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Dogs in the Vineyard: A Role-Playing Game (2004)

de D. Vincent Baker

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Es mostren totes 2
Another entry in the "I don't play RPGs" category. This one has a fantastic-looking setting and mechanics designed for intense storytelling -- unlike Nobilis, there's not much 'colour storytelling' in the rulebook, but this one actually tempts me more to try playing.

The setting is religious: you're one of God's Watchdogs, travelling from town to town dispensing judgement in a Western Frontier-ish society. The religious aspects are important, because the mechanics are aimed at forcing the players to make moral judgements.

This is where it gets cool-sounding. The resolution mechanism (what would be dice-rolling against a stat in D&D) is a bidding system, and you can get extra chips by 'escalating the conflict'. So if you start out trying to win someone over by reason, but you're losing the bidding, you can escalate to fighting, hand-to-hand or with weapons or even guns (it's a Western setting, remember?). Each escalation gets you some more bargaining power, but it also raises the stakes in terms of possible outcomes. The idea is that you should be asking yourself, "is achieving this goal really worth the damage that escalating is going to do?"

It gets even cooler though. Each bid must be narrated ("I raise: I'll quote some Scripture about casting out the eye that offends thee") and if the narration touches on things that are important for the character you can claim extra chips. "Important for the character" is less vague in the rules -- PCs have explicitly stated relationships with other characters and potentially with institutions and even particular sins.

What this adds up to is a very attractive conflict resolution system: it's explicitly designed to use conflict to create meaningful stories. The bidding system gives credit for escalation (increasing the emotional importance of what's going on) and for relating the action to potential story-elements that we already know about. Compare that to the D&D model, where the dice-rolling and table lookup are the least meaningful parts of the gameplay, and you'll see why I'm tempted to actually give this one a try. ( )
5 vota tikitu-reviews | Mar 11, 2007 |
I'm so excited to try playing this game sometime. It's very different from Dungeons & Dragons and really from any other RPG I've come across. It's set in something roughly approximating the American West in the 1800s, but with a twist to it -- your character is a member of God's Watchdogs, and it's your job to travel from town to town and make sure that people are keeping the Faith. You're basically a religious zealot with a gun, although how you want to play it (are you the good guys, saving the townspeople from demons? Or the bad guys, fanatics who'll shoot anyone who disagrees?) is up to you. If I were to run this, I think I'd do it Gunslinger style -- Knights of the Cross with cowboy hats and six-shooters in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Hot. ( )
1 vota Crowyhead | Nov 22, 2006 |
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