The Forge

Powers That Be (Vault #33)

The Vault Icon - Beige.png

Click Here for a Master Index of “The Forge” and “Vault”!

The advanced races amidst the stars have embraced technological enhancements that provide a bevy of abilities. Use the 20 ideas for Powers as supplemental abilities, combat round codes to bolster or afflict adventurers, or custom Loot, plugged into the Card Creator for your Future Forays.

  1. _Synthesis_ (#Synthesis) A synth technology for absorbing damaged units into the collective. *The highest Tier foe absorbs the lowest’s health and passive defense. Remove the lowest Tier foe from the Encounter and update the Tier Sum.

  2. _Networked Offense_ (#Networked) They act in terrifying concert. *Deal the adventurer with the highest health +1 damage for each Synth Encounter type in play.

  3. _Power Surge_ (#Surge) A burst of energy allows a second surge. *One Encounter card in play surges again during round 4.

  4. _Networked Defense_ (#Defense) Your foes move in concert to defend each other. *No Encounter card can go below 1 health while any other Encounter card is above 2 health.

  5. _Assimilation_ (#Assimilation) The cutting edge of Quantum computing just changed the game on the ground. *If an ability fails this round, attach it to the foe with the highest tier Encounter card. Next round play it against the adventurers [you still roll to see if it is a success].

  6. _Adaptation_ (#Adaptation) An algorithm modulates armor and shields to resist attacks. *Whenever any ability type is used twice or more, reduce the damage the Encounter card suffers by 1.

  7. _Mimicry_ (#Mimicry) An alogorithm enables mimicry of a recently used skill. *After a skill is burned by an Adventurer, attach it to the highest Tier Encounter card. Use the skill next round against the adventurers at a rating equal to the Encounter’s Tier level.

  8. _Shields Up!_ (#Shields) A nimbus of energy flares briefly around the foe. *After an Encounter card takes damage for the first time, all subsequent rounds it takes -1 damage.

  9. _Damage Control_ (#DControl) Repair systems activate. *All Encounter cards not damaged this round heal 1 health per their Tier.

  10. _Analyze Foe_ (#Analyze) A light pans across you, top to bottom. *Next round the adventurer with the highest health suffers damage equal to the Tier of the highest Encounter card.

  11. _Inhibitor Field_ (#Inhib) A hum emanates from your gear…and it fails to work. *Loot cannot be used this round.

  12. _Quantum Distortion_ (#Distortion) Space bends about the foe. *No attacks of the “Ranged” type work this round unless the user rolls a 20.

  13. _Teleportation_ (#Teleportation) The foe leaps across space. *No attacks of the “Melee” type work this round unless the user rolls a 20.

  14. _Null Field_ (#Null) A fizzle and sparks fill the air where magic should be. *No attacks of the “Magic” ability type work this round unless the user rolls a 20.

  15. _Counter Wave_ (#Wave) A harmonic wave meant to cancel any Song. *No attacks of the “Music” ability type work this round unless the user rolls a 20.

  16. _Psychological Warfare_ (#Psych) The enemy knows how to get inside your head. *No attacks of the “Influence” ability type work this round unless the user rolls a 20.

  17. _Counterstrike_ (#Counter) The enemy’s riposte is perfectly timed. *Each successful attacker also takes damage equal to the Encounter card’s tier.

  18. _Kinetic Absorption_ (#KAb) The attack is less than effective. *Melee ability attacks restore health this round to Encounter targets instead of causing them damage.

  19. _Energy Vampire_ (#EVampire) A chill fills the air as batteries are drained. *Magic ability attacks restore health this round to Encounter targets instead of causing them damage.

  20. _Psychic Leech_ (#Leech) It defies known psy phenomenon… *Influence ability attacks restore health this round to Encounter targets instead of causing damage.

Like this? Consider sharing or Tweeting it, or joining the weekly Quest Crafter mailing list for more writing inspiration.

Have an idea for the next Quest Crafter or feedback on how we can make it more useful to you? Email us at Authors@Fabricate.io or leave a comment below.

Actuating Acronyms: Synth Titles (Vault #30)

The Vault Icon - Beige.png

Click Here for a Master Index of “The Forge” and “Vault”!

It’s been awhile since we’ve posted some entries in The Vault, noble adventurers! With this addition we’ll be adding a series built for and around The Future expansion, shipped recently to all Kickstarter backers. We hope you enjoy them!

