Into the Odd: Play, Creation, Hacks, etc.

Into the Odd / Player Reports & Creations, Hacks, Etc.
https://www.bastionland.com/

Memories of how you got down there are hazy because the Psi-Tiger that rampaged through the party damaged memories as it died. Players are the torchbearers and hirelings.

But only 3 of 6 players could get to the digital table tonight, so I proposed a few games and we elected to play hirelings whose adventuring party has been decimated by a psychic tiger, leaving everyone’s memories hazy.

Psychic Tiger Fodder AP blog post

We continued with Psychic Tiger Fodder, hirelings stuck in the depths of a (mega)dungeon after the adventuring party that hired them were mauled by a psychic tiger. Jeb the Footpad, Taki and Tabouli along with Roddy the Shieldbearer and Gill the Wizard’s Apprentice. This time I remembered that Jeb has a domesticated mimic, a pet that he keeps as an extra enticing coin pouch on his belt.

Psychic Tiger Fodder Returns AP blog post
Cog Icon in a circle in a similar palette as the Into the Odd cover.

1 Dragonslayers Character Creation & First Session

The Dragon and its children, personifications of greed and power, rule this area by tooth, claw and fire along with their dragon knights (knights in cool dragon-adorned armor) and loyal bureaucrats and dragonsworn nobles. The player characters were a part of a resistance, a rebel force that fought the Dragon and its armies on 4 brutal fronts and lost. Now they are all that’s left…

2 Consequences to telling off a dragon

I was more than ready for Draven to die but that wasn’t what the fickle Dice Gods had in store for him today.

3 On the run in the storm

Draven and Drift head north towards Crone’s Pass, evading the Young Storm and the dragon’s personal stormtroopers as best they can.

4 What would Jim do?

In honor of Jim’s fearless play as Draven, Aaron and Jay decided that this was where they would face down their enemy.

FINALE Seeds of the Black Glass Valley Rebellion

In the decades to come, this valley would become famous, known as Black Glass Valley. This is where future rebellions would be born. This is where people would gather to bring about the downfall of the Dragon’s fell rule, inspired by Draven, Aedler and Drifter.

Cog Icon in a circle in a similar palette as the Into the Odd cover.
https://githyankidiaspora.com/2022/09/03/into-the-odd-delve-1-the-nines-tomb/

Hence, my Into the Odd adventure idea, the 9’s Tomb, in which adventurers have had themselves interred in the Underground. Since Into the Odd is an industrial take on dungeon delving, the adventurers we knew from D&D were a thousand years ago. It felt fitting to loot what we know of adventuring as the first delve.

Cog Icon in a circle in a similar palette as the Into the Odd cover.
https://githyankidiaspora.com/2022/09/27/delve-2-5-sacrifice-mutiny-larceny-into-the-odd-and-trilemma/

“Ming wanted to burn every building in the Ring down and kill everyone. Culver and Marcus were a bit more measured in their response.”

Cog Icon in a circle in a similar palette as the Into the Odd cover.
Cog Icon in a circle in a similar palette as the Into the Odd cover.

The most exciting part of this adventure is I got to introduce two friends to gaming alongside two of my favorite veteran gamers. I was shocked at how good the rookies were – asking questions to get a better idea of what was around them, using strategy and interacting with their environments like tabletop gamers with decades of experience.

The Herald’s Tomb
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This adventure is the kind of puzzle I dig – environmental puzzles in which the players learn the rules of the weird dungeon environment and hopefully learn to manipulate it to their advantage.

Everyone became more strange in this adventure. Pip has a crystal mesh arm and is looking for a skillset to define her niche. Thorough’s Arcana, an electrified chrome sphere that floats a few feet above the ground, has gained sentience. Glim “pulled a Batman” and saved a rival delver’s life; now Orren is his apprentice.

Blog Post

Cog Icon in a circle in a similar palette as the Into the Odd cover.

Found a One Page Dungeon in this reddit threadThe Mad Abbot’s Lair by Mark Murphy.

Added some chtonic details about the portals, decided that the portals happened when green-lightning zombies were killed and we were off to the races.

