Insight refers to a faction’s arcane and technological capabilities. It’s an important stat for completing “Quests”, secondary storylines that a faction can pursue during the course of the arc, and also comes up in miscellaneous situations that involve magic or mystery. In the context of other systems, Insight is often used to increase a faction’s range of options.
[Option: Have a set of Insight projects, either as abstract categories, e.g., “Military Advantage”, or as discrete projects, e.g., “Elemental Harmonics”. Factions have a random chance to score a breakthrough on one of these each week. Factions can select a project as their focus, and are more likely to get that result. Some of these projects might have a danger level.]
Insight gives factions a weekly chance to make a breakthrough and gain a small bonus of some kind. The roll is against a Difficulty of 20. If the faction succeeds, it rolls a d6 to determine the nature of its breakthrough.
|1 or 2||New Quest||A new quest option becomes available.|
|3||Just the Thing||If the faction would critically fail this week, it gets a reroll. (This comes into play before Champion bonuses and the like.) A handy breakthrough saves the day. (Works once.)|
|4 or 5||Quest Buff||Gain +1 on all Quest rolls for the current quest.|
|6||Stat Buff||Gain a temporary +1 to a random stat for the rest of this arc.|
Quests are subplots that factions may pursue in addition to the arc’s main storyline, such as Bandle City traveling to the moon in the Mothership or Zaun building the HexKorps. All stats are important in completing Quests, though Insight plays an especially key role.
Completing a Quest requires completing three “Challenges”. The first is an Insight test, representing the “let’s hit the books” phase of the adventure. The second is a Challenge of a randomly determined type, representing the unforeseen complication. The third is an extra-difficult Challenge of a known type, representing the dramatic conclusion.
Quests have the following attributes:
- Type. Each Quest is paired with one of the World Systems stats. This determines the stat that will be necessary in the final step of the Quest. Type is randomly determined when the Quest is created.
- Champion. This Champion is closely associated with the Quest. Completing it will more strongly connect the Champion to the faction, and advance that Champion’s storyline.
- Reward. Completing the Quest grants this benefit.
Factions start with a choice of two Quests. Only one Quest may be active at a given time. Factions make one roll to advance the Quest each week.
To complete a Quest, a faction must surmount three challenges. Factions progress through the challenges in order, and get one attempt per week.
- Example: The Golden Spatula. To reforge the broken Golden Spatula of Urf, a faction must solve the mystery of its origins (Insight check), steal the Hammer of Teflona from the Marai (Espionage check), and smite the abyssal demon who slew the spatula’s previous owner, Urf’s mother (Military check).
A typical challenge is a stat check at Difficulty 20. (Military challenges require a battle against an opponent with Strength 10.) This means that a faction with an average 10 in the relevant stat has about a 50/50 shot. If a faction is feeling confident in its performance on the Fields, it can assign a Champion to a challenge, boosting its odds of success further at the risk of temporarily losing access to that Champion in matches.
If the faction succeeds, it moves on to the next challenge next week, with a +1 bonus for every two points (round down) that it beat the target Difficulty by. (This maxes out at +5.) Completing a challenge also grants a +1 to the stat for the rest of the arc, or +2 if the stat was below 10.
If the factions fails, it gains a stacking +1 bonus for each failure until it succeeds. If that’s not enough, it can also go to Plan B, forcing its way through the challenge in a costly but effective way. The faction takes a -2 penalty to one of its stronger stats for the rest of the arc, in exchange for gaining a +5 bonus on the challenge until it’s completed.
To increase their odds of success, factions may assign a Champion to a Quest. This has the following effects:
- Step aside. The Champion’s personality and motivations will shape the outcome of the event. Don’t send Sion if you want your faction to come out of the challenge greatly admired for its finesse and diplomatic tact.
- No, really, step aside. Only one Champion can be assigned to a Quest at a given time. They’re divas.
- Living legends. Adds +3 to the faction’s final result.
- Epic feats. The faction scores a critical success on either a 19 or a 20, rather than just on a 20.
