How to Write an Ethermore Quest: A Step-by-Step Guide
If you’ve ever wandered through the worlds of Skyrim or The Witcher (or any other RPG) and thought “Hey, I could probably write an interesting quest of my own,” then Ethermore is your chance to do just that.
At Ethermore, we built our own custom quest writing engine to suit our needs and to be adaptable to the features we want to build as a Web3 blockchain RPG. Our players value their NFT characters and our engine allows us to alter character metadata based on the actions the players make in the quests. If a player kills the innocent, their character becomes much more evil. If a player donates to the poor, their character gains just a little bit of goodness.
The more intricate your story, the more interesting decisions you can allow the players to make.
Table of Contents:
- Intro to the quest writing engine: step-by-step guide to writing your first quest
- Setting choices
- How to set exclusive choices
- How to set choice consequences (change character metadata)
Introduction to Ethermore’s Quest Maker
First thing’s first, navigate to the Quest List where you can see the “create your own quest” button on the top right. It’ll bring you to our Quest Maker.
Let’s get acquainted with it by writing our first quest. First, add a title here:
It can be anything you think sums up your quest best: The Red Wedding, The Battle of the Bastards, Joining the Imperial Legion, whatever your creative mind can come up with.
Next, select an image to use as the main background image throughout the quest.
We have a library of images available to choose from as the default image, but you can also upload your own throughout each step in the quest.
Now, let’s start writing!
I’m sure you’ve noticed the “create step” button, but leave that for now. The quest maker automatically adds the first step for you. Click on it, so we can start writing.
You’ll notice that there are multiple columns here:
- Condition values
- Answers count
We’ll go through each of these in detail later. For now, click on “Add”.
After clicking on add, the quest maker will load the text editor, and this is your home. This is where all the writing happens, so get accustomed to it.
Click on this empty space below the toolbar.
This is where you begin writing. What you write here will determine the text that the user sees on the screen before clicking to the next step in the quest, or making a decision based on the options you give them.
Now, let’s move on to the fun part: adding options/choices for the player. How much do you want the choices the player makes to affect the story? How much do you want to penalize or reward players for the actions they take in Ethermore?
Your answer to those questions will determine what kind of quest you write and what options you give to the player.
To illustrate this and to show you how to add choices to a step in the quest, let’s pretend the player is walking through the forest and sees a bunch of bandits attacking an old man.
This dropdown list determines who gets to see (and potentially choose) a quest option. Leaving it as default means that everyone can see those options, regardless of what kind of character they are playing with. Let’s go ahead and add 2 default options: 1. Walk away and pretend you didn’t see anything, 2. Confront the brigands.
To do that, leave the dropdown to default, and click on “Add Answer”.
Clicking on add answer opens a new line where I can write the text that is displayed for each decision.
Let’s go ahead and add 1. Walk away and pretend you didn’t see anything, and 2. Confront the brigands.
Now that we’ve added these two answers and left the condition as “default”, anyone who plays this quest gets at least these 2 options.
But let’s spice things up a bit and reward players for owning unique character NFTs. The best way to do that is to add custom choices for players depending on their character traits.
For example, people who have specifically chosen to play with a Ranger class probably enjoy fighting from afar. All the Rangers of Ethermore have bows, so why don’t we add a choice just for them. Let’s give these players the ability to engage the enemy from afar and gain the upperhand.
How to Set Exclusive Choices
To do this, let’s add the option “Nook an arrow and loose it at the brigand leader’s head,” and make this option only available to those whose character is the Ranger class.
To do that, first click “save” in the bottom right.
This’ll bring you back to the Step menu and you’ll notice that you’ve successfully created 2 default options for anyone playing the quest.
Now, click on the duplicate icon next to the red trash can.
This makes a perfect duplicate of the work you just did. Click on the second default line.
This time, click on the default drop down menu and select “class”.
Next, in the dropdown to the right, select “Ranger”.
This ensures that now every option here will be only seen by those who are playing with a Ranger NFT.
All that’s left to do is add our answer text, “Nook an arrow and loose it at the brigand leader’s head,” and hit Save in the bottom right.
After you hit save, you’ll now see that for this step in your quest you have 2 default options for everyone in the game. And now, Rangers have those same 2 default options, plus the exclusive option to shoot their bow at the brigand leader.
Congratulations! You just created your first exclusive quest option and (possibly) a branching line in the narrative.
How to Set Choice Consequences
In life, all our actions have consequences, and the world of Ethermore is no exception.
Now that we know how to set choices, it’s time to learn how to set consequences.
What are ‘consequences’ in Ethermore?
When we talk about setting consequences for a player’s actions in a quest, what we really mean is triggering a change in their character’s affinity between good and evil, chaos and order.
Currently, these are the two metadata attributes you can trigger a change in depending on the quest options you provide.
For example, let’s say the character has to decide whether or not to steal an item when the shopkeeper has turned his back. If the player does steal the item, you can trigger a -1 on the Good/Evil scale, which will then be added to the player’s metadata at the end of the quest, affecting their character’s overall affinity.
These changes in affinity will be shown in the quest results at the end of each quest. You can see in this example, the character made choices that resulted in a -2 in the Chaos-Order attribute. A negative score means we leaned toward Chaos or Evil. A positive score means we worked towards Order or Good.
In this example in the image above, I gained two Chaos points. Perhaps I stole someone’s sweetroll!
Setting Choice Consequences in the Quest Maker
How to set these consequences is actually pretty simple. Let’s go back to our previous example of the brigands harassing an old man.
One of our options was to walk away.
Turning a blind eye to injustice seems kind of evil to me, so let’s make sure the player knows they did something bad by giving them a -1 in the Good-Evil alignment score for this action.
First, click on the Eye Icon
This will open up a new window. Next, click “Select Action”. Then, select “Change Metadata”.
After that, click on “Please select metadata method”.
From this dropdown, select Evil/good. Then, under “set points” we can set the score based on the severity of the action. Right now, we’re working on a 3 point scale, meaning:
- +3 = really good act (saving someone’s life)
- +2 = moderately good act (helping a lost child find their mother)
- +1 = fairly good act (giving a coin to a beggar)
- -1 = slightly evil act (shouting insults at someone)
- -2 = moderately evil act (stealing from a shop)
- -3 = really evil act (murdering someone)
So, for the act of turning a blind eye to an old man being robbed, let’s call it a slightly evil act and give this player a -1.
Finally, hit “save” in the bottom right, and we’re done! You can follow the exact same process for changing a player’s chaos/order affinity.
Kudos on making it to the end of our guide on how to write quests for Ethermore!
This should be more than enough to help you get started writing your own quests for our community to enjoy. If you’ve ever dreamt of writing your own quests for video games, this is your chance for a break into the industry.
Stay tuned for our future guides on Ethermore quest writing, including an upcoming guide on how to set branching storylines in Ethermore quests.