Coyote & Crow the Role Playing Game

Created by Coyote & Crow RPG

A science fiction and fantasy tabletop RPG set in a near-future where the Americas were never colonized, created by a team of Natives.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Update #18
3 months ago – Thu, Nov 04, 2021 at 12:05:50 AM

I hope you all had a lovely Halloween and/or are having a lovely Samhain!

We're so close to the next big hurdle that I can almost taste it. Final files are so close to being ready. The last of the layouts are being worked on and then they'll be with me for final approvals. My goal is still to get you the full PDF of the game before the end of the month. However, as close as we are, we still have a few more stops on the route. 

First, I don't want to rush my final approvals. This is the time where we'll have our last chance to catch little errors, internal inconsistencies, or other things that will haunt me until 2nd Edition. So, I want to make sure we get it as close to 100 as possible. 

Second, before we send them out to all of you, we have to get them to a few other folks first. Most importantly, our printer. But also, our internal and social media teams,  reviewers and media, and a few other folks.

Once all of those have gone out, we can drop the PDFs to you. I do think we can still make it before the end of the month, but it's going to be close.

Along with that, we'll be dropping the Rules Light document and the Early Backer Recipes. Both of which are approaching their final iterations. 

Then we're all going to have to wait on the printer for the physical copies. It's going to seem like a lifetime,  but we'll have some things to announce and release during that period that should help keep us all upbeat and excited.

One final thing - we're working with GenCon to have a live play through on their Twitch channel on December 3rd. We're going to be to raising money with them for https://www.irsss.ca/ - The Indian Residential School Survivor's Society. I have two asks:

  • If you can, check out the stream and donate on 12/3: https://www.gencon.com/tv
  • If you're a celebrity (especially an Indigenous one), and would be interested in playing in the livestream to raise our profile even further, please contact me. We have three great players and a Story Guide already, but we've got one seat left.

That's all the news that's fit to print for now.  It's likely that the next time you hear from me here, it will be with a PDF of the full game in hand.


Stiyu, take care, be safe, be kind, mask up, get vaccinated,

Connor

Indigenous People's Day Surprise!
3 months ago – Tue, Oct 12, 2021 at 09:27:00 PM

Today is Indigenous People’s Day in the United States, a day that can be tough for many of us, and I thought it would be nice to surprise all of you with a huge package of Coyote & Crow material. We don’t have the full game for you - yet. That’s still on track for November, along with some of the other stretch goals and rewards.

With that said, I’m so excited to share with all of you the results of endless hours of hard work, love and deep thought from so many of us behind the scenes at Coyote & Crow. Let’s jump into all the great stuff at your fingertips as of today!

→Our YouTube channel is live! Pe Metawe Consulting have dropped their first two videos, the World of Coyote & Crow and Character Creation! They’ll have more soon. These are great at helping ease folks into the game.

You can go directly to our channel, watch the videos and subscribe for more here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7BLqwZDsaB64aLYrwShG6w

→ Our website has undergone a huge upgrade! We have a host of new features available for you. We’ll break them down one by one here:

→ Our Chahi Character name generator is live! https://coyoteandcrow.net/chahi-name/

With this fantastic tool you can generate realistic names for your Characters and NPCs with millions of combinations and meanings!

→ Our official forums are live! https://coyoteandcrow.net/forum/

Here you can chat about many different C&C topics, interact with C&C writers and creators, post cosplay pics, discuss world building and rules, and even work on translations of the game into Indigenous languages!

→ Our official Wiki is live! https://coyoteandcrow.net/wiki/

Here you can browse through Chahi words and get their translations or lookup definitions of game terms. We’ll evolve this Wiki as the game and its world expands.

→ Our Resources Page is live! https://coyoteandcrow.net/gamefiles/

This page will house all of our future free downloadable resources. Currently, it has two versions of our official Character sheet. A fillable PDF, and a more print friendly version! Future free files will be available on this page.

But that’s not all!

→ Our official free mobile app is ready to go! Available for Android and iOS, this app will give you access to much of the website's functionality, including the name generator, news feed and link to the YouTube videos, but also gives folks access to a fully functioning d12 system dice generator. It will sort your d12 rolls, allowing you to make adjustments for Focus and takes into account Criticals. For those of you having a hard time corralling a sufficient pool of d12s to play C&C, this should make life a lot easier!

