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Lifeblood of the Hearth

Quest Framework

The Hearth highly recommends using Trello for Quest/Activity/Everything planning

For HoBLotH III, all attendees are expected to create, design, and run Quests and/or Activities for other players to enjoy. The Lifeblood of the Hearth is entirely what thou dost make of it! Once thou dost have a confirmed registration, thou wilt be able to submit thy Quests/Activities through the registration portal. If thou art at a loss for ideas or worried how best to leverage the venue, fear not! The host will discuss with thee how best to design thy quest for maximum benefit of the venue and also suggest any possibilities thou mayest not have considered.

In the meantime, the following information is provided to help guide thee through the design process:


During character creation (i.e. registration), attendees will choose from three Primary Professions and two Secondary Professions. These Professions let other attendees know what types of Quests and/or Activities the player is interested in. Professions do not limit the Quest/Activities an attendee may participate in, but rather Professions serve to help to organize players for the benefit of Quest/Activity designers. (e.g. an attendee mayest undertake a Fighter quest even if s/he did not choose to be a Fighter during registration) When thou dost design a Quest/Activity, thou must state which Profession(s) the Quest/Activity is designed for. (e.g. a boffer bracket would be most suited to Fighters while a musical contest would be best for Bards) Quests/Activities also may be designed specifically for players who art more than one Profession or a group with mixed Professions.

Primary Professions

A player may choose to be any, all, or none of the Primary Professions. An attendee's Primary Profession will be used to group like-minded players together for Quests/Activities.

Mage: Ever seeking Truth, Mages spend their lives pursuing knowledge. Preferring to solve problems through use of their intellect rather than their muscles, Mages live a somewhat sedentary life. (Quests/Activities designed for Mages should require extremely little to no physical participation and should involve knowledge, wit, and puzzle solving elements)

Bard: Living a life of Love, Bards are creative fellows who commune through artistry and socialization. Preferring to engage in musical, artistic, and/or social endeavours, Bards are drawn to creativity and cheer. (Quests/Activities designed for Bards may or may not be physically intensive and should involve music, art, crafting, and/or social elements)

Fighter: Embodying unmitigated Courage, Fighters are very physical by nature. Preferring to solve problems through blades and heroic deeds, Fighters seek out physically demanding challenges. (Quests designed for Fighters should require moderate to heavy physical participation and preferably involve boffer combat)

Secondary Professions

Ranger        Shepherd
Similar to the Primary Professions, a player may choose to be any, both, or neither. The Secondary Professions are for attendees to self identify in service roles for the event.

Ranger: Travelling far and wide, Rangers seek to better the realm through Spirituality. (Rangers volunteer to be NPCs for other player's quests. Quest designers will be provided with a list of NPCs in the registration portal.)

Shepherd: The humble Shepherd seeks to better the realm through work and seeks not the glory of other professions. (Shepherds volunteer to help with event related tasks such as taking a shift in the tavern or keeping score during another player's quest)

Players who choose to take up a Secondary Profession mayest choose how much or how little of their time they doth devote to the event.

Quests vs. Activities

Perhaps the first question thou mayest want to ask thyself when designing a Quest/Activity for the HoBLotH is whether it will be a Quest or an Activity. The difference is simple. Quests involve a role-playing aspect with a clearly defined objective while Activities do not. All Quests/Activities should be limited to one hour, including any set up and tear down time, unless otherwise discussed with the host. Quests/Activities must be able to be set up and torn down entirely by the quest designers and/or Shepherds (i.e. not the host) unless otherwise arranged.


Quests should have some sort of narrative role-play aspect, involve interaction with one or more NPCs, and have a defined objective for completion. (e.g. Gorn needs a drink. Fetch Gorn a drink!) Quests may involve physical tasks. Any optional props and/or completion rewards must be furnished by the designer. (If in-game currency is present, it will be made available for use as quest rewards) Quests will generally involve Fighters but may be designed for any Primary Profession.


Activities are not required to have role-play elements, narrative elements, or objectives, but they may. Activities are not as structured as Quests but should at least have a concise description. Activities will generally be Bardic in nature, but may be designed for any Primary Profession. Example Activities include: a singing circle, poetry reading, belching contest, topical discussions, lectures, item crafting, etc. Any materials required for the Activity must be furnished by the Activity designer.


