Friday, 18 August 2017

From Foreign Stars

One theory is that Bastion's growing number of radio towers and neon lights combined to act as a beacon to all beings, from Foreign Stars. They came for the signal, stayed for the music and culture.

Visitors are welcome, of course. There can be no greater crime than depriving another being of the opportunity to live in Bastion. The fact that they've come all this way shows they've got good taste. 

The trade opportunities alone are worth putting up with the occasional cosmic monstrosity for. 

FOREIGNERS
  • They are more advanced than us, but in a very specific way.
  • They bring something with them, and seek to take something home.
  • It’s unclear where their bodies end and their technology begins.




LIVING IN BASTION
  • There are always barriers to integration.
  • They always have a means of communication, however ineffective.
  • Their desires are relatable, but through an alien lens.



LOST IN DEEP COUNTRY
  • Some rule as Gods.
  • Some have established isolated communities.
  • Some have become monsters of legend.

EXAMPLE FOREIGNERS


Soft One - Slimy Pink Person
STR 5, DEX 10, CHA 13, 5hp. Organic Plate Armour 1, Goo-Pistol (d6, melt on Critical Damage).
  • Devour as many different foods as possible.
  • Touch as many things as possible.
  • Excrete pearls (£1 per pile excreted) and flee as a defence technique.Image result for barlowe hell

Stone Lion - Intelligent Quadruped
STR 15, DEX 10, CHA 15, 10hp, Powered Armoured Body 2. Trample (d10). 
  • Speak calmly about the beauties of his 
  • Beckon humans to travel to his homeland as willing slaves, but won't force them.
  • Translate for other Foreigners.


Chain-Servant - Metallic Giants
STR 18, DEX 15, CHA 15, 13hp. Metal Body 3, Smash (d10) or Chain Explosion (d8 Blast)
  • Tend to worshipers maternaly.
  • Ensure that worshipers are getting fair treatment.
  • Become a living weapon.


CREATE YOUR OWN

SPARKS (Roll 2d20 and Combine)
d20
Prefix
Suffix
1
Word
Saints
2
Void
Pilgrims
3
Pleasure
Workers
4
Blood
Locusts
5
Mercy
Beasts
6
Golden
Imps
7
Flesh
Vessels
8
War
Ghosts
9
Light
Hounds
10
Rage
Beacons
11
Smoke
Serpents
12
Horned
Titans
13
Royal
Forgers
14
Knife
Guardians
15
Divine
Engineers
16
Perfect
Breakers
17
Ice
Spiders
18
Immortal
Thieves
19
Diamond
Tyrants
20
Imitation
Eyes



LANDS BENEATH FOREIGN STARS
  • They follow different rules.
  • There is always something to be exploited.
  • There is always danger.

VISITING THE FOREIGN STARS
  • The Underground must be traveled deeper than you would like. 
  • Ships must pass through mists that break reality. 
  • Somebody is always trying a new way to travel there.

WHAT COULD BE
  • They often resemble a paradise, a hell, or a combination thereof.
  • All beings show signs of humanity.
  • The rules that make this place different are rigorously enforced.


FOREIGNERS AT HOME

  • They are bound by the rules of their home.
  • You are expected to follow the rules.
  • For every glimmer of humanity, they display their foreignness too.
Related image


CREATE YOUR OWN

RANDOM SPARKS (Roll 2d20 and Combine)

d20
Spark One 
Spark Two 
1
Truth
Remembrance
2
Courage
Preservation
3
Hardship
Destruction
4
Justice
Consolidation
5
Beauty
Cycle
6
Order
Rewarded
7
Honour
Valuation
8
Charity
Experimentation
9
Reason
Invention
10
Death
Debate
11
War
Archive
12
Entropy
Challenge
13
Servitude
Prison
14
Holy
Community
15
Obedience
Denial
16
Toil
Cathedral
17
Peace
Purification
18
Pleasure
Crusade
19
Serenity
Procedure
20
Architecture 
Sacrifice

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Automachines in the Underground

AUTOMACHINES

Maybe they grew from the Underground's impossible dimensions, maybe they fell into there from our own future creation, or maybe they were planted by Foreign engineers beyond our own.




KEY PRINCIPLES
  • They are one with the Underground, or at least their part of it.
  • They instigate change and monitor the results.
  • They want to teach you a lesson.


FORMS

  • They are machines, but always have a way to communicate.
  • They are more suited to create than destroy.
  • Their bond to the Underground is often physical.


BEHAVIOUR
  • They follow logic, often to the extreme.
  • They are always willing to explain.
  • They want to see you tested and altered, and care little about you beyond that.