The Synthetics of The Future are often hyperefficient, inscrutable, and chilling in their goals and objectives, especially in relation to organics. Some have been built for use by the biological races, while others have long out-survived (or perhaps exterminated) their fleshly progenitors. Below are 20 Titles to give your Synths some personality and variation. As always, we’ve provided the formatting for you to copy and paste into the Quest Creator, speeding up your crafting.

  1. _EU_ (#EU) The Elimination Units began as an attempt to unify galactic currency, but an error in programming led them to target all currency holders instead. Oops. * At the beginning of combat, each adventurer with a Loot item takes 1 damage per item.

  2. _Alpha Control_ (#Alpha) The central Synth unit, guiding the actions of all others in this place. * While “Alpha Control” is in play, all Synth Encounter types take -1 damage from non-Tech abilities.

  3. _U.T.D._ (#UTD) Built for training purposes, the Unified Teaching Droid seeks to perfect its subjects, though over the millenia it’ has lost the capacity to discern where the line between ‘creative destruction’ and ‘destruction’ lies. * When the U.T.D. is defeated, all adventurers advance one skill one rating level.

  4. _Probebot_ (#Probe) By the stars, don’t let it near you! * While Probebot is in play, if an adventurer with an “Athletic” Skill takes damage, reduce their skill rating by 1. When Probebot is no more, restore the skill rating to its original level.

  5. _M.A.V. Unit_ (#MAV) Bristling with blades and saws, the Multi Armed Vivisection Unit “catalogs” and studies organic life forms, often while they are still (temporarily) alive. * If M.A.V. is attacked with a Melee ability, the adventurer using that ability loses 1 skill rating until the end of combat.

  6. _SLiP U._ (#Freudian) The Semantic Liberation interspecies Psychology Unit assaults you with dirty jokes and disturbing innuendo. * When SLiP enters play, all adventurers make a Persona or Skill roll. If they roll 14 or below, reduce their Persona or Skill level by 1.

  7. _L.E.V.I._ (#Levi) Before the last enemy fizzles into stillness it utters a cryptic message, “You may have defeated us, but LEVI is coming for you…” * The Lethal Emulation Vehicle & Infiltrator attacks with surprise from in your midst. All Adventurers make a Charisma skill roll. On an 11 or below, the first Ability they play this round is played as though they rolled a “1”.

  8. _NIFLM_ (#Nephelim) An assault of laser bursts both disorienting and harmful pulses from the Negative Impulse Feedback Laser Machine. * The 2nd round of combat, deal this Encounter card’s Tier value in damage to each adventurer, minus the rating of that adventurer’s Knowledge skill.

  9. _IU_ (#IU) The Interdiction Unit emits powerful EM fields that inhibit your performance. * While the IU is in play, all skill checks are made with a penalty equal to half this unit’s Tier value.

  10. _”Overlord”_ (#Overlord) The speakers on this synth begin playing a looped message, Bow to Overlord, serve your Master, meatbag!” * Every other round while “Overlord” is functional, add a “Custodian Pod” to combat and update the Tier Sum.

  11. _T.U._ (#TU) Quantum teleportation is the Transportation Unit’s forte. * Whenever an adventurer rolls 5, 10, or 15, they are teleported across the area and cannot use an offensive ability the next round.

  12. _HK-007_ (#Hunter Killer) The ubiquitous presence of such an alcohol-powered unit suggests that science and technology have not made us any less barbaric or any more “humane”. * Deal 1 damage to anyone that plays a Tech ability, unless they roll a 20.

  13. _H.L.P.R_ (#Helper) The Haptic Life Pro Regulator unleashes a burst of healing energy. *All non-Synths in play (including the adventurers) recover 1 health every Surge round.

  14. _UniH8R_ (#Haters) Driven insane by centuries of isolation, this Synth seeks to irradiate any intelligence that crosses its path. * On the first round of combat, deal 1 point of damage/Tech ability in an adventurer’s hand, and 1 point of damage/Tier to any other Encounter card in play (UniH8R does attack itself).

  15. _Lovebot 5000_ (#Lovebot) It wants hugs… * All adventurers without a Charisma skill take 2 damage on the second round of the encounter with Lovebot. Adventurers with Charisma skills can deal automatic “damage” to Lovebot equal to their skill rating instead of playing an ability each round.

