Advanced Rules: About Questlording
Questlords - What is a Questlord?
A Questlord is the moderator of a Quest, just like a Pitlord moderates a Battle of Gladius. However, a questlord is more like a Dungeon Master because Quests are more free-style than Battles of Gladius. You earn 2 credits per week for running a Quest, and 1 credit for a MiniQuest. Questlords - Getting Started
Before you read on, make sure you have read the Rules of Gladius: Quests completely!
* Request Quest: After having agreed to run a quest for a player, the first thing you have to do is notify the GM (TelinArtho) by PM that you want to run a quest, and also when you want to run it. You also have to send Encounter Level, Questgoal, and of course for whom you are going to run the quest. Miniquests do not need such a PM but everything must be written in the titleline of the character sheet.
- The Storyline: Once a player (or all players in case of a Multiplayer Quest) have been found, you can begin to write the storyline based on their quest goal and the roleplaying ideas your players present you. The story is completely up to you, of course. You also need to create all NPCs that appear in your quest. If they are combatants, then you have to flesh them out including statistics and equipment. Depending on the quest goal of your player(s) your quest has a certain Encounter Level which has a direct impact on the power of your NPCs. You also need to calculate XP and treasure of your quest.
- The Maps: You also need to create the maps because your encounters won't take place in the arena. The standard program for creating maps is the Dungeoncrafter but you can use another program if you like. After you have created your maps, you need to upload them. The CoCo hosts a Mapper you can use to upload your maps. Alternatively, you can use the Photobucket to upload them. You must create at least one map but you are encouraged to create more; most questlords create one map for each encounter. If you want to create only one map for your quest but you are running a 3-week Quest thus have 3 encounters, you can either have all encounters take place on the same map (which should be in line with the story), or you use the Maps thread. The Maps thread is a compilation of maps from past quests and campaigns and provide you with a selection of maps. This is also where you will post all your maps at the end of the quest.
- Confirmation: Send all this information to the GM (TelinArtho). One of the Elders will check everything for its validity, correct any mistakes together with you, and finally gives you the OK for your Quest. Your Quest will then begin on the scheduled date.
- Start Quest: You have to open a new Quest thread. Choose a name for the Quest that somewhat suits the quest goal or the player character(s), and include the Encounter Level (EL) of the quest into the title in parenthesis. The title must look like this:
Quest - "NAME" (EL ?)
The first post is always the Questlog. The Questlog includes the title, and a complete breakdown of all items found, used, or destroyed, including all gold values in parenthesis, as well as the outcome of the encounters including any losses (eg. heavy warhorse died). You also need to write down the quest goal. At the bottom should be a list with XP earned during the XP. You will update the questlog as the quest goes on. The questlog should include a link to the character sheet in the CoCo Wiki.
The second post is the character sheet which you must not post before Thursday 2AM GMT when the deadline for editing the sheet has passed.
From here on every additional post is roleplaying and questing and completely in your hands.
Congratulations! After these steps you have successfully created a Quest!Questlords - Maps
Quests can take place in virtually any kind of enviroment, depending on the quest. Some quests might take place in a dense forest, others in open fields, or narrow tunnels, perhaps even in a city with many-story buildings which you can enter and snipe from the windows (after using pick locks on the door). For that reason, the Questlord must create an appropriate map as part of his workload. Questlords - Questlord Tools
The map can be as simple or as elaborate as he desires but a certain minimum of work should go into the creation of the map. Since there is only one fight per real time week (plus the preparation time before the quest begins), he has enough time to flesh out a map.
This work won't be for naught: the map will be archived in the Maps thread. Over time, this thread will be full of maps from which other Questlords can choose their battlegrounds. To ensure continuing map influx, Questlords must at least post one map if they have to run a Standard Quest. The same is mandatory if there is no map that would suit their Quest. To prevent map spaming, modifications of existing maps are possible.
The map must have clearly distinguishable 5ft squares and optimally values on the x-axis and y-axis. The map size is up to the Questlord but it should be posted as a .jpg file because .bmp is about 20 times larger. As the fight progresses, you can either just write down the positions, or post a seperate version of the map each round, where the combatants are visible. The latter is surely more graphic in nature but also more work.
