Tuesday 24 February 2015

B. R. Yarr's Severed Battalion

General B. R. Yarr - Head in a Jar
STR 0, DEX 0, WIL 17, 2hp, Armour 1. Confined to a reinforced glass jar.
Completely immobile. Can only act through a telepathic link with his Severed Battalion.
Wants to find a way to gather more members to his battalion, and eventually find a way to grow a new body. Won't settle for a fragile human body again.

Headless Battalion: STR 14, DEX 6, 9hp, Hatchets (d6), Pistols (d6), Blooded uniforms. Attacks are impaired unless the target is being held by another headless, who will grunt to guide their ally's attacks.

Monday 23 February 2015

Meet the Starmen - Torture Herald

Torture Herald
STR 10, DEX 8, WIL 8, 14hp. Cold Trident (d8, see below), Pistol (d6), Adorned military uniform that looks like a child made it.
Walks in spasmodic jolts, chases anyone that catches his gaze, and screams in broken speech. Claims he is from "Torture" and describes a spiral of infinite pain beyond our own, awaiting all on death. If you ask his name, he just screams at you. Nobody likes talking to him.
Rumours are that he's just a disfigured, crazy mutant, but he insists that he hold an official position from the realm of Torture.
Wants to convince others that he's really from Torture, and that they're doomed to an eternity of pain after death. Also wants to travel to the other realities that he claims exist beyond our own, to spread the word further.
Cold Trident: Anyone dealt Critical Damage by the Trident is held in a painful limbo of tortured half-life as long as the trident remains touching them. If they wish to give mercy the wielder can wrench them back to life, leaving them at STR 1 with 0hp. If they remove the trident, the victim dies instantly. 

Saturday 21 February 2015

What is This OSR Game Anyway?

Tell me about that OSR game you've been harping on about.

The Setting

1) How is it like D&D?

2) How is it not like D&D?

Character Creation and Advancement

3) How is it like D&D?

4) How is it not like D&D?

Playing the Game

5) How is it like D&D?

6) How is it not like D&D?

Note 1: Your point of reference for D&D may be different to mine, but I think there's enough of an assumed core there that you don't need to tell me whether you love OD&D or 5e. The answers will probably make that clear.

Note 2: I will get around to answering this for Into the Odd soon. 

Friday 20 February 2015

Lost Villages of Deep Country

Deep Country names mean something to those who speak the local dialect. Outsiders always pronounce it wrong. Questioning their non-standard pronunciation, or saying it wrong yourself, will always cause offence.

Most locals have their own shortened name for the village, but don't you dare try and come up with your own.

There are four rumours about each village, with a 50% chance each will be true. If none of them are true, they're actually hiding something even worse. 

Pronounced Name (Written Name)

Rhendug-unt-Meens (Rending-into-the-Mane)
- They exclusively eat horse products.
- They ferment horse milk into a disgusting frothy Neigh-Ale. 
- They are nomads that murdered the original villagers a few years back.
- The watchtower in the middle of the village has a fixed lightning-cannon. 

Vulsire-Mark (Vulturemark)
- Huge birds descend on the town each night and attack anyone still out.
- The dead are fed to huge birds as a funeral ritual.
- The villagers are secretly shape-shifting genius bird people that eat human flesh.
- The village militia makes bombs from bird droppings. 

Upnupp-the-Gizzard (Up and Up the Lizard)
- The inn has a huge, boneless, telepathic toad monster trapped in its cellar.
- The local cult worship frogs from space.
- First born children are thrown into the village pond to feed flesh-eating toads. 
- Roasted flies are served as bar snacks.

Rohm-Ig-Crynna (Roaming Carrianna)
- The women of the town are infertile. 
- Each night the women form a choir to ward off bad spirits. 
- The men in the town are actually women in disguise, and all conception is unnatural.
- Only women are permitted to prepare food or drink here. 

Tarky-Ap-Moseiff (Tearing-Up-Massive)
- The local strongmen can tear rocks in two.
- The local strongmen are metal underneath their skin.
- A giant man once destroyed the town and left all the women bearing half-giant sons. 
- The water here will make you grow in strength but turn stupid. 

Parallel States

Krone Chaybarg's Parallel Projection Tanks are secured in an underground vault, but if you have a good idea for an experiment, he'll let you take a ride. 

The six tanks look like marble sarcophagi. Depending on your intended projection, Krone will heat or cool the tank to a specific temperature, and fill to a precise level with purified water. Within an hour of being sealed inside, the subject will start to hallucinate. This soon escalates to the feeling of entering another world. The process is so jarring that the subject immediately loses d6 WIL.

Anything that occurs within the Parallel State will affect the subject's body and mind as if it was real. Their experiences will strangely mirror that of the real world, most often encountering equivalent versions of their most familiar places and people, often twisted beyond anything more than a trivial connection. 

One object can be brought back from the Parallel State at the cost of d12 WIL. If this reduces the subject to WIL 0 the object is lost, otherwise it materialises in the tank with them.  

The subject can wrench themselves back to reality from various anchor points that Krone doesn't do a good job of explaining. Most often these are bits of reality leaking into the Parallel State. 

Krone will do his best to achieve your desired Parallel State, but there's a 50% chance you'll just end up in a random one. He has a very vague understanding of half of these places. 

