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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?”


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. A set of dice. Adventure uses six-sided dice (there’s also a D20 variant if you’d prefer). If you don’t have any dice, you can roll digital dice.
  2. Character sheets. You can print them out from the downloads page or just write the details down in a notebook.
  3. Your imagination. The most important part!

You might want to keep a pen and notebook handy, but it’s not at all required to play.

Dice are described using D* naming, where * is the number of sides the die has. For example, a standard six-sided die is a D6. A die with twenty sides is a D20. Leading numbers tell you how many dice to roll. With 2D6, you would roll two D6 and add them together.

Creating a Character

Every player creates a character to play in the game.

The downloads section includes printable character sheets to guide you through the process, as well as premade characters. You’ll reference them throughout the game.

Players may want to use a toy, figurine, or paper cut-out to represent their character while they play.

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.
Every player starts with 10 Health Points (HP). This is your Max HP. Throughout the game, your HP will up and down as things happen.
While your character may be good at a few things, they specialize in one: Strength, Speed, or Wisdom. The thing you specialize in will help you complete certain types of tasks.
  • Strength. Athletics, Intimidation, Feats of Strength
  • Speed. Acrobatics, Dexterity, Slight of Hand, Stealth
  • Wisdom. Perceiving, Knowing, Figuring Things Out
Does your character wear armor? If so, you’ll be less likely to get hurt in combat, but will have a harder time with tasks that require Speed.
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?
Gear & Treasure
You start the game with a simple weapon, wand, or tool; a travelers pack; and one healing potion. Magical characters should have a few simple spells. In your adventures, you may find and pick up more cool stuff.

Rolling Dice

Every challenge a player has to overcome has a Difficulty Rating (or DR).

For most things a player tries to do, what happens is decided by rolling a six-side die. If the number they roll is equal to or higher than the Difficulty Rating, they succeed. If it’s lower, they fail.

The higher the Difficulty Rating, the harder a task is.

D6 Rating Difficulty D20 Rating
2 Easy 5
3 Medium 10
5 Hard 15
6 Impossible 20


The player is trying to convince a wealthy noble that they're a distant relative. The noble isn't very trusting. The Difficult Rating is 5.

  • On 5 or above, the noble believes them
  • On a 4 or lower, they fail

You can choose not to require a die roll. Ask for a roll any time you want to add chance to an outcome.

Best Roll & Worst Roll

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

Adventure uses Best Roll (BR) and Worst Roll (WR) to account for that.

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

If the player has a specialty, feature, or tool that would aid them in their task, they can use Best Roll. If a condition would make it harder for them, they use Worst Roll.

If a player would get both Best Roll and Worst Roll, they cancel each other out.


Best Roll
The player is attempting to sneak up on a camp and surprise them. Their specialty is Speed. The Game Master tells them to use Best Roll.
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. The Game Master tells them to use Worst Roll.
The player whose trying to sneak up on the camp is also wearing armor, which gives them Worst Roll on Speed tasks. This cancels out the Best Roll from their specialty in Speed. They roll one die.

Knowledge & Perception (Wisdom) Checks

There may be information that the Game Master want to reveal to players selectively.

For example, when approaching the area where the thieves are going to attack, the Game Master can ask the players to roll a perception check. Any players who have a successful roll “hear the thieves approaching” and have a chance to take action before the attack.

The Game Master can also call for knowledge checks if the players ask for information about their environment that in real would depend on their own awareness of their surroundings. For example, “Do I see anything out of the ordinary?”

Players who specialize in Wisdom take Best Roll on knowledge and perception checks.


The players find a mysterious, glowing rock deep in a cavern. It pulses green. The cavern is surprisingly quiet. The players ask,

“What is this? What does it do?”

The Game Master asks for a knowledge check with a DR of 4 (he doesn't tell the players the DR).

  • On a 3 or lower, they can tell it’s magical, but know nothing about it’s specific properties or uses.
  • On a 4 or 5, the GM tells them that they’ve heard rumors of a magical gem that belonged to the sorcerer of the North. It was stolen from him some years ago, and he’s been looking for it every since. They don’t know what it does, only that it’s very valuable.
  • On a 6, the GM also tells them that it’s rumored to be able to bring trees to life, if you know the right magical phrase, and can be used to create a powerful army of treefolk.


