Friday, 31 July 2015

3hp, Sword (d6)

Following in Arnold's wake (although I totally already wrote about this topic years ago) I wanted to try an experiment in monster differentiation.

The Into the Odd Equivalent of 1HD, Leather, 1d6 Sword is even simpler, as you would expect.

3hp, Sword (d6).

I'm currently giving encounters a set of behaviours that you can bake special abilities into, so that will be our main point of differentiation.

Arnold did 5. So I'm doing 20. Coincidentally the number of Patreon Supporters I owe a reward to (plus two to round out the numbers). Something about being immortalised in a table?



Tuppenstusk - The Top Country

Deep Country has mountains like you wouldn't believe. Get beyond the smog, then past the clouds, and you might reach one of the flats that house tiny villages.




Roll d20

1: d6 Day-Sun Vinesmen - High Altitude Air-Protectors
3hp, Machete (d6)
- Beckon you to do your duty by helping to erect vine-walls to keep the wind out, and air in. 
- Confiscate any source of fire, and look for signs of sickness that would warrant being thrown off a cliff. 
- Drive out any wildlife that might consume extra air.

2: d6 Rustle-Howls - Toothy Red Tiger-Things
3hp, Impractically Long Teeth (d6)
- Hide in shrubbery, cleaning eachother's long teeth.
- Perform complex social rituals that always involve the smallest being eaten. 
- Beg for food like huge terrible kittens.

3: Chosef's Vandals (detachment of hooded grunts)
3hp, Iron Club (d6)
- Look for the most well-built, or tallest structure to smash up.
- If there aren't any structures nearby, smash up some rocks into gravel.
- Gather in a circle for story-time, which always involves stories about smashing things up but also has a romantic subplot, which they swoon over.

4: No-Idea Doyle - Fat Old Man in Eye-Pattern Silk Robes
3hp, Staff (d6)
- Offer guidance, but have no answers at all.
- Make a vague declaration and point into the distance.
- Stop for a nap every hour or so.

5: d6 Rage-Bats - Big Angry Smoking Bats
3hp, Bite (d6)
- Hang near to you and scream deafeningly, following you around and exhaling smoke.
- Do anything it can to provoke to you attack, even when you're already attacking it.  
- If you bring one close to death it will latch onto you (STR Save) and blow up for d10 damage when it dies.

6: Dawn's Voices - Choir of 12 Singers in Frilly Dresses
3hp, Focused-Breath-Punch (d6)
- Sing at the Sun while doing martial arts stances.
- Hunt down terrors of the night (anyone that has slighted them)
- Hit the Sun-Chord in Unison (takes d4 turns to get in-tune) and blast the area for d12 damage. 

7: Banner-man Joe - Small man with a giant red banner, carrying as sentence for petty theft.
3hp, Banner Pole (d6)
- Announce that this is the domain of the Fortress-Lady Karan and you should kneel.
- Head back to the Fortress (a day's march away) to tell a superior if you refuse to kneel.
- Follow you at a distance, hoping you'll keep the way safe for him.

8: d20 Robber-men of Jake Hunks - Theatrical Bandits
3hp, Cutlass (d6), Jake Hunks leads with 6hp.
- Make an elaborate entrance (3-in-6 chance of it going wrong and looking stupid)
- Immediately go at you with their cutlasses and asking if you surrender yet (they won't stop if you do)
- Make an elaborate exit (4-in-6 chance of it going wrong and looking stupid)

9: d8 Pale Bald Oldies - Exiled Old Men
3hp, Pistol (d6)
- Tell you how this bit of land used to be a thriving slave-pit overseen by star-men.
- Point a gun at you if you try to leave in the middle of a story.
- Go off on a tangent.

10: d8 Oric's Newmen - Impeccably Uniformed Soldiers.
3hp, Polished Sword (d6)
- Invite you to hire the greatest mercenary company in Deep Country, claiming there are hundreds of them back at base (there aren't)
- Boast about the deeds of their great leader Oric Killerman (totally fictional)
- Run away from the first sign of a real fight.

11: Gagan - Mountain Ape
3hp, Thump (d6)
- Mimic humanity. 
- Get sad when left alone.
- Fly into a rage if anyone laughs in his presence.

12: d10 Charlivicks - Hunched Men covered in Burnt Hair
3hp, Erroding Touch (d6)
- Beckon you into their tunnel with a dusty voice, for a meal of ashes. 
- Cause you to crumble to dust on Critical Damage.
- Touch the ground to corrode a new tunnel into their mountain network.

13: The Courcey - Masked, Cloaked Avenger of Etiquette
3hp, Rapier (d6)
- Teach the heathens of Deep Country about the Etiquette of Bastion, which he knows nothing about.
- Set up a picnic of disgusting burnt food, ringing a bell to attract those nearby to eat and learn dining etiquette. 
- Challenge a disrespectful brute to an honour duel by stabbing them in the back with his rapier. 

