14 September 2013

Lasers & Feelings & Game Night

Last week my Open RPG Night played Lasers & Feelings (PDF Warning), the latest single page RPG from John Harper/One Seven Design. It's a swashbuckling, Star-Trek-esque game inspired by a song by The Doubleclicks. As is usual for one of Harper's games, it is an RPG boiled down to only the most necessary elements.

I became aware of the game the day before and I knew that it would be perfect for our open nights. I wasn't expecting to play the game so soon after learning about it, but when several of the players called for a space opera game I knew what had to happen.

The game really is very simple. You make a character by combining two archetypes described as Style and Job and then you choose a number between 2 and 5. How high or low that number is determines whether you are better at Lasers or Feelings and all tests are handled by trying to roll above or below the number. Direct hits allow players to ask questions about the world and get true answers. There are a few other wrinkles, but I'll let you read about those yourself rather that type up the whole game here.

Space Pirates - Build - Ancient Space Ruin - Destroy a Solar System

One thing that I always love to see included in micro games like this is a quick and dirty way for a GM to generate an adventure. L&F has that in spades and in just a few rolls I had generated the scenario bolded above. What does it mean? For the most part that is left up to you, but it's amazing how just a few words can provide enough to jumpstart a few hours of role playing.

Our night of gaming went like this:
  • Character creation and rules explanation - 5 minutes
  • Character introductions - 10-20 minutes
  • First act: in which the crew discovers the space pirates - 30 minutes
  • Second act: in which the crew infiltrates the space pirates - 40 minutes
  • Third act - in which the crew sabotages and escapes the space pirates - 40 minutes
  • Epilogue - in which a planet is accidentally imploded - 10 minutes
  • Chatting about the game - 30 minutes
All said, a pretty good time.

Oh, what's that? You want to know how a planet was accidentally imploded?

Since you asked...

The space pirates were trying to restore a piece of ancient, yet advanced, technology on a forgotten desert planet. This piece of technology was capable of collapsing entire solar systems and when the heroic crew learned what its purpose was they tried to shut it down. Unfortunately nearly all of them, save a single psychotic doctor, had specialized in Feelings. They were incapable of saving the day by turning off the machine or subtly sabotaging it. No, instead they drove a vehicle into its power core. They escaped the planet just in time to avoid being destroyed with it. Why did it implode? I don't know. The workings of super-advanced ancient technology is beyond me.

A basic character sheet

While L&F is as simple an RPG as you are going to find, I am always looking for ways to speed things along on our open RPG nights. Prior to game night I invested a little time in laying out a basic character sheet for the players. I'd have also liked to do one for the spaceship, but in the end I didn't have enough time to do so. If I whip out L&F again I may do a ship sheet to add to the package.

click image for download and second page


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