Five Parsecs From Home is a solo adventure wargame where you assemble a ragtag crew of galactic trailblazers and head out to explore the stars, pick up jobs, and every now and then — engage in some action-packed, sci-fi combat!

Battles are procedurally generated with huge combinations of enemies, weapons, battlefield circumstances and objectives whether fighting rivals or carrying out jobs.

With each encounter you earn experience and loot, progressing your crew and story as you send your crew to look for contacts, trade, explore the colony, recruit replacements or train up their skills.

The game is playable with any miniatures you have on hand and requires only a small number to get started, making it ideal for both experienced and new science fiction gamers. All you need is a few six-sided dice and a couple of ten-sided dice.

Check below for Unified Space Transmissions with bonus content!

Featuring everything you need for your very own galactic trailblazing campaign:

  • 184 page full-colour Royal Size (15.6cm x 23.4cm) hardback book perfect for the tabletop, packed full of full-colour art with Free PDF, or PDF only.
  • A fast-moving system, built for solo gaming from the ground up.
  • RPG-lite adventure wargame experience with miniatures.
  • Create a wide range of characters whether human, alien or robot.*
  • Miniatures agnostic - use whatever you have
  • After each battle, your crew may die from their injuries or level up and find new items and information.
  • Upgrade your starship with expansion modules *
  • Procedurally generate a huge array of possible missions, with more than 50 enemy types.
  • Random tables for towns, trade, character events and starship travel.
  • 5 difficulty settings and super-hard Black and Red Zone jobs*
  • Extensive options for Game Mastering scenarios, allowing complex RPG-like campaigns to be played with connected scenario plots, environmental hazards and factional conflict.*
  • 7 stage narrative solo campaign*

 

This is a full retail edition of the community favourite solo sci-fi wargame by Ivan Sorensen of Nordic Weasel games and comes with lots of new content (noted with a * on the right), full graphic layout design and lots of stunning full-colour art throughout.

Core Rulebook - Print & Free PDF

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Core Rulebook - PDF

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Trailblazer's Toolkit PDF (Expansion)

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Battle Reports & Reviews on Youtube


CementSaul

Rob's Tabletop World

Owlbear Soup


Weight of Fire

The Solo Wargaming Show

Jaguars Den Games


Frequently Asked Questions & News

Frequently Asked Questions

This is a running Q&A as questions come up, whether to clarify concepts people are confused by or catch mistakes for future printings. This will be updated as questions come in. Questions are paraphrased from emails and social media messages. All answers by Ivan Sorensen. 

Q: If I cant figure out a rule, what should I do?

A: The first thing to do is read the rule carefully. It is usually meant to be taken pretty literally.

If that doesn’t help, try to consider the general tone of the game and adopt the answer that seems to make the most sense. If something seems like an obvious exploit, it likely is. Of course if everything else fails, you can email Ivan at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com and get an answer!

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT GETTING STARTED

Q: How many miniatures should I plan on getting to start?

A: A typical starting crew is 6 characters, though there are options to play with a crew of only 4 or 5. You will typically face 5-8 enemy figures. As there are so many different enemy types, it would take a long time to collect and model all of them. I suggest starting with three general sets of figures: 8 or so figures suitable for criminals, 8 futuristic soldiers and 8 alien bug things. Then recycle those as you need.

 

Q: What kind of tokens do I need?

A: The main tokens are to track which figures are Stunned and which figures have already been Activated (if you are prone to forgetting, like me!). You will also need a way to mark mission objectives and Notable Sights.

 

Q: How big of a play space and how much terrain do I need?

A: The game plays great in a 3x3 foot space and is playable down to a 2x2 foot space.

 

Q: How much of a time commitment is one game?

A: With a bit of experience, you should be able to conduct all of the campaign activities, play a tabletop battle and conduct your post-game rolls in about an hour or so. The first couple of games will be a little slower of course, while you are still learning.

 

Q: How long is a campaign?

A: A campaign can be as long or as short as you like. The rulebook offers a number of goals you can set for yourself if you like.

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT BATTLE RULES

Q: Do characters with a Pistol and Melee weapon get a +3 bonus?

