 from the Fallout hierarchy above.   
2.3.3     The results are treated the same as normal Fallout, however if any 1s are rolled, a slightly different Experience procedure is followed.
2.3.3.1     No experience from the Experience chart is chosen, instead, the GM should ask something along the lines of..."Will you start your journey down the Dark Side?", or "Will you continue along the Dark path?", or even "Will you succumb to the Dark Side and become Sith?"
2.3.3.2     Should the player say "Yes", the characters relationship with the Dark Side changes. Either add 1d or change the die type to a larger die.
2.3.3.3     Should the player say "No", launch an immediate conflict based around the question asked.
2.3.3.4     This conflict can be played as an internal dialogue with the GM tempting the character to the Dark Side, while the jedi seeks to stay true to the path of light.
2.3.3.5     The conflict is run as normal, with the player having access to dice from her Relationship with the Light Side and the GM the Dark Side Relationship dice as well as the Dark Side Influence dice.
2.3.3.6     Should the conflict be lost by the jedi, choose from the 2 options in 2.3.3.2.
2.3.3.7     There is normal Fallout from this conflict, but not dark Side Fallout.

2.4     Ceremony is not used.

2.5     Demonic Influence changes to Dark Side Influence but is used in the same manner.

2.5.1    The following hierachy of Dark Side Influence is used: Prejudice 1d10 / Injustice 2d10 / Violence 3d10 / Dark Side 4d10 / Dark Dominion 5d10

3.0     Creating Towns becomes Creating Planets.

3.1     The following manifestations of "what's wrong" are used, but follow the same procedure from the book.

3.1a     Someone in the populace begins to fear.
3.1b     Fear, unchecked, manifests as prejudice, either by or toward the fearful individual.

3.2a     Prejudice creates opportunities for anger, either from being the object of prejudice or from the prejudiced having a false sense of entitlement.
3.2b     Anger manifests as injustice, committed by the angry or in outrage against someone else's display of anger.

3.3a     Injustice creates opportunities for hatred, prompted by the unjust acts of others or by one's own unjust acts against others.
3.3b     Hatred manifests as acts of violence, perpetrated against objects of one's hate, or in retaliation against other violence. At this level, people may be seduced to the dark side by Dark Jedi already in existence.

3.4a     Violence, of course, leads to suffering.
3.4b     Suffering creates opportunities for the Dark Side, tempting one either by the power to cause more suffering or power to make the suffering stop. At this level, Dark Jedi may come into being on their own.

3.5     The Dark Side then vies for Dark Dominion, which basically means the Dark Jedi are in control of the community.

4.0     Between Towns is unchanged.

John


         

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Narmical
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Posts: 40

Mitch "Narmical" Morris


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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2009, 06:50:02 AM »

I realize this may be a little late but I just wanted to throw my ideas in.
You mentioned that you want the use of the dark side of the force to be "A big deal". Well i have a very good idea.

My suggestion would be to change the escalation levels as follows.

Talking
Physical
Violence (Fists, Blasters & Lightsabres)
Dark Side

This change would also necessitate that every jedi have a relationship with the dark side of the force.

The intent of the escalation system in the original Dogs is two fold, one to temp or force the players into violence and to raise situations like "do i relay want to shoot this pregnant woman to get my way".
Also as the Dark Side would be the highest escalation it would produce d10 fall out. Which is perfict. Using the darkside would be the most powerfull and most dangerous way of solving a problem! And would be the only way for a jedi to die outright.

This temptation / moral problems exactly mirrors the place that the dark side of the force fills in the star wars mythos. Lets imagine this situation, The jedi is fighting someone, he has escalated from talking though physical and is now at violence. Because of this, all of his attribute dice have already been rolled.
He is out of dice, his opponent is a Sith trying to destroy thousands of innocent lives. The only way to get more dice now, is to escalate to the dark side and roll your Dark Side relationship dice.

The question is, should you give and let the Sith kill thousands of innocents? or fall to the temptation of the dark side risking d10 fallout?

Imagine this similar situation, You are in a conflict that has started at talking and escalated to physical. At this point, if you escalate to dark side, skipping violence, you will roll a fist full of dice. This has a dynamic of the quick power that the dark side is portrayed as having in the mythology.

Any thoughts?
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lumpley
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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2009, 07:10:17 AM »

Narmical, that's astute.

-Vincent
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watergoesred
Member

Posts: 12


« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2009, 08:40:22 PM »

I like your observations too, but I want to clarify two things.

