Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Dogs in the Vineyard, Session 3

After a week's absence we return to the small, isolated Hope Mission. The Dogs had arrived at the end of a day's riding to find that people were scared: the Steward was holding some of the Mountain People in the basement of the Meeting Hall; one of the hunters was claiming he had been stabbed by a Mountain Person days earlier; events had snowballed before they even arrived, and now it seemed like they had only hours before a war party would descend on the town and take back their people by force. What could the Dogs do???

Quite a lot actually...

Sister Basemuth (Patrick) decided that they had to move the children who were being held out of the town; at the very least as a sign of good faith. In order to gain the trust of the injured woman Sings-With-Birds, she sang with her and the children, with Brothers Caleb (David) and Paul (Steve) joining in as well. I never imagined when I started this game that we would be rolling dice for singing...

Anyway, they gained her trust: she told Sister Basemuth how to leave the town with the children, and after a time walking away in the darkness with lanterns she was approached by Blind-Eye-Bear. They talked for a while and he agreed to return the following day at noon: but the people of Hope Mission had to hand over the person who had injured Sings-With-Birds and the person who had shot and killed Laughs-A-Lot, in order that they might receive the justice of his people. Sister Basemuth was having none of this, but he told her to think on it, and that he would return with 30 men at noon.

Back in the town Brothers Caleb and Paul were on the lookout for clues: something about the wounded hunter Malachi's story didn't add up. It seemed that he had convinced other hunters of his story, and the rest of the town was going along with it... In the end he was found to be lying (to save his own pride) and when the Dogs decided to bring everyone together at Sunday service, he and the other hunters held a stand off with the Dogs.

And then... MAYHEM! Blood spilled on the Sabbath! Two men shot and killed in the street, the wounded hunter wounded further, Sister Basemuth took a nick to her side from a knife... Brother Paul and Brother Caleb worked together really well to subdue a guy (with lead), and the session ends with townsfolk running from the Meeting Hall to see what has happened, blood everywhere, dead bodies and in the distance the sound of approaching horses...

  • The dice mechanic is finally starting to feel natural, and we're having multi-person conflicts now as well. I'm really starting to like the Dogs in the Vineyard mechanics a lot.
  • The Dogs are really getting under the skin of being the Law of the Faithful: whatever decision they make is the right one. I'm trying to just use the NPCs' perspectives just to say what they want and expect (Brother Jasper wants the mission to work well, whereas Blind-Eye-Bear wants justice by the way of his people) without passing judgement on the players' choices.
  • Escalate, escalate, escalate... The book has it right...
  • The idea to simply win the trust of the injured/captive Mountain People and take them out to their kin was great. As a possible strategy for averting disaster it never occurred to me. One of the reasons I love games which encourage the GM/DM to simply set up a scenario and then let the players do what they will.
  • Sister Basemuth: "Sunday is as good a day as any for a hanging..." 

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