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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 142 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Dogs in the Vineyard is the most well-written game.  (Read 3359 times)

Posts: 10

« on: November 06, 2005, 11:22:08 AM »

Having played it once, I recently bought the DitV PDF so that I could help out Jonas in his endeavour to set up some Forge gaming for a swedish RPG convention. Despite the lack of layout and illustrations (I read it just before the update) I just kept reading. Really well written, that is the wording and writing is good. The intro of Chapter IV: Conflict and Resolutions...

The shoopkeeper from Back East? His wife isn't really
his wife. He's the procurer and she's the available
woman. Their marriage is a front.

Your brother's son, tour nephew, is fourteen years old.
He's been stealing money from his father, your brother,
and taking it to visit this woman.

Your brother is in a bitter rage, humiliated by his son's
thievery and grieving his son's lost innocence.

He's going to shoot her.

What do you do?

Just, bam! Now you know what DitV is about. And what struck me from reading the actual book was the love and serenity, alongsides the strong and cool dogs. Sure, all you see of these people are sinners, they have antiquated religious morals... But they are good, loving people. The mix of these two sides of Faith becomes evident in the intro of Chapter III: Creating Characters.

You have a badge of office: A long coat, colorful, beutiful, hand-pieced and quilted by your friends and family back home. To you, it recalls their love and your duty; to others, it's a powerful symbol of your authority.

Sometimes Dogs authority is made of love. That is immensily, seriously cool.

And, of course, there is the Accomplishment on p. 30:

His ribs are all smashed and floating, and now he stops breathing"
"Oh no he doesn't. I mark his forehead with consecrated earth to hold him in Life"


"His eyes go wide and his body starts to relax" You Take the Blow to See: "He's seeing heaven."

"Oh no he doesn't." One sentence, and the character tells me his determination and nervousness through the player. And then comes the Life with a capital L. And seeing heaven as a Blow... Just beutiful. Poetry. This passage made me cry repeatedly. I don't know when that happened last. Never in an RPG, at least.

Thanks for making my day.

-Arvid Axbrink Cederholm
Frank T
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2005, 04:00:40 AM »

Absolutely. It's not only good prose, but it also teaches you very, very well how to play the game. It's a lesson in structure, clarity an tone. What I love most is the parts about the land, for Vincent's love for it so strongly shines through. I have been there, you know. It is that beautiful.

- Frank
Posts: 3453

« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2005, 08:23:16 AM »

Aw man, I'm blushing.

Thank you.


Posts: 9

« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2006, 11:05:33 PM »

He has a point.

I bought DitV out of curiosity in a semi-random fashion.

I convinced our most acclaimed GM to run it next week by letting him read a few pages, an endeavour I vowed to succeed in after I read the whole thing cover to cover in one sitting.

The thing -oozes- the right feel, the good simple depth that makes a game pop.

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken
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