I wanted to make something that spoke to my soul.
I love RPGs, and I love hip hop. I know that there have been games that have focused on urban life, but for my tastes most of those focus too much on violence and/or gang culture and not enough on music and culture. I wanted to make a game that used what I love about hip hop and that would focus on the artistic side of it. I wanted a game that was really about making art, and one that would focus on people with everyday problems who use the criminalized expression of hip hop to help them solve their problems or just to relieve the stress that their problems cause.
I made Five Fires to do just this.
In Five Fires, you play a regular person with extraordinary talent in one of the elements of hip hop — graf-writing, b-boying, MCing or DJing — who is looking to get exposure for her art, solve problems and find her own way through life. Play is meant to take roughly an hour per session and each campaign, known as an Era, is six sessions long. At the end of an Era the problems yo’ve solved and the exposure you’ve gained lets you determine how your character’s story ends. If you want to play in the same city afterwards, you can start a new Era in that city with a brand-new crew. What do they do with the legacy of those in the previous Era?
This is beta for people who like RPGs and like art; this game is meant for those who like hip hop who don’t yet know that they love RPGs; this is or gamers who love RPGs and hip hop and want a game that speaks to those loves.
If I can be blunt, I really wanted to make Beat Street: the Game, because I love that movie and it says the things about hip hop that I want to say.
It’s in beta right now, so there are typos and some playtesting to be done. There is a lack of setting text, so it is assumed that you know something about 80’s hip hop (though you can pick any time period of rap and play through it easily). The game is also very, very player-directed, which allows the GM (titled the Opposition) to focus on a few things with no prep but requires players to be more pro-active
I hope if you love hip hop that this game speaks to you on some level. Here it is.
I want to thank everyone in my Patreon for their support, and all of my playtesters (I will enumerate everyone in the full edition of the book).