Most of the RPG blogs out there tend to give advice to the GMs. I have to admit that the same symptom is present in this blog, too. But here is a post that is targeted to the players! If you have been invited to a QuestWorlds game, or already attended a couple, here are three preparation tips and three pieces of advice to follow during the play.
No need for system mastery
The great thing about QuestWorlds is that you can come to the table without knowing anything about the rules. Running the contests, from a system perspective, is solely the GM’s task and players don’t really have lots of options they should know. You can’t screw your whole party because you didn’t know that you can, for example, cast the fireball twice if you move three steps right.
All you have to know is that the GM will present your group with story obstacles and you have to come up with an entertaining way, by using your characters’ abilities, how your characters will try to overcome them. Easy.
Prepare to lose some fights
As QuestWorlds emulates a story, your session will have its up-beats and down-beats. Just like a good story does. Marching from victory to victory gets dull, fast. A couple of failures here and there build up a nice story. So, don’t take it too hard if your character or the group fails a contest. The GM takes care that there will be interesting stories waiting behind failed story obstacles. And if there isn’t, the GM will take care you don’t end up in that kind of situation, at all. Embrace the failure and see what kind of personal story you can build up for your character from those failures.
Know the setting, even a little
As I wrote here in this blog before QuestWorlds doesn’t really hold hands when teaching the genre or the setting. You can, of course, go to the table without knowing anything but don’t expect to get a character sheet in front of you that tells you everything you how your character should act in the setting. Unless your GM has been really busy.
So, to prepare for a QuestWorlds game, familiarize yourself with the setting. at least a bit. Watch a movie, read a short story, or read the document about the world the GM sent you beforehand. Or, if the table is up for it, swing the setting your own way. That’s fun, too!
During the play be ready to improvise. This might sound like a generic RPG advice but QuestWorlds really emphasizes player improvisation. The GM does not ask you to roll for a certain ability or say that this contest will be handled with, say, sword skills. The GM just presents your group with the story obstacle and frames the contest. It is the players’ job to come up with how they resolve the story obstacle using the abilities their characters have.
You have the possibility to act with other characters, also. There are group contests and then your character might end up augmenting the other character. This goes hand-in-hand with the most important improvisation rule: accept what the other player established and build on that (kind of “Yes, and”). You constantly have opportunities to bring your character on the frame (remember to give the spotlight to others, too) even if they are not the main character in this specific event.
Take up the narration
Another improvisation possibility comes in when narrating out the result of the outcome. Now, this might differ from GM to GM. Some like to tell the player what happened in the contest. Others, like me, like to hear from the players what happens to their characters. In a sense, the GM has already handed over the narration to the player when they ask what ability the player wants to use. I think it is fair to let the player continue after the roll.
The contest outcome is not just a victory or a defeat. You have the used ability, possible augments and bonuses, and the two roll results. These aspects all should give you enough “creative juice” to come up with a narration that makes sense in the given context. Listen to the GM if they have some limitations for your narration.
Don’t just roll unexpectedly
This advice might go to any RPG out there but especially in QuestWorlds, it does not make sense for the player to roll on their own search or perception rolls. If you have an urge to roll the dice discuss with your GM. In your mind, you should try to frame your roll so that you can tell why a branch in the story at this point would make sense. If you don’t know, you should still tell the GM that you want to roll. The GM might give you an automatic success! There might be no tension in the automatic success but at least you contributed to the story with your character’s actions. The GM might have some other tools in their toolbox, also, so telling about your ideas are always worth to bring boldly to the table.
As is with every RPG out there, having fun is the main goal.
If you are a GM link this post to your players to read before your first session. There were no rules explanations in this post because, I will argue, the players don’t really need to know them beforehand. Rules are easily taught when the game starts.