Ki Khanga: The Sword and Soul Role-Playing Game is a table top role-playing game.

Yeah, I know, tabletop RPGs have long been associated with nerdy teenage boys huddled around a table in someone’s mother’s basement living out their fantasies of being the hero. This image – along with a renewed interest in role-playing games among our youth – has been renewed with the hit Netflix series, Stranger Things. This love letter to the ‘80s horror and science fiction pop culture that captivated a generation is set in 1983 Indiana, where a young, nerdy boy vanishes into thin air after playing a tabletop role-playing game with his nerdy friends and fellow gamers, who – along with the boy’s family and a few others – become the heroes of the story. As they search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl. All the while, the children rely on strategies and principles they learned from playing the tabletop role-playing game.

Ki KhangaWhile so-called nerds – and self-proclaimed “blerds” (“Black nerds”) – DO play tabletop AND MMO-RPGs (role-playing games), Ki Khanga has something for everyone. In fact, here are 9 reasons why YOU – and certainly any tween or teen you know – should play Ki Khanga:

1. You Get to Be the Hero of the Story

Ki Khanga, similar to, but even more so than, video games, gives you the chance to be the hero. What happens throughout the game is largely up to the players, who all have an equal chance to “save the day.” Or, if being a hero doesn’t appeal to you, playing a villain or playing an anti-hero is also acceptable.

You can be anybody you want to be; YOU have a lot of freedom when it comes to creating your character. Unlike many games that limit you to a certain character class, Ki Khanga; The Sword and Soul Role-Playing Game gives you complete control of who your character is.

2. Stress Relief

In Ki Khanga you can experience anything from one on one bar brawls, to solving an ancient mystery, to battles of epic proportions. Nothing is more satisfying – or more stress relieving – than hearing the Griot (the Game Master) describe how you met an enemy, or an obstacle, and you overcame it.

3. The Sense of Camaraderie You Develop

A group of three or more people is required to play Ki Khanga – one person to be the Griot, and then, at the very least, two people to play. Since the average campaign lasts months, if not years in some cases, you tend to build a bond with the people you play with, both in, and out of game. As you defeat wicked sorcerers, hoard enchanted treasure, and train your skills and abilities to a razor’s edge, you start to develop a strong camaraderie between yourself and the other players.

4. You Learn to Work Together

True to the universal African principle of success through cooperation and community, Ki Khanga is a cooperative game. In order to excel you have to work with the rest of your party to accomplish goals and overcome adversity. Ki Khanga provides no space for any one person to hog the spotlight and act alone. Learning to work effectively with others in a Ki Khanga environment is a good way to foster transferable, real-life skills that are easily applied to situations in your everyday life.

5. You Learn to Solve Problems

After you have learned to work together you need to learn to solve problems. Ki Khanga is a thinking man and woman’s game. You are often presented with challenging scenarios and have to come up with solutions given the resources at your immediate disposal. Solving these problems within the parameters of Ki Khanga is a lot of fun. Most Ki Khanga adventures enforce the idea that there is almost always more than one way to solve a problem, and that you should not always take the predicable course of action.

6. Learn Practical Applications for Math

Ki KhangaKi Khanga involves some mathematics. But do not worry; it all makes sense in the context of the game. Every action that requires the playing of cards is an extension of a probability matrix. Every time you attack with your sword and play one or more cards to determine whether you hit your opponent or not, you are testing the probability and statistical likelihood of hitting the opponent. When you decide to take one weapon over another because it has a better attack modifier you are thinking about probability and statistics. Every time you are in battle and you determine the size of your fireball blast and who is affected or not because of cover, you are applying the basics of geometry. The math is not in your face, but it IS there. Players will often number crunch to create the most optimized character – another in-game application of math.

Playing role-playing games, and especially creating adventures, developed my love for math and greatly improved my math skills. Math could actually be used to have fun? Once I realized every game uses math to some degree, math became my second favorite subject in school, after Creative Writing.

7. It Stretches Your Imagination

Ki KhangaAlthough I have never actually seen a joka – a dragon – or slain a tokoloshe, I can picture what each creature looks like with incredibly accuracy. During a Ki Khanga game the Griot describes the setting, the supporting characters and the events and it is up to the players to fully imagine what these things look like. A friend of mine often refers to playing Ki Khanga as Theater of the Mind. The more detailed the description,s the easier it is to picture in your mind exactly what the situation looks like. Today there are video games that present most of the visual elements for you, but Ki Khanga has always been – and will always be – played in the imagination of the people.

8. You Learn to Love Research

Ki KhangaKi Khanga Co-Creator, Milton Davis and I have taken it upon ourselves to make Ki Khanga: The Sword And Soul Role-Playing Game as cool as possible. To make Ki Khanga more interesting we have done extensive research on African history, politics, geography, sociology, folklore, theology, architecture and warfare. When was the last time YOU read a book or encyclope because you wanted to and not because you were doing an assignment for some class? My love for Ki Khanga has motivated me to visit museums and art galleries. I have grown much more cultured and educated in the process of fact-finding for Ki Khanga: The Sword and Soul Role-Playing Game.

9. To Have Fun

Ki KhangaNo matter what your reason(s) for playing Ki Khanga, HAVING FUN should be somewhere at the top of the list. After all, Ki Khanga IS a game. It may not be the kind of game that has winners and losers – which makes it even COOLER – but it is still a game; a game that will provide you…and your children…and your children’s children a lifetime of ever-increasing enjoyment.


We have reached our 2nd Stretch Goal with our crowd-funding efforts for Ki Khanga: The Sword and Soul Role-Playing Game and are now racing toward the 3rd Stretch Goal. With YOUR help, we will get there in no time.

Get ready for YOUR adventure in Ki Khanga to begin!


About Balogun

Balogun is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the films, A Single Link, Rite of Passage: Initiation and Rite of Passage: The Dentist of Westminster. He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at He is author of eight novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the Urban Science Fiction saga, Redeemer; the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika; a Fight Fiction, New Pulp novella, Fist of Afrika; the gritty, Urban Superhero series, A Single Link and Wrath of the Siafu; the two-fisted Dieselfunk tale, The Scythe and the “Choose-Your-Own-Destiny”-style Young Adult novel, The Keys. Balogun is also contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk. Finally, Balogun is the Director and Fight Choreographer of the Steamfunk feature film, Rite of Passage, which he wrote based on the short story, Rite of Passage, by author Milton Davis and co-author of the award winning screenplay, Ngolo. You can reach him on Facebook at; on Twitter @Baba_Balogun and on Tumblr at

8 responses »

  1. Yeah, yeah – I’ve already signed up for this the second I could 🙂

    Finally caught up with Stranger Things. Excellent show, with real attention to detail.

  2. […] via 9 Reasons YOU (and Your Children) Should Play Ki Khanga — Chronicles of Harriet […]

  3. […] R. Saunders, the Father of Sword and Soul and the man who coined the term, chimes in on Ki Khanga. Read on, and […]

  4. Fujimoto says:

    Plenty of great reasons to play. I hope a whole generation gets to grow up with Ki Khanga.

  5. […] the release of Ki Khanga: The Sword and Soul Role-Playing Game in about a month, the custom cards will release shortly […]

  6. […] role-playing games, most will play Ki-Khanga™ and love it! Many of the 83% will become players of Ki-Khanga™ […]

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