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Star Heist is a short, pulpy space western rpg---but not a space western in the grounded, hard-fi, firefly sense. Star Heist leans into the absurd, and the players are Star Bandits robbing an intergalactic train.
The PDF is 6 pages, with a neon-pink and black layout that's both visually striking and plenty easy to read. The cover image is also cool and fun and communicates the contents of the game in an instant.
Mechanics-wise, there's enough crunch that you notice but not so much that you chip any teeth. Your Bandits have HP, Skills, and equipment, but the Skills and equipment are in small numbers and easy to apply to rolls. A typical roll is between 2d6--4d6, added up, and compared against a chart where 9+ is success without a complication.
Notably, the Skills are Rootin', Tootin', Shootin', and Bootin', which is a significant value-add.
Combat exists, and it's a little weird. Initiative is decided by agreeing on when everyone acts. And enemies roll their own Skills, rather than players rolling to defend themselves. The initiative-by-agreement system is interesting, and I dig it a lot, but it might make for a slow first combat round or two as your group adapts to it.
Plotwise, there's a little bit of world-building tucked at the back of the PDF, and it establishes that the train is owned and operated by labor rights violations billionaire Melon Husk, but there isn't too much about the train's defenses or valuables, so the GM will have to cook up most of each scenario themselves.
Star Heist's rules aren't really restricted to just running heists, though, and it'd be easy enough to run a whole galaxy-spanning campaign on these rules.
Overall, if you're looking for something that's fun for a one-shot and stable enough for a campaign, and if you like your space westerns silly and enthusiastic rather than gritty and methodical, this is absolutely worth your time and you should pick it up.
I love how lean and mean this game is. Both with the mechanics and with how the setting and what is expected of players/conductors is conveyed with such clarity. Killer vibe and design, too. Really looking forward to playing this one.
One of the 5 star(r)s in my rating is for reminding me of this: