Anyway, today’s comic touches the subject of fetch quests in RPGs, and I’d very much like to know what you all think about them. I suppose most of us have experienced them in video games, so we all probably got something to say about them, but I’d really like like to know if any game masters out there are actually use them in their own sessions.
Personally, I don’t mind fetch quests in gaming as much as most people seem to. When it comes to video game role-playing, I’m seriously a power-gamer. I don’t cheat, but I do enjoy leveling up far beyond what the game expects me to be whenever I hit a certain challenge. There’s no satisfaction in beating a boss through cheating, but killing it with one strike simply because I put in the time and effort necessary to actually be that powerful always brings me a certain sense of satisfaction.
Sure enough, I would guess that most games add these quests as a form of padding to make the game seem larger or longer or whatever. But since it fits my purposes of power-leveling I’d actually enjoy a game less if it didn’t have anything of that sort. I’m not very fond of grinding just for the heck of it, and fetch quests are definitely a way to make grinding seem less repetitive.
What I do have a problem with, however, is how weird fetch quests are when compared to the way I was educated to interact with other people. Basically, I would never – ever – ask some stranger I’ve just met for the kind of favors I get asked in video games. Sure, I can ask for the time or for the annoying lady at the supermarket that doesn’t know how to push a shopping cart without hitting people to get out of the way. But asking strangers to deliver messages and/or goods and/or services, gather objects, get into fights and even kill living beings for me seems to be the kind of thing you only ask people you would at least consider acquaintances.
Because of my power-leveling, whenever I run into a fetch quest in a game that is mandatory in order to continue the main storyline, I’m normally loaded with money I could offer instead and could also probably just kill whoever is standing between me and my goals. That’s why I appreciate it when games give me a chance to offer bribes, persuade, charm, intimidate, beat up or even kill quest-givers as an alternative to actually running their errands. Normally I’ll do the quest anyway, but I do appreciate the option being there.
You know because of the immersion and all that.