Sunday, 24 November 2019

Squad Hammer Core Peoples Edition

Greetings gamers.

Today I am pleased to announce the release of Squad Hammer Core - Peoples Edition.
What is this?

Well, Squad Hammer is our beer&pretzels "anything goes" wargame rules for everything from ww2 to dinosaurs vs robots. Grab some miniatures and have a go.

It's aimed at being fast, easy and fun without sacrificing tactical finesse.

It's one of the best games we've done (in my somewhat humble opinion) so if you haven't gotten it yet, go ahead and get it.

What is the Core version of SH?

It's a slimmed down version, focusing on just getting you from reading to playing in as little time as possible. If you get the bug, you can pick up the original Squad Hammer for more options or the more refined WW2 set Hammer of Democracy.

Is this a new edition then? No, other than some tweaks with fonts and so on, this is the same game as the original Squad Hammer Core.

What I've added is something that is hopefully pretty cool:

A full license so you can freely create and distribute your own Squad Hammer content: Whether you want to make army lists, scenarios or variants..or publish your own "powered by Squad Hammer" game commercially, you'll be able to do so.

I talk a lot online about finding ways to empower new game designers and I hope this helps put my money where my mouth is.

So whether you are budding game designer or just in the mood for some super-fun fast-paced gaming, go ahead and grab the rules

Did I mention they are Pay What You Want?

I'd appreciate any donations to help fund our operations and new projects, so please throw some coin in the bucket but if you want to give them a good read first, then come back to make a payment, I support you 100%.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Renegade Scout Patreon pack available

This is an exciting piece of content for two reasons:

First, a lot of you have asked about "army list" type unit profiles for Renegade Scout. This pack provides the 3 first: Unity Colonial militia, Fringe gangers and Corporate Mercenaries.

Each has options to outfit them and predetermined points values, so they can be picked for battle "Codex Style".

I've also included a special Skill and equipment item for each of the three. For example a colonial militia grunt can be made an Old Vet (no penalties to fight while Pinned).

You also get three "scrap book scenarios": Basically scenario outlines with some suggested complications.
These are intended less as "play out of the box" and more "play after 15 minutes with a pen" if that makes sense.

Secondly, it's the first Renegade Scout update for the Patreon.
If you are a 5+ dollar supporter of the Patreon, you get it for free. Just check the Patreon posts on the site.

If you are not, you can still pick it up from the Wargame Vault.

Since this is the first few weeks of the Patreon and nobody has been charged (or gotten paid) yet, I'm not sure how much more I'll be able to do in this "pre-Patreon" phase, but there'll be a Five Leagues thing tomorrow and I hope to do at least one more Parsecs thing before the 1st.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Five Parsecs 1.10

Version 1.10 of Five Parsecs From Home is available, as a thank you to our friends on Patreon.

This features numerous improvements and updates.
Simply download your files from the Wargame Vault as usual.

WIth this update, I will be turning my attention towards new encounters, enemies and scenarios for a while. Stay tuned and don't forget to check us at Patreon.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Something to try - Hammer of Democracy

A friend of mine mentioned running Hammer of Democracy at a convention and had a blast, but he also said he'd been using an intriguing house rule: Letting elite troops recover 3 HP instead of 2 when regrouping.

I guess I never thought of that, but that's a really easy "toggle" to set a unit apart: They aren't any stronger on the attack and still have to be pulled back to reform, but they'll "shake off" the effects of combat faster.
I really like that.

Give it a shot in your games.

Also don't forget to check out where Nordic Weasel started:

Five Men in Normandy is one of the easiest, quickest playing ways to get that "Band of Brothers" feeling that you will find on the market 

Best of all, it is Pay What You Want so why not check it out and see where we came from?

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Bright days ahead?

Updating games is a perpetual headache as a designer.
Not because it's bad: It helps build loyalty, it lets me continue to improve on a design rather than having it be less than the game it could be and it gives you something to look forward to.

While a good game can be played a thousand times, we all like having something new to tinker with.

The problem is that providing updates for existing games translates to very little in sales.
It's great for improving the loyalty of existing customers which does have a long-term effect in sales of future product, but spending a week working on something for a game people already own does not typically translate to more people buying that game.

Supplements do bolster sales, but there's also a limit to how much you can do that before it becomes sprawling.

So how do we solve that?
As you may know, I've experimented with just asking for donations for updates. That works but it's a bit messy and I don't know if people feel it's easy to figure out.

The solution instead is going to be a Patreon page:

We will initially focus on three game lines:

* Five Parsecs From Home
* Five Leagues From the Borderlands
* Renegade Scout

with the aim of 2-4 additions for each of them every month.
This may be a scenario, new monster or new threat type for Five Leagues, a couple preconfigured units (with points values) or a scenario for Renegade Scout or a rules update or new module for Five Parsecs.

This allows me to continue working on making Five Parsecs everything it can possibly be, while giving Five Leagues and Renegade players new things to play with.
For Five Parsecs especially, there is a wealth of content I'd like to add, like alien PC's, new missions and much more and this may allow me to do so.

If this takes off, there's a lot of additional benefits it could produce:

* I will be able to apply updates to this bonus content.
I see a lot of RPG Patreons out there that release new material and then it just disappears into the void.
With a steady funding source, I'd be able to go back and provide updates to any new material we release.

* If we make it big, I'll be able to do additional focus on things in the back catalogue, like updated versions of Blast Pistol, a Laserstorm revision, porting game engines to new settings and who knows what.

* A goal I also have is something that could potentially be mega-cool, which is to run a "Living Campaign" for the three games in question.

