First Ride/Last Ride is a “single player role-playing poem” designed by Jason Morningstar. You play Dave, a character clearly ripped right from the Fast and Furious universe . The game includes two adventures, one on each side of a deck of 8 cards. The adventures on First Ride, as Dave finds himself being sucked into the world of racing for pinks and living on the edge, and Last Ride, as Dave is retired from “the life,” but is called back in for one lastjob.
If the name Jason Morningstar sounds familiar, that’s because he’s made several incredible story games, like Fiasco, Night Witches, and Ghost Court. Like much of Morningstar’s other work, First Ride/Last Ride is an RPG that focuses on story more than stats.
To play this game, you won’t need dice, just a piece of paper, pencil, and 20 minutes to dive into each adventure. For each story, the player is presented with a set of six cards, each with new situation, and a seventh card with a conclusion. Each of the six situations is a few beautifully written sentences of flavor text that present a dilemma. How do you react when your reckless friend enters a race he can’t win? Will you risk everything you have to race for the money for your dad’s medical bills?
But before you decide what to do in this situation, you are presented with a question about your character or his past. You build the narrative through these questions, and write down your answer (my answers were usually one to three sentences.) These questions make you think about the type of person you are, and make this world of fast cars and violent situations actually feel very sensitive and personal. For example, a question might be: “What are you more afraid of–that you don’t have what it takes to be the best, or that you don’t have what it takes to care for other people?”
Once you’ve answered your “question,” you can choose from one of three options for what to do about your current dilemma. Each answer adds a character attribute, which you write down (for example: you are loyal, you are honest, you are afraid, you are sunburned). These individual situations are exciting and action-packed, but also allow the player to make fundamental decisions with consequences on your character’s values (hint: family is definitely one of them).
At the end of the game, you examine the paper where you have written down all that you’ve discovered about your “Dave,” and contemplate what kind of man you are. That’s right—the game ends with introspection. Jason Morningstar can make a Fast & Furious game more sensitive than a Vin Diesel Corona toast at a barbecue—or perhaps, exactly that sensitive, which seems to have been his goal.
Morningstar says he loves that the Fast & Furious movies are so action-packed and ridiculous that they “make sense with the sound off,” but there’s more to them then that. “But I think what I love even more than all this is the emphasis on family — the franchise is predicated on an unshakeable crew with genial, pan-ethnic curb appeal. These people all love each other fiercely, and the family grows with each installment. It’s pretty cool. Inspirational, even, for a series of films where driving supercars between skyscrapers in Dubai is just another day at the office.”
What is your favorite racing-based tabletop game? Tell the world in the comments below!
Featured Image Credits: Bully Pulpit Games
Image Credits: Universal Studios