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[Dogs in the Vineyard] The Rivers of Babylon - Recruitment!

simonwolfsimonwolf an expressway late at nightonly halogen lights shine mysteriouslyRegistered User regular
edited October 2011 in Critical Failures
"For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion."

- - -

"We went west. We went through massive canyons, dryer than they were deep. We roughed mountains, so high they held the angels. We knew fields so long they must've surely circled the Earth their length over. We saw oceans and sinkpits, we drank from His pools, and we felt their cool refrain on our faces. We walked until our horses gave out, and our feet went ragged, and we knew, yet, we were not but a fraction of the road to be traveled, a bead of sweat towards the work that had to be done."

- - -



Dogs in the Vineyard is about God’s Watchdogs, young men and women called to preserve the Faithful in a hostile frontier territory. They travel from town to isolated town, carrying mail, news, and doctrine, healing the sick, supporting the weary, and pronouncing judgment upon the wicked. Sharpshooters, Cowboy-Priests, and Holy Horsemen alike - a town welcomes you with celebration and honor, but what you’re there to do is stir up its dirt and lay bare its sins.

The setting is a fantasy inspired by pre-statehood Utah, the Deseret Territory, toward the middle of the 19th century. Picture a landscape of high mountains, icy rivers and cedar woods, falling away westward into scrublands, deserts, buttes and swells. The summer skies are heartbreaking blue, but the winters are long and killing. "Mountain Men", ancestors of those who properly own this land before it was ravaged from them, maintain an uneasy truce with the frontiers in some places, and outright wage war with them in others,

Picture religious pioneers, fleeing persecution and violence in the East. They’re trying to establish a society based on faith and righteousness out in this frontier. They’ve made the long trek westward but they’re still in danger: their towns are small and isolated, vulnerable to attack from without, sin and corruption within. Under pressure, their pride becomes sin, their anger becomes violence, their resentments become hate. Winter and the demons howl...

You are God’s Watchdogs, holding the Faith together.
- - -

"I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment."

- - -


Each session is a single town, where the Dogs arrive to deliver mail, perform ceremony, preach wisdom, and, most importantly, deal with any problems that may arise. The Watchdogs have unspoken authority to drag sinners out into the street and shoot them, convert them to the Faith, or try to ease them of their hardships (even if their authority is sometimes challenged by non-believers, or the local Law who doesn't want any trouble in his town).

The Dogs must deal with the sin, they must lay Judgement, but how they do that is up to them: do they preach and speak wisdom? Are they diplomatic? Are they fair? Or will all sins meet the same fate at the end of a gun?

The ethics and moral problems of how to deal with each case are what makes Dogs in the Vineyard so fun to watch. One Dog is out for blood, the other seeks to find a more peaceful solution: how will things resolve?
- - -

"Whatsoever thou takest in hand, remember the end, and thou shalt never do amiss."

- - -

The whole name of the Faith is the Faith of All Things in the King of Life, Reborn.
The whole name of the Dogs is the Order Set Apart to the Preservation of Faith and the Faithful. Casually, the King’s Dogs or Life’s Watchdogs. Dogs are always called Brother or Sister by their first name: Brother Jeremiah, Sister Patience.
The Faith is the only true religion in the world. All other religions are a) actively demonic, cults created by Faithful leaders fallen into sin; b) corrupt and decadent, like the majority religions of the East; or c) idle nonsense, like most of the religions in the wider world.
God's true name to those in the Faith is the King of Life.

Representatives of the Territorial Authority will generally be either a claims officer or other bureaucrat, or a circuit rider not unlike you Dogs. Only larger towns will have any sort of Territorial law enforcement — a sheriff — but he’s most likely to be Faithful, elected to the job by his congregation. The Territorial Authority’s real concern is that taxes are paid and nobody interferes with the mail — it worries about “keeping the peace” only insofar as lawlessness interferes with taxes and mail.
It’s worth pointing out that the Dogs are authorized by the Faith to do some things — like shoot sinners in the street — that are against the law. Exercise your authority cautiously.

If you're thinking post-Civil War firearms, you've got it all wrong. This is a time before the Colt Navy, you're carrying heavy-slung guns. Lower profiles, massive bores. You make your own cartridges - lead bullet, twist of gunpowder, nitrate-soaked paper - and you load it the hard way. Cartridges down one end, caps down the other, put the cylinder back in. These guns are load, smoky, and sometimes the you misfire, or it jams. But they're accurate, and they put a mighty large hole in a man.

Most converts come from Back East; practically everyone born out here in the mountains is raised Faithful. Being from Back East means that you’ve left friends and family behind and made the trek westward to join the body of the Faith. One person out of ten dies on that trek.

The Faith is organised by a series of nested domains of spiritual authority, called Stewardship. It's a heirarchy of responsibility from each individual Faithful up to the Prophets and Ancients of the Faith, who derive their authority from the King of Life. You're responsible for anyone within your Stewardship, and you're responsible to whoever holds Stewardship over you. When the End comes, you'll be judged for how you fulfilled your Stewardship, and nothing less.

Now, families are one thing - anyone who isn't in the pair of married adults in the household fall under their Stewardship, and those married adults are under the Stewardship of the husband. Local families are under the Stewardship of local officials, who fall under the regional officials, who fall under the Prophets and Ancients.

Most communities will only have one local official, their Steward, who leads the branch. Sometimes, though, if the branch is big enough, there'll be Counselors, who squeeze between the families and the Steward of the branch.

Now, I hear you asking, what about the Dogs? Well, the Dogs have authority over the congregation, which is every Faithful who isn't a Steward at the Dogs' temple, or one of the Prophets and Ancients. Notice that the branch Steward has Stewardship over the families in his congregation, while the Dogs assigned to that route have Stewardship over his congregation as a whole, including him in his official capacity. Dogs have no authority to solve the problems of families or individuals, that’s the Steward’s job, except as the problems spill over into the congregation as a whole.

In the end, you don't have Stewardship over your role in a family, your congregation, or the Faith; those all belong to your Steward.

I bet this was the first section you decided to look at.

