Getting started with a completely new world can be challenging enough for any game master, let alone trying to learn a completely new game system. Therefore it would be helpful to have an example quest to get you started, one that you could learn from and follow to make your own adventurers. That is what this is, an example quest to help you get started.
The example quest is just that, an example. It is a simple dungeon crawl with an objective that the game master can change to better suit his or her campaign. The example quest can serve as a first quest in a long campaign or as a simple stand alone quest to help get the GM and the players used to the system before ever really getting into a campaign. Since it comes with a dungeon map, it can serve as a guide for making maps and creating campaigns.
However, it is only a small, simple example. It only comes with a dungeon map. No world maps or city maps are included. Nor are any traps, treasures, or beasts shown on the map. It is up to the GM to determine what can be found in this dungeon and where. There is an objective provided, but the GM may decide to change it. There are also suggested treasures, traps, and foes provided, but the GM may decide how and where to use them or to replace them with whatever he or she desires. This quest is kept small and flexible so that the GM will be able to play around with it, test different things out, and learn how things work. The GM does not have to use this example quest if he or she does not want to.
Everything used in this example quest can be found in this wiki. You will never need other boos just to play Legends of Nor'Ova. As this quest should demonstrate, this book contains everything you need to play and make campaigns. Some of the treasures listed may result from use of the crafting system, but everything that is needed is in this book.
1. Quest Objective and Getting Started
This example quest will be a treasure hunting quest. While the GM can change that, it will be to seek a particular relic.
The most common way to start out a quest is in a town, so we will do that here. This quest doesn't come with a town map. You can make one if you want to, but really it should not be needed. Assuming that the players have completely made their characters, including outfitting them, all you need to do is to find a reason for the characters to be together and a reason for them to go on this quest.
The simplest reason to go on a treasure hunt is being hired to do it. So start off the quest with the player characters all together at a place where they would get hired to take on a treasure hunt. This could be at a local tavern or maybe at a job and notice board in the town square. It could also be as part of some entrance test to join a guild or group.
The quest will be to retrieve an ancient relic rumored to be in a nearby cave that has become an imp lair. The reward should be up to the GM, and should make the quest worthwhile. Since this quest does not come with a world map, lets just assume that the caves are a half day's journey from town.
2. Suggested Foes
Imps: Imps have made these caves their home. You could use imps from each element. Gold Imps are highly suggested since there is treasure involved.
Echo Shiff: This would make a challenging dungeon boss, guarding the treasure. You could pair them with some imps. Be careful how you use them though, echo shiffs are very challenging and too many of them can easily wipe out a new party.
Green Climbers: These would make as great obstacles that the party could try to avoid or overcome. One green climber per encounter should prove to be challenging enough for a beginning party.
3. Suggested Traps
Since imps live here there are bound to be some traps. Just remember, imp traps are crude and not very efficient.
Arrow, Bolt, or Dart Traps: Simple traps that have a simple trigger and a finite supply of ammo. You can use the arrow, bolt, or darts from the book for damage values.
Falling Rocks: A simple trap that involves rocks falling on the victim. 3d60 to 6d6 physical damage.
Alarm: A simple trap that when sprung makes a lot of noise. This results in lots of foes, likely imps, chasing after the party.
4. Suggested Treasure
Everything listed here can be found in this book, except the quest item which the GM can create to better fit any story ideas he or she may have.
Potions and Medicines: You should allow the party to find some potions to restore their stats with. After all, it is very likely that they didn't buy many.
Simple Arrows and/or Bolts: If one of the players uses a bow or crossbow, why not let him find some arrows or bolts?
Simple Weapons: It is always nice to find weapons, even if you only plan to sell it later. A good weapon type to use as basic treasure would be throwing weapons. A crafty GM may also decide to make one of the weapons lead to a future quest, such as the weapon being cursed and the curse needs to be removed.
Simple Armor: You could place some armor from the book here. Maybe some shields, slightly better armor then what the party has, or a leather cloak with all of the enhancements?
Small Amounts of Money: Who doesn't like to find money? But you should be careful not to let them find too much. The last thing you want is for the party to come out of the first quest rich. You should limit the money caches to 20 Shillings or 100 Duram. You could let them make luck checks to increase that amount slightly.
Ancient Artifact: This is the quest item, the reason that they came into these caves. This item is entirely up to the GM. It could be something as simple as a gauntlet with a rune stone attached or something as bizarre as some old broken item from the distant but more advanced past – which is fitting with Nor'Ovan lore. One idea is to make the item enticing to the players so that they might consider keeping it instead of taking it to their employer. Another idea is to have this item lead into the next quest or play an important role in your campaign.
5. Some Basic Lore
Every campaign and every quest needs to have some lore behind it. As you may have already noticed when reading over the races, Nor'Ova is full of lore. Obviously it would go beyond the scope of the example quest to go deep into the lore here, but you should know some of the basics so that you can build a story around the quest.
Gods: Like most fantasy settings, Nor'Ova has many different gods and goddesses and many different beliefs. The two main gods that are in most beliefs are Mogen David and Zodo. Mogen David is generally seen as the benevolent god while Zodo, the god of magic and power, is almost always seen as evil.
Nor'Ova is a Post Apocalyptic World: Near the end of the First Era, Nor'Ova was a lot like modern day earth, only slightly more advanced. The First Era ended with a global nuclear war that became known as the Great Magic War, which devastated the world and is responsible for the ability to use magic.
Only the Elven Races are Native: All other races, including humans, are alien to Nor'Ova.
Here are the maps for the dungeon. The dungeon is a three level map. Each map is a link to the full size map file.
6.1. Basement Level
6.2. Ground Level
This is the ground floor of the caves. It is where the party comes into the caves. Their are two entrances into the caves. There are two stairwells leading to the basement level and two leading up to the second level.
6.3. Second Level
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This is the second floor of the caves and is the top floor. There are two stairwells leading down to the ground level.
It is here that the quest item can be found. It is behind the locked door and is guarded by the dungeon's boss.
As you may have noticed, the maps have a square grid on them. That is so that you can make use of the movement system of the game. Every map you make should bear a grid of some kind. The grid here has small blocks and large blocks. If you want this to be a fast moving quest, use the large blocks only. If you want this to be a longer quest, use the small blocks and include obstacles and challenges.
These maps purposely leave out traps, treasures, and foes. The last thing that a GM wants is for the players to know where everything is. That takes out the thrill of discovery and could lead to metagaming. Instead the GM should be able to decide what is where.
7. Closing Remarks
We hope that you have enjoyed and found useful this example quest. Hopefully it will prove useful in not only getting you started, but also serving as a good example to help you make your own adventurers.
Please remember, this was simply an example quest Campaigns that you create or obtain will always be more detailed.
We also hope that Legends of Nor'Ova proves to be as fun for you and your group to play as it was for us to make and play. If you ever have any questions or have some suggestions, please fill free to visit us at legendsofnorova.net or email the main creator, Travis K. Randall, at email@example.com.