A: No, you use the highest bonus. (p.45 Add +2 if carrying a Melee weapon OR +1 if carrying a Pistol weapon) - Emphasis mine

Note that as written you can strike with any Melee or Pistol weapon carried. I suggest house-ruling that the strike must be carried out with the weapon bonus you used (i.e. if you used the +2 bonus from a Melee weapon, you must strike with the Melee weapon)

 

Q: Do enemies with built-in weapons like claws count as Melee weapons (+2 dice bonus)?

A: Yes.

 

Q: How does Luck work with multiple shot attacks?
A: Resolve shots one at a time. Once Luck would trigger, move the character as per the Luck rule. If the enemy can still see them, they can shoot at them again with their remaining shots.

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT SETTING UP A BATTLE

Q: How many guys am I fighting?

A: Specialists and Lieutenants are part of the total enemy number, not additional figures. For example if I encounter 6 villains, there'd be 4 basic opponents, 1 specialist and 1 lieutenant. Unique Individuals are added to the number encountered.

 

Q: Can you clarify Unique Individual profiles?

A: The first three Unique Individuals on the table (Enemy Bruiser, Enemy Heavy, Enemy Boss) use the base profile of the enemy type you are fight with a boost. For the rest, the table starting on p.105 lists their full profile.

 

Q: Can you clarify deployment? NEW JUNE 2021

A: While each side is assigned to a specific table edge, you are not forced to set up within a certain distance from that edge. This is important because player table sizes can vary.

Set up the enemy forces where it makes the most visual sense on their half of the table. When you set up, your forces cannot be within 18’ of the enemy.
An easy way of doing this quickly is to measure out an 18” “neutral zone” in the middle of the table and then setting up on each side of that.

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT CAMPAIGN RULES

Q: Can you clarify how Rumors work?

A: If you do not currently have an active Quest, Rumors are added to the roll in the "Resolve any Rumors" stage before a battle. This increases your chance of finding a Quest. Once you find a Quest, your Rumors are set to 0. If you have an active Quest, all Rumors are assumed to be pertaining to the quest you are currently on. Each rumor adds +1 to the "Determine Quest Progress" roll in the post-battle sequence, meaning they increase your chances of finding the final battle. Once you finish the Quest, your Rumors are set back to 0.

 

Q: How do starting Patrons work?

A: If you begin the game with a Patron, they will automatically offer you a job in the first turn of the campaign. Afterwards they add a bonus when taking the “Find a Patron” campaign action.

 

Q: Can you clarify how existing Patrons work?

A: Any Patron you either began the game with or which you have completed a job for is added to your list of contacts on that world. When you take the “Find a Patron” campaign action, you are seeing if there are any jobs available. For every Patron you know as a contact you get to add +1 to the roll, representing one of your old employers having something new they need done.

 

Q: How often do I roll for Patron benefits, danger pay etc.?

A: Benefits are rolled when the Patron is first acquired and will never change. All other factors are specific to the job on offer and are rolled each time.

 

Q: Do you have to fight a battle every turn?

A: As written yes. If you have nothing else going on, you would fight an Opportunity Mission. If you want to lay low, you can borrow the rule from Five Leagues and pay 1D6 Credits to spend another turn in port.

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT CHARACTERS

Q: Can I have more characters than my crew size?

A: Yes, but the crew size you selected for the campaign is the cap to how many you can bring into a battle. So if you are playing a "4 crew" campaign and have 6 characters currently, you'd have to pick 2 to stay behind.

 

Q: Can I change campaign crew size later?

A: Up to you. I'd pay a Story Point to do so.

 

Q: Some of the species specific rules differ between the species profiles when I create my character and when the rules are referenced later on, which is correct?

A: The species profile in the character creation chapter should always be the correct version.

 

Q: Bots and events

A: When rolling for exploration etc. events that do not affect Soulless generally do not affect Bots either. Apply your common sense here.

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT EQUIPMENT

Q: If I duplicate a gun with mods or sights, what do I get?

A: To avoid things getting out of hand, the duplicator copies ONE item. So a modded gun will produce either a gun or a mod, not a modded gun. Sorry.

 

Q: What does it mean when mods and sights cannot be added to "single shot" weapons?

