2009-01-03 : Oh RIGHT! Of COUSE.

I wish that Dogs in the Vineyard had a leveling-up mechanism like Trollbabe's or 3:16's.

(This is about Apocalypse World.)

1. On 2009-01-04, Ron Edwards said:


You hadn't considered this? I was under the impression that removing that feature in the transition from Trollbabe-to-Dogs was a deliberate choice. To me, it stuck out a mile, at first as a surprise and now as a crucial feature.

It's crucial because it plays right into what I see as the long-term issue of play: whenever it is that one or more of the Dogs decides that the group-vibe of morality among them is no longer sufficient or sacred. Whether that turns into a gunfight, into retiring, into the creation of a heresy, or any of a dozen other possibility is, to me, the really interesting (and wholly emergent) point of play, and not necessarily as an endpoint either.

So why would you want the leveling-up of any kind in Dogs? To me, it'd distract from the point.

Disclosure: Vincent and I have discussed this point-of-play before, and confirmed it as such, so I'd prefer that it not be construed as some left-field Ron-made-it-up thing.


2. On 2009-01-05, Vincent said:

Yeah, no left field.

I think maybe I want it both ways. When I played Dogs, I would have loved to have my character go on to stand up to and take on the U S of A. Instead, she had a great, hard, sucky, bitter ending.

Anyway it's just newly clear that I need to include leveling up in Apocalypse World.


3. On 2009-01-05, Callan S. said:

That's surprising? It's hard to articulate why. But when she was buried, wasn't it because it was time she was buried? There were reasons (and I mean reasons far, far beyond the causal physical events that may have transpired at her death)? This, rather than playing on to become a gundam in the vineyard?


4. On 2009-01-05, Matt Wilson said:

Dog taking on the USA. I love it in a way that I hope it never happens.

I don't know jack about AW, but are you thinking of leveling up in the long term sense of Storming, or in the quicker pace of Trollbabe?


5. On 2009-01-05, Vincent said:

Well, we need to be starting to level up right about now, so the longer term. 6-12 sessions in, at a guess.

It won't be like Storming the Wizard's Tower's "okay, time to storm the wizard's tower!", though. Nor 3:16's "now you set the missions!" More like Trollbabe's in that regard: "look up! See?"

Callan: she left play with an epilogue. When she as a person went in a different direction than the game would go, she left play. And for Dogs, that's fine, it gave me an ending for her, but it didn't let me fulfill her potential as a particular fictional character.


6. On 2009-01-05, Matt Wilson said:

Don't forget the leveling mechanism in Primetime Adventures.


7. On 2009-01-05, Vincent said:

Mmm. I had forgotten it.

It's like Sorcerer's, right?


8. On 2009-01-06, Judd said:

It'd be pretty easy to go Back East and have the sinful town be Capitol City, U.S.A.

I'd want a town that is actually a train ride first and maybe a few small settlements of the Faithful along the way, maybe one that is those of the Faith doing their best Back East and another that is a Faith Ghetto in a larger faithless city ala Deadwood.


9. On 2009-01-07, Callan S. said:

Hmmm, that's complex, Vincent. Typing anything seems a bit glib a way to respond on my part. But yeah, hmmm.


10. On 2009-01-07, Joshua A.C. Newman said:

It's true that the scaling thing would have really benefited us in that case. On the other hand, it would have pushed the scale of the whole game upward, out of the intimacy that made the rest of the game good.

I think that the scale of the game has to be settled in the same fashion as the supernatural dial—by the most conservative taste in the group. Leveling as a linear process wouldn't have gotten the revolution you wanted.

As GM, I was surprised to hear the way you took her in the end. I wanted the revolution to happen! It was purely because of the logistics of play (our decided six-town arc) and because of the tastes of our fellow players that it didn't. I'd be pretty happy with "Army of followers: 6d8".


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