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Discussing tabletop and related gaming and the Irish gaming scene so you don't have to

Feb 17, 2009

Exp: Dave launches into Carcassonne's daft Catapult expansion, Liam takes on the world with Axis & Allies: Anniversary Edition, Shane battles zombies in the snow and everyone takes a stab at catching a killer in Serial Homicide Unit.


Joe Murphy
eight and a half years ago

I wish! But I can\'t make Conpulsion this year, unfortunately. But we could absolutely meet up for a pint when you get back to Dublin. =)

Joe Murphy
eight and a half years ago

Hey, Shane. Good to hear from you. =)

I\'m running a game of DitV at the moment, and I make lying/honesty completely obvious: \'Ma went up in the mountains an\' she died!\' says the daughter. I roleplay her inexpertly lying. Bu what do you do? Is the truth important enough you\'re willing to go to the dice for it? And is the truth the problem or the lie?

(In fact, the town I set up was doing absolutely fine on the surface. The lies were making it work. The Dogs were the problem, as they brought stuff to light and forced confessions and meetings with rivals. Fortunately, they sewed it up quickly again).

It\'s a different approach. I\'m not trying to hide stuff from the players. Instead, I\'m trying to tell them a lot of stuff, and pacing it with different techniques to usual.

Joe Murphy
eight and a half years ago

\"When I gave it a trial run, the players were very much \"I don\'t care how sympathetic a figure this person is, the law\'s the law and enforcing it is our job\" which can\'t be an invalid position to take. So it pretty much came down to tedious in-game-rules referencing to see what the law says on a particular matter, and theological arguments where neither the players nor the GM know more than the very, very basics of religious morality or text.\"

I don\'t get this. The players can argue all they want. But eventually it comes down to dice. To in-game choices.

I understand there can be a social pressure to back off and mediate. But as a GM, Dogs is the first game *ever* where I don\'t have to pull any punches. If the NPC wants to escalate to protect a secret? I can do it. If a PC wants to shoot him for it? Go right ahead. No dice fudging, all\'s fair.

So I would suggest that instead of arguing over the game text, a PC pulls a gun: \'This is how it\'s gonna be\'.

Coz in one of my first games, we argued a little over the rules and morality. Then someone made a move. Then someone pulled a gun. Then someone got their feet nailed to the floor.

Shane
eight and a half years ago

I discussed the idea of doing truth and lies by role-playing, but we concluded that that would come down to doing the same stammery, fidgety routine every time someone\'s lying and not doing so otherwise, which after twice would be the same as \"the kid tells you her mother died in the mountains but she\'s lying\". If it\'s not completely explicit, the players will want to roll dice, and if it comes to that and it\'s not lies, the system doesn\'t seem to handle it. (not to say that I don\'t like the system a lot though)

The in-game choices problem was that an NPC would defend their actions with \"but does not the Book say...\" and the players would be all \"ehh, does it? That seems fair enough then.\". They didn\'t feel comfortable just making up what the Book says to support what they want to do, because what they wanted to be doing was enforcing the rules. Maybe it\'s just a group style thing.

Anyway, I propose that this discussion would be better held over pints at Conpulsion, what say you?

Joe Murphy
eight and a half years ago

Nice! You guys are really hitting your stride with this one.

Can I suggest, to Shane, that Dogs isn\'t about giving anyone \'a fair crack of the whip\'? It\'s about _judgement_, not justice.

You also said DitV didn\'t handle \'throwaway\' rolls. Maybe the clue\'s in the name. ;) Dogs very specifically isn\'t about mystery - the GM is encouraged to lay everything out early on. So no perception rolls, no clues, just NPCs who blurt and need.

Zombies In The Vineyard looks like it\'s lacking the town creation chapter in DitV, so it\'ll miss that part of the game engine, and I don\'t see anything that\'s replaced it. As we\'re so used to using perception rolls to pace and add threat to games, that\'s what you\'ll fall back to. But there\'s no such systems in DitV.

Cian
eight and a half years ago

Entertaining descriptions of Carcasonne with catapults. :oD

Shane
eight and a half years ago

Argh! Sorry I didn\'t spot this sooner. Thanks for the feedback Joe, good to hear from you.

A problem we hit with Dogs is (well, I guess one is that it looks very much like it\'s going to be an investigatory game) NPC lying. If everything\'s on the table, then it\'s just a case of auto-polygraphing the entire town - \"Consorting with demons, lady?\". Yes people think they\'re doing the right thing, but typically because they consider it more important than the law, or a better interpretation of it, so with the right questions it\'d be hard to hide.

So, people can lie, and use the conflict resolution system to deal with that if necessary. But if someone\'s NOT lying, it\'s hard to figure out.

When I gave it a trial run, the players were very much \"I don\'t care how sympathetic a figure this person is, the law\'s the law and enforcing it is our job\" which can\'t be an invalid position to take. So it pretty much came down to tedious in-game-rules referencing to see what the law says on a particular matter, and theological arguments where neither the players nor the GM know more than the very, very basics of religious morality or text.

I love the conflict resolution system, and think it can be lifted. Not sure I agree that the entire game is so tightly structured that no part of it can work without the rest. But indeed, a zombie game isn\'t about judgment, and is very much about perception rolls. It\'ll need lots of tweaking, but fortunately, that\'s fun.