Over on Fair Game, Vincent Baker and Clinton R Nixon are interviewing each other and Vincent said something that made me blink:
“Nobody I know of has played Dogs and not killed sinners just for sinning.”
Now, John Harper at The Mighty Atom has already done this, but I thought I’d throw Jeremiah Wainwright, my first Dogs character into the fray as an example.
Jeremiah’s never killed anything, for sin for fun, or for any reason at all. In fact, Jeremiah’s got a trait to prove it: “I ain’t killed anything my whole life: 1d8.”
What’s more, Jeremiah’s whole premise is about the killing line: what it takes a person to get there and about how much of a man it takes not to cross it before the time comes and how much it takes to make that step when it does.
Through a series of escalating situations that line has been questioned, but the step over has never come. Brand will, eventually, get his ass into gear and run us some more of that campaign (she says, despite the fact that she currently demands 2 other games from him on a regular basis, so is really out of line with that “get his ass in gear comment”), and I am interested in seeing what’s the point that Jeremiah might actually have to kill something, or someone, whether or not he’ll be able to step up when we get there, and how it will change or destroy him.
There were two particularly memorable moments:
In the town, basically a man’s pride in refusing to give his wife children had escalated to a group of women forming a false priesthood, engaging men not their husbands in adulterous acts for the sake of insemination. One of the characters was a mentally challenged wall of a man in his 20’s one of those men beguiled by the women. He was angry, and confused, and Jeremiah, knowing August had sinned by fucking his brother’s wife, as well as another woman in town, was confronting him to try and get him to understand the error of his ways. Jeremiah talked, August got physical, Jeremiah talked, August got violent, and Jeremiah talked him down, just before things got really really bad for Jeremiah. As it was, he took a lot of fallout from the challenge.
Later, in the moment the murder was coming on, August’s mother, a prideful old convert was trying to kill her daughter in law after shooting the Steward who had started the false doctrine in the first place. Jeremiah tried to talk her down, and failing that, escalated to physical (in the face of her gunfire) and managed to eventually make her back down, getting in between her and the muzzle of his fellow Dog’s gun. Once again, much fallout, but he never once escalated to violence, never mind gunplay, nevermind killing.
That’s not to say he was easy on anyone. People were exiled, their houses were taken, they were put into public service, cut off at their knees in the public’s standing.
Brand said afterwards that one of his only dissappointments in the game was, that no matter what he did, he couldn’t force Jeremiah tto shoot anybody in the face.