July 31, 2008

Dogs in the Vineyard, Two

I finished reading through Dogs last night. It's nice and short - only 140 some-odd pages.

It's also the source (but not the origin) of the oft repeated, "Say yes or roll the dice." It may not work in all kinds of games, but the idea is important: unless something interesting is going to happen along the way, the players succeed at what they want to do. If they want to go somewhere, and the trip is uneventful, they get where they were going. If they're searching for something, and not finding it doesn't present an interesting option, they find it.

Some of this is facilitated by the style of game that Dogs presents, though. The game isn't about the story or the search or the fights - it's about how the Dogs decide to resolve the town's issues and what that reveals about their characters. People are going to come to the Dogs with their issues in the town, because they know the Dogs are supposed to do something about it. Whether that turns out the way the NPC wants it to is whole separate matter.