Brief Summary of Game Mechanics
- Note: This article will be updated frequently as game mechanics are developed and refined, eventually this article will split into multiple once extensive clarifications/rulings are necessary and available. *
Though it uses Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, So You Think You Can Quest is also modified beyond standard play (RAW) quite considerably by a number of factors both in and out of the context of the game setting of itself. These modified or "homebrew" rules, combined with the competitive nature of play, requires additional structural formatting in order to both organize and streamline the experience both for contestants and viewers. This article is structured as a catalog of these concepts in annotated form.
Object of Play
Have fun, do your best, slay for the gold.
"So You Think You Can Quest?" is at its heart a team oriented gameshow, the object of which for contestants being to accomplish stated goals within the game world in order to win prizes. This of course will invariable involve having to keep your character alive. This way as contestants vie for resources and achievements there will be real and ever raising stakes at hand to make bold, improvised, and strategic decisions based on their constantly changing surroundings. The game is expressly being developed in order to create a gaming challenge unlike any other available in the world online or otherwise.
The object of the project itself is to forge a community of adventurers whose combined wisdom and daring are enough to defeat a nigh omniscient force bent on their destruction at almost every turn. “So You Think You Can Quest?” aims to provide a tangible outlet to the very spirit of questing that has and continues to bring people together with dice in hand, ready to try themselves against the fates no matter the odds. It is an experiment exploring the next levels of a craft that exists somewhere between the genres of improvised storytelling and tactical gaming. A place for adventurers to compete and win money, precious stones, and legendary status among their peers.
Rules of Play
This section the rules concerning conduct/participation and has nothing to do with the actual modifications to the core 5th edition rules.
- You are stronger together than separately.
- 15% of all donations go directly into the prize pool for the current Quests and future Quest prize pools.
- 15% of all donations go directly to rotating charities.
- All rulings are final. “So You Think You Can Quest?” maintains that the live stream is not a platform for discussing the nuances of game performity. In the event that there are errors in rule integrity they are welcomed to be addressed in the moment, but any protracted resolutions will be handled at a time the show is not live. Protest to the otherwise risks penalty and character death. Advocate for yourself, but do so politely and with brevity. The intent of the show is to maintain the highest levels of integrity, but revision will be handled with restraint.
- For sake of time, all player actions are final. The expression, “wait I didn’t want to-” has no value. You are provided with information as requested by the Dungeon Master, you make decisions. You do not get to add more words to those decisions retroactively if you don’t like the results. If you forgot to ask your companions what they were planning on doing, there is no adjusting after the fact. This is a competition for precisely that reason. Adventure better.
- For the sake of time, and to make sure that the game moves at an exciting pace for both participants and viewers, the length of player turns during combat will be limited. While this limit is not one that has a timer (yet), it is asked that all contestants do their best to keep their turns relevant to only what their Player Character's are saying or doing. While meta-gaming is not discouraged, it is up to the players to accomplish this during turns that are not their own via text channels provided, or simply to act on their feet as circumstances change, like any real adventurer does.
- Idleness will bury you. This is not a game for the indecisive, the audience is there to speculate, you are here to act. Hope's Rise is a a living engine of destruction and there is no end to what it might do to any who are foolish enough to let their guard down over petty squabbles. Not to say banter isn't encouraged and that players should be strictly business, but if the Dungeon Master asks you or your party the question "What next on this Quest of yours?" more than twice in a short amount of time, trouble will replace the third asking. Best to do something constructive immediately while you make up your mind about larger game decisions.
- "So You Think You Can Quest?" will not force a single solution to any situation, in true D&D fashion, there is no central path. Trying to focus on one, or insisting that there is one, will likely lead you to ruin. The game will unfold in the directions you pursue either successfully or unsuccessfully based on dice rolls and player ability to deal with challenges. Every option is available, and will remain available, do not put the baggage of your failed plans and poor luck on a world in which you could have tried anything.
- If you have to say “It is what my character would do,” more than once a game, you’re probably done.
- If you say the phrase “I want to do _____ in such a way that it accomplishes ______.” Without describing what that “way” is, you will be treated as if you have said nothing because you have essentially asked the Dungeon Master how to accomplish a goal. The game world does not fill in for your lack of knowledge or creativity. You try things, they succeed or fail. Attempts to try and mitigate this terrifying responsibility to Dungeon Master will be met with doom.
- You will receive one warning on a given subject of language, use of time, or general behavior. If behavior is intentionally repeated, your in-game character will penalized temporarily. If this pattern continues, your character will be slain and you will be asked to step aside. Everyone has a bad day, Dungeon Master’s included, a slain character is not necessarily the end of your involvement. Unless behavior warrants immediate excision from the community.
- If your conduct at any time, across any official account or platform associated with "So You Think You Can Quest?" breaches key behavioral guidelines you can and will be expelled from the game immediately.
