• Mark

RPG's vs Reality

One Fetch Quest Too Far

We've all had those shower thought moments of clarity where something in the game we are playing just doesn't sit right. RPG's are so full of tropes which we rarely dissect and ask ourselves why? Follow below is a band of adventurers explore just a few of the things that keep me scratching my chin when I get a few moments to dwell...

But… but he has a sword? I can see it.

You awake in some rank dungeon, stripped to your unmentionables and after finding a random thigh bone to use as a club, you take down a fully armoured guard armed with sword and shield. You reach down to loot the poor dead henchman and find upon his person… “Three gold pieces, the prison key and some +1 armour leather boots”. What? Surely he should have armour, a shield and a sword? Did your makeshift mace thigh bone shatter his iron forged weapon? Where did his clothes go?

Warning, creatures may contain axes.

Sometime later and free from the jail now, you are in a deep, dark wood. Suddenly three wolves spring from behind a rock! You slay them with ease because you are “”NOWO Reader the Badass”. You bend to loot these wild beasts and bizarrely one has a rare flame axe on it. Where was this? In a little hidden doggy backpack? Was the spine of the beast in fact made of a bejeweled blade revealed only at its death? Surely the only thing on a wolf or similar creature would be its body parts and perhaps its last meal.

Healer Bread.

Later still, you stagger breathless and close to death away from the fallen horde of the undead. Their bones littering the battlefield show your prowess, but they got their fair few licks in. Barely alive you reach into your backpack and find a roast chicken. Pulling the flesh from the bones you stuff your face and then watch as your wounds close themselves and heal whilst your broken bones mend instantly at the healing property of everyday food.

(RPG makers, this is not how food works. If it did I would be 125% healthy not and not just fat.)

My First Weapons Shop.

Fresh faced at the start of your adventure you walk into the first weapons dealer. However, the shop only appears to stock level one basic gear. It’s like you are only allowed access to the ‘Early Learning Centre of swords and wands’. You may be a level one barbarian but you deserve the right to save up and purchase a level 10 sword that you are wildly incapable of handling in battle!

(In real life I am a wildly average guitarist but the local guitar shop keep is more than happy for me to purchase expensive instruments I have no business in owning!)

That’s a bow that is.

The dust settles on another battle, you and your party emerge victorious and set about rummaging through the fallen for loot. Someone picks up a curved wooden object with a strong attached to both ends pulling it into a vague C shape.

“What is it?” you ask, all passing it around.

“Dunno, we should probably get someone skilled in identifying stuff to tell us” whimpers the elf pathetically.

Behold you take it to a smith and pay 50 gold.

“That’s a bow that is” he scoffs.

Never mind the fact half the party already have bows, have seen bows, know what a bow is and that is it pretty iconically bow shaped you still needed someone to identify it.

(I’m pretty sure you don’t need major skills to identify standard weapons. Fair enough if they are magic, that would be a certain job for a professional).

Tiny glass repair hammers.

Your spear has seen much better days of late. You’ve probably been stabbing too much stuff. So you take it to the Steve the Dwarf who is your party member skilled in the arts of repairing items. He pulls out a fresh set of repair tools you purchased him in the last village (after all, you are in charge of the coffers) and sets about work. 10 minutes later your spear is sharp as it’s ever been with a smooth polished wooden shaft. You look at the pile of metal parts at Steve’s feet.

“Whats that?” you ask.

“Oh it’s just me repair hammer fell apart fixing ya spear, single use ain’t they?”

‘Ain’t got a license for that.

Happy with the work Steve the Dwarf did repairing your spear you buy him a shiny new axe from a travelling salesman.

“Oi, Steve, bought an axe for you didn’t I? It’s better than your last”. You exclaim excitedly.

Steve looks at it and sighs softly “Thanks, but I can’t use this yet… I haven’t got my level 6 axe license yet…”.

“Steve mate, it’s the same weight and size as your current level 5 one, I’m sure the action is the same”.

“Nah… Rules is rules, I need to kill another 17 Kobolds then I’ll be ready for this… Otherwise I might not be experienced enough to use all the updated features of Axe 6.0”.

Send someone else…?

You and your party collapse back into town after your latest quest. Your back hurts from the pack you have been carrying for days, filled with nearly a hundred items to sell for gold back in town. News of your victory defending the town from near ruin at the hands of a demon arch mage fills every ear in every tavern. You are a hero! You step into the bakers to replenish your supplies and before you have a chance to speak he gives you a quest.

“Go forth and bring me 7 apples from the orchard”.

“Um what?” You say incredulous.

“I need 7 apples for a pie” he repeats.

“Yeah I got that but, like, I’m ‘NOWO Reader the Badass’, an Epic Hero, I just saved the town, like, I killed 78 risen dead…”

“Yeah, but I would like some apples and there is a badger on the loose.. I’ll pay you 15 gold”.

“A demon badger?”

“Nope, standard badger”

You think for a few moments about your aching feet and the fact you just saved the world.

“Ummm Nah, can’t you send someone else? Like a small errand boy with a pointy stick…”

Boss: Can’t hurt me now…

Three weeks later and you are at the end of your Epic quest. You have tracked down the evil sorcerer to his castle, beaten his guards and it was finally just you and him. Suddenly his back rips open and huge scaly wings unfold, breathing fire you watch him transform into a huge dragon. The battle is on… You fight, tooth and nail, your party working with all their skills they have learned along the way till the sorcerer utters some magic words and bam “He’s invincible”.

“Hey guys, like stop hitting him…” You utter to your party, visibly annoyed.

“What?” the dragon sorcerer asks, confused by your lack of attacking.

“Well like, we can’t hurt you so what’s the point?” You ask, which seems to confuse him

“Well otherwise you would have won too fast, so I figured I’d just go invincible for a bit, make you work for it…” He explains. Clearly the mood is gone.

“Well seems a bit cheap” you mutter, taking a seat to wait for the spell to wear off before slaying him with ease...