For last month's Indie RPG meetup, I ran Vincent Baker's Dogs in the Vineyard for the irrepressible +Derek Wollenstein and +Mady Mellor . I always secretly thought more dogs should deal with their distrust of organizational hierarchy through baking and, oh yes, we went there.
DOGS IN THE VINEYARD
roleplaying God’s Watchdogs
in a West that never quite was.
A few thoughts. The methodical process of building a town does so much behind the scenes. You will define the seeds of pride that gave rise to the colossal shitstorm the players find themselves in, but whether or not the players ever come across it is left undefined. They have a problem to solve, the reason is there if they smoke it out, or run headfirst into it - but it lives on its own. It makes the town feel alive and breathing independent of the players.
Second, the conflicts require the players to confront and deal with the emotional stakes you lay out head on. When you raise with a character getting spit on, the player doesn't get to brush it off and move on to the next move - their character needs to deal with it. It makes the emotional beats so much more reliable.
Third, initiations are just plain cool.
Parallel to us was +tom denton running Lacuna. Hope I get to play in one of Tom's games soon too.
On a final note, how freaking cool are these illustrations? They're by Dylan Meconis for the Italian translation (http://www.dylanmeconis.com/portfolio/portfolio-series-dogs-in-the-vineyard/).