A downloadable modular RPG

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Shine Bright

You are a Beacon, an immortal guardian of the last city on Earth. Human civilization crumbles across the system, but you and your kind are a ray of hope in a dark time. 


LIGHT is a rule-lite sci-fi RPG. In it, you play as the immortal Beacons, wielders of weapons and the elements themselves. As a squad, you will go on tactical Strikes, pushing back against the Dark that has begun its slow march across the system. Explore ancient ruins for help and resources, fight back against alien forces looking to destroy a weakened Earth, and unravel the mysteries that bind together Light and Dark.

LIGHT is a modular RPG. It runs on the LUMEN system, which focuses on action packed combat, without a bunch of rules getting in the way. All you need to play are the core rules and some d6. However, there will be a number of modules released for LIGHT that provide additional rules, gameplay elements, and more that you can choose to plug into your game. Customize your experience with Light and use any combination of the modules that you'd like, the game is yours to explore. So far, the released modules are:

  • Lighthouse: The last city on Earth. Rules on running the factions, completing bounties for them, and receiving boons for your hard work.
  • Vulcan: The weapon catalog! Rules on getting and creating loot, lots of weapons and tags, and some examples of legendary weapons the Beacons will seek.
  • Nemesis: Discover some of the alien factions the Beacons must fight across the system. Rules for enemies during fights, and examples of units from the first four enemy factions of LIGHT.

LIGHT is designed to fit on a single printed sheet of letter paper, double-sided and folded like a booklet. I may do a print run of high quality paper and ink if there is demand!

Enjoy LIGHT. Add fuel to your Beacon, and fight back against the Dark.

Role Character Sheet

I made a character sheet for you to use with Role. You can edit the sheet to change your element dice pools, and copy-paste the powers of any class! Enjoy!

SPARK & ECLIPSE

LIGHT is being supported with season passes. Four month sets of modules centered around a theme. The first season, Spark, has concluded! The second season, Eclipse, starts in May. You can preorder it today and get 20% off!

Thanks and acknowledgments

  • Destiny, for the 1000s of hours of play, and the obvious inspiration for this game.
  • 2400, inspiring me to explore smaller games and treating them as modular frameworks.
  • Beeple, whose incredible art sits on the cover as a beacon of light.
  • Adam Vass, who made the fantastic logo for LIGHT.
  • Nevyn Holmes and Aaron Burkett for helping me come up with names!

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Updated 29 days ago
StatusReleased
CategoryPhysical game
Rating
(37)
AuthorGila RPGs
LinksHomepage

Purchase

Get this modular RPG and 11 more for $66.00 USD
View bundle
Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

In order to download this modular RPG you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $10 USD. You will get access to the following files:

LIGHT Core Rules 803 kB
Lighthouse 1,013 kB
Vulcan 697 kB
Nemesis 828 kB
LIGHT Complete Spreads 2 MB
LIGHT Complete Pages 2 MB

Community Copy

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Community Copy

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Development log

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Comments

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(+1)

Very well designed and quite a power trip. Honestly, it would be very easy to add a modding system somewhat similar to Warframes.

I'm so glad to hear you like the game, thank you for the kind words :)

(+1)

This is extremely elegant and I'm very here for it.

Thank you so much!

(1 edit)

Do the pdfs have the Role Character Sheet updates somewhere in them? I don't see any of the information mentioned in the update for the pdfs. And as another comment said, I'm very interested in the Frame style. An article about it being canceled is how I ended up here, to support you out of principle.  

Hi!

Could you clarify what you mean by the Role Character Sheet updates? 

(1 edit)

In your development log, it shows that you have "Updated Character Sheets"

"I've updated the character sheets for the LIGHT core rules to include the new features from the Spark season! You'll find a place to write down what armor your Beacon is wearing, and a place to track when you have used your Cast during a fight!"

However, I don't see anything like this in your Spark docs or the core. Maybe I'm blind? Looks like you updated this info for Role, but I'm wonding if its in the PDFs.

Oh! If you download the core rules and look at the character sheets, you'll see a box for Cast and a spot to write down your armor. Those weren't in the original version of the game but were added based on some of the modules released with Spark!

(+1)

Oh! I'm blind. Thank you so much. I can't wait to give this a run with some of my peeps - Thanks again and good luck, ill keep checking in for more of your writings.

