Left Coast playtest

20 June, 2011

Steve Hickey wrote a small game called Left Coast for the Ronnies contest back in 2005. It got some good feedback then, and now Steve has re-written the game entirely, as I understand it partly helped by a playtest in NZ in 2009. In Left Coast each player plays a less than successful sci-fi writer trying to juggle life, family, income and indeed creative output. The setting is California in the 1950-70s.

Now that alone could be an interesting game, kind of like Contenders with writers, but Left Coast now has a pretty unique concept to add to the mix. Let me see if I can explain it, because my head is starting to explode every time I think about it. That’s how good and indeed genre appropriate it is.

Every player character is also the main character in a book written by one of the other player characters, so what happens in the game’s fiction is also the in-fiction stories being written by the player characters. In other words, your player character’s GM is one of the other players who is also playing the author of a book featuring your player character. Are you with me?

I think this is mind-blowingly awesome, but have no idea whether it’s possible to actually pull it off. I gues no-one knows, because it hasn’t been playtested yet, which we are going to try hopefully next week before I go on holiday.

Download latest version of Left Coast


  1. That sounds like a Philip-K-Dicksian mindfuck of the greatest kind.

  2. Be sure to download the rules summary from that link, if you haven’t already – I suspect there are quite a few fiddly bits to the game, and I think the summary will help you work through them.

    Love your description of the meta elements of the game. I am *fascinated* to hear how that plays out!

    Hope you have a great time (and a great holiday)!

  3. Wow.

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