What Is Needed to Play the Instant Play Quest
If you are reading this, you should be the Game Master (GM). As a GM you will run the game, and your friends will play through the story you present.
Here are 10 pre-built Atomic RPG System characters your friends can choose from to play. The GM will play all of the non-player characters (NPCs) such as the people they are helping and the monsters that will attack them. These characters are built to resemble traditional characters in a fantasy setting so it’s easy for new players to associate with them. However, the Atomic RPG System lets you play anything you want.
Instant Play Quest Characters
Each of the characters below is built to resemble some of the most common and loved RPG characters. These are found in all kinds of different stories and most people should be able to find one they like. Remember, in a regular Atomic RPG System game the player characters (PC) and the GM will be able to create anything they want.
These characters have everything they need to work through the game, mechanically speaking. Each character has one equipped Basic Atomic RPG System Item that fits the character concept. These are items that improve their character stats. Each character also has 2 Potions to heal them. Once these potions are used, they are gone. I have given each character a Standard Traveling Kit. Standard Traveling Kits contain all the basic supplies they are likely to need in this quest. This is a great item to add to any new character!
The characters are missing some of the role-play (RP) details. This is intentional, so the players themselves can come up with a little bit of the character to make it their own, such as sex, name, height, weight, personality, looks, and anything else considered RP.
- Archer – Likes to fight single targets at range with weapons. The Archer also has some stealth skill to sneak around and get into position for battle.
- Barbarian – Likes to fight lots of creatures at close range with weapons. Speed and multiple target damage are the focus of this character.
- Druid – Split between healing and helping allies and striking enemies with the forces of nature, using a combination of weapons and spells.
- Fighter – Likes to fight single targets with up close weapons. The fighter focuses on tackling the most challenging of foes with high Defenses and Hit Points.
- Healer – Likes to heal and enhance allies. Has good Defenses and Speed.
- Minstrel – Likes to enhance allies and penalize enemies as well as have improved skills.
- Paladin – Likes to fight single targets at close range while enhancing and supporting allies.
- Rogue – Likes to fight a single target while focusing on stealth and skills.
- Sorcerer – Likes to fight many enemies from a distance using magic.
- Wizard – Likes to fight enemies at a distance with spells. Also focuses on many Powers with utilitarian purposes.
If you have more than 1 friend that wants to play a character, that is fine. The Atomic RPG System works well with any combination of characters. If the players want to distinguish themselves, they can describe their characters and their Powers differently.
Your players are welcome to name and describe these characters however they would like, but their Atomic RPG System mechanics are set and ready for them to play!
If there are only 2 or 3 players for this Atomic RPG System Instant Play Quest, you might have the players play 2 characters instead of just one. This will make the game much easier and let everyone see some of the unique characters that can be built in the Atomic RPG System.
Instant Play Quest Game Spoilers Below!
Being the Game Master for the Atomic RPG System means that you will be in charge of running the game. Don’t worry, GMing in the Atomic RPG System is very fun and easy!
Do not read this if you are not going to be the GM. If that is the case, share this with one of your friends and see if they are willing to GM.
Or continue below with the old website walkthrough.
Try out the Atomic RPG System with this Instant Play Quest
This walkthrough is for everyone. Even if you have never played a tabletop RPG before you will be able to play this quest! We keep it as simple and straight forward as we can so you can enjoy this short adventure. Everything you need to play is included here.
Instant Play Quest Adventure
Real Time is just a game state in which players and the GM can act freely (do not have to take turns). First make sure every player has a character from above chosen. Give them a few minutes to read through the character sheet. As a GM you should take a few minutes to talk to the whole group and see if they have questions or comments about their characters. Discuss those and once everyone has a basic idea of who they are, then you can officially get the quest going. There is no need to know the Atomic RPG System game system prior to playing this game. As we go through the Instant Play Quest we will step through each section and learn as we play.
The PCs are in a common room at an inn. They have just bought dinner and a few drinks. They are almost out of money and are eager to find more work.
The story is often more detailed but it doesn’t have to be. For this Instant Play Quest we are keeping things simple.
As GM, read the following paragraph.
You all sit in the common room of an inn enjoying a warm meal. You know your cash is getting low and wonder just how long you will be eating warm meals with no work lined up. You shake the depressing thoughts from your head and try not to think about it. For now, you want to enjoy the tasty meal.
