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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13299 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 51 - most online ever: 843 (October 22, 2020, 11:18:00 PM)
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Author Topic: Salvaging certain Afraid mechanics for Dogs  (Read 6322 times)

Posts: 38

« on: July 23, 2010, 05:07:41 AM »

So, I know that Vincent isn't happy with the state of Afraid, however, I think that some of the rule adjustments from Afraid could work really well in Dogs, so I'm just looking for opinions on which rules to bring over.

Right now these are the ones I'm pretty sure would work:
Afraid's Escalation track: Talking > Physical > Violence > Murder. This way if Sister June is coming at you with a knife, she can still be aiming to kill you with it.

Escalate to block/dodge
Escalation giving the option for others to join the conflict
: I think both of these are important. If you start at Talking and work your way up to Violence, you've already rolled all of your stats. These two rules really give you a reason to push to Murder.

Additionally, a rule not from Afraid, but one I think meshes well with the above:
If someone not in the conflict wants to join, they can do so by Escalating.

So, if Sister June is arguing with Brother Walt, but it stays at just talking, however, Brother Walt gets out of line, Brother Samuel can enter the Conflict by going to Physical and grabbing him. It works on the same idea as the official rules, just that now the outsider has a bit more control, but it still results in an Escalation.

On top of that, for group conflict:
An mob NPC can re-use its dice for as many Sees in a single round as it has members.

I had read in another thread that Paul changed this to keeping 1 die because the other players never felt like they were doing anything, but I'm not sure that should actually be the case.

1) If there's a single NPC, they don't get this advantage.
2) If there are two NPCs and 3 Dogs, this advantage doesn't carry over to the last Dog.
3) The ability for one Dog to assist another. If Dog1 Raises with 15, and the Mob Sees it, but Dog2 and 3 individually can't get past 15, it might seem like they can't do anything. But, on the contrary, the two remaining Dogs can assist eachother, allowing them to throw 3 dice against the Mob.

I think this does pretty nicely of capturing the feel of an equal number of opponents for the Dogs, and also really gives them a reason to assist each other. However, if it did end up being an issue, it could always be adjusted to the Mob having to add at least 1 new die for each See.

Lastly, I think Bonds would be a great fit for Dogs, especially with the whole moral question angle. "Oh, your character will never do X? Well how about now?" Perhaps only Complicated History can start with a Bond?

So, is there anything else that seems like it could be salvaged from Afraid to further enhance its parent system?

Posts: 86

« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2010, 03:25:45 AM »

I find the idea of allowing people to join an ongoing conflict rather problematic.

Dogs, from a gameplay point of view, is all about the limited dice pool you have to win a conflict with. Coming in after three rounds, when people have already spent a number of dice, with your own pool full, is basically a guaranteed win. Merely allowing this possibility risks people trying to 'game the system' by staying out of the actual conflict as long as possible before swooping in for the victory. I'd rather not see that happen.

That being said, I do get the whole point. You don't feel concerned at the beginning, but then the whole situation changes *during the conflict* and then you find yourself wanting to get involved.

You could ask people who are in the conflict to give and then start a new conflict for the same stakes and I would say that, by default, all 3 requirements can be met, but the problem with this is that it drags things out. People made efforts to try and win a conflict and now, you're asking them to start over from scratch just so that you can play along? Difficult situation...

Or, you could say that everyone always rolls the dice for the conflict and use the rule that you don't need to See a Raise if you don't feel concerned. This could also require the option to pass on your own Raise. Unfortunately, it suffers from the same problem as joining a conflic later on: saving up your own dice to strike when the opposition is running low. But, at least you're in the conflict so the opposition could specifically target you and force you to See. You could also state that, if you ever Pass instead of Raising, you'll need to See someone else's Raise before you can make a Raise.

Posts: 38

« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2010, 03:57:30 AM »

Except that you don't really get to save up your dice. In the Afraid system, if you enter into a conflict late, you don't get to roll all your Trait dice, just the ones applicable to the arena you're entering at. And you can't then start talking to roll those dice if they've already been rolled in the conflict.

Really, if a Dog entering a conflict mid-way is going to swing it, then a Dog having been in a conflict from the beginning would have meant that it would likely have already been over. Generally, the more Dogs you have in a situation the more likely they are to crush people.

And if that Second Dog does somehow manage to game the system, the opposing side just has to Give and then re-initiate. So, as long as that's always an option, there's not much that you can do to "cheat". But then again, if a Dog really wanted to cheat, all they'd have to do is give themselves a bunch of 2d8s in their belongings anyways.
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