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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 #10!
over 1 year ago – Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 10:34:29 PM

Greetings!

With the campaign officially wrapped and the dust settling, we're finally in a position where we can give you all some news. Happy to report that it's all good stuff!

First, I want to thank all 16,269 of you that backed Coyote & Crow. It was more than just a vote of confidence in our game, it was a clear mandate for us to move forward with taking our RPG and launching a full fledged publishing operation.

Your enthusiasm and support has helped ensure that we're going to be able to not only put out fantastic accessories and expansion products for Coyote & Crow, but that there's a demand for other games and media set in the world of Coyote & Crow.

For now though, let's jump back to the product you backed. Currently, we're still holding to our estimated timeline.

  • We should have surveys out to you within the week.
  • For those of you who donated books, there will be a question in the survey about your preferences. Please provide as much information as possible as we want to do our best to honor your requests. At the same time, if you don't have information or preferences, we'll be making sure every donated copy finds a good home.
  • Late pledges will remain open for as long as we can keep them open.
  • We're already hard at work on some of the stretch goals, like the Kag Chahi Wiki and Character Name Generator. We'll release those as soon as they're ready and it makes sense.
  • We'll be working on organizing community support tools (website forums, Discord, Facebook Group, etc.)
  • We'll also be hiring some new folks, including play testers now that we're re-working our budget. We'll have a blog post about that on our site soon.
  • We're going to be doing Development Blog posts over the coming weeks and months covering various thematic and mechanical aspects of the game. So, if you haven't yet, sign up for our newsletter here: https://coyoteandcrow.net/newsletter/ 
  • Our plan is still to release all digital rewards by November and get physical rewards to you by December. We'll update that timeline as we know more. Obviously our timelines can be affected by development as well as shipping and Covid concerns but we're doing our best to account for those issues.
  • We won't be doing any media (interviews, streamed play throughs, cons, etc)for awhile as we want to stay focused on development. As we get closer to a retail release, we'll begin to schedule those again.

Until then, take care, be safe.

Stiyu,

Connor Alexander

The Finish Line
over 1 year ago – Sat, Apr 03, 2021 at 04:41:44 AM

We did it folks. In just 30 days we:

  • Smashed through our 18k original goal in just 45 minutes
  • Hit all of our original stretch goals in less than a week
  • Made waves across gaming media
  • Hit the $1 million+ mark, putting us in the top 6 RPG books of all time
  • earmarked 5000 books for donations to reservation and tribal libraries, schools and community centers (more on that below)

Those are just a few of the highlights. We here on the C&C team are all so appreciative and grateful for the incredible show of support and enthusiasm from Natives and gamers (and Native gamers!) alike. Now that the Kickstarter is done, we'll continue to be as transparent about our process as possible. Please bear with us as we're having to jump through a number of hoops to scale up our project from what we assumed would be 300-500 backers, to more than 16,000 folks jumping on board. But as we start the next leg of our journey, I wanted to share with all of you our goals and mission, both for this Kickstarter project and for Coyote & Crow going forward.

  • We want to deliver you an amazing core book, full of incredible content, smart game play, inspiring art, and Native imagination. We want to deliver it to you as quickly as we can but never by sacrificing the quality of the book.
  • We want to produce additional digital content that is accessible, exciting, and supportive of the core book. This includes all of our stretch goals and a number of other initiatives we're working on. Our digital tools should help make your game play easier and more immersive.
  • We want to reach beyond traditional RPG circles and bring new folks to the hobby, especially Natives. This means fostering organized play and bringing the game beyond the walls of hobby stores and out into the broader community. The donated books are wonderful but we also need to make sure they're played and that the people that want to play have access to all the tools and toys that we can make available.
  • We want to use your support and generosity to put more Native creatives in the spotlight. We'll do that by continuing to hire Natives for future C&C projects, but we want to do more than just that. We want this seedling to help foster a garden. Over the coming months, we'll hopefully have more news on exactly how that will happen.
  • We want all of our products to have a minimal environmental impact and to push our industry to do better when it comes to sustainable production practices.
  • We want to make sure that there's always a sense of giving in what we're doing. For me personally, that means helping ensure that I'm doing my part to preserve Native languages. Part of our website will be dedicated to a crowd sourced effort to translate Coyote & Crow into Native languages and to make those translated versions (in PDF or POD), free to educators.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to revisit what our plans are for all of the donated copies. When we created the pledge we were hoping for maybe one or two hundred copies and if it came down to it and we couldn't find a better way, I could handle delivering each of those books, one at a time, to the appropriate libraries. But with 5000 books, that's a little more than is practical to do that way.

