Friday 15 May 2020

Intergalactic Bastionland - The Spark of an Idea

I've probably talked about this too often for it to be a secret anymore.

The project currently sat on one of my front-burners is...

Currently in the form of a very messy draft document.

So what's the general idea?

GIANT DISCLAIMER: This is the initial spark of a game. Just as Electric Bastionland grew and evolved out of what was originally a number of "Odd World Supplements", I expect this idea to shift and mutate as I work on it. If this is something I take to completion I think we're talking 2021 earliest.

Elevator Pitch

If Electric Bastionland draws from Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Intergalactic Bastionland draws from Rogue Trader. Again, this isn't about drawing on the specifics, just as Electric Bastionland's specifics have little in common with WHFRP, this isn't some clunky grimdark wargame/rpg hybrid, but draws on some of the ways that reading over the original Rogue Trader makes me feel. It was a space setting with a lot of bonkers imagination and felt open to narrative creativity.

It's Space, but built for a game rather than for realism.

There's big-scale cosmic stuff, but the game still focuses on people fixing problems with talking or weird schemes.

This isn't my "Electric Bastionland in Space". Playing this should be a distinct experience to playing EB.

Do for helmets what EB did for hats.

You definitely don't start with a ship.

Sources: Planescape, Guardians of the Galaxy, Outer Wilds, Red Dwarf, Star Control 2, Cosmic Encounter.

  • It would work on its own if you’ve never touched EB.
  • It would work as a supplement if you’re already playing EB.
  • You can take your EB characters into the Living Stars or generate new Intergalactic characters and drop them into Bastion.

So What's Different to EB?
  • Core Rules: Nothing. The EB system is solid and I want to keep things directly transferable.
  • Structure: EB is about trying to pay off a huge debt with the crap you got from your Failed Career. IB shifts the focus to one or more Journeys. Less scrabbling around in the dirt, more hitch-hiking your way from one weird alien environment to the next. With alien settings I feel like you need a grounded element, so at the moment I'm doing that by tapping into those feelings of travel, journeys, and the places between destinations.
  • Characters: I'm experimenting with leaning hard into Pre-Gens. This is contentious but I've seen it done well in games like Silent Titans and Lady Blackbird and it lets you go a bit more crazy with the characters. Imagine if each Failed Career was a totally unique character that could break the rules in more interesting ways.
  • Setting: EB was all about teaching the Conductor how to sit down and create their own Bastionland. IB won't have a canon, but it will be focused more on library content. Ready to go one-page locations and NPCs. Lots of them.

The Big Questions
  • If this game is more based on ready-to-go library content than Conductor prep procedures, could it explore the Collaborative Play ideas I've been messing with?
  • Would Collaborative Play this be the primary mode of play or a secondary an option?

And finally, have a sneak preview of a couple of very early ideas for... stuff. No further context provided.


  1. I like this, I like it a lot.

  2. While I liked Lady Blackbird, it just didn't quite have the same replay value for us as more open-ended, traditional RPGs do. If IB is about the journey, isn't it as much then about the people taking that journey? If those people are pre-gen characters, then it's more of a story you play out, rather than a story you create at the table.

    Just thinking out loud here, might not be worth the electrons it's printed on.

    LOVE the ship grid, however. That's very reminiscent of the Renegade Legion games (and Battlespace, and Voidstriker) and that's a good thing.

    And I've been waiting for this for a while.

  3. THAT LOOKS MINT - you've totally levelled up from DIE BONEHEAD DIE, which I also liked :)

    Sean W

  4. Interesting. I thought the Living Stars drew on cosmic horror references. Looking forward to seeing what this turns out to be!


    Thanks for the preview thoughts Chris!

  6. Love it looking forward to it

  7. Back here to say I hope you are still working on this! I love EB and seeing your work set in space would check all the boxes for me.