Saturday, July 23, 2016

Test played Reviews: OpenQuest

In depth Reviews
Starting a more in depth review series.
Test played Reviews: JAGS Revised
Test played Reviews: Hackmaster
Test played Reviews: Dungeon World
Test played Reviews: OpenQuest

OpenQuest is available in PDF the Basic version is free downloadable. A system reference document (SRD) of the main game is also available free download.

A little drama came to surface in my search for a d100 system. I had put up Runequest 6 Essentials (which was reduced and became Mythras Imparitive) up against OpenQuest the first time and RQ6 had won. But later, when switching over to Imperative, they removed several of the great features and almost all of the sample creatures from the sample game. Having specified that I wanted the game to persist in the future - I include the samples - and that removing the important main features is a "low blow" to online shoppers, I redid the evaluation using the more current copy. This lead to a heated argument with fans of Imperative and even a post directly speaking to the co-creator. Having removed too much - magic, cycled combat, and most of the creatures except five, OpenQuest would have won the initial battle, so I retroactively moved OpenQuest into the play test phase.

I would rather support OpenQuest than the other developers.

Looking at available material and scoring the availability of material

OpenQuest 2 - A - Free basic game and entire rules in SRD.

Phase 1 - First Reading Evaluation
I've spent two days looking at OpenQuest. A percentile based game. Any character can learn anything. I think it comes from a RQ system if I am not mistaken, which seems to mean a percentile skill-based and not a class-based leveling game. So it is a polar opposite of 13th Age, which minimized skills, and emphasizes skills more like RMU - though without the professions. 

It seems to have standard basic weapons, armor, and equipment/supplies. Initiative based on Dex or Int is interesting (since I don't see a roll). Hero points to get out of sticky situations. Improvement points to increase skills and characteristics. There are situation modifiers such as cover, lighting, positioning, wind, movement, and stability. There is a little combat crunch for prone, grappling, mount, aiming, reloading, allowing one reaction - dodge/parry, and critical on under 10% skill roll. Some crunch to travelling, food/water management, fatigue, healing, falling, suffocation, breathing, poison, disease, and object strength. 

For magic there is Battle Magic in the basic set, and I see there is divine, shamans, and sorcery in the SRD. Interesting is the assumption of successful casting except for under duress. Powers are magic point based and can increase in magnitude. 

For monsters/creatures I see many standard monsters and creatures in the basic set. In the SRD, they seem to add demons and spirits that I notice. There seems to be interesting mechanics for multiple attacks in a turn - which is something I am looking at in all of the games.

For Investment, it looks like just the OpenQuest Deluxe would be sufficient. There is also a scifi and a modern rules version of the system.

Phase II - My Criteria Evaluation

I researched OpenQuest. So far it is a C+ 1.9 grade total. (Almost a B-)

Sources: I tallied 9 individual reviews, 9 groups of comments threads with opinions, checked on all sources for videos reviews and gameplay, visited BRP central (where the author posts info and a community supports the game), and finally visited the author's Google & YouTube pages.

Why the C+, when most reviews give it 3 to 4.5 out of 5?
I gave it major low grades on combat, lack of creature creation help, a hit for being human species-centric (a content issue), and for missing explaining behavior of the character. I'll post the full evaluation after I find a gameplay if one exists. [see below the quote].

I searched for reviews and found plenty of people recommending the game, only based on reading it and comparing to other RQ-based systems - not by play. At least 20 different people gave the game pretty decent reviews. None of them actually mentioned that they played it. And what I did find will conflict with the gameplay recommendations.

The reason I ask is I searched this site - for some gameplay, and I could not find any. 

I checked for video reviews and gameplay and didn't find any

Checking in with the maker, I went Newt Newport'g Google page and only found kickstarter and convention announcements. I went to OpenQuest Official site and only found reviews based on comparison to other RQ systems. I went to his Youtube, which he has one, and found no gameplay video - though he does make videos about other stuff - mainly new game announcements.

Going to BRP central, I searched for anything concerning OpenQuest all the way back to the release of OQ2 announcement by Newt.

1. I did find one at BRP central who started using it then quickly added rules from other systems RQ2 damage system, skill based experience, resistance, and power. And then added RQ6 runes and passions.

2. Also there is a mixture of renaissance and legend mixed with it mentioned at that site.

So my concern is this.

Is this a shelf sitting game. 

The only two people that mention the game couldn't use it on it's own, because of the combat, experience system, and culture/background mainly.

Was the system broken when those three, seemingly vital parts in earlier sister editions were removed in the design?

Is it a game people think is okay when they read it, but no one actually plays it on its own including the maker Newt?

