Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dogs in Liz' Vineyard 2

A little over a month ago I blogged about character generation for Liz' Dogs in the Vineyard campaign. Thanks to a summer cold, I wasn't able to attend the first actual session of the campaign, but it sounds like they had a good time. Fortunately, I was able to make it to the second session. Unfortunately, Seth and Ty weren't able to. That left Jonathan, Emily and me to play through the town of Angel's Rest.

I should interrupt here to state that I'm describing these events in the terms my character views them, not the way I view them. For those who are unfamiliar with Dogs, it places the characters in a fictionalized 19th Century Utah as upholders of the morality of that time and place. This results in a game with very mature themes concerning the very nature of morality and faith.

What we encountered was the usual mix of sin and tragedy that I've come to expect from a game of Dogs. Little by little we uncovered a chain of events that began with the twin prides of a father who thought his daughter could do better than a teenage troublemaker, and a teenage boy who thought he knew better than the town Steward as to whether or not he should be able to court the Steward's daughter. This led to the injustice of a thwarted love, which led to the sin of an illicit affair, which ended with the murder of an unborn child and the death of the mother from complications. We had just determined what we believe to be the identity of the abortionist when we had to call it a night.

Dogs are young men and women who have been given the authority and responsibility to maintain the moral character of entire communities, and my character in particular is completely sure of his faith. He's positive that he knows what's right from what's wrong, and doesn't hesitate to let others know what's what. When it comes to matters of the Faith and the Book he feels that he's an expert (hmm, some pride developing there...). With matters outside of his expertise, he's not quite so sure of himself.

It was fun to play him as we discovered that there was an illicit affair and an unplanned pregnancy. He's as close to a city boy as you can get in the setting, aside from a bit of experience with hunting, and has had a very sheltered upbringing. He's probably never kissed a girl, and his parents surely never had the "talk" with him. This all leaves him just a bit unsure about how all of that "biological" stuff is supposed to work.

So, when things started to get specific about whether or not the deceased was pregnant, and how anyone knew that she was, he quickly and gratefully turned things over to Rebecca (Emily's character).

The contrast was especially amusing to me given that he had just finished lecturing the kid that was responsible for causing the pregnancy about morality. Suddenly it was the kid who had all the answers and my character that was at a loss.

What's going to be really interesting though is when he starts losing some conflicts, and taking fallout. So far he's managed to succeed in all his attempts to convince others of the rightness of his beliefs. It will be interesting to see what happens when he fails. The circumstances surrounding any fallout he takes will probably determine whether his faith proves brittle and begins to crumble or whether it simply becomes stronger in adversity.

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