Friday, 29 November 2019

Dedicated Followers of Fashion

Clothes are sort of a big deal in modern Bastion. The trick is to look both classically timeless and effortlessly a la mode.

Alaine Crevatte’s Forum of Fine Suitery

After a lengthy relocation process, this cramped but extensive emporium specialises only in truly memorable apparel. Aside from their appearance, every article of clothing comes with a romantic story presented by Alaine himself.

The door rings a bell when you enter, but Alaine is already there waiting for the next customer. Between the overloaded rails and coats hanging from the ceiling there is barely room for four people inside. The air is heavy with ironing steam and peppery cologne.

Alaine Crevatte

Gangly but refined, every bit of his body carries some sort of accessory, scrap of fabric, or measuring device. He insists that you sit down and let him pour you a drink for his gasping, melodramatic tales that he has for every item in the shop. He refers constantly to his no-haggling-policy but caves in at the slightest disinterest from the potential client and dropping prices down to as low as 50% if he feels he is losing his audience.

The Chiotesta Collection (d6 x 30 each)

A range of hats so eye catching that the people you meet are barely able to take their eyes off it. Alaine keeps three in stock at any time. Roll 2d20 and combine for the specifics of each hat.

Basic Form
Magpie Feathers
Gold Leaf
Taxidermied Mice
Stained Glass
Spider Webs
Pinned Butterflies
Dangling Beads
Electric Lights
Exceptionally Wide Brim
Exceptionally Tall
Human Bones
Meteoric Rocks
Horse Hair
Bonsai Tree

While wearing the hat, anybody you meet always remembers the hat, but will not recognise you without the hat unless prompted.

Excelador Foundational Wear (£79 in stovepipe grey, £119 in a range of colours)

Sets of dense woolen underwear so comforting that anybody wearing them walks slightly taller. Rain seems to stick to them less, crowds part slightly, and upon perusing a restaurant menu a confident choice is made without hesitation. There is no greater sense of security that comes in such humble garments.

The wearer counts as having Armour 3 against anything that would cause CHA loss, but this new assuredness means they must always declare their action before any other players not also wearing the garments.

The confident self-assurance that Excelador Foundational Wear brings.

The Quest for the Nine Piece Suit (Worth £1k each, priceless as a set)

The story goes that a great tailor had eight sons and one daughter. Upon becoming ill, the children decided to craft him a suit to be buried in, each striving to create the perfect example of that item. Despite working independently, the combined suit was a perfect match. Upon trying it on, the tailor was filled with life and went on to outlive each one of his children, burying each one in the article of clothing that they crafted.

Several decades later, rumours abound that all nine items are in circulation in Bastion’s most exclusive fashion retailers, each one held in secret by a jealous business owner longing to lay claim to the complete suit. 

If you befriend him, Alaine will reveal that he possesses the Vest, a deep blue waistcoat of the highest quality, silk and triple-lined in felt. 

But where are the others?

If you ask around...

The Shirt is locked in the vault of The Silken Glove, Aggilette Bracer’s highly fashionable bar 
and fashion-show venue.

The Collar is worn in plain sight by the Machinist evangelist, Brockman Gaiter.

The Jacket was bought at an Exhumauction by down-on-her-luck travelling salesperson, Gale Galloon.

The Coat is on display in the Museum of Clothed Statues, where famous articles of clothing are presented on repurposed ancient sculptures. Modelling the jacket is an angelic figure with its wings smashed off. Security is extremely tight.

The Trousers are in the private collection of curiosity collector, Seymora Flounce. She has a legion of inept servants trying to find the other pieces.

The Sporran is held by Alaine’s former business partner and bitter rival, Epaula Tette. Her rival shop has long gone out of business, but she occasionally wears it on visits to the shop just to taunt Alaine.

The Sash still lies buried with the Tailor’s Daughter. The graveyard she was buried in has sunk deep into the underground.

