Quest and game design

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Quest and game design

Post by Bonetti » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:52 am

The lack of quality in the earlier quests in the game (and the fact that they generally haven't been revisited since launch) has been brought up before.

This article has some interesting insight into Blizzard's design philosophy:
Mystery is something Blizzard gets wrong as well. Players want goals, not mystery in the action of what they're supposed to do. Even on a mystery story, Blizzard shouldn't ever say "something's wrong in Elwynn Forest, go figure it out." Always have something concrete for players to do next. "The mystery can't be in what to do."[...]Make the action in the gameplay, not in figuring out what to do next.
Poorly paced quest chains are another issue -- a quest that starts at level 30, spans 14 levels, and ends with you killing an elite mob. So basically putting a brick wall in front of the player to bang their head for a little while. It's cool to have expansive quest chains, but bad pacing loses the player's trust that it's worth it to do.
Bad flow is another quest design mistake -- quests clustered up, with kill quests all together, and collection quests all together, and not a smooth flow between them. He showed off a suggested new flow for Loch Modan, which is a place that is not well designed at the moment. "I always tell people, if you do one thing in World of Warcraft, do the Death Knight starting experience." It's one of the best quest design places in the game to date.
There's quite a bit of interesting material in the article -- including a claim that the Green Hills of Stranglethorn is the worst quest in the game. (I'm not sure I actually agree, but it's in the top five.)

I'm not sure what all can be mined, but peeking behind the design curtain (and their own thoughts on where the current game is significantly flawed) may help in evaluating what pieces of the current quest material to steal while building a tabletop story.
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Re: Quest and game design

Post by Big Mac » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:02 am

Bonetti wrote:There's quite a bit of interesting material in the article -- including a claim that the Green Hills of Stranglethorn is the worst quest in the game. (I'm not sure I actually agree, but it's in the top five.)
I've not played The Green Hills of Stranglethorn. Is the "problem" something to do with the fact that you go out, find some pages, bring them back, then get told to go out and do the same thing with 3 other sets of pages? It seems to me that this is just one thing that has been split up unnecessarily.
Bonetti wrote:I'm not sure what all can be mined, but peeking behind the design curtain (and their own thoughts on where the current game is significantly flawed) may help in evaluating what pieces of the current quest material to steal while building a tabletop story.
Hmm. Well, this was an interesting article but I only thought about this, from a "milking WoW to make Warcraft RPG plots" point of view:

I think that if was to use this sort of thing as an RPG plot, I would allow players to do all of the sub-quests at the same time.

The same goes for the quests where you go out and kill an bunch of minions and then get asked to go back and kill the boss of the minions. It seems to me that a PC could be offered "a set" of objectives in one go, but given the ability to "finish" some of the objectives and abandon others.

If, for example, the PCs found all of Chapters I and III and part of Chapters II and IV, Barnil Stonepot could thank you for what you have managed to do and tell you he will keep looking for the rest of the manuscript. At some point later, he could contact the PCs (maybe in a letter as this is a pretty big thing in the WoW game) to say that he now has the rest of the stuff. He could then offer the PCs a partial reward.

I think it was Night Druid, who said he would rather have (some?) WoW quests lead to credits instead of gear (that you might not want). But I wonder if quests could be shuffled around so that you get a variety of rewards:
  • Specific items could be good if we were milking WoW for plots to do with non-rich NPCs who have craft skills and who could make stuff for the PCs,
  • Cold hard cash would always be good,
  • A credit note (that can be cashed in with a money lender elsewhere) would also be good*,
  • Or maybe even a quest could be turned into something where someone really poor says: "I've not got any money, but I'll find some way to try to pay you back if..."**
* = Someone could tell the PCs that they don't have any money, but are owed some money in <insert town> and will sign that over to the PCs if they rescue their daughter/son/wife (or whatever).

** = I think that sort of quest could be turned into something that is used to give PCs the Leadership skill and have followers (or cohorts) sign up to help their cause. Something like that might be a lot more "real" to the group than a payment of a few copper coins. I think you could even turn "quest givers" like this into tabletop NPCs that "keep an eye out" for the PCs and then write a letter to them, when they have some interesting news.