Here's the deal with love and sex: between a husband and wife, all sex and love is virtuous. That's the only circumstance where sex is definitely not a sin. All other sex is a sin, except when it comes to two unmarried people, where it's probably a sin. That caveat is there because, sometimes, the King of Life is a realist. He'll prefer a loving family to official recognition.

Love, now, this is where it gets tricky; between two men, two women, a married woman and an unmarried man, or two people married to other people? No romantic love is virtuous there. Between two unmarried people, or between a married man and an unmarried woman, love can be virtuous.

That's because polygamy is a fundamental part of the Faith, a reward men for long-term service and dedication. So it's polygyny, really, because polyandry ain't allowed at all. The number of wives you can possess is mostly determined by those with Stewardship over you, and your fulfillment of duty - but as a rule of thumb, nobody will make as many wives as they have decades to their age. So, no man will have more than two wives if he's thirty. Get the picture?
- - -

But all this fluff is useless unless we have some players! You don't need the rulebook: The requisite rules for character creation are below. A good group of Dogs has three members, so that's what we're shooting for - three players. Depending on interest level, I'll extend signups for a while, but they'll most likely close within a week. May the best characters win?

A few points about this game:
- The game itself will be played in PbP format.
- If you want to run your initiation conflict with me on IRC, that's great! I am usually on most of the time, but American evenings are generally my zone of habitation. Also, American mornings. Also, whenever you ask me to be around.
- If you want to see how the game looks in play, I suggest you check out either of these two (abandoned) games - robotsunshine's and one of my old ones.

Some Helpful Things
Antique Guns
Appropriate clothing for the era (and again)
Fiery Words for a Dog to say, from the Book of Life

This OP was shamelessly stolen from robotsunshine's Dogs in the Vineyard OOC thread, and edited by myself!

simonwolf on


  • simonwolfsimonwolf an expressway late at night only halogen lights shine mysteriouslyRegistered User regular
    edited October 2011

    You play one of God's Watchdogs, called to service in the Faith. You travel between isolated congregations called "Branches" and hold the Faith together. You have a long coat - colorful, beautiful, hand-pieced and quilted by your friends and family back home. It is your badge, a powerful symbol of your authority. You represent Judgment and Mercy on behalf of God, whom we call The King of Life.

    Starting characters can be male or female, but are between 18-23. They've had two months or so in training, education, and ceremony to prepare, and they know one another. They are unmarried virgins, trusted to travel in mixed company.

    When your character arrives at a Branch and finds a problem, he or she can take whatever steps are necessary, and no one can justly complain. Your character acts on behalf of the King of Life - if anyone has a problem, they can take it up with Him.

    Does this mean you can't sin? No. But you're the only one allowed to judge your character's actions. Your conscience is in your own hands - are you a remorseless monster, or a destroying angel? The game can't tell the difference.

    STEP ONE: What's your background?
    - Well-Rounded: Your character is straightforward, balanced, and effective, a good choice for men born into the Faith.
    17d6 in Stat dice, 1d4 4d6 2d8 in Trait dice, 4d6 2d8 in Relationship dice

    - Strong History: Your character has a good education, lots of experience, or specialized training.
    13d6 in Stat dice, 3d6 4d8 3d10 in Trait dice, 1d4 3d6 2d8 in Relationship dice

    - Complicated History: Your character had a troubled, dangerous, or challenging upbringing. It's a good choice for those converted into the Faith.
    15d6 in Stat dice, 4d4 2d6 2d10 in Trait dice, 5d6 2d8 in Relationship dice

    - Strong Community: Your character is socially adept, and from a strong, caring family. It's a good choice for women born into the Faith.
    13d6 in Stat dice, 1d4 3d6 2d8 in Trait dice, 4d4 4d8 3d10 in Relationship dice

    - Complicated Community: Your character is socially vulnerable, or from a broken or destructive family.
    15d6 in Stat dice, 6d6 2d8 in Trait dice, 4d4 2d6 2d8 2d10 in Relationship dice

    STEP TWO: Place your stats
    Divvy up those Stat dice between your stats (don't roll them!). If you had, say 10d6 in Stat dice, you could put 2d6 in one Stat, 3d6 in another, another 3d10 in a third Stat, and the last 2d6 in another.

    The minimum for each stat is 2d6, with no maximum.

    ACUITY - You are perceptive, alert, educated, clever, savvy, or well-read.
    BODY - You are big, healthy, strong, wiry, muscular, tall, graceful, quick, or steady.
    HEART - You are compassionate, attractive, charming, gentle, courageous, enduring, faithful, or likable.
    WILL - You are tenacious, aggressive, confident, unflinching, strong-willed, or unshakable.

    STEP THREE - Traits!
    You get to make these up. Whatever you think would be relevant or interesting to your line of work: Horsemanship is a good one, and so is Preaching and Biblical Lore. But you can also word them to be little tidbits of history, like, "My mama used to read to me from the Book of Life every night before bed" could be a Trait. Or it could be facts about yourself - "I taught myself how to shoot a gun".

    Either way, give yourself some and assign your Trait dice to them. You can double up dice as much as you want, but only one type of die per Trait (you can have Horsemansip 1d6 or 7d6, but you can't have Horsemanship 1d6 1d10 or anything like that). If you need some Trait inspiration, write "I'm a good shot" as your first Trait, and then use that to branch out - where did you learn to shoot? From whom? Why did you learn to shoot? etc.

    When assigning dice, don't match die size to Traits by competence (higher die sizes are better), but by how important or interesting that Trait is to your character. "I can shoot a can from a mile away 1d4" versus "I'm not sure about my line of work, and I doubt myself 3d10" means that the latter is a lot more important to you, and factors in prominently to how things will unfold.

    d4 - such Traits make it more likely you'll suffer consequences in conflicts. Take them as disadvantages, but also as complications: "I'm a good shot 1d4" means that you can shoot, but when the guns come out, your life gets more complicated.

    THE RULE - You HAVE to either take "I'm a Dog" as a Trait, or in the next step, take a Relationship with the Dogs. Your choice.

    STEP FOUR - Relationships
    Name a couple of people your character has some sort of relationship with and assign them dice (following Trait dice rules above). Don't make many, save the dice for later on in play, when you can make new Relationships on the fly.