1 - Energy Shadows 
As reality, but all living things are converted to glowing energy beings in roughly their original shape. The subject is a naked version of themselves. Any native beings that touch the subject are completely annihilated and blast apart their surroundings, leaving an Anchor back to reality. All beings twist and scream silently and static noise floods the air. Anyone annihilated in this Parallel finds themselves suffering gradual molecular disintegration in Reality. They lose d6 STR every hour unless they come to this Parallel themselves and annihilate a loved one. 

2 - Savage Dream 
You are a hunched, lizard-like humanoid (roll d8+10 STR and DEX, d8 WIL, Retain HP) living in a prehistoric society. If you wait until night you'll see lots of glowing activity in the sky. Your society is intent on piling mud into a gigantic monolith at the center of your ring of shelters. Tall, naked humans live in glass domes nearby and will fire black balls of fire (d10) at you if you approach them. 

3 - Jewel Station

A utopian vision of Bastion covered in polished steel, gaudy jewels, and a populace tended to by holographic servants. They will treat the subject as we might treat a chimp. Gravity pulls towards any surface, so walls and ceilings are filled with people.  

4 - Infinite Flesh Ocean 
You are all part of an unfathomably huge undersea creature with soft, pink flesh and eyes all over. You only have control over the few muscles surrounding your eye, so cannot affect the creature as a whole. After a few minutes the creature rises from the ocean to crush a deserted version of Bastion. Any buildings or districts damaged by this attack will be on fire when the subject awakes. 

5 - Forgotten Fears

You're alone in a tight stone tunnel lined with itchy grey fiber. The tunnel gets tighter in both directions but you can always just about squeeze if you lodge a limb in an awkward position. Black oil occasionally floods the tunnels but you cannot suffocate. Occasionally you'll catch a glimpse of light but you never get any closer to it. Lose d6 WIL every time something horrible happens.

6 - Repplend
As if Bastion was planned in rigid grids, and everybody follows laws to the letter. The city goes on forever, and everybody has a pointless agenda. Even the vermin and horses of the city talk you around in circles. Each building supposedly holds a jewel of great value (this is a lie) and everybody inside claims to be the guardian of it, giving you pointless trials in return for clues to its location. An intensely frustrating place.

7 - Eternal House
A noble manor on a huge scale. Walking in any direction doesn't actually move you, but your surroundings twist and change based on your direction. Up makes them move divine, Down more fiendish. North makes them hot, South cold. East makes them more elaborate, West more simplified and abstract. This isn't just a physical transformation, but conjures people to encounter, which act in a way suited to the direction. 

8 - Possibility Space 
It's reality, but you have complete control over time, rewinding and fast-forwarding it as you choose. Any hour that passes (in either direction) is a day in reality. After a week, Krone will wake you up, causing you to lose d10 WIL.

9 - Black Hole
Just darkness and silence. When you emerge from the tank roll 1d6 to see how much time has passed. 1: None. 
2: 20 Hours.
3: 3 Weeks. 
4: 4 Months. 
5: 5 Years. 
6: 60 Years. 

10 - Scream Inferno 
An infinite cyclone of pink and blue fire (d12 damage per turn). If you're somehow able to survive here you'll eventually make it to a titanic mouth that will give you a complex set of commands before spitting you back into reality with loss of d12 WIL. If you complete these commands the cyclone will appear in reality and probably destroy everything. 

11 - Phase Temple
Huge, incomprehensible shapes are carrying out a ritual across more dimensions that you can count. It's like a kaleidoscope in a cathedral. You might just be able to grab hold of some glittering artifact to drag back to reality.

12 - Grey River
Feels like a stretch of river in Deep Country, but the banks are lined with the dead, who are eager to talk to you. You might be able to drag someone back with you. Lose d6 STR for every minute spent here. 

Wednesday 18 February 2015

An Odd Undeath

There aren't really your typical living-dead in Into the Odd. Cheating death isn't about dealing with souls, and holy symbols don't really come into it.

But you're so sure you saw an undead creature in Bastion?

Might have been one of the following.

Ivory automatons, polished bone armour on brainwashed henchmen, skeletons of victims hung up to warn intruders.

Victims of hypnosis rays, brain parasites, or intelligent viruses that seize control of minds and muscles.

Ghosts and Wraiths
Echoes, holograms, drug-fuelled visions of dead loved ones, unfortunate consciousnesses trapped in vacuum chambers, or bound to a comatose host.

Underground mutants with poisonous bites and awful hygiene, cadaver-worshipping cults.

Brains in OBJECT
Oh, sure. People are always trying to cram brains into things.

Mummies and Liches
Oily old nobles that seem to live forever, life-force revivification machines with a bad track record, and spritely old women that claim their spark was reignited by a night-time encounter with an androgynous star-child.

Bruncent Sythe is a crooked old guy that drinks at the Four-Worlds and always bites the landlord when it's closing time. It was probably him wearing his funeral suit.

Tuesday 17 February 2015

On Oddity

The move to a post-industrial setting for Into the Odd was, in part, to provide a more familiar home for characters. This would make the weird stuff seen on expeditions seem all the more freaky.

