Coyote & Crow Joins The $1M TTRPG Club!

With just a few hours to go, the Native American tabletop RPG Coyote & Crow just went past the $1M milestone, making it the 7th tabletop RPG Kickstarter campaign ever to do so.

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Coyote & Crow is the third Kickstarter in the last month to do so. The first was 2016's 7th Sea from John Wick, followed by campaigns from Matt Colville (the undisputed champion of TTRPG Kickstarter) and Hit Point Press in 2018 and 2019.

DateKickstarterCreator
March 20167th Sea: Second EditionJohn Wick
March 2018Strongholds & StreamingMatt Colville
April 2019Humblewood Campaign Setting for 5eHit Point Press
November 2019Kingdoms, Warfare & More Minis!Matt Colville
March 2021The One Ring Roleplaying Game, Second EditionFree League
March 2021The Seeker's Guide to Twisted TavernsEldermancy
April 2021Coyote & Crow the Roleplaying GameConnor Alexander

Congratulations to Connor Alexander and the team! If you want to get in on Coyote & Crow, you have about 6 hours from the time of writing this.

 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
After I've downloaded and read it over, sure. Someone with more free time in the next day or two might beat me to that, though.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Ooohhhh!!! Will you give us a bit of a preview?!?

Hey, a bit of slow work time came up, so I can skim a bit...

The art is evocative. The sensitivity notes for players of Native American and non-Native American backgrounds seem pretty cogent, to me.

Skipping to, the basic mechanic:
So far, only d12s are used. You may need a lot of them.
Broadly, you assemble a number of dice, and roll them - this looks to usually be adding your rank in a Stat and a Skill, if you are proficient.
There is some target number (it may range from 5-12, is typically 8).
You count how many 1s you get (these are Fails, and subtract from your total successes), how many meet or exceed the Target Number (Successes), and how many 12s (Critical successes - they have a way these "explode", possibly into two or more Successes).
Before you determine the result, there are a couple of ways a player might edge some of the dice up to be Successes.
Subtract your Fails from your Successes to get a net Success number - the higher, the better you do.

If you net negative successes, that's not good, and dramatic things happen.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
So, they take a position I like - while characters have some abilities that today would be considered superhuman, the writers specifically and explicitly do NOT say whether these are "magic" or not, and give you an in-world reason for them to possibly be sufficiently advanced technology.

The reason for this is that no two real-world peoples agree on what magic is - if the game took an official position, it would contradict someone's real-world beliefs. If you want them to be magic, and describe how they work, you can do that for your own table. But canonically, the printed rules do not take a stance.
 

Ixal

Adventurer
So, they take a position I like - while characters have some abilities that today would be considered superhuman, the writers specifically and explicitly do NOT say whether these are "magic" or not, and give you an in-world reason for them to possibly be sufficiently advanced technology.

The reason for this is that no two real-world peoples agree on what magic is - if the game took an official position, it would contradict someone's real-world beliefs. If you want them to be magic, and describe how they work, you can do that for your own table. But canonically, the printed rules do not take a stance.
That sounds very limiting from a world building view. At some point the setting must establish how things work.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
At some point the setting must establish how things work.

I disagree. One only has to denote how magic works if the way it works is going to specifically be a plot point in play - like, in the Forgotten Realms, if something goes wrong with the Weave, then you need to know how it works to fix it.

You can go through many (indeed, a lifetime of) D&D campaigns without knowing how D&D magic works.
 

Ixal

Adventurer
I disagree. One only has to denote how magic works if the way it works is going to specifically be a plot point in play - like, in the Forgotten Realms, if something goes wrong with the Weave, then you need to know how it works to fix it.

You can go through many (indeed, a lifetime of) D&D campaigns without knowing how D&D magic works.
But you still know it is magic and even if it is divine or arcane.
 



Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
But you still know it is magic and even if it is divine or arcane.

So, the thing is that the terms "Divine", "Arcane", and even "Magic" are not generally mechanical terms. They are flavor text. The mechanics and interactions are dealt with in the definition of the particular thing you are using, and are not really linked to some meta-mechanic that uses those terms. This is part of the nature of D&D's exception-based design - I don't have to know anything about how magic works to play the game, or make choices.

I expect could scratch all the serial numbers off, and run a game using the D&D ruleset, but in which all those "magical" effects are a result of different kinds of cyberware, and not have to change a single mechanical element.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Oh, cool. The game has an initiative system. It goes like this:
You have an initiative score. When an encounter (where we do round-by-round task resolution) starts, you may just pick your initiative, anywhere from 1 to your Initiative Score.

So, if you know what you want to do, you choose high. If you know you want to wait and see before choosing what you want to do, you can pick lower.
 

