The first time I received this quest in Mount & Blade, my mind was blown.

It’s simply one of the best quest ideas for an RPG . . . ever. In M&B, you’re asked to collect on a debt for a given Lord, and given a month or so to complete it.

Once you track down said Lord, you must persuade them to pay. As far as I saw in the “early” game, you could only persuade them so much before they’d just demand a bribe before making the payment.

Once you’ve collected the debt money, you’ve “completed” the quest in every sense except its ultimate redemption for XP and reputation, which means you can carry the money around with you for an indefinite amount of time.

It’s in-game currency, too. Not a nebulous “Lord’s debt” item in your inventory. Which means you can spend it, lose it, whatever. It’s worth reputation and XP if you turn it in, but you can keep it for a time to do some trade or quick-upgrade-bandit-raid-turnaround before finally turning in the quest.

Oh, and I think you get 20% of the total for your trouble.

Money, reputation, and XP. A trifecta.

It’s a fast and simple way of giving players a temporary influx of cash — and an interesting dilemma to pose for them: what happens if they decide not to ever return it? What happens if they’re robbed along the way?

Of course the tough part is having all the Lords in play for the characters to collect from/deliver to — and that requires either preparation or improvisation. I prefer less prep — but if I could find a way to make it fast and easy, I would.

It’s perhaps the best “fetch” quest ever — it has two stages of reward: money now, and rep later. That’s basically the order that every player wants those rewards.

Oh, and XP always.

But there’s a hidden difficulty included: you have to have a certain minimum amount of money before you can complete the quest — in the form of the bribe provided to the Lord in order to collect the debt. “It takes money to make money.”

This is a great example of an internally-consistent quest with multiple stages of rewards. It’s a great low-level quest, and it’s infinitely repeatable because Lords are always in debt. There are also multiple exit points for the quest (including keeping the money) and consequences for every one of the options.

Furthermore, it doesn’t introduce any new mechanics — not like some quests — sure, you have diplomacy/negotiation to reduce the bribe amount, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a skill.

It could be a flat probability — or be based on Charisma or character level.