I haven't had a chance to play the game just yet but I started to build my world using the questions provided along with the oracle. Hopefully soon I will begin play. This zine is highly inspirational. Heck the oracle alone would be a great addition for anyone running games.
Lay On Hands
A downloadable game
Lay On Hands is a storytelling game zine for one player in which you play an unnaturally gifted healer in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
You will wander the ravaged land and channel the strange power that runs through your hands to unburden the needy, shrive the wayward and rout the corrupt. You will embrace the weirdness of the wasteland, fight heroic battles and risk your life to fulfil the covenants you have sworn.
It's a bit like Ironsworn meets Troika meets Fallout... with an activity sheet.
It's wickedly difficult to build tension and anticipation in a solo RPG, but Lay on Hands knocks it out of the park. It's clever: perhaps the most robust and unique oracle table (or rather, a literal tray) out there — it's challenging: you *will* be desperately shading boxes, adding numbers, and more as a coin spin determines your fate — and delightfully strange. Supported by clear writing and distinctive design, I'm blown away by the quality of work.
— momatoes (ARC, The Magus)
This is a 36 page (covers included) black and white zine, featuring... [toggle to read more]
Tension without dice
Instead of rolling dice to check for the success of your character's actions, you will spin a coin and try to complete sections on one of three drawing mini-games before it comes to a stop. The result on the coin also contributes to the outcome of what you're trying to do, adding narrative tension beyond simple "success vs failure". (If that sounds too gimmicky or you are unable to complete the skill tests, the game supports play using two six-sided dice instead.)
Put yourself in the shoes of an unconventional prophet. At the heart of the game is The Oracle, a table of 36 abstract prompts inspired by tarot fortune telling, which helps generate unexpected detail in every part of the heroic story you'll be creating. It also quite neatly doubles up as the tray for spinning your coin in.
A single page summary
The game's rules are condensed into a single page reference so you can get stuck into the good stuff without getting bogged down.
When your character attempts something with an uncertain outcome you take their relevant faculty (Grit, Slip or Wits), subtract any applicable skills and add on the challenge rating of the action to get the score you need to beat.
The game's strewn with gritty, grainy block print illustrations. These are lovingly hand-crafted to evoke the naïve, unstudied style of a society rebuilding itself, creating new myths and meaning.
Six different character archetypes
Play one of several idiosyncratic characters, each dedicated to healing a different thing: flesh, soul, mind, pestilence, creatures or tech. Want more freedom? There's advice for amending them as you see fit or even creating your own archetypes.
Your unique world
One of the first things you'll do is create your own post-apocalyptic world. The game's designed to help you play any scenario you can dream up, in any time period you want. Included is a mantra generator, and a random table of 36 post-apocalyptic world characteristics.
As well as Fallout, in making the game I drew inspiration from The Road by Cormac McCarthy, the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, The Vorrh by B. Catling, the Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer, as well as films like Mad Max and A Boy And His Dog.
Lay On Hands is clever in ways I've never seen done before. It’s tactile, it’s evocative, it’s innovative, it’s immersive. Tons of player freedom and infinite possibilities using a unique system blending chance, dexterity, and interpretation into a whole new way to tell stories at the table.
— Adam Vass (World Champ Game Co)
Ratings & Comments:
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- Secret Cat Shop (UK)
- Rook’s Press (UK)
- IglooTree (UK)
- Floating Chair Club (US)
- Exalted Funeral (US)
- Spear Witch (US)
- PDF published: 6th September 2021
- System Reference Document (SRD) published:
8th13th September 2021
- Game jam: 17th September - 14th November 2021
- Physical copies made available: late September 2021
- Tundrabower setting (Kickstarter stretch goal) published October/November 2021
- 3 bonus character archetypes (Kickstarter stretch goal) published October/November 2021
The Oracle, Character Sheet and Skill Tests sheet are provided separately below (under 'Download demo') for printing etc.
In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of £6 GBP. You will get access to the following files:
Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.
If you are struggling financially to purchase this game, please help yourself to a community copy, no questions asked.
The game will launch with 36 community copies (one for every cell in The Oracle). I'll be adding more copies:
- 1 for every rating the game receives on Itch
- 2 for every purchase at a price of £8 (~$11) or more
- 5 for every session report, actual play or review of the game I come across (please post links in the comments below or let me know on Twitter @ValleyOfAlfred)
- V1.1 - teensy amendmentSep 07, 2021
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This is such a delight to read and to play. Can't wait to see more games from you!
Wrote a brief review of it for our blog - https://podofblunders.com/2022/01/28/lay-on-hands/
I've started this yesterday and I'm really loving it! You did such an excellent job creating a specific atmosphere while also leaving it open-ended enough so that the player feels like they have creative control.
Also, it's very beautifully presented and the overall aesthetic is *chefs kiss*!
You guys are doing a great job with your games. Lay On Hands has a concept that seems cliché, but it works very well in this game proposal. Keep toasting us with games like this
Becoming a favorite one
"Lay on Hands is quickly becoming my favorite solo RPG. For a lot of reasons. The oracle is honestly perfect. I feel it's one of those open ended oriented tools that really works and doesn't leave you in a silent confusion. Each result have a lot of possible outcomes in it's numbers and words. Very very good.
I love to spin the coin and try the labyrinth challenge. It's so hard and because of that so good. It's really a challenge and this helps you being present while playing it. Speaking of it, the clock works amazingly well helping you seeing the passage of in-game time. Below are the drawings from the Pilot episode of my Lay on hands game. I'm having tons of fun!"
i bought a physical at the cat store-do i get a PDF copy as well or is it something i need to re-buy if i want it? Looks like a cool game...also credit to Dave Thaumavore for driving me this way BTW. excited to get it!
love this game. Excellent presentation and layout, getting ready to dive in this weekend
Very good game. Well done, this is basically perfect! I especially like the oracle system and unique artwork. Can't wait for the SRD and jam! (finally a system I want to use to create my first game)
This looks very interesting. Any chance you can enable card payments?