A very simple method to post maps is to use the CoCo Mapmaker which auto-generates maps for each of the Battles of Gladius maps. Two other very good map programs are Dundjinni, the Fractal Mapper and the various mapmakers from ProFantasy which are definately worth every cent. If you don't want to buy a mapmaker, download the free Dungeoncrafter.
There are some programs that help the Questlord in creating maps. Although the Questlord may use any method of creating, uploading, and resizing maps, two of the ones above are free and can be accessed by everyone. This section describes the basic functions of these programs to make it as easy as possible for the Questlord. Questlords - Encounters
Creating Maps: The Dungeoncrafter is a simple and easy to use map-making program that everyone can download. On the right side of the screen you will see the "Download Section" where you can download the program. You might also be interested in the "Customs" links on the right side which have additional tile sets (desert, ice, lava, etc etc).
Once installed, you can begin creating maps. It is very simple. On the left side you can see a handful of tiles. Just choose one and click on the white field that dominates the center of the screen. The chosen tile appears. Right click on it and it disappears again. You can pick other tiles from the same "set" by switching between the "Tile", "Furniture", and "Various" folder. You can switch to another set by using the drop-down menue next to "Tileset:" and pick another one. Your downloaded custom tiles can be accesses via the "Custom" drop-down option which let's you browse through your harddisc.
On the top left side you can see four arrows next to the display with your current tile. By clicking on them you can turn the tiles in case you want the door facing in another direction. There is also a button called "Mode". Here, you can switch between "Tiles", "Walls", and "Doors". Walls and Doors always need to be placed on the corner of a tile. Note that outdoor tiles have no visible square so you need to place 'walls' around each tile so that the 5ft squares are visible. Another interesting feature is the "Insert text" option under "Tools" in the top bar. Just click on it, then click on a spot on the map, and write the text you want to appear into the box. You can change color, size, and font, if you like. Finally, you need to save your finished map. Click on "Save As" under "File", enter a name, and save it onto your harddisc. Finished.
The CoCo Mapmaker: The CoCo Mapmaker has removed, for the most part, the need to host your own maps and for image manipulation. Check it out to see if it will suit your needs. If it doesn't, and the features would be nice to have in the code - send the GM a PM and he'll talk with the developer.
Hosting Maps: You will need a method to upload pictures (your maps) onto the internet which you can then link into your Quest. If you do not have your own homepage, you can use this program: Photobucket. It is very easy to use. You need to sign up and log in. You will automatically be forwarded to the "Add Pictures" section. Just click on "Browse" and find the map that you saved on your harddisc; click "Submit" The map will then be uploaded. The uploaded map should appear below, along with the URL for the picture which you can now link to your quest. That's all. One last request: please convert .bmp maps into .jpg maps before uploading them because bitmap is 20 times larger in size.
Image Manipulation: Photoshop is an image manipulation program that I can recommend; it has a lot of options and is not too difficult to use. Unfortunately, it is not available for free download. However, as a Questlord you definately need an image manipulation program. If you do not own your own one you can use these two free and downloadable programs: Paint.Net and Gimp.Org. An explanation for these programs would be too much here but there is a manual for both available on their homepage. If you have any questions about those programs, ask them in the Tavern.
Encounter Level Calculator: This most useful tool calculates the EL for your Quest. Just enter the CRs and the number of monsters you have picked into the left "Monster" column, then the number of player characters that will go on the quest and their Effective Character Level (ECL = HD+LA). Click on "calculate" and it tells you wether your pick is appropriate for the Encounter Level of the Quest.
Additionally, the Encounter Level Calculator calculates XP for this encounter, as well as treasure in gold. Finally, you can enter the environment where the encounter will take place and see what the distance to start spot checks is. This is determined randomly by the program but is absolutely okay.
How can you make sure that the challenges in your quest are appropriate? First you need the Encounter Level of your Quest which is set by the players who go questing. Then you check your Dungeon Masters Guide on page 49, or use the table below:
|.||Number of Creatures|
The left column shows the Encounter Level (EL) of the Quest. Search your Quest's EL and forget about the other ELs. Look across that line to find the Callenge Rating (CR) of the monster you want to use, then look at the top row how many of these creatures make an appropriate encounter for your Quest. You can also do it the other way around by checking the number of creatures you want to bring, then read down to your EL line and you have the CR that each of your monsters may have.
