OpenQuest Companion in layout

Seeing as the OpenQuest Companion has gone through its proofread, and I have all the art I need, I’m currently throwing it into layout, for a release in pdf at least this side of Christmas. It will go out to Kickstarter Backers and OpenQuet pre-orders first, but a pre-order will open via my web store on D101games.com shortly.

Here are some preview pages.

Things I Learnt about How to Present a Historical Fantasy RPG using OpenQuest Recently

A couple of months ago, I re-edited and brought up to date Paul Mitchener’s Ancient Roman OpenQuest adventure Non Semper Erit Aestas (or “It will not always be Summer”). It’s set in the immediate aftermath of Emperor Nero’s death, the Roman Rhineland, here’s Paul’s quick pitch for it.

In the year 68AD, the Roman Empire is torn apart from civil war, and the Empire’s defences are drastically weakened, in particular those on the Rhine frontier. The player characters are Vigilis Nocturni — special agents of the Empire who investigate hidden threats, both mundane and supernatural. Both types of threats threaten the local capital of Colonia Agrippina, and the player characters are the only ones who can prevent it from falling to barbarians and foul sorcery.

Editing it was quite an enlightening process and I learnt the following things about Paul’s approach to Historical RPGs from it.

  • Not everyone goes around armed to the teeth or laden with equipment and treasure.
  • Weapons and armour are more of a status symbol.
  • Magic is not as prevalent as standard OQ. In Paul’s adventure, only Priests and dedicated cult members get magic, even Personal Magic.
  • Deities can be in the physical world and encountered as creatures.
  • That historical fact can form the backdrop for events in the adventure, but the future is not certain, and the player character’s actions do lead to meaningful changes to the timeline.

I have no plans to make this available in print because Paul will be using it as the basis of a standalone game, set in the Ancient Roman period known as the Age of the Four Emporers, powered by OpenQuest in the new year. More about that here, as it progresses.

OpenQuest Goes to the Conventions Part 2 Grogmeet

Grogmeet is a one day face to face con that is being run at Fanboy 3 in Manchester next Saturday.  Signups are being handled by Warhorn, the online convention management website, and this is how Grogmeet’s selection of OpenQuest games looks like, it looks like VICTORY!!!

OpenQuest declares victory at Grogmeet 2021

To put this in context. That’s three games, and I’m running only one of them, and they are all full! Normally it’s just me running one game, which depending on the convention, can fail to gain any players or only partially fill up. Admittedly Grogmeet is OQ sympathetic, being made up of people who like older games or are returning to rpging after a long break, but even so, I’m blown away by the success of this.

I’ve put The Great Goblin Hunt’s details up in a previous post, but here are the details of the other games.

The Broadsword and The Beast, GMed by Steve Ray

“‘I see a dark sail on the horizon, set under a black cloud that hides the sun’ (from ‘Broadsword’ by Jethro Tull)

Cries of woe rend the air as the kingdom is terrorized by a foul creature known only as The Beast. Join together as your band of heroes struggle to free the land from ‘the lonely fear of dying, for some of living too’. A game inspired, if you haven’t guessed, by Tull’s seminal album ‘The Broadsword and the Beast’”

Non Semper Erit Aestas, GMed by Paul Mitchener

In the year 68AD, the Roman Empire is torn apart from civil war, and the Empire’s defences are drastically weakened, in particular those on the Rhine frontier. The player characters are Vigilis Nocturni — special agents of the Empire who investigate hidden threats, both mundane and supernatural. Both types of threats threaten the local capital of Colonia Agrippina, and the player characters are the only ones who can prevent it from falling to barbarians and foul sorcery.

Note Non Semper Erit Aestas was quietly released in Pdf format recently and is up for sale on D101 Games web store.

All this OpenQuest activity makes me wonder whether it would be worthwhile doing an OpenQuest Online Convention over one or two days in early December. So I’ll be asking the GMs of these games whether they would be willing to participate in such an event. I’ll update you early next week if they come back positive. Also, if you are a referee who would be interested in taking part in such an event, drop me a line at newt@d101games.com.

