Wednesday 22 December 2021


This Bastionland Editorial was originally sent as a reward to all Patreon supporters, and is released freely on this site a week after its original publication.

If you want to support my blog, podcasts, and video content then head over to my Patreon.


So without delving too deep into despair, the pandemic situation here in the UK is looking a bit volatile in the lead up to Christmas, so I'm finding it difficult to focus today. Unfortunate how the negative things can grab your attention like a vice, while the positive things can just as quickly slip through.

Lurching back on-topic, for me this definitely applies to reading and playing RPGs, wargames, boardgames, and especially videogames. Not so much that I get hung up on negatives, but I can find it difficult to focus on a game, even if it's one I'm actively interested in. 

Or, rather, I can focus on the game, but I feel like I'm too busy thinking about the next step. If I'm reading some fluff, I just want to get to the rules. If I'm reading rules, I just want to see how this game actually works in play. Once I get it to play, I often feel it's running too slowly. This might sound terrible, but I've joked before that this impatience is the fuel behind Into the Odd and Electric Bastionland

Blighters comes very much from the same place. I still go back and read Blades in the Dark, because it has some of the best GM advice that I've ever read, but the idea of running it from the book melts my brain. Credit to John for including a section in the book that outright says "you can run this game stripped-back to the core mechanic and it'll work just fine" but why do that instead of spending months carving out my own system?

For those that were interested after this week's post, I'll be sharing a PDF at the start of January when I've been able to tidy it up enough for public consumption. If you read Voidheist then the majority is unchanged from there. 

So to the actual point of this Editorial. For a bit of a change, I'm reaching out to ask for some recommendations from you:

What games (of any type) have you enjoyed that get straight to the point, with minimum padding around its core concept?

Here's hoping we can all find something new to enjoy over the end of the year, and perhaps keep us nicely distracted from the negatives. 



  1. Rogue Planet
    In a Wicked Age
    The Prince valiant Storytelling Game

  2. For RPGs, Lasers & Feelings and its multitude of hacks. For video games, Mini Metro. For board games, Rhino Hero Super Battle.

  3. This is 1000% my entire goal as well. It used to be that to generate a character you would have to load up the blog page and then press a single button. Now you don't even have to press the button, it does it anyway! Everything is about getting from "hey, want to play a game?" to having a good time as quickly as possible, if not quicker. Rules have to make sense skimmed or read deeply, normal assumptions have to be either correct or *immediately* rebuffed. I'm not always successful, but it's absolutely necessary in this day and age.

  4. There is something I don't understand. In Bastionland, if a player fails there save versus a trap, does the damage hit their HP or go straight to their STR? I couldn't find the answer in the rules.