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 Dogs in the Vineyard - first run. 
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Aarakocra
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Post Dogs in the Vineyard - first run.
Started a thread in the PftD forum, but realized that I should have placed it here. Whoops. Can an admin move it? Or will a cross link suffice?

The original thread is here:

Sorry for the confusion.

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Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:32 am
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Aarakocra
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Post Re: Dogs in the Vineyard - first run.
Additionally, if you've run this or similar system I'd appreciate any advice you might have (snarky or not) regarding what worked for you and what didn't...especially regarding things like:
  • Did you have any special house rules?
  • Did you hack the system at all?
  • How long did a given town's campaign last, in hours and/or sessions?

Thank you.

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Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:36 am
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Post Re: Dogs in the Vineyard - first run.
I loves me some Dogs. Seriously. It's one of my favorite games ever.

To answer your questions.
I never really needed any house rules.
Didn't hack it at all (at least conciously)
And most towns lasted, for us, around two sessions. Sometimes three if things got really messed up.

It helps if you play a series of towns. Four or Five in a row is good. I don't think you really get the full experience of dogs if you only do one town.

I read your other thread and things look pretty groovy. Would you be willing to post your Town write up? What stage did the town get to before the Dogs got there?


Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:28 pm
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Post Re: Dogs in the Vineyard - first run.
I'd really recommend not hacking it (well, except setting hacks) or house-ruling it until you've played the shit out of it. All the rules are there for a very good reason, even if you (the general "you", me included) can't always understand it from the text. Believe me, it comes alive in play.

Towns, in my experience (and in the text's advice), last for one session unless it's a big deal town. Two hours or more, for length.

The best advice from this guy (me) who has GMed Dogs:

-Do your town creation prep like the book says.
-Don't have in mind what the characters will do/how they will "solve" the problems in the town, if they do indeed.
-Try, as much as possible, to have no expectations for how the Dogs will approach the situation. This ties into the point above. I ran a game where the Dogs just came in killing and shooting, and was a little disappointed, I realized later, because I had hoped that they would go about things differently. But they didn't, and I shouldn't have had an expectation about it.
-It's not a mystery game. Don't have the Dogs running around trying to figure out what's gone wrong in the town. Actively reveal the town in play, meaning, have the problems rush at the Dogs or have people lie to the Dogs about the problems but tell the players that they're being lied to. I had one of the worst rpg sessions of my life when a GM made Dogs into a "find out what's wrong with the town! Roll to see if you discover it!" kind of game. God, it was awful.

It's a great game! I haven't played it nearly enough. People play it as a one-shot all the time, but it really doesn't become what it is unless you play it for several (6+, say?) sessions.

EDIT: I didn't read the other thread before I posted this, so I didn't know that you've already played. I just make this point to say that I didn't mean to be condescending and say you don't know the game or anything. How does your play of the game match up with my points above?


Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:09 am
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Post Re: Dogs in the Vineyard - first run.
I purchased a rulebook a few months ago and have read about half of it. I didn't find it very intuitive, but since my gaming group has been diluded I haven't been compeled to put a lot of time into learning the system either. Does anyone know where there is more material, websites, forums...etc. available geared toward teh novice player?

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Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:55 am
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Post Re: Dogs in the Vineyard - first run.
Here's a good place to start. Read some of those, then post there with any questions--a lot of people there have a lot of experience with Dogs.

It also may help to read some AP and get a sense for how towns are created (or just gank those towns for yourself!)


Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:52 am
Aarakocra
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Post Re: Dogs in the Vineyard - first run.
samachadreal wrote:
Would you be willing to post your Town write up? What stage did the town get to before the Dogs got there?


Here's the town itself as written in preparation. It's my first and frankly, it worked really well...but I think that's more due to the good role play of our PC's.

Town: Blackbrush Junction

Pride? BROTHER REUBEN (a farmer and the town steward) is working with a Territorial Authority man named GEORGE TUCKER to establish a silver mine to benefit the town on a lode found on his(the stewards) farm. SISTER ANNE (Reuben's wife) is proud of her husband's role in the coming towns perceived prosperity. In fact, she can't shut up about it. Their sons work the farm and one, NATHAN, is looking for a wife.

