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QuestWorlds Update: Lightning Strike and Burning Man


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As announced earlier this year, our HeroQuest tabletop roleplaying game is being rebranded as QuestWorlds

While the rules (game mechanics) themselves will remain unchanged, QuestWorlds line editor Ian Cooper is working on a new edition of the game, exploring new genres and with new play examples. Here's one of them, evocatively illustrated by French artist Lionel Marty.

In Jack’s Age of Miracles game, Lightning Strike (Halima) confronts one of the Burning Men in a tenement block...

“Standing in front of you is a tall man, wearing a silver flameproof suit,” Jack says. “It’s hard to see his face because it is covered with a mask. But what you can see is the M9 flamethrower strapped on his back, and he spins and levels the wand at you.”

“What do you do?

“Is there electricity here, that I can use,” asks Halima.

“Sure, the block still has power,” Jack replies.

“I summon lightning from the power sockets—a big jolt to knock him down,“ Halima says.

“Let’s go to a contest,” says Jack. “Your tactics are both to use violence against each other. The prize is whether you get to stop him burning down the building. There is a risk of Lightning Strike being injured here.”

Jack thinks for a moment. This is the first encounter the Municipals have had with a Burning Man, and he wants to emphasize the threat that they pose. He knows that in the superhero genre, the supers often struggle in their first encounters against a new threat.

“Going up against a flamethrower is going to be a ‘Punishing’ resistance at 5M.”

“Oh great,”says Halima.

“What is your ability rating,” asks Jack?

“I have 15 in my Electrokinesis, “says Halima. “Can I spend some improvement points to push it to 5M?”

“If you have the points, you can pump an ability by up to 10,” Jack replies [see Assign Ability Ratings, p.89].

“Great, I’ll do that,” says Halima, “that puts Lightning Strike on 5M too.”


Lightning Strike defeats the Burning Man with one degree of success. Jack narrates the outcome.

“Electricity leaps from the power sockets into the Burning Man. The arc of lightning strikes him square in the chest, paralyzing him before he can squeeze the trigger on his flamethrower and lifting him backward into the air. His jaw clenches tight. Then he crashes against the wall, hurled by the force of the strike, out cold.”

Jack thinks about any additional benefits, but decides that there are no long lasting benefits to Lightning Strike beyond knocking the Burning Man out.

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I recall hearing a little bit about the "Cosmic Zap" (iirc) supers setting.
Is this snippet explicitly intended to be part of that, or is it just a genre'ful (but setting-free) corebook example?

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  • 2 months later...


On 1/22/2022 at 6:00 PM, davecake said:

This demonstrates why you will normally find a Burning Man playing with his flamethrower in a desert where there is not much electricity. 


(for those who don't recognize the reference, "Burning Man" in the RW is an alt-cultural art/expression/etc festival in the Nevada desert)

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On 1/24/2022 at 11:22 AM, g33k said:

for those who don't recognize the reference, "Burning Man" in the RW is an alt-cultural art/expression/etc festival in the Nevada desert

And there are ‘regional Burning Man’ events, smaller versions of the Nevada one, all over the world (and not always in deserts), usually sharing some of the enthusiasm for giant burning things, and fire art including recreational flame throwers. I’m a Burning Man regional contact, so involved with some of these. 

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