OpenQuest 2
10 Major Criteria & 10 Sub-criteriaOpenQuestPts
1. Depth -B3
a. Meaningful -B3
b. Utilized Functions -B3
2. Flexible/Adaptable -B3
3. Consistency -B3
4. Understandable -B3
5. Character -C1
a. Behavior tied to character -D2
b. Unique Character -B3
6. Combat System -E0
a. Turn/move/action -E0
b. Attack speed/ hastened/quicker -E0
7. Spell System -B1
a. Spell Regulatory -B3
b. Spell Breadth -B3
8. Creatures -C2
a. Standard Fantasy -C2
b. Creation -D1
9. Content -D1
10. Aesthetic -D1
Single full page reviews read or watched9
Set of reviews from product pages9
Gameplays read or watched0
Key to Criteria

10 Major Criteria & 10 Sub-criteria1. Depth - how meaningful and utilized are the data & functions are used?
a. Meaningful - does data recorded makes a difference in the game?
b. Utilized Functions - are there multiple uses for data recorded?
2. Flexible/Adaptable - how usable is it with other custom settings?
3. Consistency - how many different systems are there within the game?
4. Understandable - are concepts defined before they are presented, Or is it just a rule dump without explanation?
5. Character - how is behavior explained and can characters be unique?
a. Behavior tied to character - how well does the data determine how a character behaves?
b. Unique Character - can the characters stand out from other characters of similar nature?
6. Combat System - are the mechanics interesting and innovative?
a. Turn/move/action - does the game use the same boring turn based mechanics?
b. Attack speed/ hastened/quicker - will having higher quickness make the attacks go faster and multiple times?
7. Spell System - does the game use the boring overused spell set?
a. Spell Regulatory - how does the game use data to limit magical powers?
b. Spell Breadth - is there a wide variety, yet coherently grouped collection of spells?
8. Creatures - how many provided creatures are available?
a. Standard Fantasy - does the game provide the expected common monsters and creatures?
b. Creation - are there creature creation rules so that I can add my own creatures?
9. Content - is the overall content presented in the core detail depth and have variety. Do elements differ in sufficient degree among other data?
10. Aesthetic - does the game have a subjective coolness factor?

I plan on using the A, B, C, D, and E again, this time tying them to points so I can convert it into a total value for the game.
For each criteria
 = 4 - beyond my expectation
B = 3 - great
C = 2 - sufficient
D = 1 - below my expectation
E = 0 - horrible, unusable

Total evaluation = sum of criteria/20

Phase III Testing the game.
Character creation took 1hr20 min. It was rather easy. The character does lack the personality threads that I wish a game to have. But it does match the character concept of Wiluwichi pretty well.

The skill system is enjoyable and easy. I even tried a contested skill challenge.

Combat is plain. I wish it had the hit location that other RQ have as well as the dexterity + int # AP for multiple attacking.

Magic was a little frustrating during battle. Every attempt for an 13 power character failed. I have the magic for multiple attack - triple attack btw. I was trying to compensate for lack of dex + int multiple attacking per round.


1) total grade from phase 2 1.9
2) character creation test 2
3) skill system test 3
4) combat system test 2
5) magic system test 2
Total score 10.9
Average 4 pt scale 2.18

Hero Points 2

 Strength 16
 Dexterity 15
 Constitution 11
 Power 13
 Intelligence 11
 Size 10
 Charisma 10

Damage Mod +1d4
Hit Points 11 7
Major Wound L 6
Magic Points 13
Movement Rate 15 m

Skill Base Description
Dodge 25 20 45 
Persistence 23 15 38 
Resilience 24 15 39 
Close Combat 31 20 51 
Ranged Combat 26 20 46 
Unarmed Combat 31 10 41 
Culture (Own) 21 20 41 
Language (Own) 61 10 71 
Natural Lore 21 21 
Culture (Other) 11 11 
Language (Other) 11 11 
Lore (Mythology) 11 20 31 
Athletics 31 31 
Craft 21 21 
Deception 26 5 31 
Driving 26 26 
Engineering 21 21 
Healing 21 21 
Influence 20 20 40 
Mechanism 26 26 
Perception 24 20 44 
Performance 20 30 50 
Relationship 20 20 
Riding 28 28 
Sailing 26 26 
Streetwise 23 23 
Trade 21 21 
Battle Magic 
Casting 39 39
Total spent on skills 225

Knockback 2 2 m
Multi-Attack 2 3x attack
Vigor 2 +4 HP

Silver 110

Leather armour, shield, ranged weapon, close combat 1H weapon and dagger. Backpack, rope, two weeks worth of traveling provisions, flint and tinder, waterskin.

Bastardsword Flex 1D8 Str/Dex13/9 Enc2 Medium 250 SP
Dagger 1D4+1 —/— — Light 20 SP Leather AP2 Enc3 500 SP     

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