You all hear someone near the front of the common room speaking loudly. This person seems to be asking patrons if they are for hire.
Now ask the players for their character’s Passive Perception scores. Passive Perception is their Perception skill plus 10. (Tip: Hold your mouse over a Skill Score for a helpful popup Passive Skill Number) Tell players with a Passive Perception Skill of 17 or higher the following:
The man who is asking around is a stout balding man who is wearing some nice fine silk clothes. You guess he is likely a prosperous merchant.
At this point the GM and PCs act out the actions of their characters. Do they just keep eating? Do they approach the stranger? Do they inquire about the job? If they do not pursue this story hook, remind them as GM that they are almost out of money and good job opportunities do not come up often. This is just the opportunity they could use to earn some money.
The GM now plays Jacob, the big city merchant. Jacob has a cartload of precious porcelain that he wants to take north to the big city to sell. However, he has heard rumors that the next leg of the journey is dangerous and wishes to hire a few guards. Jacob only wants to pay each guard 20 gold pieces for the 2 day journey but is willing to pay up to 100. He doesn’t say this out loud though. He starts out offering them 20 gold pieces.
- Jacob the Merchant – Level 1 Minion NPC
If the PCs accept this amount, a deal is struck. He says he will meet them tomorrow morning in the inn. Skip the Turn Time section below.
If the PC’s want to haggle more money out of the merchant, they can. At this point the GM should move the game to Turn Time game mode. This is a game mode where everyone will take turns acting. In this situation, the order of turns will be determined by who naturally goes first. In this case, it would be the PC that starts haggling prices. Then each player will enter the order when they act the first round. Then, each round after they will remain in that order. This allows each player and the GM to get a chance to do something.
The PC that starts haggling prices will go first, and roll a Skill Check. This begins what is called a Skill Challenge. These are used frequently in the Atomic RPG System to moderate PC and NPC interactions that are not combat-oriented. In this case, the PC will roll either a Social Skill Check (trying to convince Jacob that they are worth more money) or a Scholar Skill Check (citing precedence of standard wages for guard duty). The PC can choose the skill that bests suits their character. Once they choose the skill with the highest modifier, they roll one 20 sided die (1d20) and add the skill number to their roll. The Random Dice Roller can also be used. It is very handy to keep this open in a separate tab or device when playing the Atomic RPG System.
This Skill Challenge has a difficulty of 7. This an easy Skill Challenge because Jacob wants protection much more than he wants to save some money on that protection.
If a PC rolls a Skill Check of 7 or higher, they are successful in their attempt. If not, they fail in their attempt. The GM keeps track of these successes and failures in their head or by using hash marks on a scratch piece of paper. At the end of the round, if there are more successes than failures, Jacob agrees to pay them their asking price (up to 100gp). If the PC’s fail, they will have to settle for 20 gp.
Skill Challenges can last from 1 to 5 or more rounds. This Skill Challenge only lasted a round, but most are 3 rounds.
Jacob says he will meet them tomorrow morning in the inn.
After the terms are agreed upon by the PCs, it might be worth the time to have the PC’s roleplay with each other. This is a good time to introduce their character, give a description of what they imagine their character looks like, and what their character does. This way each player has a decent idea of who each other are and where they might fit into a battle. The PCs stay the night in the inn.
The Next Day
In the morning, Jacob meets them in the common room.
The GM should role-play Jacob at this point. Tell the players they see Jacob sitting at large table, with plates of hot food sitting in front of empty chairs, waiting for them. Then say this to them as Jacob:
Good morning adventurers! I am glad to see you up and awake. I have ordered a hearty breakfast for us. One last good meal before we hit the road!
Role-play with the players if they seem interested in acting out their characters. If they don’t seem interested to talk to Jacob and each other over a hot breakfast, just move on with the game. It’s important as a GM to “read” your players. When they want to role-play, encourage it by role-playing with them, but if they don’t want to, there is no need to force it.
GM should read the following:
Once you are done with breakfast you head outside to see the stable hands finish loading the wagon. Jacob is anxious to get on the road, so without further delay he tosses silver pieces to each of the stable hands and cracks the reins to get the wagon moving. You will be walking as the wagon travels. You can choose a position around the wagon. Where would you like to be?