Imagine this:
Every month, there'd be a campaign event that happens.
Let's say that in Renegade Scout, the K'Erin invade Soulless controlled space. So maybe we have a scenario for the month, along with a new unit or two.
Players could email me with any battles they played and tell me how it went and it might even influence future events.

Or in Five Leagues, a plague is ravaging the lands so now its harder to recruit and you may have to deal with plague zombies!

I think that could be incredibly awesome and it'd be something that really doesn't exist out there.
It would also mean that when a new player buys the game, there'd be this huge array of content to play through for them. How awesome would that be?

* * * * * *

Some questions and answers:

* What will the money go to?

Paying my bills. If I can make a hundred a month, then that's 100 less I need to make from releasing new material.
If I somehow get enough that it pays my rent, then I can focus on creating a ton of cool stuff for you guys, right?

* Will that be the only three games?

I want to start out simple and those three are the games that tend to sell the most.
If this becomes a thing, I'd like to add FiveCore and Starport Scum to the mix, but I don't want to try and overpromise, and then have to churn out a bunch of stuff that's sub-par, in order to collect a sandwich's worth of money monthly.

* How will the material be released?

Rules updates, particularly for 5P will typically just be part of the core rules.

Some new material will be made available for sale as well. The way this will work is that Patreons get a comp copy, if your pledge level is the sales price or more.

The living campaign material I am not sure about yet, I'll let you know when we get there.

* What does this mean for new developments?

Hopefully not too much. The goal is to be able to dedicate time on both, without having to scramble for money or rush anything.
Development of new games will not go through this process for now.

In theory, maybe in the future that's something we could look at, but I don't know if there's enough interest for that.

More specifically, this means that Five Klicks and Dreams of Dragons material is NOT covered by the Patreon since these are still formally in development. I'd rather keep that separate for now.

* So how much do I need to give you?

I set it up with tiers from a dollar and up. Give what you feel it is worth to see new content.
Obviously, the more I make, the more I can focus on this stuff.

As far as total amounts, 100 dollars monthly is where I feel the game updates are justified. At 300, Living Campaigns will be for sure, but we'll evaluate what to do if we get really close.
It may be doable with less.

I also need to feel out exactly how easy or difficult Patreon is to work with.

If I end up with a huge chunk of money, we might even be able to do things like putting out material as "pay what you want", creating a newsletter etc. All of that is just daydreaming right now though.
Let's get the basics off the ground first.

* * * * * *

We also have a Twitter account now! It's strictly for public announcements, please don't ask rules questions on there.
I don't expect to be using it for any debates or hot takes of any kind.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Dreams of Dragons update

For this week, we're focusing on showcasing more of what you can do with Dreams of Dragons, by adding 5 Artifacts and 5 Orders to the game.

What are Artifacts? They are non-standard magical items that have abilities other than those provided by binding spells to an item with a SIGIL.

What are Orders? Groups and organizations that your characters can join to obtain social benefits, as well as gain valuable training.

So go ahead and download a fresh copy of the rules and get stuck in.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Weasel news. 5P 1.09, some questions etc.

Version 1.09 of Five Parsecs From Home is available.

* Tech skill is now called Savvy.
* A couple of rolls are made now when you arrive on a new world. Some worlds require a "Freelancer license" to be obtained to do jobs there (you can of course try for a forgery). Also every world has some sort of benefit, such as superior medical care.
* When doing a Quest, the final mission will add +1 to enemy numbers.
* I've removed the Oddball Characters page, in preparation for a future update that will make it obsolete.

The biggest update is the new Trade Item table.
The old table could get a bit..well...old if you've played for a while. Also, some of the results were a bit outdated.
The new table has 10 more entries and the existing ones have been tweaked, updated and corrected.

This update was made possible through fan donations.

* * * * * *
Five Parsecs Gang Warfare has always been a bit of the odd one out, since much of the play style is ultimately duplicated by Five Parsecs From Home.
It is also the lowest selling of the batch, so I suspect I'm not the only one to think that.

As such, continuing to update it seems like a duplication of effort.
This means that going forward, unless it is correcting an error, "Gang Warfare" will not receive updates.

I'll scour the tables for any interesting gadgets that can be brought over to From Home instead.

On the upside, Gang Warfare is perfectly playable and fun, so I've changed the pricing to "Pay What You Want". So if you want to check it out, go have at it!

* * * * * *
One kind donor asked if there will be a travelers guide / gazetteer for Erehwesle.
The answer is "probably yes". What we have in mind is expanding the setting material to about a page per country and then we'll work from there.

Stay tuned.

* * * * * *
Will there be a dedicated Erehwesle miniatures game?
Not impossible. Let me know what you might like that to look like.

A skirmish game where you could use your characters in larger miniatures battles would be pretty keen, wouldn't it?

* * * * * *
There will be a dedicated scifi *Hammer book, based on Hammer of Democracy, once Five Klicks is finished.
Title unknown. "Hovertankhammer" doesn't really roll off the tongue.

The aim is to offer a "ready to play" scifi game with a points system, big robot monsters, hover tanks etc. This is a bit of a change in position from what I had anticipated earlier, but I think it will make more sense.
I am not sure about page count. Stay tuned.

If you are a painter of scifi guys and would like to donate some photos, ping me.

Friday, 1 November 2019

DoD update

The first update for Dreams of Dragons is available.
This fixes a bunch of small typos, adds large cats to the bestiary and adds a page discussing party building to the character creation section.

I've also added a small list, indicating every Skill that receives a Base Chance in the character creation chapter, preventing flipping back and forth.

The change log is in the back of the book, though I didn't list every typo there.
If you have printed the rules out, I'd say there's no need to print everything again for now.