I need ideas for the game's main quest


#1

I’m developing this easy-to-play but hard-to-master MUD and it’s going great, but I have this one little gap to fill. Obviously the player needs to be presented with some broad main quest in the beginning. Something like Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup has — retrieve the Orb of Zot from the dungeon with at least 3 of its runes. I need something that would count as “finishing the game” in a multiplayer setting. Of course there is this passive quest of survival ( find food and shelter periodically to prevent your character from dying ) but survival itself does not seem like a good fit for the main quest.

So, what could it be? I’d prefer something original, and something that could logically be executed multiple times by different players. Killing some main villain is not a good idea from the perspective of keeping the game realistic. I was playing around with the idea of achieving enlightenment but this does not fit well for subhuman species such as critters. In my game it is possible to play as a slime creature too. The setting is comparable to Dwarf Fortress except it’s exclusively underground much like Arx Fatalis.


#2

One idea that came to my mind was to generate an individual main quest for each character. Some personal vendetta with a certain NPC should be a good go. That way, there’s no conflict between different players finishing their main quest and the main quest cannot be finished more than once for obvious reasons.


#3

Good stories always have the same set of elements- the characters, the setting, a conflict, and the events leading to a resolution. You have your character and setting. It sounds like finding dinner and shelter is major conflict… so define a few events along the journey that’ll lead to a lasting sustenance and safety and ya got it.

Or, you could always look to one of the many Plot Generators for quick inspiration. :wink:


#4

Thanks! I’ve never actually created a fantasy story myself. I’ve been making games for 10 years but I’m always more into game engine design rather than coming out with an actual story. But now I have no way around it. I must create an original world with its own story, for a game that has its engine almost ready. I think a random quest generator is the way to go. But unfortunately, it also means that specific ideas here are of no use.

Let’s say you play the game as a cave worm. What would be the higher purpose of your existence? To fulfill your destiny? That’s interesting. Instead of telling the player that there’s this main quest they have to finish, we’re telling to the player what their destiny is, and then they are free to fulfill it. A destiny does not have to make as much sense as a main quest in your typical RPG. It’s more spiritual.

I would implement a random destiny generator, that would be something like this…

As a relatively young clot of awareness, your actions have been chaotic and impulsive. In your past lives you’ve mostly been a common earthworm, responsible for maintaining the balance of nature within the soil. You were good in doing so and due to the will to learn more about the inner workings of the Cosmos you have been born as a cave worm — the species that is first among invertebrates to have become self-aware and conscious about their decisions. You are now tasked to maintain the balance of nature on a higher level, but still beneath the Earth, in its vast biosphere of caverns. In your previous life as an earthworm, you remained outside of the soil for too long and consequently were tortured by a young goblin named Khali, who did it solely for his personal amusement. Khali too wishes to learn how the Cosmos operates, although his mortal incarnation is currently not yet aware of it. His deeds were not in balance with the greater will of the Cosmos and thus karmic debt was put on you as a victim and on Khali as a culprit. Your destinies are now intertwined together until the karmic debt has been paid off. In this life you must either find Khali the Goblin or be found by him. He has now become a leader of a group of brigands and he is dwelling near the great underground mushroom forest, not far from your birthplace. When you finally meet each other, you will have to choose between revenge and forgiveness, both of which would erase your debt. You will be born as a cave worm for as long as necessary for you to fulfill your destiny, but without success you will eventually degenerate into a lesser where your individuality is slowly consumed by the Cosmos.


#5

why can’t I edit my message? I found a typo. The last sentence should end like this:

but without success you will eventually degenerate into a lesser being where your individuality is slowly consumed by the Cosmos.