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.coyoteandcrow.mobile.android

iOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/coyote-crow/id1586555365

We hope these tools are as exciting for you as they are for us. Our team worked very hard to push our timetable up on these and get them to you on this important date. We hope it brings a little joy into your day and your future games of Coyote & Crow.

Love,

The Coyote & Crow Team

Remember: Vaccinate, Mask Up, Be Safe

Update #16
4 months ago – Sun, Oct 03, 2021 at 11:55:45 PM

Hello Coyotes and Crows!

Sorry for the delay on the update. I’ve been traveling a bit on a vacation that’s been delayed for more than two years now. I’m sure we all have similar stories. But not to worry, things are progressing fantastically with the game and I’ve got nothing but good news for you.

Let’s start with progress on the core book. As I write this, the initial layouts for the first three sections of the books have been given to me for final tweaks. The final section will be started shortly. Our editing has almost wrapped and all of our core art is done. Really exciting times!

That means that we’re still on track to hopefully get the files to the printer by the end of this month. It also means that from there, the timeline gets a little more murky, but not much. Printing is expected to take 12-13 weeks. Then we have shipping from the printer to our warehouse, then staging and distribution out to all of you. What that translates to is that hopefully you’ll be receiving your physical books in February.

As far as digital rewards, those are all coming along nicely as well. Once we have final files, we’ll be getting them to Roll20 and other folks that need them asap. All of the other stretch goals, like the mobile app, are moving into their final stages on schedule. That means that we’re on target to bring you the PDF and other rewards some time in November. The Roll20 version is a little more of a moving target as we have to wait for their team to translate those files, but I’ve been assured that before the end of the year is an attainable goal.

In other news, we’re still making some tough choices about what we want to include in our next Kickstarter. The realities of everything from paper shortages, to shipping delays, freight costs and more is making us rethink some of our initial plans. My hope is that we can bring you an exciting follow up Kickstarter that will include all of the extras you’d want to help elevate your Coyote & Crow experience and get it to you very very shortly after the campaign wraps. Don’t hold me to this, but I’m really trying to see if we can make a January campaign happen with a May delivery to backers. I’m going to do my best. I may be biting off more than we can chew there.

I’m not going to jump into any game details this month. Instead, I’m just going to leave you with this brilliant piece of art from Tate Allen. This is a yawpon tea ceremony (yawpon is the Chahi word for the real world yaupon tea). During the day, tea is often a ritualized social interaction and is about good company and conversation. At night however, the same tea houses infuse their drinks with various mind-altering substances and the tenor changes to something more introspective and sometimes even hedonistic.

Yawpon Tea Ceremony, by Tate Allen

Take care, get vaccinated, mask up, be kind.

Best,

Connor Alexander

Update #15
5 months ago – Fri, Sep 03, 2021 at 11:25:28 PM

Well, here we are again. Another month gone by! I hope you’re all safe and healthy. Things are becoming a bit of a blur for me personally. Between Covid skyrocketing once again and Hurricane Ida, my nerves are shot. But we’re still marching on over here at C&C.

So let’s get to the updates!

Core Rule Book

We’re down to just eight pieces of unfinished art work for the book as of the time of this writing and all eight are currently being worked on! Collecting the art for this book has been one of our biggest challenges and has been a two year journey for me personally. But we’re seeing the end of the tunnel. We ended with 24 total artists, 17 of them Indigenous. I’m really proud of that.

Our layout designer and our editor are hard at work assembling and finalizing the book. We’re hoping to have final files completed by around the middle of October. That’s great news for getting you the full PDF of the game in November. The bad news is that based on print time estimates, it means that physical books probably won’t arrive to our warehouse until the end of the year. That means it may realistically be February before backers receive their physical copies and March before the book reaches retailers. We’ll update these timelines as we go.

I guess overall, March is really only three months after when we originally wanted to get books to you, so that’s not too bad. In the world we’re all living in, I’m going to call that a win.

Other Rewards and Goals

Yesterday I picked up the limited prints that are going to be included with the Seeker Pledge level. They look beautiful! Other things are coming along as well!

