I have spent the last few days reading the new Harlem Unbound for the Call of Cthulhu RPG. I’m absolutely impressed with the quality of the writing and the historicity that has been included. This is going to be a great setting to explore. I’m excited to introduce my players to some of Harlem’s famous citizens like Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Josephine Baker, and Langston Hughes to name just a few. Not to mention some of the historical locations that are part of the fabric of the Harlem Renaissance. As I read the book my mind continued to wander with various ideas of how to incorporate various locations and personalities into a deep and rich narrative. To me, that’s the mark of a good setting book! Harlem Unbound will force many out of their comfort zones and will challenge their ideas of race and racism in such a way that everyone walks away from the experience a little more learned.
There is an understanding that most, if not all of the investigators, will be African American with occupations that are fitting for the time period and setting. To be honest, it will force many to step out of their comfort zones to be able to better explore the setting, the culture, and racism. This may be a completely foreign experience for some, but for most, we will explore the topic of racism and the setting through new lenses. Having been a history major in college, I’m looking forward to taking on this challenge, but in all honesty, it’s a little daunting. I want to run investigations that are deeply rooted in the history of the setting while being respectful of that history, culture and the people of Harlem. I will discuss this and much more in a forthcoming deep delve review. There’s a lot of deep gaming here where we can have lots of fun and learn all while beating back the mythos.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can grab the PDF over at DriveThruRPG.
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