Thursday, 18 September 2014

A new RPG - Quest


The problem with being a convention organiser is that you spend so much of your time organising the conventions so that everyone else has places to go and things to do that your own projects invariably slip to the side.

In my case, I’ve been putting together an RPG and a card game for the last year or so, the card game is called Flatpack Vampires, and the RPG is called Quest.
 
Today it’s Quest that I’m talking about.

When I started making Quest, I didn’t look at what was popular or what’s selling or anything like that, I looked at what I’d want in a game if I was playing it and started there.  The first thing was system, because it’s too easy to just make a world and then tag someone else’s system on to it so that people don’t have to learn something new and you get access to all those players without having to do any work at all.

That was not for me...

So the system is D6 based, I’ve run it through a few maths masters to make sure that the numbers actually add up (because on the first run, they really didn’t, but not being a maths man, I didn’t know that.), and that you get to roll dice when you want to, but you also get to avoid using dice if you want to.  Not easy to do, but with the time I’ve spent on it, I think we’re getting somewhere.

The next thing was the world itself, I didn’t want everything to be in full colour with all the options already laid out, everything on maps, no place to go and find things, no place to go to places where the world had not already had footprints on it.  What interests me most about the worlds I go adventuring in is that I’m adventuring, if I’ve already got a map, someone else has already been there, and as I’ve got the map, they got back out and they probably had all the good stuff to begin with...

So there’s an A1 world Map on my wall next to me that has all the basic parts of the world and all the other parts that I’ve been adding in every time I’ve had an idea on things.  Presently it looks like this...



The mountains now all have names, the lakes have names, there’s places where the tribes are and the places where I haven’t yet put things.  I’ve been adding to it for some time, so there’s enough to go on for quite some time without having to come up with something new...


Which brings me to what I’m putting in the world...

People to be sure, plenty of them, but also monsters, and if the world hadn’t been explored completely, there’d be things out there that people hadn’t seen before, and they wouldn’t be in full colour single shot posed positions, they’d be things that people had seen out in the wild and sketched what they could, when they could.  For this I sought a particular type of artist, one who could do sketches of parts of a creature but make them look like they were real and all belonged to the same creature.  The basic bestiary ran to the following creatures...


Which when viewed up close look like this...


Then there was the question of how the world would look when you started seeing the cities, especially when you have to look at it through the eyes of the people who’ve only seen the parts of it and had time to sketch them.  On the one hand, full colour drawings with all the details in the world are lovely, but there’s nothing left to imagine, so I had images of the whole of the city done, rather than every single bit of it, and they started looking like this...



And then other locations that defied description, like the Titan's Causeway, a bridge that stretches between continents...

That brought me to the characters that would be a part of this world and adventure in it, and that brought me to the character sheet... 

It needed to be something that had a system that would not only use the character sheet, but would work with it and make things intuitive when you were making your character sheet.  In the beginning, the sheet looked like this, 

and then we went through playtesting and had a few comments made, and that changed things a little, ending up looking like this...


So with a system, creatures, people, and a world, what was left...?

Adventures...

And therein lies the question over things, to keep the sense of mystery to the world, you can’t have everything laid out in front of you, you can’t include the monster on the front cover and the map of the dungeon in the back cover.  It has to be something that gets the players engaged, they have to be thinking the whole time and that’s not easy to do with a published adventure because you have to make it interesting enough to get them attached to it, and when you’ve made it interesting, you’ve got to make it easy enough to run without having the scenario creator sitting at the table advising...

Adventures in Quest are made up of hints and clues that evolve into adventures.  There’s never going to be a map that you find that leads you to treasure, you may find a body in the dungeon that you’ve just gone into with the details of the things you’ve already been through and some idea of what got that person as they were coming through, but it’s never going to be laid out 10x10, not even for the GM.

An example of this is one of the introductory adventures, called Death in the Long Grass, from the book of the same name, wherein the players are asked by the Explorators Guild to investigate a new type of creature out in the Tyravig plains.  When they get there, they learn that it’s not something from the creature guide, it’s something else, and it’s not just the dumb animal that they thought it was.  This leads on to other encounters with the creature and the complications that they bring, giving all different types of characters chance to do something of benefit.

And that brings me finally, to the plans for the world and the campaign that goes with it, and I’ve been coming up with ideas for that for the last twenty years, most of them now semi fleshed out in handwritten notes, but more than a hundred different adventures that could be played before the world got into the really serious stuff.

The problem is that I’ve been organising three of the largest conventions in England this year, helping out at four more, and the work I needed to do for these things could not be done while I was working on Quest, so Quest took a back seat till I had those things done...

And they’re mostly done now, I’m releasing the starter edition of the game when the formatting has been done to gauge interest in it, after all, if people just look at it and go “Meh...”, then there’s no point in doing the rest of it in time to release it at the big convention that I organise, UK Games Expo, but I wanted to see from the rest of the world if my vision is something that gets people interested...

So there’s the question, there’s still playtesting required before the release of the starter set at the end of the year and I’m looking for as many opinions as I can get, pay’s not much, you get your name in the book and you get a copy of the full version PDF when I finish it, but you also get to make a change on something that’s going to be new and different to anything else you’ve seen before.

Interested?


Get in touch...



3 comments:

  1. Me too.. I've been waiting with anticipation..

    ReplyDelete
  2. I will be happy to give you my opinion. That character sheet looks intriguing.

    ReplyDelete