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INDEPENDENT GAME OF THE YEAR, 2004

This is the highest honor of the Indie RPG Awards. It is awarded to the best overall Independently produced RPG of the year, as chosen by peers and members the gaming community. It is given to the RPG and the designer who made it. Everything which makes a game good; from game elements of story, setting, rules, innovation, and overall game design; to physical qualities like graphical design and layout, are taken into account for the awarding of this honor.

THE INDEPENDENT GAME OF THE YEAR FOR 2004 IS...

DOGS IN THE VINEYARD / with 101 points

Selected Peer Feedback:

"fascinating game; much impressed with the chargen, escalation mechanics, and the whole mileu as presented."

"Dogs in the Vineyard is an extraordinary game which is morally weighty, user friendly, and draws on techniques from the entire history game design. The text is like the game in play, compact, hard-hitting, and resolute in its drive to change your life for the better."

"DitV is what Indie game design is all about. It's got an innovative conflict resolution system that sits perfectly in the background. The game comes will proper design tools for characters and adventures that give great support to both GM and players. A clear winner."

Dogs in the Vineyard's Town Creation rules are a pioneering step forward in rules structure on the GM's side of the screen. The conflicts in this game seem to write themselves. Also, putting gameplay into the character creation is bucket of cold water onto the face of other game designers. The escalation mechanics make every choice *matter.*

"Dogs in the Vineyard: problably one of the most inovative games of the past 5 years. It takes a very overused genre and breathes a new spark of life into its wary bones."

"This game made my list because it has generated a lot of buzz. It is not first because it did not push my emotional buttons like Cat did. The game feels very Mormon to me. Role playing a member of the church police pushes a negative button in my mind - Most people would see this if the game was about role playing a member of the Saudi religious police. See how that rankcles? But I have to give credit to an excellent application of Forge ideas and a well executed book. Good work Vincent! Hope you enjoy the puppet." * (note: "puppet" refers to Afro-Dog, the mascot of the Indie RPG Awards and present for the winner)

"Dogs in the Vineyard -- a third choice in a year full of games that very nearly tie one another. People can't stop talking about this game, and the front and center positioning of that rarest of gaming beasts -- moral dilemmas -- makes this a hugely compelling game. Bravo."

""Dogs in the Vineyard" is a clean, driven game that was the first game I ever dubbed a "page-turner." It reads well, it plays even better. What best complements its premise is its approachability. You get "Dogs in the Vineyard" immediately because Vincent's writing is fresh yet direct. He really feels like you're sitting across from him as he's describing this great new game he wants you to play."

"Dogs in the Vineyard is a tight, well-written game that does exactly what it sets out to do, and has rules for escalating conflict that other RPGs should very much look at. Innovative, focused, and one of the few RPGs my wife is interested in playing, being an ex-Mormon and all."

"Dogs in the Vineyard is a well-written, fun read with strong mechanics and a rich setting. I put a lot of stock in a game that so intrigues me that I have to read it twice through."

"Innovative rules that drive home the game\'s themes. They tie characters to the world and make their relationships to NPCs matter, mechanically. Though the setting itself is not very detailed, it\'s an interesting take on the western genre."

"Dogs" is an obvious choice - it manages to be an impossible thing. It's a highly avant-garde role-playing system about Mormon missionaries in the Old West and it appeals to almost every person who gives it a try. That's bizarre, and yet completely deserving."

"Dogs in the Vineyard has the coolest rules I have ever seen in a roleplaying game, ever."

"Not only groundbreaking design, but guidelines and mechanics that change the relationship between players and the game. With the best GM support going, to boot."

"DOGS IN THE VINEYARD is nearly unique in the primary role that morality and religion play in the construction of characters, settings, and adventures. Along with an interesting, carefully staged design, the result is a powerful game of justice and responsibility."

"Dogs in the Vineyard presents a mechanic which not only enhances play, but really does serve to crack up the tension during conflicts. An excellently thought out and impressively presented game."

"DitV: Compelling character role—spiritual enforcer in the Wild West."

"Dogs In the Vineyard is a nicely designed, solid game, that shines, I think, in how well it conveys textually what it's like to play, and how it should be run. The religious gunslinger thing doesn't much appeal to me personally, but damn if the game isn't fun in play despite that."

See the Runners Up in this category for more games and feedback!