14: d10 Sahlen - Sweaty Women in Meat-Suits
3hp, Double-headed Axes (d6)
- Try to appear stronger than they are by flexing their meat-suits. 
- Challenge you to contests of strength, involving massively complex rules and restrictions.
- Perform a burning ritual of their old meat-suits, carving up cattle to make new ones.

15: d10 Krapilskoleg Seers - Silver-Clothed Stargazing Women
3hp, Spiral-Daggers (d6)
- Enlighten you on their texts that prove the existence of shape-shifting yetis, and the lack of any other astral beings. 
- Attack anyone that tries to disengage from the debate.
- Set up their complex array of telescopes for an evening's viewing. 

16: d6 Deremi Junkmen - Rag-Covered Petty Thieves
3hp, Metal Hook (d6)
- Try to sell you useless crap they've stolen. 
- Hook a trivial piece of equipment away from you (STR Save) and run at the first chance. 
- Pile their junk into a shrine to their monkey-god of petty theft. 

17: d8 Naythun Riders - Bearded Men riding Naked Men Twisted into Emu-Shape
3hp, Riding Crop (d6) OR Naythun Kick (d6)
- Offer you a chance to feed or pet their steed. 
- Muzzle their Naythun if it tries to scream out in repressed sapience.
- Defend their steeds to the death and nuzzle it uncomfortably. 

18: d4 Faceless Patrons - Hooded Wanderers
3hp, Hidden Dagger (d6)
- Offer you a gold coin to carry out a highly specific task. 
- Gang up on you and stab you if you don't carry out the task to the letter. 
- Stab any Faceless Patron that has their face revealed. 

19: Roll twice, they're arguing.

20: Roll twice, they've somehow joined together for a mutual benefit. 

Disclaimer: There's legitimately no subtext here. I put names into a list, swapped some letters around, and created an encounter from that concept. Enjoy!

Monday, 27 July 2015

The Bureaucro-Labyrinth

Everything is complicated in Bastion.


And nobody knows who's in charge. 

                           

So, if you need something official written on a piece of paper, you're in for a bumpy ride.

You can choose to just ignore the official process, but there's no shortage of busybodies that would use such an act against you. Some have official authority, others have unofficial authority, the smartest realise that there isn't any difference.


When you start the Bureaucratic Process, roll d20.

On future Bureaucratic Rolls, you add your Progress to the result. When you get what you want, or give up, you lose all Progress.

If you can find a way to grease the wheels somehow, you might find other ways to gain Progress.


  1. The person you need is on sick leave. Roll d6 each day you check in. On a 6 they're back, Gain 1 Progress and Roll again. On any other result Lose 1 WIL and check back tomorrow.
  2. You have to explain your whole problem to some new agent. Gain 1 Progress, Lose d4 WIL and Roll again.
  3. You need a signature from some high flying official, who is only ever seen at fancy social events. If you can get into such an event and find him, Gain 1 Progress and Roll again. Otherwise, Lose d6 WIL. 
  4. You need to get to an office on the far side of Bastion. If you make it there before sundown, Gain 1 Progress and Roll again, otherwise Lose d6 WIL. 
  5. There's a fee for processing the next bit. Pay d20s, Gain 1 Progress, Lose 1 WIL and Roll again.
  6. You need a copy of an old document you no longer keep handy. Wait a week for it to show up, then Gain 1 Progress and Roll again.
  7. As part of the process you're audited on your earnings since birth. Roll d6 and subtract d8. If the result is negative you owe that many Gold to the tax office. If it's positive, they will refund you that much gold in d20 weeks. Gain 1 Progress and Roll again.
  8. Your case is being subject to a random spot check and may take longer to process than normal. Roll d6 to see the delay (1: A year, 2: 6 months, 3: 1 Month, 4: 2 Weeks, 5: 1 Week, 6: 1 day.) After the delay, Gain 1 Progress, Lose 1 WIL and Roll again.
  9. Your case is assigned a new agent who lost some paperwork. Lose 1 Progress, 1 WIL and Roll again.
  10. Your case is assigned a no-nonsense agent who's going to get this sorted or ruin the whole case. Double your next roll on this table (after modifiers), but lose all Progress afterwards. 
  11. The department handling your case has passed it on elsewhere. Get to the other side of Bastion to move things forward. Once you get there there's a 50% chance that the case has been passed back to the old department. When this is resolved Gain 1 Progress, Lose 1 WIL and Roll again.
  12. You get a very long form that takes an hour to fill out. Gain 1 Progress, Lose 1 WIL and Roll again.
  13. Actually you've been led down the wrong process entirely. Lose d6 WIL, all Progress, and start again.
  14. You need to get a routine medical inspection. Pay 20s for the privilege, but get a good check up. Lose 1 WIL, Gain 1 Progress, and start again.
  15. You can see the person you need to pass the paperwork on to, but they're heading home in a carriage. Catch them to gain d6 Progress, or else lose 1d6 WIL. Roll again. 
  16. Actually you're not eligible for the paperwork, for some trivial reason. If you can find someone to pay 1g to act as your guarantor then Roll Again, otherwise lose all Progress, d6 WIL, and start again. 
  17. You're assigned a personal agent for this case. They're super eager, but super lonely. If you lead them on with friendship you can gain d4 Progress, Lose 1 WIL and Roll again. If you show the merest hint of distates towards them they'll halt your case and halve your Progress before passing you on, Roll Again. 
  18. A mountain of paperwork taking d6 hours to complete. Gain d4 Progress, Lose d4 WIL and Roll again. 
  19. You get to the right place but you have to queue. At the end of each hour you wait Lose 1 WIL and roll a d6. On a 6 you get what you need, gain d6 Progress, and Roll again. On any other roll you keep on waiting. 
  20. You got it done! You got the paperwork processed, signed, stamped, and a copy sent off to the appropriate Archive. After 3 days roll a d4. On a 1 the paperwork has been misfiled and you must restart the process from the beginning, losing d6 WIL and all Progress.  