  • The Character name generator is finished and it’s amazing
  • The forums are built
  • The Wiki is being built out and is looking good
  • Our fillable PDF character sheet is finished and is really cool
  • The mobile app is coming along nicely and I’m looking forward to the next build

As mentioned above, we’re also currently on track to deliver our digital rewards in November. This will include:

  • The full PDF of the game
  • All website upgrades (including forums, Wiki and more)
  • The mobile app
  • The character name generator
  • Our official Discord server
  • YouTube channel with ‘how to’ videos
  • The “Rules Light” PDF RPG intro game
  • An Actual Play series

Other products

  • Writer Shay Snow is working on the Roll20 Exclusive Story
  • Writer Derek Pounds is working on a new digital Story release that will hopefully be available in November after the full game PDF launches
  • We are officially working on the first Coyote & Crow novel! We’ll have a more formal announcement soon.
  • Two other games set in Coyote & Crow are currently in development
  • We’ve started a POD merch shop on RedBubble for now. The selection will expand over time and move to our own webstore eventually. In the meantime, you can shop here: https://www.redbubble.com/people/CoyoteAndCrow/shop
  • We’re about to dive into the initial steps of organizing our next Kickstarter. We don’t have a timeline yet, but we’re hoping we can launch it soon. We’ll have more information on that as it develops.
Average multi-generational home life in Cahokia. Art by Mackenzie Neal (Quapaw Nation)

Game Design

This month, I’d like to talk about Character progression in Coyote & Crow and what we call the Legendary system. We’re just going to cover it broadly here and leave the details for the book, but I thought it was important to cover a few aspects because they tie in closely with some of the overall themes of the game. Character progression is built around some core conceits:

  • We didn’t want it to be too mathy or point based
  • We didn’t want to reward violence or murder
  • We didn’t want to reward material gain or greed
  • We wanted progression to be easy to keep track of
  • We wanted it to be tied in with the concept that your characters aren’t just heroes but heroes whose legends will be told for generations to come

The whole process is measured in Sessions, where a Session is simply an instance where your play group gets together to play Coyote & Crow. Your Character can advance current Skills or gain new ones, they can increase, reduce, gain or lose Gifts and Burdens, increase their Stats, or obtain items outside of their normal financial means. A Character can pursue two Short Term Goals and one Long Term Goal all at the same time. After an appropriate number of Sessions, your Character simply makes the change to their Character and then they can give themselves a new goal.

But there’s also a Story Guide aspect to this. They get to create a secret Long Term Goal for the whole group. Normally, it’s the culmination of the Story arc that the Guide has the Characters on. We’ll have advice in the book for the average number of Sessions and how to craft a meaningful Long Term Goal.

The difference between the group Long Term Goal and the individual Character Long Term Goals is that when the Characters complete this goal, they gain a Legendary Rank and get to create a Tale. Each Legendary Rank allows Players to manipulate a single die value by 1, changing any one die roll during a Check, up or down by one.

But even better, in my humble opinion, is that each Player is encouraged to craft a Tale, a summary of the events of the Story that got them the Rank. Players write them in isolation and are encouraged to embellish, enhance and straight up fabricate the actual events of the Story and can make them a short story, poem, song lyrics, whatever they’d like. The idea is that these Tales are the events retold generations later around a late night fire with the Player’s Character as the central hero of the Story. The next time you all get together to play your next Session, players can then share their Tales with each other.

And as much as I’m looking forward to hearing about your actual Stories and Characters and Sagas, I’m really excited to hear your individual Tales. In fact, let’s lay stake to the hashtag now:  #CoyoteAndCrowTales. When you’re at that point, share your Tales with all of us on social media. Let out your inner storyteller!

That’s it for now folks!

Update #14 - and a big announcement!
6 months ago – Tue, Aug 03, 2021 at 12:32:48 AM

It’s been a busy month! I hope you’re all well, safe, and vaccinated. There are a ton of things going on over here at Coyote & Crow. Let’s jump into news about the core rule book development first, then we’ll talk about other C&C products, drop a big announcement, and lastly get into some details on Gifts and Burdens, my favorite game mechanic within Coyote & Crow.


Coyote & Crow Development

I’m really pleased to report that our core writing is done! We’re also mostly wrapped on our sensitivity edit and our copy edit is well underway. As chapters are finished and we collect art assets, those chapters are being passed along to our layout designer. We’re also in the process of incorporating the last bits of feedback from our play testing processes. Things are coming into sharper focus every day.

Our one hang up is, of course, art. However, we have made good strides. As I write this we have only sixteen pieces of art left that are unassigned to an artist. We also have 77(!) pieces of completed art from more than 20 artists. I’m so proud of the work they’re doing.

Overall, things are coming along smashingly and I’m so excited for you all to see the thing of beauty we’re assembling. There is however, one big blot on all of this and it’s definitely something I want to explain to everyone. It concerns the price of the game. Before anyone gets their hackles up, no, we aren’t going to be asking backers for more money. Your games are fine and locked in.

