Thursday, 4 February 2016


So the reason why SUBLIGHT is even a thing is that Jez Gordon ran a marathon session at Ettincon of a Star Wars game from the 80s and something about it got stuck in my brain. I liked that everyone had a job both on and off the ship, I liked that there was teamwork, I liked rolling huge handfuls of dice. I didn't like then having to count the huge handfuls of dice. Here is a hacked-together, drastically simplified version of such a ruleset.

Skills should be self-explanatory. If you're not sure what category to use just pick the one you like. A couple fiddly points - any kind of action stunt like jumping between cars or climbing a tower should probably come under Fight, and I'm thinking of having some low-level mysterious psychic powers to give the Heal person more to do.

Talk - do stuff with people
Drive - do stuff with vehicles
Fight - do stuff with weapons
Heal - do stuff with organic systems
Fix - do stuff with inorganic systems

Everything is d6s. You get six d6s to distribute among these skills, and that's what you roll when you're using the skill. You're allowed to have no points in things. So Mal from Firefly might be like

Talk 2d6
Drive 1d6
Fight 3d6
Heal 0d6
Fix 0d6

and then if he wants to attack Jayne he rolls 3d6. Pick a target number from 2 (super easy) to 6 (super hard). Jayne's guard is up so let's say that's 5 (hard). To win, Mal has to roll 5 or above at least once. If he rolls 4 5 6, that's two successes, so he wins twice. If he rolls 1 2 3 he fails and Jayne gets to shoot him.

The simplest way to manage hit points is that each player starts off with three Wounds and whenever someone rolls a success against you, you lose one. So if Mal rolls 4 5 6 he hits Jayne twice and Jayne has one Wound left. If he loses that he starts to bleed out and Simon has to roll Heal to stabilize him. There's no initiative - the person who says they attack first is the person that gets to attack first.

You can also use your turn to Help people. Say how you're helping them and then give them your dice from whatever skill you're using. The only restriction is you can't give them more dice than they already have in that skill. So Kaylee can help Mal fly the ship by dicking about with the engine to make it run smoother, but even though she has like 5d6 in Fix she can't give him more than one because Mal is not that good at flying ships. Mal would then get to roll 2d6 and still probably be shot by Reavers.

Your players start with a spaceship. Talk is captaining and comms. Drive is piloting. Fight is manning the guns. Heal is life-support and shipboard ecology. Fix is engine room. Each player also gets to pick a category on the Stuff table, below, and roll on it. They can't pick something they have no dice in.


Talk - Contacts
  1. Member of criminal syndicate
  2. Member of legitimate corporation
  3. Member of local government
  4. Agent of law enforcement
  5. Manager of useful small business
  6. Cultural icon e.g. ballet dancer, street artist, priest
Drive - Ship Upgrades
  1. Smuggler's hold
  2. Cloaking device
  3. Solar sail
  4. Drill rig
  5. Drone bay
  6. Magnetic grapple
Fight - Weapons
  1. Sniper rifle
  2. Shotgun
  3. Flechette gun
  4. Rocket launcher
  5. Chainblade
  6. Monomolecular whip
Heal - Body Upgrades
  1. Personalized virus that lives in your body
  2. G-modified animal
  3. Garden of G-modified plants
  4. Low-level psychic powers
  5. Mutant extra limb or face part
  6. Satchel of valuable medicines and drugs
Fix - Machines
  1. Pet robot, non-sapient
  2. AI assistant, sapient
  3. Robot extra limb or face part
  4. Thieves' tools
  5. Jetpack
  6. Satchel of high explosive

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