A downloadable game

Buy Now$4.87 USD or more

NOTE: Lighthearted is IN DEVELOPMENT and will see regular changes and updates.

What Is Lighthearted?

Lighthearted is a magical 80’s RPG of self-discovery. Revisit the coming of age stories of 80s films as college kids in a modern fantasy world filled with neon-rainbow magic.

  • Tabletop Role-Playing Game for 3-5 Players including a GM
  • 3-4 Hour Playtime per Session
  • Built for Campaign Play, but Great in a One-Shot
  • 75 Page Core Rules PDF and Character Sheets

Welcome To The 80s

The setting of Lighthearted is a romanticized 1987, that’s rediscovering magic. It’s like the version of the ’80s portrayed in Jem and the Holograms and Weird Science. Except in the places where computers were expected to do literally anything, we sub in light-powered rainbow magic. Want to summon a fairy while wearing a bra on your head? Rad! We’re gonna call that magic.

Is It Earth?

Not quite. It’s an alternate 1980’s with fantasy elements weaved throughout the most outlandish bits of what we remember from 80’s pop culture. There are fantasy religions mixed in with mall culture and illusory glamours replace plastic surgery. There’s still a cold war going on between world powers, but their weapons are destructive mages gifted with dark magic.

The Rules

The game uses a roll and keep dice mechanic where you 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 well they can achieve 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. 

Why Play Lighthearted?

Ever wish you could retell the stories you loved from 80s films without all the problematic crap? Us too! That's the goal of Lighthearted. It puts the players behind the wheel of college kids trying to get past being a Prep, Jock, Geek, Rebel or Outcast. On top of that whole mess they'll have to deal with dark magic, parties, vampires, and finals week.

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.

We've begun working with Minerva Fox on some initial art. So far she's done the Jock and Geek portraits on this page and will be bringing to life the Prep, Rebel, and Outcast later this year.

Why Early Access?

We want to give the people 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. 


Buy Now$4.87 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $4.87 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Lighthearted v1.2.pdf 11 MB

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