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Characters in Auldskunterroy

Bringing Bastiard Characters to Auldskunterroy

It's easier to get horribly injured here. Use the Injuries and Worse rules.

Guns work here, but nobody has access to what you need to keep guns working. As soon as they get wet, run out of ammo, or break, you won't get them fixed until you get back to proper civilisation.

The bang of a gun is sure to attract attention, but the locals won't worship you as a god or anything. They'll just see you as a massive threat that needs dealing with.



Rolling an Auldskunterroyan

Roll an Into the Odd character as normal but do not take a starter package.

Choose whether you're a Warrior or Monk and consult the section on that class to see what you get. Make your choice before looking at the starter package you'll receive, you dirty cheat.

Auldskunterroyan Warrior
- You bow to a Liege (50% chance they're dead, but you serve them regardless) in their castle and serve them by fighting.



- Your Highest Score Score gives you a Bloodline, it's crest, trait, and philosophy, and a piece of equipment. Unless noted, Armour Score is 1, and requires a shield and helm to be effective. d6 weapons are one-handed, and d8 weapons two-handed. Mounts must be given a name.
3: Megalodon (Black Shark. Pointed Teeth. Strength Through Cruelty). Rex-Thuzzard Mount (STR 18, DEX 10, WIL 3, 12hp, Armour 2, d10 Bite)
4: Spiner (Green Porcupine, Obesity, Defend the Weak). Spine Javelins (d6)
5: Predatorix (Red Tiger. Red Skin. Kill Anyone  that Offends You).Bright Red Chain & Shield.
6: Gekro (Orange/Blue Fighting Lizards. Terrible Odour. Uncover All Falsehood). Horn-Thuzzard Mount (STR 18, DEX 5, WIL 3, 4hp, Armour 2, d10 Gore)
7: Doverider (Frog-Riding-Dove, Exposed Bone Spikes, Always Lie).Hidden Dagger (d6)
8: Biter (White Snake, Poisonous Bite for d6 STR Loss on Critical Damage, Destroy Other Bloodlines).Horned Purple Plate & Shield.
9: Twotongue (Rising Sun, Forked Tongue, Explore Horizons).Claw-Thuzzard Mount (STR 14, DEX 16, WIL 4, 7hp, Armour 1, d8 Claw)
10: Muntin (Crowned Mammoth, Towering Stature, The Strong Must Rule).Rock Hammer (d8)
11: Clawpaw (Black Mountain, Talon-Hands, All Animals are Monsters).Shining Blue Scale & Shield
12: Blackblood (Three-Dodos, Black Blood, Get Influence Everywhere).Shell-Thuzzard Mount (STR 15, DEX 5, WIL 3, 5hp, Armour 2, d10 Clubtail)
13: Splitten (Two-Headed Arrow, Far-Sight, Keep the Bloodlines Balanced).Hunting Bow (d6)
14: Brassheart (Gold-Ring, Cold-Blooded, Wealth Rules Might).Noble Chestpiece, Fish-Helm, & Shield.
15: Shamer (Rock-Headed Man, Talk to Beasts, Pride Must be Broken).Pig-Thuzzard Mount (STR 12, DEX 7, WIL 6, 8hp, d6 Bite, Loyal and Smart)
16: Vorden (Broken Shield, Yellow Eyes, Bring Order to the Primeval).Denial Rod (wield alongside another weapon for d8 damage attack).
17: Terribux (Green Eye, Blue Skin, Be the Monster).White Furry Beast-Face Armour & Shield.
18: Zeeleo (Black Hammer, Lion-like Mane, Blessed is the Slavemaster).Psychically Bound Cavewitch Slave (STR 15, DEX 10, WIL 18, 3hp, d8 Bite. Huge, Brainlike Head, Telepathy and Psychic Lash (1d6 WIL Loss to target)).



