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Guide: Scaling Quest Difficulty

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Guide: Scaling Quest Difficulty

Post by coltdorsey »

These are general guidelines for scaling quest difficulty that I've adopted over the years as a result of personal development and working with other teachers. At the end of the day, you are still responsible for the quests you write.

In order to scale the difficulty of quests, its helpful to establish some elements of quests that difficulty is associated with:

Elements of Difficulty
- The instruction is the goal you've communicated via quest inscription that your student agrees to complete and you intend to honor (*generally speaking as long as your student remains in good standing with you.)
- The amount of work and/or complexity of work that achieves the goal of the instruction should increase in difficulty per art plateau.

- Driving interaction with each other is the primary key to a healthy dream. Interaction directly combats stagnation. This includes "positive" and "negative" interactions.
- Interaction should take place with dreamers, nightmares, planes/rooms, talismen, arts and in any combination.
- The amount of interaction a quest requires will generally increase the difficulty of the quest.

- There are varying degrees of ownership a student should encounter depending on the art plateau. Participating, leading and influencing activities.
- Participate - For quests requiring less difficulty, require your student to Participate in activities. Your student is not expected to plan or host an event / activity.
- Lead - For quests requiring more difficulty, require your student Lead an event / activity.
- Influence - For Lead roles that require more difficulty, require your student to Influence their student's work to align with their own goals.

- For complex projects or multi-step projects, requiring sufficient planning, documentation and notice can help increase the difficulty of a quest while setting your student up for success.

Styles of Quests
- Identifying varying styles of quests can be useful in a lot of ways. The most intuitive approach is to quest a student in their desired style. Your student is more versed in this style and can likely work on difficult / complex projects.
- The inverse of this idea is that you can effectively increase the difficulty of a quest by respectfully challenging your student to take on quests that are outside their comfort zone or merely just exposing them to various quest styles. This will help strengthen areas they don't typically spend much time on. This approach is generally for students who are working on self improvement, open minded, or are an apprentice for train. For the vast majority of your students, this may result in a quest that never gets completed.

Individual vs Interactive
- Can your student complete the quest as an individual, requiring no interaction with others or the dream?

Impromptu vs Planned
- Can your student complete the quest with any number of dreamers at any time, or does it require planning and/or a chance for maximum participation?

Exploratory vs Philosophical
- Can your student complete the quest without ever moving around the dream?

Theory vs Application
- Can your student complete the quest without ever testing their theory?

Categories of Difficulty
Not difficult / complex
Learn, First Plateau, Second Plateau, Third Plateau
- Did the student participate and/or learn something new about themselves, someone else, or the dream / its properties?

Somewhat difficult / complex
Fourth Plateau, Fifth Plateau
- Did the student plan and/or lead a somewhat difficult goal / complex subject that included some information derived from interaction?

Difficult / complex
Sixth Plateau, Seventh Plateau
- Did the student plan, lead and/or delegate a difficult goal / complex subject that included information derived from research and interaction whose scope of impact is for a small group.

Very Difficult / complex
Eighth Plateau, Ninth Plateau
- Did the student plan, lead and/or delegate a difficult goal / complex subject that included information derived from research and interaction whose scope of impact is for a large group.

Quest Completion Weight
The Work (input)
Ownership (participate/lead/influence)
- Did the degree of participation, leadership and/or influence your student demonstrated meet or exceed expectations of your quest?

- Did the degree of interaction with other dreamers, nightmares and/or the city meet or exceed expectations of your quest?

- Did the degree of planning, documentation and/or event notice given meet or exceed expectations of your quest?

- Did the scope of the work completed / reported meet or exceed expectations communicated via quest inscription?

The Results (output)
- As a result of your student's work and/or delegation, was the scope of the goal communicated via quest inscription completed?

- As a result of the quest, what has your student and/or you learned?
- As a result of the quest, what was the scope of impact to the student, peers and the dream?

The Report
- When evaluating the level of success concerning your student's report, I recommend placing weight on the work put in, the results achieved and the quest's level of completion.
- In most cases, the results students hope to achieve are largely out of our control. I let my students know that I'll place more weight on the work put in and the quests level of completion when the intended results are out of our control, such as art creation, etc. This prepares the student to be armed with a good input of work, where they may end up a bit shy on the output of results.
- Concerning the level of completion, I encourage you to be receptive to interpretation variances between your intended meaning and your student's perceived meaning of your instruction. Try to understand the misperception and embrace it as part of their report. In some cases, these can happen as a result of how we phrase our quests. When writing your quest, focus less on dictating how something should be done and merely ensure that the elements of difficulty are properly articulated. This gives your student the creative license to complete the quest on their terms in a way that is fulfilling for them, but still allows you as a teacher to evaluate the output of work and decide whether the report meets or exceeds expectations communicated via quest inscription.

Thoughts from other Teachers
- Relative difficulty - The concept that an art's inherit quest / plateau difficulty may not be equal to another art's inherit quest / plateau difficulty. (i.e inscribe 50 quest difficulty vs abjure 50 quest difficulty) - Master Teacher Athena
- Suited quest - The concept that a quest's instruction matches closest the student's desired quest style to maximize the student's likelihood for completion. - Luthair
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