Tuesday 19 May 2020

Intergalactic Bastionland - The Living Stars

In Electric Bastionland the Living Stars serve as a relatively blank slate. A source for weird alien stuff to drop into Bastionland and a canvas for locations that don't fit anywhere else.

It wasn't always going to be that way.

Originally I was going to give them an eight-page section just like Bastion, Deep Country, and the Underground. Principles, Spark Tables, Touchstones, and procedures for mapping and conducting there. I had that section partly written when I realised there was just too much redundancy there. If you had an idea for a weird city, that could go in Bastion or one of the Failed Cities. If you wanted a weird wilderness then Deep Country has more than enough room for it. If you want weird space-time-bending locations then the Underground is already built for that.

I wanted Bastionland to a place where you could find a home for any of your ideas, and having the Living Stars as a quarter of that setting felt like it was muddying the waters too much, so I decided they would be more useful as an open canvas.

But I knew I'd come back to them.

Just like the other parts of Bastionland the Living Stars can be seen as a sort of mirror to Bastion itself. While Bastion is chaos under a veil of order, the Stars are a rigid skeleton of order fleshed in chaos. However, the more I think about this part of the setting, the more I think they could be seen as mirror to the whole of Bastionland instead.

The general concept for the Living Stars is:

  • It’s not like real space.
  • Everything is changing and moving.
  • Each star represents something, has an agenda, and the means to act on it.

But just like Electric Bastionland, it's going to be broken down into three separate areas with their own part in the whole. At the moment they have loose placeholder names.

The Sprawl
The space between Stars is anything but empty. A web of paths between Stars, dotted with stopping-points, wandering planets, cosmic debris, and fellow travellers. Some of them might be useful, some want to make your journey more difficult, but they all want something.
  • Things are strangely familiar.
  • Everybody is on a Journey.
  • Everybody needs something.

The Light
The places that exist in the full light of a Star. Worlds, structures, things that don't quite fit in either. They're all connected to their Star, maybe even born out of it. Whatever the Star represents is reflected in these places. The rules are clear, though born out of an alien logic. You're fine here as long as you follow them. Those that find the right Star claim to have found a sort of heaven
  • Everything is alive.
  • It welcomes travellers that follow the rules.
  • Those that serve the Star have variable interpretations of the rules.

The Dark
Out of the Light, off the beaten-path of the Between, it's all bad. There's no sugarcoating this. No silver-lining. If Bastionland has a Hell, this is pretty close. You'd better have a good reason for being here and a solid plan for getting out.
  • Everything is terrifying.
  • Anything living here was banished here.
  • Nothing wants to be here.

The Rest of Bastionland
The Living Stars exist above Bastionland, but it's isn't quite that simple. Remember that the Living Stars don't behave entirely like our own version of space. It's a three-dimensional space, but it's not always clear which way is down as in "back down to Bastionland".

  • Bastion's position beneath the Stars isn’t quite clear.
  • The Underground connects Bastionland to the Stars, but not the Stars to each other.
  • Wondering if this person is from Bastion? Don't worry, they'll tell you. 


  1. Astral weirdness turned up to 11, love it. So much better than just making them another geographical location. And it fits with the general weird softness around the edges of reality in Bastionlands.

  2. Definite "high wilderness" vibe a la Sunless Skies.

  3. Will there be ways to randomize some aspects of various things in Intergalactic Bastionland?

  4. So, I'm dying to see more of this. Are there still plans to publish this at some point?

    1. Still lots of work to do on this before it's even playable, let alone ready to be published! At the moment I'm working on other projects but it's definitely in line for some attention soon.