Beginner-friendly RPG Quest’s first official setting, The Reach, is a free ‘story sandbox’ in a doomed world
You’ve met a terrible fate, haven’t you?
Ally with six different factions in a world threatened by a cataclysmic event with the first setting for tabletop roleplaying game Quest.
Released last year, Quest is a rules-light RPG designed to be accessible enough for anyone to play or run, regardless of how much roleplaying experience they might have. With players able to create characters in a matter of minutes, a simple d20 roleplaying system and a game book that focuses on providing straightforward advice, Quest easily became one of my favourite games of 2019.
Despite being a fantasy RPG in terms of its general tone and concepts, Quest didn’t include a specific setting for players and guides - Quest’s term for the game master - to use while creating campaigns.
Upcoming tabletop RPG book The Reach will be the first official setting created for Quest. The setting sees players exploring a world that’s wracked by a terrible doom, apart from a lone city that remains protected by a powerful artefact. However, there’s no specific clue as to what this artefact or doom is, with players and guides encouraged to decide these elements for themselves.
Quest creator TC Sottek told Dicebreaker that The Reach will provide a story that “revolves around six factions” - three associated with the isolated city and three connected to The Reach, which has something to do with the catastrophic events taking place - that players can choose to align themselves with throughout the course of the campaign. These factions will all have their own unique locations, goals and characters for players to engage with.
“The Reach is basically a story sandbox where the players get caught up in the interactions between these factions,” Sottek added.
Players won’t be able to do everything in the sandbox due to the ‘doomsday clock’ mechanic, which forces the group to be careful with which activities they choose to do. Before each session, players will need to decide which missions from what factions they want to pursue - this is called The Choice.
“Time is running out for The City, and every time the players decide to help one faction, they leave another behind,” explained Sottek.
Any missions players are offered but do not complete count towards the encroaching doom of that particular faction. Eventually, when the doomsday clock advances far enough, a narrative climax occurs and the story ends.
According to Sottek, The Reach was inspired by West Marches - a campaign for Dungeons & Dragons 5E by Ben Robbins - which provided players with no regular plot, playing time or party. Recorded in an essay by Robbins, the campaign attempted to emulate a sandbox approach to roleplaying that was entirely guided by player choice.
The Reach will not release with an official map or defined geography. Instead, Sottek encouraged the community to create their own, alongside any monsters, characters and even factions they want to add. However, there will be further official content added to the setting over time.
Players and Guides will have free access to the necessary resources to play The Reach setting via the Quest website sometime soon.