Board Game Design Diary – Quests
We’re now onto some of the activities that you can do in town, so let’s talk about probably the biggest first, which is going to be quests.
Quests are going to be one of the more interesting things to do in town or on a level when playing in this game. Not to say that the others won’t be interesting or important, but quests are going to delve into the story of the game and the world more than other things might. I do want to tie story into as many elements as possible, but quests are an obvious area to do it.
So, first thing that we need to consider is how do you find a quest?
There are a few ways that you can do this, but I want them to be something you have to “find” by doing other actions. If you go shopping a weapon crafter might have a quest for a rare metal or crystal, same with an armorer or an apothecary. If you talk to an NPC, they might have a quest for you, if you talk to a PC, they might have a quest that they can’t do but that they know about if you want to try your hand at it. Or it might be a level event that triggers that you can do as a quest. Some of the quests might even have multiple ways to get to them, a PC and an NPC might give you the same information, but it might branch slightly depending on who you got it from.
Now, with having to “find” quests, does that mean that the first time frame or potentially multiple ones on a level there won’t be any quests available to go on? No, there will always be a level quest. Something that will give you a more generic thing, mainly money and XP. Those can be great because if you are getting an interesting skill or weapon, that’s going to be the bigger reward, and you might get some money along the way, and you will for sure get XP, but it won’t be as much money and might not be as much XP. Of course, that won’t always be the case, it might be possible that the level quest will branch and you might find something unexpected at the end, so you can’t always just pass on that quest, or send guild members to do it. Again, as I’ve said so many times, I want every choice in the game to be hard and meaningful in an interesting way.
So, how will quests work?
So quests, are going to generally be multiple part things, though, some might be pretty simple. They can also be evolving or chaining things. For example, rescue the farmer’s daughter could be a very simple quest that will then find out about a troll invasion that is going to happen and will unlock that quest from an earlier point that it would have if you hadn’t done the rescue the farmer’s daughter quest.
But that’s again pretty general as to how these will work. I’ve talked about it a bit before with the modifier cards, but each part of the quest is going to be a little bit of story, something will happen, it could be that you need to track the trolls through the forest, or avoid an ambush while looking for the trolls. I’m thinking that this’ll almost be a Near and Far like thing where in that you are trying to reach a certain threshold but you can go higher and hit a second threshold. So let’s take the farmer’s daughter quest, tracking the trolls should be pretty easy for a PC in the game, so that’s just a check of a five, as the player you know that you’ll pass that, but you’ll also know that there is a higher mark you can try and make it to, but the PC won’t know what that means, so the player shouldn’t know what that means either. So if they spend, now they are paying enough attention to spot the ambush up ahead as well as the tracks, that’ll give them a branching path for the next part of the quest where they can either spring the ambush and fight, or go around it. That’s what that player would then be doing on the next time period on that level.
Now, let’s quickly talk about skills. I’ve talked about them a lot as of late. Just a refresher, on some quests you’ll be able to get a skill. That skill will modify the end challenge for that quest. To also talk about weapons or armor, if it makes sense, so an example of when it wouldn’t, a dragon isn’t going to wield a sword, those will be attached and modify as well. When thinking about loot drops, why would something that drops a legendary or an interesting item, weapon, armor, or otherwise, not be using it themselves? So I want those to attach and modify for a monster as well.
And finally, what happens once you complete a quest or part of a quest?
So if you’ve done part of it, you’ll have the option to continue in the next time period. Any XP you’ve gained can cause you to level up and you can allocate the points you get for your character from that.
If you reach the end of the quest, you are going to get more of an XP bump, plus any rewards at that point in time and you’ll be transported back to the town. I’m not a fan of games where you have to fight your way into the dungeon and then run back through the whole cleared out dungeon to get back to the closest fast travel point to then go to the town and turn it in. Screw that noise, you get teleported to the town and to the person who gave you the quest. The next time period, you can, if you want, complete that quest at that location as well as do whatever action is attributed to that location. The player doing the quest will have already spent a lot of time on that potentially.
How long could a quest be? I mentioned it above, but I think it’s worth mentioning again. Quests will vary in length. If something sounds like a short quest, it probably is, it might chain another quest, but the first will be done. To go back to what I just said above, a chained quest, you’ll have the option to continue into that quest immediately instead of getting teleported back. If you do, you’ll still get the reward at that point in time from the one that you’ve just completed so that you don’t miss out on it. But back to my question, a single quest might be as long as 6-7 time units, which would be most of what one player does on the floor. Most won’t last that long, but each part of the quest will have one challenge decision point, might be conversation that wouldn’t require a card, and quests might vary in length depending on choices. To go back to my example of rescuing the farmers daughter, if you sneak around the troll ambush you’ll miss out on some XP, but that’ll make the whole quest faster, so you’ll have time to do more. I want it to be fairly logical like that where you can guess when it’d be faster.
So what do you think of quests, does it start to make sense as to how they are going to work?