When thou dost have a confirmed registration, thou wilt be able to submit thy Quest/Activity through the registration portal. Once a Quest/Activity is approved, it will show up on the schedule. A player with a confirmed registration can log in and select the Quests/Activities they wish to attend. The quest designer will see the names and Professions of players attending their Quest/Activity. The number of players attending each Quest/Activity will also be displayed on the schedule.

The general format is provided below so thou mayest prepare thy submission:

  1. Is this a Quest or Activity?
  2. What is the title of thy Quest/Activity? (for display on the schedule)
  3. Describe thy Quest/Activity (for the host to approve, thou mayest be vague if thou dost wish to avoid spoilers, it is up to thee how much to reveal to the host so long as the host knows enough to officially sanction the quest)
  4. Provide a 1,000 character or less description of thy Quest/Activity (for display on the schedule)
  5. What Primary Professions is this Quest/Activity designed for?
  6. Is this an Ultima/SotA/Both/Neither related Quest/Activity? (for display on the schedule)
  7. Dost thou require any Rangers or Shepherds for thy Quest/Activity? If so, how many of each?
  8. How long dost thou estimate thy Quest/Activity to be?
  9. How many players doth thy Quest/Activity require at minimum?
  10. What is the maximum number of players thy Quest/Activity canst support?
  11. What is the starting location of thy Quest/Activity? (for display on the schedule)
  12. Does thou require any special accommodations? (e.g. use of a certain building)
  13. Wilt thou need to ship items ahead for thy quest?
  14. Wilt thou need the Hearth to host any digital files for players to reference ahead of time?
  15. What days wilt thou be attending the event?
  16. What time(s) dost thou prefer thy Quest/Activity to take place? (Depending on the number of submissions, there mayest be Quests/Activities running simultaneously during the event. The host will attempt to schedule all Quests/Activities with minimum conflicting overlap. Player submitted Quests/Activities may not take place during official Hearth run Quests/Activities.)

Suggested Quests/Activities

For those who art struggling with coming up with a Quest/Activity, fear not! The Hearth hath the following list of suggested Quests/Activities for thy convenience and reference. These suggestions are meant to inspire ideas though thou art certainly welcome to volunteer to run one or more of them. To volunteer, simply include thy request during thy registration.

Archery Competition (A)

There should be enough bows present at the event to run a small tourney. Organizers could run a competitive bracket or simply award prizes for those who hit the target within the defined parameters. Thou couldst use real or boffer arrows. Organizers would need to furnish and set up archery targets, however, if boffer arrows are used, perhaps someone could volunteer to be the target.

Bardic Circle (A)

A simple singing circle, perhaps around the fire at a certain time. Thou mayest want to choose a theme (e.g. "Songs of New Britannia") or designate that it is instrumental or vocal only. Thou mayest want to run it as a contest on the theatre stage or carol as a wandering group of minstrels.

Chess / Knight's Bridge (Q/A)

There is a giant chess set on the property. Parts could be covered in order to play Knight's Bridge. This could be used to run tournaments or simply have casual play. If desired, a narrative could be written to turn playing a game of chess or Knight's Bridge into a Quest. If thou art interested in setting up some Knight's Bridge play, thou mayest consider providing a gold chest and some blue cloth to cover the out-of-bounds areas.

House of Games (A)

Mage Bard
Given that the event is taking place in Buccaneer's Den, it seems only fitting that there should be a House of Games somewhere. If in-game currency is present at the event, this could be used for gambling. It is up to thee which games thou dost wish to recreate. Thou also mayest want to team up with other players for this.

Theatre Pageant (A)

While thou mayest absolutely put on a full Passion Play, Shadow of Light Dragon suggested simply having all players take their turns walking out on the theatre stage and dramatically reciting the iconic lines "I am the Avatar!" and "Name, job, bye!" (The jury is is still out on whether or not "What's a paladin?" should be allowed) This could be recorded for posterity if thou dost wish.

Monitor Knight's Test (Q)

Fighter Mage
Another suggestion from Shadow of Light Dragon, this could be something as simple as a a set of questions or as complex as a full on obstacle course could be designed to determine a player's totem animal. If so desired, a designer could have custom made temporary tattoos made for player's faces.

Panpipe Crafting (Q/A)

An Activity (or possibly sub-Quest for someone else's Quest) to make a set of panpipes. While hollowing out wood is admittedly labour intensive, this could be done more simply by cutting down lengths of PVC or other pipe material.

