Attacking the darkness

I recently happened across lumpley‘s Mormon gunslingers game Dogs in the Vineyard. This description from the author and this review give a flavour of the thing, and some details of the poker-like conflict resolution rules. It looks fun, very different from the mechanics-heavy stuff (D&D and friends) and focused on helping the group create a compelling story by pitching the characters into conflicts with no easy answers. Playing the eponymous dogs, you’re in a game world where the religion really is true and your job is to defend it, bringing the towns you visit back onto the straight and narrow, using words, ritual and, when all else fails, a six-shooter.

scribb1e found a bunch of alternate settings for it, all based on the playing characters sworn to defend an ideology the players probably disagree with. My favourite is Fashion Experts on a Reality TV Show, mainly for the fashion version of the game’s “Something’s wrong”, X leads to Y progression.

Following scribb1e‘s further suggestion that there should be a CICCU version, I’ve come up with Staff Workers in the UCCF, in which our intrepid players are running characters who are the paid staff sent to help university Christian Unions. In the game, they’d deal with CUs who’ve strayed from the Doctrinal Basis, so the equivalent to a town in Dogs is a university CU (or possibly a college CU in the Reps in the CICCU variant). The Desert People are the liberal Christians, maybe the SCM (they might also be the other religions evangelising on campus, if there are any). Actually, it might make sense for the Desert People to be Fusion and the SCM represent the corrupt religion of the Territorial Authority, I suppose.

I’ve not quite worked out what the CU equivalent of shooting someone is, any ideas?

Here’s the Something’s Wrong progression:

Pride (manifests as self-righteousness)
-leads to->
Sin (manifests as demons outside, e.g. the Student Union refuses to let you book rooms, the student newspaper writes nasty things about you)
-leads to->
False Doctrine (manifests as corrupt religious practices and heresy, e.g. charismatic stuff like speaking in tongues and falling over; rejection of Biblical inerrancy; rejection of penal substitutionary atonement; acceptance of homosexuality)
-leads to->
False Priesthood (manifests as demons inside, like like CU members going out with non-Christians, sleeping with their boy/girlfriends (esp. if they’re the same sex, obviously), getting drunk)
-leads to->
Hate (manifests as apostasy (defection to Fusion, the SCM or to atheism), schism)

I probably will pay up for the PDF of the Dogs rules, so I’ll have to see how far I can go with this, but it might actually be a fun variant of the game.

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