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[W.I.P - Announcement] The Unofficial Dragon Quest Roleplaying System


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The Unofficial Dragon Quest Roleplaying System
The Unofficial Dragon Quest Roleplaying System is a tabletop RPG that aims to allow players to intimately revisit the worlds of their favorite adventures from the Dragon Quest video game series. Combining staple gameplay mechanics, locales, and monsters with well-proven conventions of dice-and-paper role-playing, above all else the game intends to combine the charm and style of Dragon Quest with the realism-to-fantasy that made successful Dungeons & Dragons so immersive.

Below, I discuss what I consider my image for the game and future goals so that you may contribute your thoughts and ideas to the project.

The Universe
Dragon Quest has taken players on dozens of adventures through hundreds of cities, ruins, forests, caves and even subaquatic civilizations. In fact, the franchise has spanned multiple universes, and then within those universes themselves Dragon Quest games have spanned multiple worlds and then further within them multiple realms! These universes and worlds and realms viewed as a whole create what we call "The Dragon Quest Multiverse".

 

Alefgard of the Erdrick Trilogy, and Zenithia, and the Almighty, the Dracovians, and the Celestrians are all recognized as existing simultaneously within the bounds of The Unofficial Dragon Quest Roleplaying System. However, not all of them -- nor any of them -- need to exist within any world that hosts the player's adventure. Every campaign inhabits its own independent universe inside of The Dragon Quest Multiverse, which runs by its own rules and is governed by its own laws, forces and deities and which is only connected to the rest of The Multiverse by raw chance and the mutual existence of themes, creatures and people shared only by the thread of fate. Thus, players are free to ignore or incorporate any lore from the Dragon Quest series that suits their game world and their narrative choice!

 

The Player Character
Player characters will be given a name and a a title for flavor.  A section will be provided for players to freely describe hair color and style, eye color, height, weight, and their costume (the outfit the character wears inexplicable despite the equipment they carry with them). Their stats, skills and spells are defined by their Vocations. Vocations are catch-all terms which determine how characters grow stronger as they level up, what weapons they can use, what skill trees they have access to and what spells they learn.

The capabilities of a character are determined by their stats. These are:
Strength: the character's ability to deal damage with physical attacks.
Resilience: the character's ability to sustain physical damage
Agility: how fast the character can move, how likely they are to dodge
Magical Might: the character's ability to deal damage with magic.
Magical Mending: efficiency of healing spells
Deftness: the character's ability to deal damage with ranged attacks, critical hit chance and when they act in combat.

 

The Vocation System:

All Vocations featured in the Dragon Quest series will appear in The Unofficial Dragon Quest Roleplaying System, and then some! The system present will be a reconciliation of the systems of Dragon Quest VI and VII, and that of Dragon Quests III and IX.

Every player character will begin with a single Vocation. Whenever you level up, a die will be rolled to determine how many skill points you earn; these will be allocated to one of five skill trees determined by the player character's Vocation. These make the character more proficient when wielding certain weapons and allow them to gain access to new special abilities using a milestone-like format. Whenever 150 skill points are allocated, the character is considered to be a Master of their vocation.

Whenever a player visits an Alltrades Abbey, they may change their vocation. When they do, their level is reset to 1, and all of their stats are equal to the value of their previous Vocation's stats halved, rounded up.  This character can use any spells they've ever learned if the new Vocation has it in their spell-list. Furthermore, all Vocations use the same skill tree for a particular weapon, and any progress made in a skill tree in one Vocation will be carried over into any other Vocation that uses the same weapon. The Vocation is negligible if the character has become an Omnivocational Master of their particular weapon (100 skill points in that weapon's tree), allowing them to use the weapon as any other Vocation. 

Should the player become a Master of two Vocations, they have a chance of gaining access to an Intermediate Vocation, which shares qualities of the two child Vocations! An Intermediate Vocation can cast all Spells learned by the child Vocations, and will learn new ones. They, however, may not necessarily share all skill trees with their child vocations!

 

What Else?
This isn't a lot of progress, but it's a start. Unfortunately, though, making a tabletop RPG is a time-consuming process, and can take months if not years of balancing and designing. Even now, there's a lot of things I'm not 100% sure about in making this game. Included below are some goals I have for finishing the game and turning it into something playable, fair and fun.

Combat -- I don't know if I'll use a traditional Dragon Quest-like turn-based JRPG format or a hex-based tactical TTRPG format.
Growth -- Converting the stat growth, and determining base stats, from a video game to a TTRPG is a behemoth challenge to undertake. This also includes scaling everything to the players' growth.
Out-of-Combat Skills -- I don't know how I'll determine how good a character is at tasks outside of combat.
Spells -- Should I create new spells to provide more D&D-like functionality or fully retain Dragon Quest's simplistic charm?
Magic Items -- How would I handle magic items on a functional level?
Rolls -- Do I want to use a d20 format that utilizes all the dice or do I want to use a d100 system to replicate chances by percent? 

