It's easy to walk up to a guild leader or an innkeeper in an RPG, pull up their available subquests and mindlessly bark "yes" until you're drowning in oddjobs to escort merchants, slay goblins and pick parsley that you'll inevitably forget about. But have you ever wondered what life is like on the other side of adventuring? Four-person German developer Rest.less Games did, and they were so enamored that they decided to make a game out of it.
The Quest Giver is a "fantasy guild manager sim" that plays like a point-and-click game, not unlike Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale (opens in new tab). It's currently on Kickstarter (opens in new tab), with Rest.less Games asking for $17,689 to bring it to life. At the time of writing, it has raised $2,615 and will run for another 16 days.
You play as a retired adventurer who's still trying to fight evil however they can. With your body broken but your spirit willing, you open a guild so that you might coordinate and train the next generation of adventurers and save the world vicariously. You do so by creating quests and hiring suitable adventurers to complete them, and the process behind it looks to be anything but mindless.
There are four types of quests in The Quest Giver. You can have adventurers loot areas, fight enemies, travel to far-off areas or gather materials. Then there are three main reasons to run quests. For starters, you need to satisfy citizens who submit requests and build your guild's reputation. You also need to complete story quests in a timely manner to prevent evil from taking over the world, which puts you on a deadline. Finally, you need to earn money and materials to upgrade your guild and unlock new quest options.
Each week brings new challenges and quotas, and each day brings more action points to use to meet them. You can only do so much with your daily AP, and unspent points don't roll over into the next day, so you've got to think about what you want to get done and how you'll do it. Are you trying to level up your guild hall? Train or expand your roster of adventurers? Build new guild facilities? Or are you in a mad dash to meet the minimum number of quests?
Games like these live or die by the situations they can engineer, and it sounds like The Quest Giver is ripe with variation. There are three different storylines, for one, and more than two dozen classes of adventurers. Additionally, Rest.Less Games says, as you upgrade your guild you'll explore new areas, fill out a bestiary, maintain your stock of supplies and interact with other town facilities like taverns and city halls.
There's a parodic, almost human interest theme to The Quest Giver that keeps it grounded in the struggles of dealing with hot-headed, hurrying adventurers. If its adventurers are anything like the average RPG player, I suspect playing it will feel like herding cats, but it's certainly interesting nonetheless.
Depending on the outcome of its Kickstarter, The Quest Giver is slated to release in mid-2018.