    Blood - when you meet kin, you get then as a Relationship for fre at 1d6. You can spend dice if you want to change that.

    STEP FIVE - Belongings
    Name some things you carry with you. If you decide they need dice, give them to them (as in, do you imagine they'll come up in a relevant way in conflict with other characters? Weapons will, and so may bibles. Use your judgement, but don't worry - you can improvise their dice on the fly if you need to). There's no limit, just what you could reasonably carry with you. We won't get picky.

    Dogs might carry books, stationary and pens, a water flask, or other things. They definitely carry their coat, a gun, the Book of Life, a horse, and a jar of consecrated earth,

    Giving them dice - give them the appropriate dice if normal.

    Normal thing - 1d6
    Excellent things - 2d6
    Big things - 1d8
    Excellent and big - 2d8
    Crap things - 1d4

    A good knife 2d8
    Old boots 1d6
    An old, bad revolver 2d4 (1d4 for being crap, +1d4 for being a gun)
    Massive shotgun 1d8 1d4

    If the thing is a gun, it gets an additional 1d4 no mater what it is.

    Your coat - give this dice, and write down what patterns and colors it has. Most coats start at 2d6, being excellent. Feel free to change that though.

    SIXTH AND FINAL STEP - Your accomplishment
    Say something that you have your character accomplished duirng initition into being a Watchdog. (Maybe it's, "I hope I earned the respect of my peers," or, "I hope I learned to solve conflicts without violence," or, "I hope I shook my fear of all things demonic and corrupt." Don't pick something that'll break your character if it goes sour.)

    Next, you and the GM (hey, me!) will have a mini-conflict, which will perfectly explain the dice rolling rules of the game to you (if you can tell if one number is higher than another, you can do this). At the end of it, we'll discover how your accomplishment went, and you'll get a new d6 Trait for it, even if it went bad.

    Your name is going to be Brother or Sister something. Here's some great names, just for Dogs in the Vineyard:

    By the time you're 12 or 13, your Branch Steward is possibly considering you to be a Dog. The Steward guides and watches you up until about age 17. At 18-20, the Steward interviews you and asks you to be a Dog. You say your goodbyes, pack, and head East to the Dogs' temple in Bridal Falls City. You train for two months, along with about 15 others, depending on the spiritual haul.

    Your teachers' goal isn't to make you a Dog - that's your job. They are there to:
    - prove or cull you
    - train you
    - educate you
    - initiate you
    - inspire you,
    and what you do with that is up to you.

    Meanwhile, at home, your family and town are busy making your coat. Everyone comes to ceremoniously give a stitch. The condition and beauty of your coat reflects those back home. Afterwards, it is blessed with consecrated earth and a laying-on of hands. Towards the end of your training regimen, you receive mail from home, and it's your coat, along with letters and notes.

    You serve as a Dog for about three or four years. Your coat gets damaged, and the communities you serve will repair it or replace it out of respect. This is a typical case, and your Dog's mileage may vary.

    Next, you get a route and companions. You return to the Temple about twice annually.

    Your duties:
    - deliver mail and news
    - participate in local ceremony or office
    - deliver doctrine or interpretation to the Branch and its Steward
    - preach
    - participate in (but hold yourself away from) social functions and celebrations
    - help out with physical work

    It goes without saying that Dogs don't drink (booze, coffee, or black tea - instead, they go for herbal tea or soft drinks), and only old people smoke anyways.

    So now you have all that done, what's your character sheet going to look like? Here's an example I whipped up:
    Brother Eli Messenger - Well-Rounded History

    Statistics - 17d6
    Acuity - 5
    Body - 5
    Heart - 3
    Will - 4

    Traits - 1d4, 4d6, 2d8
    I spent a year in the Territorial Armies - 1d4
    I had discipline beaten into me - 1d6
    I'm loyal to a fault - 1d6
    I'm know how to shoot - 2d6
    I was born in the saddle - 1d8
    I've got a big iron on my hip - 1d8

    Relationships - 4d6, 2d8
    The Order Set Apart to the Preservation of Faith and the Faithful - 2d6
    Territorial Army - 1d6

    Eli's coat is a brightly-decorated object, covered with patterns put down by his extended family. Although a diverse range of colours are used, a bright, peaceful blue was chosen as the primary motif, reflecting his old cavalry uniform. His old insignia was also incorporated into the design, with the stripes of his rank snaking their way up his arm from the cuff. 2d6
    Colt Dragoon revolver- 2d8 1d4
    A dulled cavalry saber - 1d6
    Archippus (his horse) - 1d6

    My Accomplishment
    "I hope I learned to move beyond my army days."

    See how easy that was? As you can see, my character has a strong sense of what he can do, as well as where he wants to go in the game, but also leaves a lot of options open for development.

    Now you know what a character will look like, here's a blank sheet that you can use:
    Your character's name here!

    Statistics - [whatever your history says]
    Acuity -
    Body -
    Heart -
    Will -

    Traits -
    Relationships -

    My Accomplishment

    simonwolf on
  • simonwolfsimonwolf an expressway late at night only halogen lights shine mysteriouslyRegistered User regular
    Here's how the rules work: Say yes or roll the dice. Repeat that to yourself every second of every scene. Look at what's happening - the cobbler's wife seems unhappy. Say yes, or roll the dice. She's ducking out of service, saying she feels ill. Say yes, or roll the dice. She's been doing this for weeks now.

    Say yes (I agree, that is acceptable, it makes sense) or roll the dice (oh-no-you-fucking-don't, I don't want the scene to go this way, it would be better if someone intervened)

    You constantly want to move towards the next conflict (conflict, here, means when we roll dice to see what happens). See, here, you don't roll the way you do in say, D&D or White Wolf. If you want to do something, then you do it. Do you see the ambush before it happens? Depends - is it dramatically appropriate? Does the rest of the group care? Say yes or roll the dice. You have the option to interrupt anything, even what the GM says, and force it into a fight. So look for the next possible conflict. Be aggressive! You don't have to roll to see if you can pick a lock, or things like that. It's on a grander scale. Let's look at how to do a conflict, first, and this will make more sense.

