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[Actual Play] Very Angry Dogs - American Werewolves In Dorset

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  • #16
    We had another session today, so links!

    Session 7
    Session 8

    I was expecting 8 to be the last session in The Hunt, but I misjudged how long the pre-prep would take so we've got one final session to go in this story still


    - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer & Developer

    ​Like my work? Feel like helping me stay supplied with tea? Check out my Patreon

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Acrozatarim View Post
      Also, some exciting news for Story 2 of Very Angry Dogs
      The way you talked about the end of the story made it sound like you were going to be done with the chronicle after Story 1, so I'm very pleased to hear this by itself, nevermind the rest of your news. :P


      I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
      An explanation how to use Social Manuevering.
      Guanxi Explanations: 1, 2, 3.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Errol216 View Post
        The way you talked about the end of the story made it sound like you were going to be done with the chronicle after Story 1, so I'm very pleased to hear this by itself, nevermind the rest of your news. :P

        It's still not a 100% surety but yeah, the guys expressed their eagerness to take it beyond a single story fairly early on. We'll see how it goes


        - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer & Developer

        ​Like my work? Feel like helping me stay supplied with tea? Check out my Patreon

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        • #19
          The finale of the first story, The Hunt, is up on YouTube:

          Session 9

          We're currently hammering out the potential start time for the second season, Possession, so I hope to have news on that soon.


          - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer & Developer

          ​Like my work? Feel like helping me stay supplied with tea? Check out my Patreon

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          • #20
            Any word yet on session 10?
            Also, if you are adding more players will this still be a Werewolf only game or are you going to branch out into other splats or players with Woolf Blooded or mortal characters?

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            • #21
              Yep! We should be digitally reconvening for the stream of session 10 on the 14th November, if all goes to plan.

              As for new characters, I'm going to be sticking with werewolves; I'm not too keen on mixing in other lines, and Wolf-Blooded or mortal characters are going to seriously struggle to keep up with a bunch of Uratha headliners.


              - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer & Developer

              ​Like my work? Feel like helping me stay supplied with tea? Check out my Patreon

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              • #22
                My personal experience has been that once the Werewolves (1st ed) get up a little in experience it is hard to find anything that can keep up with them.

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                • #23
                  Ahead of the first episode of the new story arc (which we're streaming over on Paleo Gaming at 2pm UK time, 9am (I think) EST, tomorrow Saturday 14th! Be there or be a rectangular thing!), I sent out a write-up of the pack's territory to the players. This is a surface look at the region that the pack have claimed, so obviously there's a lot going on that isn't going to be evident in it, but I found it useful to compile to consolidate my own notes, and hopefully it'll give the players a solid sense of the lay of the land - plus some hooks they can pull on.

                  I figure this may be useful as a demonstration re NiceBrian 's query about research - a lot of this comes from delving into the geography, history, and linguistics of the Blackmore Vale region, then pulling it together to form a fictional place within the context of the real. Some of it is more fictional than other parts; the Cale and the Stour really do join together in the center of the Vale, there's no Bagber Lydlinch but there is a hamlet called Bagber and a hamlet called Lydlinch, etc.

                  And I couldn't resist a Time Team reference!


                  The Territory of Bishop’s Glees
                  The pack’s claimed territory, bound under the sacred rites of the hunting ground, runs for a few miles in most directions from Kestrel Hall, encompassing all of the town of Gleesham and several smaller hamlets. It bites a sizeable chunk out of the Blackmore Vale’s heart.

                  A little historical research shows that, in the early second millennium, the area was a bishopric or church estate, with a monastery and bishop’s manor; following the English Reformation and the dissolution of the monasteries in the early 1500s, the land was transferred to lordly vassals of Henry VIII. The English Civil War in the mid-1600s saw the rise of the Sykes, Caldwell, and Gallaway families, who were awarded the estates in the aftermath and built the first manor where Kestrel Hall now stands.

                  The territory’s border is irregular, sculpted by the flow of rivers, the twisting shape of roads, and the hedge-marked boundaries of fields. A significant intrusion into its overall shape lies in the north-west, where the claimed ground of the Harvester’s pack gnaws into its integrity around Red Orchards. Elsewhere, the pack is less crowded; currently, no other packs currently claim land that abuts directly against the territory of Bishop’s Glees.

                  The Gauntlet lies thin across most of the territory, thickening only around Gleesham and a few other locations. The pack has yet to locate Loci other than the one within the estate itself, but the landscape likely hides more in its embrace. Following the disappearance of the Kestrel itself, the local Shadow seems to lie in a state of subdued disarray.

