Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Thor's Day Trope - The Quest

So starting a new series. TV Tropes for Role-Playing Games

Let's Start off with the biggest part of Role-Playing games...

The Quest

Obviously the two most popular "Quests" right now are
The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien, J. R. R./ Lee, Alan [Boxed Set] [3 U (Google Affiliate Ad)
and The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again by Tolkien, J. R. R./ Lee, Alan [H (Google Affiliate Ad).

Tailoring a Quest in a Role-playing Game that is ACTUALLY meaningful can be difficult. The easiest way to get players to care about a quest is by the characters being real. Meaning they have family they care about. They have a home, they aren't just wandering adventurers. Wandering adventurers are driven by money. Being driven by money and more lootz is very Video Gamey. So having a home is important.

Have the characters all sit around and design the town they live in, tie them together. Are they childhood friends? What was their first significant loss in their life? Who trained them? Where did they get that sword they're carrying?

I remember one of the coolest things about Dane in City of Towers was that he had the his sword from Cyre, with the crest on it, his only real link to his past from the destroyed nation. It was important because it reminded him of what he had lost. But it also marked him as a "mourner" so he kept the pommel covered.

When characters are invested in their background, they are easy to motivate to a quest. A sibling stolen in the night by raiders might take them across the world, trying to recover and free their enslaved sibling. A dragon has been destroying nearby towns, the players must go on a quest to defeat the dragon or lose everything.

Don't be afraid to give players a base of operations, if it's just their parents house and farm, that's fine, it's a place to call home. It will give them access to some free gear as well, food, water, family. What happens to the town while the players are away? A group of orcs began raiding? Did the Caravan to Midnight steal all the children? A new Taxmaster came and began taxing the town of 90% of its wealth, with a group of corrupt guards?

Think about these things next time you start a Fantasy game...