How do you introduce and run "Quest for It"?

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jsrodman
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How do you introduce and run "Quest for It"?

Post by jsrodman » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:18 pm

(Crossposted to google plus https://plus.google.com/108824308973432 ... eNATeFg5zJ )

I tried to do a vaguely "Quest For It" structure in a B/X campaign I ran a while ago. I don't think I explained it very well, and it didn't end up being heavily used.

In that campaign, I frequently dropped them in a town at the end of sessions, sometimes the big city. I often told them they can do whatever they want in town, and had a few personalities they already knew about and the promise that there were many others to find.

Someone wanted to find a way to detect evil things, and consulted with a palm reader and the local churches, and managed to find a candle that would glow brighter and brighter when closer to evil. We ended up with around 3 more known NPCs, and some detail about the local religion. I failed to introduce much of a quest, just got a very minor magic item. (It ended up exploding into a roman candle when used in a horrible pit, which was the end of that, in epic fashion.)

Someone else looked unwisely into a darkened cracked mirror into a wizard's tower. They ended up losing a point of consistution as part of their soul was broken off and pulled into the mirror. The player wanted it back, and ended up seeing a vision of how their soul fragment was being used to animate a golem in a far off wizard tower, and so the quest began. I think this worked out better.

Another character playing an elf wanted to get some rangery powers. I had no idea how "quest for it" would work here. I just did some homebrewing with her on level up.

How have you handled "Quest For It" at your tables? I can easily tell them the game is open to it, but I'd like them to express these goals as their characters, starting to hunt for what they want using the leads they have available. Maybe I just need to include better information sources. In a longer DCC campaign, probably gods and patrons will be obvious sources. Perhaps non-wizards should seek out patrons also to try to achieve their goals?

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GnomeBoy
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Re: How do you introduce and run "Quest for It"?

Post by GnomeBoy » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:15 am

My brain leans toward "what cost are they willing to pay?" when I think about Questing For It...

Like that ranger thing... what is it they want? Would they want to become a centaur for that? Would this cut them off from their Elf heritage and create a schism with the King of Elfland?

I mean, if they just want to be able to fight better with two weapons (a classic ranger thang), I wouldn't make the cost that steep -- but if they want to completely reconceptualize their character, it could be a change with an epic cost...

It sounds like their goals were smallish... Would it work to coach them to think bigger? "You can change the flow of history! You can topple and raise kingdoms! ...not just detect evil with an item..."

Of course, it comes down to what the players find fun. If they like to keep it small, that's workable, just not as exciting.

I too have stumbled with having players drive the game. Some take some strong convincing that they have an open world to explore in front of them, instead of the illusion of a world in front of them...
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Vanguard
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Re: How do you introduce and run "Quest for It"?

Post by Vanguard » Tue May 26, 2020 4:14 am

Know this is an old topic, but posting an answer in case newbies are wondering about this same question.

The idea of questing for it should be introduced during character creation. Simply tell the players that the class rules are a starting point but that additional, unique abilities can be unlocked through completing adventures. Direct them to read page 306 of the DCC book "Questing for the Impossible" for examples.

As a GM, one of the easiest ways to introduce these quests are through the implied organization ties that most classes have: Thieves Guilds, Churches, Militant Orders, etc - all provide an easy way to introduce such quests. Perhaps the head of the militant order knows a powerful, unique Deed but will only teach it to Warriors who prove themselves worthy. Their existing recruits are all currently busy with other campaigns, but this one creature/organization in a dungeon nearby has been causing them issue - they will teach you the technique in exchange for dealing with it, etc.

The comment about leads is crucial. I find that saying players have total freedom actually can create some analysis paralysis or doing the cliched activity of going to a tavern and listening for interesting info. Force them to interact with the world - they might know some broad strokes details about the kingdom/city they are in but if they're never been to town before they need to learn the lay of the land. Introduce NPCs before the bar, make the gather info/rumors on the organizations, notable NPCs, and locations nearby.

Once they have a set of options and a want that isn't covered by the character class as written, it will be very easy to introduce a quest that results in a new ability.
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