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Author Topic: Do you have NPC's giving out Quests in your campaign?  (Read 2145 times)

Nihilistic Mind

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Do you have NPC's giving out Quests in your campaign?
« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2019, 11:53:28 AM »
Quote from: Kyussopeth;1112820
Do you have NPC's giving out Quests in your campaign?

I mean do they approach the PC's at Taverns?
Do they tell them their woes at the Temple when the PC's go to get healing?
Do you have NPC quest-givers distributing "go-fetch" quests?

I never did in my campaigns & I never realized it was a cliche until I heard about it on the internet about 20 years ago.

Additionally, do you have party randomly meet in Taverns?

I never did that either.

Interestingly, the PCs in my current DCC game are technically on a fetch quest given by a NPC. The wizard had a book that belonged to his mentor, lost it in the course of play, then when the mentor visited the PCs he was pissed that he'd gotten the book lost. Definitely a good mcguffin quest which caused all kinds of fun issues.

Tropes and clichés exist for a reason, they're common ground, easy-to-grasp concepts. That being said, they're also quite boring. I think framing things in a way that makes sense with the game world and the PCs' interactions is more important than anything else.
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Bruwulf

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Do you have NPC's giving out Quests in your campaign?
« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2019, 02:29:21 PM »
Quote from: Kyussopeth;1112820
Do you have NPC's giving out Quests in your campaign?

I mean do they approach the PC's at Taverns?
Do they tell them their woes at the Temple when the PC's go to get healing?
Do you have NPC quest-givers distributing "go-fetch" quests?

Not usually explicitly, at least not at first. In a long running campaign, increasingly so - as word gets around about a group of capable people, they will get sought out. I expected at lower levels the party to be slightly more self-motivated, but there will be NPCs giving out hints of things to do if people follow up on it, it will just usually be much less explicit than someone approaching you in a bar with a sad story about his lost gold and the ghost of a long-dead warlock, or what have you.

I approach it the way I approach jobs in Shadowrun. When nobody has heard of you and your team, nobody is going to seek you out. You've gotta find jobs yourself, sell yourself to the Mr. Johnsons looking for a team. When you've got a reputation as a team that can get shit done, then people start to come to you, rather than the other way around.

Quote from: Kyussopeth;1112820
Additionally, do you have party randomly meet in Taverns?

Not initially, no, never. At least not unless I'm just doing a one-shot game or something, when characters are little more fleshed out than just stat blocks. I always insist that players have some hook to draw them together. I generally stop short of communal character generation sessions, but I've done those before.

Replacement characters for players who lost theirs may get picked up in a tavern, I suppose, or new players to the table. Or any other way that seems apt and not too hard to swing.

WillInNewHaven

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Do you have NPC's giving out Quests in your campaign?
« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2019, 03:55:08 PM »
It is rather rare to have an NPC give the PCs a quest in my campaign but I've been running it since 1980, so it has happened.

Taverns are often featured but the PCs generally know one another and go to the tavern to eat and drink.

In my forthcoming module, "At the High Point Inn," an NPC transporting valuables has his security team fail to show up and has to hire others, who will be player-characters. That leads into "In the Pass," a second module.

Theros

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Do you have NPC's giving out Quests in your campaign?
« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2019, 02:41:51 PM »
Quote from: Kyussopeth;1112820
Do you have NPC's giving out Quests in your campaign?

I mean do they approach the PC's at Taverns?
Do they tell them their woes at the Temple when the PC's go to get healing?
Do you have NPC quest-givers distributing "go-fetch" quests?

I never did in my campaigns & I never realized it was a cliche until I heard about it on the internet about 20 years ago.

Additionally, do you have party randomly meet in Taverns?

I never did that either.

Yes, I definitely have NPCs that give quests, but not at the tavern. Taverns are where the players go to look for leads and trouble, but nobody is handing out quests at the bar or anything. My NPC quests are often pretty vague, like "I heard there is some trouble in the next town... if you can go deal with it, I'll pay you."

By the way, for those that don't like NPC quests... why not?

RPGPundit

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Do you have NPC's giving out Quests in your campaign?
« Reply #34 on: November 23, 2019, 05:31:37 AM »
Quote from: HappyDaze;1113527
Gandalf was just that kind of rando.


