Horrible geese are, like, so 2019. The feathered star of 2022 will be the curious corvid, if new indie tabletop RPG Be Like a Crow has its way.
Designer Tim Roberts’ upcoming solo RPG has a premise so neatly summarised in its title I’m not sure why I’m even writing this sentence. The game lets you be like a crow and do “crow things”, taking to the skies as a black-plumed, cawing bird on an avian adventure.
More specifically, the single player can choose from four species of corvidae: a crow, magpie, jackdaw or rook. Each offers a different play experience inspired by the species’ distinct characteristics, from the human-befriending jackdaw and adaptable crow to the agile magpie (which, Roberts makes clear, does not mean you’re attracted to shiny objects) and more withdrawn rook. An additional species, the raven, has been added to the game via its Kickstarter campaign stretch goal.
Alongside the four crow archetypes are four distinct fantastical settings for players to explore with their newfound wings. The high fantasy world offers the chance to flit among gods and monsters, while a gothic landscape presents castles and graveyards - along with vampires and other supernatural inhabitants to befriend in place of humans. Clockwork Corvid takes the game to a steampunk setting where humans have gained the ability to fly in metal machines, while Cyber-crow gives players the chance to augment their natural abilities with technology to act as surveillance and weapons for humans. The Kickstarter campaign has added two additional settings: the Tower of London, to accompany the unlocked raven, and modern-day Urban Crow environment.
The journalling gameplay is driven by a deck of cards, which players draw to generate random events in the setting of their choice, recording the outcome in a journal or notepad. Players look to complete random objectives by exploring the world and collecting objects, communicating with fellow birds, developing a relationship with humans and engaging in beak-and-claw combat when necessary. Roberts notes that sessions can be as long as players like, with no fixed play time.
Be Like a Crow’s Kickstarter campaign has already raised more than $14,094 on its initial $1,738 goal, ahead of a planned release for the softcover rulebook next May. The campaign runs until November 29th.