[AP] Dog Eat Dog: Zemmiland

[AP] Dog Eat Dog: Zemmiland

We got a chance to play the brilliant Dog Eat Dog from Liam Burke.  Dog Eat Dog is a game about colonialism.  It is a game about the compromises and lack of compromises that happens when one civilization install itself on another.  It is about fiat and runnin amok.  It is about resistance and assimilation.  It is simple, powerful, and elegant.  It’s a game that, if you’ve read it, looks like one thing, but if you’ve played it is another animal entirely. Dog Eat Dog is a game that demands to be played, so please play it when you have a chance.

Four of us (Me, Dev, De Ana, and Kennedy) played over a G+ Hangout. using Dicestream and a shared google doc.

The Natives were the Zemmies in the country of Zemmiland, occupied by the Elucidar Republic, who Dev controlled.

The Natives (Zemmies)
(Quinn) Ra Jamison, an oracle
(Kennedy) Nam Deta, Ambassador
(De Ana) Theia Lok, Witchdoctor

The Occupation (Elucidar Republic)
Governor Airith
Academician Zissera
Chief Inspector Hiversith
Tila Deta (scholar and daughter to Nam Deta)
Ambassador Crael

 

Traits

Natives

Occupation (“Elucidar Republic”)

Are environmentally conscious.

Profit driven / strip-mining mentality

Narrow view of technology/medicine/religion (holistic/magic)

Naively democratic

Matrilineal

Narrow view of technology/medicine/religion (“advanced”)

They are loud and noisy.

Written words are polite; spoken words are obscene or “familiar”.

 

 

The Zemmies had a lot of magical traditions and powers, none of which the Elucidar believed in.  To slowly squeeze out the magic, they decided to force the magic men/women to get licensed, which required them to get tested.  The Elucidar’s academicians knew nothing about magic, so their tests held no relevance to magic…so everyone failed.

Most of the play revolved around the Zemmies clan ambassador (played by Kennedy) and prominent witch doctor (De Ana) and oracle (me) trying to get The Elucidar to come up with better tests or at least less stringent controls over magic, while a plague ravaged the land. The plague mostly hit the Elucidar, but was now hitting the Zemmies.  Later, we determined that the plague was magically created by the Zemmies to drive off the Elucidar, but the plague had since mutated to also attack Zemmies.

Eventually in the end, the Elucidar learned to fear our magic.  All three natives ended up running amok. I was the first. I had walked away from negotiations after promising the plague would destroy all the Elucidar.Unwilling to wait for my prophecies, I gathered a rebel force and sought to drive a big rig with a large container of plague into the heart of the biggest Elucidar-populated city.  The Chief Inspector enlisted  De Ana’s Witch doctor to try to stop me at the bridge.  In the first actual display of magic all game, she paralyzed me as I drove. I seized up and went off the side of the bridge.

The Elucidar then realized magic was real, and flipped out on the witch doctor.  A dozen dead soldiers later, they finally took out the witch doctor with a bullet to the head.

The ambassador, who was becoming increasingly radicalized, went to use his powers and enter the fight. His daughter, who inherited his powers and was already assimilated after studying abroad for many years, stopped him dead in his tracks with her more potent power.

The Elucidar?  Without announcing to the public what happened, they slowly began to encourage people to move back to their homeland, while still keeping an economic and military foothold in the area.  Zemmiland was no longer hailed as the chief vacation spot of Elucidar’s colonies…

Lastly, our rules:

  • The Zemmies are inferior to the Elucidar Republic people.
  • The Elucidar Republic likes to negotiate.
  • The Elucidar Republic will never understand magic
  • The Elucidar Republicwant the Zemmies to forsake their traditions.
  • The Zemmies cannot get in the way of the Elucidarian profit margin
  • Give the Elucidar Republic what they want or they will take what they need.

I’ll discuss what I like about Dog Eat Dog in another post.

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One Response

  1. This sounds like a really interesting system, with some great dynamics. And I like the story: it’s a tragedy of cultures, really.