Compared to a medieval or renaissance setting, the modern era isn't all that different to our own. Lots of people lived in big cities, went to school, got jobs, tried not to get shot by muggers, and went home to a can of beans on toast.

Different, of course, but nothing compared to the life of a medieval serf.

But since then I've spent some time falling into the trap of thinking that familiar equates to mundane. Sure, there's a baker on this street. She apprenticed under her mother, and now she's known for making really great pasties and she wants to open a franchise over in zzzzzzz...

This isn't even a stawman exaggeration. This is what a modern urban setting did to me, until I re-focused on the name of the game.

Of course you're going Into the Odd from a point of relative normality, but that normality needs its Oddness too. Just playing the game is going Into the Odd.

The key point of difference between Fantasy and Oddness is that the odd elements feel odd within the setting, rather than just odd to us, as outside observers.

Take something like Greyhawk. It's odd to a brand new player that there's an elf wizard running the town watch. But the character might not find it atypical at all. This leads to moments where, for every weird thing you come across, you're asking the GM "Does my character already know about this?"

When something in Into the Odd feels out of place, it's odd for everyone.

The Underground is a bottomless network of tunnels under the city, and it freaks people out. Sure, they use it as we might use a subway network, but people don't really know the horrors that are deep down there. People know there are some nasty animals about, but the common man doesn't expect monster attacks on the city.

People suspect that the Polar Ocean is a the end of the world, and hear that the Golden Lands draw greedy explorers to their death, but they don't know the terrifying details. Anyone not part of an Astral Cult is going to find them creepy as hell, and I bet half of the citizens of Bastion are still baffled by the city's industrial sprawl.

So that baker might have the same mundane face as I detailed, but let's also say that they always wear gloves, even when kneading dough. And their pies aren't just good... they're addictive. And if you try to get into her cellar, she'll get quite aggressive.

"That's odd", thinks the character, and the player.

Monday 16 February 2015

d10 Odd Ocean Encounters

With Deep Country being such a drag, ships are often the best way to travel even if you aren't leaving the continent. Wind fills the sails, drummers pound oarsmen into action, and roaring engines push ironclads through the bottomless waters.

Then you stumble onto something.

1 - Carcass Dominators
A colossal deep-sea arthropod being ridden by a pack of thrill-seeking warriors. Their hooks control the broken beast, forcing it to surf across the ocean as their mount. They want to earn fame and fear whether through piracy, mercenary work, or pointless raids.
Dominated Leviathan-Louse STR 19, DEX 8, WIL 0, 13hp, Armour 2, d12 Feeding-Lashes, Fights as a Detachment. No will of its own, can only act through its Dominators control.
Carcass Dominator Brigade - STR 14, 10hp, Paired Hook-Swords (d8), Cosmetic Scarification.

2 - A Flock of Grip-Gulls
d6 Grip Gull Flocks - STR 6, DEX 10, WIL 3, 5hp, d6 hand-claws, fight as detachments.
Their huge hand-like claws and tri-billed beaks are perfect for scooping up food and sparkly things from unprepared vessels. They will even go as far as attacking rigging, sails, and engines, to disable a ship. Then they leave, returning to check for dead bodies to carry away.

3 - Cracklebud
A ten-foot, scabby egg, bobbing along the surface. Will break on light contact, releasing a surge of electric current into the surrounding ocean (d12 damage to anyone in the water, or conducted through metal). Any corpses resulting from this will harden and bloat almost instantly. Within an hour they are a fully formed Cracklebud themselves.

4 - Underanglers
d20 Squat, glassy men (STR 15, 7hp) that walk on the underside of the surface, feet facing up towards our sky. They have sophisticated pneumatic rams (d10, only work underwater) that they'll use to "fish" for anything interesting on our surface, dragging them under for their haul.

5 - Pleasurehulk
A re-purposed, ancient ship of the line (15hp, Armour 2, no weapons, gaudy paintjob with extatic faces). The top deck functions as travelling pub to let crew let off steam and enjoy drinks and snacks at ridiculous prices. The lower decks boast that they'll offer any sort of pleasures for sky-high prices. In actuality the proprietors have filled the lower decks with flashing lamps and hallucinatory incense, which tends to leave an impression on guests.

6 - Judiciary Fog
A blue cloud that reads the mind of those inside, and reveals the most unfortunate secrets to the most inappropriate people. Anyone that attempts violence while inside the fog is struck by a bolt of force for d10 damage until they cease. When everyone is truly repentant, forgiving, or depressed, the fog moves on.

7 - Sea Infusers
A brass clipper (8hp, Armour 1, d10 Scatter-Mortar) is dragging nets filled with herbs, roots, precious stones (worth 10g), and sacrificed animals. Supposedly this cleanses the sea of the evil things within. The crew don't seem to believe it all that much and will admit that they're just doing a job for a cult-brainwashed patron.

8 - Sea Grove
An array of tropical fruit trees growing on a floating pile of industrial junk and slime. Some looks familiar, others very unusual. For the unusual fruit roll on the "I Eat the Stuff" table (Into the Odd, p.48)

9 - Carving Ice Haulers
Noisy Steamship - 10hp, Armour 3.
The crew (4hp, d6 Ice Picks) are hauling an iceberg from the polar ocean. As their ship barely copes with the weight, they carve it into a block. This is just one piece of thousands needed for a colossal ice tower project being attempted on a remote island. The cult attempting it believe the tower will transform into an astral craft once completed.

