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£31,595
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807
backers
22days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, December 11 2019 12:40 PM UTC +00:00.

Electric Bastionland RPG

Leap headlong into adventure in this streamlined tabletop roleplaying game from the creator of Into The Odd.

Electric Bastionland RPG

Leap headlong into adventure in this streamlined tabletop roleplaying game from the creator of Into The Odd.

£31,595
pledged of £12,000pledged of £12,000 goal
807
backers
22days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, December 11 2019 12:40 PM UTC +00:00.

About

Bastion is the only city that matters: impossibly large and expanding more every day, ruled by warring borough councils enforcing draconic laws, and fizzing with electric discoveries.

At the edges, Deep Country stretches off into the distance, and time itself becomes slow and cumbersome; beneath the surface, the machinery of the Underground twists and shifts reality into uncomfortable positions; and in the sky above, the Living Stars whisper of scintillating miracles in actinic tongues.

You are a Treasure Hunter in Bastion: something went terribly wrong for you, you are deeply in debt, and you have no other way out. You and your fellow debtors - disgraced Street Judges, demobbed Avant Guardsmen, refugees from Deep Country, swarms of urchins and dozens of other flavours of luckless eccentrics - band together to earn enough cash to survive.

A Prize Breeder with their twin lap-crocodiles

WHAT IS ELECTRIC BASTIONLAND?

Electric Bastionland is a roleplaying game written by Chris McDowall, author of the critically-acclaimed Into The Odd. It uses and expands upon the systems developed in Into The Odd, resulting in a rules-set that’s easy to run as a Referee and even easier to play. It’s not a sourcebook or an expansion - it’s a standalone journey into an unknowable place. 

The majority of the book is devoted to detailing 100 Failed Careers; by cross-referencing your character’s abilities that are randomly generated during creation, you can see precisely what job they used to have before bad luck, incompetence and maliciousness forced them out of it and into the dangerous profession of treasure-hunting. Each comes loaded with hooks and sketches out information on Bastion and the surrounding areas, giving the players and GM room to tell their own stories within the strange and fascinating world.

An example of how each failed career will be laid out in the finished book

Will you be a Counterfeit Taxidermist, hounded out of your quarters for concocting dubious cryptozoological finds? An Animal Vassal, as in that you are literally owned by an animal, and must seek to interpret its insane demands? An under-whaler without a ship, bearing smuggled treasures of curious flesh harvested from bloated corpses in the deep sea? An urban safarist, currently between clients, who finds appropriate adventure for wealthy thrillseekers on the mazelike streets of Bastion? A pie-smuggler, partially responsible for the fact that over 60% of all illegal goods in the city have, at some point, been hidden inside a pie?

A Science Mystic who seeks truth in fizzing electric bulbs

You’ll have to play to find out. You can download the Free Preview PDF immediately to get a taste of what Electric Bastionland has to offer.

EQUAL-OPPORTUNITIES MAGIC

There aren’t any spellcasters in Electric Bastionland; no wizards, no sorcerers, no warlocks. Instead, magic is the purview of oddities - technological or uncanny marvels that break the fundamental rules of the universe, many of which are available to player characters. (In practice: the less powerful your character is in terms of raw ability, the more access they’ll have to reality-warping knick-knacks.) These range from the Unstoppable Rod (once thrown, cannot be stopped, and will eventually fly off into space) to the Powder Sack (infinitely reproduces any powder placed inside), to the Earth-Angel (causes earthquakes when broken).

Mockeries are imitations of life in wood and felt; this one is a Mock Hog, and has a top hat

Or perhaps your character will have picked up unusual abilities from their heritage or training; human flotsam who take on elements of the sea and river, massifmen of massifland who are from a part of Deep Country where everyone is significantly bigger than normal people; or the urbalist who can hear, see and taste the secret messages of the city when they’re loaded up on hallucinogenic herbs.

INTO THE ODD

Electric Bastionland uses an updated version of the Into The Odd ruleset, a straightforward system that uses a D20 and three statistics (Strength, Dexterity and Charisma); it’s designed to be as easy to run as possible whilst still presenting both players and Referee with interesting choices.

An Amateur Amputator never lets a lack of qualifications interrupt their life's work

Most importantly, it’s flexible enough that you can fit any idea you’ve got into the system - and the world is dynamic and weird enough to accommodate plenty too. If you want to run an old adventure you picked up in the 1980’s using Electric Bastionland, you can do so with very little fuss - not only do the mechanics adapt easily to translating older scenarios, but you can position the dungeon itself in the strange Underground (or the castle in Deep Country) with no problems at all.