But getting back to the "set of quest" concept, I've got another thought. I think that it could even be better, from a tabletop point of view, if the PCs got interested in something similar to a set of WoW quests, but only did some of them. If for example the PCs explored the beginning of an area, and killed all the low level enemy NPCs and some of the medium level NPCs, but not the rest of the medium level NPCs and the boss NPC, that could turn into a way to throw a sequel plot at the players. Unlike WoW, where things don't change, you could have the boss and his remaining medium level NPCs sit down together and plot a way to get back at the group that attacked them. They could split up, move, call for reinforcements or do a ton of other things. The attack by the PCs could be the thing that springboards this.

If PCs are (railroaded?) into doing everything in a chain of quests, then the chance of a "rematch" is lost, but if they take on a group of two hundred hostile NPCs and kill ten of them, you have a chance to send the rest of the group after the PCs in a Benny Hill chase! :twisted:

Or maybe, if the PCs have a run-in with a hostile group, a friendly (but non-powerful NPC), that the PCs helped before, could search them out and let them know that a few shady guys in black cloaks have been searching the area for them. (This could be the cue for a bunch of arrows to appear in the NPC's back and an ambush to start! :twisted: )
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Re: Quest and game design

Post by night_druid » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:25 am

Interesting.

Edit: Nevermind, NOW I remember Green Hills. UGH. PITA to the 11. Ugly, hateful quest that was.

Oddly, I *love* Loch Mordan; I only wish there was more to it (and they can ditch the three horde head-hunters; those guys SUCK!). The dwarf town is probably one of my favorites; it just has the proper feel. Actually, I think I just like the *west* half of the zone; the east half is not so good. ;)

WoW is mostly designed as a game to be played with someone else; preferribly, two to four someone elses. Most of the game content is designed for group play; it almost requires belonging to a guild. Still, with some areas requiring as many as 40 people to accomplish, you need *huge* guilds to tackle any of them. I think originally they envisioned something not unlike a D&D group, but it evolved to the massive stuff to attract the Everquest folk. <shrug>

Lots of things I'd change were I doing the game today. I'd probably ditch most of the existing quests and instead go with a "bounty" system to replace "Kill X of monster Y", and add a "butcher" skill such that you'll never wonder why X critter didn't have a liver. :lol: "Quests" would be true quest chains, long and epic. You would not have some lazy joe's shopping list as a "quest".
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Re: Quest and game design

Post by night_druid » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:40 am

Big Mac wrote:I've not played The Green Hills of Stranglethorn. Is the "problem" something to do with the fact that you go out, find some pages, bring them back, then get told to go out and do the same thing with 3 other sets of pages? It seems to me that this is just one thing that has been split up unnecessarily.
Greenhills was a TERRIBLE quest. Basically, you had to collect 16 or so pages as random drops from monsters, and bundle them up in packages of 4, and then bundle the packages into the book. The problems were:
1. The pages were not unique to you. What's worse, some pages were common drops, while others were very rare drops. Collecting all 16 takes a LOT of killing random monsters. Usually you pick up the quest at level 30 and don't finish until 40 due to rarity of drops.
2. ITS 16 PAGES! That's 16 bag slots. That's a huge waste of space when bag slots are at a premium.
3. The camp is right next to a horde travel hub; on PvP servers, its gank paradise.
4. Rewards weren't worth it, IIRC (other than achievements).
I think it was Night Druid, who said he would rather have (some?) WoW quests lead to credits instead of gear (that you might not want). But I wonder if quests could be shuffled around so that you get a variety of rewards:
I'm not entire opposed to quest reward items; its just that you can finish 3-4 quests and end up with 3-4 helmets, of which 2 might be somewhat comperable in stats (do you pick stanima over str?) and 2 are just vendor trash. I'd rather just finish those 4 quests and have credit to buy one badass helmet instead.
** = I think that sort of quest could be turned into something that is used to give PCs the Leadership skill and have followers (or cohorts) sign up to help their cause. Something like that might be a lot more "real" to the group than a payment of a few copper coins. I think you could even turn "quest givers" like this into tabletop NPCs that "keep an eye out" for the PCs and then write a letter to them, when they have some interesting news.
A very few quests allow you to have an NPC henchmen for a short duration in an area. Personally I'd love to have a squire NPC/pet. Maybe a couple: a shield-bearer, a musician, a squire, and a healer. That'd rock. ;)
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Re: Quest and game design