- Your Second Highest Score gives you a hand weapon.
3: Whip-Sword (d6)
4: Pole-Spike (d6)
5: Claw Sword (d6)
6: Skullhammer (d6)
7: Stone Fist (d6)
8: Fish Axe (d6)
9: Knight's Pick (d6)
10: Club Sword (d6)
11: Toothed Sword (d6)
12: Bell-Cudgel (d6)
13: Volcanic Shard (d6)
14: Longmace (d6)
15: Whip-Hammer (d6)
16: Murderfork (d6)
17: Rod Spike (d6)
18: Bastard Flail (d6)

Your Lowest Score gives you your starting rank, which comes with an implied responsibility to your liege. Higher WIL scores are higher ranks. There's a 50% chance you're Knighted, which means other Knights don't automatically think you're a total pencil-pusher.
3: Roughtennant (Carry out petty work for any knights in the dominion)
4: Baton-Sheath (Wave a flag whenever the Castle Lord arrives or leaves)
5: Par-Medden (Take messages between the castle and the nearest Monastery)
6: Bushtennant (Keep beasts away from protected domains)
7: Hard-Soverman (Make sure farmers are working to their full capability)
8: Under-Marshall (Keep an eye on anyone trying to climb up to this rank and knock them back down)
9: Houser-Chief (Perform shock-checks of any living quarters in the dominion)
10: Bow'd Marshall (Ensure proper bowing procedure is carried out across the dominion)
11: Pole-Miner (Visit other castles and maintain good relations while stirring up trouble)
12: Lesser-Fulhelm (Kill any troublemakers)
13: Pole-Riser (Openly cause trouble in other dominions)
14: Left-Ruddock (Bring the best arms into the castle)
15: Over-Ruddock (Maintain mercenary relations in case of a war)
16: Rear-Eye (Monitor goods entering and leaving the castle)
17: Arch-Bagger (Monitor coins entering and leaving the castle)
18: Grand Tash (Tend to a Tower of the Castle)



Monk
- You get robes and a staff (d6). You can wear armour and use any weapons, but must return to your robes and staff when you want to perform a ritual.
- You're considered holy, so you get a certain level of respect from all other Auldskunterroyans.
- If you have one or more human corpses to witness things, you can perform other rituals listed below, each of which lasts a number of hours equal to the corpses required.

1: Funeral - One of many dozen types of funeral service that ensure the dead are honoured. Every member of the deceased bloodline that attends the ritual gets a short vision from the dead that may be useful.
2: Union - A ritual between two lovers, or a liege and a vassal, that converts one over to the bloodline of the other, immediately starting to show the new blood traits in place of their own.
3: Guidance - The combined consciousnesses of the corpses give you a cryptic message that may be useful.
4: Exorcism - A monster that the monk has beaten into submission is utterly destroyed and cannot return to haunt the world.
5: Binding - A single ancestor is temporarily bound to watch over one of their bloodline. They yell advice and lecture them as a voice in their head. As soon as the descendant ignores the advice or gives them any attitude, they scald them for d6 WIL loss and return to the land of the dead.
6: Purification - A structure or clearing is cleansed of the ill intent of the forgotten dead. Monsters cannot enter it while the monks remain here.
7: (Unholy Number, corpses must not be gathered in this number)
8: Mummification - A person on the verge of death can be preserved in a way that they will never decay, and never truly die. They live on forever in an immobile state but can only utter one word a day.
9: Rebirth - A recently dead corpse explodes into a bloody manifestation of the forgotten dead, which rampages for d20 minutes before collapsing.
10: Communion - The monk utters ten words that must form a legitimate question to ask the dead. Ten words make up the answer, but not in the correct order.
11: (Unholy Number, Monks never convene in this number)
12: Feast- Gather 12 corpses and arrange them around a hot feast, in appropriate dress. Hide behind one and you can hear their side of the conversation as if they were alive. The monk can only hear one corpse's contribution to the conversation. When the food is cold, the conversation ends.
13: Curse - Make a horrible proclamation against someone that the thirteen corpses surround. It immediately becomes sealed in fate, but also affects all of the Monk too.



