Flowcharting Dogs in the Vineyard

Just a quickie, here: We recently played Blowback (more on that later), and the flowcharts of action resolution in there reminded me of this. A while back, we played a longer game of Dogs in the Vineyard (more than just a session–a couple months, IIRC). Now, at that point, I’d had the rulebooks (both editions) for a couple years, at least, and had read them cover-to-cover. When we decided to play, I read the book again–this was my 3rd complete readthrough, and I probably read the resolution section more times than that. And I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. Maybe it was the fact that it was split over a dozen pages or so, with no single summary. Maybe it was the writing style. Maybe it was just me–at least one of the people I played with found my flowchart much less clear than the rulebook. Regardless, I obviously needed to know how to roll the dice, etc., if I was going to run the game, so I sat down and flowcharted it. Made for a pretty complex flowchart, as these things go. But, once I had that down, it became crystal clear to me.

So, in case anyone else is having trouble grokking the mechanics of Dogs in the Vineyard, I thought I should share this. I’m releasing this under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. Now, if you need this to keep track of the rules, give it a once-over before you start, or you might miss something. There are several asides with extra bits of the rules that you need to know, but don’t really fit neatly into the flow–so things like a helping demon, or bringing in an object, aren’t directly in the line of chart progression, because they can interrupt at any of a number of points.


click on either image to get to the full PDF

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