Post by night_druid » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:02 am

One thing I think I should add: for all its faults, WoW did have the advantage of learning from Ultima Online and improving the MMO concept. While UO had a lot of good concepts, they just proved unworkable in a MMO (such as allowing players to change the landscape via player housing...the world soon became one giant housing project! :P ).
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Re: Quest and game design

Post by Bonetti » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:39 am

WoW does what Blizzard does best -- take a game style, iterate on it internally (and, later, externally), and produce a supremely polished version. The influence of other games in the genre is clear.

One very clear thing they picked up from UO was minimizing custom or one-off content. For instance, UO experimented with GM-run events (a lot of coordination, and uneven execution across shards), and with one-time questlines (once one guy does it, that's it, it's gone). They are very expensive, development-wise, and so few get to see them that Blizzard has always resisted calls to try to do similar things.

(However, they've ended betas with staff-run apocalyptic encounters, with human-controlled raid bosses trashing capital cities. That's not on the live servers, though :-) They've also done little events in the weeks before each expansion, like the portal opening before BC and the zombie plague and scourge invasion before Wrath. Data-mining of achievements and objects in the patch currently on the test realms indicates they'll do a "reclaim Gnomeregan" and "reclaim the Echo Isles" event before Cataclysm. Level your orc/strolls now if you want to kill Zalazane, I bet he's gone in Cataclysm :-) )

The issue with the Green Hills of Stranglethorn is several-fold. First, it's five quests: one for each of the four parts, and then a final turn-in once you have made the four parts. Second, each batch of pages only drops from certain levels of creatures, it's a random drop, and there's some overlap. However, the end result is that you end up with a lot of, oh, Page 7, and no Page 24. Third, if you are level-appropriate (and not being fed by a higher-level character), you probably have a mix of 8 and 10 slot bags at this point in the game -- probably no more than 56 inventory slots (and more likely around 46) for all your quest items, gear, random vendor trash drops, crafting supplies, potions, food, etc. If you were a hunter at launch, knock a bag off for your ammo. Up to 15 of these slots were consumed by these pages -- and odds are, you wouldn't be able to complete ANY of the subquests (receiving the corresponding chapter -- you need all four chapters to do the last step) until you had done most of the zone because of the way the pages are spread around the loot tables.

In other words, between 1/3 and 1/2 of your inventory space would be devoted to this one stupid quest line. And because they're not even quest items, they continue to show up and clutter your inventory after you're done! And they vend for so little, and they're just an inventory management nightmare to auction...

It's so ridiculous that I have characters missing out on the Hemet Nesingwary achievement because they've completed the hunting questlines (Stranglethorn, Nagrand, Sholazar), but not that ridiculous book.

Regarding the "Go do step A at location X", "go do step B at location X", "go do step C at location X": These quests are clearly intended to keep re-using the same area, peeling back the story. Since there's no personal GM running the game for you, it was the only way to iterate on a story in a single area (e.g. Kurzen's Compound). You could go the "farm A, farm B, farm C" route like the Defias in Westfall (or the plague cauldrons in Western Plaguelands), but not every story can be told like that.

Phasing will go a long way toward alleviating that, and that's certainly a quest approach that is more CRPG than P&PRPG. I, for one, would be a lot more flexible in running the story-driven bits.