  16. _PCU_ (#PCU) The Power Control Unit sends a surge of energy crackling through all mechanical devices. * Synths Surge on round 2 and 4 instead of 3 and 6. On those rounds, any player that successfully rolls to use a Tech ability uses the ability as though they rolled a “20”.

  17. _The Bladed Butcher_ (#Blades) A terrifying metal monstrosity festooned in rotting gore. It smells like an open grave. * Adventurers must make a Knowledge skill or Persona check of 10 or more. On a failure, they reduce the skill or Persona by 1.

  18. _Q.A.E._ (#QAE) The Quantum Anomaly Eliminator seeks to extirpate dangerous threats to galactic Constants. * Any Adventurer using a Magic ability takes 1 damage.

  19. _O.D.I.N._ (#ODIN) Operating from high on the Orbital Stream, the Organically Distributed Intelligence Network boosts efficacy of all cybernetic and synthetic systems. * All adventurers gain 1 to a skill rating while ODIN is in proximity. All Synthetic Encounter cards gain 1 Tier while ODIN is in proximity.

  20. _Stone Age_ (#Stone) Designed to counter the encroachment of self-destructive tech, the entity now known as “Stone Age” suppresses all Tech and advanced Loot. * While “Stone Age” is in play, Tech abilities cannot employ their roll “20” power and Future Loot loses 1 use or buried card.

Like this? Consider sharing or Tweeting it, or joining the weekly Quest Crafter mailing list for more writing inspiration.

Have an idea for the next Quest Crafter or feedback on how we can make it more useful to you? Email us at Authors@Fabricate.io or leave a comment below.

An Index for Forge and Vault

We've known we needed an index for the growing collection of Forge and Vault entries.  For anyone finding this for the first time, The Forge is our regular series of tutorials for anyone using the Quest Creator.  If you need help figuring out how to do something with the script The Forge is a great place to start. 

The Vault is our regular series providing 20 inspirational ideas for stories, environs, enemies, and miscellaneous interesting things.  We've even provided coding in a format that will allow you to copy and paste into a Quest Creator format. 

The Forge

  1. Special Combat Techniques: Creating extra enemy effects or adventurer options in the app's combat simulator.

  2. Setting Up Shop: Crafting Stores, Using Currency: Making a trackable store and pool of currency.

  3. The Guided Quest: How to make a Quest (in the Quest Creator) in about an hour.

  4. Surviving the Quest: Mods for making quests more playable with 1, 2, or 3 adventurer parties.

  5. Righteous Roleplaying: Techniques for crafting compelling and interesting stories.

  6. Quick Questing (GM Mode): Using the Mad Lib format to create an adventure with your players in less than 15 minutes.

  7. Drinking to Horror: Adding art and icons to the App (in the Quest Creator).

  8. Lovecraftian Lyricism: Tips from Lovecraft and the greats on writing good mysteries and horror stories.

  9. Characterizations: Ideas and techniques for creating unique and compelling characters.

  10. All in the Cards: How to make your own custom cards in the Card Creator.

  11. Advanced Card Creation: Adding images, passive abilities, and expended health tracks for adventurers in the Card Creator.

  12. Using the Vaults: A guide to using any of the Vault series in crafting a story or using them for GM Mode.

  13. A Matter of Balance: Considerations of how to make new Encounter, Loot, and Ability types that play well with the existing cards.

The Vault

Series #1 Of Inns and Innkeepers.

  1. The Angry Barkeep (Plots and Flavor)

  2. The Intrepid Adventurers: Examples of adventurer choice options. Builds on prompts from "The Angry Barkeep".

  3. The Final Insult: The Angry Barkeep's responses to adventurer choices in "The Intrepid Adventurers".

Series #2 On the Undead

This series was made to help you easily build your own quests using the Undead Encounter cards.

  1. Wrath of the Undead: Titles for villains, with combat enhancements or debuffs you can add.

  2. Unseemly Urges: Undead plot ideas.

  3. Mortal Remains: Creepy items (Loot) to add to your undead quests.

  4. Of Curses Most Foul: Special events scripts for combat or checks.

  5. Haunts Unhallowed: Pre-crafted locations for your undead quests.

Series #3 Following the Fae

This series was made to help you easily build your own quests using the Undead Encounter cards.

