Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Five Parsecs new version FAQ

 As you have no doubt seen, Five Parsecs will be available from Modiphius in a glossy, hardcover book as well as hitting retail. This is super exciting but I know you all have a ton of questions!

So let me try to answer as many as possible, in no particular order.

Practical questions:

(With the caveat that detailed questions should go to Modiphius)

Who owns Five Parsecs now?

I still own it. Modiphius is publishing the new game, but I retain ownership of the IP. 

What do I get if I buy the book on pre-order?

The pre-order gets you an early copy of the PDF right away to peruse and start playing. This gives us another week or so to catch any last minute typos.

The books should print in about a month or so if all goes well.

Will there be a US shipping option?

I've been told that once the books go to the print in about a month or so, there will be a US-friendly shipping option for the pre-order which would save you a bit on shipping. 

You absolutely can order now to get the PDF ahead of time, but you'll pay a bit more for shipping.

Will there be a PDF only option? 

Once the books are printing, a stand-alone PDF will also be available. 

Will there be a retail version?

Some books are going into retail. I am not sure about numbers or through which distributors. 

What about the old material?

This new edition replaces the previous version. In essence, it is "3rd edition". As such, the old version and expansions are currently not available for sale (though it will remain available in your library on the Wargame Vault page. If you run into any difficulties with this, let me know). 

Bug Hunt is still available, serving as both an intro game and a standalone title.


As with most old titles I've done, the old material, including expansions, will be available again in a bundle, likely as Pay What You Want, but I need to go through it all to find out what is compatible with what and what is not. Some of the oldest packs were getting a bit long in the tooth and were already having compatibility issues.

Watch this blog for news.

Will X game also come to Modiphius?

Time will tell. The current deal is for Five Parsecs. 

What happens to Patreon now?

There will still be a 5P item each month. It will likely switch more towards scenarios rather than new rules, which is something I had been planning for a while in any event (and everyone likes more scenarios to play). 

New scenarios will be compatible with both 2e and 3e as much as possible, for as long as interest remains. 

Will there be new expansions from Modiphius?

This is planned yes. 

What did not change:

The game is still miniatures agnostic, allowing you to use any figures you have (or intend on getting), it still uses the same core game engine, the game play loop of Town - Battle - Rewards remains the same. In fact, if you were playing one of the last updates, your crew can probably transfer over pretty readily (but there's some exciting reasons to start a new crew). 

A number of rules have been tweaked and polished to remove some of the edge cases or just make things clearer. Notably armor is now handled by a saving throw, instead of a Toughness boost.  

There are a lot of little tweaks like that to ensure the game runs as well as possible while remaining the same game you've come to enjoy.

What got upgraded:

Well, the visuals for one: The new layout should be much clearer and easier to use as well as lavishly illustrated in a way that really brings Unified Space to life for the first time. 

* Pretty much every random table has been expanded: Results are better and more interesting now, entries that didn't work as well has been fixed up and there's more outcomes possible overall. This will also help long-term play as you'll have less duplicates. 

* This carries over to other things too: For example the game now has 36 weapon types and over 60 types of equipment, including gun sights and weapon mods! 

Equipment has also been reworked to be more interesting and exciting, cut down on overlapping items and fix any equipment rules that were a bit hard to use.

* Rules are now provided to play with a smaller base crew size, if you prefer using only 4 characters (for example). 

* Campaign victory conditions (with unlockable bonus ranks) and 5 difficulty settings are included. 

* There are now 16 types of mission objective, depending on the type of battle you are facing, giving your crew far more to do than just shoot the bad guys in the face. 

* 60 enemy types in total, with 22 personality types to lead them. All enemies have been touched up with bonuses, penalties or particular conditions to make them more interesting. 

All of the above should help make this the definitive edition of the rules BUT

What is new:

*Character creation now includes 6 types of alien character, robot characters and a total of 18 "oddball" character types. You can now have a proper space-opera crew. Each alien species has its own quirks and starting profiles taken from the Unified Space setting.

Additionally, these are fully integrated into the game. Many random events have different outcomes or effects if you have certain characters in your crew. 

*Your starship now enters the game as well. Ships can get damaged, requiring you to repair them (or risk a disaster), can have special traits and can be upgraded with any of 14 upgrades, from drop launchers to military fuel converters.

Your ship can even be impounded or blown to bits. 

*When traveling to a new world, a new starship travel events table is used. 

*Planets now have a random trait table, making each location more distinctive.

*A setting chapter is included, introducing the player to the world of Unified Space, as well as a very cool colony map to use as inspiration. The game is also fully part of the Unified Space setting, reflected in both random events and characters.

*A 7 step story-driven campaign is included to play through, pitting you against an old rival out to make your life miserable. 

* An optional set of random battle events allowing for more unpredictable and exciting battles.

*Options have been added for grid based gameplay on tiles, super-difficult Red Zone jobs and more.

*An extensive GM'ing and scenario section with rules for story connections between battles, 12 NPC profiles, mechanics for advancing plot points and faction conflict and a lot more. 

This section is also useful for people who want to flesh out the narrative connections between their battles and is perfect for people who would like to run the game more like an RPG, where a GM creates scenarios and the players fight the bad guys.


  1. Thanks for the information- I think this all sounds great!

    One clarification:

    If I (in the US) order now - I'll pay more for shipping. However, if I wait I will have to buy the PDF separately? Just want to be sure as I do want the PDF.


    1. If you purchase print from Modiphius you will get the PDF as well even if you wait, it's not a timed offer.
      The pre-order just lets people get a slightly early version of the PDF up front.

      Hope that helps

  2. Can't remember all the names of the 5P supplements I wanted - that's why they were in a watchlist.

    Now they've been removed without any warning, don't think I'll bother.

