Monday, 30 September 2019

Updates and news

Five Parsecs:

The update project was generously funded, mostly through private Paypal donations.

As such, I uploaded the new versions of From Home and Salvage Crew this weekend and hope to have Bug Hunt and Gang Warfare updated this week.
Hope you enjoy the new stuff and have a blast.

* * * * *
Five Klicks:

Today's update gives the terrain and conditions tables for Outlands battles.
These are fights taking place in relatively "normal" circumstances, near the settlement.

The rules also receive the Suspicious Activities mechanic, offering markers on the table to go investigate.
They may offer a small reward, nothing at all or a nasty critter.
However, if the Enemy gets to them first, they may get reinforcements, forcing you to deal with them or risk facing a larger enemy force.

* * * * *
Other stuff:

I am working as hard as I can to get Dreams of Dragons to the beta-stage.
Hopefully this week. I really want to get this out there, so you guys can tear it apart.

I've received a few questions about solo play and I must admit at least initially, it's not really a concern, though of course with something like Mythic, you can make any RPG a solo game.

Reception of Five Leagues stuff have been a bit mixed. People who I've talked to have appreciated more stuff, but it seems people would prefer several items bundled into one expansion pack, compared to a load of tiny things.
That's fair. We'll continue experimenting but I'll have something for you in October.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Five Parsecs update

A few people have requested updates to the Five Parsecs series of games, especially in light of Five Leagues 2nd edition.

As I am already in the mindset, working on Five Klicks, that’s certainly a possibility but it raises a question:

Doing rules updates don’t earn any income. It doesn’t seem to correspond to more sales or even better reviews. 
Maybe gamers are just used to broken rules, I don’t know. But with my wife’s student loans coming out of deferment soon, working for free is something I can’t really justify.

So here’s what we’re going to do:
I am going to tell you what updates I am ready to make and then you are going to pay me to make them.

Easy right?

First the rules:

For all four Five Parsecs titles (From Home, Gang, Salvage and Bug) I will:

  • Update the character creation sections to generally make starting characters a bit more capable. This includes changing half point stat bonuses to full points, increasing credit and XP amounts a little etc.

  • Each game will have at least one new enemy added to its encounter tables.

  • Each game will have two D6 tables added for encounters, allowing the chance of unexpected battle conditions or items on the battle field.

  • Each game will have a “Five Leagues” style Story Point mechanic added.

  • Each game will have a “Five Leagues” style “Seize the Initiative” roll added.

  • The table of contents will be updated with clickable links to take you to the respective rules sections.

How will you pay for it? 

You people, the fans, will pay me a collective 125 dollars to carry out these updates for all four game titles. 
That’s 25 dollars for the basic work plus 25 per game title.

I have created a Gofundme page to collect the money.
Since I know some people prefer not dealing with additional websites, you can also simply send the money directly through PayPal at 

When that total amount has come in, everyone gets the updates.

If there’s not enough money, I’ll put the updates into Five Parsecs From Home and the rest will follow at an unspecified future date.
If there’s excess money, it will help fund the development of future games. If we go way over, I’ll throw in some extra goodies at a rate of one “goodie” per 25 or 50 dollars.

These may be extra encounters, new loot items, more ideas ported over from 5L or other things I can think of, but will be relatively small scale.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Game updates and new material

In case you don't get email from the Vault, you may have missed a few news items.

New releases:

* We've released two "Micro-Packs" for Five Leagues.
Each of these is a small Pay What You Want item that can be easily slotted into a campaign.

The goal is the sort of thing you can read over on break at work and be inspired to come home and game.

* Five Leagues has also received a new scenario: The Sunken Temple.
Usable in any campaign, this is the sort of thing that will give you a nice afternoon of gaming or a couple of evenings.
Track down a flooded temple and find some nice loot at the end.

This is more of a traditional adventure, compared to the typical encounter tables, so I am curious how people will react to it.


* * * * *
Game updates:

* Five Parsecs Salvage Crew has received a couple of updates, easing up the rather punishing game economy a little.
As usual, change log on the final page. All you need to do is download your game again.

* Five Klicks has an update as well, adding the (proper) character creation system.
Some of the bonuses rolled may change with further development of course, especially as new things are added.