    There's a problem. Someone didn't say Yes. The GM decided to pick on you. Something's wrong.
    1. Establish what's at stake, anyone can suggest this. The stakes are what the conflict is about, what we're fighting over, what's so important.
      - What's at stake is, does your brother shoot the woman?
    2. Set the stage. Fancy up the scene and get everyone in the mood.
      - Dust swirls around our feet, only to spiral down the road behind me. I've got my finger on the trigger and I'm shaking my head. It's unbearably hot, everyone's sweating. By now, school's out, and the kids nearby are wise that something's up - they're crowding around. The woman's crying, and my brother's pointing his gun straight at her.
    3. Who's participating in this conflict?
    4. Take up dice depending on how you want to enter the conflict (these are called Arenas):
      - We're just talking (Acuity + Heart)
      - Things are getting physical, but we're not fighting (Body + Heart)
      - Fist-fights (Body + Will)
      - We pulled out the guns (Acuity + Will)

      You can roll your Relationship dice if the Relation is what's at stake or is your opponent.
    5. Everyone rolls their dice for all to see.
    6. Take turns Raising and Seeing.
      To Raise, say what your character does and put two dice forward. Do something your opponent can't ignore.
      - (dice: 5, 6) I stare him down, not even flinching when he shifts the gun to me. I act like I hadn't even noticed. "Jed. Stop this. You ain't got it in ya, and there ain't no reason for all this. Put it away. I don't wanna have to put my hands on you, but I will if I gotta."

      To See, put forward any amount of dice that equals or exceeds the standing Raise (less dice is better). So, the current Raise is 5 and 6 (above), with is 5 + 6 = 11. So you need to put forward some of your dice that equals or betters 11.
      - (4, 3, 3, 2) I see he's not kidding. And, honestly? I don't have it in me. I can't shoot my brother. I couldn't shoot this woman... I won't say it out loud, but I'm afraid. My gun lowers to my side, and I take a few steps back, not wanting to get tackled right off. "Alright, Samuel. Alright. We gotta talk, though, okay...?" I'm almost in tears. "She done me wrong, brother..."
      • When you See, if you can do it with one die, that's Reversing The Blow. You turn the Raise back on your attacker somehow (he swings, but you grab his fist and squeeze, forcing him down; he tells you the King of Life has a place for him, and you remind him how the Steward said Heaven had no place for a sinner such as he). Keep your See die - you get to (and have to) use it for your next Raise!
      • If you See with two dice, that's a Block or a Dodge. Say how you defend against the attack.
      • If you See with three or more dice, that's Taking The Blow. Say how the blow lands and how your charater reacts. You also get Fallout Dice, which will later on change and affect your character, possibly for the worse. You take a number of dice equal to how many you used to See, and set them aside - if the blow wasn't physical, those dice are d4s. If they were physical, then they're d6s. If a weapon was used against you, it's a d8, and if it was a bullet, it's a d10.
      • If you don't want to See, you can Give. This is a pretty standard action, don't be afraid to do it. You lose the Stakes and the conflict, but you get bonus dice for a follow-up conflict! You do NOT Take the Blow or anything, you basically get out of the conflict free, and you don't win it. Take your single highest die and keep it for a follow-up conflict. A follow-up conflict's stakes follow directly from the previous conflict's resolution. You can actually try the exact same Stakes again, but to do so, the number of participants, the location, and the opening arena (Just Talking, Fist-Fighting, etc.) must be different, all three.

    Follow-up conflicts and Giving are important parts, and we will all be pushing towards them. Fight with all your heart, but don't be afraid if you need to Give.

    That's the structure:
    - Stakes?
    - Stage?
    - Who's involved?
    - Roll dice
    - I Raise, you See.
    - You Raise, I See,
    - etc., until someone doesn't have the dice to See

    Also, if more than people need to See a given Raise, that's acceptable. Their Sees are different and exclusive, though - they don't add their dice to beat yours. They beat you separately. And yes, you will sometimes be Raising and Seeing against each other as players!

    That's all well and good. Let's say we're Just Talking, and I'm about to run out of dice. What I can do is Escalate, and move out of Just Talking into, let's say, Fist-Fighting (the arenas are Just Talking, Physical but not fighting, Fist-Fighting, and Guns). I get to roll my Stats for Fist-Fighting and add those dice to my already standing dice, and of course, the conflict's taken a turn, where we're not just talking, we're actually fighting.

    You can only roll a Stat once per conflict, so if an escalation calls for you to roll Acuity + Heart, and you've already rolled Heart, just roll Acuity.

    When you use one of your Traits as a Raise or See, you get to to roll its dice. Same for a Belonging. You can only roll a Trait / Belonging once per conflict. You can keep using in the conflict as much as you want, you just don't get the dice for it.

    You roll their dice before putting them forward, and you don't have to use them if you don't like them. You can even use them for a separate See or Raise.

    You can do neat spiritual things, like Call someone by their True Name (said to summon demon's attention and obedience), Sing Praise, Recite from the Book of Life, or Make the Sign of the Tree (right hand, palm out, shoulder level, fingers wide spread) as part of a Raise or See, especially against demons. It looks badass.

    Nasty stuff!
    - Roll all your Fallout dice after conflict. Add the two highest together.
    - You'll be presented with a list of Fallout Consequences according to the sum, and you get to pick something to add to your character. Less than 8 is pretty safe, with only short-term damage. More than 8 is lasting harm, bad stuff, and more than 12 is injured. 20 or higher, and your character is dead.
    - Fallout will be dealt with as it happens, since it's not immediately relevant. Just know that it's bad.

    Here's the list of Fallout Consequences, for quick reference when I tell you what to choose from!

    Short-term Fallout:
    - Subtract 1 from one of your character’s Stats for your next conflict.
    - Take a new trait rated 1d4 for your next conflict.
    - Change the dice of one of your character’s Relationships to d4s for your next conflict.
    - Have your character leave the scene and spend some time alone. Only choose this one if nobody else launches a follow-up conflict.

