On the kingdom screen you can select one from a number of quests. Once the quest is selected you can chose an approach: each hero might have a different way of going about it. If Varric the merchant took up the case of the lost boy then he’d clearly throw gold at the problem. Sebastian the monk would look to The Watcher (god, you, same thing) for guidance. Our good King Hawke will solve the problem through diplomacy. The first step is to talk to his advisor for guidance.
After the jump, the game is afoot!
The advisor suggests two different options. Either talk to subjects or write and post documents. Note Hawke daydreaming about adventure: one of his favorite things and he hasn’t done that in a while. His advisor, meanwhile, is heading upstairs for a drink straight out of the keg. Have some faith, girl! The path of least resistance at this time of night is to post some documents. Not too many peasants are awake at this hour.
Several hours pass before all five documents are composed. Meanwhile Hawke gets increasingly tired and hungry. I pass the time by voyeuristically watching the household staff wandering around and interacting instead of simply using time compression. On the way to breakfast, Hawke spies his new bride Amelia, freshly awoken, and I remember that along with adventure it is family that Hawke values most. Pursuing personal goals like these pump up moodlets and good moodlets mean better quest results. This could be a fine opportunity to get on with making little Hawkes! Kisses, hugs, sweet nothings and soon the mood is right. Hopefully Hawke won’t starve in the meantime.
Later that morning daily duties show up and each has a time limit. After woowoo and breakfast we get on those. Today it’s chatting with the local folk and dashing off a few new laws. Then it’s off to distribute those writs and find that missing child. The king summons some recipients by carrier pigeon and while foreign dignitaries simply linger around the new reception hall. Scrolls are handed out. The kingdom is on high alert for the missing brat!
After all that walking around and chatting it’s time again for a good night’s sleep. One can normally fast forward through it but it can be entertaining to see what the characters dream about. Clearly there’s a new Hawke Jr. on the way given how Amelia’s dreaming about a baby! Hawke himself is still dreaming about his new love and sword fights and death and random symbols I don’t know. Also I’m seeing bells. Could those be church bells? The king is dreaming about getting some religion?
The next day word comes from the herald that a certain lost boy has been spotted in the town square. After a bath and a visit to the peepee jug, it’s time to bring the kid in. Given how dedicated, and high spirited, Hawke’s been this whole time he completes the quest with a platinum rating which rewards extra traits for the kingdom, in this case well-being, and well deserved cash.
To be honest this isn’t the most interesting quest but it is a simple one. And there are many details about assorted interactions and wanderings that I’ve dropped out because they’re not immediately relevant. Would it matter that a new jester showed up and distracted my staff for half a day? That Amelia spends her free time shopping at the town square before going to pray at the new monestary in the evenings? I thought she was a druid! The entertainment factor in watching the dreams roll by as my character sleeps or seeing the maid at her chores, picking up a book that another character dropped on the floor, isn’t exactly going to compete with Bulletstorm in terms of visceral thrills but it’s all rather enchanting as it comes together.
Brian Rucker is a long time gamer and it will probably say “Roleplayer” on his tombstone. He’s known for harrying folks in various gaming forums as OddjobXL and keeps an occasional blog called “The Roleplayer’s Redoubt” at mmorpg.com.