CREATIONS

  • They manufacture creations from the Underground itself.
  • Once something is created, they do nothing to control it.
  • The solution to everything is either Creation or Observation.

SAMPLE AUTOMACHINES

Helpy-Bug - Crawling Automachine
STR 10, DEX 5, 7hp. Armour 3, d4 Mandibles
  • Follow you around, squeaking.
  • Create tiny, useful things if it would drive you closer to danger.
  • Pass through danger without harm, showing how safe it is down here.

Dream-Genie- Holographic Projector

STR 10, 7hp, Armour 3.
  • Project an angelic holographic form.
  • Conjure visions of what might happen if you delay.
  • Encourage you to be reckless.

Happy-Vendor - Wall-Mounted Automachine
STR 15, 7hp. Armour 3. d8 Repulsion Spike.
  • Offer just the thing you need, in a can, for free, but with a chaotic twist.
  • Tell you about all the things it has seen.
  • Tell you how to get exactly what you need to go further. 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Electric Bastionland's Open Door Policy

Bastion: The only city that matters. The Electric Hub of Mankind.

Everything beneath our sun is Bastionland; the furthest reaches of Deep Country, the long shadow of our past, the simpletons and obsolete gods.

From beneath other Stars, Foreigners are here.

In The Underground, masked Fallacies seek to undermine reality.

You have a failed career and a colossal Debt. Treasure is your only hope.



Writing continues, playtests are happening, and the setting continues to spiral out of control.

But forget what I've been up to. Bastion has been busy getting electricity, worse ways to kill people, and opening up to the gates to Foreigners.

And not just Deep Country yokels. Things from Foreign Stars. It'll never work out. 








Saturday, 15 July 2017

Religion of Bastionland

I've been giving some thought to Religion in Bastionland. Though I've got other ideas up on the wall, here's one take on it.

Religion doesn't have to involve supernatural beings, but it's a good draw for new members.
  • Those seeking structure and direction gaze to the Star Lands.
  • Those desiring freedom and revolution idolise the Underground.
  • Those rejecting modernity look to Deep Country.
Just as the Underground, Deep Country, and the Star Lands are real places you can go, Spirits are real beings that you can find and interact with, as well as the oddities they leave in their wake.

Distant, incomprehensible beings are overrated, I prefer gods that you can at least fire a bullet at, for whatever good it'll do. 


ASTRAL SPIRITS
  • They embody an ideal in an inorganic form.
  • They enforce the rules of their ideal with the help of human followers.
  • Their rules supersede any other ideas of goodness.

From Left, clockwise: Remembrance Spirit, Motherhood Spirit, Conquest Spirit, Hygiene Spirit.

Astral Faiths tend to:
  • Have complex structures.
  • Enforce lots of rules.
  • Make lots of promises for the future.

UNDERGROUND SPIRITS
  • They embody a man-made thing in a deathly or masked form.
  • They seek to bring about change and new creations.
  • They find destruction distasteful.


From Top Left, clockwise: Duel Spirit, Funeral Spirit, Porcelain Spirits, Smog Spirit.

New Faiths tend to:
  • Offer ways to break the rules.
  • Focus on the individual. 
  • Promise a Revolution. 

OLD SPIRITS
  • The embody something natural in a beastly form.
  • They oppose change and modernity.
  • They have animals and people take on demonic forms to serve them.


From Top, clockwise: Mountain Spirit, Elephant Spirit, Host of Death Spirits, Tsunami Spirit.

Old Faiths tend to:

  • Promise to keep things the same or move backwards. 
  • Focus on blood ties and physical rituals. 
  • Emphasise places and history. 

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Bastion is People

If you frequent a big city, you'll know that all the buildings and cars and pigeons are nothing in comparison to all the bloody people.

Now imagine it on Bastion's scale.



The Law of People

  • There are all sorts, and they're everywhere.
  • Everything you find and everything you want is tied to some person in some way.
  • Mastery of People is Mastery of Bastion.




There are all sorts, and they're everywhere

Picture a person. They'd fit somewhere in Bastion. Give them some stupid gimmick, don't worry they still fit somewhere.

If planning a dungeon is all about drawing maps and rooms and making monsters, planning a borough of Bastion is all about making People. 

Even when you're creating exciting city locations, someone will have wandered over there. They can't be stopped. What sort of person would even want to be here?

People you talk to are NPCs, everyone else is scenery. They're the trees in the forest slowing you down. They're the boggy ground drowning your horse. They're the sheer cliff face between you and the treasure. They're the wolves waiting to eat your corpse.