Oh, and night_druid: the camp is one downhill jump from Rebel Camp (which is a flight path now), so it's not any better for Horde. Frankly, I gave up on PVP server leveling in the early 30s, between my experiences in Ashenvale and STV. And that was on a server with a relatively balanced population. I have a friend on one of the legendarily unbalanced servers, on the minority faction, and she says everything's a nightmare there. I'll stick with PVE and the occasional battleground :-)

As for the Horde headhunters -- try the four elite Outriders in southern Barrens -- that patrol a big length of the road and some nearby troughs, right through multiple quest areas. OUCH. The only wandering bad NPC that has jumped me more times are the Sons of Arugal in Silverpine. (I hear Mor'Ladim was a real pain, but even before his nerfing I managed to dodge him. I was always cautious in a cemetery overrun by undead :-) )

Big Mac: The token systems they've been using for the level cap instance farming gear (badges at 70 and emblems at 80) are sort of like that. Even if you don't raid, you can get raid-level gear by running the harder versions of the instances over and over -- but the current tier is only available 2 emblems (of frost) per day, and it takes up to two months to farm enough for a single piece of gear. The previous tier can be farmed (emblems of conquest) as fast as you can stomach it.
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Re: Quest and game design

Post by Big Mac » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:54 pm

<necromantic bump>
It seems to me that, if it was raided for the WoW:RPG, the plot from The Green Hills of Stranglethorn could be easily fixed.

Firstly, you wouldn't have more than one of each page. Secondly, they wouldn't take up a lot of space in a PC's backpack. And thirdly, you could hand over parts of the book any time you were passing Barnil Stonepot. Finally, I see no reason to drag a book rescue quest out for so long, you should be able to pick up half the book in one place.

The basic concept seems like a simple one. I think it is the execution that has the major flaws.

Perhaps an NPC could notice that pages are scattered in the area and race the players to the pages. That way, you could put a time limit on the players finding pages, and then give the rest of the pages to the NPC. The NPC could be someone who works out the PCs are after pages and decides that if the PC want them, they must be worth something. The players could then have a fight to get the remaining pages from the mook or make some sort of deal with them.

I think something like that would put a time limit on the quest and stop it from dragging on, while allowing PCs that rush around to actually find everything quickly.
</necromantic bump>
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Re: Quest and game design

Post by Bonetti » Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:52 pm

The easiest fix would have been to have it halfway between the Ashenvale and Stranglethorn versions, namely to have you have to be on the quest, have the items be quest items (and thus will only ever drop once), and have you able to combine them yourself. Of course, they did this in the mine quest in northern Barrens, where you get non-specific pages and a book to bind them in. Once you have five pages, you combine them and, voila, you're done.

For Green Hills, they could've done the same basic thing (call them quartos or leaves or something, which are then combined back into the full book) and kept the actual book text by having the final product readable. That way, they could've avoided the completely ridiculous inventory management problem, a problem which is pretty much unique to the mechanics of the MMO and thus rendered it a pretty ridiculous idea.
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Re: Quest and game design

Post by Big Mac » Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:23 pm

Bonetti wrote:For Green Hills, they could've done the same basic thing (call them quartos or leaves or something, which are then combined back into the full book) and kept the actual book text by having the final product readable. That way, they could've avoided the completely ridiculous inventory management problem, a problem which is pretty much unique to the mechanics of the MMO and thus rendered it a pretty ridiculous idea.
If the implementation would work better (in an RPG) I think that a quest like this could be pretty interesting.

In fact, you could find a real story, print it off and hand the players random pages to pub together IRL. I'm sure there is a lot of Warcraft fan-fiction out there, so you could build your own prop. Add a few stains and some other artificial ageing (maybe some very carful buring on the edges of the page) and it might look really great.
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Re: Quest and game design

Post by Bonetti » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:11 am

That's almost certainly how I would run it, and not really as a specific quest but as a sort of background thing. Whether the party uses it for its intended purpose or not, well, that's a different story :-)

(Hrm. I might do something like this to bring some aspects of Mystaran history to their attention...)
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Re: Quest and game design

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:45 pm

Bonetti wrote:That's almost certainly how I would run it, and not really as a specific quest but as a sort of background thing. Whether the party uses it for its intended purpose or not, well, that's a different story :-)
Actually, if you take away the quest aspect, or the concept of earning XP, it turns into something that can become a different sort of reward for the players.
Bonetti wrote:(Hrm. I might do something like this to bring some aspects of Mystaran history to their attention...)
It does sound like something that would translate to any other setting. And that can't be the only part of WoW that is generic enough to be lifted.