Your Highest Score gives you a Gift from the Dead.
3: You have a permanent ancestral ghost guide that only you can see. They're pretty helpful but can't directly influence the world.
4: Monstrous Manifestations of the Forgotten Dead cannot attack you directly.
5: You are immune to poison and disease.
6: You do not bleed and can reattach limbs in an instant.
7: You do not need to eat or drink.
8: You do not need to breathe.
9: When you touch a person as they die you gain the benefits of a Full Rest.
10: You can see death like a shroud over those about to die.
11: You can prevent death indefinitely as long as you're touching the person.
12: You are naturally pale, bald, and gaunt, so other monks see you as extra holy.
13: You have died and come back, so the dead see you as one of their own.
14: You can sense the bloodline of a corpse, no matter how hold.
15: Your eyelids have decayed so you no longer blink and sleep with your eyes open
16: Your bones are black and show through your skin.
17: You have removed your heart, and wear it as a shriveled husk around your neck.
18: Anyone dying in your presence gets a tasteful column of light to shine on them for a moment as they pass.



Your Lowest Score gives you a Burden from the Dead. If you do not carry this burden properly you'll anger the dead and a monster will manifest to haunt you.
3: Carry a sack of ancestor organs with you at all times.
4: Tiny conjoined twin that you have to feed and look after. Holds a dead spirit and may offer cryptic guidance.
5: You cannot eat or drink under any circumstances, but cling onto life all the same.
6: You must not abide darkness, and light candles wherever you go.
7: Any corpse you see must be given a proper funeral within the week.
8: Anyone you see not honouring the dead must be struck with your staff.
9: Carry the last breath of an ancestor in a jar.
10: Carry around the bones of an ancestor at all times.
11: You have a dead leg and must walk with your staff at all times.
12: You have a dead arm that's no use for anything.
13: The voices of the forgotten dead taunt and haunt your mind, but you must honour them all the same.
14: Your body houses a colony of maggots that you must look after properly.
15: You must not kill.
16: Your face has decayed away to leave a horrifying skull. People think that's a step too far.
17: Your tongue and jaw have perished, so you can't talk.
18: Your eyes have decayed, so you're blind.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Auldskunterroy - The Old Country

Go far out into Deep Country and you might encounter the gnarled old giants of Massiff Country.

Beyond even that, or maybe in a different direction (the maps are inconsistent), lies Auldskunterroy, or The Old Country.



Where Massiff Country is old like a mountain, Auldskunterroyis the long shadow of our distant past, carrying on as if nothing has changed for millenia.

Auldskunterroyans have no idea Bastion exists.
Bationites know it's out there, but it's Deep Country so who cares? Some citizens claim to have Auldskunterroyan Heritage to explain why they act like such uncivilised idiots.

Auldcoin is no good in Bastion, and Bastion Coins are no good here unless they're re-minted with the appropriate markings.



Key Principles of Auldskunterroy

  1. Everybody bows to someone else. 
  2. Civilisation breaks down at the first opportunity. 
  3. There is power the Dead, and those who share their Blood.
Key Locations
  1. Dinosaur filled death-jungles.
  2. Towers and castles overflowing with ritual debauchery.
  3. Volcanos riddled with cavewitch colonies. 

Roll 1d20 to see who you encounter. Use the same result to see what they're doing. 

1-3: d8 Knights of the Blood of Bokburd  (STR 13, 8hp, Bright Orange Plate and Shield (1), Flails (d6), Charred-Eagle-Crest, Feathery Beards and prone to shrieking outbursts if offended) riding Horn-Thuzzards (STR 15, DEX 5, WIL 5, Armour 2, d10 Gore, coat with Charred-Eagle-Crest)


What are they Doing?
1: On a quest to slay Old-Man-Marshy, a colossal intelligent crustacean hiding in the swamp. This monster is a manifestation of the forgotten dead.  
2: On a quest to escort a promised bride from the Melted Tower to their liege, Arch-Murderlord Bokburd. 
3: Burning a pyre of dead birds to honour their dead. 

4-6: Taxwickle (Owek Snarl, 8hp, d6 stabbing sword, 20s in Auldcoin, Rainbow-Fish Crest of the Blood of Tong, Piglike face and gluttonous appetite) and 12 Traitors-at-Arms (5hp, ugly daggers (d6), Heavymail and Shield (1) marked with T for Traitor, chained together and scarred from torture)


What are they Doing?
4: Beating down a family of farmers, pointing out that as they can see the tower of Castle Tong, they owe taxes to their Liege. 
5: Ritually torturing half of the Trators-at-Arms as a means of honouring their murdered victims and ensuring their future allegience. After a while they swap and the tortured torture the torturers for a while. Owek is getting drunk on Mudwine.  
6: Reading out the Statement of Domination to a herd of Blubber-Thuzzards that are gorging on waxy fungus.  

