Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Where's My Next Meal Coming From?

Someone recently asked me how Bastion would feed itself, being a city of millions with only a backwards Deep Country and a few Failed Cities as potential trading partners.

It's easy! Again, look no further than the three principles of Bastion (Everything is Here, Everything is Complicated, Nobody Knows Who's in Charge). If you can think of an idea for feeding the city, somebody is doing it, and they have a dozen rivals with different approaches. By the time the food has come from source, gone through processing, been packed into a tin, and cooked up on a stove, the average citizen may not have a clue where it originally came from.

So if you're in doubt, roll d12 and ask Where is the next meal coming from?

1: Mass-Curry cooked up in an old industrial vat. Indistinguishable contents.
2: A vault of cans sealed underground in case of a city-wide famine. Somebody broke in and is selling it off cheap.
3: Massive cattle shipped in from the desolate fields of Deep Country. Tough but plentiful meat.
4: Surplus Gruel from a dwindling orphanage.
5: Soup Taps. An attempt at creating a new utility for every house, Produces a salty, metallic broth with occasional chunks.
6: Catch of the Day. Massive fish, crab, and octopus haul at the docks today, so everybody has taken something home.
7: Blubber Cheese. When a whale is dragged into dock, the first customers get the chance to stash some away until it matures into a crusty, pungent delicacy.
8: Pie Factory. Mass produced tin-pies, undisclosed filling.
9: Urban Foraging. Mushrooms, vermin, bugs, and herbs all pulled from the gutters.
10: Grain Shipment. Failed Cities sometimes offer food to Bastion as a sort of "Don't Invade Us" tax.
11: Allotment Vegetables. Even if you don't own an allotment, it's easy to buy or steal some prize cabbage and turnips.
12: Spotted Loaf. Rough dark bread scattered with raisins and given out to the most needy. The middle is always soggy and is often pulled out and thrown by children as a prank.

d10 Generals of Bastion, and their Armies

When Bastion needs an army, at least two Generals will rally to the call. Make a WIL Save for each to see if they can resist the passive-aggressive put-downs of their supposed allies, otherwise a battle breaks out between forces before the enemy is even near.



1: Len Python - STR 16, 13hp, Flanged Mace (d8), Green Plate (1), Endless Black Beard. Wants somebody to invade Bastion so that he can defend it and earn glory.
The War Machine
3 Axe Blocks - 8hp, Pole Axe (d8), Snake Banners, Tin Whistles
2 Musket Blocks - 7hp, Musket (d8), Side-Axe (d6), Snake-Fang Helmets, Bagpipes.
Heavy Auxiliary - 6hp, Heavy Cannons (d12), Drums.

2: Arch-Bombardier Moyall - WIL 14, 17hp, Elephant Gun (d10), Perfect Sabre (d8), Deafening Voice. Wants her force to be feared so that she can sell her specially crafted cannons for a fortune.
Disaster Brigade
Foot Guard - 8hp, Sword (d6), Mirror-Shield Armour (1).
3 Light Thunder Batteries - 4hp, Two-Man Cannons (d10).
2 Heavy Thunder Batteries - 6hp, Main Cannons (d12), Ear-Protectors.

3: General Hinkle Orphanizer - DEX 4, 18hp, Matched Pistols (d8), Straight Sword (d6), Wants to murder people for a living and occasionally return to his quiet family life.
2nd All-Murder Regiment
4 Murder Crews - 6hp, Pistol (d6), Sword (d6), inhuman joy in killing.

4: Corporal Tramor Skin-Burner - STR 15, 13hp, Skinning-Sword (d6), Scatter-Gun (d8), Fire Bombs, Grotesque flaying details on Breastplate (1). Wants it all to be over so that she doesn't have to skin anyone else again.
The Skin-Burners
First Honoured Skinners - 12hp, Skinning Sword (d6), Skin-Banner, Thousand-Yard Stare.
3 Stalker Squads - 4hp, Pistol Brace (d8), Skinning Dagger (d6), Unsettlingly Young.

5: Bastion People's Legion - A Leaderless horde of disorganized mobs.
10 Chaotic Mobs - STR 8, 3hp, Assorted Guns and Arms (d8).