10 - Data Globe
A huge sphere of metal (13hp, Armour 3, ignore attacks smaller than a cannon) gliding slowly just above the water. Speaks with a whining metallic voice and only asks questions about the surrounding area. Will answer any questions it knows the answer to with its Knowledge Ray, firing information into the target's brain. When threatened it uses this to show them demoralising lies or cause arguments so that it can escape. Wants only to gather data before returning to its master deep in the Underground.

d10 Deep Country River Drifters

As concrete canals feed Bastion, bloated rivers roll country folk from one place to another at an infuriating pace. Nobody cares enough to map them, so they just think of it as one river. It's not much use if you want to actually get anywhere, this is Deep Country after all.

1 - Wracked Battlepaddle Marines
Sputtering remnant of a river-bound army, wiped out by Bastion forces. Will try to rouse countryfolk into rebellion against Bastion, or else bully them out of supplies. If they catch the oily scent of cityfolk, they'll take them hostage and try to ransom them back to Bastion in return for apologies for war crimes.
Beaten Marine Detachment - STR 8, 8hp, Muskets (d8), Bayonets (d6), Old Bomb (50% chance it still works), Patchwork Banner, Barrels of Brandy (50% chance they're drunken).
Battlepaddle Boat 5hp, Armour 2, Swivel Guns (d10)

2 - Silt Diggers
2d6 Mucky men, waist deep in the water, trying to bury d6 corpses in the silt of the river. This is part of a local ritual and anyone that is unaware of it will seem like an uneducated heathen to them. They want to get their job done and get home so they can smoke themselves stupid.

3 - Bathing Masses
A school of 50 children have been driven down here for their weekly bath. They're throwing mud at each other and the lone teacher is barely able to stop them turning feral. They're already over-excited, so if you do anything to stimulate them further the teacher will lose control and try to hurry you along.

4 - Veiled-Raft
A young couple have curtained off a little gondola for some private time. Rumour is that this prevents unwanted pregnancy. It's anchored in place at the middle of a wide span of river.

5 - Bug Smokers
2d4 wading men and women (5hp) with bundles of lit herbs, wafting their smoke in the direction of the countless insect swarms. They wear plain clothes without protection, and are choking on the smoke themselves. A lone woman (8hp, STR 12) with a musket watches over them. If approached she announces that these criminals are serving their punishment and encourages you to quickly move on. She just wants to finish this shift and get home.

6 - Lazy Pump-Raft Bandits
A fat woman (WIL 8, 8hp, d8 Pipegun, frilly dress) and short, bald man (DEX 15, 4hp, d6 pistol, d6 claw-hammer, old military uniform) are pumping their way down the river on a wooden raft. If they pass an easy target, they'll try to rob them for everything they've got. If they pass somebody threatening, they'll warn about river bandits further downstream.

7 - Laughing Newts
Annoying little creatures that cackle and spit water, following in a boat's wake until they're fed. If you try to ignore them a few brave newts will climb aboard and try to lick your face. With any sort of fight they'll flee back to the water before trying again later.

8 - Red Hippo
Bad luck. These things just want to roar at you and wreck your boat. Gunshots don't scare them, but any sort of fire or lots of smoke will keep them at bay.
STR 18, DEX 5, WIL 5, 10hp, Armour 2, d10 Gore.

9 - Floating Shrine
A buoyant pagoda of sorts (5hp), drifting on a downstream pilgrimage. d12 naked old people (STR 7, 2hp) are sat on benches inside, painting themselves with mud from the river bank. They will try to spread word of the three divine truths of river life. 1: Clothes must not be worn on the river. 2: Anyone not accepting the first truth is a sinner, until cleansed with mud. 3: The faithful must cleanse the sinners.
The upshot of this is that they'll try to get you naked, or else throw mud at your boat. They'll be driven off with any sort of resistance, though, and have nothing of value on their shrine.

10 - Wet-heads
d4 floating wooden baby heads about the size of a football, with candles in their mouths. The custom is to throw a penny into the head when you pass, causing them to eventually sink, putting a young spirit to rest. Each will already contain d20 copper pennies.

Friday 13 February 2015

New Beauty Crew

A highly exclusive collective of ten paid killers. Their rates start at 10g for a kill, increasing with the difficulty of the target. Despite being a collective, they never gather in groups of more than three at once. Famed for their flamboyant costumes, which always include polished metal, glitter, and dyed hair. When one dies their nearest rival is tasked with recruiting a replacement. They often take on the deceased's name and persona.

Olf Brutey - Sex Mountain 
STR 15, DEX 9, WIL 9, 10hp. Big Fancy Axe (d8), Side-Hammer (d6), Pistol (d6, long purple-dyed beard, huge square body). 
Kills by kicking in the door at night and chopping you to bits.
Wants to impress Rox Renyay and earn enough money to outsource his job.
Currently serving an exclusive contract with the Slaughter Family Cult.

