Dogs in the Vineyard: Watching the Watchmen

While digging through stuff in my games closet, I found character sheets for a game of Dogs in the Vineyard game that has not yet got off the ground.

  • Lucas Wiley – one of the Mountain People who was adopted as an infant by the Steward of a Faithful community, after that same steward (and community) wiped out the village of Mountain People to which Lucas had originally belonged.
  • Lawrence Shoemaker – a kind soul who is much (much) more comfortable carrying for all of the King’s dumb creatures.
  • Efrem Crofter – a bookish young man who spent a great deal of time in the great Library… perhaps to stay away from his step-father, a man who taught him to shoot… and who branded him with the symbol of the tree of life to remind him to “be good.” A guy who just wants to help people.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it here; this is not a game about religiosity. It’s not a game about faith and judgment. It’s not even a game about paladin cowboys fighting evil and shooting bad guys in the head (although that part’s pretty damn fun).1
It’s about what happens to people who want to Do Good, who get into the Real World and have to fix Real Problems and deal with the unlovely results. It’s never about the Towns. It’s never about the Sins. It’s about the Dos. It’s a melodrama about growing up.
(… and shooting people in the face. With love.)
1 – It’s definitely NOT a game about ‘what if mormons had magical super powers and were always right’, which is what some people still seem to think.


  1. Yeah, yeah.
    Unfortunately that is exactly what the setting looks and feels like. To me, anyway. It took a while to get past the bone-deep Ick factor.

  2. Your title made me think it was going to be a super-hero / Dogs mash-up, which struck me as a spiffy idea. I couldn’t quite come up with (after all of 30 seconds contemplation) a way to justify the isolation of situations that Dogs are built around (without making it “heroes in a post-Apocalypse world trying to reestablish order” kind of thing.
    Hmmmm … an SF setting. You have far-flung small colonies, local/civil control, but also the Patrol, providing support, working from the principles of the Great Compact, enforcers of the higher law, and always on the look-out for alien influence …

  3. I think if you had asked me, I would have said the game is about finding something greater than yourself and making things right because of it.
    But then, I might say that of all games. [grinning]

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