                  The spine of Bishop’s Glees, running from north down to the south-west point of Caundle Hill, is a ridge of hills formed by a limestone outcropping. To either side, the clay earth of the Vale gently undulates in a tide of fields, farmhouses, and woodlands. Two main rivers run through the area: the Dorset Stour and the Cale, both rising from springs to the north of the Vale. The Cale merges into the Stour a short distance south of Kestrel Hall.

                  Locations of Note
                  The old Gallaway estate of Kestrel Hall lies roughly central to the claimed territory, right on the flank of the hills that rise to the west. It contains a Locus of glass—a very unusual resonance—and is spiritually subdued, not quite a Barren but largely bereft of activity. In the Flesh, it sits on an area of greensands once used to make glass by locals; a small stream, the Weep, bubbles up from the greensands and feeds into the Stour where it passes by the estate. According to 20th century chemical surveys, the greensands also contain an unusual amount of radioactive material, although by the modern day these levels have dropped low enough to be barely more than natural background levels.

                  Gleesham lies close to Kestrel Hall, barely a couple of miles separating the town’s southern boundary from the estate’s northern edge. A large town by Blackmore Vale standards, Gleesham has a population of over 15,000. It’s a victim of rapid 20th century expansion and is proving hard to exert control over, with an unfriendly Shadow and a frustrating density of people.

                  Three significant hamlets lie in or on the edge of the territory, each a few dozen houses. Caundle Magna lies in the shadow of Caundle Hill in the south-west, a beautiful little community and regular winner of various Dorset village competitions. Stonewell-on-Cale sits to the north-west on the river Cale, near the Harvesters’ territory, and is the site of a petrifying well—a wellspring of such high mineral content it coats anything left in its waters with a stone-like appearance, making it a minor tourist attraction for the area. Bagber Lydlinch squats in the south, remaining a mystery; any attempt by a werewolf to cross the village boundary is met with a ringing in the ears, as if of church bells, that rises in strength and intensity to agonizing levels until the offender retreats.

                  Most of Bishop’s Glees is farmland, largely given over to grassy fields for cattle. Hedges and tree rows marking the boundaries between fields are themselves reflected in the Shadow, where bickering fiefdoms of earth and nature spirits draw their own lines of territory while shambling, grotesque mounds of livestock-symbolism gnaw on anything foolish enough to move within reach. Most of the farms seem of little immediate consequence to the pack’s concerns, but two are of greater note. Harrington Farm, over the far side of the line of hills to Kestrel Hall, is a large and privately-owned old farm and estate, including the Georgian-era mansion of Amber House. In the south-east of the territory, the Redfields Farming Co-Operative runs a modern, industrial swathe of farmland; the Gauntlet is thicker here.

                  Caundle Hill juts out over the Vale, a grassy promontary sculpted by the contours of an Iron Age hillfort with its crown bare but for a few lonely trees. Several old barrow mounds lie in its shadow. It offers an excellent view of the surrounding Vale and is popular with walkers. Archaeological surveys indicate there used to be a large shape or design gouged out of the limestone on the steep, south-facing side of the hill. In the Flesh, time and erosion have destroyed most of the evidence, but in the Shadow, a few ruined channels of the ancient symbol still visibly linger.

                  The ruins of an old monastery and small manor, Bishop’s Stack is a little way east of Kestrel Hall, on the other side of the Stour. Archaeological digs in the 90s and early 2000’s—including a televised episode of Bone Diggers, an ill-fortuned and short-lived spin-off of the much more popular Time Team speed-archaeology TV series—have mapped out the old monastery grounds, and it is now a minor tourism site with a small visitor’s building. Further east is Todber Mead, site of a battle in the English Civil war. Both Stack and Mead are notable for all manner of tales about ghosts and hauntings, and the Gauntlet is extremely thin in both locales.

                  The Calemarsh, in the west of the territory, is a small area of marshland seeping out around the Cale’s course. It’s been designated a protected nature reserve and area of outstanding natural beauty, flocking with birds and butterflies during the spring and summer months.

                  Gleesham
                  The town of Gleesham sits on the banks of the Dorset Stour, spreading out along former meadowland and the hills that flank the river where it passes through the limestone ridge. The town—then village—is recorded in the Domesday Book as Glæs Fornax, dropping the Fornax and becoming Glæsham in records of the 1200s, then retaining that name until the late 1500s. It slowly grew to a population of around 5000 in the mid 20th century, then erupted in size from the 50s and 60s onwards due to the timely sales of cheap land for development after the Second World War, used to develop new housing estates. It’s now a strange admixture of people, simultaneously rundown and well-to-do.

