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Questworlds- the position as of 27 February 2021

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Ian Cooper has published some notes from Saturday's Impromptu Con on Discord. As not everybody is on Facebook, I have cut and pasted the posts here. Note that the bolding comes from me, not Ian- and my comments are in italics 


First up, what was discussed in the first session on the QuestWorlds rules:

* We started with a goal to extract just the rules text from HQ Core for the SRD

* Once done, the pared down text revealed issues around use of game terminology (failure and defeat) that we needed to correct.

* Marginal, minor, major and complete have always been an issue because they implied you only get the prize on complete. Should be you always get the prize but price, or what else you get varies.

* We wanted to offer consequences (penalties) on a partial success (marginal) as an option to the GM (exhaustion etc.)

* Masteries remain difficult to explain and it takes time for folks to 'get it' if they don't have the option to play with someone who has mastered them.

* We moved to "counting successes" over "bumps". A mastery is a success, a success on your roll is a success. Most successes wins, and highest roll if tied. Difference in successes is degree of victory and used to determine tally in a sequence, hint as to consequences and benefits etc. Zero degrees of victory is a partial success - you get the prize, but there is often a cost.

* We factored out the common part of all 'long' contest types - a sequence of contests and just note the different methods of tallying relative position: First to Five, APs, Penalties. Long Contests became Sequences and Simple Contests just Contests.

Core Rules book will be first. Will have lots of advice on how to be a player or GM in a storytelling game (including ideas like scene framing etc for the GM). Hope is to keep rules clean for easy reference and have extensive examples.

Examples and art main work oustanding.

SRD is close to final, please promote the SRD in appropriate forums so that we can begin to slowly build buzz around the engine again.


Next [was] the session on genre packs.

Second book will be about writing genre packs and adventures. It starts with, but goes beyond the advice in HeroQuest about genre packs.

Three example settings:

* Pioneer Space: Patrolmen and Free Traders on the frontiers of space, rooted in 50 and early 60s S, Heinlein, Norton etc (think valve powered machines, fixed phones in retro '50s style)

* Age of Miracles: 70s NYC Superheroes. Disco and Vigilantes (much lower power level than Cosmic Slop)

* Brave New World: Renaissance Fantasy, exploring a Hollow Earth

Each also used as an opportunity to discuss high-tech, supers, and magic

Then we will have more advice on writing adventures including advice on relationship maps etc.(using those relationship maps as enabling sandbox play) (including excerpt(s) from Robin Laws' Sharper Adventures in Heroquest- which is absolutely essential read for Narrators- Pdf on Chaosium website) 

We plan to also cover "templates" to let you easily create archetypical characters from a genre. Sort of a cross between 100-words and PbTA playbooks.

Followed up by three settings:

Doc Vandal:  1930s Pulp from Dave Robinson (who has written a few novels starting the title character}

Cosmic Zap: Cosmic level superheroes from Ron Edwards (think Jack Kirby's 4th World work for DC and the Eternals}

After Thought: STL SF from Sean Hillman

Finally we had a brief discussion of QuestWorlds Glorantha might look, but speculative at this point. 

Baseline: HeroQuest Glorantha but use the Core Book for rules, this is just another genre pack. Background, keywords, cults etc all work.

Magic: A few changes. Feedback has shown us that whilst experienced Gloranthans love the flexibility, new players can find the freeform magic daunting. Plus 500lbs gorilla in the room, RQG

Some early thoughts:

* No more thresholds i.e. 1W for initiates, 10W for devotees; use 'flaws' for the price you pay in time, restrictions etc. instead

* Lay Members: Just have one rune (elemental) and Worship Pantheon

* Initiates, Spirit Society Members, Sorcerers: up to three

* Devotees, Shaman, Mage: (may be up to 5, including magic system etc)

Basic Magic: Same for all, not an exception for animists. Prayers, Charms, Spells but augment-only

Rune, Spirit, Sorcery: Pretty much what we have now - can be used directly:


Freeform is hard, so we may have **optional** one-sentence decriptions. We may lean on RQ magic for some of these. So perhaps:

Bladesharp - Makes an edged weapon unnaturally sharp.

Protection - Provides magical armor against all physical attacks

Both of these just augment a fighting skill

or for Rune Magic

Shield - Provides magical armor against physical and magical attacks

We'll also provide general advice that magic is usually here, now, against that group and more needs a ritual.

This is really 'early design thoughts' so you can have your say. We don't want to block folks improvising magic here, but the concern that providing suggested spells hampered creativity needs to be offset against the lack of yardstick and the fact that anyone picking up an RQG book will naturally look to the magic there and question how to facilitate that in QWG (this is partially informed by discussions with players with D&D backgrounds and had not played Runequest)

Ian also discussed the for the credibility test for use of abilities- the credibility test would be different for the 1970s supers setting than for the Cosmic Slop supers setting. 

There was a discussion on the appeal of retro settings to a younger audience. Ian takes the view that QW's game engine is well suited for pulp adventures and also stressed that  the racism and sexism of the pulps would not be a part of the genre packs. He saw the genre packs could be shorter books/ PDFs say 30-60 pages, possibly at a paperback size (ala the original Hero Wars books) . People with anime/ manga backgrounds- please let Ian know if you're interested - the writers he knows are not knowledgeable enough (as far he is aware) 

Hope that helps folks- I'm playing in Ian's Coming Storm/ Eleven Lights campaign online where Ian is testing the new rules. I'm ethused by the changes.





Edited by Dimbyd
Missed out a “not”
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6 hours ago, Dimbyd said:

SRD is close to final, please promote the SRD in appropriate forums so that we can begin to slowly build buzz around the engine again.

Could the official QuestWorlds site be updated now that it is close to final and we promote the SRD? @Ian Cooper

I would like to drive people to the site rather than into the github repository.

Edited by jrutila
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