 

And even now, I'm probably forgetting hundreds of things I need to keep in mind for creating this game. This thread is simply to call attention to the project, and get everyone on board with what is intended as the greatest intimation of players to the world of Dragon Quest!

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Wow that will be some undertaking, good luck with all the mechanics. :thumbsup:

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22 hours ago, Woodus said:

Wow that will be some undertaking, good luck with all the mechanics. :thumbsup:

Thank you! I want to post updates regularly so I can get real-time feedback from anyone interested in giving it. 

 

At the moment my greatest obstacles are figuring out how I want to scale stats, how to handle out-of-combat challenges and whether or not I want to go with a more abstract combat style similar to Dragon Quest and other traditional JRPG's or a more realistic take like other TTRPG's. At the moment I'm considering running with a movement-less traditional JRPG combat style and letting players use their turn to perform "Flourishes", off-the-cuff maneuvers that aren't covered by their special abilities or skills and which allow them to interact with the environment but with a greater chance of failure and a greater cost,  but I'm still not so sure. 

 

Dragon Quest's whole deal is how it modernizes a very traditional JRPG format, so that's something I want to maintain. I don't want to compromise the spirit of Dragon Quest, but I also want the freedom of TTRPG's. Reconciling the two is difficult.

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4 hours ago, IsaOfTheWorlds said:

The Universe
Dragon Quest has taken players on dozens of adventures through hundreds of cities, ruins, forests, caves and even subaquatic civilizations. In fact, the franchise has spanned multiple universes, and then within those universes themselves Dragon Quest games have spanned multiple worlds and then further within them multiple realms! These universes and worlds and realms viewed as a whole create what we call "The Dragon Quest Multiverse".

 

Alefgard of the Erdrick Trilogy, and Zenithia, and the Almighty, the Dracovians, and the Celestrians are all recognized as existing simultaneously within the bounds of The Unofficial Dragon Quest Roleplaying System. However, not all of them -- nor any of them -- need to exist within any world that hosts the player's adventure. Every campaign inhabits its own independent universe inside of The Dragon Quest Multiverse, which runs by its own rules and is governed by its own laws, forces and deities and which is only connected to the rest of The Multiverse by raw chance and the mutual existence of themes, creatures and people shared only by the thread of fate. Thus, players are free to ignore or incorporate any lore from the Dragon Quest series that suits their game world and their narrative choice!

Not to steal your thunder, but I was actually working on worldbuilding a Dragon Quest AU for a potential turn-based RPG campaign, coming up with ideas for NPCs and races and the like. I've got a (pretty lengthy, admittedly) sample of my notes on one of the races (with some NPCs and potential campaign ideas) here if you're interested:

Spoiler

Fairies
    A diminutive race close to the elves, who come in fewer colors than the elves do, but who are made purely of magic, enchantment personified. By chaneling their magic in specific ways, they can manipulate their bodies, taking the form of balls of light or small human beings. Fairies are very commonly of the Trooping variety (especially Seelie fairies), but Solitary and even domesticated fairies are also known.

    Society: Complex Chiefdom //Modeled on the Germanic peoples in particular (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_peoples#Culture),
        The common social structure of seelie fairies is called a troop, a community of fairies headed by a fairy queen. The fairy queen possesses a special magnificence, having magic of such strength that they can assume the size of an tall human. Each fairy queen is given specific ritual obligations that only she is able to perform (e.g. Treacle of the flowerlands brings springtime forth from winter) and is given tribute and symbolic tokens of food or even magic by her troop in order to ensure she can. The fairy queens in turn offers tribute to the paramount of their race, the fairy king, who appoints them with gifts of his own tremendous magic. Faerie queens are for all intents and purposes local gods and are sometimes worshipped by humans.
        
        Faerie Queens often select from among their villages an elite of their communities (usually but not always those with the largest magic potential). The elite support the queen in turn with tasks and keeping order.

        Unlike usual chiefdoms (which are rife with inequality and turmoil), seelie faerie troops are remarkably stable, due to considering themselves under mandate to preserve the harmony and justice of the world, and if such arrangements cannot be maintained within their own communities than they are unfit to carry out their duties in the world.
    
        Seelie Fairie villages are often small and composed of individual households. The village centre is a large hall where fairy queens arrange lavish feasts for their people.
        
        Some fairie communities became nomadic due to trouble in the fairylands and have emigrated into the human world in order to protect themselves.
        