Bread Baking (A)

Few things are more iconic Ultima than baking bread. Unfortunately there is not a convenient oven at the venue. However, Shadow of Light Dragon has the answer! Apparently the Australians have been baking bread on sticks over fire for years. (The host canst provide the skewers if thou dost choose to run this Activity)

Specialized Tournaments/Physical Challenges (Q/A)

The Hearth will be running a standard single-sword, no-armor boffer bracket. Thou mayest wish to run competitions with different parameters such as longswords, sword and shield, armor and/or magic permitted, etc. Additionally thou mayest want to consider some sort of other physical challenge such as a foot race, strength competition, or the like.

Resources & Design Tips

Creating Quests/Activities may seem intimidating at first, especially when thou mayest not be intimately familiar with the venue. The following tips and resources aim assist thee in the creation process. If thou dost have any questions, please direct them to the host via the registration portal. Please hold questions until registration has opened and thy registration hath been confirmed.

The above map is the thematic appropriation of Castleton as Buccaneer's Den. The red areas denote places thou mayest camp. Thou wilt be able to make use of virtually every part of the venue for thy Quests/Activities, provided they aren't in use for another Quest/Activity already. Liberties hath been taken with place names in order to give thee more places to reference for thy Quests/Activities. Explicitly, thou dost have access to the following (detailed photos of each coming soon!):


(the numbers correspond with the map)
  1. Dungeon The dungeon is a long, dark cave that is excellent for holding Quest items and encounters.
  2. Docks Thou wilt have access to canoes, kayaks, and life vests if thy Quests/Activities include water.
    Pics: 1
  3. Governor's Mansion This is Lord British's private residence and is off limits for the event.
  4. Fairy Dome 'tis a dome.
    Pics: 1 2 3 4
  5. Mysterious Craft What adventures could this strange device lead to?
    Pics: 1 2 3
  6. Ruined Shrine This appears to be the remains of a shrine of virtue, maybe a lunar rift, or possibly something else?
    Pics: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  7. Theatre The best place to use if thou dost need everyone in a single place, especially for a spectacle.
    Pics: 1 2 3 4
  8. Stables Everyone needs a horse.
    Pics: 1
  9. Gatehouse Used to verify identities of travellers visiting Buccaneer's Den. May be useful as a meeting/hiding place as well.
    Pics: 1
  10. Fellowship Hall They were all dismantled, except this one. That's Buc's Den for thee.
    Pics: 1 2 3 4 5 6
  11. Fire Pit Sure to be a busy social place once the sun goes down.
    Pics: 1
  12. Pavilion Another suitable location for gathering many people at once.
    Pics: 1
  13. Jailhouse Didst someone commit a crime? Dost thou need a hanging?
    Pics: 1 2 3 4 5 6
  14. Apothecary The place to purchase reagents, spells, and enchantments. This building will be staffed with an NPC.
    Pics: 1 2 3 4 5
  15. Bath House Showers and toilets. Please use them.
    Pics: 1 2 3
  16. Hunting Lodge A uniquely shaped domicile, suitable for hiding items or having secret meetings.
    Pics: 1 2 3 4 3
  17. Gypsy Wagon If thou dost want to tell someone's fortune, this would be the place to do it.
    Pics: 1 2 3 4
  18. Iolo's Hut Another place suitable for hiding items or meeting.
    Pics: 1 2 3 4 5
  1. The King's Ransom An inn for weary travellers. A great place to station an NPC for thy Quest.
    Pics: 1 2 3 4
  2. Knight's Suite An upper class dwelling.
    Pics: 1
  3. Teepee ...or is it a wigwam?
    Pics: 1 2
  4. Corner Shack Another domicile useful for items or meeting.
    Pics: 1 2 3 4
  5. The Fallen Virgin The tavern! What a great place to start an adventure. This building will be staffed with an NPC throughout the event.
    Pics: 1
  6. Armoury The place to purchase additional and upgraded weapons. This building will be staffed with an NPC throughout the event.
    Pics: 1 2 3 4
  7. Smuggler's Docks A perfect place for a clandestine meeting in the dark.
    Pics: 1
  8. Provisioner The place to pick up items and information. This building will be staffed with an NPC throughout the event.
    Pics: 1 2 3 4
  9. Lighthouse Lots of places to hide items and a nice view to boot!
    Pics: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
  10. Giant Chess Set ...self-explanatory.
    Pics: 1
  11. Millhouse Uses a giant water wheel to grind grain into flour. Useful for anything bread related.
    Pics: 1 2 3 4
  12. Creekside Manor A large domicile suitable for stashing items or holding meetings. The porch is nice for sitting.
    Pics: 1 2 3 4
  13. Merry-Go-Round You spin me right round.
    Pics: 1
  14. Fort Useful for a myriad Quests/Activities.
    Pics: 1 2 3 4 5 6
  15. Pirate Ship Also useful for a myriad Quests/Activities.
    Pics: 1 2 3
  16. Samhayne's Stump Suitable for secret meetings or stashing objects.
    Pics: 1
  17. Guild Shop Useful for procuring illicit goods. This building will be staffed with an NPC during certain hours of the event, pending enough volunteers.
    Pics: 1 2 3 4 5 6
  18. Altar Need to make a sacrifice? 'tis covered.
    Pics: 1 2