The Scarf was formerly owned by Alaine, but on his last ever day off a part-time shop assistant sold it to a very strange lady. She was tall enough that she had to hunch under the doorframe. She spoke in a rumbling song. Her eyes were like pools of golden ink. She left a large enough tip that the shop assistant has comfortably retired. Alaine suspects The Scarf now lies among the Living Stars.

A Hat Enthusiast Society on a day trip to visit the Tailor's Grave.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Electric Bastionland Sparks to Life

What is Electric Bastionland?

You are desperate treasure hunters, thousands of pounds in debt with only a Failed Career behind you.

This is just one of the hundred Failed Careers you might start the game with. You might get something entirely different.

But your shared debt has bound you together, to do whatever it takes to make that big score.

How does this relate to Into the Odd?

Into the Odd is a game of industrial horror with fast character creation, simple rules, and flavour baked into every page of its tiny softback book. Electric Bastionland has the same speed and simplicity, but moves Bastion into the electric age, ramping up the flavour into a ~300 page hardback.

There's lots more advice and procedures for creating and running your own vision of Bastion, Deep Country, and the Underground. The whole book is illustrated by the brilliant Alec Sorensen, replacing those unsightly red rectangles in the screenshot above. He's got a unique style that suits Electric Bastionland down to a tee, and I think it's going to look quite unlike any other book out there.

Are the rules the same as Into the Odd?

It's essentially the same set of rules. There are Scars in place of the previous advancement system. These are lasting marks that make you stronger in the long run. Combat has been slightly tweaked to make ganging up on one target slightly less devastating. Things are still fast and deadly, but your death will be forecast a little more clearly.

Most importantly, all of the rules still fit on a two-page spread.

Electric Bastionland is live on Kickstarter now!

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Monster Flashback

Since this blog is now over 10 years old I've been looking back through cringes of shame at those early posts. Is there any merit in that old material? Can I recycle it in an act of blog meta-digestion?

Let's pull the monsters from this post and see if I can make them better as encounters for Electric Bastionland. Back when I wrote that post I was thinking about monsters as entries in a monster manual rather than making them inspiring chunks of the world to throw down onto your table.

My main considerations are going to be:
  • Cut down all that prose and rub it into the actual workings of the monster through their moves. 
  • Make them more impactful and scary.
  • Give them a bit more nuance beside just being something new to fight.
Nightmare art taken from GANBreeder

Blood Servants (formerly Bloodlings)

STR 5, DEX 5, CHA 5, 5hp. d6 Needle-Swords, Bloated Bodies.
  • Waddle about serving their Blood Master in disgusting body-horror chores.
  • Bicker with each other about who Master loves most of all (he loathes them all).
  • If reduced to STR 0: Explode in a shower of burning blood (d6 Blast) invigorating their Master (restore their STR). 
Floating Corpse - Not-Quite-Right Dead Forms

STR 8. No HP, but automatically pass Saves vs Critical Damage. You have to hack them down to STR 0.

  • Float silently, patrolling along a set route.
  • Bump harmlessly against intruders, making a gross mess and distracting from other tasks.
  • In the presence of the Dark Wizard that animated them they errupt in a flailing spasm (d8 claws)

Spider Dragon

STR 18, 15hp, Pale Chitin (Armour 2). Bristling Multi-Jaws (2d8) and Thrashing Limbs (d6 Blast).

  • Ceaselessly seek juicy cattle to drag back to their web-lair.
  • Spray a sticky web-acid (d10 Blast, anyone taking STR Damage is webbed until cut free from the outside) once per day.
  • Cower in fear from even the smallest bird.

Monday, 29 July 2019

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Electric Devices

Bastion is Electric now. There are still Oddities we don't understand, whether they're from Alien visitors, the output of Underground Machines, or just things that shouldn't exist. However, electric power has opened up a new market for fantastic devices that we actually understand (for the most part).