A: It means they cannot be fitted to grenades or other disposable weapons (however much as a grenade with a laser sight seems appealing)

 

Q: Can you clarify how the Hand Flamer works?

A: First resolve all Shots in the weapon profile (2) against the selected target (Focus). Then resolve 1 Shot against each target within 2" (Area). A keen-eyed observer notes that technically the Area weapon rule already does this, without the need for the Focus trait.

 

Q: Do you have to fire an Area at a target model?

A: No, you can target a spot on the ground. In this case, any Shots from the weapon profile are wasted but you get to resolve the bonus shots from the Area trait normally.

 

Q: Does gambling with Lucky Loaded dice take an action?
A: No, it happens as a free action. Roll at any point while you are carrying out your crew actions.

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT AI

Q: What is an "adjacent terrain feature" for the purposes of defensive AI?

A: A terrain feature within roughly one move. The idea is that the defensive AI will view nearby characters as supporting the feature with counter attacks.

 

Q: What is "Psycho" AI?

A: It should read Rampaging AI.

 

Q: Is the enemy “aware” of my positions when I am not in sight?

A: Yes, whether due to motion scanners, psionic detection, pheromone tracers or that one guy in your squad that keeps eating snacks on mission, the enemy is always assumed to be aware of your positions. Future expansions will add stealth missions.

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT LORE

Q: Do Soulless and Bots have personalities?

A: Soulless emulate a personality in order for organic creatures to be more comfortable around them, but they all tend to be fairly similar. Bots are programmed with emotional emulation systems fitting their role.

 

Q: Are Soulless cyborgs or robots?

A: They are completely synthetic. A “snapshot” of a personality unit is downloaded into a physical shell to fit the task the collective mind has intended for it. In human space, these shells are typically humanoid to ease interaction.

 

Q: Can Soulless disconnect from their hivemind?
A: When out of range (which will be any player character) the Soulless are not in touch with their overmind. Upon returning to a ship or colony, they reconnect, any experiences are assessed by the collective and any updates to behavior are installed. Adventuring Soulless do develop quirks of personality from errors in the code. Potentially a Soulless could develop a quirk to “go rogue” though this would be very rare.

 

Q: Does the alien species have genders like humans?
A: Precursors, Ferals and K’Erin display the same range of gender characteristics as humans do. Swift lack any such identification.

 

Q: Does our own Earth exist in the Unified Space setting?

A: Yes, it is one of the Core worlds though by Unity regulations, it holds no specific significance.

 

Q: What year does the game take place?

A: Roughly 500 years in the future.

 

Q: What should Unity troops look like? - NEW JUNE 2021

A: Fully enclosed helmets, Uniforms and armor should be black or dark grey mixed with red. For example, black armor over red uniforms.


Unified Space - Transmission Three

BEGIN TRANSMISSION/...

Welcome to the third transmission into Unified Space.

In these transmissions you will find snippets of data, current events and psionic overflow usable in your games of Five Parsecs From Home.

You'll find some encounters below to add to your games. Each encounter can occur once in a given campaign.

The Converted Threat

The species known as the Converted have an unknown origin, though their host world has been identified to a high degree of accuracy. Their original biological forms are unknown, though they are suspected to be humanoid in form and roughly human-sized.

At some point in their history, wide-spread conversion into cybernetic organisms took place producing the species that now menace worlds all across known space.

Attempts to negotiate have proven a failure. The Converted will only accept submission, which always results in harvesting the population for conversion. If the population of a world resists, the Converted will invade and harvest the corpses instead.

Individual converted have less to no individual intelligence. It is suspected that a central controlling network is used to provide commands, though isolated units have sufficient basic programming to conduct fundamental combat operations.012

Did you know?

To communicate beyond the speed of travel requires a method of communication that transcends travel times. Only the Precursors and Swift have access to this through psionic means.

It is suspected the Converted have a technological answer as well, but raids have failed to capture a usable device.

ENCOUNTER: The ISS Wellington is going down!

 A merchant transport has been emitting Final Response signals, indicating that an imminent crash with little chance of survival.

To investigate, play an Opportunity Mission. Place 6 crates around the table. The enemy will attempt to reach these crates regardless of AI type.

Moving into contact with a crate secures 1 Credit of salvageable goods. An enemy reaching a crate will then attempt to leave the table, dropping the crate in place if you kill them.