So, is there a possibility of getting Light/Frame some other way?

(+1)

Hi! Do you mean getting FRAME?

FRAME is going to be "re-framed" into a different game, though that will take a bit of development time and will hopefully have something to share in the near future!

(+2)

That is good to hear.  I went to back FRAME last night and discovered it was closed.  I became a sad panda.  The original email I got mentioned a joint project(LIGHT/FRAME). 

I'm looking forward to seeing more games from Gila RPGs.

(+3)

Light is a Destiny-inspired modular rpg about cosmic warriors going on heroic missions.

It's loosely PbtA-ish, and it's easy to pick up, but the GM may benefit from prepping their material in advance rather than running the game on the fly.

You only need the first 2 pages to play Light, but if you include all the modules then this is a 2--8 page game system.

As this is the first rpg I've reviewed where I've had to give a page range rather than a page count, I'm also going to make my review modular.

CORE RULES REVIEW

Layout-wise, everything here is clean and easy to read, and the cover art is nice and expressive.

That said, if you download the "Core Rules" pdf, it's formatted for printing, so you may want to make sure you get the pages or spreads version instead.

Mechanics-wise, Light is much clearer. You roll d6s and count the highest, and on a 6 you succeed without consequence. This would seem pretty mean (and lead to a lot of consequences) except Light has a very neat system built around soft death and resurrection. Every time you would die, you instead black out one of your Light boxes, pop back up, and add an extra die to every roll. When that dark die is the highest, you take damage.

So basically, as you take damage your rolls get better and your odds of taking damage further increase.

If you take too many deaths in a scenario, you die for good, but until then you can see just how close to the wick you can burn the candle.

This was absolutely a standout to me, and I'd recommend the system on its strength alone, but the core rules' also have some notable absences.

For example, there are three classes, each with a unique flavor and movelist, but there aren't any sample enemies to compare them against. The game orbits around player-driven combat encounters, and you have to design your own.

Also, content-wise, the information the core book gives you about the setting is a bit murky. You are an immortal elemental being and the text implies you have a very specific place within the cosmology of the setting, but I couldn't figure out what that place was. 

So as a GM using the core rules, you have to be ready to homebrew quite a bit for things to run perfectly smoothly.

VULCAN REVIEW

The title text looks a little strange compared to the more stylized logo on the core book, but everything inside is clean and readable and the cover image looks nice.

Content-wise, this supplement orbits around its titular npc, Vulcan, who forges the guns used by the PCs.

This bit of lore is nice, and it gives the setting slightly more of an anchored feeling, but the real meat here is mechanical.

There's a system for generating and modifying weapons that is about as crunchy as anything I've seen in a PbtA engine. You can have all kinds of mechanically relevant tags on a weapon, and slowly cultivating and customizing your gear while scavenging and selling enemy weapons is a neat gameplay loop.

Vulcan feels like a very solid addition to the core rules, and can probably be grafted onto other crunchy, combat-oriented PbtA systems with a few proper noun changes.

NEMESIS REVIEW

The contents are clean and readable, and the cover art looks great, but again the title font feels a little strange.

Content-wise, Nemesis feels essential to the system, and it should be a part of core.

It features antagonists with stats (thus giving the GM an idea of how to stat enemies), and it also clarifies a huge chunk of what's going on in the game's setting. Humanity is a dying empire, alien forces are pressing in, and the PCs are fighting against that tide.

You do need to be relatively familiar with the flow of PbtA games to use these enemies easily, but they're each flavorful and well designed, and the factions they represent feel interesting and mysterious.

This is an essential addition to the game.

LIGHTHOUSE REVIEW

Clean and readable, Lighthouse fills in some helpful worldbuilding about the place the PCs hail from, and it adds a factional favor system. 

Essentially, the players can take missions and optional objectives from major or minor factions and make progress towards specific factional rewards.

It's a fun extra layer, but there's a lot of elements here that refer to Vulcan and feel like they're designed to run alongside it.

I wouldn't recommend using Lighthouse by itself, but it's definitely an interesting addition if you want to develop a more story-focused campaign.

OVERALL REVIEW

Light is a modular game, but it feels like those modules have a specific load order:

Core, then Nemesis, then Vulcan, then Lighthouse.

Nemesis feels semi-essential, whereas Vulcan and Lighthouse are for longer-form play, and with Nemesis added I think Light is a stable, fun, and interesting system.