This sort of thing is where I think that both the WoW: RPG and the WoW: MMO could have something to offer all D&D GMs.
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Re: Quest and game design

Post by Bonetti » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:25 am

Big Mac wrote:
Bonetti wrote:(Hrm. I might do something like this to bring some aspects of Mystaran history to their attention...)
It does sound like something that would translate to any other setting. And that can't be the only part of WoW that is generic enough to be lifted.

This sort of thing is where I think that both the WoW: RPG and the WoW: MMO could have something to offer all D&D GMs.
That has me wondering if it would be possible (or reasonable) to implement the secondary skills, or at least some of them, in a tabletop-friendly way. For instance, a non-grindy version of archaeology might also be able to be used as a bit of background fun. I know that a player in my current game has his ranger be obsessed with collecting maps :-) Encouraging that sort of engagement with the world helps bring an inherent depth, I think.

I'll have to think about what might be worth stealing from the tradeskills and secondary skills...
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Re: Quest and game design

Post by Big Mac » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:35 pm

Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Bonetti wrote:(Hrm. I might do something like this to bring some aspects of Mystaran history to their attention...)
It does sound like something that would translate to any other setting. And that can't be the only part of WoW that is generic enough to be lifted.

This sort of thing is where I think that both the WoW: RPG and the WoW: MMO could have something to offer all D&D GMs.
That has me wondering if it would be possible (or reasonable) to implement the secondary skills, or at least some of them, in a tabletop-friendly way. For instance, a non-grindy version of archaeology might also be able to be used as a bit of background fun. I know that a player in my current game has his ranger be obsessed with collecting maps :-) Encouraging that sort of engagement with the world helps bring an inherent depth, I think.
The grinding aspect of WoW is mostly (but not totally) a waste of time*, but I do like the way that the MMO skills are not static abilities.

One of the reasons why (after my initial resistance) I liked 3e D&D more than 2e AD&D, is that the switch from NWPs to Skills created a structured system that encourages players to think about the "secondary" aspects of their characters. While that might seem like a "crunchy millstone" to someone who likes older rules, if you step back from the crunchy stuff, you can view it as a way for the player to connect to the PC in more ways.

If a PC has a high swim skill, you can ask the player what their PC has done to learn that skill or why the PC choose to learn that skill. Perhaps, as a child, the PC's brother drowned and they could not save them, but then decided to learn how to swim, so they could save others. So, although lazy players might just see this sort of stuff as "abilities" a non-lazy player could find inspiration for PC construction and feed back what they learn about their PC, as they level up.

You can also reverse-engineer the rules to see what non-combat challenges a GM can throw at PCs. Maybe the PCs want to meet an important NPC who is resistant to visitors. Do they try to break into their castle, or sneak past their guards, and risk being mistaken for thieves or assassins - or - do they enter the annual fishing contest that that NPC sponsors and try their best to land the best fish, so that they can win a place on the dining table on the post-contest meal?
Bonetti wrote:I'll have to think about what might be worth stealing from the tradeskills and secondary skills...
I think that your ability to raid concepts, is partially dependent on what rules you are using, but I think that most of the MMO stuff could be raided to a lesser or greater extent.

Even if you don't have rules for skills, you could take the MMO's trainers and turn them into NPCs that are teachers of that skill. Rather than your PCs going to visit a master weaponsmith and asking him to repair a sword, they could attend a session, where he is teaching four students how to work metal into blades and then ask him what could be done with the sword. Perhaps an offer to commission a dagger from each of the students might make the master weaponsmith more willing to try to remake the sword. And a PC could end up with a set of four matching daggers that, although mundane, have a great history behind them.

When levelling up 3e PCs, I've always tried to spend some points on skills that might not be useful in a dungeon, but could earn a PC cash between adventures. I've had people try to push me into min-maxing skills a few times, but I've always preferred to do this, as it has made the PCs feel more "real" to me. The WoW MMO is a bit more regimented than the 3e skills, but I can see how it would be possible to have a generic system that awards PCs "skill points" that can be spent on things like this.