Ixal

Adventurer
So, the thing is that the terms "Divine", "Arcane", and even "Magic" are not generally mechanical terms. They are flavor text. The mechanics and interactions are dealt with in the definition of the particular thing you are using, and are not really linked to some meta-mechanic that uses those terms. This is part of the nature of D&D's exception-based design - I don't have to know anything about how magic works to play the game, or make choices.

I expect could scratch all the serial numbers off, and run a game using the D&D ruleset, but in which all those "magical" effects are a result of different kinds of cyberware, and not have to change a single mechanical element.
Sure you can run a game like this, but would it have a engaging world building when you can't even reference if someone of this supermen is a learned mage, an inventor or just some guy who found some high tech devices?
 

After I've downloaded and read it over, sure. Someone with more free time in the next day or two might beat me to that, though.
Thanks for the previews so far! I just downloaded mine as well, but won't get to it until the weekend. I hope to run the quickstart adventure over the holiday's with family.
 

darjr

I crit!
Oh, cool. The game has an initiative system. It goes like this:
You have an initiative score. When an encounter (where we do round-by-round task resolution) starts, you may just pick your initiative, anywhere from 1 to your Initiative Score.

So, if you know what you want to do, you choose high. If you know you want to wait and see before choosing what you want to do, you can pick lower.
Oh! That’s genius!
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Oh! That’s genius!

It is nice and simple. You can hold action for if a trigger happens, but that only works until your initiative comes around again. If you want to completely change your initiative, you use your action to do it

Action economy - is pretty simple. It looks like - if it takes a die roll, you need to use your primary action. If it doesn't, you can use a secondary action. You can do a couple such secondary things, up to where the GM thinks you're pushing plausibility.

Rounds are not fixed length - they are form seconds up to about a minute, vaguely.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
So how combat focused is the game based on a scale from D&D to, I don't know, Gumshoe?

The author's intent is as follows (Coyote & Crow, pg 300):

"First, this game strives to give Players and Story Guides alternate options to Combat. From a mechanics perspective, if everything in a game eventually leads to Combat, Players often build their Characters that way from the start. It creates a vicious cycle where Players always choose to fight because that is what their Characters are best at because that is what they always do.

If, instead, Players have the option to fight, but have sufficient incentive to find other ways around their problems, then they have choices. Choices are what roleplaying games should be about, creating narrative branches that weave unique tales. We believe Combat should be an option, not a default."


Advancement is not based on killing things or fighting - you set goals (long and short term), and various advancement goals take various numbers of sessions of play. There's also Legendary Ranks that can be earned, which are handed out by the Story Guide (the GM), and it seems you get those for completing really big milestones or completing major tasks or plot points. But none of it is specifically combat dependent.

From there, it is about adventure design, and there, again, the rules advise about having several ways to get through things.

"Taking a Three Paths approach to Story creation means identifying the major decision points in Encounters and Stories and making sure you have allowed for at least three possible approaches from your Players, and outcomes for each." - Coyote & Crow, pg 352
 

MGibster

Legend
First, this game strives to give Players and Story Guides alternate options to Combat. From a mechanics perspective, if everything in a game eventually leads to Combat, Players often build their Characters that way from the start. It creates a vicious cycle where Players always choose to fight because that is what their Characters are best at because that is what they always do.
I can't fault their logic here. I kind of like their attitude in regards to overcoming obstacles. There's more than one way to get up the mountain and it doesn't always have to involve fighting.
 

Kannik

Adventurer
If, instead, Players have the option to fight, but have sufficient incentive to find other ways around their problems, then they have choices. Choices are what roleplaying games should be about, creating narrative branches that weave unique tales. We believe Combat should be an option, not a default."
...
From there, it is about adventure design, and there, again, the rules advise about having several ways to get through things.

"Taking a Three Paths approach to Story creation means identifying the major decision points in Encounters and Stories and making sure you have allowed for at least three possible approaches from your Players, and outcomes for each." - Coyote & Crow, pg 352
Ooooo, that's a nice inclusion/reminder for GMs to help break out of the (mostly unconscious) "all roads lead to CombatRome" style of play. Just remembering to, during adventure design, think and plan for 3 approaches for each situation will help to have the GM provide hints and clues that would make those other approaches visible to the players (and remind the players as well) as well as helping to prevent any unconscious nudging towards the intended/expected face-on conflict approach and style of play. It's also easy for GMs to (again, often unconsciously) get a bit nervous or stressed when the players are going for something unexpected, and even if the players in this case do something that isn't one of the three prepared approaches, that prep work makes it less unexpected and nudges the GM towards confident flexibility.

Good stuff! I've just started to read through the book myself, looking forward to seeing what they’ve crafted!
 



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