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.


A three-person party is trying to sneak into the castle undetected. The Game Master asks for a roll. Because this involves stealth, players who specialize in Speed take Best 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.

Gear & Treasure

An item that's ready for use is Equipped. At any one time, players can have the following items equipped:

  • 1 weapon, and
  • 1 set of armor or a shield, and
  • Up to 3 magical items.

Players can carry unequipped armor, shields, weapons, and magical items with them, as well as any treasure they’ve collected, with them.


While much of Adventure is focused on exploring and problem solving, you can introduce combat with monsters as a way to keep things interesting.

During combat, a player can...

  • Take one of the following actions
    • Attack a monster
    • Heal (themself or someone else)
    • Help another player
    • Equip an unequipped item
  • Move around the battlefield
  • Pick up or put down objects in the area
  • Talk to other players or monsters


In Adventure, a monster is any villain, not just literal monsters. Every monster has three stats:

  • Difficulty Rating. How hard they are to hit, and how likely they are to hit the players.
  • Health Points. How much damage they can take before they’re knocked out.
  • Damage Dice. How many dice to roll when figuring out how much damage their successful attacks do.

Some creatures can attack more than once in a turn. This is called Multi-Attack (MA). They have also have other features and abilities that help or hinder them in combat.

Monster's have a few different types of damage dice.

  • D6. Roll one six-sided die.
  • D6WR. Roll two six-sided dice and take the worst roll.
  • 2D6. Roll two size-sided dice and add them together.
  • 3D6. Roll three size-sided dice and add them together.

When a player attacks a monster…

Roll a die to see what happens. If the roll is equal to or higher than the monster's DR, the attack is a success. If they have a specialty in...

  • Strength, take Best Roll on up-close/melee attacks
  • Speed, take Best Roll on distanced/ranged attacks
  • Wisdom, take Best Roll on magical attacks

If the attack is a success, the roll again to determine how much damage the monster takes and subtract it from the monster's total Health Points.

  • Roll a D6 for weapon attacks
  • Roll a D6 Worst Roll for attacks with hands or feet

When the monster reaches 0 HP, they’re knocked out.


The player is trying to hit an ogre with their sword. This is a Strength attack, and the ogre's DR is 4.

  • On 4 or above, the sword hits, causing the ogre to scream and stumble back a few feet. The ogre takes D6 damage.
  • On 3 or lower, the sword misses, slamming into the ground beside the ogre.

When a monster attacks a player…

The player describes how they want to respond and rolls a die. If they’re wearing armor, they take Best Roll.

If the roll is lower than the monster's DR, the monster's attack is a success.

  • Roll the monster’s Damage Dice to determine how much damage they take
  • Subtract it from the player’s HP

When a player’s HP reaches 0, they’re knocked out and cannot continue to fight until they have at least one Health Point.


A troll throws a giant boulder at the player, and they attempt to jump out of the way. This uses their Speed, and the troll's DR is 3

  • On an 3 or above, they jump out of the way, and the boulder bounces off into the distance.
  • On a 2 or less, the boulder slams into them before they can jump out of the way. The GM rolls the troll’s damage dice.

Fleeing a battle

Every now and then, players may find themselves in a battle they just can’t win.

If players decide to flee instead of fight, they can make a team roll to determine if they get away. The Game Master can determine the DR. If the players fail, the GM may choose to force the players to keep fighting, or have some of all them get captured.

Players can choose to flee a battle at any time, including in the middle of one.


For characters that know magic, casting spells works just like any other action.

When using a spell to solve a challenge, spellcasting players roll against the DR for that challenge. When using spells in combat, they roll against the monster’s DR instead.

There are two exceptions to this:

  • For really simple spells that aren’t directly working towards a challenge (for example, lighting a campfire, or making an object glow to provide light), the Game Master can choose to skip the die roll.
  • For really powerful spells, the Game Master may choose to limit them in some way. Maybe they can only be cast once per day, or they require a special, rare item (like a phoenix feather) to use.