(from left to right on the map)
  • Seaside Clearing A well groomed clearing with picnic tables and a great view of the water. A decent port of entry for the water.
    Pics: 1
  • Smuggler's Grove Beware the forest! Strange lights hath been seen here at night.
    Pics: 1 2 3
  • Hawkins' Hedge Not a friendly bit of wilderness, though someone insistent couldst hide something here.
  • Drydock This is where thou wilt park thy vehicles.
  • Training Ground This is where Martial Training will take place as well as any archery, if present.
    Pics: 1
  • Vineyard Hidden in the recesses of the mountain wilderness, the vineyard is an excellent place for a post Quest picnic or a clandestine meeting.
  • Hallowed Field Near the Fellowship Hall (or is the Church of the Dark Star?)
  • Mountain Wilderness Largely unforgiving and impassable terrain.
  • Border Camp One of many places thou mayest set up camp.
    Pics: 1
  • Mountain Camp One of many places thou mayest set up camp.
  • Smuggler's Camp One of many places thou mayest set up camp.rote
  • Gypsy Camp One of many places thou mayest set up camp.te
  • Lawn Lounge The outdoor seating area of the Fallen Virgin Tavern.
    Pics: 1 2 3
  • Budo's Brush Largely unforgiving and impassable, but remote enough to hide something important.
  • Battlefield The locale for Capture the Keg, the battlefield is one of the largest open areas available.
    Pics: 1 2
  • Outskirts A nice, remote area for shady dealings.
    Pics: 1


(from left to right on the map)
  • Tanglebriar Trail A narrow, uneven path to the dungeon. Use caution while traversing this path. Thou shouldst be comfortable hiking slippery terrain.
  • Shipwright's Stroll The path to the docks. Please keep thy vehicles off this road.
  • Emilio's Rut The path leading to both the ruined shrine and vineyard.
  • Carriage Road One of the only two roads thou mayest drive on, this road leads to the theatre and south-western area of the venue.
  • Scallywag's Path The other road thou mayest drive upon (as thou must use this road to arrive!). This path leads up into the hills to ruined shrine and vineyard.
    Pics: 1
  • Border March The road bordering and leading into Buccaneer's Den.
  • Wishing Tree Court The first cross street thou wilt come to upon entering the town.
  • Wakeland Hollow The second cross street thou wilt come to upon entering the town. This road leads to the pavilion.
  • Treehouse Overlook Another cross street in town.
  • Astor Avenue Leads to the apothecary.
  • Hangman's Alley The path to the bath house.
  • Chapel Road The main drag of Buccaneer's Den.
  • Baron's Way North This road leads to the armoury.
  • Baron's Way South The most important road as it leads to the tavern!
  • Hook's Crossing The bridge to the battlefield and north-eastern wilderness.
    Pics: 1

If thou dost have questions about how best to leverage the locations listed above, please include thy questions when submitting thy Quests/Activities in the registration portal. The host will be happy to work with thee to make thy designs as fun as possible.

Quest Journals

Players will be given journals at HoBLotH III. To facilitate ease of Quest/Activity administration, it is suggested that thou dost print any question information on the following templates so they may be simply added to a player's journal. Please have a look at the HoBLotH II Prep Album for examples of Quest artwork for journals.

Pages for HoBLotH III journals are 13x9.5 cm with six (6) 5mm holes in the side (a standard hole punch is a little large, The Hearth recommends a 1/8" hole punch). Templates are provided below for thy convenience:

At minimum, Quest/Activity scripts for Rangers (NPCs) should be put on note cards (ideally on the template). It is up to thee how involved thou dost wish to make the tangible elements of thy Quests/Activities. All levels of skill and creativity are welcome!

