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Lighthouse System Core Mechanic Summary

Lighthouse System Core Mechanic Summary

Watermarked PDF

Welcome to the Lighthouse

This document explains the core mechanic of the Lighthouse System. It’s meant to provide you with the general feel of the game, and hopefully answer most of your questions. It is not the complete system, though. The full Core Book has sections on character creation, setting design, structuring adventures, and taking on the role of the guide. All of those things stem from this core mechanic, and the context is provides.

You may be familiar with popular roleplaying titles like Dungeons & Dragons, Call of Cthulhu, or Vampire: The Masquerade. A group of people get together and collaborate on telling a story. Each of the players takes the role of a protagonist in that story. One player, the guide, has the job of supporting the players and keeping the story going. That’s the core essence of roleplaying. That’s what the Lighthouse System is.

The design goal was to emphasize my favorite aspects of tabletop roleplaying, and to address a couple of my pet peeves. I love getting together with friends to collaborate on a story. It’s far more social than passively watching a movie or sporting event together, and less expensive than going out for dinner or drinks. We get to develop our characters, explore the setting, and make each adventure uniquely our own. It’s an exercise in creativity unlike any other activity.

One thing I’ve never liked, though, is the emphasis on violence as the primary means of solving problems. There’s a place for it in storytelling, to be sure, but too often systems are designed with other methods of task resolution as an afterthought. This extends to the ever-looming possibility that your character will die randomly, with no regard for the effort you’ve put into them, their personal arc, or the needs of the larger story being told. It’s a valid style of play, and if you enjoy that more power to you. But it’s not something that everyone enjoys.

All of which shaped the philosophy of the mechanics you’re about to read. I prefer to call it a system rather than a set of rules, because it’s meant to be a method of doing things. Telling stories requires room for interpretation, and rigid regulations often conflict with that. The Lighthouse System was created to offer some structure and guidelines, but to put more control over characters, settings, and stories back into the hands of the players.

I hope that you enjoy the Lighthouse System. It’s a labor of love, a manifesto expressing my opinions on roleplaying, and a solid basis for creating a shared storytelling experience. In the end, though, it’s whatever you use it for. The characters, worlds, and adventures that you create using this book are what matter most.

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File Last Updated:
May 01, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on May 01, 2019.