Wednesday 20 December 2023


Mythic Bastionland is largely a game about travelling. How does that work?


The Company are part way through a journey between two distant holdings. Ref points to their current Hex location on the map.

Ref: Okay, you wake up and clear away the camp. It’s…

Ref makes a few rolls on the Nature Spark Tables for Sky and Weather.

Ref: There’s a pale haze in the air, not enough to really hinder your view, but gives a slight fuzz to the forested mountains in the distance. There’s a dull humidity in the air, no breeze at all, a contrast to yesterday’s bitter storm!

Moss: Yeah, sounds better to me.

Tal: So we keep going, right? 

Tal gestures to their final destination on the map, then to the next Hex in that direction.

Tal: Head over there, I think. Wait, can we see anything around us?

Ref: Sure, you camped on a decent vantage point, so you got a good look at your surroundings. You can see this Hex is mostly rolling hills, a few patchy forests.

Ref points to the Hex Tal had indicated as their next destination.

Tal: In that direction it looks much the same, no sign of any real points of interest.

On their own map, Ref sees that a different adjacent Hex has a Monument landmark. In their notes this is an “Eternal Hearth”.

Ref: Over to the West you can see there’s some sort of structure in amongst the hills, a little smoke rising from it. 

Moss: Ah… we could go and get some proper rest over there. It’s kind of out of our way, though. 

Tal: Yeah… we’re in good condition, though. Maybe let’s just mark it on our map for now and check it out another time.

Moss: Okay, works for me.


Focusing on long distance travel calls for a sort of “zoomed out” approach that can be daunting in comparison to the more moment-by-moment play of exploration and combat. 

Here I like that Ref takes a moment to set the scene beyond just the paper map in front of them. Even seemingly inconsequential weather and sky descriptions help to paint the scene of the Knights travelling across great distances and significant passages of time, and give some evocative sensory context in comparison to the relatively abstract Hex map. 

The Spark Tables are a great source for this, and I always keep them to hand when running the game.

Ref also ensures the players have the information needed to make interesting choices. In particular, telling them that they can see something in a neighbouring Hex, but not outright stating what it is. Now they face a choice between continuing to their destination or taking a detour to a potentially useful location. 

There’s also a good amount of generosity on display here. Ref states that there’s a haze in the air, but not enough to obscure the Knights view. They also assume that the Knights set up camp on a vantage point, allowing them to easily survey their surroundings. I’d always lean in this direction, but I absolutely wouldn’t hesitate to make the Knights’ lives difficult when the dice prompt it. 

For example, if the weather roll was “Solid Fog” then I think it’s entirely appropriate to say that the Knights can’t see into their neighbouring hexes, perhaps even needing to travel blind unless they have a way to maintain their course. 


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Wednesday 6 December 2023

Which Virtue?

We're entering the final 24 hours for Mythic Bastionland!

Here's a little extract from the Oddpocrphya section of Mythic Bastionland.


After their character died last session, Tal has created a new character, the Riddle Knight. The Company are already worn down, having suffered CLA loss on their journey. They’re hunting a rogue knight who’s been harassing travellers.

Ref: So this is the hill where you heard the rogue knight was last spotted. What’s the plan from here?

Tal: How about we search for tracks. I can roll Clarity for that, right?

Ref: Erm… Hang on.

Ref looks at the Action Procedure and asks a few clarifying questions to Tal.

Ref: So the risk is that by scouring around these woods looking for tracks you might attract some unwanted attention.

Moss: Wait, if we’re just searching for something quickly could I use Vigour instead? That’s for like… athletic stuff, right?

Ref: Hm, no, I think that doesn’t really work here. Clarity is sharp senses and quick thinking, which is what’s being used here. 

Tal: Urgh, we’ve both got super low Clarity at the minute. I wish I’d thought of this before we came all the way out here.

Ref: Well there’s always another way. Instead of scouring for tracks you could try to find somebody to talk to, see if they’ve encountered the rogue knight.

Tal: Oh, and if we get “guidance from a Seer” then we recover our Clarity, right? I know it’s quite far, but we could travel over to this sanctum (points to the map) where we know there’s a Seer living.

Moss: Works for me, we might get some other good info while we’re there.

Ref: Great, so which way are you travelling?


With just three Virtues to choose from, it’s usually quite clear which Virtue should be used for a particular Save, or damaged by a particular harmful effect. Ref is pretty confident that Clarity is the Virtue to use for covertly tracking an enemy, and I’d agree with them here. 

In those cases where it’s not so clear I tend to err on the side of giving the players the final say, but I’d hope that these instances are rare. If they start occurring frequently then I’d perhaps take a moment to talk through the Virtues with the players, making sure everybody understands what each of them represents for their character. 

In this example we see that having low scores in a Virtue can create some interesting moments, here driving the players to seek out a Seer in the hope of both recovering their Clarity and getting the information they were looking for. 

If there wasn’t a Seer nearby then Ref could still have suggested some alternative directions for them to take, and speaking with the locals is usually a good direction to nudge players toward. 

If the players are desperate to restore a Virtue, and the most obvious means of doing so is too far away, then remind them that Remedies exist, suggesting where they might be found. Although they represent uncommon goods, a holding will usually at least be able to point them in the right direction. For Stimulant, which is used to restore Clarity, perhaps they’d be directed toward a local herbalist or alchemist in service of the ruler, remembering that these things are never given away for free.

If all else fails, remember that moving to a new Season or Age restores all Virtues, so sometimes an impromptu time skip can be the best way to move things forward. 


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

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