Quest/Activity Item Tags

All Quest/Activity items must have a tag. This helps prevent players identify which items are needed for their Quests/Activities and which are not. There are two types of tags: normal and lucky. Normal tags are used for items that may only be used by players on the related Quest. This is 99% of items. Lucky tags are used only for items that any player may spontaneously pick up, such as for an item that starts an unlisted, special Quest.

The tag should include the item name, optional description, Quest/Activity title, and the designer's name. The tags may be attached with twine or printed on a label and affixed directly to the item. The Hearth recommends printing tags on card stock for durability. Please use the templates below to print thy Quest/Activity tags:

While at the event, do not pick up, move, open, or otherwise purposefully disturb items with normal tags. Do not spoil locations of items with normal tags for players who may be on that quest. This is an ejection level offense.


Thou mayest want to use runic in thy Quests/Activities. If so, please take note of the following guidelines to ensure thy runic fits Ultima and/or SotA canon:

  • There are no capital letters in runic (this is wrong):
    This is incorrect. :( This is Wrong
  • Runic has vertically center aligned dots between words and double dots between sentences (Runic: "this is also wrong"):
    This is incorrect. :(this is also wrong
  • There is no punctuation or Arabic numerals in runic other than the previously mentioned dots (Runic: "this isn't right either"):
    This is incorrect. :(this isn't right either
  • Proper Britannian runes make use of double letters (Runic: "this is proper. so is this"):
    This is correct! :)this is proper. so is this
  • Only Britannian runic uses double letters. New Britannian runic does not: (Runic: "new britannian runic does not have double letters")
    This is correct! :)new britannian runic does not have double letters
  • Multi-line sentences do not have trailing dots (Runic: "no dot at the end of sentences with multiple lines. this is wrong")
    This is incorrect. :(no dot at the end of sentences with multiple lines. this is wrong
  • This is a correct example of a multi-line sentence (Runic: "this is a correct multiple line sentence")
    This is correct! :)this is a correct multiple line sentence
  • New Britannian runic may also use specific decorative elements to designate important text such as a header. The decorative elements seen here are used on Sir Frank's Shroud of the Avatar coins. (Runic: "this is a new britannian heading this is a regular sentence")
    This is correct! :)this is a new britannian heading this is a regular sentence

It is admittedly tricky to get the dots between words and get proper double letters in Britannian runic. If thou dost wish to do this, the best way is to type the sentence out first using spaces then placing the dots and double letters in afterwards. To place dots, thou must use a bullet (•). Choose Arial as thy font and hold the alt key and press 7 on thine number pad. Release the alt key and a bullet will appear. Next, thou must adjust the size and position of the bullet using font-size and superscript settings. Once the bullet is properly aligned, copy and paste it between all the words and twice between sentences. For New Britannian runic, Dame Lori is awesome and added the ability to place dots simply by using the period character. Addtionally, Sir Frank's runic font will allow thee to place dots using the period character. To place the decorative elements seen in the last example use the "[, {, ], }" characters.

For double letter characters, thou must use the character map. Open the character map by clicking thy start menu and typing "character map." Choose the "Ultima Runes" font and scroll down to the double letter section. Click the desired double letter, copy it, and paste it into thy text as needed. Be sure not to use the capital letter version!

For thy convenience, thou mayest download the fonts here:

Ultima Runes Font - via dafont
New Britannian Runic Fonts - via Forsaken Virtues
Sir Frank's New Britannian Runic: Solid and Chiseled - via Sir Frank

While thou mayest certainly find examples in printed and in-game Ultima lore that contradict these rules, please note that the guidelines above were approved and officially endorsed by Richard Garriott himself and should be considered official cannon. Any inconsistencies thou mayest find should be considered mistakes.


To aid thee in creating Quests/Activities that are as faithful as possible to the lore, please use the following references:

Ultima Codex Wiki - The most exhaustive resource for Ultima lore
Sota Wiki - A repository of knowledge for Shroud of the Avatar
Replacement Docs - An archive where thou mayest download Ultima manuals and cluebooks in .pdf form
Ultima Maps - A repository of scanned Ultima maps
Doug the Eagle's Ultima Page - Inspiration if thou dost want to create quests of a less serious nature

Forgot password?

Hast thou read and understood all of Decrees and Rules for the event?

Also, please be sure that thou dost read throughout the character creation process.


"Welcome, O Seeker!"

"At last thou hast come to fulfill thy destiny," the gypsy says. She smiles, as if in great relief.
"Firstly, I needs must ask," the gypsy slides a parchment and quill toward thee...

"By what name shalt thou be called in Britannia?"