6: Top-Charger Whittle - WIL 18, 15hp. Heavy Pistol (d8), Horseman's Axe (d8), White Chest-Plate (1) and Thoroughbred Black Steed, flowing blonde hair adorned with silver pins. Wants to experience the glory of the hunt, but terrified of meeting anyone that will put up an even fight with her.
Ceaseless Horse Division
2 Heavy Horse - 7hp, Armour 2, Horse-Carbine (d8), Sabre (d6), Spectacular Peaked Hats.
3 Foot Musketeers - 5hp, Musket (d8), Bayonet (d6), Demeaning Floppy Hats.

7: Uriah Groll - WIL 14, 17hp, Musket (d8), Bayonet (d6), Boilerplate Armour (1), Back-Banner. Wants to prove that his Deep Country men can fight alongside Bastion's forces.
5th Deep Country Conscript Battalion
Country Gunners - 4hp, Assorted Guns (d8), Beating Sticks (d6).
2 Country Footmen - 4hp, Polearms (d8), Patchwork Banner
2 Country Militia - 3hp, Farming Tools (d6), Drums and Horns.

8: Professor Auder - WIL 14, 13hp. Military Baton (d6), Full Polished Plate (1), Binoculars, Stack of strategy manuals. Wants to create the perfect force and perfect her understanding of Strategy.
New First Class Military
2 Frontline Anvils - 4hp, Pike (d8), Breastplate and Helm (1), Black Uniform, Droning Horn.
2 Hammer Horse - 5hp, Horse, Cavalry Sabre (d6), Grey Uniform with Silver Detail.
3 Premier Gunline - 6hp, Musket (d8), Bayonet (d6), Black Uniform with Silver Detail.
Auxilliary Gunline - 4hp, Heavy Line-Guns (d10), Grey Uniform.
Support Gunline - 3hp, Light Cannons (d10), Signal Whistle., White Uniform with Silver Details
2 Dragoon Reserve - 7hp, Horse, Cavalry Sabre (d8), Musket (d8), Red Uniforms, Crested Helm.
Personal Guard - 4hp, Musket (d8), Bayonet (d6), White Uniform with Copper Detail.

9: First-Sword Lenzo - STR 17, 20hp. Darkened Steel Claymore (d8), Ancient Blue-Knight's Plate (1), Concealed Pistol (d6), heavily scarred face behind white veil, Wants to conscript even more troops to create the largest force in history, finally leading an attack on Bastion for herself.
The Uncounted
10 Forward Blocks - 3hp, Poleaxe (d8), Chained in Formation.
6 Support Blocks - 5hp, Musket (d8), Bayonet (d6), Manacles for Conscription.
4 Reserve Blocks - 8hp, Musket (d8), Whips.

10: Unbreakable Karloon - WIL 18, 17hp, Hacking Sword (d8), Bull-Steed (STR 18, 12hp, d10 Gore) Wants to being civility to the battlefield, and will strike anyone he sees orchestrating their forces in an immoral manner.
Green-Line Enforcers
2 Heavy Charger Teams - STR 13, 9hp, Horseman's Hammer (d8), Armoured Horse (2).
2 Heavy Gunners - 7hp, Extra-Loud Musket (d8), Clunky Plate Armour (1).

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Mockeries

Inspired by A Red and Pleasant Land's Pseudoturtle, which is presumably inspired by Wonderland's Mock Turtle. Further inspiration came from my ongoing musings of the nature of animals in the fiction of A Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island.

Bastion is a creative city, and many of the creators are fascinated by animals.

Despite some similarities to Animal Sovereigns, Mockeries are very obviously different. Limbs might be carved from wood, faces molded out of clay, and skin from felt. Think of how you might move a puppet, in place of how a real animal would move. They may be dressed in special clothes and be somewhat humanoid.

Some are imitations of vegetables or other objects, rather than creatures.

They share the following features, unless an exception is noted:

- They are made out of artificial material, so practically any damage is repairable.
- They talk and sing, but tend towards base intelligence.
- They do not need to eat or sleep, and are unaffected by alcohol and disease, but pretend as part of their life imitation.
- Real animals hate them. Children love them, unless they're horrifying.


Mock Otter
STR 5, DEX 17, WIL 5, 6hp, Bite (d4), functioning mechanical wings, keen eye for sparkles. 
Wants to gather sparkly stones for master, and frolic playfully. Easily distracted by anyone that thinks he's cute. 



Mock Lobster
STR 4, DEX 10, WIL 16, 12hp, Armour 1, Claws (d4), ridiculous little pirate outfit.
Wants to live an exciting life and betray his current master in an amusing way. Spouts pirate cliches in an idiotic voice but is actually centuries old, with keen seafaring experience. Only gives good advice when it suits him. Terrified of going into the sea with real lobsters.  



