Thursday, October 8, 2020

Quill - The Father

I've been eyeing Quill (affiliate link) for some time and have finally gotten around to giving it a try. Quill is a different kind of solo RPG game. In Quill it is your character’s job to write a letter -- yes, an actual letter -- and the better the letter the greater chance your letter will be received favorably.  

To play Quill you first need to pick a character from the available archetypes.  Each archetype has three Stats: Language (how well your vocabulary is), Heart (how much emotion you write with), and Penmanship (how visually pleasing is your letter). Each stat is assigned a number of six-sided dice. Additionally, you get to choose 1 skill which you can use once per letter.

Next, you pick a scenario. Each scenario provides all the information you need to write your letter. First, it has a Profile, which explains to who are you writing, the reason for the letter, and what you hope to accomplish by writing. Next, you are given any specific rules that either need to be followed or might offer you an advantage. Third is the Inkpot. This is a list of words (both inferior and superior) that you will choose from. Finally, each scenario has a list of consequences, or reactions to your letter, based on your final score.

You will need to write a five-paragraph letter. For each paragraph, you will choose one word from the inkpot to include. The rules for choosing your word are as follows:

1. Decide if you want to add flourish (or additional description) to your word. If so, roll your heart dice. If one of the dice is 5 or 6, you may add flourish. This is an optional choice as the flourish may help or hurt your score based on the next roll.

2. Roll your language dice to determine if you can choose a superior word or if you have to settle for an inferior word. Once again, a 5 or 6 lets you choose a superior word and you gain 1 point. If you added flourish to the superior word, you score 2 additional points. However, if you decided to add flourish and the word is inferior you lose 1 point.

Once you have finished your paragraph you roll your Penmanship dice to see how visually pleasing your writing is. If you roll a 5 or 6 you gain 1 point. When all five paragraphs are complete, add up your score and compare it with the Consequences list for the scenario to determine what result your letter has.

In reality, what you actually write has no bearing on the result of the game since everything is determined by random dice rolls. However, if you are creative it is a nice writing exercise that can be fun and gets the creative juices flowing.

Scenario: The Father 

Format: I will post my final letter as is. Inkpot words will be in red, flourish in blue.  Then, once the letter is complete I will post my scoring per paragraph. Finally, I will post the consequence. 

Character: I chose the Knight which gave me  3 Heart dice, 1 Language dice, and 2 Penmanship dice. I decided to use the character Harper Wyghtwing from my Roses & Wyght stories. However, nothing in this letter is to be considered canon unless it actually appears in the formal campaigns.

Skill: I chose Augmentation which adds +1 to a Heart test. In hindsight, this was a foolish choice as I already had 3 dice in heart. I really needed Inspiration to boost my language.

Profile: You are writing to inform a father about the death of his son.

Rules of Correspondence: Monks gain an advantage, which doesn’t apply to me.

The Letter:
Greetings Mr. Winsborough,

This is Harper Wyghtwing. I trust you remember me. My parents are Ryan and Jutte Wyghtwing and I grew up with your young boy Rupert. He and I used to hunt together in the forests just outside of Swifthaven. While he did look to me for advice, he was already a skilled bowman in his own right. 

As I’m sure my parents mentioned I moved several months ago to the city of Duskcall. I have done well here, even gaining a position with the King’s Guard. You can imagine my surprise when I ran into Rupert at The Flaming Friar, one of the bawdy houses where I go from time to time for a drink and a game of cards. He told me he had come to Duskcall to sell some tanned hides and a bit of your wife’s needlework. I bought him a drink and we spent the rest of the night catching up. 

Which brings me to the reason for this correspondence. It is with the deepest sorrow that I must inform you of an unfortunate situation concerning your son. A couple of days past while on patrol I was hailed by a frantic woman who directed me to where a small crowd had gathered at the mouth of an alley. Their attention was directed at something inside the narrow passageway. I pushed my way through and saw a pair of legs protruding from a pile of sacks and refuse. Looking closer I discovered the man was Rupert.

From the bruises and blood on his face and body, Rupert’s death appeared to be the result of a brutal beating. A quick search of his pockets revealed they were empty and no coin pouch could be found. It is my guess that, only being familiar with village life, Rupert was naive about the dangers of the big city. He must have been out late and not aware of the fact that the district he was walking through housed several thieves and ruffians. I suspect he made an easy target, was mugged and left to die. 

While it may not have been expected of me, I feel I have failed Rupert, as well as you and Mrs. Winsborough, by not taking a greater interest in warning him of the dangers of the city. This was an unfamiliar place for him and I should have offered more guidance. I hope that you can forgive me. I know it is of little consolation, but I spent my own coin to purchase a fine mahogany coffin for Rupert. Furthermore, I will personally escort the carriage that will carry him back to Swifthaven and stay through the funeral. In the meantime, I am sending this letter ahead so it will be less of a shock when we arrive.  

With regrets,

Harper Wyghtwing

P1 - Flourish: 5,6,Success   Inkpot: 4 Inferior word (-1 for flourish)  Penmanship: 3,4 Fail  Score=-1

P2 - Flourish: Did not roll   Inkpot: 3 Inferior word   Penmanship: 2,5 Success   Score=1

P3 - Flourish: 2,3,5 Success   Inkpot: 6 Superior word (flourish adds 2 points)   Penmanship: 3,3, Fail   Score=3

P4 - Flourish: Did not roll   Inkpot: 2 Inferior word   Penmanship: 1,3 Fail   Score=0

P5 - Flourish: 5,1,2 Success   Inkpot: 5 Superior word (Yes!- and flourish adds 2 points)   Penmanship: 2,5 Success   Score=4

Total Letter Score: 7


Anthony is clearly disappointed in how you have relayed the information to him, but he does not blame you.

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