Rox Renyay - Spark Gladiator 
STR 12, DEX 12, WIL 14, 15hp. Blue-polished Armour (1), Triangular Shortsword (d6), Metal Jaws (d8 in down and dirty fighting, blue-glitter skin paint). 
Kills by harming the target's loved ones until they are willing to fight him directly.
Wants to seduce She Rumbles and earn enough money to retire as a celebrity.
Currently imprisoned for murder and awaiting execution.

She Rumbles - Gorgeous Blob
STR 18, DEX 8, WIL 14, 9hp. Weird Long Rifle (d10 cannot fire on the run), Club (d6). Dark-green full body paint)
Kills by bullying the target's associated into betraying them. 
Wants to kill Kay DeBrooey for a minor insult and earn enough influence to run for legitimate power.
Currently in hiding with underground mutants.

Kay DeBrooey - The Mothflame 
STR 10, DEX 14, WIL 15, 7hp. Polished-Black Armour (1), Pistol Brace (d8), Firebombs, Orange Spiked Hair. 
Kills by trapping the target in a fire. 
Wants to punish Axl Flurry for stealing a previous contract, and earn enough money to buy bigger firebombs.
Currently hunting an exiled workmaster out in Deep Country.

Axl Flurry - Killer Badboy
STR 7, DEX 10, WIL 10, 14hp. Glass Dagger (d6), Smoke Bombs, Massive Sparkly Visor.
Kills by sneaking poison into the target's food or drink. 
Wants to rekindle an old friendship with Saint Adorer before he took on his current persona, and earn enough money to get Kay DeBrooey off his back.
Currently being hunted by the successors of his previous victim, the head of the Mercykillers genocidal mercenaries.

Saint Adorer - Awestriker 
STR 16, DEX 10, WIL 13, 20hp. Double-Ended Claymore (d8), Polished Red Armour (1), Gold Face Paint, Very limited Levitation. 
Kills by throwing the target off somewhere high.
Wants to see Shay Naz dethroned as the most famed member of the Crew in high society.
Currently imprisoned by the cult No Man's Blood.

Shay Naz - The Blue Obsession 
STR 11, DEX 12, WIL 8, 9hp. Fencing Sword (d6), Pistol (d6), Mass of midnight blue hair covered with glitter. 
Kills by influencing enough people to turn a blind eye or even do the job for her.
Wants to earn the lust of the utterly asexual Nic Julienos, and earn enough money to continue her luxurious lifestyle.
Currently infiltrating Bastion's high society in plain sight as companion to Admiral Thruster.

Nic Julienos - Antihunk 
STR 7, DEX 9, WIL 14, 10hp. Polished White Armour (1), Spike of green crystal (d6), Pistol (d6).
Kills by being utterly ruthless and uncaring of his own safety. 
Wants to work with Morgan Thorax and learn from his savagery. Stockpiles money without a care for spending it. 
Currently in hiding after killing the workmaster of a huge factory complex.

Morgan Thorax - Caveman Style 
STR 16, DEX 16, WIL 10, 24hp. Battle-Hook (d8), Skin Tattooed Grey. 
Wants to, kill Moolin Avant for attempting to kill him years ago, and be feared by the general polulace.
Currently offering discount kills in the slums of Bastion.

Moolin Avant - Pretty Little Pustule 
STR 10, DEX 9, WIL 11, 10hp. Blunderbuss (d8), Sickly Yellow Glittered Skin. 
Kills by hiding until the right moment and then shooting you in your sleep. 
Wants to kill Olf Brutey for a juicy pay, and earn enough money to get a private island fortress.
Currently under private hire to the Pure Extracts Importer's Union. 

Bastion Youth Slang Glossary

From urchins to academics, the youth of Bastion love radifying new gabbernations to keep the Suckerate from knowing what they're stewering on about.

Pisteroons - Trousers, specifically when somebody is sticking their hands in their pockets and sulking. Ha! He's got his Pisteroons on just because he's lost the game. 

Chirtiturbled - Spooked by some sort of unnatural presence. Then I heard this sort of chiming outside, I was right Chiriturbled!

Pawnring - A business known to exploit its workers. The day I have to get up and go to work for some Pawnring, just kill me!

Masquitics - The act of mimicking somebody with a ridiculous voice to annoy or antagonise them. I warmed you about doing them Masquitics on me Benjuman, I swear I'll pound your head in!

Diormeter - The set of buildings immediately adjacent to a landmark of some sort. Yeah he lives in the Diormeter of the Grand Pit.  

Reforff - Afailed comeback to an insult. Wow, what a witty Reforff that was!. 

Infeminary - Parlours specialising in decorating literally any object in an ultra-feminine style. I tell you my titan-hound is the laughing stock of the street since she took it down to the Infeminary. 

Vieways - A route that seems like the quickest, but comes with so many interruptions and obstacles that it takes longer than other routes. I just wanted to get home but your so-called directions sent me Vieways into some cave full of mutants. 

Maggeton - A grossly exaggerated twin city to Bastion, which many believe to be a real place out in deep country. The second we build a rail out into Deep Country, we'll be overrun with cannibals and plague-carriers from Maggeton taking our jobs!

Wrundemaze - The streets of Bastion, when one is intoxicated and can't find their way around. Too many rums last night, I must have been bouncing around the Wrundemaze for hours before I found a corner to sleep in. 

