Connor Alexander set out to develop the world's first tabletop role-playing game created and authored by Native American and First Nations writers in 2021. The result was beyond his expectations, and he's continuing the momentum forward into a new anthology of adventures: Coyote & Crow: Stories of the Freelands.
Coyote & Crow describes a different history in which colonizers never set foot in North America. Instead, downstate Illinois became the focal point of a flourishing Indigenous peoples civilization that has spread across the United States. At their disposal are remarkable divine abilities.
In an interview with Polygon, Alexander explains that things are better than he expected. He also mentions that Coyote & Crow has been nominated for a Nebula Award, but also because of a letter he recently received.
He continued. Ive had so many people reach out to me and tell a very personal story about how the game has affected them, or about the things they've done in the game, and the great experiences they've had with it already.
Alexander said he's been attempting to get Coyote & Crow into libraries on reservations across the United States and Canada. Alexander is hoping to enrich his community (a large part of whom are non-Native players) with Stories of the Free Lands, the first published set of adventures since the core rulebook was first published.
Alexander said that this is a compilation of ten stories from ten different indigenous authors paired up with ten different artists, all taking place around the primary city of Cahokia. [...] We wanted to give people a taste of what you might do with the core book and make their own stories rolling.
Alexander argued that the anthology transcends the system's "monster of the week" structure.
Alexander said that I wanted a wide range of thematic settings. Lets do murder mysteries. Lets do espionage. Lets do political intrigue. Lets do stuff that isnt just the monster of the week. And the writers came back with some fantastic stuff. Im excited.
One story, written by Cherokee writer Riana Elliot, will see players protecting a bridal party as it prepares to celebrate the unification of two conflicting families. Another, written by Alexander himself, will focus on the location of a geothermal power facility and the mysterious cult that worships on the site where the power facility will be built.
Alexander touched on a lot of water safety issues, including a lot of science versus the spiritual, but the real issue is, Did this cult have anything to do with the disappearance? And that's where the tension lies for the characters.
Alexander is keeping his secrets about what's included in the anthology beyond those adventures. He wants players to be surprised by what they discover inside. Over the next few weeks, additional payment for everyone involved in the project will be announced on Backerkit.
Prices were taken at the time of publication.