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Version 1.3: Lighthearted is in development, but Version 1.3 will be the last big update before editing and layout.

What Is Lighthearted?

Lighthearted is a magical 80’s RPG of self-discovery. It's built to revisit the coming of age stories of 80s movies as college mages in a modern fantasy world filled with neon-rainbow magic.  The game puts you behind the wheel of a Prep, Jock, Geek, Rebel or Outcast and asks how you'll grow out of those labels while also dealing with dangerous dark magic, college parties, vampires, and finals!


  • 3-5 Players including a Director
  • 3-4 Hour Playtime per Session
  • Built for Campaign Play, but Great in a One-Shot
  • 97 Page Core Rules PDF + Cheat Sheets
  • Print Character Sheets + Google Sheet Character Keeper

Welcome To The 80s

The setting of Lighthearted is an idealized 1987. Like the version of the ’80s portrayed in Jem and the Holograms and Weird Science, but instead of weird science, we have light-powered neon-rainbow magic. It’s an alternate 1980’s with fantasy elements weaved throughout the most outlandish bits of 80’s pop culture. There are fantasy religions mixed in with mall culture, dark magic cold wars, and glamours instead of plastic surgery.

The Rules

The game uses a roll and keep dice mechanic. Roll a Trait die and an Emotion die then keep the higher of the two. While the Traits are set at character creation the Emotions change over the course of a scene. This brings the character's emotions to the forefront of the players minds and effects how they approach their goals. 

Resolving rolls involves establishing what the character wants and what is at stake if they fail. Based on their roll they will see variable results similar to PbtA games.

The Music

Music is an important part of setting scenes in Lighthearted. To help with that we've put together a Spotify playlist of some of our favorite 80s songs to accompany your games.

What Are People Saying?

"If you are looking for an RPG that will hit the notes of nostalgia while still opening up a fantastic world for you to play in and discover, you can’t do much better than Lighthearted."

- Jason Brown, Cannibal Halfling Gaming

"Lighthearted does one of the best things an RPG can do: it takes an anchored, cultural touchstone as a way to get players engaged and then gets weird with it. It's a love letter To All the Movies you've Loved Before, that you wish you could rewrite in a less awful way. Also magic."

- Dan Phipps, Gem Room Games

"Lighthearted like neon but also like easy going but also like 80s coming of age movies but also like you've got a light heart it's all there baby."

- Viditya Voleti, Designer of Space Goblins

Who's Involved?

Lighthearted is written by Kurt & Kate Potts. 

Kurt and Kate have been playing RPGs together for 10+ years and married for more than that. Kurt started working on Lighthearted in 2018, but as is common in this type of partnership Kate's influence was always present. She came on as an official co-author in mid 2019. Kate's work as a marriage and family therapist has been instrumental in creating a game about emotions & growing up in a lighthearted way.

The wonderful Minerva Fox created all the beautiful character art you've seen on this page as well as the yet to be released cover. She's worked on many RPG books including Demigods PBTA, Hearts of Wulin, and Vigor. We're so excited to be working with her on this project and can't wait to show you more.

Why Early Access?

We want to give the folks most interested in the game the opportunity to follow along and help shape the final product. Right now the game is still in development. There will be typos and rules changes, but with your support and feedback we can push the game over the line. All updates to the core rules will be made available to anyone who purchases a copy. Even if the price goes up later.

Along the way we'll set goals for purchasing art, hiring an editor, and hopefully fund a few trips to conventions where Kurt will be running the game. 


Get this game and 2 more for $13.00 USD
View bundle
Buy Now
On Sale!
18% Off
$9.87 $8.09 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $8.09 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Lighthearted v1.3.pdf 12 MB

Community Copies

Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Community Copies

If you can't pay the list price of Lighthearted these community copies are for you. We'll add more each time we sell a copy. If these run out, reach out to me on twitter @kurtpotts.

Download demo

Lighthearted Character Sheet 1 MB
Lighthearted Character Keeper
Lighthearted One-Shot Pregens 2 MB
Character Creation & Rules Cheatsheet.pdf 984 kB

Development log

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