Players: 2 – 5
Playtime: 2 -3 hours
A Brand New Type of Adventure
There are many reasons players do not get into tabletop role-playing games. Some games require large monetary investment, many hours of free time, and a game that isn’t intimidating to play. Lasers and Feelings is the perfect introductory game for people interested in giving it a try but are wary of starting. Lasers and Feelings is a science fiction/space RPG players can pick up and start playing almost immediately. Players take the role of the crew of a starship named Raptor. Together they must save the galaxy from any threats that may come.
How To Play
What makes this game so good for beginners is most decisions are simple enough that choice paralysis is minimized. To get started, each player creates their character by choosing both a style and a role. The rule book gives players a choice of any seven styles and seven roles. So, if a player really wants to be an alien scientist or a hotshot envoy, all choices are equally valid. Next, the player chooses a number on the die between 2 and 5. This determines if the character is going to be more interested in lasers or feelings. Lasers mean the character will tend towards science and reason while feelings will tend towards passion and communication. And then the character needs to choose a personal goal. There’s a list in the rule book to help. Then all that’s left is to give the character a cool sci-fi name and character creation is complete.
After character creation, players must decide on what kind of ship they will pilot. They must pick two strengths and one weakness. Maybe the players want to have more epic space battles so they will choose a nimble and well-armed ship. But then the players must choose a negative trait. This could be a fuel hog meaning the ship will need to constantly need fuel crystals or maybe it’s a ship with a grim reputation and finding allies becomes more difficult.
Actions are decided by rolling standard d6 dice. If a player is doing something risky, they roll 1d6. Depending on if they are experts in the activity, if they prepare ahead of time, or if they have help, they might roll more dice. What they need to succeed depends completely on the number the players choose for their characters. For example, let’s say a player chose a hotshot soldier with a four for their character. That means they lean more towards lasers. They are more rational and scientific. They want to fire the forward phasers at an attacking alien star destroyer. As a hotshot and a soldier, the player can argue with the game master that they are an expert at shooting phasers. Let’s say the ship was actively searching for the enemy ship so now the player can argue that they were prepared for the attack. That means the player will roll 3d6. If their personal number is 4 and a Lasers character needs to roll under that 4. Only one die needs to be under a 4 to be a successful action but depending on how many successes they have, determines the consequences.
The Game Master
Being the Game Master is also incredibly easy because there’s very little planning needed. Before each game, there’s a random plot generator in the rule book. The game master will roll a die four times to generate the story. So, it’s entirely possible the players will have to fight against cyber zombies who want to bond with an alien artifact that will rip a hole in reality. Or perhaps it will be space pirates who want to restore an ancient space ruin that will enslave a planet. If none of those randomly generated plots are interesting, the game master can always create their own adventure.
The game master will introduce some random event the players must solve and then ask the players how they wish to solve it. Few improvisation skills will be required to run the game because the story will continue in many different directions depending on the success or failure of the player’s chosen actions.
This is a great game for people that want to get into role-playing but may not have the time or money to take a chance on it. The entire rule book can be found with a google search and it’s exactly one page long. The only items players will need is a couple six-sided dice and maybe an index card to write down the style and role of their character. Set up could take as little as 10 minutes.
Lasers and Feelings however will be very light on characterization. There might not be any hidden motives, betrayals, or in-depth character exploration. Characters will feel very one-dimensional and that’s by design. This is meant to be as simple and accessible as possible to get players going on a one-shot adventure with as little personal investment. Think of it as a gateway game to get people interested in roleplaying.
Experienced players will find this game to be very bare bones. But this is meant for newcomers. It’s a starter one-shot adventure RPG to get new players used to rolling dice, making decisions, and exploring new characters. It’s unobtrusive so players are free to add whatever characterization they wish while playing. It eliminates the agonizing decisions needed in most RPGs players have to make when making characters and gets people in the heat of the adventure right away. So, anyone out there trying to get young kids or that one timid friend into the hobby, this might be a great first choice.
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