Example: You are preparing an EL 5 Quest and want to add some orcs (CR 1/2) so you go to the EL 5 row, then read across until you come upon 1/2, then look up and check the number of orcs you can bring; 7-9 in this case. Or the other way around: you want to bring three creatures in your EL 5 encounter. Go to the top row and find the number 3, then read down to the EL 5 line where you can read "2" and this is the CR of each of the three creatures.
Sometimes you will find more than one number printed in the CR field, and they are divided by commas. That means you have to judge wether your particular monster will be a tougher or weaker version. That can have many reasons. Your wizard may have a good selection of magic items and scrolls which make him more dangerous than the same wizard without these items. Or your monster has a tactical advantage because it fights in its own terrain, or is especially dangerous to the player character involved. Whatever the reason, if you have more than one CR to chose from, you have to judge which CR will be appropriate for this particular quest.
The last column is called "Mixed" which means Mixed Pair. You use this column if your EL is one below the Quest EL and you want to raise it by one. Then you look at the Quest EL line, and read across towards the Mixed column where the CR for the main opponent, and his companion are listed.
Example: You run an EL 8 Quest and want to send an Aboleth (CR 7) against the Questers. According to the table, for a weak party the aboleth would be okay but since the party is very well equipped you decide that CR 8 would be better. Look across to the Mixed column where you will find "7+5" which means your CR "7" Aboleth gets a CR "5" ally.
If you run a 3-week Quest you need to do this with three encounters. Once you have finished picking the opponents and their numbers, you can check the Encounter Level Calculator to see if you ran the numbers right. Finally, you need to send it to the Pitlords Account who will check the Quest and give you the GO. Questlords - Rewards
Like in Battles of Gladius, the rewards are based on the CR of the opponents. You assign XP according to the table below and multiply the gained XP with the Ration to get the Gold rewards.
Experience Points: First thing you need is the XP table (in the DMG, p38). For your convenience, we have posted the table below.
* Characters probably shouldn't be fighting characters or monsters 8 CRs below them. If they do, for some reason, the GMs will assign an appropriate XP reward for the fight.
- If a character has defeated a challenge that far above his/her level, something strange is going on. The GM will investigate and assign an appropriate XP reward for the victory.
Calculating XP: You have to find the ECL of the questing character which you can find on the left side written in teal. Now check the CR of the monster that this character defeated, and you have the XP reward for this single monster. If he fought more than one monster, repeat this step and add all XP rewards together.
Example: Heinrich, a level 5 wizard blasted two ghouls (CR 1 each) and one level 3 necromancer (CR 3) into oblivion. Each ghoul rewards him 300 XP, and the necro is worth 750 XP. For the whole encounter Heinrich gets 300*2 + 750 = 1350 XP.
More than one player: If there is more than one questing character (a multiplayer quest), you have to divide the XP by the number of players. Repeat the step above for each player character individually.
Example: Heinrich (lvl 5) got aid from Angosh (lvl 6) in this encounter. Heinrich has to divide his 1350 XP by 2 which still earns him 675 XP. Angosh has also defeated the ghouls and the necro so he gets 300 XP for each ghoul, and 600 XP for the necromancer, together 1200 XP but since he wasn't alone, he needs to divide it by 2, thus he ends up with 600 XP.
Monsters with a CR below 1: Some monsters don't even have a CR of 1. For these weak monsters you have to calculate a CR 1 encounter, then divide it by the fraction of their CR.
Example: Heinrich (lvl 5) killed a single orc on his way home. An orc is CR 1/2. Check the table for CR 1 which says you get 300 XP, then divide it by 2 because the orc is only CR 1/2. Heinrich gets 150 XP for this single orc. Questlords - Treasure
Experience Points are not the only reward a player character gets. On his journey he finds valuable items, loots equipment from his fallen foes, or retrieves a special weapon from the dungeon he has just cleared. Treasure rewards can have any form that is worth something in gold.