However, we’ve officially made the decision to change the retail price of the game from $50 to $60. It was tough to do, but there was some really sound logic behind it and I want folks to understand all of the reasons and how it may affect things going forward.

When I was a naïve young man back in March of 2021, I priced Coyote & Crow’s core rule book at $50 and set up our shipping costs for the Kickstarter based on a few assumptions. First, it was an ‘average’ price of a hardback RPG core book. I assumed our book would come in at about 350 pages and had gotten manufacturing quotes based around that. I also expected to do no more than about about $25,000 total on our Kickstarter if it went well. Meaning I expected to be shipping around 500 books. We subsidized our shipping costs into part of the price in order to make shipping an easier calculation for everyone, even though it was going to potentially eat into our margins if shipping costs increased at all. What’s the worst that could happen, I thought?

So here we are in July and we’re facing a huge materials shortage, world wide, including paper. We’re dealing with huge increases in shipping and freight costs. Instead of 500 books, I’m delivering 17000. Instead of 350 pages, we’re coming in at over 400.

Things have changed. And likely the game industry as a whole, will never go back to the way it was. I may talk more about the overall situation on our development blog, but the point is, changing Coyote & Crow from $50 to $60 at retail isn’t an outlier situation. Instead, it’s likely indicative of an industry wide shift to an increase in prices for games. Again, if you backed Coyote & Crow, or did a late pledge, your games are locked in and you’re good. We’re not asking you for more money.

But starting on August 15th, we’ll be raising the prices of the book on the late pledge page of our BackerKit to $60 and investigating an increase to our shipping rates.  So if you haven’t backed and are thinking about it, you may want to do that soon if money is an issue for you. It’s also likely that we’ll be looking at an increase in prices in all future Coyote & Crow products too, especially if they contain plastic or have to come from overseas.


Upcoming Products

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s talk about other upcoming products!

  • We’re in discussion with a Native author to write a novel set in the world of Coyote & Crow! We're already excitedly discussing basic character concepts and an overall theme and plot.
  • We have an up and coming Native game designer working with a well known hobby game designer and they’re developing a tabletop game set in Coyote & Crow. That's likely something for 2023.
  • We’re almost finished with development on a dice based game set in Coyote & Crow. Hoping that's something for 2022 but a lot of that depends on the freight and manufacturing situation.
  • We’re organizing ourselves to be ready for our next Kickstarter for the RPG, which will likely happen right around the time we’re delivering digital rewards to folks and we think you’re going to love what we have planned. Timing is TBD still as we want to make sure people feel like they aren’t backing another Kickstarter before they’ve gotten their first one.
  • We’re going to have our first POD merch available very soon! Keep an eye on our social media for that announcement and link
  • Work is proceeding on our mobile app, our website upgrades and our name generator and Wiki.
  • We have a few other digital products that are in the wings that we’re working to release at the same time as our other digital rewards. More soon!

Our Big Announcement

Coyote & Crow is overjoyed to announce that we’ve entered into a partnership with Pe Metawe Consulting! Pe Metawe is an Edmonton based, Indigenous owned and operated firm that offers a large array of consulting services and workshops. They also own a retail game shop!

As Coyote & Crow began to grow, we realized that we didn’t really have either the expertise or the bandwidth needed to handle some of our social media challenges. The folks at Pe Metawe have enthusiastically stepped up to help us plan and organize some incredible tools and services for all of you. I’m so excited to see everything they’ll be doing to help grow the Coyote & Crow community.

So what is it that Pe Metawe will be doing for us? This is just a brief outline of the things they’ll be bringing to you all in the coming months:

  • A series of videos on a dedicated Coyote & Crow YouTube channel, including things like ‘how to run an encounter’, ‘how our dice mechanics work’, ‘how to build a character’ and more.
  • Hosting and moderating our official Discord Channel, coming soon
  • Helping to moderate our official website forums at coyoteandcrow.net, also coming soon
  • Organizing and producing an ongoing actual play series with an original Coyote & Crow Saga.

You  can find out more about Pe Metawe Consulting and Pe Metawe Games at:

Pe Metawe Games and Consulting
Art Interlude - A Character using the Far Sight Ability By Mackenzie Neal (Quapaw Nation)

Gifts and Burdens

This mechanic might be my favorite thing we developed for the game. While Stats and Skills and Abilities are all well and good and add a ton of mechanical value, Gifts and Burdens are what really make a Character feel realized. At least, that’s my strongly held belief. They make Characters feel more like real people and give them ways to shine and struggle that make them relatable.