We're currently working on partnering with a number of organizations, including the American Indian Library Association and the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries & Museums, and likely others. But more than that, with so many copies we're able to move beyond just libraries. We can now start getting the books into appropriate schools, community centers and more. Our goal is still the same, to get the game into the hands of Natives who might not otherwise have access to it. To build community through aspirational game play and story telling. To let Natives know that they have a valued space and voice in the gaming world.

When it comes time for the survey, we'll ask you all the usual questions, but we'll also be asking you if you have a preference for where you'd like your donated copy to go to and if you want it donated in someone's name. Once the books are out, we'll list their locations on our website along with any contributor names that you've offered.

Thank you all so much for not just proving me right but for doing so with a deafening roar. When I started this project more than two years ago, I was convinced that this world wasn't just interesting or fresh or unusual, it was something that was deeply needed. A million dollars in 30 days sends a powerful message to the world. If I have my way, this is just the start for Coyote & Crow and I'm so happy that you're all in on the ground floor with me.

Over the coming months, I'm sure we're going to have plenty more great news to share. 


Thanks/Wado,

Connor Alexander

What About The Rest of the World? (And our next stretch goal!)
over 1 year ago – Wed, Mar 31, 2021 at 04:09:33 AM

Hello again!

Today, I want to talk about a topic that a few people have asked about in a variety of ways. The essence of these questions really boil down to this. What's going on in other parts of the world outside of the Americas in this alternate future? In Coyote & Crow, we focus most closely on Cahokia, our starting city. We touch on the Free Lands and the other nations of Makasing and we'll even briefly outline the nations further south in what we call Abayang and Abazang (South and Central America).

But what about Asia? Africa? Islands in the Pacific? What's going on in the rest of the world and how were they all affected by this alternate history and by the Adahnehdi? The short answer is this: We're not going to address that in this book.

Here's the slightly longer answer. The people of this world are coming out of a mini ice age. They've been dealing with issues of survival for centuries. That survival isn't just about the elements. Much of it is about internal and external politics too. There was a devastating war that affected a good portion of both continents. This war led to many of the current treaties and recognized boundaries that you see on the map that appears on the Kickstarter page.

As you build your characters in this world, it's helpful to remember that their world is changing around them. The weather is improving, technology is exploding in capability and reach. Governments are carefully watching their neighbors and weighing the strength of their alliances and treaties. It's in this context that people are beginning to explore out beyond their borders. We're going to let individual Story Guides decide for the time being what's out there. We may give you all some vague clues, but we don't want to box you in too early.

But there's a longer answer to the kind of question this is that I want to address. It's not that wondering what people in Japan are doing during all of this is a problem. It's not. It's natural curiosity. But behind some folks questions, I'm detecting a hint of something else. I think some folks have a mindset that if you're intelligent and advanced and capable than the world must inevitably look and behave something like it does now. Maybe with different art or architecture, different music or food, but that there would a fundamental 1:1 analogy to our real world. That the people of this world, if they could fly to Japan, necessarily should have by now.

I reject that idea wholeheartedly and I'll tell you why. Expansionism is complicated and it is a reflection of a lot of sociological factors. As a generalization, people tend to push outward when they're in need of resources. While there is something to be said for humans innate drive to explore and search the great beyond, our species as a whole tends to spread out in a way that either keeps us in balance with the world around us or, if we're consuming too much, forces us to continue to spread further.

