X-post from hw-rules: repeated quests.

From: Alex Ferguson <abf_at_cs.ucc.ie>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2001 23:03:17 +0100 (BST)

Jeff Kyer:
> Its been stated in frequently and in numerous places that heroquests
> become easier as they are repeated.

Jonas Schiött:
> At Convulsion last year, Greg threw out the idea
> that each person can only do each HQ _once_ (if they try it again, they
> will find themselves repeating the exact same actions and getting the
> exact same results as the first time).

I think there's a good deal of truth in both of the above statements.

Firstly, I'm sure it's clear that performing a HQ makes it easier for _everyone else_ to do the same quest; after all, the LBQ is only _nearly_ impossible (as opposed to entirely so) due to Orlanth having done it in the first place, and Harmast having reconstructed it, to take a blitheringly obvious example. Every time anyone follows a particular hero-path, he's making it at least infinitesimally, incrementally easier for the next person. (Assuming he's doing it right, at least.)

But as well as an effect on the heroplane, the quest clearly has a marked effect on the quester, which I think is more what Greg's comment was referring to. IMO, when one performs a particular quest, a particular way, one is establishing a relationship to that path (near-)irrevocably. I don't think one would have the same freedom of action available to one if one "repeated" the same quest. In the extreme case Greg was talking about, redo-ing the quest would be a bit like a worship ceremony: re-enacting the original act to re-inforce and re-invigorate the original effect.

In practice, though, if anyone wishes to undertake the "same" quest more than once, it's for some (more or less subtly) different purpose, which might be what gives one cosmic wiggle-room. Frex, the oft-cited example of Harmast: obviously his two quests gave different results, so they weren't _exactly_ the same, I can only deduce. This sounds to me like a fine balancing act between re-doing some of the bits he'd done previously in the same way, which would be magically the easiest thing, and perhaps almost unavoidable in places, and doing them self-comsciously differently, so as to achieve a modified result, and to avoid being "trapped" by one's previous actions.

All entirely IMO, obviously.

Powered by hypermail