More Detail About The Lost Outpost

This is the OpenQuest Quickstart Rules + Adventure. If you are new to OpenQuest or a returning old hand wanting to see what’s changed, or simply want to pick up an introductory adventure suitable for newcomers this is for you.

I posted about this when I released it, but here’s a more detailed view, along with some design notes at the end.

OpenQuest Quickstart Cover by Jonny Gray

OpenQuest Quickstart Cover by Jonny Gray

A bit more about what it contains.

The Rules

The Rules is a cut-down selection, that has the basic mechanics explained, one of the three magic systems (personal Magic), a slightly cut down version of Physical Combat (with some of the combat actions left out). In short just enough rules so you can play the Adventure.

The Adventure

The Lost Outpost is set on the borderlands of the Empire of Gatan setting, which is the example in the OpenQuest Rulebook. Intertwined with the numbers you need to run it, there are lots of bits of explanation about the non-player character’s motives and what they are doing in the adventure in the context of their cultures and religious beliefs. I was very keen that the adventure shows that these more intangible things are just as big a driver in play as the numbers on the NPC’s profiles. Even for the “mooks” who are the accompanying warriors of the higher ranking NPCs.

Structure wise it’s a simple three-beat adventure in that the Referee presents the set of the situation in-game, the players explore the encounter area where the situation is, and then with the Referee’s help bring it to a resolution. Within that explanation that I try to show that player choice is central to the Quest plays out at the table.  If this sounds a bit worryingly story-game to you, don’t worry its presented with a reassuringly old-school introduction for both the Players and Referee, an adventure (or Quest as I call it in OQ) made up of six encounters – all placed on this wonderful map by Glynn Seal (of Midderlands fame).

The Garrison House, map by Glynn Seal

The Garrison House, map by Glynn Seal

Take note, this edition of OpenQuest is a lot darker in tone than previous ones and the quickstart reflects that. There’s a section that points out its mature themes in the introduction of the Quickstart. I’m not sure whether this tonal shift has been because of the fact that this edition’s art is black and white, or (more likely) because of the implied Dark Ages/Early Medieval setting, combined with I’m an adult playing with other adults.

Six Pre-made Characters

I used the full character generation rules, with six of the ready-made concepts, to make these starting level characters. From playing them you’ll get a good idea of how powerful new characters are, and what their limitations are. If you choose to continue the adventure, by either using the adventure in the main rulebook or the upcoming adventure pack (The Edge of Empire) you can continue to use them.

Here’s one of them Amon Durak, with comments on the pdf that explain how he works as a starting player character in OpenQuest.

Overall the Quickstart aims to give players new to D100 roleplaying games, a taste of what the full rulebook contains, and how D100 role-playing is different from D20 Level based games.

So if that sounds like something you’d like to use.

Designer’s Notes

This is probably the most involved adventure I’ve written since Life and Death, a three adventure collection that I released for OQ1 and revised slightly for OQ2.

I had three aims with it.

  1. Show how OpenQuest 3rd works.
  2. Provide clear examples to new Referees, and a clear structure that is easy to follow while allowing player choice to be king.
  3. Explain in a show not tell fashion the Empire of Gatan setting, without getting too deep and involved.

It was a struggle to get the three aims of the adventure across without vastly expanding the page count, and necessarily padding it. I think I got there 🙂

On a personal level, I want to be able to point to people new to OQ and say, “that’s what OpenQuest is”. Not have to, recommend they read the rulebook and then a follow on adventure pack to get what the game is all about.

OpenQuest + Quickstart done!

I hit a major personal milestone yesterday OpenQuest is finally done!

After another round of edits, both by me and by the backers, the final pdf is done and off to print proof. Also, the OpenQuest Quickstart Rules + Adventure, The Lost Outpost, is done bar a final check by my editor.  So delivery of final pdfs in the next week or so 🙂

It features this wonderful piece of art by Dan Barker, Granny Tier who is the pc’s patroness in the Lost Outpost.

Granny Tier, by Dan Barker

 

OpenQuest 3 is done!

Well, my bit anyway. I’m pleased to announce that OQ 3rd edition, was sent over to its Editor/Proofreader yesterday evening for a final check. Its got a table of contents, an index and a set of cross-references ( “see page xx” ) that are all lovingly hyperlinked in the pdf, which is also fully bookmarked. So I expect that to come back within two weeks, in which time I’ll be sending out pdf’s to backers and opening a pre-order for non-backers.

OpenQuest We’ve Got You Covered!

Big update on OpenQuest 3rd edition.

Jon Hodgson has delivered the goods on the Five stretch goal supplements, also I’m reusing the cover from OQ Refreshed to provide the cover for the Early Bird Quickstart Adventure, and finally Jonny Gray provides the cover for the OpenQuest Quickstart: The Lost Outpost.

So we’ve got covers, erm covered 🙂

Here’s the whole lot as previews, click on image for a bigger version.

The Clockwork Palace by Jon Hodgson

The Clockwork Palace © Jon Hodgson

OpenQuest Companion cover by Jon Hodgson

OpenQuest Companion © Jon Hodgson

the Book of Duck cover

The Book of Duck © Jon Hodgson

OpenQuest Dungeons cover

OpenQuest Dungeons © Jon Hodgson

The Saga of the Savage North Cover

The Saga of the Savage North © Jon Hodgson

Catching the Wyrm cover by Jon Hodgson

Catching the Wyrm ©Jon Hodgson

OpenQuest Quickstart Cover by Jonny Gray

OpenQuest Quickstart Cover © Jonny Gray

OpenQuest Dungeons

The Book of Duck (working title)

The Clock Work Palace

OpenQuest at Layout Proof!

