I know there have been many questions about Legends of Frontierland and I wanted to write a Primer based on my experiences from the last two days (about 10 hours of gameplay). Hopefully this will help clarify some of the confusion, because I know even reading as much as I could about the game before playing I still had some rocky moments the first day.
Part 1: Choose Your Side
At the beginning of the game you can choose either Frontierland or Rainbow Ridge as your faction. You CAN switch during the games progression, and may even be encouraged to do so with some sort of reward. The Factions have their own color associated with them : Rainbow Ridge is Yellow and Frontierland is Orange. Each CM also has an allegiance to one of the two sides. Depending on which faction you choose, the decision will end up determining some of your actions. I have found although anyone can become an Outlaw, it seems that Rainbow Ridgers often become Outlaws more often via the Telegraph Office (as that is their "role" in the game). Also some Telegraphs that come in are Faction Specific, but more on that later.
Part 2A: Bits the Currency of LOF
Bits are the currency of the game, and they are found in three varieties. The common bit comes in the form of a wooden disk, like a combination of a poker chip and wooden nickel. There are two different designs for the bits, one with Golden Horseshoe and one with Mining Equipment. Each one of these disks represent 5 bits. Then there are little gold nuggets which represent 50 bits. Lastly, both rare and elusive, is the metal Hero Coin which represents 100 bits (Similar to a metal kini if you remember POGs in the 90's).
You can exchange your wooden bits for gold nuggets at The Trading Post to make carrying bits earlier. I have got mixed information about the Hero Coin's. The CM's I ran into told me three different things:
A. The Hero Coin is only given out to LOF players who have made a name for themselves, and gone above and beyond to enhance the LOF experience in some way.
B. The Hero Coin is rarer and costs more for Disney to create and they only can give out X amount per day. Try in the morning at the Trading Post and you might be able to exchange 100 bits for one.
C. When the game first started they were readily available as a currency option but Disney was giving out to many and now they have changed it to A.
I haven't seen any of these appear on eBay and I haven't seen any early account that a person received these, so I am guessing the reality is A, but possibly some CM's who haven't been trained might do B. thinking it was just currency. Quick side note, nearly every CM I encountered while playing this game went above and beyond and was amazing. It was however clear during the play through that some CM's were new to the experience and were sometimes as confused about the rules just as some guests were.
Part 2B. How to Earn Bits (Officially)
A. Run Normal Telegrams
Visit the telegraph office and see if you can run a telegram. This often requires you to go around the town and tell X amount of people what the Telegram says.
B. Decode Encrypted Telegrams
Sometimes at the telegraph office you can get a telegram that was received in morse code and a decoder card. Decode the telegram and return it for payment.
C. Turn in an Outlaw
If you have a Wanted Poster for a fellow guest who is an outlaw and find them, you can bring them back to the Jail to possibly earn bits. You and the outlaw stand back to back, walk three paces, and then rock-paper-scissors. The winner receives the bounty on the outlaw, the loser ends up in jail.
If you already have bits, head into the Golden Horseshoe and you can play High-Card. To play you want to have at least 25 bits (5 wooden discs). You are dealt five cards face-down, you cannot look at them. Everyone ante's a disc, everyone flips their top card, and whomever has the high card (Ace is high) wins the pot. If their is a tie then you rock-paper-scissors to determine the winner.
E. Talent Agency
Also in the Golden Horseshoe is the Talent Agency. They often are looking for individuals to draw up signage for either faction or Frontierland functions to earn bits in return.
F. Luck Elixir ($3 Cost Involved)
Purchasing an elixir of luck will instantly grant you 1 bit. As long as you have liquid luck in the cup and interact with CM's and sometimes even other guests, you will begin to receive extra bits as if you have a hole in your pocket. Ya I know that sounds a bit strange but when you play the game you quickly understand what it means.
Part 2C. How to Earn Bits (Un-officially)
The ways listed below may or may not be official, but are ways I earned additional bits during my play-time.
G. Faction Specific CM's
Sometimes interacting with a faction specific CM (Red and Geddidiah for Rainbow Ridge), Chance (Frontierland), Billy (switches sides) can grant special "work" that you can be rewarded for completing. Everything from secret hand-shakes, visual tasks, to running specific non-telegram messages.
H. Knowledge Elixir ($3 Cost Involved)
With the knowledge elixir we often learned bits of information that allowed us get bits by performing certain work around the town. We see no other way to have known what we were told without purchasing the elixir.
I. Teaching Guests The LOF Game
Sometimes the Trading Post can get overwhelmed and a CM may ask you to explain the game and give you bits for your teaching.
J. Running a Game of High-Card
Sometimes the Golden Horseshoe can get overwhelmed and a CM may ask you to be a dealer for other guests.
