A BORDERS historic tradition has inspired a new boardgame.

Created by Jo Weir, Border Riding will explore borders, division of communities and the 'us and them' mentality.

Weir, who is originally from West Linton, grew up with the Whipman rideout, and wanted to bring the unique Borders tradition to more people.

She said: "I grew up in West Linton, in the shadow of Whipman and other common riding festivals. Border Riding has been an opportunity to describe something that to me is natural and normal but incomprehensible to anyone outside of the Scottish Borders.

"It is a map drawing game, where a new map is created each round, capturing a year in a community's life. As the maps changes as does the community. The community at the end of the game will be very different from the community at the beginning of the game. The stories they tell, the borders they draw, and the heroes they celebrate are a reflection of their values.

"Creating and researching this game has allowed me a chance to learn more about common riding festivals across the Borders, and has not only challenged my own preconceptions, but has made me reflect on my own experiences and relationship to the Whipman as an institution and symbol of my home town. I hope this game will be an opportunity to share these traditions to folks beyond the Borders, and to help them understand what makes them so special.

"To play Border Riding, you don’t have to be good at drawing! All you need is to bring your imagination, a few hours, and some good friends and together you can create a whole new world on a few sheets of paper."

Border Telegraph: An illustration from Border Riding created by Eli SpencerAn illustration from Border Riding created by Eli Spencer (Image: Verface)

Players of Border Riding will draw up maps to tell the story of a Borders village through the centuries.

They invent a community and create its landmarks and traditions, set the village's boundaries and define the difference between 'us' and 'them'.

Brian Tyrrell, founder of Stout Stoat Press, which is publishing the game, said: “Border Riding is a game about maps, boundaries, borders, and the way we use rituals to maintain and shape our community.

"I love that when you’re finished playing, you can fold it up and tuck it away on a bookshelf, ready for another hike into your imagination.

"Or unfold it and pin it to your wall, enjoying its lush illustrations.

"This is the most complete project Stout Stoat has ever brought to a crowdfunding campaign – and we're so excited for it!”

Weir added that tabletop games like Border Ridings can be a great medium for storytelling.

She said: "Tabletop role playing games come in many forms – not just Dungeons and Dragons! They allow a space to play and tell stories collectively. These stories can be tales of good verses evil, of daring deeds and of epic heroics, or of changing societies or strange new worlds. Whether told through dice, cards, or a coin flip, these games are opportunities to explore a different kind of storytelling. Border Riding uses the act of drawing a maps as a mechanism to tell the story of a small community discovering itself though its yearly festival.

"I know first hand how important common riding festivals are. They're a big deal, and through this game I hope to not only celebrate (and critique) them, but explore why they are so important to Borders communities, and how they reflect wider societal and cultural ideas of communities."

Border Telegraph: The instructions on an ONS-style mapThe instructions on an ONS-style map (Image: Stout Stoat Press)

Border Riding will be printed on a large (890mm x 1000mm) Ordinance Survey-styled sheet. It can be unfolded and refolded to navigate different phases of play or laid out on a table and examined together with other players.

The game shows how to handle issues like xenophobia and encourages players to use existing safety tools to make the game comfortable for everyone to play.

Border Riding is illustrated by Glasgow-based illustrator Eli Spencer.

Developers have completed the final draft of the game and now need to raise funds to produce it.

The Kickstarter fundraising page includes a video advert for Border Riding, as well as a link to a preview of the game.

Crowdfunding for Border Riding opened on February 15 and will close on February 28.

Visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/stoutstoat/border-riding for more information.