What is a quest?
Greetings adventurers. A quest is your best chance to discover new areas in the game that your character hasn't explored before, as well as to find treasure and partake in glorious battles alongside others. Unlike in other situations, a quest will make your party, or fellow players, work together to accomplish the goal set up by the GM running the quest. That doesn't mean everyone has to get along... in fact, there may even be one or two players who will purposefully make things harder for everyone for their own gain! Regardless, you should find yourself in situations your character normally wouldn't be in which is always fun. React accordingly, and be ready to reap the rewards for being brave enough to give it a try! Whether it is a treck through a dark forest, or a several-day walk to your destination, you'll be challenged past your limits and comfort... but it's all in fun! This page will help prepare you for what you'll face in some quest situations; though each one is unique and has it's own style depending on the GM running it, so don't expect them to be uniform or predictable. Enjoy!
Know your GM
The first and most important thing to know about a quest, is which GM is running it! This is because every GM will run a quest their own way. Some enjoy having more battles, some enjoy more puzzles. There are GM's that will want your characters to travel for days, and others that will cause a big event right away where it starts. Do you know if your GM is strict, or more lenient about extra interruptions? How about if some give items/gold/rare things more often? Perhaps a GM wants to challenge the player's mind and force the party to really think through how to get out of a situation. YOU NEVER KNOW! Unfortunately the only way to get a feel for a GM is to join one of their quests. After time, your experience will tell you which GM runs the type of quests you enjoy most. Never favor a single GM over another though, because each will change things up once in a while and you could really miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime deal either in the experience for your character, or a one-time given item. All GM's will give a little information before they start, including the difficulty level and risk to a quest.
There is some questing etiquette you should be aware of, though GM's will typically be individualistic on what they do and don't allow during their quests. Regardless, if it hasn't been said otherwise you should follow these manners:
- Golden #1 Rule: Don't argue with the GM. Never challenge or argue with the GM in the middle of the quest, especially in the main area of the chat room. Instead, wait for a pause or until after the quest to speak to the GM in private message politely if you disagreed with something. Often times if a GM finds they made a mistake, they'll remedy it or compensate. Most times however, the GM will be right, and you'll just need to deal with it. Remember, it is just a game, and one little hiccup wont ruin your character or total RP experience!
- If you get lost, join late, or don't understand something, feel free to ask a GM (or someone who volunteered for questions) privately about it. A GM will never mind helping a player that is lost. Sometimes when joining late, other players will also offer to catch you up in PM so that the GM can continue to focus.
- If you don't state it, you wont be recognized for it. The point of a quest is to participate; sitting in during one and doing the most minimal effort won't grant you much; and you may not even get the same reward as everyone afterward if it's noticed. To gain anything in a quest, your character needs to act on it or speak up. Want to harvest something? Say so. Desire some knowledge? Go for it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
- Splitting the party is discouraged in MOST cases, but not all. Keep in mind that a GM is also human behind the screen, and they can only handle so much. When a party splits into separate groups/areas, this doubles the attention needed by the GM and makes it all the harder to let the quest progress quickly. SOME situations will require a party to split, but usually in these cases a GM has prepared beforehand for it and can handle it. When it is done randomly, it will throw the GM off who will then have to adjust accordingly... and trust us, they don't always like it. A grumpy GM is not your friend if you want your character to survive!!
- Suspect something is hidden, or that all has not been revealed? Well, act or speak up! There will be many times that a GM will throw in little hints about extra treasures, short cuts, or secrets that your character can pick up on if you actually pursue it. They wont help you in these cases, because if all the players miss out on it, it is their loss! Your character doesn't always have to share the knowledge of something they have found by the way. If a GM decides to PM you about it, this means that they've left it up to you, the player, to choose if you want your character to share what you've learned/found with the rest of the party. Your character can hide it, lie, mislead, or share the information as they wish. Working together is the trick to things 90% of the time, but you can hardly be blamed if your character found a treasure that could either be 100% yours if you manage to get it by yourself, or end up being split between 10-15 people instead.
- Don't forget to use your skills. Sometimes catching a feint smell, or detecting a trace amount of magic is all you need in order to stumble upon something. Just watch out for traps!
- Avoid in-party battling. It will be up to each individual GM at the beginning of a quest to share their choice rules, one of which is in-party battles; typically assassinations. Not all GM's will allow it, because it halts the progress of a quest and makes the other participants bored sometimes to have to wait for the people involved in the fight to get it over with. Keep in mind though, that it is much riskier to battle during a quest than in an official duel: more witnesses, more potential interference, and no arena staff to heal or revive you meaning you'll have to rely on another player to show mercy. If you MUST attack someone in your party, the best time is during a battle that has already started in the quest itself so that the progress isn't halted getting from point a to point b.
