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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. Dice. Adventure uses two six-sided dice (sometimes called 2D6). 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!

Actions & Deciding Outcomes

Any time you want to add chance to the outcome of a player action, the GM should ask them to roll two six-sided dice (2D6) and add the resulting numbers together.

Roll Outcome
10+ Success. It worked as planned.
7-9 Partial Success. It worked, with a cost.
6- Failure. It didn’t work.


The player is trying to convince a wealthy noble that they're a distant relative. The noble isn't very trusting. They roll 2D6.

  • On 10 or higher, the noble believes them, offering them a room in their palace and a feast in their honor.
  • On a 7 to 9, the noble reluctantly believes them, but secretly sends someone to look into their background.
  • On an 6 or less, the noble becomes angry, and has them arrested.

Stats & Modifiers

Stats reflect your character’s unique mix of skills and weaknesses. When you create a character, you’ll assign values ranging from +2 to -1 to four stats.

  • Strength. Athletics, Close-Up Combat, Defense (with a shield or weapon)
  • Agility. Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Ranged Combat, Dodging
  • Wisdom. Perception, History, Investigation, Nature, Medicine, Magic & Spells
  • Charisma. Deception, Intimidation, Performance, Persuasion

Whenever you roll the dice, add the stat that best aligns with the task to your total.


  • An archer attacks an ogre with a sword. They roll a 9, and add their Strength stat of +1. This gives them a total of 10.
  • A thief is trying to steal keys off the guard’s belt. They roll a 5, and add their Agility stat of +2. This gives them a total of 7.
  • A barbarian dabbles in magic, and tries to cast a spell. They roll a 6, and add their Wisdom stat of -1. This gives them a total of 5.
  • A bard tries to smooth talk their way into the king’s vault. They roll a 7, and add their Charisma stat of +2. This gives them a total of 9.

Advantage & Disadvantage

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

  • Advantage. Roll three six-sided dice (3D6) and take the best two dice.
  • Disadvantage. Roll three six-sided dice (3D6) and take the worst two dice.


The player is attempting to sneak up on a camp and surprise them. It’s nighttime, making them harder to see. They roll 3D6 and take the best two dice.
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 at a target they can’t see. They roll roll 3D6 and take the worst two dice.


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 a player can reasonably assist a teammate, the teammate rolls with advantage.


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.

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.


  • 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.

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 robot knight, 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 experts at elemental magic or illusions? Do they strive to vanquish evil or become friends with animals? Pick a few.
  • Stats. Are you strong, agile, wise, or charismatic? Assign each of the following modifiers to one stat: +2, +1, 0, and -1.
  • Experience Points (XP). As your character goes on adventures, they’ll learn and grow. XP measures how much experience they’ve gained in their travels.
  • Stuff. Each character starts the game with a weapon or wand, rope, water, food, a few coins, and one healing potion. You’ll find more in your travels.

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


An elf who specializes in nature magic and can talk to animals. He wants to open an animal sanctuary.
-1 Strength, +1 Agility, +2 Wisdom, 0 Charisma
A fairy knight who can fly and wields an battleaxe made from an enchanted sunflower. She protects her village from the forces of evil.
+2 Strength, +1 Agility, 0 Wisdom, -1 Charisma
A dragon chemist, Spark creates potions that give magical properties to whoever drinks them. They want to open a bakery.
-1 Strength, 0 Agility, +2 Wisdom, +1 Charisma

Creating abilities from your skills

Abilities are unique things you (or your character) can do with your skills that give you in-game benefits or bonuses. Try to create 3-5 of them.

  • When you do something related to [skill], roll with advantage.
  • You have the ability to [power you can actively choose to use]. Roll with [stat] to determine if it works, fails, or has a cost.
  • You have [special power with a constant effect].
  • You have [thing]. When applicable, roll with advantage.

The best and most fun abilities usually include a limitation or cost when used.


Fin is an elf who specializes in nature magic and can talk to animals.