- There are 5 player Seats available for play. The 5th Seat is reserved as discretionary for anyone, and a seat in it is not guaranteed based on attendance. It is designed to be a guest chair for use a the shows discretion.
- Your character must be alive at the time of completion of a given Quest to qualify for the prize.
- Your character does NOT need to be alive in order to win a daily prize, as these are often awarded at the end of the session for outstanding participation, as well as potential record setting achievements.
- If you played last session, but cannot attend the next, you lose your player seat and potentially your character depending on circumstances.
- Player versus Player treachery is available, but ill advised. The game world is deadly enough with your companions alive, and other players are watching, players who have long memories.
- You cannot have two of the same class in the adventuring party.
- Newly arriving players will NOT start immediately adjacent to the party. Though they do have the option to teleport to one another if they can complete a 10 minute ritual successfully (Read: Spellcasting).
- In the even of a technical difficulty you will be given 5 minutes to resolve it, otherwise you will be asked to step aside. You will be issued a pass though for the next available player slot assuming the issue is not frequent or being used to manipulate the game’s outcome.
- Challenges and in-game happenings are randomly influenced and are in no way gauged to your level or relative resources, they may be surprisingly beneficial or extremely mismatched to your ability to defeat them. They are not designed to kill instantly, but this game suffers no fool.
- The entire game takes place within the boundaries of the map provided.
Supplementary Tabletop Rules
This section and subsequent sections address rules that are in addition to, or replacing existing 5th edition D&D core rules.
- If it is not written on your character sheet, it is not in your characters possession. If it is no one's inventory. It is lost.
- Character Classes are unlocked through play, not all will be readily available at start.
- You will start with a basic pack of supplies, a small amount of gold, familiarity with a certain number of random Glyphs, a Side Quest, a Department from the Guild of Mazes, a Guild Piece. Starting supplies will be adjusted as characters level.
- In game treasure, or loot, will be bountiful for those who can survive. The game’s very nature will allow new players to bank roll increasing amounts of capital and gear off the efforts of previous players. Magical items are abundant and their presence often disruptive and fleeting. With the exception of some indispensable classics, “So You Think You Can Quest?” features 100’s of custom items and almost limitless potential for crafting weapons, armor, tools, and consumables. In order to facilitate a quick pace and unique action, you will be likely dealing with more power than a lot of regular D&D games.
- Every challenge in “So You Think You Can Quest?” has been modified. Nightmare mode: Unlocked. The Monsters Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide are but way posts on the road that you have long left behind you in the distance. Every monster, Ability Check, Saving Throw, Hazard, and even the Fates themselves are aligned against you. You will have resources, but as will your enemies.
- Rolling a 1 on a d20 on an attack roll or ability check is an automatic critical failure regardless of the bonus. The Dungeon Master will the roll for variants on a custom table of consequences given the situation that range from humorous to debilitating.
- There are no Massive Damage rules governing death. You go down when you run out of HP and not before.
- You make a Death Saving Throw upon reaching -1 HP as soon as it happens. Not your first turn after you have been downed.
- All items on a character at time of death are forfeit to their companions, all items lost and unaccounted for risk never returning to the game unless they are otherwise noted to be permanent.
- There are items, events, and npc's that can permanently affect a Player Slot and thus altering all characters played by audience members joining in that Player Slot. These boons and curses are very rare to discover, but do exist.
Travel and Rest
- Overland travel exceeding certain distances across different terrain types/hostility levels, will trigger Encounter Checks, determining what you will run into as you attempt to complete your quest. The results of these are determined by 1 rotating Player Character rolling a 1d100. The Dungeon Master will then roll 1d100 and compare the two numbers using a series of proprietary encounter charts developed for “So You Think You Can Quest?” that ensure players are kept wondering what the possible results might be. In this manner, players cannot meta-game the cost or benefit of a given random encounter accurately and simply have to use their best judgment.
- Encounters range from tightly scripted events to loose concepts designed and ideas designed to be modular towards ever changing circumstances of the game world. In this way the Dungeon Master is free to react the context of a situation.
- Expect 3-4 encounter rolls over the course of an entire Day if spent traveling and sleeping outside of town. Many have the potential to be benign or beneficial, many are less than ideal.
- It is more dangerous to travel: at night, in certain sections of the wilderness, farther from town, in certain sections of town, at certain times of day, or without considering your actions. These zones can be more accurately assessed by players as they explore the game world acquiring successful ability checks to help them understand the boundaries of the peril that lurks in all corners.
- Any Encounter Roll over 95% has the potential to be a critical success, any roll below 6% has the potential to be a critical failure.
- While there are key concepts, themes, puzzles, battles, characters, and locations within the game, “So You Think You Can Quest?” is being run to be modular and allow for the player community to manifest any number of solutions so long as they are presented in good practice and not developed to try and somehow destabilized the game world. You will be allowed to do anything, but you will get patched out of existence and quickly forgotten if your intent is to try and somehow cheat the spirit of the game.
