Deathly Thrones

A solo print & play roguelike game

Quest Editor - Explanation

The quest editor is a set of spreadsheet files with several tabs that I use to write the quests.

Each file has is own format: QuestEditor_Standalone_A4 to write a quest on a “one-page” style for A4 format; QuestEditor_Zine_Letter to write a quest in a “booklet” for the US Letter format.

Each file has several tabs to choose which pages you want to put your stories on and which ones are for event arrays.

These spreadsheets are formatted to be print into the format you want for the version you want. If you want to create a quest in the “booklet” format, QuestEditor_Zine_Letter and QuestEditor_Zine_A4 are formatted to be fold into a booklet.

Their contents are blank space and empty arrays allowing you to write your own story without worrying how to print it. Just add you contents, and you have a new quest.

Why use spreadsheets?

It can be weird to use a spreadsheet where graphics tools exist but to format a page with tables, texts, different orientations, in order to fit in several specific print formats, they are a useful tools.

Why LibreOffice Calc?

All these spreadsheets are edited with “LibreOffice Calc”. The logic is simple, when I first thought about the quest editor, I though that final creators, you, will need access to a free tool available for a variety of platforms. We need a license to use Microsoft Excel or an account to use Google Sheets, Calc is free and intuitive, the perfect tool to share the quest editor with you.

Editor overview

How it works

To be simple, each quest of Deathly Thrones are composed of 8 parts. For the “booklet” format, these parts are pages and each quest has 8 pages:

  • One page for the cover
  • Four pages for the events
  • Three pages for texts

By default, a quest is:

  • Art cover with the designer name
  • Beginning of the story
  • 2 pages of events: Events 1 from 20
  • Middle of the story
  • 2 pages of events: Events 21 to 40
  • End of the story

Typically, the beginning of the story describe the context (you are in a middle of a forest, you want to reach the near city to slay the King), 2 pages of events will describe your encounters (wild boar, bear, camp site), the middle of story give you more context (you arrived at the city but everyone is dead, the King used black magic on his people), 2 new pages of events will describe your encounters (skeleton, ghost, king’s guards), the end of the story concludes it (you killed the King and took his Throne but there is no longer a city to rule over, only a heap of ashes remains).

Now, the text parts and the events parts are modular and it’s your choice to determine how you want to create your story. I set several tabs with different positions and you can set your own, it can be :

  • Cover -> Text -> Events -> Events -> Text -> Events -> Events -> Text
  • Cover -> Text -> Text -> Events -> Events -> Events -> Events -> Text
  • Cover -> Text -> Events -> Events -> Events -> Text -> Events -> Text
  • Cover -> Text -> Text -> Events -> Events -> Events -> Text -> Events

It’s all your choice.

Three pages for texts

3 pages by quest are destined to receive texts. I say text, not story, because these pages can be more than few sentences to describe the context.

They can be a map, they can be an image, and more than anything, they can be a new gameplay mechanic!

Just after the cover, add a map of the quest, or/and, on the middle of the quest, add the terrific portrait of the boss, will be very good to add the flavor of a fantasy book and to surprise the player.

But more than flavor, you can surprise the player by adding original gameplay. In the middle of the quest, you can say that, from now, the player must draw 2 attack cards to reflect a newly acquired magic medallion. Also, you can add complex mechanic like a betting system where the player has to guess which range of attack cards he will draw and add bonus/malus with the result indicating his clairvoyance level.

The game is yours. Don’t hesitate to surprise everyone.

System Agnostic

Deathly Thrones is system agnostic, it means that the gameplay and the theme are completely separate things.

Me, I like dark fantasy, as The Black Company series of novels and all the quests are in this genre. Knights, Magicians, Mercenaries, trying to survive in their harsh world.

But, once you understand how the system and mechanics work, you can use any theme with any type of stories. You can set you world in science-fiction, prehistoric, 1920s mafia, AND, you can tale an adventure, a romance, a horror story.

Let’s say your hero is Scott Pilgrim, and every event will be about convincing your future girlfriend friends and it will work. You can also set a bank robbery and every event are a security system that you need to crack.

These are your stories and I hope you will share them with us.

How to use it

Each row in the event arrays has 7 columns: Step ; Kind ; Name; ; ; Outcome ; Result.

  • Step: The event number, 1 to 40.
  • Kind: The kind of event, a trap, a help, a fight.
  • Name: The name of the event.
  • : If it’s a fight, the health value of the enemy.
  • : If it’s a fight, the armor value of the enemy.
  • Outcome: What things you obtain after the fight.
  • Result: Define if you lose or gain health or armor point.

The game balance of each quest is defined through the Step, Kind, , and Result values. Name and Outcome are purely elements of the story.

When you buy the game, in addition to the PDFs, you receive all the quests in the calc format. With these files in hand, you can directly modify them, but above all take the arrays content to create your own quest. The game balance is already define and tested. Copy the arrays events and set your own story.

For example:

I like H.P. Lovecraft stories, it will be the theme and of course it will be an horror-fantasy stories set in the Cthulhu Mythos.

Then, I choose how I want to cut the story. This time it will be :

Cover -> Text -> Text -> Events -> Events -> Events -> Text -> Events

I want to do a Veteran quest. Well, I take all the events arrays in the official quest “Lamiam” and I delete the Name and Outcome texts.

Now, I have to fill the quest:

  • Cover: “Mountain of Madness by Josselin” and add an image of a mountain in Antarctica.
  • Text: Add a map of the surroundings of the campsite where the first team disappeared.
  • Text: Tell the story of a scientists team who have disappeared and we play the rescue team.
  • Events / Events / Events: I replace the name and outcome text of the “Lamiam” quest by a lot of traps, enemies are the cold mountain winds, deep crevasse, danger of avalanches, etc, you cross mountains in search of your friends.
  • Text: You arrived in a front of a maze and you look at an incredible extraterrestrial city.
  • Events: You fight aliens with hundreds of eyes and limbs. The 40th steps is a monster with 99 ♡ and 99 ♤, you are guaranteed to die.

Yes, it’s a sad story without the possibility of a good ending but yes, it’s a Lovecraft story.

Beautiful set of cards

Do you have a beautiful deck of cards? Create your own story to fit it and enjoy!

This community website

It’s really easy to create new Quest and I hope you will try.

The purpose of this community website it’s to allow everyone to share their Quests with the entire community. Connect players and creators.

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