Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Five Leagues from the Borderlands

The time from the re-release of Five Parsecs to "What about a fantasy version?" was about 2.7 minutes.

My main concern, at the time, has always been that systems developed for a scifi-game may not feel right when adopted to a medieval (sort of) setting and that this was something we'd need to solve first.

Well, I can reveal to you that "Five Leagues from the Borderlands" will be the next Nordic Weasel release.

The premise is pretty much "Fantasy Five Parsecs":
Create a group of adventurers, fight dudes and get loot.

Easy enough right?

It'll have the same broad strokes: Percentile dice tables, random encounters, solo mechanics front and center.

What sort of fantasy? Low-magic "gritty" fantasy centered around swords and axes. The sort of thing I like to read and that I like to role-play.

You'll fight bandits and rogue knights, you'll fight goblin hordes and you'll fight terrifying monsters, all in a days work.

So what is different?

Well, a lot of things, but let's start with the biggest one today: Combat.

First, we split up Toughness and Armor. When you are struck, you now roll to penetrate the targets armor before rolling against their Toughness.
This does introduce another dice roll into the equation, but given the small figure count, I don't feel it's slowed down things in testing.

The big take-away is that the two rolls aren't interchangeable: If a blow gets through your armor, you will feel it: Either through being stunned or wounded.
If the armor deflects the attack, you are fine...probably.

Melee combat is a lot more exciting too:
Instead of a single opposed roll, you now fight up to three "Exchanges" with initiative potentially switching back and forth.
Figures will move around more during the melee as well. A defender that is outclassed may attempt to back up and get help from their friends for example.

There is going to be a bit more detail in melee weapons as well, with an emphasis on providing interesting mechanics rather than simply a 1 point difference in damage.
Those things arent completely settled yet though.

Later this week, we'll talk about encounters and campaigns so stay tuned.

A few general questions I anticipate:

*Is this a full release?

This will be a full game release with post-launch tweaks and updates, just like other 5P titles.

*Will this be compatible with 5P?

Many mechanics will be similar or identical but strict compatibility was not a goal.

*What is next for 5P ?

I need to test it more, but I'd really like to do something regarding exploring unsettled worlds.
The big issue is how to make it sufficiently exciting.

*Will there be a series of "Five Leagues" games, similar to 5P ?

That's not the intention. I have some ideas for adding content, but I don't want to spoil too much (especially if the idea turns out to be stupid and I change my mind).