You can turn into animals. You may take on the physical form of any species who you have studied. Roll 2D6 + Wisdom. On a 10+, add +1 to any stat while in animal form. On a 7-9, the GM also picks a stat to add -1 to.
Elemental Magic
You can control the elements of earth, wind, fire, and water. Roll 2D6 + Wisdom. On a 10+, the desired effect comes to pass. On a 7-9, you also lose control of the effect.
As an elf, you’re physically adapted to the darkness of twilight and can see in the dark as if it was dim light.
Animal Friendship
You’re a friend to all creatures. Whenever you do something related to interacting with animals, roll with advantage.
Staff of the Woodlands
You possess a staff made from an enchanted birch tree. Whenever you cast nature spells, roll with advantage.

Health & 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 (HP) represent a character’s overall health. Each player starts the game with 6 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 (or more) from their total. Bigger monsters and threats may cause more damage.


  • 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. They loses 1 HP.
  • A dragon breathes fire on the barbarian. The barbarian loses 3 HP.

Environmental Damage

Adventuring is dangerous, and sometimes traps and the environment cause injuries.

  • Cuts & Scrapes: 1 Damage
  • Broken Bones: 3 Damage
  • Lethal: 6 Damage


Players can recover lost Health Points in a variety of ways.

  • Short Rest: 1 HP
  • Long Rest: 3 HP
  • First Aid: 2 HP
  • Healing Spell: 2 HP
  • Healing Potion: 4 HP

Knocked Out & Last Breath

When a player’s HP reaches 0, you have two options, depending on how dark and gritty you want your game to be.

  • Knocked Out. A knocked out character cannot do anything until they have at least 1 HP. A teammate can heal them, or they can rest for a short while.
  • Last Breath. A dying character can be revived if healed by a teammate. If that doesn’t happen in time, have them roll to see what happens. On a 10+, Death allows them to return to the living. On a 7-9, Death requires something in return.

Character Progression

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

Add 1 XP...

  • Whenever your character rolls a 6 or lower.
  • At the end of a session if you (up to 3 XP total)…
    • Battled a cool monster, or
    • Found cool loot, or
    • Explored a new location.

Every 10 XP, whenever your character takes a short rest, pick one...

  • Add a new ability
  • Increase a stat, up to a max of +3 (can only be done three times)
  • Increase an existing ability’s power (once every 50 XP, up to three times)
  • Extend an existing ability

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.


Add a new ability
Fin creates a new ability, Talk to Animals. It gives him the ability to talk to animals, and understand what they say back.
Increase a stat
Fin’s Wisdom is +2. He increases it to +3. He can do this two more times, but only to stats other than Wisdom, since he’s already at the max of +3.
Increase an existing ability’s power
Fin’s Shapeshifter ability gives him +1 to a stat while in animal form. He increases it to +2, and the penalty on a 7-9 roll to -2.
Extend an existing ability
Fin adds the Chimera ability, that extends his Shapeshifter ability. Whenever he transforms, he can combine two animals together. He could, for example, transform into a tiger with eagle wings, or a shark with a rhino horn.

A Sample Game

To help this all stick, let’s look at a sample game with two characters.

  • Knight: +2 Strength, 0 Agility, -1 Wisdom, +1 Charisma
  • Wizard: -1 Strength, +1 Agility, +2 Wisdom, 0 Charisma

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?

Knight: I try to quietly sneak past the ogre.

Wizard: 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 an Agility roll. Knight, roll with disadvantage because your metal armor is very creaky and clunky.

Wizard: I rolled a 1 and a 2, with my +1 Agility… 4 total.

Knight: I rolled a 4, 3, and 1, with 0 Agility, so… 4 with disadvantage.

(The Wizard partially succeeds. The Knight fails.)

GM: Great, thanks. The Wizard carefully picks up three gold coins and tucks them into her pocket. As she reaches for a fourth, the Knight’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 the Wizard’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 Wizard’s head. What do you do?

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

GM: Ok, make a Charisma roll.

Wizard: I rolled a total of 4.

(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?

Knight: 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, make a Strength roll.

Knight: I rolled 8, so with +2 Strength, that’s a 10.

(That’s a success.)

GM: As the club rushes down toward the Wizard’s head, she closes her eyes and instinctively ducks. Knight 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 the Wizard. 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.