    Long-term Fallout:
    - Subtract 1 from one of your character’s Stats.
    - Take a new trait at 1d4.
    - Take a new relationship at 1d4.
    - Add 1d to an existing d4 trait or relationship.
    - Subtract 1d from an existing d6+ trait or relationship.
    - Change the die size of an existing trait or relationship to d4.
    - Erase a Belonging from your character’s sheet.
    - Change the description of your coat to include bad damage. Reduce your coat’s dice as appropriate.

    Experience Fallout:
    - Add 1 to one of your Stats.
    - Create a new Trait at 1d6.
    - Add or subtract 1 die from an existing Trait.
    - Change the d-size of an existing Trait.
    - Create a new Relationship at 1d6.
    - Add or subtract 1 die from an existing Relationship.
    - Change the d-size of an existing Relationship.
    - Write a new Belonging on your character sheet and give it its usual dice.

  • KayKay What we need... Is a little bit of PANIC.Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Question on Ceremony.

    If, for example, we were in conflict against DEMONS, and I wanted to raise by Calling Them By Their True Name. You can just... make something up and that becomes their true name, like pretty much any elaborations to the Faith's customs and scripture readings, right? And then whatever I pick becomes their canon true name?

    I could make up some awesome true names, yo.

    Kay on
    3DS FCode: 1993-7512-8991
  • simonwolfsimonwolf an expressway late at night only halogen lights shine mysteriouslyRegistered User regular
    My general rule of thumb is that, if you can justify that shit in the fiction, bring it! That'd be good enough for me, for the most part, since Calling Them By Their True Name doesn't give you any extra dice, it just does some killer fallout to the target if they can't stand up to it.

    For clarification on actions in Ceremony: you never get bonus dice for ceremony actions, but you could draw in extra dice from your traits, gear, etc, and use them as part of your Raise involving ceremony.

    Ceremony just amps up the fallout, so it really hurts if they can't See it.

  • KayKay What we need... Is a little bit of PANIC.Registered User regular
    So, if I were to say, have a Really Cool Religious Relic item with dice and such, and I brandished it in a fabulous fashion at a spectacular demon while Naming it, I could use the item dice. I see.

    This game is great for enriching the setting on the fly as the story plays out.

    3DS FCode: 1993-7512-8991
  • GrogGrog My sword is only steel in a useful shape.Registered User regular
    Interested. I'll see if I can get my head around the rules before this cold turns my brain to mush.

  • simonwolfsimonwolf an expressway late at night only halogen lights shine mysteriouslyRegistered User regular
    Let me know if you have any clarifications or queries about the rules - it seems complicated, but really the game is narrative-heavy with some dice thrown in for conflict resolution.

  • descdesc special request to all junglists Registered User regular
    So I hear tell there's some sinners out there in need of salvation.

  • GrogGrog My sword is only steel in a useful shape.Registered User regular
    Reread after a cup of tea, much clearer now.

    Couple of questions a) How many traits would you recommend? and b) How does the 'Physical but not fighting' arena work? Is it threatening? Pushing? Hugging?

  • kuhlmeyekuhlmeye Registered User regular
    I wish I had more time for this again. I really enjoyed the first two games you ran simon. I'll try to put a character together, but if I don't, I'll definitely be following along.

    PSN: the-K-flash
  • GlandmineGlandmine Registered User
    Been wanting to play DitV for a while now. I'll try and get a character written up.

  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    Yeah! I was wondering when the next game of this would come up. I will work up a character tonight, then.

  • descdesc special request to all junglists Registered User regular

    Character stats and questions PMed.

  • simonwolfsimonwolf an expressway late at night only halogen lights shine mysteriouslyRegistered User regular
    Grog wrote:
    Couple of questions a) How many traits would you recommend? and b) How does the 'Physical but not fighting' arena work? Is it threatening? Pushing? Hugging?

    For your first question - you'll be spending all your available dice on your traits (of course) which will change depending on what background you take. Generally you want to spread those dice around, but having a few double dice traits can be fun, since it cuts down your list and gives your character some focus. But remember the guideline about ranking them by importance! If your Dog believes that all problems can be solved through scripture, maybe stick two big dice in a trait like "All answers are found in His word".

    Physical but not fighting is the realm of that tenuous point before someone throws a fist, for the most part. You're sick of being lectured to, so you shove past the guy to leave. You grab someone by the arm to stop them from raising a fist to some poor girl. You run, fast as you can, away from the demons. Now, I say "most part", so there's exceptions that may come up, but most of the time, that's what it boils down to.

  • descdesc special request to all junglists Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Brother Ephraim


    Acuity 5d6
    Body 3d6
    Heart 5d6
    Will 4d6

    Shape Note singing 2d6
    Staying on top of a horse 1d4
    If you're going to shoot, shoot first 1d8
    I serve as a Dog 1d8
    Wealth is nothing in the eyes of the KING of LIFE 1d6
    "As you recall in the Scripture" 1d6

    Steward Levi of Mill Creek 1d8
    Paul, my father who has strayed from the Faith 2d6

    A turncoat's pistol 1d6 1d4
    Worn songbook 2d6
    Modest coat with a red elbow patch 2d6
    Yellow glass water bottle 1d4
    Coarse but warm sleeping roll (saddle) 2d4

    My Accomplishment

    I hope I led services well unassisted.

    Quick History

    Brother Ephraim was raised in a very small, very poor mountain country hamlet back East. Quite pious mother, Charity; industrious but short-tempered father, Paul. Having little as a boy, Ephraim spent much of his time learning the WORD from his mother. His father was often gone looking for jobs or travelling to the city to cash in payment slips. In his father's exposure to sin of the city, he was tempted into the brothels and there he did sin against the WORD of the KING of LIFE.

