Want to know more about how Quest works? Here are the basics.
Quest is a way to tell a story.
One person becomes the Game Master (GM). They’re the narrator for your story. Everyone else creates and becomes one of the game’s main characters. Quest works best with 4-6 players, including the GM.
You play by having a conversation.
It works like this:
First, the Game Master tells you what’s up. They’ll describe the world around you and say what’s happening.
Then, you and your allies will decide what to do — like talking to other characters, charging into battle, or running away from a scary situation.
Finally, the conversation goes back to the GM, who will describe the consequences of what you just did.
The Game Master creates the world and plays the parts of all the non-player characters in it (like townspeople and monsters). The players create a hero and then pretend to be them, making choices for them and speaking their lines. When the players decide to take action, the Game Master imagines and describes the consequences of those actions.
This is a game of make believe, meaning you and your friends make choices about what to do in your story. The Game Master will present the players with challenges, but the players decide how to approach them. They can tackle challenges head-on, try to find a clever workaround, or ignore them and pursue a different path.
Quest is a game with rules that create a basic structure for your story. But these rules don’t account for every situation you might find yourself in. When there’s no rule saying when or how to do something, we ask players and Game Masters to use the “common sense rule.”
How this rule is interpreted may change depending on the unique context of your group’s own world and story, but it goes like this: use what you sense in a scene to figure out what’s possible. If a monster is three-times your size, it might be able to pick you up and throw you. If there’s a huge curtain in the back of a room, you might be able to set it on fire. If you’re a small creature, you can probably dash between that giant’s legs.
The rules of the game come into play mostly when the players try to do risky things, like when they get into a fight. In heated moments, everyone will take turns to act.
During a turn, players get to do one thing (like cast a spell, make an attack, activate a gadget, or disarm a trap). They also get to move around to be able to do the thing.
Regardless of what a player does during their turn, they have about five seconds in the fantasy world to do it. If the task takes longer, you’ll have to continue trying it during your next turn.
The Game Master always sets the order of turns for players and non-player creatures. Usually they’ll give everyone a chance to act in a familiar order, but sometimes it makes more sense in the story to break the order up. The GM will always let you know when it’s your turn by calling on you.
Quest uses intuitive rules for distance that give the players and GM flexibility in interpreting situations. Distances and movement don’t need to be measured precisely. Players will rely on the GM to tell them whether something is reachable, near, or far.
Reachable. If something is in “reach” or is “reachable,” it means you can strike it with a weapon or touch it while standing still, or by making a trivial amount of movement
Near. If something is “near” or “nearby,” it means you can move to be within reach of it during a single turn. The GM will tell you if you are able to move within reach of something during your turn. (Generally speaking, things that are near are within between 10-12 meters of you.)
Far. If something is beyond what you can reach in a single turn of movement, your GM will tell you either how far it is in a unit of distance, or tell you how many turns it will take to reach it.
These categories also describe the effective range of things. If a spell says it has a range of “near,” you can cast it on anything nearby from where you’re standing. If it has a range of “far,” you can cast it on something far away, as long as you can see it clearly.
When you try to do something risky but possible, your GM will ask you to roll the die to see if you succeed or fail. This is called making a check. If you roll high, you’ll find success. Roll low, and you might make a mistake or fail completely.
You only need to make a check when your Game Master asks you to. Usually you’ll have to make a check when you attack something, or try to perform a feat like walking a tightrope.
Quest uses the twenty-sided die, or “d20.” To make a check, roll the die. Then, compare the number on top to the following set of outcomes:
20 (Triumph). You flawlessly perform the action. You might be even more successful than you anticipated. Any damage you would deal is doubled.
11-19 (Success). You did it!
6-10 (Mistake). Something went wrong. You will be given a difficult choice. If you would deal damage, the damage dealt is halved.
2-5 (Failure). You didn’t do it. Sorry, friend. You’ll face a serious setback.
1 (Catastrophe). Nuts! Everything went wrong. Something very bad is probably about to happen...