  1. The Fae Folk: Titles for Fae villains, with combat enhancements or debuffs you can add.

  2. Inscrutable Intentions: Fae plot ideas.

  3. Alchemies of Alteration: Magics of glamour and alteration with scripts you can use in Fae quests.

  4. Occulted Environs: Pre-crafted locations for your Fae-themed quests.

Vault #13   Skills and Skill Checks: Ideas for introducing skills rolls and mechanics using the existing system, and what their effects could be. 

Series #4 Burglaring Bandits

This series was made to help you easily build your own quests using the Undead Encounter cards.

  1. Onerous Outlaws: Titles for Bandit villains, with combat enhancements or debuffs you can add.

  2. Honor Among Thieves: Bandit plots.

  3. Tools of the Trade: Items (Loot) of larcenous intent.

  4. Bandits’ Abodes: Bandit-themed locations.

Series #5 The Horror!

This series was made to help you easily build your own quests using the Horror Encounter cards.

  1. Abominable: Horror Titles, enhancements & debuffs.

  2. Malevolent Mysteries: Plots for Horror villains.

  3. Horrorscapes: Horror locations.

  4. Violations: Horror Powers/Scripts.

Series #6 Beastmode

This series was made to help you easily build your own quests using the Beast Encounter cards.

  1. Beastly: Titles, enhancements & debuffs.

  2. Predatory Universe: Plots and motivations for beast and man.

Series #7 The Future

With our release of the Science Fiction themed “The Future” expansion, we provide some adventure seeds and ideas to help you build Sci-Fi adventures.

  1. Actuating Acronyms: Titles to personalize and spice-up your Synth foes, and some combat scripts for coding unique battles.

  2. Seditious Synths: Plot ideas to use with the Synth Encounter type.

  3. Forays in the Future: Locations to feature in your forays.

  4. Powers that Be: Powers and combat abilities for your Synths, aliens, and adventurers.

Miscellaneous Vault Entries

Vault #24.   First Round, First Blood: Special combat scripts for the first round of battle. Useable both by Encounter cards and adventurers. 

Vault #25.   Putrefying Poisons: Checks, Traps, and Combat.

Vault #26.   Around the Campfire: Plot hooks and events taking place round the fire. 

Vault #27.   In the Stacks: Plot ideas and events for library settings. 

Vault #28.  Dungeons of Despair:  Plot ideas, events, and locations for the imprisoned. 

Vault #29. The Storm: Environmental challenges and plot hooks for fearsome furies (hurricance, tornado, blizzard).

Like this? Soon we'll be posting a short survey where you can let us know where you'd like "The Forge" and "Vault" to go from here.  

 

In the Stacks [The Vault #27]

The Vault Icon - Beige.png

Click Here for a Master Index of “The Forge” and “Vault”!

The Library is a place replete with worlds of its own. It is a repository of knowledge both dark and luminous, forbidden and beneficial. It is a vault of imagination and insight, a window into the minds of all manner of people. Below are 20 adventure hooks or encounters for a foray into the Halls of Knowledge.  The first "Miskatonic University" is geared toward a more modern setting of Lovecraftian horror.  The second is for a fantasy setting, The Library Arcane.  At the end are some general prompts applicable in any library setting:

Miskatonic University Library

  1. _In the Dark_ (#Dark) The lights flicker and an electric fizzle makes you look up a moment before the corridors go dark. > Suffer -3 to all checks in the darkness, combat and otherwise. Any roll of 1 results in injury (1 health damage).

  2. _The Hidden Vault_ Rumors abound of a secret passage to a Vault built long ago. Rare and dangerous tomes may be there, in addition to the body of the builder. > Make a Search check of 10 or above to find the false book that triggers the shelving to move aside.

  3. _Elder Sign_ (#Elder) A wave of crime and madness has swept the city, a dark Thing appearing in the dreams of thousands. Only discovery and use of an Elder Sign hidden in the library can stop the nightmare intrusions. > A Search (:ranged:) check of 13 or above is required to find the tome with the Sign. Failure leads to an Encounter with an Acolyte and a Rogue.

  4. _Elder Sign II_ (#ElderTwo) Having found the tome with the Elder Sign, the text must be deciphered, but knowledge is power, and power can corrupt or kill... > Make a Knowledge (:magic:) check of 13 or above or suffer a loss of 1 Persona point and 2 health.