K. Greeting at Big Thunder Ranch
Interestingly that games official map does not extend beyond Big Thunder Mountain, so Big Thunder Trail and Ranch are not on any of the official materials. I ended up heading to Big Thunder Ranch because I heard the Rainbow Ridge Mascot Billy the Goat (yes like the one on BTMR), and both of the CM's had Frontierland name tags. They asked if I would like to earn some bits and gave me some basic instructions and I greeted folks at the entrance of the ranch and earned some bits.
L. Winning a River Water Challenge
It is possible for you to be challenged to a River Water contest. This is rare and apparently more difficult then it sounds, as only certain CM's can officiate the contest. You and the challenger/challenge are led into the Golden Horseshoe and officiated by a CM who recruits some volunteers to judge the contest. You are led up to one of the Reserved boxes on the lower floor. The challenge is to drink a shot of River Water (Essentially a Lemonade / Vinegar like tasting combination), and the first one who shows signs of weakness, funny face or tapping fingers for example loses. I got to take part in a challenge, which I won and not only got bits but got to stay in the reserved box for the next Golden Horseshoe show with Miss Lilly.
H. Let The Horses Out, Pioneer Mercantile
Visit the small room in Pioneer Mercantile where they sell beards and mustache's and ask to take the horses out. You will end up galloping around the flag poll and shooting gallery on toy horse sticks to earn a few bits.
I. Balancing Act, Pioneer Mercantile
Visit the same room as above, and if you have a few other players with you, you might be challenged to balance the horse stick on one finger for bits based on the amount of time you last.
3. The Point Of Legends of Frontierland
Some people have asked what the point or end-game of LOF is. I think it is different depending on why you are playing the game.
A. Faction Victory : Land Dispute
If your faction purchased more land then the other faction (businesses are now included), then your side wins the day. This is probably the most basic end-game that happens at 6PM each day.
Maybe you like collectibles from experiences you've done at Disney. In addition to the variety of bits you can also get two different types of deed certificates (much more detailed then the old Death Certificates from the Haunted Mansion). One is for Land Plots the other is for Buildings. You get your names on the certificates and they are signed off and make a great moment.
C. Control the Western Territories
Unlike land which resets each day, the buildings do not. No side has yet controlled every building, it is rumored that when one side does something special will happen.
D. Become a Legend of Frontierland
This is the goal of the AP'er and CM. Visit multiple times and build up a reputation in Frontierland. One CM described it like Karate belts:
White Belt : Learning and playing the game
Green Belt : Get more involved, CM's start remembering your actions by name
Blue Belt : Your actions are getting more noticed, guests remember your name and seek you out
Red Belt : You've become a fictional addition to Frontierland where you could be considered a character in your own right
Brown Belt : CM's and Guests agree you have impacted LOF in an amazing way. You receive the Hero Coin
Brown Belt X Degree : There will be additional tasks/rewards as the game progresses between this stage and being a LOF
Black Belt : Congratulations you are a Legend of Frontierland
Of course none of this is official anywhere, but I could definitely see different guests at different stages along this sort of track.
4. Purchasing At The Trading Post
A. Land Plots
When the game starts in the morning you can purchase land for 100 bits (20 discs or 2 gold nuggets). If you are the first person you can choose any square on the board that is next to a square occupied by the town. As the day progresses, guests can purchase addition land plots in any direction as long as it is next to a square already purchased by someone on your faction.
GAME NOTE: This has been one of the more problematic areas of the game from what I have heard from guests and CM's alike. There is one player whose nickname is Coonskin who was brought up on more then one occasion. Essentially in playing the game for five days he was able to rack up over 100 gold nuggets. He would then appear at the Trading Post at the end of the day and buy up a ton of land plots to win the side for his team (Frontierland). Hoarding was never the intention of the game and Disney has begun to take steps to discourage this process. Good example, the first day I played land was 100 bits throughout the day. However yesterday land went from 100, to 125, to 150, to 175, and ended at 200 bits per plot by the end of the day to discourage hoarding.
Typically half-way through or towards the end of the day a special Mine Space will appear on the board. To purchase the mine you need to have land plots purchased by your faction end up next to this space. At that point you can buy the mine like any plot of land but you have a chance of it making you rich or being a bust. The first day I was there no one was able to get to the Mine Space, the second day someone already got to it before I had a chance to see what the reward might have been.
In the center of the board are buildings representing Frontierland and Rainbow Ridge establishments. Each building can only be purchased once per day, and with each purchase the cost rises for the next purchaser. Below are the cost advancements that I am aware of based on what was on the board:
It's clear that there may have been some confusion in the early game on how much the next building will cost but I have been told by CM's that they have a sheet that now clearly details the cost of the next purchase.
D. Land Auctions
Sometimes a Land Auction might occur where a specific plot of land will be auctioned off started at 10 bits typically. Whichever guests bids the highest amount wins the land. This typically takes place at the Telegraph Office. The winner then goes to the Trading Post to get their deed and plot marked on the board.
5. Official Locations
A. Trading Post
This is where you purchase land plots and buildings.
