A lighthouse is a navigational aid, guiding ships so they can safely get to where they’re going. This Lighthouse is a tabletop roleplaying system designed to emphasize storytelling. It is easy to learn and simple to run, but incredibly versatile. Using polyhedral dice, you determine not only the degree of success or failure of a character’s actions, but who gets to narrate the outcome. You can tell any kind of story, in any setting or genre, with minimal preparation. Here’s an introduction to Lighthouse, to give you a feel for how the system works.
A System, Not a Rulebook
A system is a way of doing things, a methodology or set of principles that can be applied to achieve the result that you want. While a good system is orderly and has boundaries, some flexibility is implied. Rules, on the other hand, are about control and regulation, which can be the antithesis of creativity and imagination. When you use Lighthouse as intended, it will be a guide rather than a set of fixed limitations. Use the system when it works, but deviate from it and ignore it in those moments when it doesn’t meet the needs of your story. To extend the metaphor, the story is the ship, and you are the navigator; the Lighthouse is only there to assist as needed.
Cooperation, Not Competition
Tabletop roleplaying has many styles of play, and arguably not all of them meet the definition of a game. Lighthouse was created to support the idea that roleplaying is a collaborative storytelling activity, rather than competition. There’s no need to keep score, or determine who the winners and losers are. Goals will be met and characters will grow as they do in other forms of fiction, but it should happen more organically, based on what makes sense within the context of the story rather than arbitrarily.
Creativity and Imagination
If you’re looking for a roleplaying game where you kill monsters in order to collect treasure and level up, so that you can kill bigger monsters and get better treasure and level up again, Lighthouse might not be for you. It’s a perfectly valid style of play and a lot of fun, and I enjoy those games too, but that’s not what this is. If you’re interested in exploring why your character seeks adventure, learning what the monster’s motivations are, and making that into a great story, you’re in the right place.