Using OpenQuest for your game

Ok this is prompted by the announcement that the new edition of Mongoose RuneQuest (or MRQ2) won’t have an OGL SRD for what ever reason. I can speculate why but since speculation feeds the trolls I won’t be posting my thoughts here 😛

First off OQ despite being based off the MRQ 1 SRD uses the OGL license to publish, not the MRQ Logo License (which is being pulled by Mongoose), so you are still FREE to use the OQ Dev Kit to base your game on (as long as you obey the OGL license that is included with it).  When I talk about game I also  include self-contained supplements.

This has led to allot of people saying that OQ is now the only viable route for small press/indie publishing of D100, either that or contacting Chaosium and arranging a BRP license, and in recent days allot of nonsense and speculation has been talked about OpenQuest as a result. In this post I hope to put some of those myths firmly to bed.

OpenQuest as a Brand

If you plan on using OQ as a base of your game because of some commercial nonsense of Brand awareness, think twice and then think twice again. OpenQuest is happy fun little community based game. If you are on board with that’s groovy and cool. Help build the community, visit the D101 forums tell us what you are doing, get involved in discussions and you’ll be hitting the right  mark. OQ currently is a minnow of RPGs. Who knows with a bit of love and attention it will grow into a big Whale of a game, but for now its worth taking some time to ground your self in the small reality of the situation. Just because OQ gets mentioned on RPG forums now, doesn’t mean its a cash cow or even that people take it seriously. Think niche within a niche.

Oh and if you email me, or post on a forum, telling me how I should be getting OQ into retail or generally telling me how to ‘build the OpenQuest’ brand you won’t get a response. I’ve heard it before and have my own thoughts (which I’ve just outlined above 😉 ) and its not your place to tell me how to run my Business 🙂

New OGL Content for OpenQuest

This if fore-coming will be posted on the OpenQuest Companion.  Don’t email me asking me for new rules from upcoming D101 OQ powered games for your own project, like some people have recently. River of Heaven, OQ Modern and anything else I have in the pipeline will almost certainly have no new Open Gaming Content.

Not a BRP substitute

Don’t use OpenQuest if you want to write a BRP alike supplement or game, its not BRP (even though it is influenced by that game) and you will be dissappointed at every turn, dissappointment that will shine through in your final product and (if you are that way motivated) sales. Have a chat with Charlie and co at Chaosium and I’m sure you’ll be able to sort something out 🙂

John Ossoway, who is using OQ to power his Hard Sci-fi game River of Heaven, told me recently that although he’s a huge BRP fan he’s using OQ because he geniuely likes what it brings to the gaming table. This is the attitude that you should have when using OQ, not that you are taking advantage of the OGL lisence to do a BRP alike game and avoid the hassle of dealling with Chaosium over a BRP license.

The Right way

Currently there’s at least three serious games being worked on that I know about, whose creators have contacted me. Some are public (like Clockwork and Chivlary) , the others are still in early stages of development so haven’t been announced publicly.

They all share the following common features, which means they will be successfully completed and be viable games.

  • They add to OpenQuest, they are not just taking the Dev Kit tweaking and changing bits here and there to make another Generic game. They are interesting games in their own right. So no generic OQ Space, OQ WW2 or boring GURPS like sourcebooks.
  • Their creators are getting on with the hard donkey work. While having the full text of OQ gives you a big head start (like MRQ SRD for me) its not the end of the process and the creators that have contacted me show that they understood this.

My Commitment to OpenQuest

Ok so there’s been alot of harsh truths in the sections proceeding the above. Here’s the good news. I’m firmly commited to supporting OpenQuest, by keeping it in ‘print’ (you’ll always be able to get it via Lulu or similar future Print on Demand services) and available in low-cost pdf and free plain text version. Also OpenQuest will always be OPEN and free to use.

I may shift my focus onto other games using other systems, but I’m commited to updating the OQ Companion and publishing supporting adventures (we currently have three in the pipeline with a possible forth) and I’m always happy to talk about the game on forums and answer questions via email (the exceptions being outlined above).

So there you go there’s a few home truths about using OQ to develop your game/supplement. Go on and DO IT!