This way the GM moves the story along, indicating they have begun their guard duty. More importantly, the PCs will tell the GM where their characters are located in regard to the wagon. This is useful when exciting and unexpected things happen.
The wagon is 2×3 Spaces in size. Jacob is sitting in the one open seat. There are two horses that take up the two Spaces in front of the wagon. The PCs can choose to be to the side, the front, behind the wagon, or anywhere else they choose, as long as both the GM and PCs know where everyone is.
Now the GM can take some time to “set the scene”, describing what the trip is like. How is the weather? What kind of terrain are they dealing with? Is the road well-maintained or is it barely even a path? What are the sights and smells of the area? The GM should describe as much as possible, especially details that may be important to the PCs. In this case, the GM can use the paragraph below or make up their own. The Atomic RPG System encourages both players and GMs to use their imaginations to make the games they play their own.
As you leave the village, small hills rise in front of you. It is a cool, crisp morning. You can smell the sweet perfume of early spring flowers on the soft breeze. The road you follow is made of dirt and is clearly not maintained. You’ve heard the rumors of danger in the hills ahead. It may be a short two day trip through the valleys to the other side of the hills, but a lot can happen in that time.
Jacob begins to whistle softly as you enter the first of the valleys.
This is a good time for the players to talk amongst themselves and with Jacob if they’d like. This kind of opportunity is great because it helps to build camaraderie between players and to develop the NPCs of the world. This is especially important in an ongoing campaign (a campaign world is a persistent story/place in which a GM makes quests for the players). This test game is intended just to get the feel for playing the Atomic RPG System, so extensive role-play is not necessary, but it is fun! Here are a few things that the PC’s can learn through talking to Jacob or each other. These facts can just be just given out or the GM can have the PC’s roll a Skill Check to learn about them. A Skill Check of 17 would be appropriate.
- Goblins seem to be a common theme in the many rumors of danger.
- Jacob built his home near a rare clay resource which makes his wares so good.
- Jacob is a well-known merchant. He deals in high quality porcelain.
- Jacob keeps his home’s location a secret.
- Jacob makes these wares at his home.
- Rumors of this road being dangerous started last fall.
The GM should read the following to set the scene for the battle to come!
On the afternoon of the second day you begin to think that guard duty for Jacob has turned out to be easy money. Travelling through the valley, you are sure you’ll see the city around each bend in the road. As you daydream about the hot, fresh-cooked meal you will be enjoying soon, the bushes around the road erupt in movement! With a piercing battle cry, disgusting four-foot tall creatures with rough yellow skin charge at you! Wielding crude weapons, they close in quickly in an attempt to make short work of you and your allies!
Now the game enters Battle Time. This is a game mode that makes sure everyone takes turns. Battle Time also limits what the character can do in their turn. In Battle Time, a character can do the following on their turn: 1 Action (Use a Power or Combat Maneuver), 1 Move (Change your position. Check your character’s Speed to see how many spaces your character can move), and 1 Minor Action (Speak 25 words, take a healing potion, drop an item, etc). Since the goblins ambushed the party, they will go first. Then, each person rolls a d20 and adds their Reaction modifier from their character sheet. The PC with the highest total Reaction will go first, followed by the next highest, and so on.
Layout the Battle
It is beneficial to have a battle mat and miniatures. A battle mat is a mat with a printed grid or hexagons. Most of these mats are made to be used with wet-erase markers, in order to show terrain or other obstacles.
You could also print out a paper battle mat. Miniatures represent the PCs and NPCs for the battle. If you don’t have miniatures, any object that fits within the square of the grid can represent a player or NPC, even squares of paper with names or initials.
Plotting the battle on the mat helps ensure understanding of the battle field, but it’s not necessary. Players and the GM can just use their imagination and descriptions to understand the battle field. In this case the GM should be as descriptive as possible. Instead of saying “The goblin is behind the tree” say, “The goblin is 4 spaces away from Player 1, behind a tree to the north.”
Combat Rolls Begin
The GM should read the following to the players in order to describe the battle field.
One small goblin rushes each guard and attacks! Their goblin’s eyes are wild with the thrill of battle and the meal to come. Jacob cowers in the driver seat of the wagon hoping that his hired guards can handle the attack.