You have a better chance at passing a check when you use one of your skills. Some characters are skilled in weapons and athletics, while others are skilled in magic and knowledge. You can add a bonus of 2 to the result of a check when using any of your skills.
Your bonus can’t upgrade you to a critical success, and it can’t save you from a critical failure. If you roll the die and it lands on 1 or 20 on the table, your bonus doesn’t apply.
Your well being is indicated by a numerical score called hit points, or HP. When you take damage, you lose hit points equal to the damage taken. For example, if you’re hit by a sword that deals 10 damage, you lose 10 hit points. You can recover hit points from healing spells, medicine, and rest. But if you drop to 0 hit points, you’re in trouble. Any time you take damage while at 0 HP there’s a chance you will instantly die.
When you drop to 0 HP, you are on death’s door. You cannot go below 0 HP, and will remain there until you rest or are healed. If you take damage while on death’s door, you must make a special check to see if you survive. Roll the d20, and take the result below:
20. Heroic comeback. You are restored to 10 HP.
11-19. You survive and stay on your feet.
6-10. You fall unconscious, and may receive a permanent debility.
1-5. You die.
Taking damage means that your character gets closer to injury or death. You aren’t necessarily wounded every time you take damage, but if you take too much damage, there’s a chance you could receive a fatal blow. Damage can come from weapons, abilities, spells, and environmental circumstances, like falling off a cliff or being hit by a falling wooden beam.
The GM describes what happens when a creature or player receives damage. Every weapon and spell that deals damage in this game has a standard amount of damage it deals. For example, if you have a sword with a damage rating of 10, it will deal 10 damage every time it is used, unless a specific rule says it deals more or less.
Quest is a world of magic. Magic can produce cunning tricks, summon objects out of thin air, manipulate others, restore health, or leave trails of destruction.
There are six roles capable of using magic for the production of spells. Spells are special skills that have specific magical effects. If your role is capable of using magic, you will have a pool of magic points, or MP. Each spell costs magic power to cast. When you cast a spell, you deduct the MP cost from your available pool of magic power. Like with hit points, you can recover magic points by resting.
As players grow during their adventure, they earn experience points (XP). You can spend your experience points to learn new special skills that are unique to your role. You will earn XP each time you play.
You are guaranteed to earn 1 XP at the end of each game session. Your GM will also hand out 1 XP at the end of each game session to one player who did something memorable when roleplaying. When you make your character believable and do things in the game that are true to their identity, you might win this reward.
The rest of the XP that you will earn is given out at the Game Master’s discretion. They will decide when you earn experience, and how much you earn for completing parts of the adventure. Usually you’ll earn experience points at the end of a successful mission. But the GM might also reward players for clever thinking or other exceptional moments that show your character has grown.
Players begin with a budget of experience points that you can spend to learn new skills. Some exceptionally powerful skills also require you to spend XP each time you use them. If a skill has an activation cost, you must spend that much XP every time you activate the skill. You can only spend XP to learn new skills when your character has at least one day of downtime within the story. Once you spend XP to learn a new skill, you learn it permanently. You can save your XP to use later. But once you use it, it’s gone until you earn some more.
Every hero role has a catalog of skills they can learn by spending experience points. Some skills are more powerful than others, and their power is reflected by their skill grade. Skills in higher grades cost more XP to learn. There are four skill grades:
Basic — 2 XP each. Basic special skills are the easiest to learn. Each basic special skill costs two experience points to learn.
Advanced — 6 XP each. Advanced special skills demonstrate superior training and are more powerful than basic skills. Each advanced skill costs six experience points to learn.
Master — 10 XP each. Master skills are exceptionally powerful. These skills represent the pinnacle of training within your role. Each master skill costs ten experience points to learn.
Legendary. Legendary skills cannot be learned by spending experience points. These skills are so powerful and rare that you can only learn them if your adventure provides the opportunity. For example, a wizard might learn a legendary spell by discovering an ancient scroll in a dungeon. Or, a warrior might learn a legendary fighting style by training with an elusive monk. Your Game Master will decide when and how legendary skills can be learned, because they are so powerful that they are capable of dramatically affecting the story.