OpenQuest for Dungeons

Today I continue work on OpenQuest Dungeons. I’m working on a section that has the working title of OpenQuest for D&Ders (the final piece will have something less copyright-infringing – Probably “Rules for Dungeoneering”). The idea is to quickly cover the ground that new Referees and players have to cover to grasp the fundamental differences between OQ and D&D.

So far my document has the following headings

  • What’s Similar
  • What’s Different
  • Getting Started. A more hand-holding version of character gen, with pick a Race (or culture), then pick one of four ready made concepts that correspond to the four classic D&D classes etc
  • Specific Rulings: Opening Doors, Dealing with Traps (detecting, disarming), Spotting Hidden Concealed/Secret Doors, Backstabbing etc
  • A selection of Traps, I have some wonderful Jeshields art for this, explained in OQ terms.

I’ve opened this for discussion in the D101 Games Discord OpenQuest Channel, so if your think there’s anything that should be in this article, especially if you are a DM who is thinking about getting your D&D group into OQ, drop in and suggest anything that would help.

OpenQuest Dungeons cover

OpenQuest Dungeons © Jon Hodgson

OpenQuest SRD updated to version 1.1

Thanks to user feedback on the D101 Games Discord Server, it was pointed out that I had left out the Skill Bases from the SRD.

I’ve now updated both the text SRD and the Online SRD, so that Skill bases are listed in a table in the character generation section of the Characters document/page and next to the skill name in the skills description page.

There’s also a new changelog page, which will record changes (mainly corrections) to the OQ SRD.

Saran and the Three Bad Piggies

Time for a break from rules related OQ matters. Here’s another tale from Gatan’s folklore. 

Once upon a time Saran and his family came down from their cave homes in the hills and came to live on the great plain of Sur. Sarran who was head of his household decided to build a home for his family.

So he gathered up straw and mud and made a wattle and daub house. Then an awful Piggie (1), that walked on two legs came and wielded a big tree trunk as a club destroyed his new home, causing Sarran and his family to run to the hills.

When the pig was gone from the plains, Sarran and his family returned from their wanderings in the hills. Sarran built a new house made of strong sturdy timber. Or so he thought. Another Bad Piggie, that wielded a vicious two-handed iron great ax, came down from the mountains and chopped Saran’s wooden house into bits and made a fire out of it, on which cooked and Saran’s first son, who had not been quick enough to run away back to the hills (2)

Next, when Saran came down from the hills, this time on his own because his family still mourned the deceased son (and were quite frankly not seeing the joy in leaving their safe caves), he made a hall and a tomb for his son, made out of rocks. He piled the stones one atop another and made a sturdy thatched roof, but it still didn’t stop a third bad piggie from coming along and trashing the place!  Sarran who only got out in the nick of time, ran off to the mountains this time.

There he resolved to become a holy hermit, forsaking his family and material life. He climbed the highest mountain and looked skywards to some deity to answer why he was such a failure at life.

And lo the Grand Builder, who dwells in the Sky, answered his wailing. He told him to pull himself together get his family and return to the blessed plain of Sur.  So putting his trust in this new god, Sarran did just that.

Once there, the Grand Builder taught Sarran how to build gleaming buildings of white stone. Made out of massive blocks of stone, without mortar or gaps. And roads, aqueducts and other such wonders that allowed Sarran’s family to finally prosper.

When the Bad Piggies came again to blow  Saran’s house down, not only could they not do this, but Sarran and his family drove them from their homeland, using the steel axes that the Grand Builder had taught them to make in their new forges.

So the Bad Piggies, went whee, whee, whee, all the way up the mountains where they stayed and became the Dwarves problem instead.

Notes (for grown-ups)

Overall this is sort of an origin story for Saran the Builder (see OpenQuest page 214). Its commonly taught to all children ages two and up in the Empire of Gatan, since its tells of the foundation of human civilisation.

  1. The Pigs of this nursery tale are commonly held to be pig-faced Orcs (or Orc Tribes, led by a Warlord) who came out of the mountains and fought wars against Sarran’s Kingdom.
  2. some versions have Sarran’s first son – Derak – as a doomed but heroic warrior who sacrificed himself holding off the Bad Pig.

Note: The entirety of this text is product identity, and will be part of a future OpenQuest book. 

OpenQuest Systems Resource Document now live

A text version with a pdf for prospective 3rd Party publishers on how to use the SRD is available at no cost via the D101 Games web store.

Also, it’s available online via

I’ve had fun throwing this together, especially the website, so I’m looking forward to seeing how people use it.

All the best

;O) Newt

OpenQuest SRD and changes to this site

So I’ve just finished the document version of the OpenQuest SRD. This is primarily aimed at people who want to publish stuff using OpenQuest, and contains a four-page guide on how to use it.

Now I’m setting up this site to be the home of the online version of the OQ SRD. So if you see changes, the first of which has been changing the theme of the site, that’s why.

In other related news, I’ve settled upon Foundry VTT as the virtual table top I’m going to support.

Lastly, lest I forget my manners


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 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

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 🙂


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

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