Chuckting - A can of feces with a stick in the bottom, hurled by street urchins at perceived rich-folk wandering into their neighborhoods. I was just trying to help the old lady back to her feet when some little bastard got me with a Chuckting! Well I dropped her back into the mud and made a run for it. 

Pulliamage - An avant-garde hair style. Hey, check out the Pulliamage on that guy, must be a foot high at least!

Flectic - Showing signs of being brainwashed, cursed, or mind controlled. You've been acting proper Flectic since that naked old guy bit you last week.

Torny-down - Bits of flesh and gristle left over from a nasty accident or murder. The worst bit of sweeping the gutters is washing all the Torny-down out of your bristles at the end of the day. 

Words courtesy of this nonsense word generator.

Thursday 12 February 2015

d12 Noble Weapons of Bastion

Into the Odd has four weapons that you're likely to see carried.

Hand Weapons are one-handers from daggers to axes, and pistols. d6 damage, one hand.
Field Weapons are two-handers like muskets, pikes, zweihanders, and sledgehammers. d8 damage, two hands.
Heavy Guns are for hunting big game. d10 damage, two hands, don't move and fire. Super expensive.

The best weapons are Noble Weapons. Practical enough to carry in one hand, but packing an increased punch of d8 damage. So what makes them better than Hand Weapons?

1: Pepperball - Fourteen-barreled pistol using a new mechanism to fire at ultra high velocity. Sounds like FipFipFipFipFipFipFipFipFip!
2: Roseladder - A helix of spikes and hooks of ultra-hardened metal. Pommel and guard are spiked for punching. Popular with flamboyant gladiators.
3: Impaltrix - Long pistol firing foot-long metal stakes with a combination of powder and magnets. Sounds like SHWWIIING followed by screaming.
4: Hand Scorcher - Thin metal rod that instantly heats to searing temperature. Creates lots of steam when plunged into water, and smells really gross. Remains hot for an impractically long time after use.
5: Bloomfeller - Bulb-shaped pistol that fires special heavy shot with a THUSSSSS sound. The shot breaks up mid-air to cause particularly nasty wounds.
6: Double Foil - Two-pronged fencing sword that looks utterly ridiculous and impractical. In reality the two tips deliver a painful electric current when they strike a target. Recharges with a rather loud and embarrassing pumping mechanism.
7: Urbarrager - Two-barreled heavy pistol with gargoyle faces, spikes, and all sorts of other over the top decoration. Wildly inaccurate but fires big shots fast enough for it not to matter. Sounds like BAWRK! BAWRK BAWRK!
8: Prong of War - A heavy two-pronged military fork that can barely be wielded in one hand. Associated with use by an ancient culture known for horrible torture rituals, so carries a certain message with its use.
9: Side-Mortar - Very heavy, sturdy pistol with no resemblance to a mortar. Has an incredibly satisfying pump action reload and the perfect weight for spinning around and doing tricks. Sounds like BAFF! ker-chuck.. BAFF! ker chuck...
10: Gentleman's Pick - A long sabre with a pick on the end of the back-side. The blade is of little use, but the pick is very effective. Features a cigar lighter on the pommel.
11: Little Duke - A nice light, well made pistol, with fantastic accuracy and a real punch. Ivory handle and intricate lace grip. Sounds like PAOWD! Costs ten times a normal Noble Weapon and will almost certainly be the target of thieves.
12: Discipline Cane - Made from the light, but incredibly strong, bones of a fallen skywhale, and studded with the teeth of various types of sewer crocodiles polished to a white sheen. Anyone wielding this just gives the impression that they're a massive jerk that needs pushing into some mud.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

d6 Civil Enterprises of Bastion and Into the Odd Print Update

The final prints of Into the Odd have arrived, and will be shipping out over the next few days. Every copy will also come with a free misprinted version (mostly just the back cover affected), which I'm calling the Friendship Edition. Give this to a friend or colleague that you think might enjoy it, leave it somewhere to be found, or donate it to a worthy cause.

If you haven't ordered yet, you'll still get the Friendship Edition if you order now, but once supply runs out, that's the lot, so I can't make any guarantees. Everyone that has already ordered is definitely getting one, though.

Hurry and get your print now! 

Meanwhile, nobody runs Bastion, so civil services are open to any enterprise that fancies a go.

1 - Alpha Black
Transport letters and goods in steel wagons pulled by heavily armoured, unnaturally large horses. Pride themselves on security, so can be overly zealous in gunning down suspicious people in their path. If you talk to the right officer they'll do some assassination on the side.
Alpha Wagons (10hp, Armour 3, Swivel Gun (d10), ignore anything smaller than cannon fire)
Alpha Escorts (8hp, Armour 1. Muskets (d8), Bayonet (d6), black uniforms, polished armour, magnificent moustaches)

2 - Undervoyager
Provide mass transit in their gold-painted longboats, along underground canals. Pilots bark poems of Underground horrors with varying levels of talent. They dig new tunnels deeper each day, to expand their route.