Cog Icon in a circle in a similar palette as the Into the Odd cover.
Cog Icon in a circle in a similar palette as the Into the Odd cover.

Preparing Mythic Bastionland

Mythic Bastionland with Olde Friends

Nearly 20 years ago I got together with a friend I met on RPG.net and he invited me to join his 7th Sea campaign. Tonight 3 players from that game got together and gamed.

Second Session

Already the Myths are starting to cross pollinate and become a tangled web of arcane stuff occurring all over the map.

Cog Icon in a circle in a similar palette as the Into the Odd cover.

But this was fun to cook up and I thought it might be neat to give opportunities for the players to have little bits of the setting in the chargen, not too much, because I think exploring the Borgenwold is part of the hex-crawl-fun but just enough for a little spice.

I like keeping track of wealth in some games but don’t like bean-counting. Here’s my compromise.

Cog Icon in a circle in a similar palette as the Into the Odd cover.

I was thinking that it would be interesting to start play in UVG as an outlander, so that the player can learn about the setting’s strangeness on the long journey between the Violet City and the Black City along with the character.

Maybe the Caravan Leader’s WILL is the Caravan’s WILL. Their DEX is decided by their slowest pack animal and their STRENGTH by the levels of fighting folk willing to throw down to defend the caravan.

Cog Icon in a circle in a similar palette as the Into the Odd cover.
When your character wants to learn a vocation or skillset new to the character, have them describe exactly what they want to learn and what they want to do with it in the game.
Then the Referee will tell you 1 to 4 of the following:
[ ] It is going to take X weeks/months/years of consistent training.
[ ] First, you will have to hire a tutor through [an in-game faction].
[ ] You will need X to help you with it.
[ ] It is going to cost a fortune.
[ ] There is a lost Arcanum that is said to offer this training.
[ ] There is a known teacher in a district of Bastion or a faraway province of the Deep Country or lost in the depths of the Underground. Perhaps this teacher is even in a more alien and distant land.
[ ] Those who safeguard these training methods are rigid in their orthodoxy and will guard them dearly but there are always rebels and heretics at the fringes…
[ ] There are none who can do that in this world.
Once your training is complete you can do the thing. Note it on your sheet somewhere. If you want to work with the Referee on a skill system, knock yourself out but it isn’t needed. Before this training the character couldn’t do this thing; now they can.

“It was hard and unnatural at first, but the process began to come more easily. He reread the book constantly, more and more quickly, not interested by the story, but ravenous for the unprecedented sensation of meaning coming up at him from the page, from behind the letters like an escapee. It almost made him queasy, almost made him feel like spewing, it was so intense and unnerving. He turned the technique to other words.
	He was surrounded by them: signs visible on the commercial street beyond the windows, signs throughout the library and across the city and on brass plaques in his hometown, in New Crobuzon, a silent clamor, and he knew that there was no way he could ever be deaf to all those words again.
	Shekel finished The Courageous Egg and was full of rage. How come I wasn’t told? he thought, searing. What fucker was it kept this from me?”
 - China Miéville, The Scar
https://githyankidiaspora.com/2022/09/08/learning-new-skills-in-into-the-odd/
Cog Icon in a circle in a similar palette as the Into the Odd cover.

Quick Adventure Inspirational Tables

Cog Icon in a circle in a similar palette as the Into the Odd cover.
https://githyankidiaspora.com/2022/09/03/the-delve-salvage-cooperative/

 I want treasure to go into the Delving and Salvage Cooperative’s (DaSC?) vault, able to be signed out and used on future delves by whoever needs it. Everything the delvers find is community property, co-owned by their comrade adventurers who are a part of the Co-Op.

https://githyankidiaspora.com/2022/09/17/the-bastion-free-library/

Chief Librarian Jeanine Pepper, Bastion Public Library STR 10, 9HP, 2G

Driven to gather and catalog rare Arcana and Manuscripts from all over Bastion, the Underground and the Deep Country and provide access to Bastion’s citizenry.

