Writing ACR Quests

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Static quests are a common strategy to provide less-complex and less-rewarding entertainment for players while there are no DMs online. Ideally, these quests should facilitate role playing by presenting players with a goal that they can pursue for some period of time.

This tutorial will try not to assume and pre-existing knowledge, but will also attempt to link away to other pages to provide definitions that more-proficient users are likely to find cumbersome or extraneous, with this page providing the broadest outline, and links which can be used to view greater detail on the individual parts.

Quest Basics

Writing a quest generally begins by defining your task. Take a moment to write, as a paragraph or so, what you want characters to have to do in this quest. It can be vague or open-ended, but projects are vulnerable to scope creep if they don't have a goal when they begin.

Once this is done, it comes time to divide your quest into its requisite parts:

  • The Hook: represents the introduction of the quest to the players involved; something is done to inform the PCs that they have a task to accomplish.
  • The Challenge: represents the actions that the players have to take to consider the quest done.
  • The Turnin: represents how the players are rewarded for completing the chosen task.


Take, as the simplest example, a courier quest:

  • The Hook: When the players present to whoever is offering courier work.
  • The Challenge: The travel to and from the recipient of the package.
  • The Turnin: Speaking to the employer for payment.

However, these quests can be infinitely recursive. Take, for example, a quest to catch a bothersome and powerful criminal entrenched in a city:

  • Players seek work for the city, and are provided with a series of lower-risk tasks, which uncover something far bigger and more siniser afoot:
    • Primary Hook: Evidence speaks of bad guys who need busting up.
      • Players recover low value contraband from the bad neighborhood
        • Hook: Present to Commanding Officer
        • Challenge: Fight or intimidate street thugs to give up the goods
        • Turnin: Bring the contraband back to the C.O.
      • Players carry a message to a guardsman on duty
        • Hook: Present to C.O.
        • Challenge: Find guardsman and present message
          • Hook: Guard has gone missing! Bloody hell!
          • Challenge: Skulk through the sewers to follow the guardsman's still-warm trail
          • Turnin: Find unconscious guardsman and revive. Present message
        • Turnin: Return to C.O.
      • Players Seek Investigation
        • Hook: Present to C.O.
        • Challenge: Return to the missing guardsman's trail to investigate circumstances. Find evidence of organization
        • Turnin: Bring evidence back to C.O.
    • Primary Challenge: Bust up some Bad Guys
      • Players find guardsmen who may have seen activity
        • Hook: Talk to three guardsman to be directed to the most-troubled parts
        • Challenge: Speak to all of the guards in the troubled area to get hints into the sorts of criminal activities done.
        • Turnin: Return to C.O.
      • Players bust up three operations:
        • Operaton 1: Street dealer
          • Challenge: find out where a dealer of whatever bad stuff (above) is working. Track and capture him.
          • Turnin: Bad guy -> Jail
        • Operation 2: Ships
          • Challenge: correctly identify and search a ship full of whatever the bad stuff is.
          • Turnin: Bad stuff -> C.O.
        • Operation 3: Storage
          • Challenge: find the avenues being used to move the bad stuff around the city.
          • Turnin: Bring information back to C.O.
      • Information gained from three operations directs to a likely location for a center of bad stuff in the city. Players bust in and bust things up, probably dealing with heavy resistance and hazardous settings.
    • Primary Turnin: Return to the C.O. and get money or a promotion or something.


And there is demonstration there that you can have quests within quests within quests: using one's quest's completion as prerequisite to the advancement of another arc-like quest, or how you can have sequences of checks or actions (potentially unrelated actions) be required to progress the quest to its next step: and those quests can themselves be complex, if the circumstances require. Ultimately, though, it does need to be boiled down into nests or sequences of simple things before it can be built.

Advanced skill challenges

But why stop there Zelknolf goes on to show us how to create even more dynamic quests.

Advanced Challenges

Special circumstances

  • Quests that fetch a wearable item:
    • If you are creating a quest that has the PC fetch a wearable item like a hat for instance. To prevent exploits, you will need to add ga_unequip_by_tag to a line previous to the line where the reward and take/destroy item occurs. Otherwise the quest will complete without the item being removed from the players inventory if they are wearing the item when they turn in the quest.