3 - One Bastion
Busybodies concerned with the popular outrages of the day. Their daily newsletter sells in the thousands and stirs up unrest, then they throw their weight at their chosen target. Most common targets are astral cults, large families, childless families, single adults, small businesses, and anyone that is unlikely to fight back.
Angry Mob (WIL 7, 5hp, Clubs (d6), frothing mouth)

4 - Of a Supreme Age
Dedicated to ruthless medical research and service, in that order. Their vow forbids any kind of ethical thought, only relentless pursuit of advancement. Appointments are free of charge. Profit comes from selling on the products of their research. Most of their doctors have some sort of cosmetic surgery applied to their faces.

5 - Man-Fortress
Police their corner of Bastion with a gentle hand, keeping criminal organisations on side. Much more interested in gathering an army in preparation for an astral invasion. Obsessed with the history of man, but mostly make up mythology to aid their recruitment.
Masked Militia (5hp, Muskets (d8), Dagger (d6), deep-red uniform and mesh-faced helmet)

6 - Iron Masters' Lodge
Gather children from the street to serve the lodge elders. If they last to adulthood, they join the elders and gather more children. Maintain a vague pretence of training their children in urban survival skills, but mostly use these lessons as a way of thinning out the ranks of the children approaching adulthood.
Iron Pupils (STR 6, 4hp, Blunt Survival Knife (d4), Rope, tinderbox, compass)

Thursday 5 February 2015

d6 Astral Cults of Skywhorl

Skywhorl is a twisting stairway branching off into side-stairs, bar-rooms, market halls, and grand parlours claimed by Astral Cults. It sits in one of the lesser known quarter of Bastion.

1 - Screaming Bastard Revival
Papa-Beast Maunder (STR 14, 10hp, Ceremonial Furs, believe he is pregnant with the Screaming Bastard, a hulk that will wipe evil from the planet. Wants to gather an army to protect himself and prepare a nursery for baby Screaming Bastard)
Screaming Maniacs (STR 12, 6hp, Swords, Shield Armour, always beardy and screamy)

2- Corpse Mansion
Ultramatyr Grandee-Sod-Arr (STR 5, DEX 5, WIL 15, 14hp, ramshackle barely-walking mummy, she is effectively immortal, and claims to be able to teach her method to others through pain ritual. Wants to create a super race of immortal mummies and live to see the future.)
Pasty Skulks (4hp, DEX 13, Daggers, Black Cloaks and Round Hats)

3- Total Data
Big Entity (STR 18, DEX 5, 15hp, Armour 2, Liquid Metal Suit that relies on a huge charging pod. Claims to be all knowing through symbiosis with his suit. Wants to find a way to take his suit into the Polar Ocean, and recruit his former friends to his cause.)
Machine-Obsessed Thugs (9hp, Clubs, Pistols, Elaborate but ineffective lead breastplates)

4- Galaxy Crisis System
Planet-God-Speaker (7hp, Claims he can talk to the planet and steer it to avoid cosmic collisions. Wants to keep everyone believing his lie by subtly impairing their observations)
Fat Academics (3hp, Pistols, Telescope always at one eye)

5- Crash Culture
Hot Ice (WIL 15, 8hp. Can emit strobe-like flashes that cause fits and hallucinations that he claims are visions from the Star-men. Wants to recruit attractive women and slowly kill his male rivals in suicide missions)
Fashionable Waifs (2hp, Ornate Fencing Swords, black masks with yellow-star eyes)

6 - Wordstorm
Vellheema Sorn (WIL 17, 9hp. Can read books instantly by placing her hand on them. Claims there is a pattern hidden in all books that will reveal the location of the promised city. Wants to find the promised land and keep her book collection secret.)
Shifty Book-Collectors (2hp, Pistol, thick-rimmed monacles)

Original image Jules van Paemel - The Tower of Babel

Undergangs Sludge Basin

The Shallow Quarter is where all the cool gangs hang out.

The gangs of Sludge Basin aren't interested in being cool.

Henk Scannar & The Gladiators of Toil
STR 18, DEX 12, WIL 15, 15hp, Armour 1, Huge Spike of Volcanic Rock (d10)
Deep-born Underground freak with a gigantic head. Currently hunting big game deeper underground. Hates everyone, because everyone admires him, and he just wants to do his thing.
Holds territory through legendary status and brute force.
Wants to get killed fighting something truly awful in the deep Underground, wants his followers to leave him alone.
Unwanted Gladiator Followers (11hp, Elaborate Arms (d6), Shield Armour, huge headdresses)

Maximus Flint & Prehistory
STR 8, DEX 10, WIL 17, 10hp, Pistols (d8), Rage Compass (see below)
Crazed explorer and earth-centre-paradise cultist.
Believes that Henk Scannar can lead him to his final goal.
Holds no territory, only presses deeper underground.
Wants to find the mythical paradise he believes lies beyond the Underground, and do anything to keep his acolytes loyal.
Worn-Down Gunmen (WIL 7, 7hp, Muskets, tattered uniforms)
Loyal Acoloytes (WIL 15, 3hp, Spears, constantly covered in mud)
Rage Compass - When opened the needle spins and lands on a random person in the vicinity. That target must pass a WIL Save or go into a rage that only ends when everyone else is defeated. If they pass this save the compass slams shut until the carrier next kills someone in anger. 