Damage & Healing

As adventurers, you will more than occasionally get hurt, either in battle or through exploration. There are different types of damage.

  • Bludgeoning. From falls and blunt force attacks with things like hammers and staffs
  • Slashing. From swords, spears, claws, and teeth
  • Fire. From fire and lava, natural or magical
  • Lightning. From lightning and electricity, natural or magical
  • Cold. From ice, snow, and cold temperatures, natural or magical
  • Acid. From chemicals and toxic substances
  • Magic. From magical forces like energy blasts and radiant light


When a player’s HP reaches 0, they’re knocked out and cannot continue to fight until they have at least 1 HP.

Fortunately, players can heal in a few ways.

  • If you take a rest, you can recover one damage die roll of HP
  • Using tools like bandages or healing potion

When you roll a damage die or use healing tools, add the amount of HP healing back to your Current HP (up to your Max HP). Your Current HP cannot exceed your Max HP.


Healing with Damage Dice
Your Current HP is 3, and your Max HP is 10. You roll a D6, and get a 4. Your new Current HP is 7.
Healing with Potion
Your Current HP is 6, and your Max HP is 10. You drink a Healing Potion, which heals 7 HP of damage. Since your Max HP is 10, your new Current HP is 10. The extra 1 HP of healing is lost.

Resistance, Immunity & Vulnerability

Some creatures (and players) have resistance, immunity, or vulnerability to certain types of damage.

  • Resistance. Take Worst Roll on damage rolls for damage of this type
  • Immune. Take no damage for damage of this type
  • Vulnerable. Take Best Roll on damage rolls for damage of this type


The player hits three creatures with a fireball.

  • The Dragon has Resistance: Fire. It takes Worst Roll on the damage roll.
  • The Gargoyle has Immune: Fire. It takes no damage.
  • The Knight has Vulnerable: Fire. It takes Worst Roll on the damage roll.

House Rules

House rules are strongly encouraged in Adventure. Here are some ideas you may want to adapt to your game.


For added fun, characters can have a pet that accompanies them on their adventures and helps them along the way. This can add a fun dimension to the game.

Pets can be small and sensible (a cat, dog, or woodland creature) or large and absurd (a dinosaur, dragon, or elephant). A player’s pet can be used to get them out of a tough situation, as a weapon in battle, or just for added flavor and interest in role playing.


Quill didn’t expect the rope to snap on the sharp edge of the well, or he never would have come down here by himself.

Fortunately, he brought along Geoffrey, his pet rat. He instructed Geoffrey to scurry up the wall and find help.

Roll to see what happens.


If you have an adventurer who loves to build things and has a big imagination, tinkering is an awesome special skill. A tinkerer can build small creations from bits of scrap metal and wood.

Here’s how it works.

  • Tinkered items can be robotic toys, weapons, tools, and more.
  • Tinkered items are small and fragile, and stop working after a few turns.
  • Only one tinkered item can exist at a time.
  • The parts from a tinkered item can be reclaimed to build another (either after it break, or when the adventurer decides they’d like to build something else).

The Game Master may choose to have the adventurer first acquire a tinker kit: gears, bits of scrap metal, and some small tools from a shopkeeper in the game.

Chaos Magic

For added fun, you can introduce magical items that randomly unleash a surge of chaotic magic and create random effects.

Some things that can cause chaos magic:

  • Wands, staffs, and magical talismans, when used to cast spells or conjure abilities
  • Weapons and armor, when used in battle
  • Potions and herbs of unknown origin, when consumed

You don’t need to have random effects occur every time the item is used. In fact, it’s probably more fun if it happens occasionally. If you want, you can flip a coin.

Here’s a list of random effects you can use. Roll some dice to pick one at random.

Introducing Chaos Magic Items

Chaos magic items can be items that the players find in their travels, or they could be given to the players by the quest giver before they start their adventure.

I borrowed some tools and supplies from Piper Skiprock, the wizard inventor, to aid you on your quest. He insisted that they’re not finished yet, but they’ll have be good enough for now. Time is of the essence…