Sunday, 24 June 2018

Magic, the supernatural and Five Leagues

So I wanted to chat a bit about the world of Five Leagues.

Like Five Parsecs, it certainly exists in a place (Unified Space), but it's painted in pretty broad strokes, so you could use your own imagination or borrow from the likes of Traveler and Firefly.

The intention of the world of Five Leagues is to be hinted at, rather than clearly described.
For example, it's unlikely that we'll ever detail specific names of cities and kingdoms.

Rather, we aim to give you a sense of the place, which can be adapted as you need for your miniatures collection and personal tastes.

The implication is a fairly gritty place where the cities and villages look much like we'd expect a early middle age society to look.
But as you venture beyond the boundaries, things get a lot darker and more uncertain.

Strange cults, remnants of the Old Gods and the world of fog and shadow, malevolent forces. You know, the good stuff.

For now, we'll call this the world of Mirk.

So I thought I'd take a moment to answer a few general questions about what sort of place it is:


Is civilization an oppressive hell-scape (in the game)?

In the sense that living in a feudal society was pretty oppressive and rigid, yeah, but it's not a grim-dark world in that sense.

If we have bands of adventurers roaming the lands, presumably social hierarchies are more permissive than in real-life feudal societies.

Are the adventurers noble heroes or callous murder-hobos?

That's really up to you. I haven't tried to paint that too closely either way, but my feeling is that your characters are fundamentally trying to help people out, while making a bit of Coin on the side.

Does spell casting exist?

Yes, it is possible to learn forms of sorcery in Mirk.
It's rare enough that the average person has never encountered it (or met anyone who truthfully has either) and tends to revolve more around summoning things to do your bidding, than slinging lightning bolts.

Do orcs and goblins exist?

Goblins exist and I hope when I get to cover them, they'll end up suitably threatening and vile.

Orcs is unlikely.

Is there an ultimate evil?

We've hinted at a malevolent force underpinning all of creation.
Along the way, you will get some more hints about exactly what it might entail.

It isn't an "evil god" or anything of the sort though.

Are there gods? 

As far as a scientifically minded alchemist could tell: Probably not.
But faith can still move mountains.

Where do magical items come from?

They may have been created by the Fey.
Some may have become magic over time, as faith and folklore built up around them.

For example, a legendary hero used the same sword in every battle.

If someone finds that sword 50 years later, it might well be a magical weapon now.

Will we ever be able to play non-human characters?

Straight up D&D style dwarves and lizard people? Probably very unlikely.

But down the road, I'd like to address things like people with a bit of Elfin blood in their veins, families who dabbled in arts better left unknown and that sort of thing.

Will you include [insert x here]?

Maybe.

Is this all based on [insert x here] ?

There's an inspiration list included in the book, so you can just read that, but if I had to pin it down to only a couple things, I'd say a mix of Middle Earth and the Black Company novel, while listening to the discographies of the bands Summoner, Isole and Falconer.

Mechanically, it's obviously based on the Five Parsecs system.
Combat is heavily influenced by the Swedish Eon role playing game.

I'd like to give credit to some awesome fantasy miniatures games here, but the truth is, I don't play a lot of fantasy miniatures games outside of the GW LOTR rules.
The goal was to bring an RPG campaign "feel" to a miniatures setting.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Five Leagues - the campaign turn

So Five Leagues is out.

Did you grab it yet?

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/244516/Five-Leagues-from-the-Borderlands?src=newest&filters=40102_40202_40201_44510

But hey, if you didn't, why don't I walk you through what a typical campaign turn might look like?

Similar to Five Parsecs we have some time to take player actions. Rather than commit every character, you simply take 2 each turn regardless of how beaten up the party is.

In town
For this turn, we'll send one of our characters out to forage for some healing herbs, while someone else is gambling at the inn to get us some money.

For foraging, I roll 3D6 with every 6 giving me a dose of herbs.
Since one of my characters happens to have FORAGING skill, I can roll two more dice.

I get two 6's, so I pocket a dose of healing herbs and a dose of protective herbs.

The gambler rolls a 1, earning a single Gold Coin. Woo.

We can also do any buying and selling of gear at this stage.
I do roll well enough to get a rare trade item offered for sale: A set of Fine quality full armor.

With our business done, we set out on the road.

Travel
You can travel to another village in the region, to a new region (basically starting a new campaign) or go adventuring.

We'll do the latter and we roll a 82, giving us both a Character and a Combat encounter.
Busy day!

The character encounter
The dice tells us we've encountered a Scholar. Maybe a local scribe on his way somewhere.

We stop and have a chat. They react "Friendly".
This is handy, if we meet another Scholar later, we can say it's our old friend and we'll roll for some sort of favor or advantage.

There's also a chance that a road encounter could lead to an ambush or they might be spying on us, so we got lucky.

The battle encounter
The area we're in has Border Tension of 2, Outlaws 1 and Dark Secrets 1.
I roll for each, adding the Threat levels and we'll be rolling on the Border Tension encounter table.
Higher chance of military types that way.

I also end up having to increase Border Tension by 1. Its getting grim out there.

The actual encounter is with a band of 9 Brigands, led by a brutal Killer and we encounter them while traveling.
Looks like we're in for a stiff battle!

The aftermath

Three of my characters went out of action during the battle, so I'll have to roll to see what shape they are in now.
One suffers a Moderate injury and will have to rest for 2 campaign turns.
One is dead and will be resting for a very long time.
The third took a Light wound but will need 3 turns of rest.

Certain items, skills and traits can influence these things.

Next, we roll for a post battle effect. Turns out a random character broke one of their weapons, so I'll need to source a replacement.

Rolling for an Unusual Find, we find some Evidence of ill deeds on these guys.
We can take that to the local nobles and get them to send out some cavalry patrols, reducing the Border Tension threat by 1 point.
Obviously the Brigands were hired goons from a rival noble.

Finally, we get to check for some loot. That's why we are here right?

I get 2 rolls:
The first is 1 Gold Coin and a bonus roll.
The second is a vial of holy water.
The third (bonus) is a hand weapon.

Not exactly a chest of wonders, but it'll do.

I tally up experience points for my characters but none of my heroes have earned enough to level up.
The one follower I have still standing rolls to see if he's had a flash of insight, but nothing earned there either.

Voila
That's more or less what the turn looks like:
Do your business in town, plan and prep, set out, see who and what you meet and fight a battle (most of the time).

Let me know if you have any questions.