Wednesday 24 January 2024


How does hospitality work in Mythic Bastionland?


The Company encounter an Omen of the Pack, describing a shepherd having lost his flock. The Knights do their best to help, but the Shepherd is heartbroken.

Moss: Wait, where does this shepherd live? We’re nowhere near a Holding or Dwelling.

Ref: Do you want to ask him?

Moss: Yeah, okay.

Ref: He gestures in the direction of his home, a simple hut hidden away within this Hex. He also has a second hut in the neighbouring Hex, where he sometimes moves his flock. 

Tal: We should rest up here before we start our journey back to the Seat of Power. 

Ref: Yeah, proper hospitality restores your VIG, remember? You’ve both got some wounds that would benefit from it. 

Moss: Okay, I ask the shepherd if he can provide a warm place to sleep for tonight.

Ref: I mean he’s despairing about his flock being torn apart by his own dogs, so I wouldn’t expect too much of a warm welcome. He offers you a place for the night, as is the custom, but you get the sense he’d rather you weren’t there. 

Ref pauses for a moment.

Ref: Actually, one of you can give me a SPI Save to see what his response is like.

Tal rolls an 18, failing the Save.

Ref: Yeah, he takes you in and cooks you some food, rolls out some simple, bedding, but the conversation is clearly focused on when you’re both going to leave tomorrow.

Moss: Rude.

Tal: I mean I guess he’s got bigger problems to deal with right now. Okay, let’s work out what we’re doing the next morning. 

Ref: Sure, and you can both restore VIG. 


Knights can expect hospitality from most of the people they encounter on their travels, but this can still create some interesting conflicts. Commonly these are based around how much the Company are willing to upset their host by outstaying their welcome, or whether the host is bold enough to ask for something in return. 

This section of play starts with a good example of how the Realm can be moulded by both the actions of the Knights and the Myths as they unfold. In an area with no mention of inhabitants, a Myth describes a shepherd. This suggests that the shepherd must have a dwelling nearby, even if it was not previously noted on the map, and so it becomes reality. 

I’d encourage Ref to note this down on the map as a new Dwelling. 

Of course, if the Company were in a Hex utterly unsuitable for a shepherd to live in, then the Referee might find a reason for them to be so far from home. Perhaps they’re in the middle of a long journey or pilgrimage.

Ref also indulges in asking for a Spirit Save to gauge the shepherd’s reaction to the Knights’ request for hospitality. This feels like a very low stakes roll, as even with a failure the shepherd allows the knights to stay. 

Normally I look to the mantra of “no risk, no roll” but I still think there’s a place for Saves like this in the quieter moments of play. For example, if Tal had passed the Save then perhaps the shepherd might encourage them to stay even longer, becoming reliant upon the Knights for a feeling of security after their ordeal. 


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1 comment:

  1. Concerning the risk free roll: it feels similar to the fortune roll in blades in the dark: the stakes are low, but things could go either way so instead of making a call you let the dice decide, using a stat to frame the player's "action". I find it useful to resolve minor dilemmas in a fair way.