[Runequest] About HeroQuesting in RQ

Bjorn Stolen stolenbjorn at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 17 18:45:37 EST 2009

In my house-rules (that are inspired by Hero Quest)

When someone is on a hero-quest, they enter some other/paralel dimention, and in here everybody can change the reality. The players are urged to be inspired by fables, fairytales, etc, where the "hero" can trick, outsmart etc the opposition. So when I GM a hero-quest, I let the characters/players wit and ability to improvise be by far the most important stat. The gods and the established reality may be powerful and strong, but they are conservative and unwitty.


One norwegian fairytale that can describe this is the story of "The boy who had an eating-contest with a gigant"
His family is poor, and have debt, and his father orders his oldest son to cut wood, so they can get some money. But the forrest is owned by a gigant, who scares the oldest son home. Then the second oldest son is sent, but he's allso scared back home. Then the third son (our hero) voulenters for the job. The older brothers laughs him off, but his father is desperate and lets him go.


Once in the woods, the gigant comes and threatens to kill him. The boy takes out some cheese from his backpack and squeezes it, while he says "Yep, just you come, and I'll squeeze your toe like i squeezes this rock!" The gigant really don't wants his toe squeezed, and to apeace the dangerous little man, he offers to help cutting trees. But the gigant wants revenge, and wants to get the boy into his halls in the mountain. 


He invites the boy home, and the boy accepts. When they're innside the mountain, the gigant want's to test if the boy really is as strong as he claims, and asks him to fetch water for the porridge. The buckets are big as rooms, and the boy obviously cannot lift them, so he answers "don't bother about the buckets, I'll get the well instead!". The gigant don't want his well ripped up, so he goes for the water himself. 

When the porridge is finished, they agree to an eating-contest. The boy puts his backpack on his lap, and let most of his porredge go into the sack. But the sack gets full before the gigant is full, and the gigant says "Haha, I win!", but the boy says "Oh I'll just cut open my belly, then I can eat on!", and they eat on. Finally, the gigant is full, and enquires if it doesn't hurt a lot to open the belly? The boy replies that it isn't very painful, and it's actually fun, because then you can eat as much as you want. The gigant pulls out his knife and opens his belly, and dies. The boy then returns home to his family not only with the lumber, but with the keys to the vaults of the gigant.


This could be a hero-quest for farmers in woody landscape, wanting to expand their influence and fields, for instance.
> Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 22:05:21 -0700
> From: sdavies2720 at yahoo.com
> To: runequest at rpgreview.net
> Subject: Re: [Runequest] About HeroQuesting in RQ
> I don't have a lot of rules, and I basically let characters use all their skills and spells. I do three things differently on a Quest:
> 1) At the commitment step, I tell the players that the characters are entering a Quest. At that point, they need to sacrifice permanent POW (usually one point, but more could be possible on a higher-order quest). Those who do NOT sacrifice can still participate but do not get the goodies at the end of the quest, they're merely helpers or observers. This rule has taken away much of the party bickering about whether to do on a quest or not when goals differ.
> 2) Typically my quests are on a 'higher plane' of existance. Skills and other chances of success are all 1/2, 1/3, or less. But, skill advancements are made against these lower target values as well, so players want their characters to participate in the quests to gain heroic skills.
> 3) To the extent possible, I try to make magical (including divine) manifestations unique and memorable. So instead of just casting a divine spell, I might have a representative of the deity appear to ask what is going on. Based on roleplaying, the spell effect might be granted, or the representative might decide something else is appropriate. After all, it's rare that a god will get asked for a boon from their own plane.
> I find the quests almost have to be freeform and highly roleplayed. Luckily the narrative structure lends itself to loosely coupled situations or encounters that are strung together, which lets the action expand or contract as needed to accomodate the roleplaying and unexpected interactions.
> Steve
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