Used for a handful of jobs, and has the Rainbow Ridge chalk board for announcements. No CM's are staffed at this location. More of just a hang out spot people eating that have no idea the game is going on around them.
C. Telegraph Station
Come to this location to get work, including running telegrams and decoding encrypted telegrams. You can also send telegrams for 15 bits. If you purchase a building you can telegram for your factions flag to be flown on the building (buildings include the Mark Twain). You can also send telegrams for meetings. First day I played a telegram went out for Ridgers to meet at the Mark Twain at 3 PM to take it over, which we did. Similarly Frontierland sending telegrams to let everyone know to try buying land at the end of the day. Helps create a larger strategy for your faction that is shouted throughout the town and major locations.
D. Sheriff's Office and Jail
This is where you can create Wanted Posters and bring in Outlaws. To make a Wanted Poster is costs 15 bits. Outlaws are brought in for 50 bits.
GAME NOTE: This is another area of the game where people figured out how to break the system. Originally you could create Wanted Posters for no cost, and Outlaws were worth 100 bits. Now you have to pay 15 bits to make each Wanted Poster and Outlaws are only worth 50 bits. Their cost can go up however if they escape jail or become wanted again in the same day. The most I ever saw someone worth was 175 bits.
People were gaming the system a bit by just writing Wanted posters over and over again for the same people in their group and then turning them in (netting 35 bits each time). Sometimes people would use the Charm elixir as well. So person A would make a poster for person B, they would turn in person B, person B, they would do the rock-paper-scissors, winner is rewarded with bits, then as the outlaw goes to jail they would show the Charm drink which gets them out of jail and if they roleplay enough they might get bits in the process. Rinse and repeat throughout the day. Again this is not how it was designed to work, but you can always game the system.
E. Talent Agency
Located within the Golden Horseshoe, currently you can draw signs for both factions for bits. I have heard this will get expanded to include other talents, but right now it's just drawing.
F. Card Table
Play high card in the Golden Horseshoe.
G. L.B. Elixir Cart
This is where you can purchase one of three elixirs for $3 a piece,
H. Big Thunder Ranch
Home to Billy the Goat, mascot of Rainbow Ridge. Although there is a second mascot for Rainbow Ridge which happens to be a Pineapple (this was a guest created part of the story which has caught on)
A new addition is starting your own business. To start a business you go to the telegraph office and apply for a business license (100 bits). You then go to the Talent Agency and make a sign for your business. Then you go to the Trading Post to find a building that your faction currently controls that no other business occupies. Then you go back to the telegraph office and send a telegraph (15 bits) that your business is open at that specific location. This is a major role-playing and inventive part of the game.
I opened the first guest business in LOF. I opened the Law Office of Elfego (yes a reference to the historic and Disney character from many decades ago). I ended up creating legal services from negotiating individuals out of jail, being a substitute rock-paper-scissor official for jail, and even having an on-call Bounty Hunter that worked for me, all for a few bits. This was all up to the player to decide what their business did. Later that day the Mayor, School Marm opened up the second business which was a school. Later that day, we got another Hero of the Western Territories (sorry I forgot your name) who opened a Circus.
7. Politics, Mayor
Each day a guest representative from Rainbow Ridge and Frontierland runs for Mayor of the Western Territories. This usually starts with creating a petition to run for Mayor, and ends with a vote about half way through the day to determine who becomes Mayor. The School Marm who became Mayor while I was there got a VIP show for Miss Lilly is one of the Reserved Boxes.
8. Known Heroes of the Western Territories
3. President _____ ______ (Rainbow Ridge)
4. One-Eyed Bart (Rainbow Ridge)
5. _________ (Rainbow Ridge) <- The guest who opened a Circus
In the end, alot of the experience comes down to Roleplaying. The more you get invested into your character, the more reward I think you will get out of it. The Three "Heroes" I have come to meet, all have had amazing ideas and their characters are truly something unique in the Western Territories where CM's and guests alike remember their names. There is alot of gray area in this game, and guests have a lot of room to make a name for themselves and find unique ways to earn bits and add to the story.
I don't know if it happens every day, but when I left yesterday at the end of the game both Rainbow Ridge and Frontierland actually had peace talks with representatives of both sides, signing a peace treaty. It was officiated by CM's, so maybe that will also play into the story.
Thank you again to other guests like One-Eyed Bart, President, Owner of the Circus. And to CM's like Big Bad John, Coyote, Geddidiah, L.B., Cracker Jack, Billy, Dynamite, Huckleberry, Pricilla, Alyssa, Missy, Cheatin Chandler, and Red who made the experience immersive and fun. Also thank you to Drac, who tried to overthrow the President and Pineapple and performed a River Water Challenge with me.
If you have any questions about the game, please let me know and I will try to answer them. I think that should do for an overall primer to the game. Hopefully I didn't leave anything out and if something gets updated let me know and I will update the Primer.