7-9: Uncastled Noble Warrior (Uya Rossrod, STR 17, DEX 12, WIL 12, 12hp, d8 Hacking Sword, Horrible Scratchy Voice, Red Twenty-Pointed-Star Crest of the Blood of Rossrod) and her Domainless Mercenary Army (d6-3 Detachments each of Claw-Thuzzard Riders (7hp, d10 Claws, armour 1), Armoured Long-axe-men, (5hp, d8 Axes), Spear Throwers (5hp, d6 Spears), Sling Boys (2hp, d6 Slings), and Cavewitch Slaves (6hp, d8 Rock-Axes)


What are they Doing?
7: Riding to Castle Tong to reclaim it in her name. 
8: Preparing an attack on a Cavewitch Colony, with help of a Cavewitch traitor. . 
9: Cutting meat from  Behemoth-Thuzzard in preparation for a feast-and-vomit ritual to honour the dead

10-12: d6 Hellgullet-Thuzzards (STR 17, DEX 15, WIL 3, 15hp, Armour 1, d10 Beak, Swallow Whole on Critical Damage to be kept alive in stomach for later feeding to young. Stomach has d4-1 live people inside already).


What are they Doing?
10: Sleeping peacefully. 
11: Regurgitating live victims for 12 young in their nest-pit. 
12: Chasing a Wise-Woman who thinks she can curse them, but the dead aren't listening

13-15: 2d6 Pilgrim Librarians (WIL 14, 3hp, Pile of Scrolls and Relics relating to bloodlines. Gaunt, Naked, Top of Skull Exposed.)


What are they Doing?
13: Coating a hunk of wood (the post an ancestor was tied to and beaten to death, now a relic) in fresh blood-wax solution to preserve it. 
14: Sat in a circle debating the interpretation of a faded family tree. 
15: Heading towards the mythical land of Bastion, to seek further information for their records. 

16-17: 2d20 Cavewitches (STR 15, DEX 10, WIL 5, 7hp, d8 Javelins or Bites, Slate-Armour and Shields (1, very heavy), Huge, Brainlike-Heads, Hive Mind, telepathic communication and psychic scream).


What are they Doing?
16: Tracking the Hellgullet-Thuzzards and trying to drive them towards Castle Tong to torment its residents.
17: Surrounding a fat old Cavewitch and psychically torturing him as a punishment for not contributing to the society. 

18-19: Skeletal Monk (STR 3, DEX 3, WIL 18, surrounded by ghostly smoke that corrodes any threats for d10 damage each turn)


What are they Doing?
18: Meditating and allowing the guardian smoke to corrode his skin, as a means of becoming closer to the dead
19: Very slowly laying pebbles out in a pattern as means of honouring the dead. 

20: Matchstick Spirits (Immaterial) The ghosts of those the group have killed, or loved ones that have died and not been honoured properly. They will give clues to their nature but generally just seem angry and in pain. If treated with respect they will slowly fade. If angered they will merge to form a black Dragon-like monster (STR 17, DEX 10, WIL 12, 20hp, Armour 2, d10 Darkness-Breath) and attack immediately, while taunting the group in the voices of the dead.  


To Follow: Rolling up an Auldskunterroyan Character 



Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Winners of the Bastion Royal Lottery (also NPC Behaviour)

Everyone is in the Royal Lottery, whether they know it or not.

If you win, a Royal Herald invites you to tea with one of the many "rightful" Kings or Queens of Bastion. If you go along you will indeed be granted a prize of 1,000g, in return for swearing allegiance to the unthroned monarch. The coins are marked with the head of the monarch in question, but gold is gold.

If you waver in your service, Royal Knights will kick your door in and reclaim your prize.

Side Note: NPC Instincts
I usually give NPCs a set of goals to drive their actions. These work well, but I'd like to include a more concrete set of guidelines for how that character acts. Things that make them memorable, rather than guide their overall plan of action.

I like how Dungeon World handles this.

Each monster has an Instinct which is a super high concept description of how they behave, and various Moves which are actions they do most often.

So take this Magmin:


Instinct: To craft
Moves

- Offer a trade or deal
- Strike with fire or magic
- Provide just the right item, at a price

Instinct has a simplicity that I like, but I find the moves generally make it obsolete. Note that this set of bullet points sits at the bottom of this paragraph of description: 

Dwarf-shaped and industrious, the magmin are among the deepest-dwellers of Dungeon World. Found in cities of brass and obsidian built nearest the molten core of the planet, the magmin live a life devoted to craft—especially that of fire and magical items related to it. Surly and strange, they do not often deign to speak to petitioners who appear at their gates, even those who have somehow found a way to survive the hellish heat. Even so, they respect little more than a finely made item and to learn to forge from a magmin craftsman means unlocking secrets unknown to surface blacksmiths. Like so much else, visiting the magmin is a game of risk and reward.

Hey! Wake up! 

Yeah. It's useful to have that there for contrast. Needless to say, I don't think it's needed. If only we could roll all that description into the Moves and ditch the needless Instinct in the process. 

Magmin - Lava Dwarfs
- Craft something at a steep price, with a surly attitude. 
- Obsess over fine craftsmanship. 
- Lash out at hagglers with fire.