  5. _Elder Sign III_ (#ElderThree) The deciphered text requires intonation of a ritual performed at midnight from the center of Miskatonic Grove. > Make two Ritual (:Influence:) checks of 13 or above (must be repeated until two successes achieved). After the first check, draw a Tier I Horror and begin combat. Each round a check is failed, add another :Horror: of one higher Tier. On a roll of 1 draw a Tier III :Horror: .

The Library Arcane

  1. _The Irascible Magus_ (#Irascible) The ancient magus in charge of the library doesn't countenance noise disturbances. > Any failed check or combat encounter summons the Magus. He roughly teleports all offendors outside (Take 2 damage, end all checks/encounters).

  2. _Golems, Golems_ (#Golems) The most menial tasks of returning books to shelves has long been handled by crafted golems. They do not take kindly to inappropriate use of the volumes, fighting, or destruction of property. > Golems are Tier II opponents with 20 hp. They surge when any area of effect Ability is used (any with more than one target) and immediately deal 2 damage to the offendor.

  3. _The Spelltrap_ (#Trap) Many a tome of lore is trapped with a potent spell to deter the unworthy. > Adventurers must solve a riddle, find a password, or dispel the trap. If they fail, draw a random offensive Magic ability and resolve it against the party.

  4. _The Red Bull's Sigils_ (#Levitation) The higher reaches of the shelving must be reached by activating levitation spells set in the floor. They are painted in the shape of Red Bulls. A clever individual could use them to avoid combat or set a foe aflight.

  5. _Fire Suppression_ (#Suppression) Such a repository of knowledge would never be left unguarded against the mortal bane of books, namely fire. > Powerful wards prevent any Ability or Loot item with "fire" in the description from functioning within the Library.

General Prompts

  1. _Illicit Activities_ (#Activities) The adventurers need to extract a rare and precious work from the Reference section. The detectors at the exit will sound if any such work crosses the threshold. What will the adventurers do? > Possible checks: Thievery, Sleight of Hand, Disable Device...

  2. _SHHHH!!_ (#SHH) The adventurers and their rivals both seek the same works in the library, but if they cause too many disturbances, the staff will throw offenders out. > Adventurers will be thrown out the third time they violate the noise rule. Each instance of combat or destruction (or perhaps a failed Sneak check) counts as a violation.

  3. _Symmetrical Stacking_ (#Stacking) Tobin's Spirit Guide referenced many an instance of symmetrical stacking of books. Some unknown force in this wing of the library has been stacking books impossibly high for years... > Any attempt to bypass the stacks or combat in the area risks knocking weighty tomes down, dealing 2 damage to those that fail checks.

  4. _The Spectral Spinster_ (#Spinster) Gertrude Dorothea gave 80 years of her life to the library. She's loathe to leave it in death. Her unquiet spirit must be dealt with.

  5. _Bookthrowin'_ (#Throwing) Someone or something is flinging books at the heads of the adventurers! > Make an Agility (Ranged) check to avoid getting "booked".

  6. _Water Hazard_ (#Whazard) You wished you'd seen the "Wet Floor" sign earlier...granite is unforgiving. > Make a Notice (Magic) or Agility (Ranged) check of 9 or above. On a failure you suffer 3 damage and sprawl on the floor.

  7. _Hidden Corridor_ (#Corridor) Why was it concealed? Where does it lead?

  8. _Fire!_ (#Fire) Nothing could be more deadly in this place. > Make a number of checks to escape burning, collapsing shelves, choking smoke, panicked patrons, and avoid slipping once the fire suppression system is activated.

  9. _Spitballin'_ (#Sball) Your rival or love interest has dared you to land three spitballs on the series of buns the "Beehive Lady" calls her hairstyle. > Succeed in three successful Ranged ability checks. On success you gain admiration and Loot. On failure you suffer 2 damage and expulsion from the grounds.

  10. _Locked Doors_ (#Locked) You fell asleep and have been locked in the building. How will you pass the night?

Like this? Consider sharing or Tweeting it, or joining the weekly Quest Crafter mailing list for more writing inspiration.

Have an idea for the next Quest Crafter or feedback on how we can make it more useful to you? Email us at Authors@Fabricate.io or leave a comment below.

* Confused by the formatting of the list? The _underscores_ (#hashtags) :icons: and > Special instruction scripts are provided for the ease of Quest Authors, who can copy and paste these directly into the Quest Creator to save time. 

A Return to the Vault and Forge!

