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Dogs in the Voice Chat

We were all keyed up to play some Primetime Adventures tonight, when two things happned. The first was a sudden and serious lack of confidence in the idea we'd come up with on my part; I was trying to come up with a big Pilot Episode Problem that three actors could be expected to deal with, and... well, I explain it all fairly well here.

Unfortunately (or, perhaps, fortunately) Seth had some nasty Internet connection problems, so not only was his Ventrilo server unavailable, but he couldn't even hook up for chat via Skype! We've postponed the sessionf or another couple of weeks, which hopefully will give us some breathing room to rethink the Pitch a bit (if required).

But, as Vickie and I had a stable (well, fairly stable; it did drop out for a few minutes later on) Skype connection with Gav, and we had some time, I suggested we play a little Dogs in the Vineyard. When I explained the premise, I got, rather surprisingly in fact, a "This sounds interesting!" from both Gav and Vickie. Now, let me just say that Vickie has rarely if ever been down on an idea for a game. But this was the first time I can remember that it took only a few minutes to get her that seriously interested.

We spent the evening creating characters. In Dogs in the Vineyard, every playrer charcter is one of God's Watchdogs, sort of a roving lawman of the Faith (itself based generally on Mormonism). The Dogs travel from Branch of the Faith (town) to Branch, doing general duties like delivering the mail, blessing the newborn and officiating marriages, but what they're really there to do is root out sin and give judgment, even if said judgment is blowing the brains of a sinner out in the middle of a Branch's main street.

Vickie came up with Sister Sarah, an adopted Mountain Folk who had been brought up the hard way by a strict Faithful family. Her initiation stakes were, "I hope I can apply Scripture to someone's real problems," which she won by escalating from Talking to Physical (a big hug given to a very drunk old man who'd lost both of his children to wasting disease) and running me out of dice. I have to say that Vickie was also very keen on the dice mechanic of Seeing and Raising, probably the first RPG rules she's ever really grasped! That, as far as I'm concerned, is a damned good sign!

Gavin's character was Brother Gabriel, a well-balanced young Dog who (if Gav's initial suggestion of "I kope I kept my faith intact" as stakes for his initiation was any hint) will probably hit some spiritual speedbumps later on. As losing one's faith would make oen inelegible to be a Dog, I talked Gav down from his stakes; we agreed to "I hope I take the right option over the easy one," which I Gave on (I had some really nasty dice left, but could see Gav was having a bit of a tough time with it). A little bit of creativity with Skype's text-chat allowed us to compare Sees and Raises with the dice we had left, although I think I need to put some rules around that just to make sure we know exactly what we're showing each other.

As it was around eleven, we called it a night, but sometime in the next few days I'm going to flesh out the Branch of the Faith named Anvil Hill; with any luck, I should be able to put Gav and Vickie through it before week's end!

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