Bastion

I have spoken about Electric Bastionland, a more refined version of Into the Odd – in German. Now the finished product has come out of kickstarter, so I will say the following in English:

Rules-wise, nothing has changed: It is the same sleek, elegant, innovative system: Three stats (STR, DEX, and a mind-stat called CHA), 1d6 “hit points” (actually, an evasion puffer that means you have NOT been hit), and auto-hits on attack (“I attack!” “Roll damage.”) IF you actually get hit, and take damage to STR, there is always the possibility that you are taken out.

That can happen with the first hit; but you only die through specific effects. Your normal run-off-the-mill knife wound or gunshot will leave you bleeding out and your pals can patch you up. That means, the system is very dangerous for an individual, but rather forgiving for a group of friends who look after each other – as it should be.

Motivation-wise, every group starts with a steep debt. Weird equipment and creative use of items are an important part of the game.

Still, the rules set that was about a dozen pages in DIN-A5 is now a fat mother of 330 pages. How?
Because of backgrounds.

Remember Troika? Troika rolls 1d66 and gives you a job. The new Electric Bastionland, after one equipment table in the original Into the Odd, and 1d20 “failed careers” in the playtest document, has now 1d100 failed careers as an immediate past + equipment of a player character, and several of these careers have a version A and B.

The main object of these failed careers is to colour the world. The overpopulated, multicultural hub that is “Bastion”, THE BIG city. By reading the evocative descriptions, some of them penned by big names in the roleplaying games community, the vision of Chris McDowall’s very much non-standard world comes alive, although it is made clear that

No two visions of Bastionland are
quite the same.

Electric Bastionland, page 239.

Others will have written more and better about Electric Bastionland, first and foremost Chris McDowall himself. So I will end here, with a recommendation:

Try that system. It sounds counterintuitive to experienced gamers that you should skip the classic attack rolls or even attack rolls and defense rolls, as German systems favour, but it works really well and gives the game a very immediate, old-schoolish flavour, where actions matter more than dice.

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