The jedi is fighting someone, he has escalated from talking though physical and is now at violence. Because of this, all of his attribute dice have already been rolled. He is out of dice, his opponent is a Sith trying to destroy thousands of innocent lives. The only way to get more dice now, is to escalate to the dark side and roll your Dark Side relationship dice.
Sounds like you're calling on the Dark Side as a trait. Typically, you can only bring relationship dice in to a conflict if the other in the relationship is opposing you or if the relationship itself is at stake.

That is, unless a relationship with the Dark side is treated like a relationship with a Demon. That would grant access to the situation's Dark Influence dice (Demonic influence), along with the ability to be Possessed, the manifestation of dark changes to appearance and the access to Dark powers (Cunning, Ferocity, Preservation, & Viciousness).

If you don't want all that (demonic) baggage, I'd just make the Dark Side, or even individual Force powers, traits or belongings that are narrated into the see or raise and bring their own dice, just like guns do with Dogs.

The question is, should you give and let the Sith kill thousands of innocents? or fall to the temptation of the dark side risking d10 fallout?
... on their Sith opponent?

I get the impression that you're suggesting the Jedi PC is risking taking d10 fallout themselves by escalating to the Dark Side, which is not correct. Of course, there is the risk that the Sith will respond in kind and the Jedi will suffer fallout appropriate to the details of the Sith's raises; but the Sith opponent will likely resort to the Dark Side irrespective of whether the Jedi PC does or not.

If you did want the Force user to take Fallout themselves directly from using the Force, follow Vincent's idea for adding "magic" abilities: the Force adds a help die to a See or Raise, at the cost of the Force user taking Fallout for using the Force. The size of the Fallout could be appropriate to the details of the See or Raise, or could be listed next to the Force power's helping die.
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oli
Narmical
Member

Posts: 40

Mitch "Narmical" Morris


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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2009, 01:57:45 PM »

On the dark side as trait vs dark side as relationship, certianly it would be apropreate to use the deamon rules. Maping those rules onto the source material, the emoror would have at least one physical manifistation.

I do think using a relationship is more apropreat in this case, even if you don't use the full blown deamon rules all the time. According to the movies, and to the offical RPGs calling on the dark side of the foce puts your relationship to the force as part of the conflict. The idea is presented that the more you give in, the more you want to  give in the future.

It dawns on me that the dark side sits somewhere in beween the concepts of a relationship with a sin, and a relationship with a deamon.

Quote
Of course, there is the risk that the Sith will respond in kind and the Jedi will suffer fallout appropriate to the details of the Sith's raises; but the Sith opponent will likely resort to the Dark Side irrespective of whether the Jedi PC does or not.

I was talking about the situation where the sith escalates in response. The GMing rules of dogs instruct one to push the players to escalate, to to have the gm do the escalating himself.  Although it may be appropriate to have the sith jump directly to using the dark side.in a particular situation, i think its far more interesting and far more in the spirt of the game, to alow the conflict to escalate naturally.
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mike_the_pirate
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Arr-Kansas is Kansas for pirates.


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« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2009, 09:00:09 PM »

I'm impressed with the astute quality of narmical's suggestion. That's why he's my co-host.
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henebry
Member

Posts: 16


« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2010, 12:47:57 PM »

I'm in midst of planning a Jedi-themed Dogs game right now, so I really appreciate your detailed ideas here, Salar.

I particularly like Salar's ideas about Dark Side fallout. In a conflict where a player brings in the Dark Side, any experience gained is necessarily experience involving a stronger grasp of (and stronger temptation to use) the Dark Side.

As for how to handle escalation to the Dark Side, Narmical's suggestion doesn't quite make sense to me. You can do deadly damage with a lightsaber or blaster, so it's strange to think of d10 fallout as only falling to Jedi who have escalated to the Dark Side.

Moreover, it's worth noting that in the Core Rules when you escalate from talk all the way up to guns, you typically don't get any Stat dice for that final escalation—just the Gun dice. That's still tempting because a big gun gives you d8+d4. But by contrast it's hard to see how a Jedi with "I Fear the Dark Side" 1d4 would be tempted to roll that trait in.

Here's what I'm planning to do:

1) rename Stats so that they resonate with Star Wars ideology (think Yoda's "Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.") Since I'll be running the game for kids age 12, I'm also trying to avoid words like "Acuity":
Acuity becomes Speed, Body becomes Strength, Heart becomes Passion, and Will becomes Discipline. Those last two are especially crucial, since passion is a path to the Dark Side and Discipline is the essence of the Jedi Order.