    If the new edition is so updated from the last, why not leave previous Ed there for people who have invested so much in it?

    Do you expect everyone to just buy into the shiny, new Modiphius version? Pretty cynical way to treat people who have backed your efforts for years now.

    I'm turned off.

    1. Change overs are always tricky to handle. I was worried people would buy the wrong version and then be upset that they did not get the updated one. I am dreadfully sorry if that felt under-handed.

      The plan is to review each of the old expansions to see what needs updating first and what can be made available in a retro-bundle on a PWYW basis. Some of the oldest of the packs were getting pretty long in the tooth and were starting to be outdated compared to the 2e rules.

      I hope that helps clarify things. They are not disappearing permanently.

    2. I support your decision to try and provide more money and income for you and your family in what are especially trying times.

      Buying a luxury item such as a game is not an essential, money for essentials is indeed very much essential, so kudos on securing what must some sort of security for you and yours.

  3. How different will this new version be to 2nd edition Bug Hunt ?

    Does this new version also cover the previously released 'extras' such as Salvage jobs, Gang War, etc ???

    If not on the latter is there backwards compatibility?

    1. Blogger ate my comment.
      The new rules are pretty close game-engine wise. We tried to focus on new content rather than retreading old ground.

      In general, expansions released during the Patreon era should work without too much tinkering, while older ones may need house ruling.

      Over the next days and weeks, I am going to go over all of that old stuff to evaluate it all, then a retro-bundle will be put together with all of it packaged up.

  4. Sort of good to hear although with the price as it is (maybe comparable with fancy printed matter) is a bit heavy for me (for the moment), being used to the earlier and not so glamorous version.

    I look forward to seeing how this works out, bit of a direction change and removes another of the more affordable rules (although I have most of version 1, got BHv2 on wish at moment). I hope the pdf cost is a bit less than the £25, might keep my foot in when that appears in a couple of months.

    Here's hoping for positive outcomes all around !

    1. Yeah, the current price is for the hardcover book. A PDF only option will be available in a month or so which will be a fair bit cheaper, though I am not sure of the price point.

      There will be a cheap or PWYW version of the 2e rulebook available in the near future as part of a bundle.

  5. This all sounds really cool! I'm planning to get the US friendly copy later, but If you want to send me a PDF to proof read, I'd do it ;) I'm really excited to hear that you are working with Modiphius. The preview looks great. I'm hoping there is some guidance on how to organize co-op play.

    1. There's a section on co-op which is mostly splitting the team between the two players, as well as GM;ing tools so you can run scenarios for each other. I'm hoping to do scenarios that are specifically for 2 crews in the future though.

  6. I love that the starship enters the game now. Upgrades? Travel events? Very nice.
    Does this mean that there will be rules for starship combat? Encounters in space provide a lot of new possibilities.

    1. It's something I'm tinkering with. The risk of course is that it's a great way of having 100 credits worth of ship go up in flames :)

      A full blown starship battle system might hard to bolt on, but I'll see about some abstracted options down the road.

    2. Thanks for the response.
      Abstract rules are perfectly fine and can be done fairly easily, I believe. A house rule I'm thinking of using is having ship ratings for:

      Size-Amount of damage they can sustain and number of upgrades it can hold.

      Maneuverability-Tested when trying to line up a shot on an adversary. Also, it can be tested when trying to avoid collisions while flying through an asteroid field, etc.

      Shields/Armor-Used to avoid damage.

      Weapons(Strength and Accuracy)-Accuracy is tested to see if a shot hits or misses and strength is tested to see if any damage is caused.

      When ships engage, a maneuver roll is made by all ships adding their maneuver rating, with the higher score lining up for a shot. Then test the weapon accuracy, and if scored high enough, test the weapon strength against the other ships Shield/armor rating to see if there is damage and how much.

      Certain upgrades can give small bonuses to these ratings...targeting system for weapons, turbo thrusters for maneuverability, etc. Characters can also have certain "pilot" skills to give a small boost to maneuver or shooting. This can give us those ace pilots.

      Just some rough ideas to begin with.

      I agree there's certainly a risk of losing your ship. But I guess I'd just have to crash land successfully (maneuver roll) on the nearest planet. Then look for ways to earn enough credits to get off planet or buy a new ship. Or maybe steal one.

      Thanks again for the response. Looking forward to the next version.

    3. Abstract rules would be great. Looking forward to this title.

  7. Saw the link go live through The Wargames Website and was straight to Modiphius for my pre-order. :D

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  9. Loving the game so far. My previous 2E “Gang War” gang was easily updated into the new rules.

  10. Very nice! And since it's Modiphius i'll be able to buy it from my local store! Will likely get the PDF a soon as you get it online anyway though :P

  11. If I were to purchase 5 Leagues from dtRPG, and a new retail version is launched by Modiphius, will there be any kind of discount code available?

    1. You'd have to reach out to them regarding that. I think it's case by case. Do note that the work from the 5P agreement was made until this point was well over half a year, so you have a little bit of time :)

  12. Excellent stuff Ivan, glad to see this and of course I have just bought my copy, wouldn't dream of being without one.
    It has a great look and will be nice to have a hard copy to get my teeth into
    Once again congratulations on he deal, well deserved :-)

  13. Little hardback edition arrived yesterday and I must say its very nicely done small enough to be taken anywhere big enough to read. And having the pdf version so I can laminate the charts, have it on a tablet ect is great.

  14. Is there any news about US-friendly shipping? It's still about $31 US right now.

    1. Postage to NZ is being quoted as $68 :(

    2. Books are being shipped to US retailers and presumably elsewhere, but anything going by boat is super slow right now. I know a few stores state-side are taking pre-orders that will be shipped once they come into stock.