Questing Heroes in Non-Fantasy Settings, Part 1

We have been wanting to publish a conversion for Questing Heroes that would allow gaming groups to play in different types of settings, most importantly a futuristic setting involving space ships, other planets, laser blaster, and other such cliches.

This is extremely difficult to do, however, with all of the other projects going on, and with the fact that the term “we”, for the time being”, really just means “me”. Despite this lack of time to devote to Questing Heroes Space Adventures (or whatever the future title for that setting may be), we would like to offer a few tips and ideas of how to use Questing Heroes for a futuristic setting, if you are really dead set on it.

First off, one of the most important things you can do to convert Questing Heroes into a futuristic style game is to get rid of the fantasy setting (that being The World of Suntarynn) and create a home world for the characters to inhabit. This home world could be inhabited by a single race, or it could be a mix of races, both “normal” and alien. Then, create other worlds for the characters to visit. These could be worlds within the same solar system – our solar system has nine planets – or they could be from different solar systems near one another in the same arm of a galaxy. Don’t worry so much about WHY more than one planet would be inhabitable. That’s science-y stuff that we don’t need to deal with so much with role playing games. Just make sure the worlds are mostly believable, and you’ll be just fine.

With a plethora of planets, you might now realize that the regular Questing Heroes races – Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, and Gnome – will work just fine as species of “alien races”. Just give each race their own home planet, with the proper types of terrain being the most prevalent. If you want, you can change each race just a bit and add sub-races on each planet, just like a real alien planet might have. Perhaps Humans and Elves have different colorings of skin, just like we do here on Earth, and these groups of peoples are divided based on the cultural backgrounds from which they come, just like here on Earth. Perhaps Dwarves lives in hills and mountains AND in forests, and their hair and eye color is different based on where they live, and there have historically been great battles fought on the racism between the two groups. Maybe the Halfling homeworld is the most primitive and wild of all, because – well – Halflings just sit around telling stories, fishing, and having parties.

Once you figure out how many planets you want to start with, and how far away they are from one another, add in some spaceships. You can get as technical as you feel comfortable with when it comes to design. Some of you may want to get into how they move, how they’re built, and why they don’t simply bust apart in the vacuum of space. Some of you may simply want to draw out the floor plans so your players have a place to move their characters within, and leave it at that. Either way is just fine. Decide how fast the ships can move, so you can determine how long it takes to get from planet to planet.

Now comes the harder parts of the conversion.

First, weapons and armors. Of course, you can create a fantasy-future setting which has all of the technology of space exploration, AND all of the medieval weapons, armors, and magic. This could get a little hair with whether the players believe it, and would drag everyone out of the game and into the gaming session often. You can say, instead, that there is little armor outside of robes and leather armor, and create laser guns and other similar weapons. You could also say that there is heavier armor available, something like Kevlar (or rename it to fit your campaign).

We have had plans to several different types. Each type would provide the same number of Attack Dice, based on the size of the weapon, but each would provide a different type of attack. Plasma Blasters would offer laser/fire damage; Electron Blasters would offer electricity damage (shock batons would also be included in electricity damage); Acid sprayers would do just that – spray acid for acid damage; Frost Blasters would offer cold damage. The sizes would be Blasters (2 AD), Rifles (3 AD), Mobile Cannons (5 AD), and Mounted Cannons (8 AD)…or something similar to that in terms of sizes and attack dice offered. There would also be the normal, plain old knives – Ballistic Knives; spears – Ballistic Spear; Ballistic Guns, or the more futuristic sounding Rail Guns.

Monsters could, for the most part, stay somewhat the same. The biggest different would be that instead of all different monsters being found scattered throughout a single fantasy world, the monsters would be considered alien races and would be found, for the most part, on a single planet to alien race. This offers some significant benefits and drawbacks. One great benefit is that the characters can decide what sort of alien they wish to encounter and plan better for it.

This is a great drawback, as well, as it limits the GM in what they can throw at the adventuring party. The GM is, of course, more than able to make changes to each monster, creating many different creatures for the characters to encounter (trolls with wings or orcs with four arms, for example), but this still limits the types of monsters to a single type to each planet. One way to get around this is to pay more attention to the groupings of monsters: Goblin-kin, Orc-kin, Dragon-kin, etc.

In part two, we’ll talk about religion and magic and all such topics as that.

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