Last week, we had the option of choosing a game to play. The group I joined was playing Lazers and Feelings, a quickstart SciFi RPG all about using your laser or your feelings to solve all of our problems. I decided it would be fun to play the ship’s engineer, an android named distribution android model R-3 class Double L or D.A.R.3.L.L for short. Darell had a 5 in lasers which meant he was an expert in all things technology and logic. Lasers and Feelings only as one stat which determines how you can interact with the world. If you have a high Laser score like D.A.R.3.L.L, then you want to roll a 5 or lower on a d6 for your action to be successful. The opposite goes for Feelings, in which you would want to roll above your chosen number. The hardest e part about playing Lasers and Feelings was remembering that if you rolled your chosen number (5 for D.A.R.3.L.L), you got to ask the Storyteller one question about the situation.
After the unfortunate comatose state of our former captain, the crew picked up on a distress beacon from a derelict ship. We found no life signs aboard and decided to board through an airlock. I powered up the ship to reveal a bloody mess. The crew appeared to have been massacred by an assailant known to them. We decided it would be a good move to secure the armory to gear up against the threat. While looting the armory for everything we could, the assailant hailed us from the bridge. We negotiated a parlay and prepared for the worst. It turned out that an android spy worked its way on board and was trying to turn the ship into a planet killer. Thanks to our new weapons, we quickly turned the machine into scrap and blew up the ship ourselves.
Lasers and Feelings really shine in its light mechanics. Having only a single number determine how good you are in two opposite fields is a really cool way to build roleplay into the mechanics. Since my character was amazing at mechanics, I found it really fun to roll for feelings hoping that I would get a 6. My weird robot brain would understand humanity a little bit better with each successful roll. Quickstart RPGs like this one are great microcosms for leadership. Each of our characters had the opportunity to guide the crew’s choices and how we handled different situations. Our robot doctor would assess corpses, I would take any engineering concerns. Our security officer and explorer would guide us through the ship, and our science officer would keep us all sane. It was a great experience, and I recommend it to everyone.
This week we got to choose which game we wanted to play. I chose to play Lasers and Feelings with a few of my classmates. Lasers and Feelings is a quick-play roleplaying game. In the game, you play as a crewmate of the interstellar scout ship Raptor. I ended up playing as the Alien Scientist on the ship who has a love of collecting brains and all things a little gross. My character had a number of three, which means I am in the middle of being good with both feelings and laser taks. My character’s goal was to solve weird space mysteries. I would say the hardest part of the game was picking names for all of our characters. So many of us kept refreshing Fantasy Name Generator trying to find a good name.
During the game, our crew received a distress signal. Knowing how distress signals play out, we all still decided to investigate the signal. When we got to the ship, we discovered that there were no life forms alive. We searched the ship and ended up finding the bodies of a few of the crew. My character may have stolen the brains of said crewmates in hopes of studying them and adding them to her collection. When searching the armory of the ship, we ended up getting locked in the room by the “captain” of the ship. The “captain” of the ship ended up being an android spy sent to destroy Earth. I ended up watching as two of my crewmates kill the android using laser guns and laser swords. Before leaving the ship, my character looted as much as they could for their next future experiment. Everyone on our crew was able to return safely and ready to continue on our next adventure.
I would recommend this game to anyone who loves role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. This game is almost like a simpler version of Dungeons and Dragons. It’s very fun, easy to learn, and can be played in a short amount of time. Like Dungeons and Dragons, every person needs to cooperate as a group to get the story going. Each of us had a part to play to make the game more interesting. An entire game can be played out in the span of an hour or two. This game was so fun to play and I had a great time watching and collaborating with my classmates as our characters.
This week we had the opportunity to pick which game we wanted to play for the duration of the class period and I picked Lasers and Feelings along with some of my classmates. Lasers and Feelings is a super quick role-playing game, the back story is that we are a part of a crew in outer space exploring and consorting with friendly and deadly aliens. Our captain of the spaceship is unconscious because he has fallen ill due to some unknown cause so we are left to fend for ourselves. I had a lot of fun designing my character, I chose to be an android doctor called Metallica who is better with feelings (such as intuition, seduction, diplomacy, etc.) and has the primary goal of continuing to be awesome.