You've got just about anything you can slap a battery onto, or hook up to the electric grid, but this is all super-new and this is Bastion so remember those golden rules:
  • Everything is Here
  • Everything is Complicated
  • Everything is Shared
Radios crackle their signal from a huge aerial, every borough broadcasting its own ultra-local programming.

Telephones go through a switchboard and if you want to use it you have to go and tell your neighbour to hang up.

Tramways run on live wires that double up as pigeon-traps.

Television is a tiny black and white screen on a huge humming box, or else you'll have to risk a smoky cinema with a fire-hazard projector and overpriced snacks.

But you're a Treasure Hunter with a huge debt, so you probably don't care too much about home appliances. You're here for the portable stuff.

Electric stuff is usually improved over non-electric versions but usually comes with a downside. Most commonly they require some sort of charge through batteries or more unusual means.

When you Rest, roll 1d6 for each battery-powered item you've used since the last Rest.
1: It's dead. You're out of batteries, and need to find somewhere you can buy more or get some charge.
2-3: Last reload. You've rubbed your batteries to get a last bit of life from it. You can use this one more time before it runs out.
4-6: Charged. You're fine.

Electric Weapons

Magnetic Rifle (Bulky, d8, +d10 vs targets wearing metal armour). Bullets are super-magnetised, meaning any attacks in metal-rich environments are Impaired as they veer wildly.

Jaw Axe (d6, if this causes a Scar or STR Damage you can always choose to take off a limb)

Vacuum Cannon (Bulky, d8 shot OR suck, pulling any targets in the cone that fail their STR Save towards you) Extremely loud no matter which setting you use.

Electric Tools

Rad-Halo: While worn you have perfect recall of everything you've seen or heard while wearing the halo. You can also perform arithmetic as fast as a calculator. You lose d6 CHA every time you:
- Put on the Halo
- Use the Halo to recall a memory
- Use the Halo to perform arithmetic

Slumber Box: Anybody enclosed in this coffin-like box is lightly bombarded with shocks until they pass out. They can only be woken by opening the box, and users report an incredibly restful sleep.

Cremato-Scan: Two spikes wired up to a small console. Putting them both into a corpse will ignite the remains with high voltage, burning it to a crisp in a matter of minutes. The console then prints out a small paper report showing the following facts about the victim:
- Their last meal
- Distance and direction of the last place they slept
- Their number of siblings.

Electric Armour

Puffer Suit: The wearer can trigger the Puffer Mechanism at any time. They are immobile but gain Armour 2 and anybody currently engaged in melee is shocked for d6 damage, ignoring armour. Deflating the puffer mechanism takes 5 minutes and requires a helper.

Breacher Armour: Armour 2. Cannot even move without power. With a decent run up this armour can smash through a brick wall. 

Concussion Armour: Armour 1. When an attacker causes Critical Damage to you they are blasted backwards for d10 damage.

Electric Vehicles

Electrocycle: Its heavy battery is powered by riding the bike normally. One hour of normal riding charges enough power for a few minutes of noisy blazing.

Spark-Luge: Essentially a metal tray that can be rigged onto a rail or tramline and thrust one very brave passenger along it at dangerous speeds.

Altobrella: A chunky umbrella that opens up like a helicopter's blades. Extremely limited maneuverability, only really takes you straight up or on a controlled descent.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Electric Bastionland Update

Because a few people have asked, here's the latest on Electric Bastionland.

  • As before, the text is essentially done pending many more proofreading sweeps. These can be happening while the Kickstarter is live. 
  • I'm currently waiting on a few confirmations from printers for the book.
  • After that, the Kickstarter prep will begin and I'll launch that as soon as possible. 
  • Art will be greenlighted once the Kickstarter looks like it's going to succeed, but there will definitely be some new pieces to show for the Kickstarter launch.
Mark of the Odd is also also very close.

Friday, 19 April 2019

Relic Walkers

I ran a little further with the ideas in my last post. 