GEORGE TUCKER is a self-made industrialist, wealthy and a bit of a dandy. His daughter RACHEL is unattached, spoiled, bored and very pretty. (1840's smokin'! Look at that ankle!)

Injustice? SISTER DEBORAH and BROTHER CALEB, a farming family who gave up farming to become shopkeeps (kind of lazy, would rather have cleaner work.) The farm they gave up? Gave/sold/bartered it to BROTHER REUBEN for ownership of the dry goods store. "Shoulda' been ours." Bitter bitter bitter. Caleb's son JOSEPH is spent a lot of time mooning around RACHEL TUCKER. She "educated" him and dropped him...bored. He's missing now. Rachel has a lot of mooning "suitors" around her, vying for attention. JOSEPH AND NATHAN are the primaries around her.

Sin? Disunity - CALEB AND DEBORAH is undermining REUBEN, muttering that REUBEN's bringing in of the TA men will dilute the faithful, be a bad influence on the children and generally wreck the town.

Demonic Attacks? The demons are using TUCKER to inflame the town. He makes the husbands look plain and boring, causing strife which feeds into the growing disapproval of the town, while Rachel is essentially a 1840's Paris Hilton...predatory. Why? She's driven by demons.

False Doctrine: CALEB is starting to believe that The King of Life "chose him" to lead the town to prosperity...why else was the lode on his farm? His family believes him.

Hatred: CALEB's hatred of BROTHER REUBEN for "stealing" his "chosen right" is eating away at him.

Murder: Where is JOSEPH? Dead and in the silver mine, pushed down a shaft by NATHAN in an argument over Rachel. It wasn't an accident...or was it?

What do people want?

* BROTHER REUBEN wants the dogs to publicly state that the silver mine will be a good thing for the town.
* SISTER ANNE also wants to dogs to back her husband.
* BROTHER NATHAN wants to dogs to leave the murder/accidental death of JOSEPH undiscovered.
* BROTHER NATHAN also wants the dogs to convince his father to let him marry RACHEL.
* GEORGE TUCKER wants the dogs to kiss some babies and go away.
* BROTHER CALEB AND SISTER DEBORAH want the dogs to denounce BROTHER REUBEN and drive GEORGE TUCKER out.

The demons want:
* The silver mine to dilute the faith in the town. They know silver will bring a large flood of TA folk and nonbelievers.
* RACHEL's DEMON wouldn't say no to tempting a dog into bed, if for no other reason that to discredit one. Possibly murder one.

If the dogs never came:
* The town would become a bastion of sin at the hands of a silver rush.
* JOSEPHS death will be labeled an "accident".
* SISTER DEBORAH AND BROTHER CALEB will become faithless.

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Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:17 pm
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Aarakocra
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Post Re: Dogs in the Vineyard - first run.
hansel wrote:
How does your play of the game match up with my points above?


It matches up pretty well. I followed the book closely and liked the outcome.

During setup I kept in mind:
  • Come up with interesting NPC who want something from the dogs.
  • Provide enough flaws in the NPC's to give the dogs something to do, be it teach, judge, correct, uproot or ignore. (add you own additional verbs.)
  • Decide what the demons want.
  • Have an idea what would happen if the dogs never came, so if the PC's don't choose to pick up a potential thread, NPC's can go about their (sinful) business.

It was the most enjoyable GMing I've ever done. One PC who *always* and I mean ALWAYS fiddles with his phone during sessions never once picked it up. (Actually he did text his wife to tell her we'd be running late.)

:)

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Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:31 pm
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Post Re: Dogs in the Vineyard - first run.
Win! I've been running a lot of Dogs lately and really getting a kick out of it.


Sat Jun 05, 2010 10:12 pm
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Post Re: Dogs in the Vineyard - first run.
Noclue wrote:
Win! I've been running a lot of Dogs lately and really getting a kick out of it.


I bought it years ago, read it, and listened to actual play podcasts. But, until this session, I'd never actually gotten to play. Very impressed.

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