Friday, March 11, 2011

How to take advantage creating RPG quests and campaigns using MMORPG quest model?

This is not about playing MMORPG instead of playing RPG because you as a GM just haven't got anything prepared. This works best for those Game Masters who are familiar with MMORPGs and haven't got anything spectacular prepared for next or current session.

MMORPG Quests to RPG Quests And Their Differences


Kill certain amount of monsters, talk to NPCs in order, deliver items from one place or NPC to another, find resources for quest... Really basic everyday MMORPG things to do. Actually, similar quests we run into roleplaying game campaigns. NPC in distress, monsters to kill, items to obtain and return.

But what is the difference between an average MMORPG and RPG quest?

"I don't care why you lost your whatever to where ever."


That's sometimes what I in my mind tell to MMORPG quest giver. If the quest is not related to main plot, but just a side quest, I usually don't bother to read all the nonsense wall of text.

"You need this to give me XP and gold and possibly an item? Fine, I'll get ya that but just stop talking!"


What is the difference between similar or exact same MMORPG quest versus RPG quest is the NPC and interaction. In MMORPG you just listen or read tl;dr and can view the quests point in simple description. In RPGs characters can interact with this said NPC. Talk to him back.

Also, in MMORPG after you get this quest, for example kill 10 orcs at nearby forest because they cause harm or danger, you run there, click your mouse button and sometimes use special attacks or spells until all these orcs are dead.
In RPG in the other hand GM can create the mood. He can describe the surroundings better, what orcs are doing (instead of standing still like in MMORPGs) and create atmosphere. If there are 10 orcs to kill, in MMORPG you just run there and hope that other orcs' aggro doesn't reach to you. In roleplaying games if orcs see you, they attack you.

Is your playerparty strong enough to run there waving swords and casting spells attracting all orcs at once, or do they need some tactics to do that?

You can also add story elements more. In MMORPGs everything is scripted. Things happen if it's ment to happen. Usually in these kill enough of them quests there are no surprises. But in RPG there might be some. Orcs might blow horn to call backup, some of them might slip away, they might have information of texts about bigger plans. It is easier to develope from this simple quest to further and make it more advanced.

Also in MMORPG when you talk to NPC girl and read text:

"*Sob sob* I lost my puppy in the forest."


It is just text. Well, you might relate to that if you will, but with storytelling GM can make whole situation more dramatic.

So, if you do play MMORPGs and know what kind of quests there are in your MMORPG(s) of choice, feel free to rip those quests. They might feel a bit too simple or straightforward for roleplaying games but with a little tweaking, fleshening out, creating right atmosphere by great descriptions, you can do well. You can also link separate quests together to make series of quests, or even mini campaign.

One village might have separate looking quests (wolves eat sheep during night and shepherds are too afraid to stay there at night, orcs have warcamp nearby, village elder's daughter has lost her precious ring) but you might time them together.

What common does these wolves, orc warcamp and lost ring have? Maybe orc spy stealed the ring to give trained wolves the scent of village elder's daugter's scent and wait wolves to kill village elder's daugter. When whole village is in sorrow because of the death of the daughter, they will attack as village is in it's weakest?

You can make this linking part easier using mindmap. Here's how:

1. Write down concepts of each quests on paper well separed. (One section for wolves, another for lost ring, third for orc warcamp).
2. Draw lines between these separate concepts and write next to lines, how they are connected.
3. Do some finetuning
4. ????
5. PROFIT (You just made in few simple test a mini campaign using MMORPG stereotypical quests!)

MMORPG quests are similar to basic RPG quests. No next time you play your MMORPG, pay attention on the quests and possibly you might not freeze anymore when there is "nothing to do for the characters". There always are things to do in the game world. Everyone always needs help from heroes, there are always bad guys and monsters roaming free and making their evil plans on destroying crops or taking over villages. And while you run this so called basic MMORPG-ish quest on your roleplaying session, you might find out how it developes into something bigger.

This works with every genre, not only fantasy games. Just make fine adjustments to suit the setting you use.
Post a Comment