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RuneQuest's HeroQuests

DevourDevour LiverpoolPosts: 902Member

Just spotted a thread in the Developer's Corner that wasn't very well written, and I'm going to expand on it, due to the fact I'm a major Glorantha fan and it wasn't very well written.

Basically, in Runequest, a HeroQuest was where, through a specific ritual, you blurred the barrier between the real world and your culture's / god's myth. The reason for this could be anything from stopping a drought ( if, for example, you had a myth of one of your god's killing a demon of drought, then you would reenact this ) to wanting to get magical artifacts to wanting to learn more of your god.

HeroQuesting basically put you in your myth whilst you still did things in the real world. Often, you'd end up with a much better and / or dead character ( in some myths, you have to die in order to complete them, such as the ones where the first god to die is one of yours ).

I think it'd be amazing to get this into an MMO, although you might need a GM team to run it whilst keeping it extremely rare to do so - as every HeroQuest has a few twists on the normal tale to teach the player a lesson about his god.

Does anyone have any suggests / ideas about this, or any comments on it?

More info about HeroQuests - There's also two examples of it in the PnP there, and both are pretty good.



  • AxehiltAxehilt Posts: 10,504Member Rare

    Don't really see how it's any different from the intended presentation of "epic quests" in games (things like the WOW epic hunter quest, or getting your warlock's epic nightmare mount, etc.)

    Really anytime you're talking about (a) permanent death, (b) a significant player power gain, and/or (c) GM-run events, you have already strayed away from feasible MMORPG features.  (Well, perma-death is feasible, but undesireable if a game wants to have the best featureset for attracting and entertaining a large playerbase.)

    "Significant power gain" is only an issue if it's a rare or exclusive thing.  If everyone has access to their own epic quest, that's fine -- all get a method for significantly amping up their character.  It's when you have arbitrary rules dictating who gets access that things seem less fair (and less fun.)  Random exclusivity is pretty bad when it's not balanced out in some way.

    I'm sure you can look back on every MMORPG you ever played and  say each of them would be more fun with more content.  Exclusive content works against this.  The dev hours spent making the WOW epic hunter quest only benefitted hunter players.  So for the majority of the playerbase there was less content as a result of the devs making that quest (instead of a quest everyone could access.)

    Don't get me wrong, this type of content is fun and makes each class feel special (or even if they're epic quests not attached to a class, the exclusivity makes the player feel special.)  But because of the above factors, they can only be done in carefully planned bursts and it can't end up being a major feature of the game (which also limits the quests from being really awesome.)

    "What is truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. [continue]" -John Oliver

  • ZodanZodan TamperePosts: 564Member

    RuneQuest is great system and Glorantha was fun, don't know if it really works that well on computer though but HeroQuests had interesting concept on them which depended a lot on the creativity of GM - we know that there is no such thing on computers sadly, personalized experiences in MMO just doesn't happen.

    That being said; perhaps Bioware will prove us otherwise with SWTOR.

  • DevourDevour LiverpoolPosts: 902Member
    Originally posted by Axehilt



    It really wouldn't work in a themepark game, but in a sandbox it'd more open up new skill trees or change the physical properties of the land. Take for example one of the two HeroQuests that that guy did. The player wanted to become a shaman, so the guy allowed him to start a HeroQuest without telling him which myth it was specifically, just asking him to read a few. Becoming a shaman would mean opening up another skill tree, shamanism or whatever, and would be open to every player.

    Now, if you land around where your village / whatever was, you could attempt Orlanth's ( the primary god of the Orlanthi, god of thunder etc ) Rainmaker HeroQuest, where you go and slay a giant serpent and find a water spirit in it's corpse. This could change the landscape around the player.

    Permadeath wouldn't be needed, just a significant penalty for failure, to balance out the possible rewards that the player can gain from attempting HeroQuests.

    EDIT: I really think the lack of class quests in WoW was ridiculous. They were some of the best quests in the game. They got you very immersed in the game world itself.


  • AxehiltAxehilt Posts: 10,504Member Rare

    Themepark or skill-based is all basically the same thing.  If power matters in the game (and if it doesn't, why even have the quest) then the accumulation of it needs to be balanced.

    I mean, if everyone has access to opening up Shamanism and that's just "the questline you run if you want to be a shaman", that's perfectly fine.  This even works in themepark games with no trouble ("the questline you run to get +10% max health".)

    Even the landscape-changing aspect is doable (though a decent-sized tech hurdle.)  The more dynamic the world, the more possible it becomes, especially if there's a balance to things (one player appeases the water spirit which changes the landscape to be lusher; the next player appeases the fire spirit -- which now spawns in the lush area -- and it reverts back.)  Pushing for world dynamicism is definitely one way a new MMORPG would set itself ahead of its competitors.

    As for WOW's lack of class quests?

    Let's imagine a 10-mob encounter.  These enemies have unlimited health bars but the cool thing is your reward scales, based on how much damage you can do to them before the fight's duration expires.  You have two 3-second-cast spells: a direct nuke for 1000 damage, or an AOE which deals 800 damage.  If you want the best rewards, which spell do you spam during the fight?

    That's the situation Blizzard's designers are in.  They have 10 classes, and they could provide individual quests which are higher quality, but they usually choose to "AOE" the classes by providing quests that everyone can run.

    I mean I agree that the occasional class quest is worth more than "1000 damage", simply because they're so rare and exclusive.  And given Blizzard's financial position at the time of BC/WOTLK (with a still-rising playerbase) they probably could've done a little more of it than they did.  But overall it's a wise choice not to fragment your content too much, as players always crave more content.  They're never-ending pits that you could throw content into for years and they still wouldn't be sated.

    "What is truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. [continue]" -John Oliver

  • DevourDevour LiverpoolPosts: 902Member
    Originally posted by Axehilt



    The idea is that not everyone would be interested in becoming a shaman / being a disciple of a certain god ( although a few people can HeroQuest the same myth at once, as different gods ) but it'd provide a good enough experience to make up for any development time lost on it.


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