    As sin begets further sin, Brother Ephraim's father brought back the corruption of his wickedness and passed it unto his mother. His mother was terribly afflicted by maladies, but sought to hide the truth for her husband's sake. Upon her death in childbirth, the truth was revealed and Paul fled into the night. Brother Ephraim was taken under the care of Stewart Levi of nearby Mill Creek, whereupon he began the training of Order Set Apart to the Preservation of Faith and the Faithful.

    desc on
  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Brother Alecan Watkins - Complicated History

    Statistics - 15d6 in Stat dice, 4d4 2d6 2d10 in Trait dice, 5d6 2d8 in Relationship dice
    Acuity - 5d6
    Body - 2d6
    Heart - 4d6
    Will - 4d6

    Traits - (4d4 2d6 2d10)

    I'm a Dog. (1d10)
    My studies covered plenty. (1d10)
    Learned to make my own way, at times. (1d4)
    A calm head can get you through a jam (1d6)
    The answers are there- just read the scripture. (2d4)
    I know my way around a weapon - (1d6)
    Not that good with riding, but I'm learning. (1d4)

    Relationships - 5d6 2d8 (1d8 3d6 left)

    Steward William of Twin Paws - 1d8 "The first person to actually treat me like a person, rather than an outsider."
    Kenneth Paulson - 2d6 "The man who saved us from exposure."


    2d6 - My coat- a simple garment with a picture of an oak tree on the back of it. It's supposed to be the tree he spent so much time reading under. The rest of the coat is done in sky blue and grass green.

    1d6 1d4 - Grandpa's old pistol. It got him through the war, maybe it'll help me.

    1d6 - A well-worn copy of the Book of Life.

    1d8 - A decent knife- one of the only things Alec took from his uncle's bar.

    My Accomplishment

    "I hope the others accept me for what I am, not what I came from." - Being from back east, Alecan caught all kinds of hell from the others.

    Quick History:

    Alecan and his sister Alicia are originally from somewhere back east- moved out here by thier family to escape the debts laid onto thier family by a deadbeat uncle, set on grooming the two of them to run his bar when they got older. They made thier way out here, ending up stranded in the wilderness by a wagoneer who left the two of them at a camp, taking the last of thier money with him. If it hadn't been for Kenneth Paulson, a rider for the Twin Paws branch, Alecan knows they would have both died. He doesn't know where his parents are, but Alicia is safe as she can be out here, and that's all that matters.

    He took to his lessons pretty well, using the sting of the taunts as further reason he should show them he could be a great Dog. Only one other person truly treated him like they thought he meant something- Steward William Tallisher of Twin Paws, the town where the two of them ended up. It's taken years, but at the same time, well... he just hopes he can prove himself to be worth what he is, not where he came from.

    JaysonFour on
  • GlandmineGlandmine Registered User
    edited October 2011
    Brother Solomon Turner

    Statistics - Well-Rounded
    Acuity - 3
    Body - 4
    Heart - 4
    Will - 6

    Traits -
    I strive to carry out my work peacefully, but I don't always succeed. 1d8
    I can endure the tempers of my brethren. 1d8
    I speak fire and brimstone when I orate. 2d6
    I'm a seasoned hunter. 1d6
    I'm a Dog. 1d6
    I'm from the moutains. 1d4

    Relationships -

    Banking all dice.


    Coat 2d6 - His coat's a sombre slate gray at its base, beneath those wine bottle dark green patches and sand-weathered clay red sewn into the fabric. Little crows feet stitched are into it with weathered red thread, like faded little wounds snaking down from the navy blue shoulders.

    A large hunting knife 1d8
    A pistol 1d6 1d4
    A threadbare sleeping roll 1d4
    A copy of the Book of Life 1d6

    My Accomplishment

    Deep down, Solomon has always harboured a spark of rage at what Samuel's weakness caused them both to endure and what the weakness of men causes them to do to their brothers. He realises that on some level this rage has made him who he is, but he hopes to have learned foregiveness during his training.

    There's a question Solomon hopes to put to rest: 'What if I'm wrong? What if the King of Life has no plan for some men?' He wants to be inspired so that his sermons don't have that bitter aftertaste leaving his mouth as he wonders whether he's a liar.


    Solomon was brought up in the mountains by his father's widow and his elder brother Samuel, living hand to mouth as they eked out a meagre living as fur trappers. Samuel was a talented hunter, but a frustrated young man who'd sacrificed much to save the family after their father, a man of Faith, had passed. Samuel was also a mean drunk, harbouring a deep resentment towards his kin and Solomon caught a lot of savage beatings, enduring each one and not once fighting back out of love for his brother and fear of the same God his father had .

    This fear of God made him fear for the souls of his fellow man and ultimately brought him into sermonising during his adolescence. The boy with the bruised, bloodied face who walked into town to condemn Sin and speak scripture turned the head of a Steward named Elijah. Years later Solomon would enter training.

    Glandmine on
  • EugalEugal Registered User
    I am brand new to PbP RPG's although I have played my fair share of 4e and Pathfinder. I have interest in this game though, would you suggest this to a PbP newb? If so you think you could deal with me as I get the hang of it? I am sure I am missing some obvious post that says READ THIS IF YOU ARE NEW TO PBP.

  • simonwolfsimonwolf an expressway late at night only halogen lights shine mysteriouslyRegistered User regular
    If you think you are a good storyteller, and do not mind telling stories about pseudo-Mormon traveling preachers who solve problems with a gun and a bible, then feel free to make a character and it'll go in the running for a place! But this game is mostly storytelling, even when you roll dice, so that's a consideration.

    We have three characters now, so I'll give this another 48 hours or so before shutting applications down and starting the game proper.

  • simonwolfsimonwolf an expressway late at night only halogen lights shine mysteriouslyRegistered User regular
    Oh, one thing that I wanted to say about your characters - keep in mind that this town you're going to is your first mission as a Dog, you've only just finished training at the Dog's temple. I think only Solomon is falling into that pitfall right now, though! Otherwise, looking good.

  • GlandmineGlandmine Registered User
    Ah, my bad. I'll nix that part and think on another source of inner conflict.

  • fadingathedgesfadingathedges Registered User regular
    Registering a "wish I had time for this right now", gl hf I'll read along when I can

  • EugalEugal Registered User
    I don't think I'll make a character but I'll try to follow along so I can learn something about PbP.