2) boldly change a core rule: Jedi can tap their Passion Stat a second time, but only if they also roll in their "I ____ the Dark Side" trait at the same time. After the conflict, the Jedi's Passion and Dark Side would be rolled in with Fallout as per Salar's Dark Side Fallout rule (which is really more of a rule for Dark Side experience).
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Narmical
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Posts: 40

Mitch "Narmical" Morris


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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2010, 03:47:05 PM »

As for how to handle escalation to the Dark Side, Narmical's suggestion doesn't quite make sense to me. You can do deadly damage with a lightsaber or blaster, so it's strange to think of d10 fallout as only falling to Jedi who have escalated to the Dark Side.

Moreover, it's worth noting that in the Core Rules when you escalate from talk all the way up to guns, you typically don't get any Stat dice for that final escalation—just the Gun dice. That's still tempting because a big gun gives you d8+d4. But by contrast it's hard to see how a Jedi with "I Fear the Dark Side" 1d4 would be tempted to roll that trait in.

I will try and clarify my idea on escalation.
In the movies the dark side is always described as a quick path to power. One that is tempting but dangerous. That is what I am trying to mimic with my escalation system. Firstly in plain DiTV when you escalate you get to roll 2 stats, provided you haven't rolled them already. The stat pairs are made in such a way that if you escalate gradually from talking to guns the final escalation to guns you do not get to roll any stats. But if you were to jump there, you do intact roll stats.

The conflict rules in DiTV are to resolve a conflit of wills, not to find out who gets hurt. The latter being how DnD works. As such dying from a gun fight's d10 fallout is an unintended consequence. Something that happen that you didnt nessicaly intend. Let me give an example.

"Brother Tom's wife is not joining you for dinner in the dining room, you raise issue with this practice"

In this conflict, whats at stake is "Does Brother Tom's wife join you at the table". If you decide to pull your gun on Brother Tom, he could die, but at no time was that your goal.

Translating that to the Jedi, having the light side of the force do d8 fallout confers control onto that power. Never in million years will a Jedi, using only the light side of the force accidentally kill someone. Sure, a Jedi using only the light side of the foce could set sates of "Killing the Sith Lord in battle" and if the Jedi wins, then an intentional death occurs.

The dark side on the other hand by being the highest escalation level is thus the last resort of a desperate Jedi. You will find that the situation will come up that something very important to the Jedi is at stake, and he has escalated but not yet to the dark side and is out of options. The choice is  "use the dark side or fail". This will happen because Vincent designed the game to force these choices.  The Dark Side is no more deadly. Using only pushing around you could set the sakes "Do i kill the sith lord" and if your opponent gave, the sith lord would die. The important part of giving the dark side d10 is the danger of the dark side. Both when its used by the players and when used against the player. If the stakes do not put the players lives in danger, once the oponoed escalates to the dark side, suddently. the life is in danger.

Also the point of guns (and by extension the dark side) give a bonus d4 to the conflict, is not to make them more powerful, but to make them more likely to cause fallout. the more d4s you roll, the more low numbers your roll, the more low numbers, the more often you will need 3 dice to see, and thus the more fallout is generated. When the guns or the dark side comes out, fall out is more likely to happen because of that d4.

Here is the important thing to think about when modifying the escalation system. The levels are not about increasing power, but about desperation vs downside. Each time you escalate you get another chance to get your way, but if your opponent escalates back, your in grater danger of fallout. The final level is also more subtle. The idea of it is "do i really want to soot and possibly kill someone over this". The last level is dangerous to the person using in because of that mandatory d4. Something unintended will happen when the guns are drawn. This situation must be preserved by the changes in order for the game to function correctly.

Ask your self, in Star Wars, are Jedi reluctant to use there Lightsabers because something bad might happen? Do Jedi think to them selves "is this conflict worth pulling my lightsaber"? Or is it "Is breaking the tyrant of the Empire worth giving in to the Dark Side"?
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Gareth_Lazelle
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Posts: 7


« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2010, 07:12:50 AM »

Maybe dark-side fallout dice (for the opposition - not you) could be determined in a similar way to rituals? That is, the fallout depends upon the specific action taken,

So perhaps...
Using force-telekineses to hurl objects at your foe: D6 (i.e.: equiv. to physical fallout)
Using force-lightening to attack your foe: D10 (or even D12 perhaps?)
etc... etc...

