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Five Leagues from the Borderlands (PDF)
€18,43 €14,75
Publisher: Modiphius
by William B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/12/2023 21:28:06

I am re-writing my review of this game, because my opinion of it has changed after a few campaigns. There were a few things I didn't really like after the first reading, but everything in it has grown on me.

My first RPG campaign was AD&D 1E, and that magical experience has never been replicated. Until now. Ivan has taken all that OSR magic, and put it in a streamlined solo game. I loved the uncompromising lethality of that system, and how surviving battles always made me feel like a grizzled fantasy veteran, and how I always felt like a new story was beginning when I rolled up a new character. Five Leagues and Parsecs improve on this concept by 1) Making character creation much faster, and 2) Brewing lethality into the system. I loved AD&D 1E, but to be honest, your campaign could really get screwed if one or more characters died at the wrong time because resurrection was so expensive, and getting new characters going could be tough. Starting a new campaign might very well mean the end of your game group! Lethality can be rough in 5XFY, but I've been able to recover from some near disasterous situations by thinking things through. Don't get me wrong, I've had a few TPWs as well, especially with the difficulty modifiers in the Trailblazer's Toolkit, but getting a new campaign going is fast and fun.

At first, I was put off that traditional D&D classes like Dwarf, Elf, and gnome were replaced with Dusklings and Preen. "Birdmen? pfft" thought I. After immersing myself in the setting, I now love them. The races feel simulaneously metal, OSR, AND refreshingly original.

I loved the combat from the start. This and Five Parsecs are my favorite game systems. They accomplish the holy grail of being streamlined, OSR, and something of Ivan's own creation all at once. Prior to playing Five Parsecs and Five Leagues, I played 4AD, Pathfinder / Mythic / DM Yourself, A Song Of Blades And Heroes / Lone Blade / A Song Of Deeds And Glory, Nemesis (board game), Rangers Of Shadow Deep, Gloomhaven (board game), and Ironsworn. All these games are excellent, and I have many great memories of them, but Five Leagues and Parsecs are my current favorites.

Ivan's music recommendations (included in the PDF) are excellent for gaming. These albums really bring out the flavor of Five Leagues. We used to listen to Metallica, Iron Maiden, Slayer, etc. while gaming, but Ivan's playlist trumps even that.

The art and layout are excellent, and the PDF is very well organized.

I would even go so far as to say this is my favorite gaming product ever produced. If I could give it 6 or even 7 stars, I would. Five Leagues From The Borderlands is a real labor of love.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Five Leagues from the Borderlands (PDF)
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