  • GrogGrog My sword is only steel in a useful shape.Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Sister Meadow Wiltshire - Complicated Community

    Statistics - 15d6
    Acuity - 3
    Body - 5
    Heart - 2
    Will - 5

    Traits - 6d6 2d8
    He who is unjust, let him be unjust still - 2d6
    I'll do whatever it takes to get out of my brother's shadow - 1d8
    Settle things with action, not words - 2d6
    Quicker on my feet than in a saddle - 1d6
    At home in the forest - 1d6
    I can fight, but I'm no killer - 1d8

    Relationships - 4d4 2d6 2d8 2d10
    Order Set Apart to the Preservation of Faith and the Faithful - 2d6
    Wiltshire family - 2d4

    Her brother's coat was only half finished when he disappeared, so rather than waste the effort it was continued once Meadow was sent away. As such it's a patchwork of deep blue and burnt yellow, assorted shapes and motiffs clamouring for dominance. - 2d6
    Lead knuckle dusters - 2d8
    Old revolver - 2d4
    Old nag named 'Horse' - 1d6

    My Accomplishment
    To prove, through my actions, that I have a place at the King's side.

    For generations the Wiltshire family was infamous for it's long line of drunks, blackmailers and thugs. Even when Meadow's father, William Wiltshire, apparently became a King-fearing man, devoting his life and family to support of their branch, rumours still abounded of what went on behind their doors. Only when William Junior was chosen by the Steward to head east and take up the Dog's life were these whispers put to bed. What sinner could raise a son so devoted?

    Meadow was not fooled. When her brother disappeared before he could receive his coat, she was unsurprised. Her brother had been a craven thug, nominated no doubt because of some debt the Steward owed her father. Yet the townsfolk moaned and wailed, believing him dead or worse, praising him ever more for his imagined virtues.
    But where they saw loss, Meadow saw escape- If her father wanted a child in the Dogs, she would gladly oblige.

    Grog on
  • simonwolfsimonwolf an expressway late at night only halogen lights shine mysteriouslyRegistered User regular
    Okay! That will close up the submission period, give me a little while to figure out who our Dogs are and set up some initiation challenges.

  • kuhlmeyekuhlmeye Registered User regular
    Mmmm cant wait to read this.

    PSN: the-K-flash
  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    I hope I make it this time...

  • simonwolfsimonwolf an expressway late at night only halogen lights shine mysteriouslyRegistered User regular
    Sorry for the delay, guys - handed in my thesis last Friday, and currently in the midst of job applications and all kinds of other shit that you have to deal with when you stop being a university student.

    Hard decision since we had four Dogs, but I did have to grind it down to three for the game to work at its best, so our final Dogs heading to the Temple are:

    Brother Ephraim (as portrayed by desc)
    Brother Alecan Watkins (as portrayed by JaysonFour)
    Sister Meadow Wiltshire (as portrayed by Grog)

    Initiations will come later today, after I get back from my application-mandated doctor's appointment.

  • GrogGrog My sword is only steel in a useful shape.Registered User regular
    Time for some Bible Book of Life bashing!

  • simonwolfsimonwolf an expressway late at night only halogen lights shine mysteriouslyRegistered User regular
    Here comes your initiations! From here on out, we'll divide between in-character and out-of-character chatter by placing the latter entirely in spoilers. Questions, comments, all that jazz goes in spoilers.

    The dice in your individual initiations are my dice, so you know what you're working against. Roll the dice as appropriate (your stat ones, as always), then roll trait dice you bring in, that kind of jazz. Remember, my general rule is only one trait or item per raise, unless it's really well written to justify that kind of thing. I reward narrative play, here!

    Oh, and for your formatting - strike through any dice you use in a raise/see from your pool, then next time it's your turn, just cut them from your pool entirely. If you roll any dice, put them in your pool as well. So if you have a pool with an 8, a 4, and a 3, and you use the 8 and 3 in your raise, your top of post pool would look like this:

    DICE: 8, 4, 3

    Simple, huh? Remember, any questions, feel free to ask in spoilers.

    Now, on with the game!
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    When I was but a young man
    I was wild and full of fire
    A youth within my teens
    But full of challenge and desire


    The Master's Call

    Brother Ephraim
    “I hope I led services well unassisted.”

    DICE: 8, 7, 6, 6, 4, 3, 3, 2

    It's a different sun, down here in Bridal Falls City, than what they've got up in the mountains, isn't it? Down here it seems brighter, somehow, reflecting off the cascading waterfalls that the city is named for. There's noise here, too, and not the violent kind, no wild animals; just people, talking, the clip-clop of the horse pulling that wagon you're on, sitting next to Brother Zechariah. He didn't say why he was taking you into town, but you went along, because that's what a Dog does, follows those who have stewardship over him.

    Horse stops with a whinny, outside a building you know just from the sight of it. Prayer house.

    There's a murmur inside, a din.

    Brother Zechariah doesn't say much, just looks you over a couple of times, says, “Better head on side, son, service is about to start. I'll pull the carriage around.” Touches your shoulder, not quite a pat, but not quite a push; no choice but to get off that carriage, walk into those doors.

    Inside the building now, and where are you? Head of the temple, everyone seated in their little chairs. Kids, elders, a couple people you know. One of your fellow Dogs-to-be, here and there.

    Whole crowd goes silent, looks straight at you.

    It dawns on you, looking at the pulpit, its open Book of Life, why Brother Zechariah brought you here, now of all times.
    Okay, you get to raise first here. This is you against the crowd, their expectations, all that kind of stuff, so your raises should reflect choosing the right passages, making a good sermon, lead the service like someone with stewardship should. Roll Acuity + Heart, since you're going to be talking here (I assume!)

    Brother Alecan Watkins

    "I hope the others accept me for what I am, not what I came from."

    DICE: 8, 7, 7, 5, 5, 2, 2, 1

    Even when they aren't whispering about you behind your back, you can catch the stares. It's an attraction, isn't it? The wild kid from Back East, born to work in some whorin' saloon, selling alcohol and all kinds of other sins. Missing parents, that's one thing – though everyone just knows they're still Back East, with all the other sinners – but that you were raised there, not in the Faith?

    Sometimes even the forgiveness of the Faith doesn't translate so well into actions.

    Of course, these pass on to the Brothers and Sisters of the temple who are supposed to be training you, but it isn't their job to harness you to the right wagon, because there isn't a right one; they're there to provoke you, test you, make you harness yourself to the job.

