Saturday, 2 October 2021

A few questions that have arisen regarding Patreon and more

I've had a few people express dissatisfaction with the fact that there is Five Parsecs content on Patreon and I thought I would take a moment to discuss it, as I feel like there are some misconceptions going on as well as just generally talk about expansions for Five Parsecs. 

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First, let me take a moment to discuss the history of the Patreon account.

Originally, the purpose was to provide support for various games especially in terms of rules updates and so forth. If you played 5P 2 and 5L 2 you know they received countless updates in their history. I had to find a way to actually support doing that since time spent doing that is not time spent writing material I can sell, and so the Patreon was born.

Over time the focus shifted to Parsecs and Leagues because they were the two biggest games in terms of player count. This was well before any thoughts of big glossy books had ever come into the picture and well before the ability to do big, full color expansions was ever a possibility.

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So what is actually on Patreon as regards Five Parsecs?

The content that gets posted on there falls into two categories:

A: Things that I am intending for inclusion in future expansions. The AI variation rules in Expansion 1 was originally a Patreon item for 2nd edition for example. These things need testing and one of the ways I solicit feedback is through Patreon. People get to see and mess with these things early and I get some opinions on what may or may not work.

These things are all intended to end up in a published expansion along the road. Not all of them do. Sometimes the idea turns out to have been less solid than expected or I don't feel it works as well as it should. 

I think people significantly underestimate how rough some of these things are in terms of presentation and mechanical polish. 

Some items float around for a while because I go back and rework them. The psionic rules that will be in Expansion 2 are heavily updated from their original version that appeared way back as a 2e supplement.

B: Things that I created on a whim. These are often house rules or other odd bits and pieces. They are often things that aren't ready for publication and are not intended to be. For any given game rule, there's probably 3 more ways you can do the same thing and I don't want to clutter up expansions with too much of that, but they are still fun to create and share. 

Think of this like the stuff that used to appear in magazines like White Dwarf back in the old days: Things that was never going to see an official rulebook but which was fun to mess with.

There is also stuff not related to either of the "flagship" games but that's not really relevant here I guess. For example Squad Hammer Core has received a number of updates due to Patreon funding because it allows me to spend a couple hours each month doing stuff like that, since the time "has been paid for".

I hope that clears up some of those questions.

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Secondly, I've seen a few people state that the game must be incomplete, wondering why particular things weren't put in the rulebook or that expansion content was "cut". 

This is just plain not true at all. Looking at Expansion 1 we have:

The intro campaign - This is from a 2nd edition expansion pack that I had originally decided to just retire but after thinking it over, I decided to update it and include it. My thinking was that a new player may well buy the expansion and rulebook at the same time and so it would be nice to have. 

This could have been included in the rulebook, but at the time I thought the Story Track was more exciting.

Progressive difficulty - New content. This was written after suggestions made by a 3e player.

Difficulty toggles - New content created specifically for the expansion after seeing the feedback players of 3e were providing. 

PVP battles - New content created for the expansion.

Co-op battles - New content inspired by a conversation with a friend.

AI variations - Old Patreon content. I think this was created after I had handed over the manuscript to Modiphius originally, but even if it was not, I did not want the rulebook to have entire "advanced rule" variant systems. 

Deployment variables - New content based on fan feedback from 3e.

Escalating battles- New content created for the expansion.

Elite level enemies - New content created for the expansion after fan feedback on 3e.

Now I suppose at some level you will have to just take my word for this, but I think some new players also don't realize that the game went from 88 pages in single column to 188 pages in two columns. 

I wrote a ton of new things to put in the book, most of which had never been seen before. The idea that there were huge chunks of material that was ready to publish but somehow cut for nefarious purposes is just not true.

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Now, I know that everyone wanted psionics included but I made the decision that:

A: The old psionic rules weren't good enough and they needed to be improved which I simply did not have the time to do in advance.

B: Even if I had found the time, I didn't want psionics to be a default option in the game.

C: Psionics had always been an expansion option even in 2nd edition, due to B above.

If you really wanted Psionics in the core book, I apologize that this wasn't the decision I took, but I think when you compare the Expansion 2 version coming out soon with the original 2e version, you'll agree as well. If not, then I apologize.

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I hope this helps clarify the situation a bit for people. If people have questions about the process, I am happy to answer them at  

I am also open to any suggestions people have. In the end, no decision will make 100% of people 100% happy, all I can do is try to make the widest range of people happy while doing what I think is best for the game.

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