Relic Walkers

Humanity is scattered through space with oceans of time and space between us. Colonies are small and isolated. Most humans have been altered slightly.

The Hierarchy
  • The Reliquary: Owners and maintainers of all technological relics, including Walkers and the only interstellar ship.
    • Father/Mother, Sister/Brother.
  • Custodian: Sanctioned relic holder, sworn to protect.
    • Captain, Castellan, etc
  • Retainer: Serves in a privileged position due to lack of debt or reliance.
    • Minister, Errant, Deacon.
  • Bonded: Sworn to a liege through debt or reliance.
    • Crew, Colonist, Server.
  • Vagabond: Independents that owe no fealty but receive no rights.

What’s important?
  • Interpersonal relationships in small communities
  • Faith, and how it holds communities together
  • Appearances, Piety and Prestige to keep your authority

Three Virtues of the Reliquary
  • Reverence of the Reliquary
  • Fealty to your Custodian
  • Fellowship to your Peers

Houses grant access to specific types of Walker.
Power is used both to resist attacks and to power weapons and other systems. It Recharges fully at the start of the Rider's turn.
Systems cost 1 power to use as standard, may have Boosts that each cost an extra point of power.
Each can only be used once per turn unless specified with Multi
Passive systems do not consume Power, but are usually triggered in some other way.
Walkers have a Load score showing how many systems they can carry. Core systems are built into a Walker and do not count towards your Load.
Effects last until the start of your next turn unless noted otherwise.
Moving requires 1 power and moves you to an adjacent Zone.
Collisions causes d6 to each side, +d12 if one side is significantly lighter. Trampling a soft target incurs no damage in return.


Attackers all declare their targets, then for each target the attackers roll their damage dice together and choose which single die to use. For cases where is is relevant, the roller of the chosen die is considered to have struck the hit.

Armour is subtracted from any attacks against you.

Damage is is deducted first from the target’s Power, then their STR. If they lose STR in this way they must pass a STR Save to avoid Critical Damage.

Critical Damage means the Walker is disabled. STR 0 is utterly destroyed and the Rider takes d12 damage.

Dramatic HitIf you are taken to exactly 0hp, lookup the amount of damage caused on the table below.

1: Rider Hit: The Rider takes d6 damage.
2: Overheat: You only regain 1 power next turn.
3: Exposed: Now your Rider takes STR damage whenever their Walker does.
4: System Shock: A system of your choice is destroyed.
5: Power Surge: If you end your next turn with any power, take d12 damage. 
6: Toppled: You are knocked down. Getting back up requires all of your power.


Rider Type
Roll d12 to see how you differ from humanity as we know it.

1: Born in the Holy: You were born on the Reliquary and have some contacts there.
2: Human-Plus: You don’t sleep or age. Ethereal and beautiful.
3: First-Colonist: Immune to toxins, can eat minerals. Stocky and lifeless.
4: Orbital: Control your personal gravity field. Soft and luxurious.
5: Stasis-Born: You can “tune” your perception of time and memory. Uncannily young.
6: Cyborg: You can patch just about any tech onto your body. Boxy and mechanical.
7: Eternal Soldier: You can elect to take a Scar in place of Critical Damage. Sullen and scarred.
8: Solar-Splice: Conjure dim light, immune to heat and radiation. Slightly red and demonic.
9: Robot: You’re a closed system but can interface with any tech. Smooth and clean.
10: Darkspacer: Perfect echolocation. Shadowy and tattered.
11: Voider: You can survive in a vacuum indefinitely. Grey and scaly.
12: Noble: Upper-class sorts like you, others don’t. Bright and Noble.

Twelve Houses are each entrusted with maintaining a specific set of Walkers. You begin with access to one House's Walker and its Systems.

Here are the first three. Boosts are noted as bullets after each System. 