OpenQuest goes to the Conventions, 2021 edition

So convention going for me is seeing a cautious return after lockdown lifted here in the UK earlier this Summer. For the time being its a blend of Online and local face to face (Grogmeet in Manchester next month).

So this being the year of OpenQuest’s release and my excitement over that, means I’m well up for running it. Here’s the games I’ll be running soon.

Road to Hell

Road to Hell cover by Jon Hodgson

Road to Hell cover by Jon Hodgson

England, October 26th, 1604.

Your band of merry adventurers were almost out of work, due to the new King James cracking down on the escapades that were so profitable during Queen Elizabeth’s reign. Fortunately, you have a letter of employ from the Queen’s Astrologer Dr John Dee, who has long been exiled from Court to the town of Manchester in the North West of England. You’ve been travelling North on the muddy roads, coping with the steadily worsening weather and avoiding bandits. It’s been grim.

Now just outside Chester on the final leg of the journey, it’s all about to get Hellish.

This is a Dark Fantasy Adventure for OpenQuest, set in the early years of the Jacobean Period, inspired by old Hammer Horror and the works of Clive Barker. Maturity is required, but no knowledge of the system or setting is needed.

I’ll be running this at both Furnace Online Games next weekend (which you can still sign up for via its Warhorn page) and in person at Grogmeat in Manchester on Saturday 11th November.

I’ve gone full OpenQuest at Grogmeat, where in the afternoon I’ll also be running the following.

The Great Goblin Hunt

Every year the best Goblin Hunters, sponsored by the five Dukes of Gatan, assemble at Castle Uprising in the Imperial Heartlands. After a great feast, attended by the Emperor, they enter the Valley of the Hunt, which has been carefully stocked with Goblins and other related creatures.  Whoever brings back the most heads at the end of the day, is declared the winner of the Great Goblin Hunt.

This year your band of adventurers have been invited to join the Fifth Annual Goblin Hunt, for the glory of your sponsoring noble and your personal financial gain.

I’ve posted a bit more about this in a previous post, which gives a bit more insight into how I put this adventure together. Although I’d avoid reading it if you are a prospective player since it’s got a few spoilers 🙂

 

The Great Goblin Hunt

A combination of a small return to convention-going, Grogmeet at my local FLG Fanboy 3 in November, and the need for a gripping, exciting kick-off scenario for the next Season of OpenQuest Thursday, which sees our rough borderlands troubleshooters moving in noble circles at the Imperial Court, drove me to write this upcoming adventure.

The Pitch

Goblins running wild in the Empire of Gatan has always been a problem. Either feral packs from population explosions in their native lands or organised raiding bands led by their Orc brethren, from the Goblinoid Strongholds beyond the Empire’s Border. Ten years ago, Emperor Ilmar got so fed up with them, that he made an Imperial

Proclamation that was read out by town criers across the Empire. The proclamation classified Goblins as vermin and decreed by law that landowning nobles, should appoint a Master of the Goblin Hunt whose job is to coordinate the local peasants in efforts to exterminate any Goblin infestation found upon their lands. A bounty was placed upon the collection of Goblin heads, and the formation of a professional class of Goblin Hunter was encouraged throughout the Empire.

Every year the best Goblin Hunters, sponsored by the five Dukes of Gatan, assemble at Castle Uprising in the Imperial Heartlands, near the Imperial Hunting Forest. After a great feast, attended by the Emperor, they enter the Valley of the Hunt, which has been carefully stocked with Goblins and other related creatures.  Whoever brings back the most goblin heads at the end of the day, is declared the winner of the Great Goblin Hunt.

This year your band of adventurers have been invited to join the Fifth Annual Goblin Hunt, for the glory of your sponsoring noble and your personal financial gain.

