Tuesday 7 July 2020

Paralegal Bastionland

Talk around Into the Odd and Electric Bastionland inevitable spins back towards classes every now and then. I stand by the Foreground Growth philosophy of Electric Bastionland, but sometimes it's still fun to have that traditional class-based advancement. 

We're getting dangerously close to Levels here, but let's not lose our heads completely.

Let's also take this as an opportunity to look at how law enforcement works in Bastion. 

If you want to play Electric Bastionland with more rigid character growth then let me introduce...


You are one of the many Private Paralegal Agency that cling to Bastion's justice system like barnacles. 

While no two are alike the general idea is:
  • Your job is to bring criminals to court with evidence of their crime.
  • You're funded by the Borough, but also pay them fees.
  • You have a degree of authority but it's tied up in a mess of other organisations.
Remember there's not really anything centralised in Bastion, so law enforcement, courts, and prisons are all a mess of (multiple) private and (multiple) Borough Council influences, but nothing carries the weight of Bastion itself. 

Unless listed below, everything works like Electric Bastionland (EB from here on. Grab the Free Version if you don't already have it). 

Agency Creation
In addition to your personal character sheets the whole group has a sheet that represents the Agency as a whole. 

Roll 3d6 each for 
AUTHORITY: How much weight does your Agency name carry? Do people believe in your legitimacy?
NETWORK: How well connected are you across the Borough? Do you already have a relationship with this person?
FUNDING: How much Borough funding can you rely on (after fees)?

These are abstract and can be treated exactly like normal Ability Scores. For example, you might make a FUNDING Save to be able to secure some specialist equipment to your Agency, but trivial purchases would require no roll and ridiculous purchases would be impossible without a similarly lofty scheme. Remember that smart play generally minimises the need to make Saving Throws.

These Ability Scores can be damaged by taking a risk and failing, or deliberately sacrificed through player choices. 

If Authority or Funding reaches 0 you have one last chance to do something drastic or else face closure. If Network reaches 0 then the Borough is so closed off to you that your only real choice is to relocate or retire. 

As these all rely on external support in some form, you can only recover these scores by doing somebody important a favour. 

Your Agency has at least one non-player character (the Gaffer) above you and one below you (the Rookie) which the Conductor can create if needed. 

What constitutes a crime changes between each Borough, but certain things can be assumed to be illegal in some form:
  • Murder
  • Fraud
  • Corruption
These juicy crimes also make for the best publicity for your Agency. Street level stuff usually isn't worth the time, so the bigger the target the better. 

Generally things start with the Gaffer sending you to an initial investigation with the Rookie in tow.

Character Creation

Roll 3d6 each for STRENGTH, DEXTERITY, and CHARISMA.
Roll 1d6 for Hit Protection.

Now choose a Class. Gain everything listed in the Core of the class and choose one Upgrade.

Your class will detail how you gain additional Upgrades.

Personal wealth isn't that relevant, as anything related to the Agency must go through their funding. Assume you've got a modest living situation and can afford a drink at the end of a tough day. 



A mask without a face. 


Many Masks: Create a fake identity with a NETWORK score of 18, separate to that of your Agency. When it’s reaches 0, the identity is compromised.

Choose something that might give you away.

  1. Strong accent.

  2. Birthmark.

  3. Niche-famous.

  4. Hyper-specific Phobia

  5. Allergy to something common

  6. Distinctive tattoo.


Start with 1.

Take 1 when you:

  • Bring a criminal to justice, OR

  • Develop an intimate relationship with somebody while undercover.

Read Desire: Chat with an NPC under a false identity to find out what they desire. 

Personal Connections: You have a secret contact within any criminal organisation. 

Pass the Fall: Throw somebody under the bus to restore AUT. 

Method Actor: When working an undercover job that aids your target: your attacks get +d8 and yoour Ability Scores count as 15 minimum.

Multi Talented: You can convincingly fake a language, area of expertise, or technical skill once, but then cannot use it again. 


Crime Scene Investigator


Corpse Whisperer: When you find a crime-scene with at least one corpse, ask the GM three yes/no questions relating to the corpse. 

Choose something you just don't get.

  1. Art

  2. Romance

  3. Humour

  4. Music

  5. Family

  6. Faith


Start with 1.

Take 1 when you:

  • Bring a criminal to justice, OR

  • Prove the rest of the Agency wrong

Lie Detector: While a colleague is questioning, observe from an unseen place. For the rest of this Scene you know if somebody is lying. 
Photographic Memory: Recall one thing from a crime scene you've been to.
Linguist: Speak with somebody a while to learn a useful piece of information from their accent or dialect, even if they’re trying to hide it.
Shatter Point: You know just the thing to say to set somebody off.
Precision Questioning: Retroactively ask one witness or suspect a question. They answer it as they would have at the time.
Deep Scour: Call all in a Crime Scene Team that seal off the scene and find everything there is to find, but take a long time to do it.


A stubborn old mule. 


Not Born Yesterday: When somebody underestimates you, any trick they're trying to pull is plainly obvious to you. 