        Solitary and even domesticated fairies may be seelie or unseelie. Unseelie troops are not unheard of, but these tend to be more extreme, with more violent aggregations of power and steeped in discontent. Unseelie troops are generally known to consider seelie troops traitors to the ancient way of fae. Both seelie and unseelie troops keep slaves, but unseelie troops have more and employ the chattel variety (tricking humans and monsters into slavery is a favorite pastime). //Use early pagan chiefdoms -- the more violent and unequal, the better        
    
    Law: //refer to the Visigothic Code!
        Fairies scorn to interfere in human affairs but are interested in decorum and public order.
    
    Combat Notes:
        Fairies are lethally vulnerable to iron and steel, which severely limits their options among available weaponry and armor and has created a common aversion to anything warlike, but they have immense natural magic power and so can freely use many and powerful spells, perhaps due to being incarnate magic (fairies that cast too many spells are often forcefully reduced to their simplest form, floating lights).

    Known Realms:
        Faerie Lea, the springland, ruled by Queen Treacle. This land is under a unique spell that turns all non-fae life forms -- and thus, intruders -- into harmless slimes.
        
        The Sweetland, the autumnland ruled by Witch Sugar.
        
        The winterland, ruled by Queen Stella.
        
    Known Settlements:
        The Super Secret Faerie Village, ruled by an unnamed Queen (whose true name is Aniseed). (The Faerie Village is actually home to many elves -- only the queen is a faerie).
        
        The Faerie Palace, ruled by Queen Caramel.
        
        Star Tree Plaza
        
        
    Known locations:
        Winter Palace, an artificial structure built by the Winter Queen but melted by the Herald of Spring.
        
        Neverglade, a known entrance to Faerie Lea. Can only be accessed by flying carpet.
        
    Known Figures:
        The Fairy King, a largely unknown figure who rules all fairies from his seat in the deepest, most impenetrable woods of Faerie, where the magic of Faerie is at its absolute deepest.
    
        Queen Caramel, wife of the fairy king, but who lives in the Faerie Palace, the largest settlement in the human world.
        
        Queen Aniseed, ruler of the Secret Fairy Village, has been tormented by nightmares ever since she impatiently stole the Faerie's Flute from her mother's safekeeping and impetuously played an ill tune on it, thereby placing herself under the influence of the Dark Dream, Nokturnus himself, who afflicted her with night terrors of her discovery, causing her to hide her deeds from her mother in paranoia. Still, her obsession with dreams wouldn't leave her, and she began to play with the dreamstone, the second treasure in her mother's care so she can protect herself from her and so she can check and double-check the dreams of others. Fascinated by the dreams of a local village boy, Aniseed approached him and they fell in love. Her mother, also afflcted from nightmares, reacted with extra hostility and after Aniseed ran off, she snuck into the bedchambers and destroyed the dream ruby by pressing one finger to the ephemeral gem and letting it be destroyed. Aniseed, her paranoia aflame, cursed her lover and his whole village for thieves and conspirators by playing a deliberately bad tune on the Faerie's Flute and essentially sacrificing the town to Nokturnus. (Her lover dreams nightly of witnessing Aniseed's mother destroy the ruby as he did when half-awake. Aniseed's mother found Aniseed, who had run off into the woods, and welcomed her back to the secret faerie village, but after coming to her senses and realizing Aniseed had driven the whole town into perpetual nightmares and that she, the queen, had deliberately destroyed one of her treasures she was meant to protect, the queen fell ill in grief and began to suffer night terrors she couldn't escape from, until she died and aniseed took her place on the throne. To the day, Aniseed's paranoia and nightmares are worse than ever, and unknowingly inflicts Nokturnus' will upon the world.
            Aniseed is actually half-human, was born to her mother, the previous Queen of the Fairy Village and a human male who (apparently?) abandoned her. In her youth, she stole the dreamstone -- a fairy treasure -- from her mother to protect herself from being scried in her sleep, but after she left the dreamstone was lost.
            She keeps her lover's father (who was also her mother's human lover) alive and uncursed so she can torture him in her waking moments.
            The dreamstone is an elfin ruby, which disintegrates upon being touched by any waking thing. Craft a new one through the tears of elves, the magic of a sealed dream fairy, and a smith capable of forging such an item.
            //Other Sleeping Items include the Dream Blade and Ring of Awakening
        
        Queen Treacle, recently promoted from the mayor of the village of Faerie Lea to queen of the spring country.
        
        Queen Stella, recently appointed queen of the wintry lands in order to take over for the rogue winter queen, who had decided to force eternal winter on the world and turned unseelie.
        
        Witch Sugar, queen of the Candyland. An unseelie trooping fairy.
        
