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Dogs in the Vineyard

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  251 ratings  ·  17 reviews
You stand between God's law and the best intentions of the weak.

You stand between God's people and their own demons.

Sometimes it's better for one to die than for many to suffer. Sometimes, Dog, sometimes you have to cut off the arm to save the life.

Does the sinner deserve mercy?
Do the wicked deserve judgement?

They're in your hands.

Roleplaying God's
Paperback, 152 pages
Published 2005 by Lumpley Games (first published 2004)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  251 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Dec 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Ever wondered what it might be like to be a gunslinger for god? This is Vincent Baker's revolutionary game about "The King's Dogs", young initiates to the faith who travel the Deseret Territories in the old west; carrying mail between settlements, keeping an eye out for mountain folk who might corrupt the faithful; oh, and meting out the justice of the King of Life on the Brothers and Sisters of the faith- with the Book of Life in one hand and a six-gun in the other. As emissaries of the King, ...more
Mar 03, 2013 rated it liked it
I really like the setting of DitV but I'm doubtful about the conflict resolution system - I'd need to hear an AP to get a good handle on it and see the added value. We've played a small 'nine sins' campaign of a Christian type of Dogs, and it worked really well. The settlements easily lend themselves to a 'one settlement per week' schedule that makes sessions really tight. Our game was fully impersonal though, which I think is the most interesting feature of the book (and most newfangled Indie ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I discovered indie RPGs in late 2015 when I finally played my first game of Fiasco. Since then I have been educating myself on what has been going on in RPGs for the last 15 years. Dogs in the Vineyard is of course on every indie RPG shortlist, and given how much I loved Apocalypse World, I knew that I wanted to read Dogs as well. I was lucky enough to find a used, affordable print copy of Dogs on the Half-Priced Books website, and I couldn’t be happier that I did.

I am a big fan of not only
D. Vincent Baker's indie darling RPG about the moral and physical tribulations of young "keepers of the faith" in a demon-haunted 19th century Utah is very worth the accolades it has received.

My overall thoughts are: "Awesome concept but too complicated for people new to the genre, would make a few tweaks."
Here's a somewhat unstructured review based on notes I took while reading:

Character creation is cool and the introduction to the system as part of it makes a lot of sense. I think this would
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked it, but I have the same issues with it that I found with Apocalypse World by the same author. "Dogs..." are the weird RPG that's clearly very narrative-focused and can potentially be a sublime experience, but at the same time it's saddled with very unintuitive mechanics which - after the first read-through - seem like they detract from the narrative more than support it. I'm sure that if you play a session or two of the game, you'll find that those mechanics are not a big deal after all, ...more
Feb 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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, ...more
Mike Montesa
Mar 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rpg
Dogs in the Vineyard changed the way I approach roleplaying games. It's intensely character and situation focused, and the way it works out sets up some very cool and often agonizingly difficult role-playing situations. It's the leading edge of RPG design that breaks away from the traditional RPG design tropes in a big way. If you're a veteran gamer and maybe a bit tired of the same ol' thing, playing DitV will be like a bucket of icewater over your head. If you haven't played an RPG before, or ...more
Ryan Aech
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Every RPG game should have a dice or card game at their center which would be fun to play with all the fiction and acting stripped away. Baker's Dogs in the Vineyard has that in spades. It's core mechanic is basically a complex poker game with dice. The fiction is affected by who wins, often resulting with the winner getting way more than he bargained for.
The setting is pseudo-mormon paladins in a West that never was. It is both utterly original and incredibly challenging.
This game is one of
Shannon Appelcline
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rpgs
An entirely fascinating RPG. I love the setting and its very conservative ideals, because I can see how they'd cause great conflict and great roleplaying. The mechanics offer up interesting narrative possibilities, and the emphasis on player interest and direction is revolutionary.

It's easy to see why this was a groundbreaking RPG.
Nov 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Geoff by: Sons of Kryos
Shelves: gaming
I haven't played it much, but I did write-up a town that I tried to run a small local convention. It was rough, but fun. I'm planning to play this again, hopefully in the not-too-distant future.

I'm currently reading (listening) to Orson Scott Card's Seventh Son, which seems like a really good fit for the Dogs setting. I'll be coming back to it for inspiration, I'm sure.
Aug 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: role-playing, gaming
A very interesting game well worth taking a look at if you're looking for something with mature themes and interesting mechanics. Set in a fictionalized version of pre-statehood Utah, but has been adapted to many different settings.
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If you love good conflict and drama, this is your game. Dogs in the Vineyard is hands-down the most interesting and original (published) RPG I've played in years, and I can't say how delighted I was to finally find it at our local game store.
Stacey Chancellor
Jun 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-do-not-own
A fun book about a game with gunslingers and religions. The rules are fairly simple and pokerish, and the one time I have played it...I had a blast.
Jul 04, 2015 rated it liked it
An interesting premise (but one I'm not entirely blown away by) and great concept for a system.
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Would love to play DITV, just need to find some people who were up for it.
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: storytelling-rpg, rpg
Jim Sensenbrenner
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gaming
Rated based on reading only. It is hard to see how conflict resolution will play out at the table. Setting is very engaging.
Skjalg Kreutzer
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Dec 24, 2013
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Oct 01, 2010
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Aug 21, 2012
Jett Cat
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Jun 19, 2013
Rhys Miller
rated it it was ok
Jan 20, 2017
Damian May
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Oct 24, 2012
Brooke Valletta
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Jan 20, 2012
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May 10, 2017
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Gabriel Sorrel
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Mar 17, 2019
Amber Ditullio
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Apr 24, 2011
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