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Harlem Unbound
by Josh H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/26/2018 09:52:11

Sometimes I run across a random writer's work and I can't leave it alone. That's been my experience with the stuff that Chris puts together. Harlem Unbound presents a historically accurate and intense setting to run CoC games that help flip the tropes of the Lovecraftian Mythos. This is subversive at its best, taking and tackling hard issues and instilling horror and shock into the system. From a Keeper/ST standpoint, there is excellent advice in this book you should take. Every person that runs games should take this feedback into account. Solid game, solid writing. 5/5 because there are few books as good as this on the market. I wish I could give it a 6/5.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Harlem Unbound
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Harlem Unbound
by James P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/17/2018 05:59:55

Harlem Unbound is one of those games that you pick up, and don't put down because it's just that good of a read! It reminded me a lot of the high-quality setting development, research, and writing that I found in GURPS supplements.

Chris Spivey takes you into the Harlem Renaissance and shares a rich part of America's history in a truly interesting and exciting way. Then, he carefully weaves the Cthulhu mythos into it. He provides you with everything you need to play a Gumshoe game in this era. You'll find story hooks, scenarios, supporting casts, and 2 beefy scenarios.

One of the most important things about this book, however, is its subject matter. As Mr. Spivey points out right away in the Introduction, Harlem Unbound doesn't pull any punches when it comes dealing with racism. At first, this may make you reconsider purchasing, or playing in this setting. However, the setting outlined here is so rich, and lends itself so well to the Mythos, that passing it by would be a mistake.

Mr. Spivey writes:

"No, we can’t truly know what it was to live during the Harlem Renaissance. And no, white people can never really understand the impact of insidious racism. But we’re gamers. We embrace the idea of living different lives through play—and each time we do, we learn something new. If we’re lucky, we reach a better understanding of people different from ourselves, and learn to empathize with the “other.” I tried to write the book in such a way that it would be approachable to all gamers, but respectful of the truth of history and racism without making a mockery of the pain and perseverance of so many people."

Spivey goes on to address roleplaying in this setting, and handling racism and other social issues in your game, in the "Storytelling" chapter.

Ultimately, this is a great book, with a great setting that you should add to your library. Whether you love Gumshoe, the Cthulhu Mythos, or are looking for a setting that hasn't been done before, then this is the book for you.

So, make your way down to Harlem, and watch out for anything in the shadows.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Harlem Unbound
by Thomas L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/13/2018 10:43:42

Harlem Unbound is, without a doubt, the single most exciting gaming product released in 2017. Chris Spivey and is collaborators describe a setting rich in story possibilities, give great advice on how to engage with the world sensitively and productively, and make the reader really excited to start running a game. I just bought this last night and have torn through it already and am excited to play. The production values (on the .pdf I purchased) are excellent, the art is flavorful and attractive, and the editing is spot on (lest that sound like faint praise, check out a few other small studion titles to see why it's really not).

I can't recommend this highly enough, and I hope that it begets a million splatbooks and supplements. I, for one, will be buying them all. Great job, everyone.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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