I played around with this sort of thing in Arkbound, giving them actual mechanical weight. I don't want that for Into the Odd, but I'd like to try giving NPCs a set of three bullet points to detail their behaviour. Of course, the NPC isn't limited to these actions. They're like the three go-to things they're likely to do in their daily lives. If I'm sly I bet I can squeeze things like motivations and special abilities in there too!

Yes, I fetishise simplicity. Stay with me. 

Let's put it to use with these Lottery Winners!

"Sparkle" Funkulman - Bastion's Wealthiest Sweep
STR 11, DEX 16, WIL 7, 5hp.
Brushes, Filthy Work Clothes, 100g stashed in pockets.
- Be filthy and gross.
- Do demeaning work for free.
- Reward kindness with a pouch of d20g.

Lazerine Zlasch - Avant-Garde Harpist
STR 10, DEX 15, WIL 17, 3hp.
Morbid jewellery (worth 5g), Antique Harp (worth 10g).
- Explain the meaning behind art in a patronising way.
- Shred out a dissonant piece of music.
- Invest in other avant-garde artists.    
Team Horrax - Professional Wrestlers

Belle Horrax - Bastion's Dirtiest Fighter
STR 13, DEX 13, WIL 10, 6hp.
Frilly clothes, hidden dagger (d6).
- Act harmless and demure.
- Bite you when you least suspect it.
- Flatter her husband with adoration.

Buckle Horrax - Man of Honour
STR 12, DEX 15, WIL 13, 5hp.
Tight trousers, feathered hat, pipe, keys to the prize vault.
- Engage in a fair fight for any slight of honour.
- Give questionable advice on any situation as if he's an expert.
- Sleep around behind his wife's back.



Bernard Urnard Woughlough - Society Critic
STR 8, DEX 4, WIL 13, 2hp.
Thick clothes, walking cane (d6), gout.
- Give a scathing critique.
- Indulge in gluttony.
- Oppose any sort of change to traditional ways.
Pip Vincery - Retired Explorer
STR 12, DEX 15, WIL 10, 12hp.
Cap and smoking jacket, drink in hand, duelling sword (d8).
- Tell an incredible story of his travels.
- Beckon a beast to nuzzle up to him.
- Advise on the perfect beverage for any situation.
Alette Jonting - Spoilt Brat
STR 7, DEX 9, WIL 6, 6hp.
Layered dress, smug grin. 
- Demonstrate how much wealthier than you she is. 
- Fish for compliments. 
- Lose temper and buy revenge however she can. 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

The Battle of Bastion

Bastion is the only city that matters, and it's so big and complicated that nobody can rule the whole thing.

So you wouldn't expect to see the sort of grand field battles associated with the modern age.


In actuality, the Battle of Bastion has lasted for decades, and spills out of the city into the rest of the world.


Of course there are Generals that let their rivalries froth over into battles, but they don't really hold out a hope of winning Bastion. Each of the Belligerents involved here actually want to rule over the city, ridiculous as that concept may seem.



d8 Battle of Bastion Belligerents
1: House Gargan (Green, Black, Green Fesses. White Fez)
Want to restore their family to a royal throne, ban astral cults, and rid the city of tax collectors.

2: The White Brigade (Black Saltire, White Fimbriation, on Black Field. White Top-Hat)
Want to broker a peaceful end to the Battle, ensure all belligerents are disarmed, and remove all record of the war.

3: Universal Republic (Red Star on Red, White, Red Pales. Red Tricorne.)
Want any member of an astral cult to be able to vote on city matters, a council of the largest cult heads, and a new Bastion to be colonised in the Polar Ocean.

4: New Industrial Methods (Blue and Red Quarterly with Silver Turtle. Blue Cap.)
Want to prolong the Battle to sell weapons, cut off trade to deep country, and gather Arcana for research.

5: Willing Servant's Front (White Cow on Blue Field. Two-Spiked Helm.)
Want to install a rigid caste system, encourage slavery, and make contact with cosmic beings.

6: Topper House (Black Dog Eating Red Cat on Blue and Gold Stripes. Bearskin)
Want to thin out the city's population, prolong the Battle, and give more power back to the inbred nobility of Deep Country,



Certain Rules of Engagement are followed:

  • Belligerents must display uniform, including a hat, and each detachment must carry a flag. 
  • Non-combatants are not valid targets.
  • Fighting and movement must cease at sunset.  
  • Troop movements, casualties, recruitment, and coalition agreements are to be sent to the Impartial War Monitoring Office by sunrise the next day. 
  • Coalitions must be dispersed after achieving the goal noted on their paperwork.
  • Soldiers wishing to leave the battle must be permitted to do so by sunset the following day.  
  • Any breach of these rules will be swiftly punished by the Impartial War Monitoring Office. 