- Dauntless valor. If the faction rolls a 5 or below and fails, it rolls again. However, if it also fails the second time, the Champion is MIA’d. (Hidden passive: +1 Wealth if Quinn triggers Dauntless Valor.)
- Not on my watch. If the faction rolls a 1, which would normally be a critical failure, the Champion is MIA’d for one week, but the faction may reroll (without the Champion’s bonuses).
- MIA. Each time a Champion buffs a roll, they take a MIA check on a d10. Core Champions must score a 3 or better; Secondary Champions need a 4, and Tertiaries need a 6. Failure means the Champion is sidelined for one week—they might be injured, or they might just decide they’re more interested in pursuing their mission than fighting on the Fields.
Assigning a Champion to a task is essentially a way to risk some of the faction’s match-power to increase its influence over the story.
Historically, we let factions select which Champions to send. There are two problems with this. First, it requires a lot of rather complex contingency voting. Second, it leads to factions being strangely compensated for having a bunch of expendable Champions. (Poor Elise and Evelynn.) Starting with Arc VII, we’ll be altering the Champion selection method somewhat:
- Well, that’s inconvenient. By default, a Champion will be chosen from the faction’s Champion pool from last weekend’s Featured Matches. (Each appearance in each match gives the Champion one “entry” into the draw.) We will select a panel of five Champions from this pool. The faction will then be given a vote as to which one of these Champions to send. (There will also be an option to send none.)
Champion selections are semi-fixed: once a Champion is assigned, they will stay with the Quest for the remainder of its current phase. If they are MIA’d, the faction can replace them.
The Quest’s central Champion will step in for the final Challenge. If they are MIA’d, the faction cannot proceed until they return.
Quests have three phases, each marked by a challenge.
- Alpha. The first challenge is always an Insight challenge. This is the part with Champions and Summoners hitting the books and pointing excitedly at old lithographs.
- Beta. The second challenge is of a randomly determined type, chosen after Alpha phase is complete.
- Omega. The third challenge is also of a randomly chosen type, though the type is known when the faction is deciding among quests. Its difficulty is increased by 30% above base. The faction must assign the Quest’s central Champion to this phase. (More accurately, the Quest’s central Champion will insist on taking care of this personally.)
When a challenge’s type is randomly determined, use the following probabilities:
- Insight: 30%
- Military: 20%
- Espionage: 15%
- Production: 15%
- Politics: 10%
- Commerce: 10%
Each Quest also has a central Champion, chosen mostly for story reasons. Any non-random choice brings with it some measure of justified concern about bias, but a random selection of Champion just seems problematic. (“And now KATARINA will go find the Moonstone.”) We will listen to arguments from a faction and its delegates about which Champion should be selected. If there is more than one viable candidate, we may hold a vote, especially if it would influence the tone of the Quest in an interesting way.
Completing a Quest advances a significant faction-specific subplot. We reflect this in World Systems by granting one of the following buffs:
- Stat boost. +5 to a stat for the rest of the arc, which converts to a permanent +1 after the arc. This can be taken a maximum of two times per arc.
- Tertiary Champion. Add a new Champion to the list of Tertiary pickup options. This Champion cannot be on any other active faction’s recruitable lists, or Hostile to the faction.
and also recruiting an NPC.
If a faction feels it needs more help on the Fields, it can sacrifice both the regular buff and the NPC pickup to instead gain a match advantage. This increase the faction’s odds of winning Featured Matches and Tournaments. Only one of these may be chosen per arc, and they expire after the arc ends.
- Champion ban. Roll a d6 before each match. On a 6, ban a Champion from the enemy’s roster for that match.
- Spell ban. Roll a d10 before each match. On a 9 or 10, ban any spell other than Smite from use by the enemy for that match. On a 7 or 8, ban any spell other than Smite or Flash from enemy use for that match.
Selecting a Quest
Factions start off with two Quest options. For each option, the following information is available:
- The Quest’s central Champion
- The Quest’s rewards
- The type of the Quest’s final challenge
Factions can unlock more Quests through Breakthroughs. If a faction runs entirely out of Quests, it is guaranteed to get more the next time it scores a Breakthrough. (Ignore the usual d6.)