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How to Play

In Adventure, players work together to overcome challenges, battle ferocious monsters, explore new worlds, discover hidden treasures, and, hopefully, save the day.

How It Works

The game follows a simple pattern.

  1. The Game Master (or GM, the person running the game) describes a situation.
  2. The player or players state what they want to do.
  3. The GM describes what happens.

The most important phrase in Adventure is, “What do you do?”

Example

GM: “Before you lies a bridge. There are boards missing in places, and the ones that remain appear old and rotted. What do you do?”

Player: “I try to walk across, carefully checking for loose boards as I go.”

GM: “As you’re walking across, one of the boards starts to break under your feet. As you scramble across, the entire bridge begins to collapse. What do you do?”

Player: “I try to jump to the other side before the whole bridge falls down.”

GM: “You push off the breaking board with all of your might, catching the ledge with your fingers and hoisting yourself over the edge. The bridge falls into the chasm below you. But as you do, your sword falls out of your hilt and drops onto a ledge about 20 feet down. What do you do?”

What You Need to Play

  1. Dice. Adventure uses a single six-sided die (or a D20 if you’d prefer). If you don’t have any dice, you can roll digital dice.
  2. A notebook. A place to write down details about the characters and the story. If you prefer, you can print out character sheets from the downloads page.
  3. Your imagination. The most important part!

Creating a Character

Each player creates a character to represent them on their adventures (this is what makes Adventure an RPG, or role-playing game).

  • Name & Description. You can be anyone you want to be in adventure: an elf wizard, a fairy tinkerer, a space cowboy, a dragonfly spy. Be anything you want.
  • Skills. What makes your character unique? Do they have a special skill, like fire breathing or the ability to fly? Are they a really good swimmer? Can they make themselves invisible or fly? Do they know any magic spells?
  • Stuff. Start the game with a weapon or wand, rope, water, food, a few coins, and one healing potion. Add stuff as you find it in your travels.

The downloads section includes premade characters if you need examples or want to start playing immediately.

Actions & Deciding Outcomes

Any time you want to add chance to the outcome of a player action, the GM should ask them to roll a die (either a D6 or D20, your choice).

D6 Outcome D20
6 Success. It worked as planned. 17+
3-5 Partial Success. It worked, with a cost. 9-16
2- Failure. It didn’t work. 8-

Example

The player is trying to convince a wealthy noble that they're a distant relative. The noble isn't very trusting. They roll a D6.

  • On 6, the noble believes them, offering them a room in their palace and a feast in their honor.
  • On a 3 to 5, the noble reluctantly believes them, but secretly sends someone to look into their background.
  • On an 2 or less, the noble becomes angry, and has them arrested.

Rolls are optional

Reserve die rolls for instances where the outcome is uncertain, or where both failure and success would be interesting to the story.

Rolls are good for things like...

  • Difficult tasks like climbing steep walls or picking locks.
  • Casting complex or powerful spells.
  • Attacking monsters or defending yourself against attacks.
  • Trying to learn information about an unknown person, place, or object.

If the thing the player is trying to do is really easy or impossibly difficult, skip the die roll and let it succeed or fail automatically.

Examples

  • The players find a mysterious, glowing rock deep in a cavern. They ask, “What is this? What does it do?” The GM asks them to roll a die.
  • The player attempts to hit an ogre with their sword. The GM asks them to roll a die.
  • The player tries to to jump over a fallen goblin. They automatically succeed.
  • The player punches a thick stone wall, attempting to break it down. They automatically fail.

Best Roll & Worst Roll

Items, special skills, and circumstances may give the player an advantage or disadvantage in attempting to complete a task.

To account for that, Adventure uses Best Roll and Worst Roll.

  • Best Roll. Roll two dice and take the higher number.
  • Worst Roll. Roll two dice and take the lower number.

Players use Best Roll when they have an advantage, and Worst Roll when they have a disadvantage.

Examples

Best Roll
The player is attempting to sneak up on a camp and surprise them. It’s nighttime, and their character is stealthy. They have an advantage, and take the best roll of two dice.
Worst Roll
An evil wizard uses a spell to shroud the cavern in darkness, and the player cannot see them. They attempt to shoot an arrow at wizard through the darkness. They’re at a disadvantage, and take the worse roll of two dice.

