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Lighthearted is an RPG that mixes The Breakfast Club with magic and vampires

Don’t you play without me.

Attend community magic college and face the many challenges of growing up in Lighthearted, an upcoming roleplaying game inspired by 1980s films such as The Breakfast Club.

Set in an alternate 1980s world of modern fantasy and pop culture, Lighthearted sees players collaborating to create their own versions of classic cinematic coming-of-age stories such as Weird Science and Sixteen Candles. Player characters will experience a combination of ‘80s tropes - such as college parties, mall culture and nail-biting finals - within fantastical adventures related to magical glamours, vampires and even more otherworldly elements.

As players describe their characters’ actions, the game’s GM-like ‘director’ sets the scene by laying out the lighting, camera angles and soundtrack - mirroring the experience of watching a film. Lighthearted even has its own official Spotify playlist that directors can use during their games in order to establish a particular mood or atmosphere of the era.

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Players will be able to create characters based on five well-known archetypes of ‘80s youth cinema: the rebel, the jock, the prep, the geek and the outcast. Player characters will grapple with the tension between society’s expectations and their own ambitions. Using the game’s Malfunction system, characters can choose to take negative actions - which play into the kind of flaws that society sees in their archetype - or positive ones that provide the character with an opportunity to grow beyond society’s perceived notions.

In a similar fashion to the Savage Worlds system, which powers Weird West horror RPG Deadlands, Lighthearted has players rolling two dice to pass certain skill checks presented by the GM. One of the dice represents a certain skill held by a character, whilst the other is an emotion that the character is feeling. The emotional die is designed to show how an action is being approached by the character in that particular scene, with the potential for the emotion to change over the course of the same scene.

Depending on the results of a player’s dice roll, the active character can potentially succeed in their chosen aim. Alternatively, similarly to the Powered by the Apocalypse roleplaying system, characters can choose to succeed at a cost or just fail entirely if the result of their dice roll does not reach the required amount.

Lighthearted RPG artwork characters 2

Lighthearted was created by Kurt - the designer of magical journaling RPG Sigils in the Dark and curator of three tabletop RPG bundles that were released last summer to raise money for the Black Lives Matter movement - and Kate Potts. The artwork for the RPG was made by Minerva Fox, an artist who’s worked on several roleplaying games such as Demigods PDTA, Hearts of Wulin, Barrow Keep and Vigor into Dust.

The Kickstarter campaign for Lighthearted is set to launch later this month. There is an early access version of the RPG available to download for free on right now.

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Alex Meehan avatar
Alex Meehan: After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.
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