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When running Dogs, I ran the "a possessed axe murderer tries to kill you in your sleep." In discussion afterwards, the players were trying to figure out appropriate escalations from the player asleep, besides simply giving. How would you, as a player, escalate and, if possible, involve the other players in the conflict?

The player was a trickster and questioned if he could raise by stating "To play a trick on my friends, I wasn't sleeping in my bedroll that night." Which sparked a question of what levels of atemporality are possible in a scene.

Also, if a scene spans several days without including the whole party, what is the best way to handle the other players' actions?

Could you provide examples as to several ways how the conflict could play out?

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2 Answers 2

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The player was a trickster and questioned if he could raise by stating "To play a trick on my friends, I wasn't sleeping in my bedroll that night." Which sparked a question of what levels of atemporality are possible in a scene.

That's a perfectly legal Raise. What actually happens depends on the GM's See.

The GM Blocks or Dodges, or Reverses the Blow

The GM gets to say, "Although you were being tricky, and slept on the porch of the General Store that night, they found you, and that's where they tried to murder you."

The GM Takes the Blow

The GM has to say something like, "The murderer slams the axe down repeatedly onto the bedroll, killing the 'victim' inside, not knowing that the victim is actually a bunch of wadded up hay!" Taking the Blow doesn't have to end the conflict, though.

But the GM gets the next Go

Try this Raise: "The killer, frustrated and angry, can't find you, but does hack young Brother Jeremiah to death in his sleep, screaming your name in rage. People the next day are saying that this wouldn't have happened if the Dogs hadn't come to town..."

Or if you want to go more directly at the Dog try this: "The first attempt on your life was foiled. The next night, the killer is far more clever and tracks you to your bed and hacks you." Since its your Raise now, the player can only toss aside this consequence with a Block or Dodge, or a Reverse the Blow. If the player has insufficient dice, he has to Take the Blow (and the d8 weapon Fallout).

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But +1 for specifically using DitV terminology. –  anon186 Oct 27 '10 at 16:24
    
But? Did I miss the first part of the comment? =) –  Adam Dray Oct 28 '10 at 14:30

You can certainly flash back:

GM: So the guy brings the axe down.

Player: All right. Flash back to the night before. I'm putting a rolled blanket in my bed, to make it look as though I'm sleeping there.

You can slow time down:

GM: So the guy brings the axe down.

Player: All right. As it comes down, the light glints off the blade, waking me.

GM: He sees your eyes flickering, remembers his mission and brings the axes down even more sharply.

GM: I remember back to my brother, who would often play tricks on me in the night. Just like I did then, I roll away to the side at the last minute.away to the side at the last minute.

(And note how that last example incorporated a flashback, in the form of a memory, which fed into the present action).

And, as you observe, you can extend the scene forward:

GM: So the guy brings the axe down.

Player: All right. But I'm out travelling that night. Later that day, I find signs that someone's broken in. I spend the next few days tracking him down.

As for the other character's actions the only real solution is not to worry about it too much. I know that's unsatisfying, but otherwise it gets more complicated.

Simply say that the other characters didn't do much during that time. Or that they spent that time travelling. Or that, actually, the conflict occurred several days in the past, so it finishes ready for the other characters to act.

In other words, I'm suggesting you handwave the problem of the other players' actions.

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