- Goblin Ambusher – 1st Level Grunt – Tier 2 NPC
The GM now rolls Attack Checks against each of the PC’s for each goblin that is attacking them. This is a d20 roll plus the Attack Modifier for the Power they are using.
Terrifying Stab is a Combatant Attack, so the GM should roll a d20 plus the Goblin Ambusher’s Attack modifier for Combatant, which is a +8.
If the total of the d20 roll plus the Attack Modifier are equal to or higher than the PC’s Combatant Defense they hit the PC. Then the GM rolls 1d6 (6 sided dice) for the Damage of the Terrifying Stab Power and adds the Goblin Ambusher’s Combatant Damage modifier of 8. (1d6+8) This is the Hit Point damage the Goblin Ambusher does to the PC. Tell the player the total and the player then should subtract the number from their PC’s Hit Point value.
- If the die roll is a 20 (lands on a 20) it is a Critical Hit which does maximum damage (14 Damage).
- If the die roll is a 1 (lands on a 1) it is a Fumbled Attack which is always a miss.
- Once a PC uses a Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary Power it cannot be used again during this same combat.
- PCs can use Combat Maneuvers, Basic Attacks, and At Will Powers over and over.
- NPCs can reuse all of their Powers. They just cannot use the same Signature Power in consecutive rounds.
- If an NPC’s Hit Points reach 0, they are dead.
- If the PC’s Hit Points get low they can use a healing potion from their inventory. All the prepared PCs have 2 potions available. They can use 1 potion per round along with a Move and Action.
- If a PC’s Hit Points go below 0, then they are dying. Then on their turn they will roll a Revive Check. For more details on this read the Death and Dying page. It is not included here as the PC’s are totally going to rock the goblins!
Repeat this process until each of the Goblin Ambushers has attacked the PCs. Once that is completed, the GM should begin to step through the PCs from highest Reaction Check to the lowest.
Once every PC and the GM have completed their turn, then move to the second round of combat.
The 2nd Round Surprise
RPG gaming is often about throwing out the unexpected to the players to see how they handle it. Once all the remaining Goblin Ambushers complete their turn, spring this surprise on them. Read the following:
Springing up from the bushes 2 spaces away from (pick a wounded goblin if possible), you see another goblin appear. This one shouts and jibbers encouragement to the other goblins and seems to energize them.
Tossing goblin curses and taunts at his fellow goblins, the Goblin Inciter reminds them of the pain of failing the boss! This grants them bonuses to Attack.
At this point the Goblin Inciter shows up. This NPC has the ability to heal and buff the goblins. Their job is to try to keep the other goblins alive and fighting.
- Goblin Inciter – 1st Level Specialist – Tier 3 NPC
Then continue the Battle Time combat with each player. This cycle repeats until all of the PCs or NPCs are dead or have fled. Once all of the enemies are dead, combat is over and the game can move back to Real Time. Once the game mode switches from Battle Time to either Turn Time or Real Time all of the players’ Powers are reset. This means that when the next combat begins they will have all their Powers to use again.
The GM should read this.
While searching through the meager possessions of the goblins, you find a crude map of the area. It appears to have a marked route through some hills to a cave. This must be where their lair is.
Jacob sees the map and lets a little chuckle escape. “I am well aware of your adventurer’s need to follow a treasure map! Go ahead and investigate it. We are very close to the city and I should be fine from here on. Here is your pay, you earned every coin!” He then hands the PC’s their money, offers them a hearty handshake and then leads his wagon off towards the city, leaving the PCs in the valley.
PC choices are very important in RPGs. They are really what make the games so much fun since the PCs do have a lot of say in what really plays out in a game. At this point the PC’s can choose to head back to their home village, continue on to the city, or do what any good adventurer would do and follow the map.
Choosing the Village/City
If they choose to head back to either city or the village then the quest is really over. As a GM you may want to try to fill any time in with things the PC’s might want to do such as go eat, get a room, throw a party in their honor, or buy items to improve their character.
You can then skip down to The End of the Game.
Following the Map
With the map in hand, have the party determine their marching order again. This time they will be heading up into the hills on small trails.
The GM should now take the game back to Turn Time. This time it will be used as a Skill Challenge to see how quickly and easily the PC’s can find their way to the cave. This time Turn Time will be three rounds so they can determine a little more on their way there. Again, keep track of the successes and failures of the group as this will determine possible bonuses or penalties they may suffer at the end of the Skill Challenge. For the sake of simplicity, the difficulty for all checks will be 15.
