Dogs in the Vineyard
- You stand between God's law and the best intentions of the weak.
- You stand between God's people and their own demons.
- Sometimes it's better for one to die than for many to suffer. Sometimes, Dog, sometimes you have to cut off the arm to save the life.
- Does the sinner deserve mercy?
- Do the wicked deserve judgement?
- They're in your hands.
Widely regarded as one of the finest role-playing games written, Dogs in the Vineyard is a game about almost-Mormons riding out to protect the Faithful.
From the game's introduction:
- Dogs in the Vineyard is about Gods Watchdogs, young men and women called to preserve the Faithful in a hostile frontier territory. They travel from town to isolated town, carrying mail, news, and doctrine, healing the sick, supporting the weary, and pronouncing judgement upon the wicked. One early playtester said what she loves about the game: a town welcomes you with celebration and honour, but what you're there to do is stir up its dirt and lay bare its sins.
- The setting is a fantasy inspired by pre-statehood Utah, the Deseret Territory, in the early-mid 19th century. Picture a landscape of high mountains, icy rivers and cedar woods, falling away westward into scrublands, deserts, buttes and swells. The summer skies are heartbreaking blue, but the winters are long and killing.
- Picture religious pioneers, fleeing persecution and violence in the East. They're trying to establish a society based on faith and righteousness out in this frontier. They've made the long trek westward but they're still in danger: their towns are small and isolated, vulnerable to attack from without, sin and corruption within. Under pressure, their pride becomes sin, their anger becomes violence, their resentments become hate. Winter and the demons howl...
- Picture Gods Watchdogs, holding the Faith together.
The game's hompage has handouts, several actual play writeups, and writeups of towns (aka scenarios) that you could use. The RandomWiki has a few more resources, actual play reports, pointers to interesting threads, and so on, including a list of pregenerated towns. See also this thread on What everybody should know about playing Dogs in the Vineyard and this clarification that characters can escalate from shooting to talking (from the Lumpley Games forum on the Forge).