The Eclectic Bastion Jam Starts This Thursday!

Electric Bastionland is a OSR game by Chris McDowall, based on the Into The Odd ruleset.

The Eclectic Bastion Jam is an opportunity to submit your hack, failed career, borough, adventure, dungeon - whatever you’re doing, if it relates to Into The Odd, please consider submitting it!

There are already a ton of hacks out there, but (in my opinion) not a ton of content. As such, I have a personal stake in seeing more stuff for this unique system from more voices.


I’m gonna finish Finders Keepers In Space! Because you know what the ItO scene clearly needs?

More hacks


Haha, yeah. I mean I like them (I’ve got a few in the works myself) but damn do I wish we had more content!

I love FK though, keep it up.

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I have very little ItO / EB experience but I’d love to be able to carve out some time to do something for this…


I have joined the jam! I’m getting my pre-covid home group together for a zoom game weekend after next.

I have no experience playing or running ItO / EB but am very interested in it and have read many ItO / EB books.

I posted this on the itch game jam page as well but I’m sharing this pitch / brainstorm here as well. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

I’m still deciding which version of ItO / EB I want to run, or if I want to go for a full hack right from the get-go. I love Super Blood Harvest as a read, but I generally prefer to make my own settings and I don’t know how well SBH would work with a different setting (although I guess I could just hack the Dirk Rules). I’m tentatively thinking I want to play in my Maximum Recursion Depth setting, although I’m worried it’s a little too personal for a group of IRL friends. It’s sort of like The Matrix meets Persona 5 meets Bojack Horseman meets Chinese Mythology / Journey to the West.

If I do that, I’ll probably make it a fairly tightly-constrained scenario, where the characters will be largely auto-generated or pre-made (this seems like a key and unique component of ItO / EB compared even to OSR more generally). Likely a key “class” feature will be their Poltergeist form / Karmic Attachment. The scenario would involve them in one of the Numberless Courts of Hell for some reason, with some mission that they need to get done and then escape / reincarnate.

Another idea I’m having is an emphasis on non-combat combat. Basically splitting damage into STR DAMAGE, DEX DAMAGE, and CHA DAMAGE (or whatever I decide the three stats to be). All three affect HP the same way, but if HP is reduced to 0, they then affect their respective attribute. I think this will allow for some more flavorful approaches to “combat” without fundamentally changing the game.

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Str and Cha damage make sense, but what kind of attacks cause Dex damage?

Actually I got this idea from Numenera / Cypher System. They have STR, DEX, and INT, but it amounts to the same thing I guess. Anyway, in their case, DEX damage would be things that might affect your speed, mobility, agility, dexterity, etc., like a poison, sleep or fatigue agent, something binding/grappling/damaging your legs or arms, or things like that. I’d have to look up some additional examples but things of that nature. In any case, I might replace STR/DEX/CHA with something else.

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I shared this on the Bastionland discord Bastionjam channel but also sharing it elsewhere:

What I would like to do is define three core attributes (although I’m potentially ok with defaulting to STR, DEX, and some kind of mental stat like CHA WIS or INT), have some instantiation of a karma mechanic that evokes similar themes as the karma mechanic in Tenra Bansho Zero but is potentially very different in its instantiation and more equivalent to other mechanics in ItO / EB, and have some set of features of character generation. I think I would prefer something a bit more flexible, like Maze Rats or Mutants of Ixx, rather than the playbook-like Failed Careers of EB, or maybe something in the middle. As far as those features, one would be something like Poltergeist, which is the grotesque form which reflects their karmic attachments and potentially some supernatural power but I don’t know how exactly I want to do that yet, and their career, which is a mix of real-world “mundane” careers and “realistic” versions of supernatural careers, and would basically be like an item or a set of items, somewhat more like EB Failed Careers. In both cases, they would have generators for character hooks.

I think the karma mechanic and deciding on these features for character generation are going to be the hardest part; the rest of ItO / EB is fairly intuitive and easy to hack up. I’d potentially like to have an attribute matrix akin to Maze Rats but with a d20, so that there is some semblance of character balance while still being random. I’m also mixed on to what extent I want to use Maze Rats opposed roll system vs. other ItO / EB just damage roll system. I’m leaning towards the Maze Rats approach but I’m undecided. I also like Maze Rats’ progression system.

Anyway that was partially me just spitballing or getting the ball rolling; I have a mish-mash of ideas but need to just get them down in words and get started. But if anyone has any suggestions or advice, I would definitely appreciate it!

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This is a very much WIP draft of Maximum Recursion Depth for BastionJam. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Below are the Tl;Dr key differences between MRD and ItO / EB:

More abstracted Abilities.

Karma instead of HP. Not identical but fills a similar (but more dynamic) role.

Emphasis on non-combat as combat.

Damage to Abilities first, Karma second.


Here are also some additional comments. Basically an explanation for the concept of Karma and the core gameplay loop. This will probably get rolled into advancement when I write that:

Karma system is inspired by Tenra Bansho Zero. A way of diegetically (I hope I’m not abusing that word here) incentivizing player behavior in a way consistent with the philosophical underpinnings of the setting.

Encourages players to thread increased likelihood of success (high karmic attachment) with increased risk of becoming an Ashura (exceeding 6 Karma).

Engaging with the world will lead to Karmic Attachments and by extension accrue Karma. Players will reach a point where they will need to divest their Karmic Attachments in order to keep engaging with the world, and then they are incentivized to engage with the world, to gain new Karmic Attachments, to accrue Karma, to re-empower themselves.

This should be the core gameplay loop.

Advancement / Leveling should probably also be tied to the Divesting and Accruing of Karmic Attachments, probably via reincarnation (the titular recursion part of Maximum Recursion Depth).