Any crates not collected by a character by the end of turn 4 self-destruct.

ENCOUNTER: Unity bounty

All Unity channels have been broadcasting a bounty for known terrorist Tesimund Cor.

To hunt Cor, take a crew action and roll 10+ on 2D6. You may add a cumulative +1 for each prior attempt.

When you find him, play an Opportunity mission. Cor is a Hired Killer with an Armor Saving Throw. He carries two machine pistols and can fire both simultaneously.

He is accompanied by a squad of 7 Renegade Soldiers. Generate weaponry as normal.

Bringing Cor down is worth 1D3 Credits. Defeating him in a Brawl (for capture) is worth 1D3 Credits and a Loot roll.

ENCOUNTER: Jumping Lizard Cull

The world of Tolbukhin-III reports an explosion in the population of Razor-Fang Jumping lizards.

To help with the cull, fight an opportunity battle against Sand-Runners. Add +4 to the number encountered. The terrain should be a dense jungle with as many plant features as possible. Visibility is limited to 10”.
A reward of a bonus Loot roll is available for Holding the Field.

.../TRANSMISSION ENDS

Unified Space - Transmission Two

Unified Space - Transmission 2

BEGIN TRANSMISSION/...

Welcome to the second transmission into Unified Space.

In these transmissions you will find snippets of data, current events and psionic overflow usable in your games of Five Parsecs From Home.

You'll find some encounters below to add to your games. Each encounter can occur once in a given campaign.

The Tiran IV treaties

Ratified by each of the major galactic powers, the Tiran IV treaties have two important dictates:
The first is that any bio-mod project may not utilize genetic material from more than a single sapient species. This restriction was insisted upon by the Precursors and K’Erin and violations are subject to military intervention under galactic law.

The second is that any attempt at creating or enhancing psionic potential through genetic modification is illegal. This restriction tends to be self-enforcing as such modifications almost invariably result in catastrophic side effects.

Despite galactic law, any number of illegal corporate research projects take place far beyond the reaches of Unity agents or investigative groups.

Did you know?

The rat-like Skulkers are the only species in the galaxy to be rated as completely free of any species-driven prejudice.

ENCOUNTER: Strange orb!

A wealthy but secretive patron known only as “The Executive” has offered a substantial bounty for a strange, metallic orb of unknown origins.

When finding a Patron next, you may take on this job. The job works as a Quest, with all enemies rolled on the Roving Threats table. Add +1 to the number encountered in each battle.

When the Quest is completed, you may claim 2D3 additional Credits in pay. If you opt to hold on to the orb, note it down for future reference and add 3 Rivals (Bounty Hunters, Vigilantes, Enforcers) that will follow you off-world.

ENCOUNTER: Converted agents!

Authorities report an increase in infiltration attempts from the brutal cyborg species known as the Converted.

If you want to do your part, fight an Opportunity Mission against Converted Infiltrators. Add +2 to the number encountered and replace one base enemy weapon with a Hyper Blaster.

Claim 1 Story Point and a bonus Loot roll if you Hold the Field.

ENCOUNTER: Bad batch of fuel

A contaminated batch of starship fuel has entered circulation. Authorities report that fuel-cells marked with serial numbers ending in B893Z or higher should be discarded.

When traveling to a new world next, roll 1D6. You must remain on the new world for this number of turns to flush the drives.

Once this is done, you may add 1D6 Credits from a class-action lawsuit about the manufacturer.

.../TRANSMISSION ENDS

Unified Space - Transmission One

BEGIN TRANSMISSION/...

Welcome to the first transmission into Unified Space.

In these transmissions you will find snippets of data, current events and psionic overflow usable in your games of Five Parsecs From Home.

You'll find some encounters below to add to your games, each encounter below can occur once in a given campaign.

Language in Unified Space (and beyond)

Among Humans, the dominant language is SVIM (Standardized Vocal Interface Method): A language constructed specifically to be as clear, fast to learn and adaptable as possible. On Unity-controlled worlds, SVIM is mandatory though local groups often maintain and use their own languages as well.
Unity records indicate 8.6 billion officially recognized languages across the Core Worlds alone.