Mock Heron
STR 12, DEX 14, WIL 11, 8hp, Armour 2. Copper Beak (d8), endless supply of trivia.
Wants to enforce good study at his University, and feed on fish-based delicacies. Any student caught not making the most of their academic opportunity is violently pecked and bombarded with facts, until they promise to get back to work.

d12 Other Mockeries

1: Mock Toad - Well-meaning host with disgusting habits. Gets depressed if nobody likes his stomach-turning meals.
2: Mock Rhino - Simpering coward prone to devastating clumsiness. Fond of depressing poetry.
3: Mock Hog - Top-hat-wearing gourmands that never pay their bills. Think any suffering is hilarious.
4: Mock Mole - Sits in a breast-pocket and points out the obvious in an annoying voice. Claims to know the direction to treasure but leads you nowhere useful.
5: Mock Octopus - Master of puzzles. Always bored with even the most exciting happenings.
6: Mock Spider - Crime-lord sending other Mock Creatures out on jobs. Speaks only in riddles.
7: Mock Crow - Petty criminals that tread Bastion's rooftops and throw rotten fruit at passers-by.
8: Mock Skeleton - Performs elaborate dance routines warning of deathly hazards in the Underground.
9: Mock Mallard - Intrepid explorer of far-off lands, barely understandable quacking voice.
10: Mock Jelly - Quivers in fear of being eaten, but is actually inedible. Won't shut up no matter how much you reassure it.
11: Mock Dolphin - Overly friendly academic, sprays water at inappropriate moments.
12: Mock Croc - Underground thug for hire, loves bad jokes.

Animal Sovereigns

Nobody really believes these things exist unless they've encountered them first hand. It can be assumed that multiple Sovereigns exist for every type of beast out there.

Animal Sovereigns share a number of qualities, unless an exception is noted:
- They are larger versions of their animal, and may have exaggerated appearance and abilities.
- They can speak with humans intelligently.
- They can speak with their animal subjects, who obey them, up until they betray them for a rival.
- When two Sovereigns of the same type meet they descend into violent beasts until one of them is defeated. The defeated Sovereign reverts to a normal animal of its type.
- They plot and scheme.

 Worm-Queen
STR 3, DEX 10, WIL 12, 7hp, No attacks. Can sniff out anything buried within a mile. Has a buried stash of gems worth 1,000g.
Wants to avenge the mistreatment of worms by farmers, fishermen, and birds. Uses her riches to hire stronger beings to carry out the vengeance while she watches on.
Grows into two Worm Princesses if cut in half. They feud until one remains to become Queen.
Hates the Sparrow-Prince, who wants to feast on them. Hated by the Hedgehog-Judge, who deems them unworthy of life.



Vulture Lord
STR 11, DEX 14, WIL 10, 10hp, Beak (d6). Can sense impending death up to a mile away.
Wants to speed along death in those that are beyond help, and create more urgency in his subjects, who tend to wait for their meals to die.
Hates the Ur-Maggot, who wants to rule over all decay. Hated by the Arch-Elephant over some ancient insult.



Tortoise Councillors
STR 8, DEX 2, WIL 14, 4hp, Armour 2, Bite (d4). Knows everything that's going on in the world, regardless of distance.
Want to discuss the matter at length, but stick to an agenda. A rare example of same type Sovereigns cooperating. Electing a permanent leader is at the end of the current Agenda. Even the smallest point of conversation takes an eternity.
Hates the Parrot-Captain, who spreads lies. Hated by the Mandrill-Ministers, who live on impulse.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Leading from the Front

Mass Combat in Into the Odd uses a dead simple detachment system. A detachment is the rough equivalent to 50 decent infantrymen, and acts as an individual in all ways other than the following:
- Individual attacks cannot harm detachments unless they're something big like a cannon, bomb, or giant creature.
- Detachment attacks are Enhanced against individuals, causing d12 damage regardless of weapon. 
- When they would take Critical Damage, a Detachment is Broken and useless until rallied. 


But there's no mention of what individuals do here. My intention was that individuals would typically be leading from the back, directing their detachments in battle and handling the overall strategy, maybe attempting some risky gambits. 

If they were fighting, I saw them contributing with attacks from Arcana, Bombs, or other special things they've managed to get hold of. The explorers of Into the Odd aren't really the sort that will take on an army themselves through sheer martial skill. 