It's important that I emphasize that the people of Coyote & Crow aren't living in a utopia or any kind of Iron Eyes Cody bullshit fantasy land. But I do believe that most Indigenous cultures around the world are pretty good at finding a sustainable balance between their needs and the physical world around them. So take that basic idea and apply it to the people of Coyote & Crow. You had a population in the hundreds of millions that was brought low by a climate disaster, starvation, and war. Hundreds of years later, as people are recovering, their concepts of expansion or travel aren't going to be the same as we see in our real world.

North America alone is 10 million square miles of territory. Even with the population rebounding significantly in the last 100 years, with roughly 40 million people living in Makasing, can you picture how vastly open this continent would be? It's basically the equivalent of the current population of California spread out over the entire US.

There's flight in Coyote & Crow. They have sunwings (which are small personal aircraft) and yutsu vehicles (yutsu is a form of technology that allows for hovering vehicles). They understand astronomy and physics. These folks can get into orbit if they want to. The question isn't can they or even have they. The question you need to ask is why would they want to go there. I don't mean individuals, I mean societies. During your sagas and stories, you may invent reasons to take those trips. And that's part of what the game is about, the mystery of exploration.

So once you've had a chance to read through the book and all of the ancillary materials, maybe you'll want to tell a story about a group of explorers who sail to Africa. That's great! I know what's waiting in Africa in terms of how I've built out this world and there will be plenty of clues in the book, but I want to hear what you think is there. Maybe down the line we'll canonize what's going on over on other continents. But for now, we have so much rich material to tell stories in Makasing. We'll build that world out first, because to me, it's the most important location. When we do branch out, our first stop will be to focus on Central and South America which have such amazing potential for stories and settings.

On to other things! We have our final stretch goal and is it a doozy. We're going to partner with Native and award winning author Rebecca Roanhorse to write a one shot adventure for Coyote & Crow. If you haven't read her books, I highly suggest them. You can find out more about her on her website:  https://rebeccaroanhorse.com/

To unlock this stretch goal, we'll need to hit $1 million. That might seem like a lot but our research tells us that many Kickstarters receive to up 25% of their funding in the last 3 days. I think that means we can do it. When I started this campaign at $18,000, I thought I was being practical and reasonable. The lesson of the last three weeks is that you all have given me a sign that it's okay to dream big for this world we're building. So if I'm going to dream big, I think this goal is the right kind of aspirational. To me, this goal is about sending a message to the gaming and RPG industry. It says that representation and diversity isn't just the right thing to do, it also brings a much needed freshness of perspective and ideas to our hobby that the public obviously wants.

I hope you're all having a lovely weekend.

Cheers/Thanks/Wado,

Connor Alexander

Adventuring in Makasing
over 1 year ago – Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 12:04:26 AM

Good morning C&C friends!

We've got just 10 days left in our Kickstarter and I'm getting so excited to announce our last stretch goal later this week if we hit that mark. I'll be able to give you the name and further details on the Native author who will hopefully be writing a one shot adventure for us!

But on to the update. A friend messaged me over the weekend and was already mulling some ideas for a Saga. Saga is what we call a series of adventures or stories, in lieu of campaign, which is often used in role playing games. We felt that campaign came off as too militaristic and we thought Saga worked well with terms like Story and Session, which we also use.

Anyway, our conversation made me realize that for many of you this world might almost feel too big. Maybe you're feeling like you're not even sure where you would start. While we're planning on Saga expansions, one shots and resource books, I wanted to assure you all the core book has you covered. First, we have an adventure included, Encounter at Station 54, which you can use as a one shot or the start of a larger Saga.

Second, the Story Guide section of the book will dive into themes and settings, helping you craft your own Sagas. The world we're building is vast, it's true. You can do so much in the space we're crafting. Do you want an urban noir setting reminiscent of cyberpunk? You can do that. Your stories can be full of intrigue and hi-tech toys and shady deals. Or maybe you want to run something like a spy thriller. Players travel to distant cities, trying to recruit allies, get information and perhaps prevent a war, all while wondering who might betray them. Perhaps horror is your thing and you want to have your characters stuck in a remote village where citizens are starting to disappear under mysterious and violent circumstances. Resources are running low and anyone could be next. You can do that too.