I'm not a Destiny player, so I can't speak to this from a fan angle, but just going on game mechanics alone, I think if you like fast-paced, sleek, neon space-fantasy with a special operations edge to it, you'll enjoy this.


Minor Issues:

-Core, page 1, Fuel, "In especially rare situations, the conversion of a Dark into a Light", the text on page 2's Health & Harm says that you convert all dark back into light after a strike. Is this incorrect?

-Core, page 2, how do perks work? Is there anything to prevent you from just spamming Solar Well?

-Vulcan, page 2, Vulcan, 3rd para, you say Boons and "1 favor" in the same paragraph. Are they referring to the same mechanic?

-Vulcan, page 2, is there a tag limit for weapons? Or can you keep spending favor to add tags via Vulcan? And do tags stack with themselves?

-Lighthouse, page 2, Home, 2nd para, you have the word "Strikes" by itself at the end, and this looks like a fragment.

-Lighthouse, page 2, Boons, 1st para, there's a reference to Shine Bright and I'm not sure what or where that is.

(1 edit) (+2)

Thanks for this review, it helped sell me on the game! I thought I'd point out some answers from my reading of the rules:

--Core, page 2, how do perks work? Is there anything to prevent you from just spamming Solar Well?

Perks, as I read the classes, are static benefits, like "Resilient", "Reflexive" and "Light's Warmth" (and I would count the melee/unarmed abilities), which don't require Light expenditure. Powers, like "Solar Well" require spending 1 Light (see page 1 of the base rules, right before "Health & Harm" section).

-Vulcan, page 2, Vulcan, 3rd para, you say Boons and "1 favor" in the same paragraph. Are they referring to the same mechanic?

"Boon" is any reward/upgrade for a character. Favor is the currency earned from factions by accomplishing strike missions and turning in bounties (and in the case of Vulcan, turning in weapons). For other factions, you have to fill a favor clock in order to earn a boon from them. For Vulcan, there is no clock, there are simply boons which cost a set number of favor.

-Lighthouse, page 2, Boons, 1st para, there's a reference to Shine Bright and I'm not sure what or where that is.

Shine Bright is the heading/title for the introduction/overview section in the base rules. This is a reference to the final sub-section of that section, titled "Fueling a Beacon" which explains that characters receive boons for completing strike missions.

(+1)

Thanks! I think I must have missed this in the text, so anyone who's reading my review and also reading this post, please assume the above issues are solved.

(+1)

Excellent work! Can't wait to test it. However do schedule to write more "classes"? I would be cool!

Thank you! I am actually just about to release a new set of classes this morning as part of LIGHT: Spark, the first season of LIGHT modules. I'm adding 3 new elemental classes for each of the main classes.

(+1)

Really enjoying this. It'd be cool to get a single-page version in addition to the spreads version, if that's possible!

Ask and you shall receive! I've just uploaded two new files, single-pages and spread version of the combined rules and modules.

(+1)

Whoa, that was fast! 😂 Thanks!!

(+1)

Is there a free basic rulebook or demo or quickstart or something I can try before deciding to buy it? Thanks

I don't have a basic rulebook or demo for the game, sorry!

Occasionally there are community copies available that you can download, but they have all been claimed right now.

(+2)

Hello! Great game! :D something I don't understand about Boons, are they just for the next Strike, or are they a permanent upgrade?

(+1)

Depends on the Boon! Most are permanent, but some groups may prefer to have certain Boons from the factions to be one time use sort of things. Anything with giving stats, or Light, or Powers is permanent.

Glad you enjoy the game!

(+1)

Thanks you for the clarification, really happy with this :D

(+1)

So glad to hear it!

(+4)

Just picked this up cause someone asked what's a good game to run Destiny in, and I saw you're in Chicago as well, so I figured I should support local designers.

(+2)

Can't wait to see what comes next

(+3)

Good grief, I'd been thinking of trying to hack together a rules-lite Destiny inspired RPG for ages, and you just went ahead and did it you absolute genius.  Great stuff.

(+2)

Haha I had been grappling with the same thing! It plagued me.

Glad to hear you like it!

(+2)

I need more. Moar! MOAAAHHR! 

Excited to see this grow. :>

MOOOOOORE.

I also want more ;)