Round 1 – Find the Path to the Cave
The PCs need to find the path into the mountains that the goblins were using. Then they need to be able to follow it to the lair.
PC’s can use either their Scholar Skill, for map reading ability, or they can use their Perception or Nature Skill to spot the beaten path through the brush.
Round 2 – Discover Details
This round the PCs are on the trail. They need to try to use this opportunity to get a better idea of what they may be up against by looking at signs along or near the trail for anything that might be useful.
PC’s can use either their Nature or Perception Skill, to identify tracks and other signs.
With a successful check, the GM gives the PCs a little information. Read one of the following information tidbits to the successful PC:
- There don’t seem to be more tracks than what was left by the creatures that attacked.
- There are a few tracks that appear to be much bigger, perhaps giant tracks.
- This path was probably used daily by these goblins.
- It is clear the goblins have been raiding for awhile because there are signs of discarded loot shortly up the trail.
- There are signs of several goblin bodies along the trail, in of varying stages of decay.
- You spot that the top 6 or 7 feet of a nearby tree has been snapped off about 10 feet off the ground.
- In a muddy section of the trail, there are booted tracks that are about twice the size of your own.
- The underbrush is cleared, but you notice that there are areas that are cleared to at least 10 feet off the ground.
Round 3 – Sneak up to the Cave
The last part of this Skill Challenge is to be able to sneak up to the cave undetected. They are not sure of what or who might still be around so a careful and cautious approach would be best.
PC’s can use either Athletics or Subterfuge Skill to sneak up the last bit of the hill to the cave.
After each PC has rolled the last round of the Skill Challenge, tally up how good they did. If they have more marks in the success column, read this to them.
Your hearts pump with the rush of adventuring and the excitement of what may lie ahead. You each receive a +1 to Attack rolls for the next encounter.
However, if their tally marks fall more into the failed roll category, read them this instead.
As the sun sets, uncertainty and doubt plague your mind. Are you in the right area? Did you guess right about what and how many creatures are here? Did they hear your approach? All PC’s have a -1 Penalty to their Defenses for the next encounter.
These GM bonuses/penalty stack with everything they have and will not go away until after the next Battle Time encounter.
Read the following GM text to them.
You see the cave, just ahead of you on the trail. There is a foul smell of filth in the air. Below the cave entrance is a pile of refuse, obviously left over from whatever foul things the goblins eat. There do not seem to be any guards, and there are no sounds of any activity from within the cave.
At this point they may or may not have a lot of information on what they may encounter. This is a good opportunity for the PCs to discuss how they are going to enter the cave and deal with anything inside. It does not have to be an especially detailed plan, but they should have some kind of idea what they are going to do before heading into the cave.
Once they seemed to have agreed on a plan, move to the next section of the quest.
As the PC’s enter the cave, the GM should speak out in a gruff voice.
“It’s about time you lunk-heads returned. I’ve been waiting all day! I’m starving, you better have something tasty or I am going to eat one of you! “
A hill giant appears from the depths of the dark cave! Standing almost 9 feet tall, this long and lanky giant is wearing the fine clothes of people the goblins have stolen from: way too short, some torn, and the clothes make the giant look ridiculous! But he is obviously quite proud of them. With a scowl, he reaches over and picks up a small tree, which appears to be his club. Several other weapons seem to be crudely jammed through or lashed onto the strange weapon!
“Hey, you’re not my goblins! What did you do to them?”
The giant then confidently strides into battle. He is 4 spaces away from the first PC. The giant starts in the corner near his bed and moves to protect the entrance to his part of the cave. However, this still leaves a small opening in the back the PCs could use if they see it with a Passive Perception of 17. There is room to spread out and move in this fight. Just remember, a PC cannot move through a NPC’s space and visa versa.
- Hill Giant Thumper Leader – This NPC is a tough and mean. This giant might hit hard but it is not smart at all.
This time, neither the PCs nor the NPCs are ambushing or surprising the other, so both the GM and PCs will roll Reaction Checks (d20 + Reaction Modifier). Combat starts with the highest final Reaction roll, then the next highest, and so on until everyone has had a turn. Then the process repeats until one side or the other is dead or has fled.