Cyrus Rattles & Metal Grave Men
STR 16, DEX 4, WIL 10, 10hp, Armour 2, Black Beam (d10).
Bloated mutant bolted with metal plates.
Holds territory through his array of strange-powered mutants.
Wants to kill Henk Scannar for stealing his glory as strongest in Sludge Basin.
Incomprehensible Mutant Horde (10hp, Armour 1, Various weird attacks (d10), metal plates on heads)

Tuesday 3 February 2015

Undergangs - Shallow Quarter

Rumoured Gangs from the Underground's Shallow Quarter
Ability Scores are given for the leader, followed by the Detachments they can muster. Any notable possessions are also given.

Ellie Postite & Solid Nation
STR 14, DEX 10, WIL 12, 12hp, Armour 1, Sledgehammer (d8).
Civil engineer obsessed with insect hives as a model for communities. Currently building a better slum Underground. Escaped daughter of Mouldy Cotta, wants to eradicate Mother Meat.
Holds territory through brute force.
Wants to give the poor of Bastion a better home, and control the Underground.
1 Hive Elites (10hp, Swords, Modern Armour, gold face paint)
4 Enforcer Groups (7hp, Sledgehammer, silver face paint)

Mouldy Cotta &
STR 5, DEX 9, WIL 6, 9hp. Blunderbuss (d8).
Scaly, mutated, former schoolmistress. Currently snatching children for her family. Wants to win back Ellie Postite.
Holds territory through pity.
Wants to bring more daughters to her ranks, and gain the love of her current brood.
1 Rifle Girls (4hp, Rifles, smart uniforms )
1 Knife Girls (1hp, Knives, tattered old dresses)

Mother Meat

A leaderless collective that drag dead beasts from the surface to their black-painted lair and eat the raw flesh in writhing, naked piles. Hold their territory through freaking out rivals and being no real threat.
Want to taste the freshest, most exotic meat, and weird you out.
Naked Maniac Horde (7hp, Knives)
Milk Pump (Water pump that discharges thick, salty water, which they drink exclusively. May be responsible for their condition and remarkable immune systems)

Regal Spannard &
Junkyard Agenda
STR 10, DEX 12, WIL 12, 10hp.
Spoiled, rich student turned filthy anti-cult revolutionary. Currently gathering explosives to blow up every astral temple. Knows he can manipulate Eugenia Tearer and wants to find a way to control Mother Meat. 
Holds territory through cunning and charisma.
Wants to create a legacy, and be feared by the surface.
Filthy Revolutionaries (6hp, Muskets, brass plated coats)
Sapper Bands (7hp, Bombs, brass domed helmets)

Eugenia Tearer &
Majestic Red
STR 7, DEX 14, WIL 9, 8hp.
Skinny street-thief addicted to the Carapace Ruby. Currently wrangling petty criminals into a crime organisation, and using her Arcana to spread terror amongst rivals. Unrequited love for Regal Spannard, and hatred for Ellie Postite for trying to muscle in on her territory.
Holds territory through terrorizing rivals in bug-form.
Wants to make enough money to buy a good life on the surface, and keep possession of the Ruby.
Carapace Ruby: Anyone placing this stone in their mouth slowly turns into a cockroach-like humanoid over the next hour. If the stone is removed they slowly turn back over an hour. They have STR 15, DEX 15, and their WIL and HP are retained. Their unnaturally hard shell grants Armour 2 and their bite causes violent explosion on Critical Damage. They cannot talk in this form. 
Masked Raiders (6hp, Pistol, Sword, bug masks)

Monday 2 February 2015

Turbo Skull

This helm allows the wearer to perceive prolonged amounts of time at an increasingly fast rate. In this state they can perceive, think, and imagine as normal, but cannot move their body at all. Communication is limited to rapid babbling, which the listener must pass a WIL Save to understand.  

With effort the wearer can move their hands to remove the helm, but it takes d4x10 seconds. Anyone else can do it instantly.

The wearer's perception of time spirals out of control with prolonged use. Every 10 seconds consult the list below for the effects.

10s: Feels like an hour.
20s: Feels like a day. Lose d6 WIL. Babbling is no longer comprehensible.
30s: Feels like a week. Lose d8 WIL. Vision is now just a blur.
40s: Feels like a month. Lose d10 WIL.
50s: Feels like a year. Lose d12 WIL.
60s: Feels like a century. Lose d20 WIL.

Anyone reduced to 0 WIL is unable to act with their body any further, but their brain continues to function within the skull at an exponentially increasing speed. Those recovered from such prolonged use are sure to be completely broken.

Horrible Things in the Golden Lands - The Ux

STR 10, DEX 5, WIL 18, 13hp, Armour 2, d6 Claws (under sunlight only).
These colossal old creatures want to gather more servants, and contact other super-intelligent beings.
Under sunlight they have complete control of thermal energy within non-living matter, and so can melt or freeze objects at will, as well we mould them into desired shapes while liquid before cooling. Anyone subjected to superheated matter takes d12 damage. 
Under starlight they share senses with all other beings within the nearby area and communicate telepathically. They encourage these beings to serve through bribery or threats.
Each has d20 servants, each of which is (roll 1d6) 1-2: Human, 3-4: Animal, 5: Constructed, 6: Monstrous.