- All attempts at a Long Rest have results categorized into one of six categories. Well Supplied (+2), Comfortable(+1), Adequate(+0), Rough(-1), Dismal (-2), No Sleep (-3). Each of these in turn influences the amount of sustained rest characters are getting and how long they can continue their journey in good health. Every character has a Rest Score, the maximum value of which is equal to their Character Level + Constitution Ability Modifier. This score is either added to, or depleted by the Player’s resting states.
- If a Player’s Rest Score reaches 0, the Player take on one rank of Exhaustion and become so fatigued that they can no longer use the Hit Dice recovery mechanic, or regain Hit Dice on a Long Rest until their Rest Score has been brought to 1. A player’s rest score cannot go below 0. Every day spent without restoring this value above 0 bestows another rank of Exhaustion.
The Guild of Mazes
- Your characters are a representatives of the Guild of Mazes, and as such are prepped with a thorough rundown of what has transpired before your character arrives in the game. This does not obligate anyone to fill you in on what has happened, nor do you get to rely on your characters in game knowledge guiding you like auto-pilot. It is the player's responsibility to know the game, constantly having to explain past events in fine detail or request information from the DM will result in a the same problems as general player idleness (see above).
- Each character will have an issued Guild Piece which allows them to either perform the Ritual of Beacon or to Teleport to an existing Beacon Spell (as described below).
- In the event a character uses this teleportation they will suffer from Teleportation Sickness and take disadvantage on all rolls made for the in-game time period of one hour. There is no way to overcome the disadvantage imparted this way. Due to the Guild of Mazes over-taxed teleportation network, the toll upon the traveler as they are crudely torn from the material realm and disassembled into static between worlds only to be reassembled from dust simultaneously elsewhere at the exact same instant is inexorable.
- Each character starts with a different Side Quest from the Guild of Mazes than one already issued to the individual members of the party. The reward for completing these tasks is in-game treasure or items and the assigning of a new Side Quest. These are here to help flesh out character purposes and personalities as well provide immediate direction for a constructive task for the party to try and accomplish so that they all might benefit from the reward. Extended debate over what Side Quests should be accomplished and how will count as player idleness. If the player party cannot unify in decision, they will unify in fighting a stitched together horror stumbling out of the fog murmuring foul curses.
- The Guild of Mazes being your in-game sponsors as adventurers, will also reward you with treasure for accomplishing the larger Quests of the game.
- As you level, the Guild of Mazes will supply starting characters with not only increased (and randomly generated) resources, they will begin to take root in Hope's Rise (the name of the game's locale) providing players with a base of operations and a place to resupply between excursions. As these bases grow, so too will options to customize them and manage their resources.
No part of this game will ever force you to manage it, but you will find the constant strains of environment and the challenges presented can only be overcome by taking advantage of every lever of power you can successfully grab a hold on. As you accrue both wealth and a semblance of stability you will be able to start hiring others and trying to create networks of strategic income and resource to aid you on your journey. Research new magics, find hidden areas, secret NPC's, recruit hirelings, manage money, build your base out with the community during special live streamed events. Of course you will have to fortifying it as well, as this base will be subject to all the same (and maybe more) difficulties and conspiracies that face the players at every turn.
Crafting will be a big part of life in "So You Think You Can Quest?" Not only will players be able to acquire components to make potions (contain spells), oils (can be applied to the skin), tinctures (derive effects from found ingredients), incenses (area of effect), poultices (time delayed or passive effects), and more, they will be able to use Tinkerer's Tools to devise everything from crude bombs to sentient clockwork golems equipped with cannons and crossbows. In order to keep these mechanics from consuming massive amounts of time, all components found will carry with them tags and descriptions for what they can be used for and the DC's accompanied with crafting them will be set on an individual basis. As requests from the community for clarification and expansion of more basic archetypes become voiced, those particular aspects will be addressed.
- All characters have proficiency with all crafting tools for the sake of the games crafting system, whether or not they are suited to the craft is governed by their Abilities.
- Blacksmith (arms and armor), Strength
- Needle and Woodworking (Bows, Light Armors, some magic items), Dexterity
- Poisoning (Damaging concoctions of all sorts, powerful negative ingredients), Constitution
- Tinkering/Engineer (Grab bag of other disciplines), Intelligence
- Healing Herbalism (Beneficial concoctions of all sorts, powerful positive ingredients), Wisdom
- Calligraphy (Scrolls and some magic items), Charisma
As stated above, please remember crafting with these things will be available as extraordinary conditions/places/ingredients/recipes are discovered and not before. This is done to keep players focused on what is at hand rather than trying to find a glitch in a larger spreadsheet of creation interactions or farm materials rather than pursue real action. The crafting system exists to help players engage with an immersive world, to keep them on the lookout for unconventional means of success and reward. In the event it cannot be managed successfully within the time constraints of the live stream, it will become only available through NPC's.
