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Announcing the QuestWorlds SRD: the rules-lite and prep-lite RPG engine

Posted by Michael O'Brien on 21st Apr 2020

Questworlds System Reference Document

Introducing the Questworlds System Reference Document (SRD), a roleplaying rules engine suitable for you to play across multiple genres.

QuestWorlds is a rules-light RPG system that facilitates beginning play easily, and resolves conflicts in play quickly. It features an abstract, conflict-based, resolution method and scalable, customizable, character descriptions. Designed to emulate the way characters in fiction face and overcome challenges, it is suitable for a wide variety of genres and play styles.

"QuestWorlds is meant to facilitate your creativity, and then to get out of your way", said Chaosium's QuestWorlds line editor Ian Cooper. "It encourages creative input from your players, resulting in an exciting, unpredictable narrative created through group collaboration."

Questworlds Site

Genre Packs

Chaosium is keen to encourage publishers and fans to create genre packs using the QuestWorlds engine. The first step is the release of the SRD for the system.

This will be followed up by Chaosium with its own line of Worlds of Wonder genre packs as examples of what is possible with the system.

Other publishers and creators may also use the QuestWorlds system, royalty-free. The QuestWorlds Systems Reference Document (SRD) contains the Questworlds Open Game Licence (QOGL) content for Chaosium’s QuestWorlds role-playing game. This means that you can create your own content derived from QuestWorlds, provided that you comply with the terms of the QOGL, as outlined in the SRD.

Cosmic Zap

For the first of the new Worlds of Wonder genre packs for the QuestWorlds system we are fortunate to have enlisted Diana Jones Award-winning designer and theorist Ron Edwards, creator of the influential and acclaimed Sorcerer RPG. Ron was an early champion of the Hero Wars engine and is a huge fan of the superhero genre, so we asked him to combine his two passions in a genre pack called Cosmic Zap.

Ron Edwards says: “If they were going to get Ron Edwards, they were going to get something else - and what I see is this. HeroQuest (QuestWorlds) is the only role-playing system dedicated to trippy mythic fantasy, its roots firmly embedded in West Coast counter-culture no matter how many gamers try to [muck] that up. And therefore it is the only role-playing system that can be dedicated to trippy cosmic superheroes, and in this case, no matter how many consumer-fans of TV & movies try to [muck] that up either.”

You can find Ron’s exploration of the Cosmic Zap genre of superheroes over at his blog, Adept Play.

Version History

HeroQuest and HeroQuest Glorantha

These rules originated in 2000 as Hero Wars by Robin Laws. A revised edition was published as HeroQuest in 2003, and a new second edition in 2009. In 2015 HeroQuest Glorantha by Robin Laws and Jeff Richard set the HeroQuest rules in Greg Stafford’s world of Glorantha.

QuestWorlds, released as an SRD in 2020, once again makes the rules engine generic, suitable for play across a myriad of genres.

Please note: the Questworlds Open Game License for use of the Questworlds Roleplaying system differs from the Wizards Open Game License and has different terms and conditions.