                  The modern heart of Gleesham is Gyllcombe, on the east bank of the Stour. As well as a centre and high street of shops and offices, Gyllcombe is punctuated by older buildings like Gylla Church, guildhall, and (closed down, boarded up) old theatre. Though rather dilapidated, the falls in property prices now result in old land being bought up and new constructions rising with investment from outside businesses. The town’s first office tower building—the only thing in Gleesham taller than the church—is nearly complete. On its seedier side, Gyllcome is home to Possession, a grotty nightclub that’s the epicentre of what passes for Gleesham’s nightlife, and the extremely sleazy Tigers club.

                  Blankmarsh is the old town, on the west bank, but was gutted by fire in the mid 1700s. A core of older buildings lies close to the river—including Gallaway House, once a merchantman building relating to the Gallaway family’s extensive mercantile holdings in the Newfoundland trade out of the port of Poole, and now the town council offices. The rest of Blankmarsh is mostly new housing developments spilling south on flat ground. Something still smoulders in the Shadow here, possibly lingering from the 18th century blazes that consumed much of the neighbourhood.

                  Torncliffe rolls down from the western hilltop of Gleesham, spreading out further west down the gentle slop there to overrun the once-rural landscape with 60s and 70s housing estates build in the cheap. The larger structures here—the fire station, police station, and the factories of the industrial park—are edifices of brutalist architecture that loom threateningly over the residential areas. In the 1800s, the base of Torncliffe hill was the site of chemical processing plants that fed into the Poole chemical trade; new plants still stand on a portion of that site, with the remainder given over to the cheapest and most dismal swathe of housing estate.

                  The smaller church of St. Johns lends its name to the most prosperous part of town, a leafy neighbourhood spilling down from the eastern hilltop to Gyllcombe. Most of St. Johns is firmly middle-class and older, with house prices to match the preposterous rise in the market over the last few decades. Where it reaches the river, it forms the trendy end of the high street and the older, more established professional businesses of the town. Cabaros, an ambiguously Mediterranean wine bar and club on the high street here, represents the apogee of class in Gleesham’s nightlife. The church itself harks back to the Norman era, though mostly rebuilt in the 1400s and then the 1600s due to damage. John’s Stone, an old menhir likely dating from the Bronze Age and later carved with Christian symbols, stands in the church’s graveyard; some historians belief the name stems from a local association with St. John’s wort, a plant long used in folk medicine.

                  Kestrel Hall
                  The substantial Gallaway estate is in poor condition, even with the pack putting their backs into clearing away debris and overgrowth. As well as the house and grounds, it consists of an area of (neglected) farmland, woodlands, and the horse stables and paddock.

                  The old mansion is a grand, late 17th century building with three main storeys, forming a C-shape with its two wings. Featuring elaborate carved wooden panels and struts, and intricate plasterwork that has sadly seen better days, the aesthetic of Kestrel Hall can be summarized as avian and rustic—repeating motifs of birds match a design style that deliberately harks back to the country hunting lodges of older noble eras. First Tongue glyphs hidden among the woodwork decorations shows an enduring werewolf presence throughout the mansion’s history.

                  The old gardens show the indications of what was once a much grander display of hedges, carefully tended plant beds, and statuary, including a now-choked marble fountain and signs of an 1800s-era restyling. The gardens’ trees and hedges discretely hide the site of the family tomb, as well as a small building of pillars and domes in a distinctly Ottoman style that records call the Rassiter Folly. The trees of a once-shaded walk out towards the entrance are wild and scraggly, the gravel path almost gone beneath grass. The ornamental lake by where the Weep wells up is now just a soggy dip; the hedge maze is essentially just one big, thorny tangle. The glasshouse by the mansion is one of the few things that has been maintained in anything approaching good condition.

                  Nosing around the estate has revealed signs of earlier industry. At the western edge of the grounds, amid advancing woodland, a large dip in the ground marks what may have been a sand excavation pit. Nearby, old brick ruins contain the rusting detritus of what looks to be an old 19th century glassworks, roofless and half-sunk amid earth and vegetation.

                  Five cottages are scattered around the estate, towards its fringes. Having been regularly inhabited up until the beginning of the 90s, they’re mostly in a reasonably good state; they’ve been modernized and rewired up until that period, although some will need a more extensive electrical and services overhaul due to damage over the intervening thirty years.


                  - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer & Developer

                  ​Like my work? Feel like helping me stay supplied with tea? Check out my Patreon

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                  • #24
                    We're well into season 2 now! Check out the first two sessions on YouTube:
                    Session 2.1
                    Session 2.2

                    We've moved our sessions to Saturday, starting shortly after 9am EST / 2pm UK time - the next one should be in about half an hour or so from this post, over in the usual place on Twitch!


                    - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer & Developer

                    ​Like my work? Feel like helping me stay supplied with tea? Check out my Patreon

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