This adventure is about getting the player characters to interact with the nobles of the setting, including the big movers and shakers, in a way that doesn’t involve lots of talking and chewing scenery. As previously stated, OpenQuest is a Fantasy Adventure Game.

So what better way to get both the intrigue and action by involving the characters in an Imperial Hunt.

Two castle visits came to mind as the inspiration for the adventure locations in the adventure.

Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire. Whole sections of the castle were built around providing the Kings of England with accommodation and entertainment on their grand procession of the Kingdom and getting a bump up in power at court. It was a tactic that worked and eventually saw the family relocate further down the road at Chatsworth House and being in the Royal inner circle of confidants and advisers. The castle is right next to the castle is a deer hunting run that was reserved for the nobles use.

Castle Rising in Norfolk. I’ve known this Norman castle from visits to my grandparents in my childhood. It has only been recently with family holidays that I’ve learnt about its history as a Hunting Lodge created by the Norman Earl who built the castle and created Deer Hunting land around it.

As well as the obvious thrill of the hunt itself, some other themes are working in this adventure.

Are Goblins evil or a victim of misrepresentation? The adventure deals with a genocidal hunt against Goblins. When I wondered what the Nobles would be hunting, I decided to push the boat out, this being a fantasy game and have Goblins as the target. In the Empire of Gatan setting, Goblins are presented as evil enemies, typical of most fantasy settings. But this adventure puts that under the microscope, and there’s evidence in the adventure about the true nature of Goblins being completely different to what the characters have been taught.

Exploration of blood sports. As well as practicalities of how the hunt is conducted, there will be opportunities to see in action and get involved in the various social games of one-upmanship that are being played out between the nobles, for whom its merely part of a social calendar of events throughout the year and an important chance to impress the Emperor who is in attendance. Also how species have been created specifically to provide sport for the hunters.

The Class System. The Hunt is conducted in a valley where peasant farmers lived before they were relocated by the Emperor’s decree to live around the Castle that is the Great Master of the Goblin Hunt’s seat. Therefore, those peasants are still about and look on unhappily as their Noble masters feast at the castle in preparation for the Great Goblin Hunt, which is the sole reason for them being kicked off their ancestral lands.

As with all my convention games, this will get a write-up and be published at some point, probably as part of a book about the Empire of Gatan that I’m planning called “Dark Corners of the Empire”.

Mix and Match

Graham Spearing was the editor of the first edition of OpenQuest, and there’s a lot of design choices that carry through even to OQ3 that came from discussions with him. He knows his onions when it comes to rules 🙂

 I pulled off my relatively new OpenQuest (OQ) 3rd edition, that takes from the Legend SRD and delivers a more streamlined expression of the game. Truth is, I’m probably looking for something just a little different from OQ, but it can form a substantial base for my game.

He goes on to give some detail about what other D100 games he’d use to make his dream version of D100.

 

OpenQuest Companion reaches First Draft

After taking a week off to spend time with my family, I was back at this morning. After a quick writing session, I’ve reached the first draft of the OpenQuest Companion. eta tentatively late August for the pdf, early September for print.

The OpenQuest Companion, cover by Jon Hodgson

OpenQuest 3rd Edition now on General Release!

With the end of the Great OpenQuest Mailout to backers and pre-orders yesterday, I am proud to announce that OpenQuest 3rd Edition is now generally available from D101 Games web store in both pdf only and Print + Pdf bundle.

I’m still in the process of setting up the product on drivethrurpg.com and lulu.com and will let people know when I’ve released them via my Twitter account, @d101games, later this week/early next.

Gorgon by Dan Barker

OpenQuesssst itsss out.

OpenQuest 3rd Edition

The OpenQuest Quickstart

OpenQuest Quickstart Cover by Jonny Gray

OpenQuest Quickstart Cover © Jonny Gray

OpenQuest Companion

The OpenQuest Companion, cover by Jon Hodgson

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6 other subscribers.