Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for Quest Giver

Welcome to the Tower of the Archmage’s April A to Z Challenge!

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “Q” the number “17” and the support of readers like you.

Thank you.

In just about any computer or video game RPG there are NPCs that tell you what to do. In some games, you can say “No” but for the most part you follow the story and take the quests as given. World of Warcraft addresses this in one of the most obvious ways of any game I’ve ever seen by sticking a giant golden exclamation mark over their heads.

Dungeons and Dragons and even Traveller tend to be at least slightly more subtle...

Ok, just ignore that mysterious guy in the dark corner.

Like I was saying, Dungeons and Dragons and even Traveller tend to be at least slightly more subtle than WoW with it’s floating punctuation marks. Maybe not a whole lot, I’ll grant you, but a little. The real difference is how with a good DM quests often pop-up during play, unplanned, even un-thought of until something happens at the table that triggers the DM’s (or the players) imagination. In computer games, that can’t happen (at least not yet).

So what does a quest giver look like in D&D? Just about anything really! From the village priest, to the local lord, to a visitation from a god, or the gravelly voice of a carved stone face. Really, it can come from anywhere.

Now I'd like a little audience participation. Tell me the most unusual Quest Giver you've used or encountered!


  1. For me it has to be a mad omnipotent wizard who captured us and sent off in search of keys in a lost and mysterious valley, just to play with us and see how we would die.

  2. I'm not sure. I don't usually go with the cloaked guy in the bar. In my current campaign the last three quest givers have been the sister of Baba Yaga, Vlad Tepes Dracul and the Russian Tzar.

    In my Shadowrun campaign the main Johnson was a guy who liked to set up meetings in comic book stores and ice cream parlors. He also happened to both work for Aztechnology and be a person the runners would be able to trust.