Heroquest Rules.

From: mr happy (ajbehan@tcd.ie)
Date: Fri 10 May 1996 - 15:13:38 EEST


I don't think that there is any need for new rules to cover heroquesting.
I've run heroquests in Pendragon and Werewolf as well as RQ and it's
clear to me that heroquests differ primarily in terms of scenario design
rather than the games mechanics applied to them. I think there are three
major faultlines in HQ design.

A character on a "standard" cult heroquest is told the plot of the
adventure before they set out. For the quester the purpose of the quest
is to gain a predefined magical effect for themselves or their community.
For the cult the heroquest acts as a mechanism for the distribution of magical
power so naturally characters who behave like the god or hero in whose
footsteps they are following is more likely to "win" than someone who
does not. I think there is a Hunter Initiation of mine on David Dunham's
web page that illustrates this point.

A character on an extrapolative Arkati quest is skipping between
questlines they already know, much as the GL or Arkat did. They abuse
thesystem but are still working to a predefined end.

A HERO-quest is different. IMHO to become a Hero a character must create
a new path in the God Plane, as did Sir Ethilrist, and discover a new
magical gift. The God Plane is entropic. Unless a quester has a myth
which serves as a map to explain their experiences their quest will
appear to be a series of bizarre and illogical vignettes. Only afterwards
when describing his quest to his followers will the hero create a myth by
impossing his or her world view on raw experience. Going further
HERO-quests are a necessary part of the Great Compromise because they
stop Kajabor unravelling the God Place.

A full implementation of Gloranthan HQ requires rules in three areas.

Gross characters: The RQ % system breaks down at high levels. This
problem is distinct from HQing, but as HQ was conceived of as a way of
handling gross-outs there is a connection. An open-ended die mechanic a
la Vampire strikes me as the only way of completely escaping this
difficulty. OTOH that would completely alter the nature of the entire
game in a way that many RQers wouldn't welcome.

Personality: Which Pendragon covers satisfactorily.

Being Worshipped: The exact nature of the goodies a character gets from a
HQ will vary from scenario to scenario. There are plenty of examples
already knocking around. IMO a quest power works just like Battle Magic,
it is something within the character. I believe that many cult HQs allow
the quester to retrace the path by which their god gained a specific
power that they provide to worshippers as Divine Magic but which works
like Battle Magic for the god or those questers who have completed the
appropriate path.
In Cults of Terror it is suggested that Divine Magic is power lent to one
being by another. If Heroes gain unique magics and create myths by
questing how do they lend these powers to followers, creating their own
Divine Magic? What part does the Great
ompromise play in the use of unique powers in the Inner World? IMO unique
popwers break the Compromise unless they have ritually been incorporated
into it by worship. The Spirit Cult notes in GoG are very suggestive.
OTOH I'm not suggesting that PCs should aspire to be demigods with
fanatical cults.
- ------
AB

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