Thinking in terms of quests helps focus the adventurer solidly where it belongs: on the player characters. An adventure isn’t something that can unfold without their involvement. A plot or event can can unfold without the characters involvement, but not an adventure. An adventure begins when the characters get involved, when they have a reason to participate and a goal to accomplish. Quests give them that.
James Wyatt – Dungeon Masters Guide, 4th edition
I’m coming to love the concept of quests. When 4e was in the works, some of the previews were talking about quest cards that you could give to the players. That never really materialised, in part, I think, because of fear of fans reacting badly to CCG or MMO affectations. Looking back at my campaign now, I can see how they would have been a great way to cement the characters into the world. I especially like the idea of player generated quests. Ambitions if you like.
the quests in the modules are pretty thin, and there’s obvious reasons why that would be the case. I think for the next installment (Nightwyrm Fortress) I’m going to put more effort into quests. I’d like to see each pc working towards 3 or 4 simultaneously. To be honest, I’d be prepared to drop some of the more repetitive combats to accomodate extra xp through the quest device.
Here’s some bullet point examples. Maybe I’ll flesh out a few of these with help from my guys…Dragonslayer Kill Orcus! Found a wizards school Tame the tarrasque Raise an army of eladrin Become King# Build a new Nerath Raise a child Become immortal Become a God Release a primordial Close the Far Realm
Obviously, these are long quests that could frame an entire tier of play, or even all three. I’d then break these down into smaller quests, and before you know it, there’s an entire campaign in seed form.