Saturday 31 December 2016

The State of Bastionland

Bastionland isn't really a state. It's a way of thinking that generally shares a few ideas:

  1. Bastion is important enough that even those outside it must surely accept that they live in Bastionland.
  2. Anyone that doesn't think Bastion is important clearly isn't intelligent enough to form their own state, so they're included too.
  3. The theory is that all Far Lands have a Bastion of their own, so of course they're included, even if they're Enemies of Bastionland. 

Nobody owns the Bastionland idea, the Mouse Queen is just one person that supposedly threw the word around, and I don't think she's even real.

Don't even start a discussion about flags and constitutions.

But this is a double-meaning post. So I also wanted to give an update on the state of the Into the Odd Toolkit that shares the codename of Bastionland.

It's a worldbook where all fluff is tied to a part of the actual game. Baked-in setting description taken to the next level.

Tentatively, the table of contents will look like this.

Creating your Character
Playing the Game
100 Character Backgrounds
For Referees
Planning the Places
Planning the Danger
Planning the People
Running the Game
Running Bastion
Running the Underground
Running Deep Country
Running the Far Lands

Each of those sections (excluding the character backgrounds) will fit on a 2 page spread, so you open the book to that part and have everything you need.

The Running the Game sections are intended to work like a sort of GM Screen for that specific place, giving you everything you need on hand to make that part of the world feel right. And as Into the Odd isn't big on reference charts and formulas, that content is going to be distilled Referee direction on running that place in the most evocative and effective way.

Playing the Game is almost entirely unchanged from the core game, besides cleaning things up and maybe one rule change regarding how Rests work. This isn't a new edition of the rules.

Meanwhile, the new character Backgrounds replace Starter Packages, but function very similarly.

You compare your Highest and Lowest Ability Scores on a chart to find your starter Package number between 1 and 100. You go to that page to get something like this.

Or maybe this.

More meat than the old starter packages, but still fits nicely onto an index card when you pull out your results.

Not pictured is a small section at the bottom of each Background that also gives you a Contact in the world and a couple of other pieces of information that may or may not make the final cut of the book.

These character backgrounds are the window into the world. There are no timelines or maps of Bastion. They're for players, but the Referee can flick open to any one of them and pull out chunks of the world. If 100 Backgrounds seems excessive, that's the reason.

Dare to dream of Bastionland in 2017.