Dogs in the Vineyard Character Creation

Doing some prep for a Dogs in the Vineyard game and I made a couple of cheat sheets Thought I’d post them here. If you haven’t heard of it look it up! It’s not like any other RPG I’ve ever seen and is a blast to play.
“Dogs in the Vineyard” was written by D. Vincent Baker and is published Lumpley Games. This document isn’t meant to reproduce or replace any part of that book. It’s literally just a quick reference sheet for the back of a GM screen. Seriously, go buy the book and look at the rules.


Each player picks then assigns dice to their character sheet based on what their background allocates for each section. Don’t roll dice, just assign number and size to all stats.

BackgroundsWellRoundedStrongHistoryComplicated HistoryStrong CommunityComplicated Community
Traits1D4, 2D6, 2D83D6, 4D8, 3D104D4, 2D6, 2D101D4, 3D6, 2D86D6, 2D8, 2D10
Relationships4D6, 2D81D4, 3D6, 2D85D6, 2D84D6, 4D8, 3D104D4, 2D6, 4D8, 3D10


There are 4 core stats in the game:Every stat need at least two dice in it.

·         Acuity—Represents your wits, perception, and education

·         Body—Represents your physicality

·         Heart—Represents your charm and compassion

·         Will—Represents your confidence and grit


Things that are true about your character, they take the place of skills. Make some up, then assign them dice. If players do not take a relationship with the dogs then they must take “I am a dog” as a trait. Remember dice sizes cannot be mixed


Relationships can be with people, institutions, or ideas. Players start the game with some relationships, but can also assign relationship dice to people and places they find in the game. Leave some dice left over you can assign relationships during the game. If players do not take the “I am a Dog” trait, they must take a relationship with the Dogs. Remember dice sizes cannot be mixed


Players can have as many belongings as they can reasonably carry on a horse. Write down the belongings that are important to your character and assign them dice. You are assumed to have necessities like tackle, food, camping equipment, etc. so, they don’t need to be written down.

Starting Equipment

Every dog is given the following belongings to start:

·         A gun—not every problem can be solved by talking

o    All guns get an additional 1d4

·         A horse—how you get around from town to town

·         The book of life—for marriages, sermons, exorcisms, etc.

·         A coat—your symbol of office. Each is unique and made for you by your family.

·         Consecrated earth—for performing ceremonies

·         A bag of mail—only need one per party

·         Personal Items—Whatever else you think your character would be carrying around

Dice Allocation

Dice aren’t assigned based on background, but on the quality of the items. You can have as many items as you want and give them whatever quality you want.

·         Normal 1d6

·         Excellent 2d6

o    Only excellent if a stranger would comment on how cool it is

·         Big 1d8

o    Only big if a stranger would comment on how big it is

·         Big and excellent 2d8

o    It is going to draw a lot of attention

·         Crap 1d4

Something you hope to accomplish during initiation.

 As a final step ask each player what they want their Dog to accomplish while they are training. This is going to be the basis for the first encounter of the session. Players get a 1D6 skill reflecting if they succeeded or not.

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