Home Forums Nordic Weasel Games Sci-fi / Fantasy First turn of a 5Parsecs from Home campaign

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    Avatar photoShaun Travers

    Hello all,

    I have solo played though the first campaign turn of a 5 Parsecs from Home and posted to my SF blog:


    I have been in denial about wanting to play 5Parsecs but succumbed!  I do use my own combat rules that are broadly compatible with the 5 Parsecs attributes.  All but the encounters are run with the assistance of a spreadsheet.

    There are a few pictures of the encounter in the post.  Here is one of them where one of the team is knocked down in melee with some raiders:

    Avatar photoGone Fishing

    Hi Shaun,

    I enjoyed reading your report, especially as I’m currently working on doing something slightly similar: a solo Judge Dredd game using a medley of THW games (mainly Future Tales and 5150), and so your mention of FT definitely caught my attention. I’ve also thought about checking into Weasel’s games since I’ve heard that they too are made for solo play and people seem to like them. Do you prefer one system to the other for creating solo narrative campaigns? If you do and could explain why, or what you like/dislike in each, it would be extremely helpful to me as I get going on my own project. I’ll be watching your progress with interest!


    PS I haven’t seen any of Nordic Weasel’s games – I generally dislike PDFs, so that’s one thing that holds me back – but when I asked here regarding which might be the best fit for Judge Dredd one member said Starport Scum might work well. If you have any input I’d very much like to hear it!

    Avatar photoDeleted User

    Interesting reading your thoughts at the end. I also had trouble remebering the stats of more than 3-4 characters.
    Your board and minis looks good. Even though they were WWII it gave me a ‘Man from Uncle’ tv series vibe.

    Avatar photoPunkrabbitt

    Very nice! I have been a fan of Five Parsecs since it was a FiveCore supplement. I play a lot of Five Leagues from the Borderlands, but am gearing up for some Five Parsecs action in both Star Trek and Star Wars settings. It’s nice to see another player getting it going out there.

    Please visit my OSR products for sale at

    Avatar photoShaun Travers

    @Daryl, What do i prefer for narrative campaigns? It depends on what you are seeking. For me, it is Future Tales (FT) over 5Parsecs but I will explain why.

    Future Tales/Larger Than Life/Lovecraft’s Revenge have an overall story arc where you seek a number of clues to then reach an overall end (that is basically the confrontation with the Big Bad Villain). You have to fill in the gaps but you go from chapter to chapter, where each chapter is made up of encounters with PEF (potential enemy forces but maybe hazards or a chat – not necessarily combat) with an end scene per chapter to try and get a clue. Scenes may be combat though and they can be fairly simple to do (using LTL/FT) or really simple (using the later 5150 combat rules). There is not a lot of character leveling up (think Traveller). But I like how you jump from scene to scene doing stuff and filling out the gaps. I have simplified combat to just be some task rolls rather than play it out but I have some exmaples on the blog that are run throughs of LTL and FT. The narrative, except dialog, is generated all by a spreadsheet so you can see how the narrative is generated. Note I may have understressed combat – combat is at the core of the game but I have found it does not happen as often as other stuff, and also the later 5150 have simplified combat so much it is resolved very quickly without a lot of pushing figures around.

    5150 Maiden Voyage does not have the same overall story arc – it is about a team travelling around the universe going from chapter to chapter playing out scenes. There are more types of scenes in 5150 than FT as is is not seeking clues but wandering around, so more can happen. (One dayI hope to include these extra scene types into my FT games) You can improve characters a lot more in 5150 than in LTL/FT/LR as games are over a longer period of time. Also, the aim of 5150MV is to collect enough reputation to to able to retire. Still a narrative, but a wnadering one rather than an overall story arc.

    Combat in LTL/FT/5150 happens when you bump into stuff that doesn’t like you – it is just one of those things as you are going through the system.

    5Parsecs is similar to 5150 but going a different path. 5Parsecs is structured around a campaign turn which is basically 3 parts:

    1. do a bunch of stuff with the characters – healing, level up, look for jobs, doo some exploring. Each of these is resolved with a dice roll and looking up on a table.

    2.Have an encounter – this is a tabletop battle with an enemy. The reason for the encounter varies and the objective of the encounter may not simply be destroy the other side.

    3. post encounter buy stuff and have some random events.

    Then a new campaign occurs.

    There is no specific story arc. There are quests but they are a number of encounters that then provide a bonus when done.

    Characters can level up fairly quickly and become quite powerful over a few encounters.

    There are a lot of tables to provide the campaign turn narrative. My post, except the encounter, was done entirely by dice rolls on the tables.


    So you have, for solo play

    FT – good at overall story arc but is a bit narrow as it is focused on that. Combat happens along the way.

    5150:MV – wandering the universe creating the narrative as you wander and bump into things. Combat happens along the way.

    5Parsecs – excellent as a tabletop encounter system with detailed campaign narrative generated around each battle. A turn is narrative then battle so a bit more structured.


    What I do really like about 5Parsecs is the focus – if you want a system where you want battles to play out surrounded by a narrative, then that is the way to go. If you want narrative and combat occur along the way, then the THW stuff.

    Starport Scum is a little different to 5Parsecs – it uses different combat mechanisms to the 5Core series (5 core is all about scoring 1 or 6 on dice) or 5Parsecs (falrly standard attributes but 5Parsecs 2nd Edition specifically designed for solo tabletop battles and campaigns). But Starport Scum is similar-ish in scope of what is achieves to 5Parsecs but operates with different tables and slightly less narrative than 5parsecs (summing it up in one sentence there!). Starport Scum is not specifically designed for solo play but could do so – it is more aimed at a few players running a character or two each. While 5Parsecs the characters improve, SS split everone into Goons, Aces, Heroes etc. I didn’t comment on your other thread as someone had suggested Starport Scum for Judge Dredd and I agree. It get closer to the feel of Judge Dredd than the other stuff. I have the rules but not played them so cannot help you much – there are reviews and I am sure some game run throughs out there. But reading through Scum just now, I am actually surprised how similar it is in scope to 5Parsecs and it would actually not be hard to skim the Dredd feel onto 5Parsecs. I am now tempted to put on my list playing a Starport Scum campaign! I know I am not helping but you may be better going with 5Parsecs rather than SS for solo Dredd.

    Avatar photoShaun Travers

    @Thomaston – I actually started going down this route about 3-4 years ago, planning to use Pulp alley with the Railway miniatures.  I did play a game since then and wandering through Tour Hour Wargames and then to 5Parsecs.  So the Man from Uncle is entirely appropriate as I am hoping to get back to doing some Pulp Alley-ish stuff using the same figures and terrain!

    – 5Parsecs is a great solo system.  I am not a big fantasy person so SF it needs to be 🙂

    Avatar photoGone Fishing

    Shaun, just read through your excellent reply. Don’t apologise for not helping – what you’ve said is extremely helpful, more than you could know, and I’ll plan to give a more thorough peruse of your blog when I have more time. Really, I can’t thank you enough for giving such a detailed response!

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