Top 5 Tabletop Games from Black Designers
February is Black History month and to do our part in ensuring the black community receives its rightful due, we’re going to be dedicating the month of February to blog posts centered around Black designers, black games, and how non-black creatives can ensure they don’t incorporate racial stereotypes into their creations.
In our first February blog post, we’ll shine some light on some old and new tabletop games that were created by or drawn by black designers. Make sure you try the following five tabletop games from black designers and support their work.
1. Tattoo Stories
There has been a lot of attention to the fun and creative tabletop game, Tattoo Stories. As its name might suggest, the game involves its players drawing tattoos on one another and coming up with a great story behind it. Whoever can impress their “customers” with the best story the most, wins.
Tattoo Stories encourage creativity and quick-wittedness while embracing the art of tattoos. This game is great for kids as well as adults. It was designed by Bicycle, a team of black designers who are passionate about their craft.
2. Rising Sun
Those who love Japanese history and lore will love playing Rising Sun. This game is primarily based on strategy. You and your fellow players have to partake in various missions in order to empower your clan to take on the invading Kami in Feudal Japan. There are several ways you can bolster your clan such as gaining resources, finding a monster to fight for your side, bolstering your forces, and even trying to earn favor with the Kami to weaken their defenses.
Rising Sun was designed by Eric Lang and its artists include Edgar Skomorowski and the talented Adrian Smith. This game is a great choice for those who love strategy games.
3. Harlem Unbound
If you’re a history buff like myself, then you’re probably excited about Harlem Unbound. This RPG sourcebook runs in conjunction with the Call of Cthulhu or Gumshoe system. It’s set during the 1920s in Harlem. The Harlem Renaissance is in full swing, but things start to get a little strange with Lovecraftian monsters making their new homes in the sewers of Harlem. Add a little bit of class clashing and politics, and you have yourself a tasty and fun RPG.
Harlem Unbound is created by Chris Spivey as well as Darker Hues Studios. If you want to experience a taste of the Harlem culture for yourself, then make sure your sanity is high.
4. Chaos in the Old World
Ever wanted to be a God? Chaos in the Old World gives you that opportunity. Although it’s been a few years since Chaos came out, it’s been a must-play for many tabletop gamers. You get to choose from a collection of Gods to play as. Each god has their own unique abilities, power, and skills to use. The game requires you to pit yourself against your fellow players as well as the game, itself, as you try to dominate the Old World and make it your own.
Chaos in the Old World is designed by Eric Lang and has the following artists attached to it: Tim Arney-O’Neil, Kevin Childress, Andrew Navaro, Brain Schomburg, Wil Springer. If you can manage to find the game, you’re sure to love corrupting the Old World.
Before there was Cyberpunk 2077, there was Cyberpunk and its later editions, Cyberpunk 2020 and Cyberpunk Red. This roleplaying board game features a world which has its own timeline that splits off from history as we know it in the 1990s. You’ll see several staples of the Cyberpunk genre like megacorporations ruling the populace, bioengineering in warfare, casual violence, and plenty of technology.
Cyberpunk is designed by game designer legend, Mike Pondsmith, and was published by R. Talsorian Games. Cyberpunk was the first tabletop game system that included using a 10-sided die, plus the character’s abilities, skills, etc., to beat a difficulty value assigned by the GM. If you want to experience the world of Cyberpunk how it’s supposed to be played, then you need to pick up this rulebook.
There are a ton of incredible games out there designed or drawn by black designers and artists. You can even find new indies being made every day on Kickstarter. If you want to experience new settings, new adventures, and a whole lot of fun, then be sure to give these games a try.