Monday 18 September 2017

Bastion's Triple Rule

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.


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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  1. Wealthy piano protegee turned greed-filled banker. Does charity work to soothe her conscience.
  2. Ogre of a man, sells tiny metal sculptures. Deeply believes humanity is awful, and we should let aliens rule us.
  3. 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.
  1. Giant bird egg, now gilded with gold and jewels. Now property of a cult that worship it, hoping it will hatch.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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".


  1. This is awesome fast and good worldbuilding. It makes me look forward to spend an evening creating things and just run a game with whatever I come up with.

  2. This is very nice. Allows me to adapt places that I know. A bit of mix and match and your triple rule can make where I live into a setting I’ll be able to more easily extemporise odd details for, but it won’t (hopefully) be recognised by my players.

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  4. Do you write poetry? You should. Excellent concise word usage, all the time.