The layout is a little garish probably, so here it is in text only format for you if you want it to read, or hack!
What is this: Star Heist is a 2-6 player, rules-lite TTRPG about robbing space trains with your Star Bandit friends. Interstellar travel was made easier with the advent of dedicated space-railways, but they also provide an incredible target for those willing to risk it all to take it.
What do you need: All you need to play Star Heist is some d6s, and 2-6 players, with one acting as The Conductor, and everyone else playing a Star Bandit.
Who are you: You are a Star Bandit, your reasons for your life of crime are your own, but for whatever reason you’ve joined a crew with one mission. Steal everything off of the Hyper-Rail One, a next-age railway going straight from Earth to Mars.
Building your Star Bandit: Take a minute to write out some information about your Star Bandit, this should include their: name, call sign, pronouns, basic history, 2 pieces of gear, 1 weapon, and a general aesthetic, then mark down that you have 10 Health. There are 4 skills in Star Heist:
* Rootin’ - Use this to stealth or see things good.
* Tootin’ - Use this to convince people good.
* Shootin’ - Use this to shoot good.
* Bootin’ - Use this to hit good.
You have 2 skill points when you start, assign 1 point to 2 different skills, or 2 points to a single skill.
Playing the Game: During play, The Conductor sets up a scene, and the Star Bandits explain what they do in response. If the Star Bandits attempt something where failing is both possible, and interesting, The Conductor can call for a roll. When you roll the dice, you roll 2 d6s, and add an additional dice for each point you have in a relevant skill, an additional dice for any relevant gear you have, and then count the total of the 2 highest rolled dice, and consult the table below:
* 2: Failure with a Major Consequence
* 3 - 5: Failure with a Minor Consequence
* 6 - 8: Success with a Minor Consequence, or Failure
* 9 - 11: Success
* 2: Success with a Minor Boon
Consequences: When a Star Bandit rolls a Consequence, something doesn’t go according to plans. What exactly goes wrong is a conversation between the folks at the table, but generally a Minor Consequence introduces a small problem, while a Major Consequence introduces a huge new unforeseen problem.
Boons: When a Star Bandit rolls a Boon, things go unusually well in a way that changes how the Star Bandit interacts with the world either for the rest of the scene, or forever. Boons can be things as simple as dealing extra damage against a single target, to as complicated as always being able to spot traps. Like Consequences, Boons are a conversation for the table.
Combat: At the start of combat, everyone at the table discusses what order the Star Bandits and enemies are moving in, although The Conductor gets a final say in it. Generally Star Bandits will roll Shootin’ or Bootin’ checks to see if they can hit the enemies, and enemies will roll those same checks to see if they can hit the Star Bandits. Enemies generally have 4 Health, but may have more or less depending on how prepared they are before the Star Bandits arrive, or how much training they have in general. If someone is unprepared for comat entirely (for example they don’t have armor) they only have a single health. Enemies generally deal a single point of damage on a hit, but don’t suffer Consequences on a miss.
Weapons: Star Bandits start the game with a basic weapon, they can look however you would like to describe them, but they deal 3 Damage on a hit, or 1 Damage on a hit that has a Minor Consequence (the lowered damage being the Consequence here). Weapons that deal more damage (or have less severe Consequences) might be found on the train (or they might not), but should be kept fairly easy to arbitrate around so combat can stay both quick and easy.
Gear: Star Bandits start the game with 2 pieces of gear, that both make sense for their character, and might help with the heist of Hyper-Rail One. This gear is assumed to not run out or break unless it’s funny, or you roll a Major Consequence while using it.
The World of Star Heist: Hyper-Rail One was built a few decades ago, to serve as an easy and cheap way for rich people to transport both themselves and their belongings from Earth to Mars and back. The train is run by a megalomaniacal billionaire named Melon Husk, who both owns the train and spends most days acting as it’s conductor. Husk uses the train in part to bring cheap labor from Earth to Mars where he has paid good money to make sure there are no labor laws.
Hyper-Rail One itself is a few miles long, and both slower and more expensive than other forms of space travel. Because of its expensive cargo, and billionaire class passengers, it is a frequent target for Star Bandits, although few have ever successfully pulled off a heist of the train due to it’s armored cars, and well trained security staff.
Planning the Perfect Heist: Planning the perfect heist is going to be difficult, and running the heist even more so. Consider what the Star Bandits might know going in, how they plan to get on and off the train while it is hurtling through space, the sort of loot they are going for, and what could possibly go wrong with the plan. It is a lot of fun when things go well, but in Star Heist, the setbacks are where half the fun is. Ending the Game: Star Heist is over when Hyper-Rail One has been successfully looted, or when all the Star Bandits have either been killed or captured. It is designed to run in a single session, but you could always continue the adventure anywhere else in space!
Special thanks to:
* My cat, Prince Giles von Fuzzbutt III who kept me company while I wrote the game.
* Everyone on Twitter who suggested actually writing this, even though it was clearly a shit post. You get the thanks and the blame for this one.
Find me online:
@Keganexe on Twitter
Writing and Design by Kegan Queen
Loosely Based on Phanta by Kegan Queen
If you make a hack of this game, let me know cause it sounds sick as hell.
If you leave me a review on my itch.io, I’ll give you a speedrunning strat, or a cheat code for the game.