YOUR BASTION

Bastion - and the world surrounding it - has been created with inventive Referees and players in mind. Aside from a handful of defining guidelines, the setting of Electric Bastionland is intentionally malleable, open and ready for readers to take inspiration from and adapt what they’ve found inside.

An Urchin Pack who have banded together so tightly to survive they act as a single entity

There’s no timeline, no history, no reading comprehension exercise to undertake before you get started with play. Instead, the setting of Bastion is communicated through Spark Tables: lists of random events, characters, locations, and items all written around the central themes of the game. These Sparks keep the city in a constant state of flux, and no two excursions into the mad streets (or the treacherous underground) will be the same.

Your Bastion will be different from everyone else’s: all strange, and dangerous, but all unique.

A Squidbagger hunts their recalcitrant prey

STRETCH GOALS

FUNDED! £17,000: MORE ART: Alec will add more illustrations to the book, showing readers the depths of the strange Underground and the archaic wilderness of Deep Country.

FUNDED! £19,000: SILKEN BOOKMARKS: Every copy of Electric Bastionland will come with a page-marking ribbon attached to the binding, so you can find where you left off with ease.

FUNDED! £23,000: DESIGNER’S COMMENTARY: Chris McDowall (and guests) will record a commentary for the book, outlining the design choices and influences, and release it as a set of downloadable MP3 files for backers.

FUNDED! £27,000: HANDSOME ENDPAPERS: Alec will illustrate a set of charming endpapers, and we’ll bind the inside covers of the books with copies of them.

£32,000: SPOT COLOUR: We’ll add spot colour to the book for selected illustrations, which means that they'll be black and white and one other colour. 

WHO’S WORKING ON THE BOOK?

Chris McDowall (Author): Chris is the Manchester-based game designer behind the sleek but flavourful Into the Odd and regular articles and game content at Bastionland.com 

Alec Sorensen (Illustrator): Alec studied creative writing at Bard College and is based out of Washingdon D.C. He has been known to write, to draw, and to roll dice on tabletops.  As an up and coming artist he has worked on a number of smaller projects, and Electric Bastionland is his largest RPG project to date. 

Rowan, Rook and Decard (Production and Funding Management): Rowan, Rook & Decard are a roleplaying games design studio based in London. They’ve run and delivered on several Kickstarters before (Spire and its sourcebook Strata, most recently). They are: Grant Howitt, Christopher Taylor, and Mary Hamilton.

Additional content by Patrick Stuart (Veins of the Earth, Silent Titans, Deep Carbon Observatory) and Arnold Kemp (Goblin Punch)

Risks and challenges

General -

First up: the book is already written. Everything aside from the custom content for backers is already in the process of being laid out and proofread, so the biggest risk - that the book never gets written - is already not an issue.

The team working on this project have completed a cumulative seven RPG Kickstarters, and bring a wealth of experience and knowledge. In addition to Alec, who’s already proved he can work quickly under pressure to create the look of Bastionland, RR&D have contacts with printers, deep understanding of the production process, and a distribution setup already up and running. Using their expertise and their infrastructure, Electric Bastionland will be far less risky than if we had to do all that setup first.

Brexit -

Unfortunately, we don’t know when or how Britain will leave the EU, but we’ve taken some steps to reduce the potential risk, including:
- planning to print and bind the books in the UK, to avoid any issues on the way to distribution;
- working with a business that has established, reputable distribution partners, including in the US in case of unexpected tariffs;
- contingency funds for tackling shipping and distribution in the event of a disorderly Brexit.

Kickstarter Union -

We stand in solidarity with the employees of Kickstarter who are working to form a union, and we believe in the right for workers to unionise. At this time, union organizers are not calling for a boycott of the platform.

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    Hardship PDF

    Hardship PDF: A digital copy of Electric Bastionland. This is a lower-price tier intended for those suffering from financial hardship; it's your call if it applies to you.

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    Your Very Own Borough

    Chris McDowall will work with you to create a borough of Bastion that fits your exacting specifications and include it in the core book. You'll also be on the cover and an NPC in the book, and you'll get a physical and digital copy of the game.

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    Face In The Crowd

    In addition to a hardback edition of Electric Bastionland with a free PDF, Alec will include your likeness (or someone else's likeness, if you get their permission) in the crowd on the cover of the book.

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    Failed Career

    Chris McDowall will work with you to create a bespoke Failed Career of your choosing and include it in the core book along with an illustration. You'll also be on the cover and an NPC in the book, and you'll get a physical and digital copy of the game.

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