Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Five Leagues 2 is coming

I've mentioned it on the Discord and in passing elsewhere, but I thought it was time to make an official announcement now that we're close enough it's nearly done.

Five Leagues From the Borderlands is getting an absolutely massive update.
In fact, it's big enough that it's going to be it's own edition.

Since you'll have a ton of questions, I thought I'd address them here:

How did this come about?

In addition to reading emails I received since the game was released, I recently asked for (and received) a ton of feedback on what people liked, didn't like etc. in the rules.
While much of it was all over the place (for every person who liked weapon styles, someone else didn't) there were also several topics most people agreed on.

While working on Squad Hammer stuff, I sat down to do a series of small updates to the rules to fix some of the problems most people had agreed upon.
But as I worked on it, it kept expanding until finally it was clear that this was going to be a tremendous overhaul.

Why a new edition instead of a free update?

Simply because there's enough new content here to basically be a brand new game.

What if I just bought the old one?

If you picked up Five Leagues during the sale, you'll get a discount code to buy the new game cheaper.
That way nobody should feel cheated.

What has improved?

The list of changes has something like 70 entries on it, so I won't go over them line by line here.
A few that stands out:

* A ton of the fiddly extra die rolls have been reworked, so they are now handled more elegantly or as part of another, existing roll.

* Progressing in the campaign is faster now, so actually finishing campaigns should be a little less brutal. Conversely, character progression has been slowed a little bit, so you won't max out quite so fast.

* Several skills have been reworked to be more useful.

* New town options like asking for blessings or crafting weapons.

* Small tweaks to combat, making it a bit easier to deal with high Toughness opponents and making outnumbering a more useful tactic.

* Missile troops can run out of ammo, preventing them from dominating the battle as much.

* You have more options to avoid encounters, if you run into something you can't handle.

* More options for enemy leadership, including Sergeants and Lieutenants.

* Story Points have more explicit uses and there's a few more ways to regain them, in order to encourage their use.

* A ton of tweaks everywhere. Almost every aspect of the game has been touched up in some way, whether its fixing a quirky rule, improving wording and readability etc.

Any huge changes then ?

The biggest one:
Weapon styles are gone. Now you just pick specific weapon types.
I went back and forth on this, but ultimately I felt that while weapon styles had been a cool idea, the execution never quite worked out and I think people felt uncertain about how it really worked.

The new weapon system is easier to work with and should help capture the strengths of the old system.

So what is new then?

* There's now three separate encounter lists for each Threat type. This also means there's a bunch of new enemies to fight and many have received unique characteristics.

* Terrain setup is now discussed explicitly. (Sorry, I don't know what I was thinking)

* Your avatar can now have a loyal retainer.

* A "Village event" table has been added, similar to the random events in Five Parsecs.

* Players who like randomness can now roll up random variations to the enemies (fancy fighting a sneaky zombie or a wimp barbarian?) and random battle conditions like fighting in a haunted forest or walking into an on-going battle between rival forces.

* A ton of new loot including enchanted items, spell scrolls etc.

* Am optional section with monsters you can fight, from ogres to dragons, suitable for scenario-oriented players. It also includes a random-monster generation system.

* Challenge levels allowing you to play easier or harder campaigns.

* Characters can start with an unusual background which can influence their progress.

* If pushed to the brink, the enemy might mount a last stand where you get to fight their Boss.

* Probably a bunch more stuff I forget. Seriously, it's huge.

Do I have to learn everything all over?

No. While I've touched up pretty much everything, the core mechanics still work the same.
If you already know how to move and fight in the rules, that's all largely the same.

Will all this new stuff make the game super complicated?

A lot of it is integrated into the game flow pretty well.
The more detail-oriented new things (like enemy variations) are optional so players can choose how much they want to keep track of.

Can I carry over my current campaign?

You should be able to, but you'll need to translate your old weapons into equivalents under the new system.
My recommendation is that you take the opportunity to create a fresh war band.

Will the old expansions still work?

Most should work fine. Anything related to encounters should have no problem at all.

The main thing that will require tweaking is any weapons you can find, but most should be fine if you just apply the rules as is.
I'll evaluate them one at a time and post any updates needed.

Will you update the new version after it comes out?

With so many new things, it's inevitable that post-release tweaks become needed.
We will update the new rules to address bugs, balancing tweaks etc. just like we always do.

Will the old game receive any more updates?

Unlikely except for bug fixes.

What do you expect it will cost?

At the moment, I am expecting 15 dollars. It will depend on final page count.

So what is the page count then?

Not certain yet. Probably around 130 pages or so.

What popular fan requests did not make it in?

Mostly things that I felt either couldn't be done without dramatically overhauling the game assumptions or stuff that I'd love to do, but which really requires its own full expansion.

* Dungeon crawling (too much page count for what is basically a completely different game mode. We'll tackle it later)

* Spell caster characters (you can learn spells from finding rare scrolls now. Having player spell casters may happen in an expansion but it needs to be handled very carefully to avoid them becoming a mandatory inclusion in the war band)

* City adventures (Probably needs its own expansion to do justice)

* Animals (I really wanted to do this one, but if the players get horses so do the bad guys and that increases the barrier to entry for players without existing miniatures collections. It'll happen eventually)

* Big battles (again, needs its own supplement)

1 comment:

  1. Sounds good, I had more than a few questions while reading through the book and trying the game out.
    No doubt this edition will solve these issues.