The Vault Icon - Beige.png

Click Here for a Master Index of “The Forge” and “Vault”!

Dear adventurers and authors, we've been on hiatus from our weekly editions of Quest and Forge while we prepared for the Origins convention and our next expansion. Those under our belts, we'll be resuming our old schedule of releasing a Vault or Forge every week. Look here for a new edition of "The Vault" tomorrow!

Like this? Consider sharing or Tweeting it, or joining the weekly Quest Crafter mailing list for more writing inspiration.

Have an idea for the next Quest Crafter or feedback on how we can make it more useful to you? Email us at Authors@Fabricate.io or leave a comment below.

Drinking to Horror [The Forge #7]

The Forge Icon - Beige.png

Click Here for a Master Index of “The Forge” and “Vault”!

We received a few community requests for this one, so here it is...Many of Lovecraft's characters turned to the bottle to deal with the terrors they'd uncovered in the dark. Ultimately, it didn't help them much, but here is a simple mod to make Expedition a drinking game. If you're 21+ and capable of drinking responsibly, you may want to toast to the spirit of "The Horror" this month. Every time you see the word "horror" (while playing Expedition with friends), you have to drink.  Whenever your adventurer loses a Persona point, you drink.  

But that's not all we've got for this week's Forge...you have it in your hands...a dark compulsion to play tickles your psyche, hinting at thrills and terrors to come. Here are some suggestions for enhancing your Horror-themed quest. 

Adding Art

With the Kickstarter for "The Horror", we were able to allow addition of art to the Quest Creator. There are two ways you can do this...

Below is how you script for custom art you may have made yourself as a PNG file (note that at this point we will have to add it to the database first). There is a little bit more to this process--and I am not a graphic artist--but perhaps in the future our staff artist might be able to give pointers as to what colors work in the app. 

Art.PNG

In the Quest Creator,  you'll want to have the normal Card prompt _Gardener and Hound_ (#Caretaker), then the [raventree_manor_png_full] produces the following picture in app.  You won't want to include any text if you're using a picture like this, given the size of phone screens, so do add that _continue_ to kick it over to the next screen. 

Art2.PNG
Art3.PNG

There is something that might throw you, though, if you're using the Art Repository we've created. You won't put the _png_ for existing art.  The script at the bottom for the [hound_of_tindalos_full] accesses that existing art. Here is another link to the full list available.  And we see how "little Tindy" looks in app to the right. 

Most of our default icons are in black font, so if you are scripting something that is going to appear in the Combat Simulator of the app (which has a black background), you'll want to make sure you enable the white font.  Here is how you do that:

Instead of :roll: (which would give us a black font on black background), we script :roll_white: .

You can see the difference...

WhiteIcon.PNG

You can also get white text for ability and encounter icons ( :magic_white: , :beast_white: , etc.). 

Finally, you've seen the Persona mechanic...In the course of several hours of playtesting, allow us to offer the advice that when you play, if you want to make full use of the Persona boosts, be sure to play multiple adventurers that have Influence abilities.  If only one member of the party has one Influence ability, it may be difficult for you to bump the Persona up to ever get Max.  Authors, be sure when writing "Horror" themed quests to allow for skill checks or choices that can increase Persona, not just those that decrease it.   

Of course, players could institute a House rule that any critical success (roll of 20) automatically increases the Persona of the adventurer who rolled it by 1. 

We can't wait to see what you come up with and happy questing! 

Like this? Consider sharing or Tweeting it, or joining the weekly Quest Crafter mailing list for more writing inspiration.

Have an idea for the next Quest Crafter or feedback on how we can make it more useful to you? Email us at Authors@Fabricate.io or leave a comment below.

 

Righteous Role Playing [The Forge #5]

The Forge Icon - Beige.png

Click Here for a Master Index of “The Forge” and “Vault”!

A recent community survey on the role playing elements of Expedition has shown that 62% of you would welcome more robust role playing as part of your Quests. This installment of The Forge hopes to give you ways to do that, whether you are an author writing a quest or a group of players playing a pre-written quest. Authors, you can use these to outline/plan quests. Players can use these on the fly. 

Four common things that provide grist for role playing are Backstory, Complications, Consequences, and detailing Description. 

Backstory

Unrevealed backstory is often used to hint tantalizingly at greater revelations. When used appropriately (as a tease) it retains that element of mystery keeps us watching movies and reading books, for there is suspense not only in the unresolved future, but the tension of events already past. As you are playing a quest, adventurers can role play and help create the backstory. 