As SVIM has become a standardized language for trade transactions, it is also commonly spoken beyond Unity’s reach.

K’Erin and Precursors can speak it fluently with ease, while Ferals often have a thick, distinctive accent due to their jaws and vocal cords. Swift pick up the language intuitively but their high-pitched rapid-fire pronunciation makes them hard to understand.

Did you know?

Five Parsecs From Home takes place roughly 500 years into our future.

ENCOUNTER: Rogue Mercs reported!

After a chemical warfare incident, sector governments have declared the “Hells Salamanders” mercenary unit outlawed and exiled.

A modest bounty has been set.

If you wish to hunt the Salamanders, carry out a successful Track action, as if you were tracking a Rival. A result of 5+ is a success. Alternatively 1 Story Point may be spent.

Count the Salamanders as an Unknown Merc enemy (Hired Muscle table). Add 1 additional enemy with a Hyper Blaster.

If you Hold the Field, claim 2 credits of additional bounty.

ENCOUNTER: Shuttle Crash!

A shuttle crash has been reported outside Soulless research station BJZ-23. The unmanned shuttle is reported by shadow-market informants to have been carrying Barilikan Energy Modules.

If you wish to search the crash site, fight an Opportunity battle with the Patrol objective. The opposition will be War Bots with 2 additional enemies encountered.


If you Hold the Field, you may roll three times for Battle Field Finds (instead of the typical one attempt).

ENCOUNTER: Gun-slinging stranger

The talk in bars and gambling dens is of a strange gun slinger that roams the Fringe, interfering where they find injustice or evil doing. Which is generally everywhere.

When fighting a battle against Criminal Elements roll 1D6. On a 6, a Freelancer joins on your side. They count as Reactions 4 and may shoot twice per turn, but the shots must be taken at 2 different targets.

Add 4 additional basic enemies to those encountered.

.../TRANSMISSION ENDS


Weasel Writings #1 

Weasel Writings #1

 

Welcome to the first of a series of essays discussing the how and the why of Five Parsecs From Home. The aim of this series is to help shed more light into the design decisions that went into the game, both so people will understand them better but also to make it easier to make your own adjustments, house rules and hacks.  

In this first installment, I am going to talk about the basic design principles of the game and complexity in particular.

 

One of the things people comment on almost immediately is that the core combat rules are simple, even very simple. Go ahead and look at your book and see how little of the page count they actually take up.

 

While simple or complex rules are not inherently good or bad, let’s look at the rationale:

 

First and foremost, Five Parsecs is of course a solo game. This means that a single player has to keep track of everything, unlike a conventional game where another player is on hand to help remember things. I strongly believe that a solo game needs to be slightly simpler than a two player game for exactly this reason.

With a very simple game, it is easier to keep everything straight as early as possible.

 

Second, the AI needs to be able to “make decisions” as simply as possible.

I opted for an AI system that is non-random to make the gameplay move pretty quickly. Once you are used to a particular AI type, you can go through the enemy decision process very quickly. Every option that allows a combatant to do something needs to be accounted for in AI terms as well, which can add up quickly.

 

Third, the on-table battle is only part of the game. With a bit of practice, you can usually blow through the battle in 20 minutes or so and have time for tea.

Whereas in many campaign games, the battle is the focus and the campaign is an add-on, Five Parsecs is meant as a campaign experience. The entire sequence from figuring out what you do in town to fighting a battle to generating the post-game rolls are all part of the game and are equally important.

The goal is that you can comfortably play through an entire campaign turn in one evening and should be able to squeeze in a second.

 

Lastly, simpler mechanics are easier to adapt. This serves both for future expansion material as well as for players creating their own mechanics, items and ideas. Long-term fans will know I certainly appreciate clever mechanics and intricate systems, but the more non-standard, the harder it can get to fold more things into it.
Likewise, a more complex game can be difficult to remove things from. A seemingly innocent rule can have all manner of knock-on effects when you attempt to remove it. As the game is also intended in part to be an entry-point for players new to the miniatures gaming hobby, a game that can be easily expanded is preferable to one that has to be stripped down, in my opinion.

 

So there you have it. Agree? Disagree? What sort of additions would you like to see in the future? Let me know at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com