- This article is an Out of character explanation. If you are looking for In Character accounts of Real Time Quests, see the Historical Events page.
A Real Time Quest is a "mission" started when a GM pleases. They are based off of what is going on in the world of Oberin. You can often gain experience points after a given RTQ depending on the difficulty or importance, the average exp per RTQ is roughly 100 exp.
RTQs take two basic forms: Battle and Talking. Some RTQs will be purely battle or purely talking, but most are a combination of the two. A typical progression might be a QChar arriving at a bank, telling the assembled group of a nearby problem, which leads to a great battle, which concludes with a period of discussion between the QChar and the victorious players about what just happened.
A few things to remember when participating in an RTQ:
- Stay in character. Even though there is a great deal of out-of-character (OOC) discussion that takes place at Oberin's banks, and on small hunts, RTQs are a time when players are expected to stay in character (IC). This means you should avoid discussion of things unrelated to the game, don't describe the ongoing events as an "RTQ", and attempt to only discuss things your character would actually have knowledge of. If you must speak OOC during an RTQ, use parentheses around the OOC comments.
- RTQs exist because the GMs, who are generously volunteering their time to serve the community, take time to arrange a sequence of events for the players to enjoy. Whether it is a simple undead uprising in a cemetery or a grandiose multi-hour pursuit of kidnappers across the continent, RTQs only exist because a volunteer GM took the time to create one. Be polite, be respectful, and do your best to be an active participant in the story. If IC roleplaying is not really something you enjoy, remain silent during the events, so that those players who do enjoy them can participate.
- Don't automatically assume that everything unusual is an enemy. Often younger players will blindly attack participants in an RTQ when no attack was called for. Especially if you are a latecomer to the event, don't rush in assuming that violence is the answer. Many Quest Characters (or QCHars as they are commonly called) are much, much stronger than Oberin's typical monsters. Attacking one without cause will quite likely mean your death, and may force the GM to take the story in a direction they did not wish to go.
- On the other hand, don't assume either that things are set in stone and that your character always has to say "yes" to a Qchar's requests. This does not mean, of course, that it should say "no" just for the sake of it. Remember that RTQs develop with players' input and feedback, and that it might be more interesting for everyone involved if your character thinks for itself, rather than mechanically reacting to a stimulus. Also, the RTQ might live on for a while and you will have the chance to explain your character's stand in the IC section of the forum.
- Many of the larger RTQs take place over the course of months. You can follow these longer storylines on the Oberin website in the forums. If you find yourself in the middle of a storyline that you don't understand, defer to the others in the group who do. They can fill you in later on how that day's events fit in with the bigger story. Don't waste everyone's time by constantly asking the other players to bring you up to date on past events during the middle of an RTQ.
- If you are a druid, do NOT bring your "best" pet to an RTQ. The death rate for both player characters and pets is extremely high during RTQs. A battle involving 10 player characters may well see 6-8 deaths among the group. Do not risk a pet you have trained for months in a battle that will last an hour. Bring an expendable pet instead, and take solace in knowing that if it dies, it does so heroically.
- At the close of an RTQ, loot is expected to be shared among all participants. It is normally the lead rogue's job to collect and distribute loot gathered during the fight. Players who attempt to hoard "special" loot gained during an RTQ will quickly find themselves shunned by the group. Striking the final blow against an evil QChar is not justification for jumping on the corpse and grabbing the best loot for yourself. You would not have been alive to strike that blow without the assistance of the group. One of a kind loot is nearly always distributed randomly via a "Bag Game" at the close of the events.
- If the RTQ is heavy on Talking rather than Battle, it is considered rude to practice skills that might disturb the group during the discussion. This is not the time to practice woodcrafting, or to cast cleric buffs on the group. Silent skills such as Anatomy are acceptable, but do not disturb the group.
- Word about active RTQs is usually spread via AIM. The more friends you have on AIM, the better your chances of hearing about RTQs. The more you spread the word to friends, the more likely you are to be notified yourself. But it should be noted that the use of those services and of similar ones can and often have ruined low level RTQ for new players. It also makes the whole IC part quite shaky since it does not make sense for a group of players that are far away in a forest or deep in a dungeon to hear about something happening inside the walls of a city instantly.