The Odd World Toolkit is all about looking at Large Scale play in more depth, and will go into some detail on how to run a large battle like this. The goal of the toolkit is to expand a Referee's options, and improve their game, without adding any more rules, so this will all be working within the existing rules. 

Getting involved at ground level is a risky thing. So it will use the Saving Throw rule as its basis. 

Leading from the Front

When a character wants to personally lead their troops, the detachment benefits in a few ways. Most notably, they can use the WIL Score of the leader (if higher than theirs) in place of their own, and the leader may posses Arcana that will aid them in battle. The character is also protected from enemy attacks, other than individual challenges, while the detachment is protecting them. 

At the cost of their protection, the leader of a detachment can lead through example, personally fronting an attack on an opponent. This could drive the troops with a surge of momentum, but carries an obvious risk to the leader's safety. 

The detachment and leader both make an attack roll as normal, but only the highest roll is taken. The attack is treated as coming from the detachment, even if it was the leader's roll. If the attack is against an Individual, only the Detachment's roll is Enhanced

Until their next turn, the leader is subject to all attacks that target the detachment, with both leader and detachment taking damage. Remember here that Detachment attacks against individuals are Enhanced.

Multiple characters can lead the same unit, if they wish, in which case they all count as Leaders and may individually choose whether or not to lead from the front each turn. 



Example

Mustached Corporal Grunning (STR 14, 8hp, Musket (d8), Crested Helmet) is leading his unit of Horse Pistoliers (STR 12, 5hp, Pistol Brace (d8), Silver Cuffs) against a Filthy Mobs of Revolutionaries (4hp, Makeshift Weapons (d6), fleas) and their Rabid Dog Pack (3hp, Frothing Jaws (d6), fewer fleas). 

Both enemy detachments attack Grunning's Pistoliers for 2 (Mob) and 3 (Dogs) damage, leaving them on 0hp. Majorly roughed up, but no significant casualties yet. They're in real danger next turn if this carries on. 

Grunning decides to lead from the front to try and drive the Mob away. He rolls 7 damage, and his Pistoliers roll 3, so his roll is taken. He personally blasts away a few stinking workers, leading them with 0hp and reducing them to STR 7 with the remaining damage. They make a STR Save against Critical Damage and roll 17, a fail. They're dispersed in a cloud of musket smoke, no further threat in this battle. 

As half of their force has been broken, the dogs would ordinarily require a WIL Save to avoid being routed, but these rabid beasts don't know when to quit. 

The Dogs take their turn, but their attack will now target both the detachment and Grunning. They roll d6 damage against the detachment (scoring 2), and d12 to Grunning (scoring 5). He's reduced to 3hp, so no major damage. With no HP remaining, his detachment is reduced to STR 10 and roll a 10 on their Save, just holding their line. 

Sunday, 29 March 2015

25 Words, far behind trend

So I'm way behind on this but here goes. Into the Odd's world in 25 words or less.

Alien artifacts, muskets, bayonets, tricorne hats, pan-dimensional terrors, brains, industry, revolution, star-men, steamships, polar expeditions into void, underground city, smoggy metropolis, bombs, star cults, cannons.

Friday, 27 March 2015

d12 Crappy Ships

Forget your roaring steamships, majestic ships of the line, and prototype submarines. These ships are just flat out crappy.



Cheap though!

1: Pile of Old Furniture (50s, 7hp, 10 crew, some cushions)
2: Huge Wheel (1g, 8hp, 1 detachment crew)
3: Deep-Beast Carcass (10g, 4hp, Armour 2, 1 detachment crew, awful stink)
4: Psuedosub (5g, 3hp, Armour 1, 6 crew, leaks that burst at 10m depth)
5: Quadroyak (2g, 6hp, 10 crew, needlessly complex hull structure)
6: Suicide Harrier (5g, 5hp, Cannon d12, 3 crew, declared unsound for military use)
7: Broken Skimmer (3g, 3hp, 10 crew, terrible drag)
8: Pump Ship (10g, 10hp, 1 detachment crew, powered by man-pumps)
9: Broken Float-Orb (10g, 4hp, Armour 1, 8 crew, hole in the top) 
10: Floating Hive (4g, 8hp, 1 detachment crew, home to millions of biting insects)
11: Modified Locomotive (10g, 7hp, Armour 1, 8 crew, Cannon d12, doesn't work on rail, doesn't actually float well enough for travel beyond docks)
12: Extracted Sewer Mega-Clog (10g, 8hp, Armour 1, 1 Detachment Crew, pulsing, slowly growing)