House Falx
Faith in Fire

Firebase Walker
STR 15, DEX 7
Armour 1, Load 4, Power 4

Lockdown Protocol (Core)
Root yourself into place for +1 Armour and Lock On to one target.
  • Fire any number of ranged weapons at no power cost (Boosts not included)
  • Lock On to an additional target (multi)

Shred Burner
d8, Short
  • +d8 and Blast

Impact Cannon 2d6, Long. Sum your best set of marching dice to a maximum total of 12.
  • +d6 (multi)

Mesh Driver d6, Long
  • +1 Armour to any allies in the same zone as the target.

Smart Gun D6, Long, Targets every enemy you Lock On to.
  • +d6

Eagle Rocket D10, Long. Requires Lock On.
  • +d10

Chaff Cycling Every weapon you fire this turn gets +d6.

Every gun you fire this turn receives all of its Boosts without the power cost.

Overclocker Every attack you fire this turn gets +d12, but you do not Recharge at the start of your next turn.

House Igoreck
The Gods Within

Elite Walker
STR 15, DEX 7
Armour 1, Load 3, Power 5

Wild Logic (Core, Passive)You get an extra turn all to yourself at the start of the fight and whenever you pass your Save vs Critical Damage.

Shock Axe
d8, melee.
  • +d10

Shard Driver
D8, Long
  • Ignore one point of Armour (multi)

Javelin Charges
1d6, Long
  • +d6 and Move

Deploy or Move your Jag Drone (Armour 2)
  • Have your drone attack for d8 melee damage (multi)

Reflector Weave (Passive)
When you pass a Save vs Critical Damage your attacker takes d6 damage, ignoring armour.
Short. Sets an area alight for d6 ongoing damage.

Sunder Boost
If you cause STR damage to a target, destroy one system of your choice.

Endo-Convertor (Passive)
When you are reduced to exactly 0hp, in place of taking a Dramatic Hit you start your next turn with an extra 3 Power. 

House Eunock
Better than Humanity

Melee Walker
STR 15, DEX 10
Armour 2, Load 2, Power 5

Limb Array (Core)
Make four d6 fist attacks. Melee.
  • In place of one attack, the target has their next attack is Impaired.
  • In place of one attack, knockback to an adjacent area.
  • In place of one attack, Rider takes d6 damage instead.

Alloy Stave
Your melee attacks get +d6 each.

Meteor Fists
Your melee attacks have a short range.

Jump Jet
d6 melee, Move
  • Extend your Move to any zone.

Doom Chime (Passive)
When you Knockback a target the Rider suffers d6 CHA Damage.

Black Rosary (Passive)
When you cause damage to a Rider the Walker loses d6 STR.

Server Protocol (Passive)
When you attack one target with three or more fists, disable one system.

Electro Flagellation (Passive)
When you take STR damage, +d10 to your fist attacks on your next turn.

Empty Vessel Protocol (Passive)
As long as you have no Power your Rider cannot suffer any harm.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Fighting Machines

Who ordered mecha rules for Into the Odd? 

Fighting Machines
 Images from Jonathon Barker

Things function just as in Electric Bastionland except:

Power is used in place of hp to resist attacks but also to power weapons and other systems. It recharges at the start of the pilot's turn.
Systems and Weapons cost 1 power to use as standard, and usually have one or more Overpowers (OP) that can be gained by spending an extra point of power.
Each Weapon and Overpower can only be used once per turn.
Unless noted, a system's effects last until the start of your next turn.
Frames have a number of slots available for Main and Aux systems. Aux systems can go into a main slot, but not vice versa. Each frame also has a special feature that doesn't require any Power to use.
Moving requires 1 power.
Collisions causes d6 damage to each side, +d12 against the smaller side if the weight difference is significant. Trampling a soft target incurs no damage in return.
Critical Damage means the Fighting Machine is disabled. STR 0 is utterly destroyed and the pilot takes d12 damage.
Pilots are protected from harm (unless noted otherwise).

