It dawns on me this afternoon that I am halfway through the week to the next games night. Which means that I need to think about expanding my setting notes for Dogs in the Vineyard. Without giving too much away to some of the players (who might read this) it's fair for me to say that while I had the starting conditions for the first few towns in place, I have only the briefest of sketches for others.
I know of connections between some of the towns, and I know of the sins but not the sinners for some more. The only really time intensive thing in terms of prep is the names of everyone, and their stats. I spent an evening earlier this week rolling dice against NPC stat tables again and again to build up a buffer of numbers for play.
(thought: there must be a simple way to mechanise that, an app that just generates a list of disposable NPCs... Select the number of people that you want, click Go and it creates a pdf list of stats)
So maybe that's what I need to do this evening: the valley has seven towns (or does it...???) and I have prep for three. So best be getting on with the other four - not that the players will ever visit them all - and think about the connections and webs of wants and needs. Again, that's a key insight that makes Dogs in the Vineyard work I think: the town creation drives you towards thinking about human relationships. It directs you to think about what people want - crucially, what they want from the Dogs. You're not just building a shooting gallery.