Teamwork

Adventure is a cooperative, team game. The more you work together, the more likely you are to succeed.

  • For group tasks, like trying to cross a river or sneak into a castle, if at least half of the party succeeds, everyone does.
  • For individual tasks, if you can reasonably assist a teammate, they get Best Roll.

Example

A three-person party is trying to sneak into the castle undetected. The Game Master asks for a roll.

  • If all three players make their roll, the party succeeds.
  • If one player fails and two succeed, the party still succeeds.
  • If two players fail, but one succeeds, they all fail.

Health, Damage & Healing

As an adventurer, you’re going to get hurt from time-to-time. Cuts, bruises, and serious injury are a common risk.

  • Health Points (or HP) represent a character’s overall health. Each player starts the game with 4 HP, and cannot ever have more than that.
  • Damage. Any time a character is hit by a monster or seriously injured (from a fall, for example), subtract 1 HP from their total.
  • Knocked Out. When a player’s HP reaches 0, they’re knocked out and cannot do anything until they have at least 1 HP.
  • Healing. Players can recover 1 HP after a short rest, first aid, or healing spell. They can regain 3 HP with a healing potion.

Examples

  • A knight hits a hydra with her sword. The hydra loses 1 HP.
  • A wizard slips while scaling a cliff face and falls 20 feet. The wizard loses 1 HP, their last, and gets knocked out.
  • A druid casts a healing spell on their unconscious teammate. The teammate returns to 1 HP and wakes up.

Character Progression

As your character goes on adventures, they’ll gain new experiences, pick up new skills, and find cool stuff.

If you want, you can use the same character from one adventurer to the next, and bring their skills, gear, and treasure along with them.

A Sample Game

To help this all stick, let’s look at a sample game. In this game, Mercer is a knight, and Ashley is a wizard. They’re using D6 dice.

GM: As you enter the cave, you see a sleeping ogre curled up around a massive pile of gold. One arm rests over the pile, while his other hand gently clutches a massive wooden club. In the back of the cave, you see the baby dragon you’ve been sent to rescue wrapped up in an old blanket. What do you do?

Mercer: I try to quietly sneak past the ogre.

Ashley: While he does that, I’m going to attempt to carefully steal a few coins from the ogre’s treasure while he sleeps.

GM: Ok. Both of you make a roll. Mercer, you take Worst Roll because your metal armor is very creaky and clunky.

Ashley: I rolled a 4.

Mercer: I rolled a 5 and a 2.

(Ashley partially succeeds, Mercer fails.)

GM: Great, thanks. Ashley carefully picks up three gold coins and tucks them into her pocket. As she reaches for a fourth, Mercer’s elbow accidentally bumps into the cave wall. The metal of his armor “clangs” and reverberates through the cave, growing louder before tapering off.

The ogre’s eyes flutter open. He catches sight of Ashley’s outstretched arm reaching for his horde. He shouts:

Just what do you think you’re doing!?

He stands up, towering a good six feet over Ashley’s head. What do you do?

Ashley: Umm… uh… I tell him that the coins looked dirty and I was just going to clean them for him!

GM: Ok, make a roll. You take Best Roll on that because your character is very cunning.

Ashley: I rolled a 1 and a 2.

(That’s a failure.)

GM: The ogre rubs the crust from his eyes, lifts the club over his head, and says:

Do you think I was born yesterday?

Then, he lets out a roar and swings the club down towards you. What do you do?

Mercer: Seeing the ogre about to crush my friend, I unhilt my sword and swing it up to meet the club before it hits her.

GM: Excellent, roll a die.

Mercer: I rolled a 6.

(That’s a success.)

GM: As the club rushes down toward Ashley’s head, she closes her eyes and instinctively ducks. Mercer rushes between her and the ogre, unhilting his sword and swinging it up towards the club in one fluid movement.

His sword meets the club inches before it hits Ashley. The ogre, caught off guard, stumbles backwards a few feet. What do you do?

As you can see, the game is a series of choices, actions, die rolls, consequences, and next steps. Every choice the players make, and every random outcome of the dice, leads to the next logical step in the story.