If you want to run a classic adventure saga, that's also easy. Maybe the Council of Twelve in Cahokia sends your team out into the permanent ice zone to find the source of a distress beacon that has suddenly activated. Players will be out on their own, far removed from any help and walking on lands that were considered uninhabitable for hundreds of years. What or who will they find?

And then there are themes. Is your Story about religion versus science? Modernity versus tradition? Family and duty? Personal ambition versus the collective good? Don't let the conceits we've put down in this book, describing the world of Coyote & Crow, limit your storytelling. The book is meant to do the opposite. It should help you realize that these people live in a different world than ours, but they're just people. They have the same questions, struggles, triumphs and failures that we do. Let that be your guidepost when creating Sagas and then just let your imagination go!

I have to admit that I'm really looking forward to hearing about the Sagas and stories you all end up creating, the fascinating characters, the epic legends. Exciting times lay ahead. Thank you all.

Cheers/Wado,

Connor Alexander

The Humble But Mighty d12
over 1 year ago – Thu, Mar 18, 2021 at 09:53:09 PM

Hey, friends!

I've had a number of folks ask me why we chose to go with the d12 for our system. There's a few reasons and some of them might not be what you think. I thought I'd use my update today to fill you in on some fun trivia. The d12 and the number 12 itself play important roles in both the mechanics and the world building we're doing for Coyote & Crow.


First, I'm often a fan of underdogs. I like the Rebel Alliance, the OPA, and AFC Richmond. So for me personally, my favorite die is the d12, a constant underdog in the polyhedral world. But it's not just because it's so rarely used. Twelve is a beautiful number. It has a long and storied history in many cultures. It has many important meanings and connections to our natural world. It's for those reasons I wanted to make the number 12 important in the game world as well.


In Coyote & Crow, the number 12 is sacred. It's at the core of their advanced mathematics based in a duodecimal system. I wanted the people of this world to have a math and science that was distinctly their own and giving them a system that isn't based on 10 seemed like a great place to start. We won't dive into that too much here but we'll touch on it a bit more in the book.


Coming back to the d12, there's an often overlooked elegance to it. It's not nearly as swingy as a d20, but it also offers twice the variance of a d6. There's room in there for a lot of subjectivity, there's space to play. That's really what intrigues me about it. I also like that most d12's have nice bold, easy to read numbers, which helps with accessibility. And speaking of accessibility, I should add that having only one type of die is important when considering folks who are new to RPGs. Fewer dice to mentally sort is a reduction in cognitive load. For this reason, I strongly considered going with d6s early in our development. But my desire to distinguish this new world I was building led me to getting away from a die that was so closely associated with traditional games like Monopoly.


Speaking more broadly about accessibility, a big part of our mission for this game and this world is bringing in folks to our hobby who have never played RPGs before. And while this system has been referred to as somewhat crunchy by a few folks, we're doing our best to make it an painless transition for those who are new to tabletop role playing games. These are just a few of those initiatives:

  • Creating a 'rules light' downloadable version of the game that will be free to the public (stretch goal unlocked)
  • Keeping the dice to one type
  • Having sections of the book that directly address folks that are new to the hobby
  • Our current stretch goal of developing free mobile software that includes a dice app.
  • Keeping our stretch goals digital so that people who receive donated copies can get access to additional materials as easily as anyone else

Regardless of whether you are a fan of the d12 or not, I hope you'll see that what we're doing with Coyote & Crow is loaded with intention. That our plans are not haphazard or impulsive. The project is obviously doing so much better than we ever anticipated (THANK YOU!) but it hasn't changed our original mission of bringing this amazing hobby to a wider audience through thoughtful development. I hope that this game is something that inspires you to bring someone to the table who's never rolled a d12 before.

Thanks/Wado

Connor Alexander