Wednesday, 1 May 2013

MaliQuest: A Q&A (a)

Good Wednesday everyone!

Well yesterday was a big day wasn't it? We had a major announcement that has set the Malifaux world aflame.

Don't for a second think that your good Doctor has been uninvolved in this, he's been following the announcement, the message boards, the podcasts and twitter, but today this is not what he wants to talk about.

No today I'm here to talk to you about something very different:

So last night we were due to record an episode of New Fairbank Radio covering a beginner's guide to playing MaliQuest, but sadly because of quite a few reasons we had to cancel the recording and are hoping to sort it out on Thursday, which means no episode until Friday at the earliest.


I did have a chat with someone however and some questions were fired at my direction. I'll be honest, these questions did throw me, and I may have reacted in an overly defensive manner.

With hindsight it has occurred to me that if this one person has had these questions, maybe others do too, and so with your permission I'd like to address them publicly.

Q1). So in Malifaux, one of the things that sets the game apart from other Wargames is the ability to win via means other than 'facerolling' the opponent. It seems in MaliQuest the only way to 'win' is to go from room to room killing everything in your way.
A1). Yes, currently the only way to 'win' while playing MaliQuest is to kill everything in the dungeon, but there is a reason behind that.

In Malifaux you can score points by (for example) reaching the opponent's deployment zone, and/or keeping them out of yours. While this works for Malifaux, MaliQuest is a whole different beastie. You see players and monsters don't have deployment zones, or resources like crew points for games like Slaughter. Instead the focus is on the experience itself.

Ok that didn't get explained very well.

You see, when I read that first question, I see the use of the word 'win' and how you should have multiple choices in how to 'win'. The main difference behind the design of Malifaux and MaliQuest, you don't play to 'win' MaliQuest.

In a MaliQuest campaign, the GM sets up a campaign idea, something like "venture down the Cathedral of Death and save Darla the barkeep's daughter from being kidnapped". This campaign would be designed over 6 dungeon levels and each level would be played on a club game day in a week, say each Saturday morning.
- So for 6 weeks, you and 4 friends meet up every Saturday morning and play through another level until the task is either successful or Darla has been sacrificed to the evil Neverborn Lord Doomface.

In Malifaux you have an opponent, it's Player 1 vs Player 2, in MaliQuest it's the party vs the GM, but the GM doesn't want to kill the party (well they do, but only to whittle down their Soulstones, they don't want to perma-kill them) because if they do, then the players won't get to see the delights that the GM has in store for them.

It's less about playing against the opponent, and more playing with them.

Not sure if that answers Q1?

Q2). Are there any plans to introduce Experience Points (XP) into the game?

A1). Short answer: No
Long Answer: Hell No!
Serious Answer: back at the end of the year I had a chat with some people with lots of RPG experience, one thing that became apparent was that the market is already awash with Dungeon Crawling games, however they all follow one core idea, you get XP by killing monsters which you spend on skills and points to increase your stats to make you better at killing monsters. The focus is on the skills and level of the character, not so much the equipment they carry.

As you know by now, MaliQuest is not like that. The focus is on loot acquisition and as you get better loot you improve as a character. This is essentially MaliQuest's USP. To me as a laymen to a lot of these games, this didn't seem like such a big deal, but I now understand that it's actually a big deal.

With all this in mind, this will not be changing.

Ok I was hoping to get more written in this time, but it looks like I will need to draw this to a close sooner than expected.

I will be back with more soon.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

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