Well, there's a difference between an NPC with a real motivation coming along and doing something that makes sense in the campaign context of a living world, and someone just being invented out of nowhere with nothing more than the superficial motive of giving the PCs direction.
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HappyDaze

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Do you have NPC's giving out Quests in your campaign?
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2019, 06:10:39 AM »
Quote from: RPGPundit;1114779
Well, there's a difference between an NPC with a real motivation coming along and doing something that makes sense in the campaign context of a living world, and someone just being invented out of nowhere with nothing more than the superficial motive of giving the PCs direction.

In many cases, that difference is really just one of word count spent on the NPC. Some players even shy away from NPCs with real motivations because they realize those are often conductors ushering them onto a railroad. Of course, sometimes that's what they want, in which case all aboard!

Winterblight

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Do you have NPC's giving out Quests in your campaign?
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2019, 10:38:13 AM »
Quote from: Kyussopeth;1112820
Do you have NPC's giving out Quests in your campaign?
I mean do they approach the PC's at Taverns?

Yes. The Tavern is often the life and the soul of a small town or village. It's a place where stuff gets talked about and where plans get made. In real life I've interacted with strangers in bars that have resulted in me taking up new hobbies, some of which have led to exploration and adventure (expedition kayaking). I've seen a plumber get work from a random stranger in bar, and I've seen a guy come into a bar, talk to a few folk, gather a small crowd and go out to bust some heads. If it's good enough in real life, it's certainly works for a fantasy world.
Quote from: Kyussopeth;1112820
Do you have NPC's giving out Quests in your campaign?
Do they tell them their woes at the Temple when the PC's go to get healing?

I've used scenarios that amount to the same thing. The PCs go to the sanctum to get healed and while they learn they aren't the only ones that have needed healing, the healer suggesting that they should check out someone or something.
Quote from: Kyussopeth;1112820
Do you have NPC's giving out Quests in your campaign?
Do you have NPC quest-givers distributing "go-fetch" quests?

Some of my group have had patrons in the past, a lot of which boiled down to "go-fetch" quests, although they would have been presented with a bit more of a façade.
Quote from: Kyussopeth;1112820
Do you have NPC's giving out Quests in your campaign?
Additionally, do you have party randomly meet in Taverns?

I've had the party meet in taverns, jails, defending the castle walls, in a dungeon mid-session (Oldenhaller Conract – WHFRP), guarding a caravan, lost in the desert, on small boat, in the ruins of what was once the tavern etc. etc. As long as it makes sense in the context of the adventure, I don't think it really matters how or where the party meets.

rawma

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Do you have NPC's giving out Quests in your campaign?
« Reply #37 on: November 23, 2019, 02:41:37 PM »
My NPCs don't stand around with signs saying "Quest Giver" but they do often hire PCs (well, presumably NPCs as well but the players don't see that, typically) to do adventure stuff they want done. NPCs are generally less powerful in adventuring situations but connected to the game world's institutions and other NPCs more thoroughly - so they can produce the 500 gold pieces they offered if the PCs succeed, but don't usually have it in their pockets and have enough other NPC alies that the PCs are ill-advised to try to murder them for the payment instead. Occasionally the NPCs are more powerful, including local authorities, but too busy with other things for the low level quest.

And plenty of NPCs don't hire PCs but set off adventures; they just know stuff that the players can use to find an adventure, or appeal to the PCs to do something without payment (playing on their background or connections or personalities - curiosity, pride, empathy, etc).

Inns (in the common room or attached tavern) make a reasonable place for disparate PCs to meet at pick-up game tables, or they met while traveling to the same location, with a caravan or simply falling in together after some initial suspicion; they might come together by the town gate or in the market square because an NPC publicized their intent to offer an adventuring job.

The only case where an NPC would never "give a quest" in some form would be game worlds where there are no NPCs, or so few that they will be potential adversaries or allies rather than bartenders, shopkeepers, local authorities or bystanders.

RPGPundit

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Do you have NPC's giving out Quests in your campaign?
« Reply #38 on: November 30, 2019, 05:21:00 AM »
Quote from: HappyDaze;1114781
In many cases, that difference is really just one of word count spent on the NPC. Some players even shy away from NPCs with real motivations because they realize those are often conductors ushering them onto a railroad. Of course, sometimes that's what they want, in which case all aboard!


The difference should be that if its a real NPC with real motivations, the PCs should have the freedom to respond to him how they like. Of course, part of his motivation might be to try to force them to do something, but it shouldn't be because of metagame pressures.
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