The concept for Gifts and Burdens was certainly inspired by Merits & Flaws from Vampire the Masquerade. One of the things that I never really liked about that system though was that values were objectively attached to each of the merits and flaws. The overall idea is still fantastic but its implementation hasn’t aged well. Revamping it required some key changes. Foremost among those is the concept that whether any particular thing is a Gift or a Burden is decided by how your Character views it.

But before we jump into further explanations and examples, let’s define what a Gift or Burden is. These are things that a Player chooses for their Character or can be assigned by Story Guides that add flavor or distinction to your Character and also have a mechanical effect on game play. That last part is key and I’ll explain why in just a second. Gifts and Burdens are also Ranked, from Level 1 to Level 3. Level 1 is minor or trivial while Level 3 is pervasive or critical. Often, each Level equates to a modification to a Character’s Success Number on a Skill Check.

So how does it all work? Let’s use an example that we use in the core book as well. Let’s say you are building your Character and you decide that you want them to have a sister. Great! You can just include that in your Background section. Done. But wait, you decide that the relationship with the sister is important enough to your Character that you want it to have a mechanical effect in the game. That’s where your Character’s point of view comes into play. Do they see their sister as a positive or negative effect on their life? Or both? Maybe they’re a little sister who is always getting into trouble, causing you to divert time and energy to get her out of situations. Maybe she’s a scientist who is always there to help you solve technical challenges that your Character isn’t skilled at. Maybe she’s someone who is always causing you problems, but is also there whenever you really need her. You’ll decide whether your sister is a Gift, Burden, or both as well as what Level.

You might be asking why you’d ever give your Character a Burden. Besides the fun of it and the depth it brings to your Characters, it also supplies you with a few extra points to play with during your Character creation process, allowing you more points for Skills and Stats. In addition, there are other ways that your Character may receive Burdens during game play from the Story Guide (we’ll get into that another time).

So let’s say you’ve chosen to give your Character a little sister. You’ve written her down as a Level 2 Burden, which is pretty involved. Maybe she needs to be with you often and you struggle to find ways to leave her at home instead of bringing her along on your adventures. You’ll work with your Story Guide to set up the exact situation. From there, the Story Guide will decide when this Burden comes into play. A standard effect might be a modification to your needed Success Numbers on Checks. And any time you need to make Dice Checks and your little sister is involved, you’ll receive a +2 penalty to your Success Number. Meaning that if you’d normally need to roll a 6 or higher for a Success, you’d now need an 8. There could be other ways to define the mechanical effect as well and you the Story Guide are encouraged to do so.

Keep in mind that your sister being a Burden, doesn’t automatically mean she’s annoying or cruel or careless, etc. It may mean that your Character cares deeply about her well-being and is often distracted by her presence or puts her above your Character’s own needs.

You’re also welcome to take a Gift or Burden more than once. Or the same thing is both a Gift and Burden. Maybe that same sister is a resource or source of strength for your Character. Or maybe you have two sisters that are important enough to your Character to have a mechanical effect on the game. The combinations are vast and the point is that you and your Story Guide should collaborate to ensure that you’re taking Gifts and Burdens that not only help round out your Character, but are able to be integrated into your Saga and don’t overburden your Story Guide.

There are a number of basic categories we list out in the core book to help you get started on creating your Gifts and Burdens, but you aren’t restricted to them. Some can only be taken as Burdens. Some have special rules or qualifications. You’re also encouraged to work with your Story Guide to create new categories if you have ideas. Here are the categories we offer in the core book:

  • Family
  • Allies and Opponents
  • Financial
  • Spirit World Connection
  • Animal Connection
  • Fears
  • Secrets
  • Quirks
  • Curses and Blessings
  • Addictions
  • Notoriety
  • Companions

As you can see, there’s a lot to choose from and within each category, a multitude of possibilities. The goal is to give you a wide variety of ways to shape and refine your Character to anything you can imagine. And as your game evolves and your Character progresses, you’ll gain Gifts and Burdens, lose them, and change them.

In our next update, we’ll discuss the Legendary System, which is our answer to experience and Character progression. Part of this includes the evolution of Gifts and Burdens.

That’s all for now. I hope you have a great week. Please be careful and kind. Get vaccinated, mask up. Oh, and if you haven’t filled out your backer survey yet(I’m looking at all 908 of you), get it done, please!

Connor Alexander