Distinctive Accent

  1. Hard

  2. Gravelly

  3. Lilting

  4. Guttural

  5. Slow

  6. Idiom-Rich


Start with 1.

Take 1 when you:

  • Bring a criminal to justice, OR

  • Put a ghost from your past to bed.

Old School: Blast through a piece of new regulation or bureaucracy but lose d6 AUT.
Establishment Connections: You have a friendly contact in any old institution.
Cut Through the Bull: Ask a straight question that the suspect or witness has to answer truthfully or decline to answer. 
Storyteller: You can keep the attention of a group with old stories for as long as needed. 
Local Figure: You have +1 Armour and CHA 18 when acting in the public eye. 
Take Under Wing: Name a protegee. They can use your Ability Scores and special abilities while you're supervising them. 


A real loose cannon.


Unorthodox: Lose d6 AUT when you deliberately break protocol, but restore AUT if it gets results.

Fashion Statement

  1. Leather Jacket

  2. Sharp Suit

  3. Magnificent Hair

  4. Sunglasses

  5. Always Smoking

  6. Fantastic Shoes


Start with 1.

Take 1 when you:

  • Bring a criminal to justice, OR

  • Get taken off the case or hand in your badge.

Blunt Force: Lose d6 AUT to get +d12 on an attack.
Intimidation: When you have a witness or suspect scared you can ask one question they must answer truthfully.
Hidden Stashes: Retrieve a mundane thing from a stash when you’re in a bad neighbourhood.
Shady Contacts: You always know a low level Criminal that owes you a favour, but they’re in a bad place.
Gut Feel: Make an arrest without evidence. Ask if you were right. Lose d8 AUT if you were wrong. 
Gets Results: Restore all Ability Scores when you bring in a criminal.


Doing it by the book.


One of the Good Ones: When you comfort a witness or suspect they reveal something. 

What keeps you ethical?

  1. Guilt

  2. Family

  3. Mentor

  4. Partner

  5. Faith

  6. Fear


Start with 1.

Take 1 when you:

  • Bring a criminal to justice, OR

  • Correct a wrongdoing by your own agency

Obscure Protocol: Once per day you can name a piece of protocol that would help to grease the internal wheels of your case. It applies here. 
Eye of Judgement: Stare somebody down. For the rest of this scene they lose d6 CHA whenever they lie.
Closed Book: You can’t be coerced into revealing anything you don’t want to.
Prove Loyalty: Make a noble sacrifice to recover all Agency Ability Scores. 
Last Resort: Make a noble sacrifice to immediately  incapacitate a dangerous target, provided you have the means.


Pushing pencils and pulling strings.


Call In Favours: Once per day, make one significant purchase without needing to roll.

What's your desk covered with?

  1. Paperwork

  2. Food

  3. Photographs

  4. Sports Memorabilia

  5. Occult Objects

  6. Nothing, just the joy of minimalist living


Start with 1.

Take 1 when you:

  • Bring a criminal to justice, OR

  • Upgrade your desk or office significantly.

Hurry or Hinder: Stifle any official process for 24 hours or speed it up to immediate.

Paper Trail: Stay up all night to get some dirt on a target.
Fill the Gap: Once per day, bridge a connection between any two elements of the case. 
Wiretap: Listen in on an Electric device your Agency has handled.
Urgent Exit Required: A vehicle bursts onto the scene for extraction.
Tactical Map: Add a hidden tactically useful detail to your location.


Fighting for a noble cause.


Calm Like a Bomb: When any Ability Score reaches 0 you can do one more action with automatic success. 

What do you hate the most?

  1. Compromise

  2. Conformity

  3. Ignorance

  4. Hypocrisy

  5. Brutality

  6. The Elite


Start with 1.

Take 1 when you:

  • Bring a criminal to justice, OR

  • Tear down a corrupt organisation.

Testify: When you have a piece of damning evidence you know the perfect time and place to reveal it for maximum effect. 
Voice of the Voiceless: You always have a contact in a marginalised community. 
Won’t be Silenced: When you release a piece of information you can choose to have it immediately go viral among the newspapers and radio stations. 
Know Your Enemy: Note an enemy. You always know where they are. Replace them when they’re overthrown.
Fistful of Steel: When you need a weapon to take down somebody powerful, you find one.
No Shelter: See straight through a secret identity.


Protecting life at any cost.


No Time to Bleed: Restore HP once per combat and STR once per day.

How do you cope?

  1. Food

  2. Drink

  3. Smokes

  4. Meditation

  5. Prayer

  6. Fantasy


Start with 1.

Take 1 when you:

  • Bring a criminal to justice, OR

  • Save a life.

Armed Response: When you lead an armed operation everybody gets +d6 on attacks.
First to Fall: If a nearby ally takes Damage you can take it instead.
Dead-Eye: Treat Damage rolls of 1 as the highest value on the die.
Heroic Entry: When you are absent you can burst into the scene if an ally is in danger. 
Fortify: Secure an area. Nobody gets in without you knowing about it and having a chance to retaliate. 
Assault Specialist: When you burst onto the scene you get to act twice before the opponents.

1 comment:

  1. Love the way each class' bonus feature reward encourages them to play into their archetypes.