Archaeology seems a pretty interesting way to give PCs background information about a world. Spelljammer has a few things (like Planetolgy) that allow PCs to "guess" details about places they have never been to. Anything like this could be a way to do an in-character infodump. :lol:
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Re: Quest and game design

Post by Bonetti » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:39 am

My primary point was that a lot of it doesn't really translate -- an MMO is designed to hold your attention for massive amounts of time while limiting the speed with which anything is accomplished. A tabletop game runs much, much, much slower, and the grind really doesn't translate well. Skilling up herbalism by wandering a couple zones for a couple hours isn't a real problem in an MMO (the computer rolls the dice, if required, travel is fast, combat is a minute at the outside, and it's mostly about hitting the right nodes in an optimal pattern). Trying to do that in a tabletop game is less viable.

However, other aspects might be reasonable for borrowing. For instance, if one leaves some archaeology stuff going on as a background part of the campaign, one could raid the actual results of assembling artifacts as a reward for this non-central mini-game. Similarly, one could take advantage of items/quest-starters for fishing, so if a player says he fishes a lot while they're camping, he might end up with one of the water-logged books -- or a bottle with a note that is pleading for help (see the old quest on Jaguero Isle -- not sure if it's still in the game).

However, I don't think the tradeskill system can be directly imported and retail either its utility or fun -- it's targeted at a completely different set of goals.
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Re: Quest and game design

Post by Big Mac » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:19 pm

Bonetti wrote:My primary point was that a lot of it doesn't really translate -- an MMO is designed to hold your attention for massive amounts of time while limiting the speed with which anything is accomplished. A tabletop game runs much, much, much slower, and the grind really doesn't translate well. Skilling up herbalism by wandering a couple zones for a couple hours isn't a real problem in an MMO (the computer rolls the dice, if required, travel is fast, combat is a minute at the outside, and it's mostly about hitting the right nodes in an optimal pattern). Trying to do that in a tabletop game is less viable.
True. There is certainly no point in creating "grinding" for tabletop gaming.

But I already think of RPG skills (like weaponsmithing) as a way that a PC can be expanded with things that they do when they are not fighting. So, just as I would allow someone with weaponmaking skills to earn cash or repair things, in between games, I would do similar stuff with herbalism.
Bonetti wrote:However, other aspects might be reasonable for borrowing. For instance, if one leaves some archaeology stuff going on as a background part of the campaign, one could raid the actual results of assembling artifacts as a reward for this non-central mini-game. Similarly, one could take advantage of items/quest-starters for fishing, so if a player says he fishes a lot while they're camping, he might end up with one of the water-logged books -- or a bottle with a note that is pleading for help (see the old quest on Jaguero Isle -- not sure if it's still in the game).
Catching things, while fishing is certainly an interesting concept, that I've not noticed outside of the WoW MMO. I like your implementation. I think that you could also have a PC make fishing checks to see how long it takes for them to catch enough food for the party to eat, if they are living off the land. If people want to make a forced march across territory, the spellcasters need to rest and the people need to eat and sleep. I wouldn't want to get bogged down in it, but it might add something for low-level PCs to contribute to the party.
Bonetti wrote:However, I don't think the tradeskill system can be directly imported and retail either its utility or fun -- it's targeted at a completely different set of goals.
OK. How is this for an idea:

You have someone with herbalism travelling across the land (while doing other stuff). Because of their herbalism, you roll random spot checks to see if they "encounter" any herbs. Instead of doing it the MMO way (with a grindable map) you could allow them to spot a number of herbs based on the level of their skill. (And the types of herbs could be fed into a randomised table - or dependent on how well they rolled.)

If they are rushing, that would make them less likely to spot herbs and if they are fighting, you could say that they wouldn't be looking.

But if they are just walking around, the skill could make them automatically notice plants that are worth having. Essentially, the skills could turn into something that gives PCs some "free stuff" every day.

It wouldn't be much, but someone with herbalism could cure people from the land (or maybe even specifically look for healing plants) and other people could pick up valuable rocks and stones and sell them onto traders. Maybe everyone could have a skill which (mostly) pays for their bed and board in inns.
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Re: Quest and game design

Post by Bonetti » Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:09 am

Big Mac wrote:But I already think of RPG skills (like weaponsmithing) as a way that a PC can be expanded with things that they do when they are not fighting. So, just as I would allow someone with weaponmaking skills to earn cash or repair things, in between games, I would do similar stuff with herbalism.
I'm not arguing against that :-) I'm just saying the MMO's system's mechanics have nothing to plunder.