There is only one giant here, but this particular NPC is a difficult one. It is designed to be a leader of the goblins. This would be considered a “boss fight” in many games.
Tips for this Boss Fight
- For the sake of learning, if the PC’s feel they are doing poorly and want or need to retreat, the giant will not follow them out of the cave (if they are fleeing). This can give the PCs a second chance to figure out how they want to handle the tough enemy.
- This NPC can be easily confused and tricked. If the PCs want to try to talk their way out, it is possible.
- If the PCs are struggling, the giant can run away after it is lower than 50 Hit Points.
Once the giant is defeated, the players can search through the cave. They find a lot of filth and disgusting stuff but also uncover some of the treasure the goblins and giant have stolen. For their efforts and hard work, they get some loot! There is a smattering of nice weapons around the cave, most of which are actually lashed to the giant’s club. Each player gains a +1 to Attack weapon of their choice. There is also enough money around for each of them to gain 200 gold pieces!
If the PC’s bring it up, you can mention that it’s possible there is also a bounty on these enemies. Should they take the heads into the authorities, there might even be more rewards as well as songs sung in their honor for clearing the valley of the dangerous bandits.
In this Atomic RPG System quest there is not much to wrap up since it is a quick and easy test game. In normal games you may play long enough to role-play back to the city or village, perhaps having a bit of a celebration or even be received as heroes, as Jacob told the guards of your heroics on the road.
Normally a GM would ask if any of the PCs wanted to do anything, such as buy new supplies, order upgrades on items, or anything else that might be related to the character or the campaign.
If this was the first quest I would let the PCs level up to level 2. This way they would see how their experience and heroics benefited them enough to level. This could even be the first quest of many with these characters in this area. Since these are public Atomic RPG System characters, they cannot be changed.
However, if your group wants to continue with the story, the players can make copies of the characters they played on their own Atomic RPG System accounts. This way they can level them up and modify the characters as much as they want.
No End in Sight
To continue the quest, the GM just needs to expand out what they already know, and think about new quests for the PCs, or ask the players what they want to do and then build something along the lines of their goals and ambitions. With each game, both the GM and the players can expand and grow this little campaign world of theirs into something huge and awesome. In fact, the campaign world I have built for my players did not start any more grandiose than this humble quest. Now after many years of playing in the same campaign world, we have built hundreds of characters for dozens of campaigns over the course of tens of thousands of years in our own world.
Time to take control and run Adventures of your own!
Anybody can do this, it just takes a little time. And that is what the Atomic RPG System is meant to enable – players unleashing their awesome imaginations in the infinite universes of great RPGs. This was a classic RPG example with swords and magic. But campaigns, quests, or missions can be expanded into any time period imaginable. That is the freedom of the Atomic RPG System.
Even if you aren’t inspired to create your own, there are tons of great stories out there that can easily be used to play your own version of an awesome RPG.
Here are just a few quest ideas to continue to play the Atomic RPG System with these characters in this setting. Now that they have successfully guarded a merchant through the mountains, many different quests may come of it.
- They are sought out by other merchants as guards. Perhaps there is a longer, more dangerous route past this city they can explore.
- The local adventurer’s guild heard of their success and wants to recruit them. Showing their mettle, they could find more excitement on more dangerous and exotic quests for the guild.
- Other NPCs hear about their success and want to get rid of the party because they are losing business. This other party may try to kill them all this very night.
- The party finds a bounty on goblins. They can head back into the mountains looking for more goblins. Perhaps there are many more goblin tribes.
- The party is hired by a local wizard to learn more about the giant they encountered. They then can be sent off to hunt exotic and magical beasts for more of the wizard’s research.
- A PC has something specific they want to explore (some of the best quests come from what the players themselves want to explore). Perhaps find something in their own backstory like a lost sister. They might want to establish their own merchant guard company, or even just head off in a direction to see what the wild world has to offer.
Hopefully this Instant Play Quest gave you a taste of how easy the mechanics are for the Atomic RPG System. These are applied to whatever type of game you are playing. Soon you will master the simple yet solid Atomic RPG System rule set and be free to explore and invent your own worlds.
For further discussion, ideas, or questions regarding this quest please visit our forums and let me know what you think!