Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Alphabet of Outer Beings - Q is for Quests

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Quests are a staple of the RPG hobby. Early on your character probably only have enough agency to control their fortunes for short periods of time, days to weeks. After that they will likely need a fresh infusion of coin and that means taking on a job, or coming up with a job of their own. When it comes to having a patron, be they divine or sorcerous, the character has an entirely different lever for the Judge to pull. Outer Beings don't give away their power and patronage for free, and when it comes time to pay the proverbial piper a quest may be asked of the character to retain or increase their current status, or pay off a debt gained from an earlier action.

Judge's are advised to be careful about their use of such quests. These requests from Outer Beings need to be both unique and also dangerous. There's a reason that powerful supernatural beings trade in power, and gaining pawns to execute their requests is something that should take on grand scale, either directly (go find this lost relic of my nemesis and destroy it) or indirectly (convince so and so to execute an action that will further my own ends).

I cannot stress enough how even a "simple fetch quest" should never be played as such. The story of Jason (he of the Argo) is basically a fetch quest: Jason needed to get the Golden Fleece and bring it back to Pelias to become king. Of course if it had been "just a simple fetch quest" it would not have become one of the most well known stories of Greek Mythology, and yet, at its heart, Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece is still "just a fetch quest." Judge's are should bend all their tools to making each Quest from an Outer Being epic and unique.

Table Q1: Type of Quest
  1. "Fetch" - The character is requested to gather or recover [Item: Table Q2] from [Location: Table Q3] and [Action: Table Q4]
  2. Sabotage - The character is requested to go to [Location: Table Q3] and sabotage the plans of [Person: Table Q5] to further the Outer Being's own plans.
  3. Forge - The character is required to create an [Item: Table Q2] for the Outer Being. Often this can only be done in [Location: Table Q3] and and may require the knowledge of, or aid from,  [Person: Table Q5]
  4. Protection - The character is required to protect an [roll 1d3: 1 [Item: Table Q2]; 2 [Location: Table Q3]; 3 [Person: Table Q5]] from [Person: Table Q5] or [Phenomenon: Table Q6].
  5. Favor - The character must locate [Person: Table Q5] and convince, hire, blackmail, etc them to do [Favor: Table Q7] for the Outer Being (or alternately a different [Person: Table Q5]).
  6. Kill - The character is asked to kill [Person: Table Q5]. This may require finding them in [Location: Table Q3] and/or the use of a specific [Item: Table Q2] they are vulnerable to.
Table Q2: Items (roll 1d8)
  1. Relic (see R is for Relics)
  2. Rare material
  3. Tome of relevant knowledge
  4. A blessed symbol (see H is for Holy Symbol)
  5. Plant matter - flowers, stems, seeds, fruits, etc. May be alchemical, magical, or mundane.
  6. Seemingly trivial item of common make 
  7. A musical instrument 
  8. Idol of a rival outer being (see I is for Idol)
Table Q3: Locations (roll 1d8)
  1. Temple
  2. Magical locus
  3. Ruins of a lost civilization
  4. Deep natural cavern
  5. The Fey Lands
  6. A demon crossroads
  7. The ocean
  8. Another plane of existance
Table Q4: Actions (roll 1d6)
  1. Sacrifice - A ritual sacrifice of the item or person to the Outer Being
  2. Bring it to [Location: Table Q3]
  3. Deliver to [Person: Table Q5] 
  4. Destroy item/kill person
  5. Perform magical task on item/person (divine healing, break enchantment, etc.)
  6. Protect item/person from the Outer Being's rivals
Table Q5: Persons (roll 1d12)
  1. Pauper
  2. King/Chieftain 
  3. Demon
  4. Outer Being
  5. Wizard
  6. Craftsperson
  7. Warlord
  8. Immortal
  9. Guild-member
  10. Dragon
  11. Lich
  12. Combine, roll again and combine the results. 
Table Q6: Phenomenon (roll 1d6)
  1. War
  2. Wildfire
  3. Magical Flux
  4. Flood
  5. Earthquake
  6. Demonic (or planar) invasion
Table Q7: Favors (roll 1d6)
  1. Lend a powerful item
  2. Use their influence over a group 
  3. Turn over a child 
  4. Provide advice or knowledge 
  5. Change allegiances 
  6. Grant military aid