- Keep track of your own stuff. A GM will have a general sense of things and usually take notes for what needs to be known after the quest, but it is up to you to be fair and keep track of your own stats and items. If you are found to purposefully be cheating, you could have experience docked from your character. A casual mistake is fine, but don't make a practice of not keeping track.
- When attacking, be clear as possible. Remember that a GM is not only having to watch the 10-15 people each make their attack, but they are having to figure out all the numbers and run the NPC's too! Again, they are only human, so give them a break and make sure you list everything about your attack. A good way to do this is to play out your action, then put the stat stuff in (parenthesis) so it is easy to see. If you don't mention it, the GM might not count it and it'll be too late to fix it.
- E.g.: JohnSmith went after the closest enemy in front of him, swinging his sword to strike out at the creatures neck. (d8 Sword, 10 VIG, Melee, +1 Age Bonus)
JohnSmith rolls: d10
Bot Result: 4
GM Roll for enemy: d12 (Dodge Attempt, 12 AGL)
Bot Result: 4
JohnSmith succeeds due to the +1 applied to his result of 4, giving him 5 which is higher than the enemies 4.
JohnSmith rolls damage, which was d8+VIG for melee, giving him d18. The bonus doesn't apply to damage in this circumstance.
Turn Based Play & Resting
A quest will generally flow free-form until official circumstances arise which the GM will note upon the party's arrival to it. What happens up to that point is up to the party, usually with a little guidance by the GM. Once these events start, they are usually done in turns. Everyone will roll 'init' if the GM calls for it, then it will go in order of who had the highest to who had the lowest. ONCE in a while, usually to spare time, a GM will just have turns go in order of top to bottom (or reversed) based on the java-chat's name list.
For battles, a GM will roll to see if the party goes first or if the enemy does. When it is the party's turn, it will always go by INIT in non free-for-all battles. This keeps it fair for those who have worked hard to be able to act first with their characters.
Camping/resting will also take turns. There are 3 shifts of 2 hours each through a 'rest' period. In order for your character to gain back their MP, they have to sleep. They'll gain back half their lost MP for sleeping 1 shift, and their full MP for sleeping 2 shifts. Typically all characters are expected to take 1 shift for watch duty, though it isn't forced. If your character sleeps all 3 shifts, they'll also gain back half their lost LP.
If there is someone on watch when an attack comes, the party will get to attack first. If the entire party is asleep during an attack with no one on watch, the enemy will get to attack first and no one will be allowed to defend other than absorbing with armor. If the enemy attacks while your character is asleep, your character will have their init halved for being unprepared. If the enemy attacks on the shift you chose to be on watch, you'll have no penalty and actually gain +1 to your first action and init.
A GM will say before a quest starts what difficulty it is. Depending on this will give an idea for how much risk and reward will come from participating in that quest. The higher the risk, the more experience it will yield too. They generally go as follows, but these aren't strict guidelines:
- Training Quest: All Levels. No risk to your character, and minimal reward most likely just experience. These are meant for getting people used to how a quest works or to train a new GM. They are meant to be quick and easy.
- Easy: Good for Low Levels. Little to no risk to your character, and a small reward of experience and possible gold. These are usually simple to get through without any permanent harm to your character. They don't yield much reward wise, especially not items. These usually either have 1 boss-type enemy, or no enemies at all.
- Normal: All Levels. There is some risk to your character, and a good chance for a decent reward which includes items. These are the best quests for harvesting or treasure hunting. Typically any little 'side things' you can get done during a quest are best done in these types. Death is rare in normal quests, but not impossible.
- High Risk: Good for High Levels. These type quests will have many situations that could cause your character to die or be altered in some way. If you are careful and quick on your feet, you might get through it unscathed though. These quests always give a good reward for the risk, whether it is a large amount of gold or a rare item. The party will almost always face dangerous traps, or large amounts of enemies in these quests.
- K.Y.A.G.: Likely death regardless of Level. You shouldn't expect to survive this quest. Your only hope is that your party works in harmony with each other and knows how to protect the healers so that you can keep getting resurrected and somehow make it to the end! If everyone dies, no one gets the reward! Well, except for some experience of course. Get through this though, and you'll be a happy camper for the reward!
- Story Quests: These vary in their difficulty but will typically be between 'Normal' and 'High' risks. They will involve a big change to the game's Setting, whether it is an influential NPC or a land itself. Often times they are long, and cut up into separate parts. They'll usually give you some extra story about the game, and yield rewards of special favors with NPC's, access to lands others haven't discovered yet, or one-time given items.
- Personal: Sometimes your character may have need of a personal quest. Perhaps they need to rescue someone, or search out information about their past. Maybe they need to fulfill a deed for a deity to grant them a request they need. Regardless of the reason, a 'Personal' quest can sometimes be run on request. These quests will be invite only for the participants, and will require at least 5 people to be run. Pick your people wisely, because once it starts you wont be able to have extra additions and if someone doesn't show up, you are out of luck.