I like the idea of using a stat again at the cost of taking dark-side fallout with a bunch of extra dice, you'll need to be careful that the cost doesn't reduce the temptation for a player to use the powers too much though! And maybe also reduce the ability of dark side fallout to wound (maybe roll it as a separate pool, with its own experience/fallout options?)
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Gareth_Lazelle
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Posts: 7


« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2010, 07:28:06 AM »

1.4.2     At least one of the group should have a starship, just name it for now until I can think how to do starship combat.
How about something like this as a basis (might also work for any vehicular combat):

All vehicles have a bunch of traits with a single numerical score (or dice?), whenever you try to perform the noted action your first die is gained from the vehicle and is of the value noted, as well as a "crew rating" reflecting the support provided by having a crew (added in the same way the mob-rules work perhaps),

So perhaps a X-wing might have the following:

X-Wing
Evade Anti-fighter fire: 6 (or 1D8?)
Attack Fighter: 6 (or 1D8?)
Attack Starship: 2 (or 1D4?)

And a Nebulon-B frigate:
Shields 6
Attack Fighter: 2
Attack Starship: 6
Crew: +4d

Imperial Star Destroyer
Shields: 8
Attack Fighter: 4
Attack Starship: 8
Crew: +6d

So your X-wing pilot performing a raise might raise by declaring an attack on the frigate, pushing forwards one dice and using the fighters "Attack Fighter: 6" trait as the second dice with a score of six (or rolling 1D8, or whatever).

The frigates captain (who rolled four extra D6 at the start of the combat reflecting the frigates crew) pushes forwards a dice as well as using the frigates shield rating of 6 to withstand the attack.

I'm in two minds as to whether the "bonus dice" should require you to also discard a dice or not - discarding a dice might help with figuring out turned blows?

Groups of fighters could use some variation on the mob rules to improve their stats?
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henebry
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Posts: 16


« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2010, 01:19:38 PM »

Here's what I've been thinking in regard to starships:

1) you need a new system for the "Arena", to replace "Talking, Physical, Fighting, Guns." My choice at the moment is "Posturing, Racing, Ramming, Dogfighting."

2) you need a system to replace some, if not all character stats with starship stats. In the interest of keeping my system simple (at least to start off with), I've decided that when starship fighting you get all your normal stats except your Strength, which comes from the ship. If you have several people crewing the ship, they can each contribute a different stat, so the guy with the best acuity contribute that stat, while the gal with the best heart contributes that stat. Some ships have a min or max crew (or both), and that functions as a limit on the # of chars that contribute stats in a starship conflict. NPC crewmembers give 2d6 standard.

3) Traits: Characters serving as crew can roll in Traits only if the trait is relevant to their role in the crew. The ship’s trait can be rolled in at any point, as can one Astromech droid.

Thus, each ship comes with Strength dice in addition to the standard dice from a Thing, but otherwise are like other gear in the game. Yes, I've upped the dice a bit (one very large ship comes with 3d8 Thing dice), but this is the exception, not the rule.

Note that this isn't a system for running fights between X wings and Imperial Star Destroyers. I think it's a mistake to stat out a Star Destroyer or anything 1000x larger than a player character's ship. But perhaps it would work, so long as you set clear limits on the possible when negotiating Stakes: in Episode V, Han and Leia and Chewie avoid capture by a Star Destroyer. That's possible, whereas it wouldn't be possible to fight one head-to-head.

When possible, though, I'd try to make space combat into a conflict carried out between characters, with stakes set as appropriate to the scenario. At the end of Episode IV, for instance, the Rebels have plans that make it just possible for an X-wing to take out the Death Star. I'd play it out as a conflict, though, between Luke and Darth Vader, not Luke and Death Star:
 
Luke starts the conflict at Racing, rolling in his own Heart and his ship's Strength. Later, when he escalates to Dogfighting, he rolls in the rest of his stat dice. He also has several NPC allies (Wedge, etc) who contribute Stat dice.

He rolls his relationship to the Empire at the start of conflict as well.

In the course of the battle, he would roll in dice for R2D2 (astromech droids provide special dice for space combat in my game), for the Force, for the ghost of Obi-Wan, etc.

Meanwhile he's facing Darth Vader (who's trying to stop the destruction of the Death Star). Vader gets his relationship with the Empire at the start of the conflict, and he rolls in the Stats for Racing as he tries to catch up to Luke's X-Wing, plus stat dice from NPC helpers. He also escalates to Dogfighting. And he gets more dice from the Death Star's defenses (a thing) and probably a die to reflect the difficulty of the target Luke's trying to hit.