Of course, for raw magical power, there is an entire crafting system that relies on Glyph Magic at your disposal.
Offerings and Blessings
There are 13 Goddess of Aedalon, and each one has blessings to bestow upon those who carry with them the necessary Focus and provide them with adequate Offering at one of their hidden Altars. If these three conditions align, Player Characters can receive powerful temporary (and in some cases permanent) boosts to their characters. The Offerings, Prayer Focus, and Altar locations start as a mystery to all Player Character's.
Bardic Inspiration- May cause penalties instead of bonuses if is attempted to be used in a manner where the actual inspiration happens AFTER someone has performed the check in question and not before. You know who you are. This rule will be enforced with some understanding for the length and complexity of given tasks, but also to encourage people to respect the austere necessity of Causality not becoming a plaything.
There will be custom feats available to characters as they become high enough level. This section is currently under development.
- Any player may use use their issued Guild Piece to perform a 10 minute magic Ritual of Beacon that establishes a receiving point for every Guild Piece's teleportation function. This Beacon is effective up to 100 miles and for the duration of 1 minute until the spell must be cast again.
- Any player may use their issued Guild Piece to teleport instantly to any currently active Beacon as mentioned above.
- Verbal and somatic components of all spells require Sleight of Hand & Deception checks to be concealed. The closer an observer is to you, the harder these are to overcome.
- All spells cast in a Ritual manner take effect at the time of the rituals completion, if there is no valid target, the spell fizzles. They cannot be held. In addition all Ritual spells require a manner of concentration that precludes involvement in any other coordinated physical activity. Ritual casting also requires an actual ritual take place, and thus cannot be concealed, requiring a space in which to conduct the invocation of magics.
- Any spellcaster who can cast 2nd level spells or higher can cast the Identify spell as described below with a Ritual spell that takes 30 minutes to complete.
- Thaumaturgy- All Divine spellcasters start with this spell. It cannot be used to achieve ANY Advantage or Disadvantage. That is what other spells are for. It is does not blind, daze, cause smoke screens, barriers, confuse, charm, intimidate, start roaring blazes out of underbrush, or any other substantial numerical benefit.
- Prestidigitation- All Arcane spellcasters start with this spell. It cannot be used to achieve ANY Advantage or Disadvantage. It is does not blind, daze, cause smoke screens, barriers, confuse, charm, intimidate, start roaring blazes out of underbrush, or any other substantial numerical benefit.
- Druidcraft- All Druidic spellcasters start with this spell. It cannot be used to achieve ANY Advantage or Disadvantage. It is does not blind, daze, cause smoke screens, barriers, confuse, charm, intimidate, start roaring blazes out of underbrush, or any other substantial numerical benefit.
- Guidance- See Bardic Inspiration in Class Abilities section.
1st Level Spells
- Detect Magic- In “So You Think You Can Quest?” this spell differs greatly in that this spell represents one’s ability to open their mind to the frequencies of infinite energy and color that layer atop one another to create the Material Plane. In this state not only are visible surfaces with magical properties illuminated once you are within 30ft and could otherwise see the object plainly with your eyes. The Player Character can make a Spellcasting Check by rolling 1d20 and adding their proficiency bonus + Spellcasting Ability Modifier in an attempt to learn such things as the nature of the magic present, the potency of it, the length of time it has been in place.
- The Detect Magic spell does NOT automatically reveal the school of magic present. It does automatically distinguish between Arcane, Divine, and Druidic magics.
- Identify- This spell is different in several ways to encourage players to engage with the Glyph Magic system presented.
- Attempting to identify something expends 100gp worth of value. This value can be accomplished by any means, but the wealth is consumed in the process whether it is successful or not.
- When the Identify spell is cast, at this time the caster makes a Casting Check with their Spellcasting Ability Modifier + Proficiency modifier. The more potent the magic, the more difficult to discover. Partial and or unreliable results are possible. This mechanic is used not to punish players and force grueling return trips to town and trusted NPC’s, but to increase number of risk/reward chances that adventurers will have to take when in stressful situations. In general magical items and spoils will be plentiful in order to facilitate this.
- Most magical items can be used without being identified, their potential unlocked through trial and error, but many hold hidden properties only expert mages might discover.
- Goodberry- This spell no longer nourishes one's need for food or water, it instead only heals damage done.
2nd Level Spells
- Enlarge/Reduce- This spell’s damage bonus’s and penalties are raised from 1d4 to 1d6
- Augury- This spell consumes 25gp worth of material component.
3rd Level Spells and Above
We will get there when we get there. Let’s see whose still around after my Death Reavers have nested in your eyes.