Welcome back, dice fondlers! Last week we reminisced with RemiNES, a rules-light game based on retro gaming. With that in mind, I thought we’d change gears and talk about feelings this week. LASERS AND FEELINGS, THAT IS.
Lasers and Feelings was created by the inimitable John Harper, who we’ve mentioned previously in our discussion on Lady Blackbird. (We even name-dropped Lasers and Feelings at the time too, almost like we were planning this.) Like The Witch is Dead that we covered previously, Lasers and Feelings is a one-sheet RPG. Alright, I’m done plugging old articles, but you should know that our game this week is available for free from the OneSevenDesign website.
Join the Raptor Crew
The set-up is simple. One player takes the role of GM and adjudicates the action, while the others take on the roles of members of the space ship Raptor. Their leader, Captain Darcy, has been overcome by the dreaded Something Else, and is in a medical pod recovering, leaving the players to fend for themselves. What exact fate is befalling the characters? Well, there’s a handy chart for that. See, similarly to how The Witch Is Dead generated the village and plot hooks, we have a set of four tables to help determine our threat. Four rolls of a d6 later, the GM has a starting point for their crisis. (For those who actually WANT to know the odds, that gives you 1,296 discrete possibilities for dilemmas to face your crew. You’re welcome.)
Armed with Lasers & Feelings
As far as creating the characters themselves, it’s a super simple process. Each character picks from one of seven styles like Android, Intrepid, or Sexy. Then, they pick from one of seven roles for their character like Engineer, Envoy, or Pilot. Next, they choose a number between 2 and 5. That number is THEIR number. The higher the number, the better you are at LASERS– all the cold, rational, science-y stuff that comes with this kind of setting. However, the lower the number, the better you are at FEELINGS– actions based around emotional competents like diplomacy, seduction, and intuition.
Once you’ve chosen your number, come up with a name for your character, and choose a character goal for them, like BECOME CAPTAIN or FIND NEW WORLDS. Your player goal is always the same: get involved in wacky space hijinks! Finally, as a group, the players decide on two strengths and one problem for the Raptor from a kindly provided list. With that, the game’s ready to begin.
How does it work? Well, any time you’re doing something particularly risky, you roll dice. Specifically, Lasers & Feelings uses 1d6s. You automatically have one die to roll. If the GM evaluates you are being Prepared, you gain an extra die. Also, if you are an Expert, you gain an extra die. Finally, if another player chooses to help you, you gain an extra die on an action. That pushes us up to four dice possible. You then roll whatever dice you qualify for.
If you’re attempting a LASERS action, you try to roll under your number, but if you’re attempting a FEELINGS action, you try to roll over your number. The number of successes you get determines how well you succeed or how big a trouble you’ve gotten yourself into. The one exception is if you roll your number EXACTLY, you have LASER FEELINGS! This means you’ve gained special insight and are able to ask the GM one question as to what is really going on.
That’s really all there is to it.
It’s a great game for one-shots, conventions, or those nights when only half the gaming group can make it. With our feelings in check and our lasers securely stowed, we’re going to set a course for the next star on the right in our random universe. But until then, remember to…