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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 82 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [Dogs] Okay, Jews?  (Read 5525 times)
Vaxalon
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Posts: 1619


« on: February 10, 2005, 02:52:41 AM »

1> Tree of Life.  HUGE symbolism for Jewish mysticism a.k.a. kabalah.
2> Coats.  The connection with Joseph is clear, at least to me.
3> Symbols on the cover - these look more like menorahs than trees.

I kinda like it.
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2005, 08:08:15 AM »

Yes, you're right.

Go on?

-Vincent
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2005, 08:18:54 AM »

Quote from: Vaxalon
1> Tree of Life.  HUGE symbolism for Jewish mysticism a.k.a. kabalah.
2> Coats.  The connection with Joseph is clear, at least to me.
3> Symbols on the cover - these look more like menorahs than trees.

I kinda like it.


What kinda craazy accusation is that? You're talking crazy talk! There were no Jews involved in the production of that game!

CRAZY TALK.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Vaxalon
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Posts: 1619


« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2005, 09:25:18 AM »

Quote from: lumpley
Yes, you're right.


All I wanted to know.
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
lumpley
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2005, 10:17:56 AM »

Quote
All I wanted to know.

Not good enough.

What's up?

-Vincent
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Vaxalon
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Posts: 1619


« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2005, 11:00:01 AM »

I find the culture portrayed in Dogs to be a fascinating one.  Since the book is fairly light on details, I was trying to divine, by whatever means possible, what roots it might have.

Clearly, the connection to LDS is there, but, I think, fairly superficial, that is, having to do with the outward appearance of the Faith rather than its source.  I was looking for the taproot.  I have learned (mostly from completely unreliable sources) a little bit of Kabalah, mostly in broad strokes, but it was enough to recognize the Tree of Life, so as I went along, reading, my suspicions grew stronger.  I began noticing other clues, or elements that could be clues.

I said I like the idea, because I don't think Jews have been the focus of an RPG setting in this way, before.  When I first got it, I was jazzed about the "Banthas in the Vineyard" variant, but the more I read, the more I consider, the more juice I get for the setting-as-written.
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
Brand_Robins
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2005, 11:21:25 AM »

It's worth noting that the first "Gentile" mayor of Salt Lake was Jewish. He was a "gentile" because he wasn't Mormon, you see....

Throughout our history Mormons have done a lot of emulation of Jewish culture and religion. (Sometimes in good ways, sometimes in ways that I'm not comfortable with.) From things like using the word "Gentile" to mean "Person who is not of the covenant" to having our Patriarchal blessings make us part of one of the 10 Tribes, there is a lot of Jewish appropriation in Mormonism. (And that's without even getting into the fact that Joseph Smith spent a lot of time learning Hebrew from a respected Jewish Kabbalist...)

For example, the Tree of Life is important in LDS iconography, though in a slightly different way than in Kabbalah. The Biblical story of Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors is also an important story in LDS studies, and is used in combination with missionary work and family duty fairly heavily. And so it goes.

So while I do think there are Jewish influences that go outside Mormonism in Dogs (and am glad for it), a great many of them aren't so far outside the bounds as to break anything.

Though as I wrote that I had a sudden idea for Dogs in the era of the Judges, going to the outlying towns and stomping out heresy and dealing with Egyptian priests, or young Rabbis in medieval Spain going from town to town under the noses of the Spanish Inquisition....
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- Brand Robins
Vaxalon
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2005, 11:44:57 AM »

AHA!

You see, I didn't know about the LDS appropriation of Jewish iconography.  I'm not very familiar with LDS.
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2005, 12:00:35 PM »

Quote from: Brand_Robins
Though as I wrote that I had a sudden idea for Dogs in the era of the Judges, going to the outlying towns and stomping out heresy and dealing with Egyptian priests, or young Rabbis in medieval Spain going from town to town under the noses of the Spanish Inquisition....


See, the thing is, it really doesn't work from a  Jewish perspective. We've just never had that kind of central social order. The closest thing might be the Temple period, and I can't imagine anything other than political intrigue being a primary plot at that point.

I've really wanted to do some sort of kickass Jewish fantasy thing, like this kind of thing or earlier, with something like Gilgamesh going on.

I'm more tempted by the former because it's post-Babylon, so the Rabbinic tradition is in place, which means the decentralized nature of Judaism has already taken root. The latter would be all supermen and efritim and Nefilim (whatever they are), and I prefer the magic in my games to be subtle but intense, rather than blatant.

Note that Dogs would totally not work for either of these.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2005, 12:17:06 PM »

Clearly, the religion in Dogs is NOT real-world Judaism, any more than it is real-world LDS.

It's a what-if...
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2005, 01:20:30 PM »

Quote from: Vaxalon
Clearly, the religion in Dogs is NOT real-world Judaism, any more than it is real-world LDS.

It's a what-if...


Sure, sure. I'm just saying that using it for 'Jews' in 'Spain' would be cosmetic. There's no philosophical common ground.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
lumpley
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2005, 06:52:04 AM »

A big thank you, Brand, for your post! I wouldn't have figured out to say that.

Quote from: Fred
Clearly, the connection to LDS is there, but, I think, fairly superficial, that is, having to do with the outward appearance of the Faith rather than its source.

Not at all. I wrote it to be accessible to whomever, but it's full of secret codes. The coats, the "vineyard," Stewardship, towns' deterioration, the take on God's will vs. inspiration, even the mostly fictional Elements of Ceremony - it should, I hope, resonate deeply with LDS readers.

You'll have to ask Brand and others whether I succeeded, but for my part, it's Mormon all the way down.

-Vincent
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Vaxalon
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Posts: 1619


« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2005, 07:41:08 AM »

I have some friends that would probably have a lot of fun with Dogs, but would be put off by the Mormon symbology, to the extent that their enjoyment would be totally ruined.  Yeah, they're bigots... but since they're also pagans, they get away with it.

When I run Dogs (I will, eventually) for them, I think I'm going to go the Jedi route, just because most of them are headoverheels Jedi freaks.
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
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