Give it a spin and let me know how it looks.

* * * * *
Behind the scenes:

* Dreams of Dragons is clocking in around 180 pages currently.
The beta for this will have more content than a lot of finished games you bought this year.

The beta will be sans art, except for a world map so you can tell where you're going.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Five Klicks updates

I meant to get the character creation stuff up already, but I realized what I had was kind of dull, so took it apart to rewrite.

Here's what it will likely look like:

Every squad member will have an Origin roll similar to Five Parsecs, determining where they came from in the setting.
The second roll will determine their Training. This may involve actual military training or, more likely, being part of some group surviving in the wilderness. They may have been an ash merchant, hung with a nomad gang etc.

These will be similar to the tables in Five Parsecs, offering various stats and benefits.

The third table will be an Event table, quite a bit longer than the other two.
Depending on "experience" a starting character may roll 1-3 times here, while brand new "scrubs" won't roll at all.
The results here will give you things that happened to the character. They were in a big battle, found something cool, almost got eaten by a monster.
Some things will add benefits, some may add a penalty, some will just be for flavor.

Magic in Dreams of Dragons

So a brief look at the magic system in Dreams of Dragons, since I hear the kids are all about wizards.

First and foremost, the core of the magic system should seem quite familiar to players of Drakar och Demoner or the original Magic world:

Each spell is a skill, which is trained like any other.
Casting spells requires a skill check and depletes magic points.

When you cast a spell, you select the Effect Level (EL) you want, which is used to determine damage, size of target, healing etc.
You can also burn EL's to increase the range and duration.

This allows us to have a single "Fire" spell instead of f.x. having a multitude of interchangeable attack spells that just vary slightly in damage, range etc.

The higher the EL, the harder the skill check of course and the more magic points are expended.
This allows "utility" spell casting to be used quite a lot during a scenario, while big, "screw this guy in particular" spells will be harder and more limited.

In terms of setting logic, spells are typically taught from big, ancient Librams: Dusty tomes containing all the permutations and logic interpretations of how a given spell operates.
A single Libram may hold only 4-6 spells as each takes hundreds of pages.

When your character is created, they select one Libram they were educated in at the academy and you have those spells.

"Learning" a spell is the process of your character understanding it and fitting it into their own world view. Your own spell book then is basically like taking notes in class.

Characters can learn from other spell books as well, but its a slower process because first you have to figure out and understand that wizards magical paradigm.

Of course not all wizards are book-worms. Village witches, tribal shaman etc. don't learn this way.
Instead, they use what the educated wizards somewhat derisively call Cantrips:

These are the same spells but are basically pre-configured: A Cantrip is learned at a specific EL and is always used in the same fashion without any choice over how the levels are spent.
Think of it as a single practical application of a scientific formula.

This allows the spell to be taught in a matter of weeks (instead of months) and to people without the patience (or inclination) towards memorizing and analyzing a 200 page treatise on the nature of the ethereal cosmos.

So there you have it. Magic. Woot.


Monday, 2 September 2019

Dreams of Dragons combat

Alright, so a bit of Dreams of Dragons talk. Combat will have 2-3 "levels" really. At its most basic, its fairly similar to BRP combat:

Roll to hit, roll to parry, take damage, subtract armor, hope you have HP left.

We're actually leaving hit locations out of the beta, but there'll be something else very clever to kind of take that place and solve the gameplay problem that hit locations solve. 
That's it though. 
You can explain that in like 2 minutes and be on your way. 

Players who want more will have a ton of options available:
If you want things like characters getting battered from hits on their armor to throwing your sword to weapon damage types to fairly in-depth rules for combat with miniatures etc. that's all going to be there, but separated out into optional sections so you can "build" things up. 
Practically, I expect that people will either run JUST the base system, base system plus one or two extra options or the full enchilada. 

Faithful to both Drakar and mid 80s gaming, there's of course going to be big ass weapon and armor lists with pointy-bits-on-sticks.
Who wants a game where a winged spear is not clearly distinct from a partisan? :-)
There's story reasons for having all that junk too: It helps make encounters more interesting, you can have specific groups or characters favor particular weapons etc.

The goal here is that you can just burn through combat if you understand how to make a skill check, but if you want to get crunchy, there'll be ample stuff to work with.