In our gaming session, the crew and I were able to explore an old ship that has been sending out distress signals for years. Upon arrival, we found the entire crew slaughtered and only one android present claiming to be the captain but really was a spy sent to destroy the earth realm. Despite my best efforts to avoid violence, several crew members used their laser guns and laser lightsabers to kill the android, safely return to our ship, and blow up the other bloody ship.
I would recommend this role-playing game to everyone because it is super fun, low maintenance, and easy to learn/follow. Anyone can play it and it can be adapted to match the age and maturity of the players. Another thing I like is that it is quick and you don’t have to worry about remembering what happened in the last session. My favorite part of the game was witnessing Ian being hilarious and a great roleplayer, he really gets into character and that’s when you have the best experience.
When JS told us that we would be in charge of choosing our own game for this week, I knew exactly what I wanted to play. I consider myself something of a connoisseur of role-playing games, and my favorites are the ones that are simple to pick up and play – one-page RPGs being the pinnacle of this concept. Lasers and Feelings, by John Harper, is my go-to for groups of RPG veterans and newbies alike. The mechanics are simple; each character has a single number that they want to roll either over or under depending on the action. They can use their character’s narrative abilities to add dice and increase their chances of success. I also just love emotional space westerns, sue me.
The four players I had for this session were absolutely delightful. Their creativity and trust was unmatched, and I honestly wish I could have been a better GM for them. Coming up with situations, characters, and challenges on the fly is something that I sometimes struggle with (though I am loath to admit it). Even still, my players were patient and understanding, and overall I think we had an amazing time together.
Even though I took it upon myself to “lead” this session, it was nice to just sit back and have some fun with it rather than try to learn a specific lesson about leadership. If I was going to take anything from this, it would be that it’s okay to let others help you even if you are nominally in charge of a situation. Delegating responsibilities when things get to be too much for you isn’t a sign of weakness or failure. Not only is it good for your mental health, it can lead to the finished product being better that it would have been otherwise.
This week, for the first free play session in class, I grouped up with classmates to play a game I’d never heard of, a one-page, one-shot RPG called Lasers and Feelings. The game’s mechanics relied primarily on the role of a die to determine the success or failure of actions related to either sci-fi action (lasers) or to the more social side of storytelling (feelings). The hardest part of the game, as with many RPGs is the difficulty with coming up with the story as the story is being told, my improv skills were definitely put to the test with just how open this game was.
Overall, it was a fun little game made better by my classmates’ abilities to improvise the story and the world as the game went along. The world of the game, and the story we told allowed me to step out of my own skin for a little while and tell a silly story about a goofy, former “Space-FBI” agent with a flair for the theatrics of 70’s crime dramas.
I think this game is good for any group of people that wants to put their teamwork, and improv skills to the test. I think creative-types would be able to make full use of the open-nature of the game, but most importantly I think this would be a fun game to play with a group of friends that are willing to make the story fun.
Again, the virtual environment made it harder to work together and off of each other’s energy, something important to RPGs, and boardgames in general. Unfortunately, it was also cut short by the end of class. Lasers and Feelings has a nice balance in character creation that was made even more evident by our choices in characters. We went with the given characteristics and spent time delving into our backstories before starting which definitely helped bridge the disconnect between our characters.
RPGs completely depend on the GM and the willingness of the players to get as invested as possible. Something that I believe that was done extremely well for a group with less than two hours over a zoom call. We really did get into character and have fun figuring out how to interact with each other and the npcs. Most RPGs are cooperative and that is something that I personally really enjoy. Working together to figure out what was going on while working out our character’s personalities was really fun.
Leadership in RPGs can be both obvious and not. As a player to be willing to trust a GM to put you in a situation where you, and the other players, have to figure out what to do in new situations, be in the shoes of a new character, and to find a balance between characters and players. A GM has to know when to let the players explore and how to feed them a trail. Lasers and Feelings had us create an outline of a crew and a ship and we had to work together to fill in all the actual characterization, and that’s I think is the idea behind RPGs, cooperative creativity.