Direct Hit
If you are taken to exactly 0hp, lookup the amount of damage caused on the table below.
1: Pilot Hit: The pilot takes d6 damage.
2: Overheat: You only regain 1 power next turn.
3: Exposed: On all future turns your pilot takes equal damage to your colossus.
4: System Shock: An Aux system of your choice is destroyed.
5: Power Surge: If you end your next turn with any power remaining, take d12 damage.
6+: Toppled: You are knocked down. Getting back up requires all of your power.

Example Frames
Hot Fox Light Frame
Armour 2, STR 10, DEX 10.
4 Power, 1 Main, 1 Aux.
The first time you take STR damage, fire off a d8 blast centred on yourself.

White Rock Medium Frame
Armour 2, STR 15, DEX 8.
5 Power, 1 Main, 2 Aux.
When you recharge from zero to full power you can activate any one non-weapon Aux system for free.

Mastodon Kong Heavy Frame
Armour 3, STR 18, DEX 5.
6 Power, 2 Main, 2 Aux.
When you fire two Main guns at one target, +d6 to each.

Example Systems
Hammer Cannon (Main)
OP: +d6 blast

Railgun (Main)
d10, single target.
OP: +d10, can be stacked.

Plasma Battery (2 Main Slots)
OP: +d12
OP: Add Blast
OP: If the target takes STR damage, destroy their armour.

Fractal Bombard (Main)
d6 vs Machines only, ignore all defences. Damage repeats each turn until target pays 1P on its turn.
OP: Increase power cost to remove ongoing damage by 1.

Flak Gun (Main)
d6 blast, +d8 vs soft targets.
OP: replace blast with +d10.

Shock Lash (Main)
d6, Melee. On Critical Damage the pilot is incapacitated.
OP: The Pilot also takes damage.

Power Bank (Aux)
One use per battle. Immediately recharge Power.

Shield Bank (Aux)
One use per battle. Ignore up to 6 points of STR damage.

Lazarus Protocol (Aux)
Automatically pass any saves vs Critical Damage until your next turn.

Smart Gun (Aux)
d6, if you have multiple Smart Guns fire them all for 1P.

Shimmer Field (Aux)
+2 armour vs ranged

Jump Pack (Aux)
Soar through the sky. Land on soft targets for d10 blast damage.

Explosive Vents (Aux)
d6 Blast centred on yourself, ignore armour.

Defender Pods (Aux)
Anybody moving to engage you in melee takes d6 damage.

Squire Drone (Aux)
Have your drone (3hp, Armour 1) move and perform one of the following actions.
  • Attack with Impact Spear (d8)
  • Shield itself (+2 Armour)
OP: Choose two actions.

Example of Play

Gordo, a heavy mech with with two Railguns is ambushed by two Crows, light mechs each with a Hammer Cannon and Shimmer Field.

The Crows each have 4 Power. Each spends 1 on moving into position, 1 on activating their Shimmer Field and one firing their Hammer Cannon at Gordo. They both roll d10 for damage, and the highest die shows 8. The Gordo's Armour (3) reduces this to 5, and it uses 5 of its 6 Power to absorb the remaining damage. Both Crows now have 1 Power remaining.

Gordo recharges to full power at the start of his turn. He'll plays it cautiously and fires both Railguns at one of the Crows, electing to Overpower one of them for an additional +d10. This uses a total of 3 Power, leaving him with 3 remaining.

He rolls 3d10 and takes the single highest die, a 9. This is reduced to 5 by the Crow's armour (3 with the Shimmer Field), 1 point is absorbed by the Crow's remaining Power, leaving 4 points of damage to hit the Crow's STR score. With STR now at 6 it makes a STR Save vs Critical damage and fails, leaving the mech a smoking wreck.

Now the remaining Crow recharges its power to full and must decide whether to fight or flee. Perhaps they weren't so well equipped to deal with such a heavy opponent.