The target of a coalition is usually one of the city's many palaces, which at some point in time housed a powerful individual. The idea is that holding the palace makes you the defacto ruler of Bastion, but really you just make yourself a target.


Barricade Warfare
Pushing towards the palace an inch at a time is the traditional form of warfare in the Battle of Bastion.
  • Attacks into a Barricade are Impaired, but you can't advance without leaving the Barricade. 
  • A Barricade can be assaulted with melee weapons, but the defenders get to fire on the chargers before they arrive, and get to make the first melee attacks. 
  • The Barricade can be attacked by cannons, explosives, fire, and huge creatures, having 10hp. 
  • It takes an hour to build enough Barricade to hold a single Detachment, and fill the width of a city street. 
  • An extra hour can be spent to add any of the following to your Barricade:
    • Grizzly Trophies - Attachments must pass a WIL Save to charge. Requires corpses. 
    • Glorious Enshrinement -  Defenders will fight to the death.
    • Deathtraps - Chargers take an additional d6 damage when they reach Melee range.
    • Powder Kegs - Light the fuse to blow the barricade and cause d12 damage to everyone nearby. Requires 1g worth of Gunpowder.
    • Secure Bunker - Enough room for four people to cower. The bunker has 10hp, Armour 3, and ignores anything smaller than a cannon. Requires 1g worth of metal.
    • Escape Tunnel - Fleeing defenders can get to safety without fear of being pursued.    
When palace sieges and barricade warfare take their toll on the belligerents, they'll use any excuse to march their forces out of the city for a change of pace. When one army leaves the city, the rest will eagerly pursue to engage them in the open.



As anyone with a brain can see the Battle is pointless. Doing your time in the Battle is seen as a rite of passage for young Bastionites, who rarely stick to their cause for more than a few months. In later years, veterans look back on the Battle with a mixture of fondness and embarrassment.



Wednesday, 10 June 2015

A Gazer Manifesto


Being a Gazer isn't about gazing. It's about seeing. But we aren't seers, we just feel it, y'know?

It's really all about gazing. Just put yourself facing in the right direction, trust in StarryNight, and it'll all become clear.



But we don't gaze. We don't even really see. It's like the things you can't see just go into our minds and then they become real, so we can see them. But you can't look at them.

StarryNight knows our minds better than we do so the only truth is to open up your mind to him. And we do that by gazing.



He brought us to Hellspace, and Hellspace is full of Demons, so really aren't we Demons too? But you can't Gaze into Hellspace. You have to go out there and become a part of it yourself. There's something out there that StarryNight wants us to go and perceive so we have to find it.

And we do that by gazing.



1d6 Famous Gazers
1: Morpherbella - Gazer Socialite (2)
Moves
- Look Beyond Reality
- Be Enigmatically Compelling (+1)
- Go Into a Biting Frenzy
Gear: Neon Ballgown, Holo-Parasol.

2: Mel Tadcat - Gazer Stim-Pusher (3)
Moves
Look Beyond Reality
- Pressure a New Customer into Stim Use (+1)
- Run Crying to her Boss
Gear: Headache-Inducing Black and White Spacesuit, Metal Fists, Loads of Stims.

3: Emprah Sar- Prodigious Philosopher (3)
Moves
Look Beyond Reality
- Make Vaguely Profound Statements (+1)
- Act Like a Spoiled Brat
Gear: Purple and Gold Spacesuit, Holo-Rod. 

4: Moment - Gazer Petty Thief (2)
Moves
Look Beyond Reality (+1)
- Pickpocket Someone
- Appear Pathetic
Gear: Pink and purple spacesuit, bloodshot eyes, stim-shakes. 

5: Gummi Lan - Gazer Hellspace Explorer (3)
Moves
Look Beyond Reality
- Push Deeper into Hellspace
- Consort with Demons (+1)
Gear: White Spacesuit, Demon Pipes,


6: Sammy Nostrox - Earthborn Gazer Legend (3)
Moves
Look Beyond Reality
- Twist Mechanical Body into an Unnatural Shape
- Do Nothing (+1)
Gear: Rainbow spacesuit, stim-smoke-tent, mostly mechanical body. 


Here's what you get for being a Gazer. 

Gazer
Move: Look Beyond Reality

Gear: Take a brightly painted spacesuit, and choose one of the following:
  1. Mind-Altering Stims.
  2. Exotic but Stupid Artificial Pet.
  3. Droning Instrument.

Roll 1d6 again for the second part of your tag, and your second Move.
  1. Interpreter
  • Make Sense out of a Pattern
  1. Consorter
  • Make Sense of a Demon
  1. Chemist
  • Find the Right Stim
  1. Noisemaker
  • Create Sensory Distortion
  1. Charger
  • Get a Vision from an Electrical Current
  1. Prophet-Hunter

  • See the Truth about Someone