Coyote and Crow is a tabletop role playing game set in an alternate future of the Americas where colonization never occurred. Instead, advanced civilizations arose over hundreds of years after a massive climate disaster changed the history of the planet. You’ll play as adventurers starting out in the city of Cahokia, a bustling, diverse metropolis along the Mississippi River. It’s a world of science and spirituality where the future of technology and legends of the past will collide. [From the Kickstarter campaign]
Hey, it’s my first Kickstarter post! I back tons of Kickstarter projects, and I love talking them up—partly to support the projects and, partly (selfishly) to make sure they hit tasty stretch goals I want to receive. Coyote and Crow has already burned through all its original stretch goals, hitting $560K with 2 weeks to go in its campaign. I personally backed it at the printed hardcover Warrior level.
What’s super cool about Coyote and Crow is that it’s developed by a Native-led team with a mainly Native creators. I can’t tell you how many RPGs Kickstarters I’ve seen focused on specific cultures with no apparent members of that culture on the team. It’s nice, too, that the creators specify that while it’s Native designed, it’s intended to be played by anyone, with guidelines for non-Native players.
The game is a 300+ page book, and it uses pools of d12s for tests, which is kind of unusual—5 to 7 12s at time! The more successes you roll (your target varies by situation), the better the effect of your success.
Characters have stats, skills, and Paths—which sound like classes, roughly—that convey abilities, which let them do things normal humans can’t. Gifts and Burdens flesh out your character. You advance by building your Legend, accomplishing short-term and long-term goals, potentially change your Gifts and Burdens. To cap off your Legendary growth, you write a campfire story.
I especially like that while combat is a big part of the game, finding other solutions is a said to be important, too. Many games claim dialogue and in-game social interactions are key, but few back that up with as much social crunch as combat crunch. This is important, because as I read somewhere recently (can’t remember where sorry—tell me if it was you who said it) what a game has mechanics for is what the game is about. I’m eager to see how Coyote and Crow handles this.
With two weeks to go on Coyote and Crow, I think it’s well worth considering. I don’t back or buy so many games this big in this, the age of zines, but this is such a cool project that I’m going to make room for it on my overstuffed shelves.