At  the climax of the conflict, Han and Chewie come in from out of nowhere (since they weren't present at the start of the conflict, these PCs roll in as an improvised Thing—in this case I'd give them the "Thing" dice for the Millenium Falcon, even if doing so might not be quite according to core rules). This happens at just the moment when Luke needed dice to avoid taking the blow from one of Vader's shots. I'd like to think that their entry allows Luke to Reverse the Blow and then raise Vader prohibatively. 

In the aftermath, Vader's left spinning out into deep space (some d6 and some d10 fallout, probably) and the heroes return in triumph.
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Gareth_Lazelle
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Posts: 7


« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2010, 11:07:02 PM »

Some very neat ideas - I like the suggested arena system, and it's much more streamlined than my suggestions above,

I am slightly concerned that (other than the single strength stat) all ships are functionally identical? Would it be better to give the ships all four stats and then allow characters to bring in traits applicable to their position (i.e.: piloting if they are the pilot, gunnery if they are the gunner, repairs if they are on damage control, etc)?
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henebry
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Posts: 16


« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2010, 09:54:22 AM »

You could give ships their own stats, and then allow players to complement those stats with their own stats. I tend to be leery of making big changes to a working game system, so I only made the single change (Ship Strength in place of Body) because using a character's Body stat in a ship-to-ship dogfight seemed too blatantly laughable.

My guess is that this doesn't throw off game balance too much because in the core game Body is actually better than the other stats (it keeps you alive when you have a 12+ Fallout roll). So long as ship-to-ship combat is an occasionial event, replacing characters' Body with the ship's Str functions to rebalance the value of the various stats.

The fundamental problem here is that Vincent's game takes the spotlight off of Things and puts it on people. Another game designer working up a Western might give far more prominence to guns and horsebreeding. Vincent allows players to pump flavor in (if they want) with narrativist descriptions of their guns and horses, but gives such detail no mechanical value. It's just Thing or Big Thing or Really Nice Thing or Crap Thing.

The Star Wars movies put a spotlight on people too, but fanboy culture tends to fetishize the stuff that people carry: Dooku's lightsaber, or Han's blaster, or (even more) Luke's X-Wing and the Millenium Falcon.

My solution to this "problem" is severalfold:
  • I've created little cards for Things, providing a picture as well as some descriptive text and the Thing's dice. This provides an outlet for the fetishist in all of us. We get a card with a picture! (I'd be willing to share these, if there's a file upload feature on this forum)
  • I've increased the range of dice for things, so that some things (especially ships) get 3d6 or even 3d8 Thing dice.
  • I've given some things special powers, using the rules that Vincent posted here for magic some time back (and referenced just above by watergoesred). For instance, the Alpha-3 V-Wing fighter has 2d8 Thing dice, but can also take a Strafing Run, rolling in +1d10 on that See or Raise (this functions like a helper die) at the cost of 1d8 Fallout.

If you want further differentiation, you can have different ships get different Ship Strength stats. You take it a step further and give ships 4 different Stats, allowing characters to augment those stats with their stats. The danger is that you're creating an elaborate add-on system, changing the balance and the flavor of the game system in ways that are hard to predict. So I decided to treat ships as Vincent treated horses, as a Thing that gives a character a slight advantage.

One last thing: the more important that gear gets, the more important that gear acquisition be balanced in some way. Gear is left unbalanced in Dogs. You get a pool of dice to assign to Stats, Traits and Relationships, but you get exactly as much or as little gear as you want, with the caveat that everyone agrees its reasonable that your character is lugging all that gear around. That's a powerful gesture on Vincent's part, but it seemed to me insufficient to counter the allure of the shiny, high-tech gear of the SW universe, especially since I was adding dice and special powers to certain gear.

My solution was to create a rudimentary economy. Jedi start with 6 credits worth of gear, non-Jedi with 8, and Senators with 9. (Jedi get less to balance the fact that Jedi can get access to their Passion stat a second time by playing footsie with the Dark Side.) Each credit buys roughly one "die," so a big high quality blaster (2d8) costs 2 credits, and so does an Alpha-3 V-Wing. Special powers like the V-Wing's Strafing Run don't cost extra because (I figure) the cost is borne in the form of fallout when you use the power. Yes, I realize that a 2d8 big blaster is a better deal than a 2d6 pistol-sized blaster (they both cost just 2 credits), but I didn't want to get into an elaborate purchasing system. I would have preferred to leave it simple, as it was left in the original game.
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