Tuesday, December 14, 2021

A Pair of Failed Careers

Into the Odd is my one-shot game of choice. It has just enough of everything. Just enough mechanics, just enough character, just enough world. I understand where Electric Bastionland is coming from, but it's always seemed like the "just a little too much" counterpart for my purposes. That said, the Failed Careers are elegant little thought-forms, similar to Troika! backgrounds, and I had some fun putting these two on paper. With some quick wombo.art (I'm a little meh on it, but it works), they're ready to go.


You took things places.

Sample Names
Major, Fries, Tate, Owney

You Get
Uniform, Letter Opener (d6, concealable)

CashWhat stopped you?
£1Snow. Take a heavy down coat (Armor 1, Bulky).
£2Rain. Take rubberized boots.
£3Heat. Take a light metal water bottle.
£4Gloom of night. Take a lantern.
£5Forgery. Take a jeweler's loupe.
£6Honor. Take one letter, unopened, undeliverable.
HPWhat were you good at?
1First-class mail. Test Wil to turn dogs.
2Special deliveries. Take one bicycle. You can outrace anyone on a paved street, but cannot stop or notice anything along the way.
3Packaging. Never break a fragile object.
4Routing. For any address know the name of someone who has lived there or lives there now.
5Labelling. Immediately and accurately know the weight of anything held in one hand.
6Paper routes. Always know this morning's headlines.

If you are the youngest player,
the whole group is 10k in debt to the vagrant's HOA. You technically can't sleep on the streets.


If you don't set small fires, the big ones will rage uncontrollably.

Sample Names
Morgan, Smollex, Danver, Kangg

You Get
Shovel, Hatchet (d6)

CashHow'd you get out of the game?
£1Deregulation. Take a directory of your competitors (d6).
£2Technical arson. Take an expired license.
£3Backdraft. Take no hair.
£4Antidrought. It is still raining when the game starts, wherever you were licensed.
£5Aggressive noncompete. Other crews will not talk to you.
£6Burncrew mutiny. Take one gilt-edged page from a holy book, a hole burned thru the center.
HPHow did you start fires?
1Flamethrower. Take one (d6, Blast, Bulky).
2Ritual duel. Take one flint sword (d8, sparks against steel).
3Pyrokinesis. Test Wil to ignite any dry material, once/day.
4Advanced optics. Take one magnifying glass.
5Alchemy. Take three firebombs (d6 Damage each round until extinguished).
6The old-fashioned way. Take one fancy lighter. You can do tricks with it.

If you are the youngest player,
the whole group is 10k in debt to Hurly & Sons Insurance Insurance Insurance. Collateral damage incurred is not added to your debt.


  1. I really like the mix of ordinary and odd in these. The different elements work together well.

    I feel like you've succeeded both at making good backgrounds and at making backgrounds that really feel like they belong in the Bastionland setting. I'd be really happy to play either of these!

  2. I had some luck with the "Comic" art style on Wombo. I found using a phrase like "under the stars" and making my people "masked" helps.