        Honey, the elitemost fairy under Queen Treacle, and quite a mischief maker. She is a close and family friend of both the Champion of Zenithia and Her Majesty of Monsterkind, but her mischievous ways generate conflict with Zenithians.
        
        Wanda & Wandine, twin sisters who were sealed away in the faerie staff.
        
        Gerda, a snow fairy who lives in a shrine in the mountains.
        
        The guardian of Yggdrasil, a fairy in foliage who lives with the elves of El Forado.
        
    Known Artifacts:
        Faerie Flute, capable of inducing sleep. And, apparently, undoing petrification.
        
        Wakey Dust, capable of relieving it.
        
        The Faerie Horn, capable of overruling all fairy enchantments, including disguises and invisibility spells.
        
        The faerie staff, a heavy wand with the fairies wanda and wandine imprisoned within to fuel it.
        
        Faerie foil, an enchanted and powerful blade that is one of the few weapons fairies can wield safely. It can cast Buff on an ally.
        
        Blooming bough, a branch of the great tree hall of faerie lea that is perpetually in bloom with very unusual blossoms.
        
        Faerie quill, a beautiful pen with a very delicate touch.
        
        Faerie fluff
        
        Faerie fertilizer
        
        Pixy Map
        
        Pixie Boots, Tricksie Boots -- immune to field hazards like poison and lava
        
        Pixie Pole
        
        Pixie pitcher

Since we both seem to be working on very similar projects, would you consider working together instead?

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16 minutes ago, Brother Jaybird said:

Since we both seem to be working on very similar projects, would you consider working together instead?

Sure! Though, as I understand it you're doing fairly rigorous worldbuilding. Of course my project is more like Dungeons & Dragons in that I want to avoid strict worldbuilding and allow players to craft the game setting as they see fit. My goal is less the worldbuilding and more the gamebuilding. But letting some lore inform the races and such can probably help move this along on my end, so working together sounds like a great idea!

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17 minutes ago, IsaOfTheWorlds said:

Sure! Though, as I understand it you're doing fairly rigorous worldbuilding. Of course my project is more like Dungeons & Dragons in that I want to avoid strict worldbuilding and allow players to craft the game setting as they see fit. My goal is less the worldbuilding and more the gamebuilding. But letting some lore inform the races and such can probably help move this along on my end, so working together sounds like a great idea!

Think of it as one of those guidebooks with race definitions and quest templates. That's what I do, anyway. But let's do it.

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On 2/18/2020 at 6:17 PM, Brother Jaybird said:

Think of it as one of those guidebooks with race definitions and quest templates. That's what I do, anyway. But let's do it.

Sounds great! Do you wanna exchange Discords?

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  • 1 month later...

Update!!!

The Unofficial Dragon Quest Roleplaying System will run on a combat format tentatively called "Cinematic Turn-Based"!

In DraqueRP, characters do not move in combat. Just like the Dragon Quest video game series, distance from enemies is a nonissue as all combatants remain stationary and issue commands against their desired target from a variety of spells and special skills! 

Skills and spells represent predetermined techniques that player characters are proficient in due to the standards of their vocation's training. These commands check a player character's stats for efficiency, and not for accuracy unless otherwise stated! However, there exists latent in the minds of every player techniques which those detailed in the book do not cover. These techniques, referred to as a "Coup de Grâce" as they were in Dragon Quest IX, are collaborative efforts of imagination between player and Game Master's and are infinitely more versatile and capable than the standard spells and abilities, but unlike those abilities the Coup de Grâce requires successful die rolls in order to work as intended, as determined by the Game Master. The Coup de Grâce is, to put it simply, a player acting outside of the system. They will creatively describe a series of actions -- drawn from their formal skills, their natural abilities, and the battlefield -- which they will roll for against a number of the Game Master's choosing. Examples of Coup de Grâce include a player pirouetting off a wall in order to give their sword swing more momentum, attempting to utilize a non-projectile weapon as a projectile, or finding cover to temporarily avoid attacks.

When two characters with concurrent turns wish to combine their abilities into something magnificent, this results in a special form of Coup de Grâce known as a Pep Power! Pep Powers work functionally the same as a normal Coup de Grâce, but with the exception of both participants' turns being utilized in the process. The payoff, however, is that by combining two characters' abilities, it allows greater application of the power of teamwork! If you want to utilize a Pep Power but your ally is significantly slower than you, that's fine! By choosing to "hold" your action, you allow the next participant in the battle older to act before you! Beware, though! You'll be temporarily stuck in the same position of the turn order for three turns, and concurrently unable to perform more Pep Powers or Coup de Grâce until the end of this cooldown period. 

 

 

More updates and sneak peaks at the system coming soon!

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