You may object, "What if we create a backstory that the quest later contradicts?"

It doesn't matter so much if during the unfolding of the quest we're told the backstory really isn't what we thought it was. After all, Luke Skywalker found out the narrative given him about Vader by Obi-Wan wasn't accurate. There are lies we sometimes tell ourselves, too. 

  1. Why is the villain doing what they're doing? (Stealing X, Attacking Y, etc.)

  2. Why are the adventurers getting involved?

  3. What does this quest mean to each adventurer as an individual?

Notice that #2 and #3 may seem the same, but they often are not. The adventurers may be getting involved to stop the Lich's undead army from conquering the realm, but for different reasons. One might fear for what will happen to his wife and children in the city under seige. Another may know the magecraft he practices will be outlawed should the Lich take power. The mobster in the group may only want the Lich kept at bay out of selfish financial interest (you can't sell drugs to the undead). 

Some other elements you can use to craft the backstory:

  1. What type of relationship do the adventurers have with the victims or characters in the story?

  2. What type of history/relationship do they have with the Antagonist (Enemy)?

  3. How does the Antagonist feel about the adventurers (if they know of they even exist)? Do they hold them in contempt? Secretly fear them? Have crossed paths (and swords/spells) with them in the past?

All of the above questions will probably be answered/role played in the opening phase of the quest. Here are some likely to come up in the middle and end phases of a quest:

  1. How do the characters in the story feel about the adventurers' actions. If we find out later the quest tells us those things, it's okay. Maybe our adventurers' initial impression was wrong.

  2. What do characters do about the adventurers actions.

Complications

Complications are the challenges or conflicts the heroes must overcome to succeed.  They may also be things that happen to the Antagonists or their minions that make things funny, more interesting, or easier for the adventurers.  

  1. What happens that makes the quest or part of it unexpectedly difficult? For the adventurers? For the Villains?

  2. During Combat? Outside of Combat?

Here are some examples of complications:

  • The henchmen of the Bandit Captain have fled with the contents of the Royal Treasury. Perhaps one of their wagons has broken down, allowing the adventurers to attempt a Sneak check to attack with surprise while they try to repair the broken axle. This is a complication for the villains a one or two person party can inject to make a quest easier.

  • As the battle against the Dark Wizard grows more desperate for the adventurers, they opt to introduce a complication against the Wizard...the battle is happening in the Wizard's chamber, with magical Loot all around. A Notice check allows them to grab some Loot to use in the final stages of the battle.

Consequences

At the end of the adventure we're probably given a surface level explanation of what we've done (defeated the Lich, saved the realm, etc.), but what does it really mean? This is a great place for players to help craft the story and tack on a more personalized ending to the quest. 

  1. How do people feel about the outcome or adventurers?

  2. If they were victorious, there may be a very important but involved. Ex. We defeated the army of the Dark Wizard, but we did a lot of property damage that the citizens of the Kingdom aren't too happy about. We may have to lay low for awhile.

  3. What were the moral consequences of everyone's actions? Ex. Those guards we killed when we could have snuck by had families to feed. Maybe one of their relatives has sworn vengeance against us.

Descriptions

Quests provide the body of a story, but there is almost always room for you to dress that body in some interesting clothing. The locations and individuals may not always be described or named. The party can do this collectively. We recommend such role-playing have some limits, for the sake of not extending quest length too long:

  • One sentence is probably good.

  • Anything longer than a short paragraph may "break' something coming later in the story or take too much time.

Examples: We enter the Copse of Candlelight and are told "the profusion of fireflies makes it difficult strike a target or find one's way."

A player wishes to add some further ambiance...

"The fireflies are attracted to their reflection off the polished armor and steel of our armaments. They gather around us like iridescent halos and out spirits are lifted."

Maybe the party thinks the description is appropriate enough to warrant the player raising their Persona by 1 as a reward for the role playing.

We hope we've given you some ways to enhance and deepen your enjoyment, social interactions, and role playing!  Happy Questing!

Like this? Consider sharing or Tweeting it, or joining the weekly Quest Crafter mailing list for more writing inspiration.

Have an idea for the next Quest Crafter or feedback on how we can make it more useful to you? Email us at Authors@Fabricate.io or leave a comment below.