In Bastion, Everything is Complicated.
Things are specialist, but there's always more to them.
There are no general stores, but every focused shop has something else that you wouldn't expect.
There's a rule that sums this all up nicely.
THE TRIPLE RULE
Everything has Three Purposes:
- The Original: What was it originally to be?
- The Current: What is it doing now?
- The Tangent: What is its secondary use?
The easiest way to do this is to give each building a commercial, residential, and civic use, and pick one of them to be its original purpose.
- Defunct broadcast tower, now a scrap electric market spread across scaffolds. A cabal of engineers live and worship at the very top of the tower.
- Huge municipal swimming pool, now dried up and re-purposed as a landfill. The old changing rooms have been converted into a boozy hostel for youths.
- Long row of terraces houses, roofs all blown off in a storm. Now used as stables for luxury-breed pork pigs. A retirement home holds the last remaining covered house, and the old folks get free sausages to make up for the smell.
Here, consider the standing/body/education they were born into, or a youthful ambition, then the life that they really grew into, plus something unexpected on the side.
- Wealthy piano protegee turned greed-filled banker. Does charity work to soothe her conscience.
- Ogre of a man, sells tiny metal sculptures. Deeply believes humanity is awful, and we should let aliens rule us.
- Lovely old former teacher turned soldier for the Human Union. A font of pub-quiz knowledge.
Objects can be simpler than people and places, with the added layers coming from previous owners or uses, rather than changes to the object itself.
- Giant bird egg, now gilded with gold and jewels. Now property of a cult that worship it, hoping it will hatch.
- Portable-Cannon used to kill a legendary outlaw in Deep Country. Has been deactivated and mounted above a bar for some time. Now used to hide illicit substances.
- A crank-operated radio. Now broken, only picks up static and occasional incomprehensible voice. Being sold at a curiosity shop as an "Ear to the Stars".