The recipes might be worth it, or at least some of them might. Then again, they nerfed the fun ones (like the Frost Tiger Blade with a chance of bonus frost damage) into uninteresting materials. In the original version of the game, they had a nice story (scroll down to "Crafting Example") around the recipe. That story could be the basis of a quest to forge just such a weapon, thus driving the story.
Big Mac wrote:Catching things, while fishing is certainly an interesting concept, that I've not noticed outside of the WoW MMO. I like your implementation.
WoW does it for items, which is fun, but they didn't originate it. Some earlier game allowed fishing and you could even fish up a monster that started an encounter. Might've been UO, or it might've been one of the single-player RPGs.
Big Mac wrote:I think that you could also have a PC make fishing checks to see how long it takes for them to catch enough food for the party to eat, if they are living off the land.
It's flavored Survival foraging, at least in the system I"m currently playing. A lot of that sort of thing is, really, just the description of using an existing skill :-)
Big Mac wrote:OK. How is this for an idea:
[snip]

Maybe viable, depending on the group.

I'd probably mine the information for flavor (named herbs can be useful) and leave it as a background thing :-)
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Re: Quest and game design

Post by Big Mac » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:33 am

Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:But I already think of RPG skills (like weaponsmithing) as a way that a PC can be expanded with things that they do when they are not fighting. So, just as I would allow someone with weaponmaking skills to earn cash or repair things, in between games, I would do similar stuff with herbalism.
I'm not arguing against that :-) I'm just saying the MMO's system's mechanics have nothing to plunder.
I like 3rd edition, so would just use its standard skill system for the mechanics, taking into account any modifications in the WoW: RPG books. I would mostly be looking at the MMO to fill in the things you don't see on the skill table. For example, there are lots of different fish, that have different skill targets in the MMO. In 3e that could equate to a different DC target to roll against.

(I know you use a different set of rules, so I'd guess that you would want to use whatever system is embedded into them.)
Bonetti wrote:The recipes might be worth it, or at least some of them might. Then again, they nerfed the fun ones (like the Frost Tiger Blade with a chance of bonus frost damage) into uninteresting materials. In the original version of the game, they had a nice story (scroll down to "Crafting Example") around the recipe. That story could be the basis of a quest to forge just such a weapon, thus driving the story.
One interesting thing about this is that, if you convert MMO items with power into magic items, it would be possible to craft things with magic powers (in the RPG game).
Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Catching things, while fishing is certainly an interesting concept, that I've not noticed outside of the WoW MMO. I like your implementation.
WoW does it for items, which is fun, but they didn't originate it. Some earlier game allowed fishing and you could even fish up a monster that started an encounter. Might've been UO, or it might've been one of the single-player RPGs.
Oh well. It doesn't really matter to me anyhoo. I'm raiding. Not writing a history book. ;)
Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I think that you could also have a PC make fishing checks to see how long it takes for them to catch enough food for the party to eat, if they are living off the land.
It's flavored Survival foraging, at least in the system I"m currently playing. A lot of that sort of thing is, really, just the description of using an existing skill :-)
The one addition, is that fishing poles (by MMO logic) would give you a +1, +2, +3, etc circumstances check.
Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:OK. How is this for an idea:
[snip]

Maybe viable, depending on the group.

I'd probably mine the information for flavor (named herbs can be useful) and leave it as a background thing :-)
Same here.

I think that the named smeltable rocks would also be useful (again as a background thing). I do think that it could be easier to find some metals than others (DC check to spot the metal ore as you pass rocks, might work if someone wanted a mechanic for 3e).

Again, PCs could find valuable rocks, that they could sell or smelt and sell (I'd probably have communal forges that miners pay to use). But I think that metals could be interesting, because a PC that has the mining skill could locate a vein of metal on a cliff face and then sell the information about the vein's location to a group that goes there and digs out a mine. In that respect, PC miners could be connected into a larger community and could drive the world forwards. (And any mining quests could tie into that in a big way.)
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