Behold! Witness the marvellous moment where I print off a complete copy of OpenQuest 3rd Edition, to do a layout-proof.

Some photos showing off the layout, which is a work in progress.

OQ3 Layout Proof – Characters

OQ3 Layout Proof -The Quest

OQ3 Layout Proof – Sorcery

OQ3 Layout Proof – Creatures

OQ3 Layout Proof – Creatures

OQ3 Layout Proof – Empire of Gatan, The Five Emperors

 

Welcome to the Shambles

Catching the Wyrm is the Early Bird Quickstart that people who backed the Kickstarter in the first 48 hours, and Art Level backers, will be receiving. This Quickstart adventure is a little different from what I normally write for OpenQuest. Its made of up the first two adventure areas of a bigger ruined city known as The Shambles. It’s not quite what older roleplayers call a Sandbox, where the adventure presents the information that the characters may encounter as they make their own way around the unifying adventure location, more what I call a Toybox. Where I present various objects or Toys (adventure locatinos, non-player characters, rumours, encounters ) that the referee can place together to create an adventure.

So with that in mind, let’s see what is in this particular Toy Box.

A Taste of the Shambles. A quick introduction to this ruined city, its history and the current state of affairs. This gives an overview of fo the complete package.

Adventure Areas This Quickstart has features two Adventure Areas from the city.

  • Tent Town. A mishmash of scavengers, professional treasure hunters and wise people keeping watch over the ruined city, right next to its walls.
  • The Squares. A residential area just inside the walls, with Tent Town on the other side. So-called because the houses are built around squares, each of which have a different focus for the well to do residents that once lived there.

The Quest of Catching the Wyrm. This is the adventure itself in a short digestible form that draws already detailed information from the Locations.

Non-Player Characters Rooster. All the character profiles (or references to the relevant page in the main OpenQuest rulebook).

Design Notes.

Unlike the publically released Quickstart Adventure, which comes with its own concise version of OpenQuest, this Quickstart pulls from the main rulebook, for both a wider collection of magic spells and creatures.

Also, the adventure will feature the three characters and the Dragon (!) that feature on the cover of OpenQuest 3rd Edition (and the detail of which is used for the banner for this site) 🙂

OpenQuest outside of the Kickstarter

I’ve slowed down considerably in the run-up to Christmas, but it’s not seen any slacking in getting OpenQuest stuff done. At the same time, Paul (Mitchener) and Peter (Cakebread) are going through the first draft of OQ3 with a fine-tooth come, a job that should be done any second now. Meanwhile, I’ve been beavering away on various things that are outside of the Kickstarter deliverables’ work while related and help bring clarity.

OpenQuest Thursdays. This is my “home” group that got up and running sometime online in October. I’m using it playtest the Quickstart adventures, that I’m producing for Kickstarter Backers. It’s going tremendously well. On a personal level, it reunited me with a couple of my old friends who have played in games that have shaped what OpenQuest is today.

OpenQuest World. At this point, this is probably only exciting to me. My “publisher head” remains unconvinced 🙂 Back in October, I stopped doing my Gloranthan fanzines, which while disappointing to Gloranthafans, meant that I could reclaim the bits of the adventures/setting info that aren’t Gloranthan IP. Kick out Orlanth and the Gang, and I’ve got stuff I can revise and reshape for OpenQuest releases. With my creative head freed up from pondering Gloranthan this and that, It had to look at another setting. And it found and fixed in its gaze the nascent setting that is detailed via OpenQuest 2 and its setting/adventure books (except Crucible of Dragons), and notes I made for unreleased stuff. And suddenly a coherent narrative of a fantasy world emerges. Not just the snapshot of the late Dark Ages/early Medieval Empire of Gatan anymore, there’s a whole Ancient World and even an Age of Reason/Enlightenment period now. I’ve started work on a “setting bible”, a set of bullet-pointed/brief notes on all the ‘facts’ of this setting, in a form that both myself and future OQ authors can use. The immediate effect on books is that the default setting, because don’t get me wrong OQ is not tied into this, will be a bit more joined-up

Empire’s Edge (working title). This one developed out of the OpenQuest Thursday Quickstart adventure playtest sessions. This will be a short setting/adventure book that focuses on the Eastern Imperial Borderlands, particularly the County of Mitchdale and a series of adventures that introduces bigger concepts of day to day life in the Empire of Gatan. While I have plans to do a bigger treatment of the Empire, called Dark Corners of the Empire, later on in 2022, this gets you started with an introductory arc of adventures that will probably come out in 2021.

Back into work on the various OpenQuest deliverables for the Kickstarter campaign in earnest tomorrow, but I thought it would be exciting to share with you some of the stuff happening on the edges.

 

Last miniute Tweeking

So the pdf of the 1st Draft is compiled and about to go out to backers, a little later than expected. That’s because as well as doing one last self-edit, I took it as an opportunity to make some last-minute changes.

What’s changed

  • Hero points are now called Fortune.
  • Improvement points are now Growth (points)
  • Improving Characters now Growing Characters and re-written and expanded.
  • Battle Magic renamed Personal Magic

All the Paths of Magic have an Immortality End Game

  • Personal Magic: Shamans become Great Spirits and move into the Spirit World. Wises become One with the Land.
  • Divine Magic: Priests and Holy Warriors, Ascend into the Houses of Holy either as Ascended Guardians, who become part of the Pantheon that they worship or as an independent deity.
  • Sorcery: The Magus Transcends the very limits of mortality through their knowledge of the Laws of Magic, becoming beings of pure magical energy.