Ahu Tiiko trades Coyote & Crow’s Indigipunk vibes for simmering, woodsy horror

Connor Alexander’s first official expansion to the Native-made RPG narrows its genre focus and scope to weave a web of interconnected mysteries.

Ahu Tiiko trades Coyote & Crow’s Indigipunk vibes for simmering, woodsy horror
Credit: Coyote & Crow Games

It’s been over three years since Coyote & Crow pulled off a seemingly impossible feat: earning over $1 million on Kickstarter to develop an original tabletop RPG from a fully Native team, which told futuristic stories in a world decoupled from our colonialist reality. 2021 was a banner year for big tabletop projects, and it felt good to see Cherokee designer Connor Alexander and his team drive a stake in a creative landscape dominated by constant retranslations of Western high fantasy.

The Mississippi River-based metropolis of Cahokia, along with the surrounding continent of Makasing, introduced a setting for a diverse range of stories. Players embodied a wholly unique culture and technology in order to explore what post-climate collapse science fiction might look like when you trade European influence for Indigenous cultures. Now, in its first official expansion—the upcoming setting book Ahu Tiiko—Alexander has left behind Cahokia’s neon-lit spires and guided groups deep into the forests. This eponymous village is haunted by a recent murder that threatens to ignite decades of mysteries, secrets and long-held grudges. 

Players will encounter plenty of spooky proper nouns, such as The Quiet Ones and The Coils of the Serpent, but it might be the unspoken desolation of families and friendships that weigh heaviest on the taciturn population. Then again, it might also be the twisted monsters stalking the treeline. Who’s to say? Rascal sat down with Alexander to explore how it feels to return to Coyote & Crow after three years, the creative freedom of a smaller scope, and what fans can expect in the future—if they survive their trip to Ahu Tiiko, that is. 

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.