    It's early morning, the day's lessons are ahead.

    What are you going to accomplish today, son?
    So this one is a little more open – make your Raises regarding how you want to prove yourself to the others, and I'll respond and raise in kind. If you want to start by talking, give me Acuity + Heart; if you want to do something else, go ahead. Just remember the stakes here: do you achieve what you hope?

    Sister Meadow Wiltshire
    “I hope I proved, through my actions, that I have a place at the King's side.”

    DICE: 6, 4, 4, 4, 3, 2, 2, 2

    When you first came to the Dog's temple, everyone seemed to know who you were already, where you came from. Whose blood you shared. Some of them – most of them, really – already held a bad opinion of your kind. The rest picked up the opinion when they were informed of who your brother was.

    The replacement Sister. The spare. They might not have said that to your face, but you know it, and it's there.

    Nobody talks about your brother. They just know.

    Brother Zechariah puts a hand on your shoulder – heavy and calloused – but doesn't look at you. No, he's looking at everyone but you, taking it all in with an emptiness of presence that all the veteran Dogs seem to have, like they left their hearts somewhere out on the trails.

    “Congregation out there is going to be harsher than anything we can dish out here, kid,” he says, moving his hand off your shoulder, into his own pocket, “You're going to have to make it on your own.”

    Then he's gone, and you?

    You're left alone, and everybody, even the King of Life, has their eye on you.
    Similar to JaysonFour's accomplishment, you're being put on the initiative here – Raise with some action you think will help you achieve your goal, and we'll go from there. Roll the right combination of attributes for your first Raise, depending on what you want to do!

  • GrogGrog My sword is only steel in a useful shape.Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Sister Meadow Wiltshire
    Dice: 5, 4, 1, 5, 6, 6, 1

    With a clunk she set another bucket of milk down and wiped the sweat from her brow. She wasn't used to work with animals, but at least they didn't have poison on their tongues. Meadow had thought that was a case epidemic to her home, but apparently her brother had spread it even here. The humming silence of the midday heat was broken by a pair of approaching voices.

    "-a stain on this here Order. You think she won't spread that cowardice?"
    "Sin do beget sin, that's fer sure."

    Speak of the Devil. Meadow knew that voice. Silas had become quite the gossip since Brother Zechariah had left, it had become impossible not to hear the lies he spun behind her back. The stool she had been seated on clattered away, as if fleeing her wake, her boots kicking up dust as she marched toward the two young men. They both had rifles slung over shoulder and a couple of rabbits to boot, but -for all their talent as hunters- didn't see Meadow until she was right on top of them.

    "I hear that she-"

    Spinning Silas round, she grabbed his collar and pulled his face level with hers (a journey that spanned just over a foot). In a voice as calm and controlled as her whitening knuckles she interrupted.

    "If yer gonna lie, least do it to my face boy. That way I can beat the sin out of ya."
    Arena: Physical, but not fighting- Body+Heart.
    Raise: 5, 6

    Grog on
  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Brother Alecan Watkins
    Dice : 6, 5, 5, 5, 4, 3, 1, 1

    It seemed like just another day- get up, get the book learning out of the way, and then it was off to the practice range. Sure, he wasn't that good with a gun- or at riding. But in the end, he felt like he deserved to be there just as much as those who had been "born IN the faith, raised IN the faith-"

    "Huh. Don't all of you types from back East know how to shoot already?"

    Oh, joy. The day just got a little more interesting. Looking over his shoulder, he could see a couple of soon-to-be Dogs sitting on the fence in back of him. Of course, the most vocal? Brother Jonas. He'd started in on Alecan as soon as he'd been sent to the temple.

    "Yeah, you're doing that sister of yours real proud, huh? Save her from some whorin' saloon back East only to drop her in the middle of nowhere... yer parents just wanted to get rid o' ya, anyways... whyn't you just go back home, with the rest o'the sinners out there? Your kind dosn't last long out here before they're back to thier old ways- then people like ME have to sort out people like YOU."

    Alecan would sigh and set the rifle down, butt-first on the ground.

    "You know, if you'd just look in your Book of Life, it makes mention that 'In deed are men known, rather than by musing.' You know- Psalm 12:5, the one where it's asked if those who aren't born in the Faith can join it? For all that squirrel's chatter, I really don't see how that's helping you to become a better Dog, you know? I've told you so many times I feel like I should just write it down and show you the paper with my story on it- we came out here because we wanted out of all that. "

    Deciding to turn the tables on Jonas for once, Alecan places the rifle in its holder and leans against the fence not far from Jonas.

    "But hey- if you're all ready to sort me out, then why not answer me this- what's Psalm 23:8 say about trying to slander a man's family with no proof?"
    Arena: Just talkin' (Acuity + Heart)

    Raise: (5, 3)

    JaysonFour on
  • descdesc special request to all junglists Registered User regular
    Brother Ephraim
    Dice: 6 6 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1

    The rows slide past Brother Ephraim as he walks, hushed. The dust from the air outside spirals slowly through the fingers of sunlight hitting the aisle. The open page of the Book of Life is expectant.

    Ephraim looks to the passage and back up at the faces of every family he knows. Everyone is here.

    He lifts his finger and places it by the passage.

    "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore
    the King of Life of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his

    Ephraim looks down to the continuation of the passage, but pauses.

    "... Consider how the need is great everywhere: never is the King of Life tired in offering, but his bounties are not harvested in accordance with the peoples' need."

    He hesitates a moment as his eyes pick out individual faces in the crowd.

    "It is to the King of Life to decide what the land gives forth, but it is to us to labor in thanks. We shouldn't think of the cost of toil; rather of the plenty our toil brings to everyone in multiplication."
    Talking: Acuity + Heart (10d6)
    acuity + heart (10d6=36)

  • simonwolfsimonwolf an expressway late at night only halogen lights shine mysteriouslyRegistered User regular
    Hey guys, just posting with an apology - I just moved into a new house, and we don't have any internet access there. So my ability to find the time and location to reply is limited, at best.

    I'll have some free time tomorrow, so hopefully I'll be able to give a full writeup and get this back on track.

    Again, sorry!

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