To determine the appropriate amount of treasure per encounter, you have to multiply the gained XP with the "XP:GP" Ratio from the table below:
|ECL||XP : GP|
|1||1 : 1.0000|
|2||1 : 1.0000|
|3||1 : 1.0000|
|4||1 : 1.0000|
|5||1 : 1.0667|
|6||1 : 1.1111|
|7||1 : 1.2381|
|8||1 : 1.4167|
|9||1 : 1.6667|
|10||1 : 1.9333|
|11||1 : 2.2727|
|12||1 : 2.7222|
|13||1 : 3.3333|
|14||1 : 4.0476|
|15||1 : 4.8888|
|16||1 : 5.8333|
|17||1 : 7.0589|
|18||1 : 8.7037|
You can distribute the treasure among the three encounters as you see fit. If the first encounter was against an ooze, then it is logical to hold any treasure back and give more in the second or third encounter, or as final reward. Common sense should apply. What you cannot do is to give out more treasure in the first encounter than listed in the table. So you can give out more treasure later but not earlier.
Example: Brock Granitehand, a dwarf cleric, defeats two shadows (EL 5) in his first encounter. Since they were incorporal it is logical to assume that they have no treasure, so the Questlord withholds the 1600 gp Brock would have gotten. His second fight is against an evil level 5 fighter. Fortunately, Brock could overcome this villain aswell. The Questlord may now give out up to 3200 gp (for 2 EL 5 encounters) or withhold the treasure even further until after the third encounter. He could not have given out more than 1600 gp in the Shadow-fight, nor could he drop treasure that exceeds 3200 gp on the evil fighter, or 1600 if he had given treasure during the Shadow encounter.
What kind of treasure can be dropped?Questlords - Confirmation
Coins, Gems, and Art: Almost every player character finds some gold or silver on his quest, sometimes even a few gems, a silvered comb, or a valuable painting. These items can be taken over 1 to 1, and used to pay for purchased items. They are worth their full amount in gold.
Items and other things: This broad category encompasses everything else. Weapons, armor, potions, music instruments, tools, etc; everything that has a gold price listed next to its name. You can either keep and use these items, or sell them for full price at the end of the Quest (or during the Quest if you come across a market). When the Quest is over, you decide wether you want to keep the items found, or gain their market price in gold.
What kind of treasure will be found in a quest is up to the Questlord but the Questlord should put some thought into the treasure handed out. If a fighter finds only wizard scrolls and spellbooks, he will surely cash them in at the end. In any case, the Questlord has the absolute say in here.
The following things need to be sent to the Pitlords Board Account.
Questlords - Online Roller
- Basics: Quest start date, Encounter Level, Questing Characters and their Questgoal
- The monsters, traps, and NPCs that the questers have to defeat. Equipment, basic stats, short description. In case of spellcasters you need to send the memorized spells too.
- Experience points and Treasure
- Basic storyline (briefly)
Unlike in a Battle of Gladius, a Questlord must use the Online Roller! The standard CoCo online roller is the CoCo Roller but if you know one on your own you may use that one. In any case, you must link the rolls of the online roller to the Questlog after the Quest is finished! Questlords - Questlord Rewards
This is to protect both Questlord and Player from accusations as well as making it possible for us to check and compare the rolls after the Quest is over. Due to the greater risk we want to make sure everything is being handled correctly.
Add the link to the roller to the Questlog and write the Name the rolls use in there aswell. Both you and the player must use the same Name and the same Online Roller.
Standard Quest: You gain 2 credits a week for running a quest, twice as much as a Battle of Gladius. You are encouraged to complete one encounter a week so that the quest is finished after 3 weeks. For every additional week you need you lose 1 cumulative credit (max-6° after 3 late weeks). The deadline for Quests is Wednesday 2AM GMT.
MiniQuest: Here it depends on the type of MiniQuest. If you run it like a Battle of Gladius (with tactics) you gain 1° like with an arena fight. Since it is much less work (you only have to pitlord one player), you are encouraged to write a little story around the fight. Alternatively, you can also run the MiniQuest similar to a 3-week Quest in a seperate thread, where the player can play his character in round-by-round actions. This is definately the better way to run a MiniQuest.
In order to make sure you finish your quest on time, we suggest you use a chat program, like Yahoo IM or ICQ. This speeds up the quest progress significantly and solves problems in real-time.
Finally, another reward is the admiration of the CoCo members who surely enjoy reading your quest.