Outreach and Excavation Team 8HP Skirmish Knives (short swords with basket hilts) and dueling shields d6

Local Fundraising and City Government Support 4G Income

Founder’s Endowment d8G Income (can be bumped up to d10 for one cycle but until that money is repaid, it will operate at a d6)

Cog Icon in a circle in a similar palette as the Into the Odd cover.
https://githyankidiaspora.com/2022/09/27/many-odd-deaths/

Here are some thoughts – random tables for Bastion, the Deep Country and the Underground but more menus, hoping choosing what is right for the moment for the game, rolling if you think any might work – for incarnations of death that the delver, while hovering on the knife’s edge between life and nothingness, might hallucinate (or DID they? * cue spooky music *).

Cog Icon in a circle in a similar palette as the Into the Odd cover.
https://githyankidiaspora.com/2022/10/17/other-delvers-in-the-dungeon/

Throwing in a rival team of adventurers is a time-honored tradition. Here are a few tables

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6 Cities

You ask your friend to choose a city and then roll a d6 for their Hit Points and their character comes from that. Let them know what equipment they start with and maybe read the corresponding question or just chat about what that character might be up to, what kind of trouble they might be in the process of getting into.

More 6 Cities

Cool, then we take a hint from our Dragonslayers game and when players roll up their Strength, Dexterity, Willpower, HP and Coin, they keep track of any 1’s or 2’s. For every 1 or 2, they can roll one more time (everyone gets a free roll) on the table below, getting allies, pets, lore, weapons, reputations and spells that link one’s character to the setting in unexpected ways.

Cog Icon in a circle in a similar palette as the Into the Odd cover.
https://githyankidiaspora.com/2022/10/07/into-the-odd-like-into-the-megadungeon/

Maybe DNGN, maybe The Lost City, maybe one of Dyson Logo’s big maps (Halls of Geryon or the Dyson Megadugeon) with factions and areas marked off and keyed. My first instinct is to grab DNGN, start the game in the 3rd or 4th level.

NOTE: I wrote the following as a kind of quickstart guide to help get friends coming in at all levels of game experience on the same page.

For the sake of making sense of things, let’s divvy up the setting into 3 pieces (for now).

“The world is too large for explorers to map, and too old for academics to record. Expeditions return with tales of places bizarre, wondrous and horrific.”

PIC: Crowded Cityscape

TEXT: Bastion, the City
"Its skies are black with smoke and its streets
bustling with residents. Vast factories produce
mass goods, fed by canals and rail from every
corner of the world."
Adventures
Urban warfare
political disputes
Selling, Buying & Stealing

“You are an explorer, braving the unknown in search of riches, knowledge and power. Most of all, you seek Arcana, strange devices holding unnatural powers. They range from a humble piece of jewelry to vast sculptures. There are many religious and scientific theories around their existence, most settling somewhere in between.”

Your characters are settling into the broken and vacant chapterhouse of an ancient guild of delvers that was destroyed long before any of you were born. Maybe you are a descendant of one of the original lost members or maybe you are a desperate adventurer, looking for your fortune and this was the opportunity that came up.

PIC: Rusted Country Ruins

TEXT: The Deep Country
"Beyond the mining towns and noble estates 
are ancient ruins and overgrown woods haunted 
by rumor."

Adventures
Strange cults
Hunting monsters
looting ruins

Time moves in different ways in these different areas. I have only vague daydreams about the greater movements in the world. As the games progress I’ll add more background, inspired by your characters and your characters’ actions.

We’ll find out what is going on in this world and what otherworldly influences tug at it together.

PIC: Messy Tunnel

TEXT: The Underground
"Vaults lie under the keys of secretive councils,
and new depths seem to materialise every day.
The tunnels blend with natural caves rumored
to house monstrous abominations, and darkness
slowly crawls upwards towards Bastion."

Adventures
Looting Ruins
ancient buried cults
Otherworldly radiation

When characters perish we will remember them here.

If you would like to read more about Into the Odd there are links below. Feel no pressure to do so. You are under no obligation to read any of this in order to be prepared to play.

LINK: Into the Odd Syllabus by Yochai Gai

LINK: Into the Oddish on itch.io

LINK: Electric Bastionland on itch.io

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