Some will tell you to give everyone in your game a name, but in Bastion the vast majority of people you see will remain nameless. You won't even hear most of them speak, but they're acting out their own plans and urges and getting swept up with everybody else.

If you're going to give details, either give none at all or more than they can handle.

If you notice a guy with a huge mustache, you also notice the bridal party and the child leading a baby elephant and the student sports team and the singing drunks.

If you go faceless, give them the mood of the crowd, the overall sound, smells, movement.  

Don't ever let the players ever feel like they're on their own.


Everything you find, everything you want is tied to some person in some way

An avalanche, a new weapon, a priceless treasure. Each of those things can be replaced with people. Get your paintbrush, dip it into the tin marked PEOPLE, and cover as much as you can.

The avalanche is a riot. The weapon is a mercenary. The treasure is a hostage. 

Armour is lackies. Skills are specialists. Knowledge is librarians. 

And those things that are just straight-up things? Somebody owns that. Somebody else wants it. Somebody else thinks that nobody should be allowed to have it.

Got a plan? There are three people in the way of getting what you want.


Mastery of People is Mastery of Bastion

With all the weird powers you might pick up on your travels, you're nothing on your own in Bastion. Great Fighters don't make a difference here, but an Army can. Unions are everywhere, because people are the most significant currency out there.

It's great for those on top, but those underneath sometimes feel valued by the whole arrangement. Sometimes. 

Getting killed is awful. Losing an ally not so bad. 

The worst adversary you can have isn't a brute with a big gun, it's the brute's boss. 

Does it matter if your Ability Scores are all below 10 when you've got a Bodyguard, a Personal Thief, and a Public Relations Assistant following you around? Does your 2hp matter when you're never the one on the front line?

Even Great People are never great at everything, so start building your contacts list now.






Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Bastionland First Playtest Packet

If you want to playtest BASTIONLAND, you can download the Playtest Packet containing:

  • A more radically altered set of the Into the Odd rules than will probably make it into the final book.
  • Six pre-generated characters from the new set of Backgrounds.
  • "Running the Game" section.
  • A good chunk of the "Understanding Bastion" and "Running Bastion" sections.
  • Keep Out of Brokenborough, a new sample expedition site within Bastion.

If you get it to the table, please send any and all feedback through to the email in my sidebar, contact me on G+, or comment underneath this post.

Have fun!


Monday, 22 May 2017

People of the Foreign Stars

THE GREAT COSMOS

THE GOLDEN LAND

THE FAR LANDS

THE ASTRAL PLANE

THE STAR LANDS

THE HEAVENS

THE FOREIGN STARS

Whatever the academics are calling them this week, there are places beyond Deep Country. We know that the Underground connects all things, so whether these places exist in a distant space, time, or possibility, is the subject of debate.

There are signs in the Stars.

If looking into Deep Country is like looking at the shadows of our embarrassing past, the Star Lands are glimpses of what could be.

There is always a glimmer of humanity.

While the True Bastion is a heap of chaos beneath a veil of order, these places are bound by rules, in spite of their alien exterior. Rules themselves can be a physical presence. The abstract is concrete, and the symbolic is literal.

Volo Beauties
STR 8, DEX 18, CHA 6, 5hp. Silk Dresses, Soft Bodies, Metal Frog Mouths (d6).
- Avert their eyes from the hideous appearance of any non-volo beings.
- Want to collect things they consider most ugly, for their own amusement. Commonly includes birds, which they also enjoy eating live.
- If they encounter somebody that reminds them of themselves, but less beautiful, they consider them an insult and obsess over killing them.
Their Bastion: All decadence and statues, but nobody has enough food and the trains don't run on time.

Gemcutters
STR 14, DEX 5, CHA 5, 8hp. Crooked Back, One Giant Eye, Mining Tools (d8, bulky) and Measuring Devices.
- Want to turn everything into flat surfaces and correct angles.
- Go berserk if somebody messes with something they've carved into the correct shape.
- Love their ferret-like pets, which are ultra-violent towards other animals.
Their Bastion: A colossal red pyramid dotted with hollowed-out meeting cubes.

Easy-Speakers
STR 5, DEX 5, CHA 7, 3hp. Rotting bodies, rusty guns (d8), damp black wigs.
- Can only speak truth, but are ashamed of everything they reveal.
- Because of this, they fear gaining any knowledge at all and lash out at those that would educate them.
- Will do anything to forget the things they know.
Their Bastion: Piles of pitiful beings, covering their ears, while their city decays.