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Adventurous Quickstart Rules

This is a Quickstart guide for the tabletop role-playing game Adventurous. These are not the full rules of the game, it is a condensed version that will help you get started with minimal preparation. If you like the way Adventurous plays, consider buying the full game on DriveThruRPG to unlock all the contents.

What is Adventurous?

Adventurous is a tabletop role-playing game played with pencils, paper and dice.

To play the game you need to gather at least three people. One of these will play the role of the Game Master (GM). This player narrates and describes the world. The GM controls all non player characters (NPCs) and acts as a referee.

The other players take the role of adventurers, also called player characters (PCs). These players interact with the world that the GM describes and narrates.

The game plays much like a conversation back and forth between the players and the Game Master.

Hex crawl locations

Premise of the game

In Adventurous the players take the role of adventurers. The reason they seek adventure is up to them and what route they take in life is up to them.

The job of the Game Master (GM) is to present the players with interesting choices and dangerous scenarios to overcome. The GM is not playing against the players, but also not with the players. It’s the GM’s role to be objective and logical so that the world feels like a living and breathing place.

What do you need to play?

To play the game you will need:

Core mechanic

Adventurous is played using only six-sided dice, also called D6.

Whenever a player character attempts a risky, challenging or dangerous action he rolls a number of six-sided dice (D6s) equal to the value of the relevant attribute, (see attributes below). This is called an attribute test or just test. 5s and 6s count as successes, all other numbers count as blanks.

There are three different outcomes to all rolls

  • If the dice show one 5 or 6 it is a Weak success.
  • If the dice show at least two 5s or 6s or one of each it is a Strong success.
  • If the dice show no 5s or 6s it is a failure, and the PC gets one experience point. A failed test should never be a full stop, it should always have some sort of consequence. Read more about this below.

Weapons, and abilities have their effect listed as W2/S3 where “W” = Weak and “S” = Strong, and the number listing the effect.


“A one handed sword deals W4/S8 damage and the ability “Bless” restores W3/S6 health points. Rolling four six-sided dice and getting; 1, 3, 4 and 6 would mean a weak success and therefore you would deal 4 damage with the longsword and restore 3 health points with the ability “Bless”.”

The five attributes

There are five attributes that determine your character’s strengths and weaknesses. Your character’s attribute values range from 1-5, where 1 is the lowest and 5 is the highest it can get, no matter what magical effects a PC might be affected by.

Strength (STR)

Your physical strength and power. Strength is used to climb, lift, push, pull, bash and break things. STR is used to attack and defend in melee. STR is also used to resist poison and disease.

Dexterity (DEX)

Your hand-eye-coordination, nimbleness and agility. Dexterity is used for all actions requiring that, such as sneaking, jumping and picking pockets. DEX is used to attack with ranged weapons as well as defending against ranged attacks and area of effect attacks such as a dragon’s fire breath.

Willpower (WILL)

Your mental strength and composure. Willpower is used in all scenarios where strength of mind is required. WILL is used to resist magical attacks that affect you directly such as a shadow bolt or a curse.

Knowledge (KNO)

Your accumulated knowledge about the world. Knowledge is used to pick locks, identify plants, navigate terrain, read runes, brew potions, remember who rules a region and much more. KNO is also used to determine who goes first in combat.

Charisma (CHA)

Your force of personality. Charisma is used to charm, bribe, deceive, intimidate and much more. CHA also governs the number of magic items a PC can be attuned to and the number of hirelings a PC can have employed.

Character creation

Character creation is quick and easy in Adventurous, and even faster following this Quickstart guide. Follow these three steps to create a character and be ready to play.

Apart from the three steps detailed in this guide you will also choose name, age and gender for your character, as well as write a brief description of your character’s backstory, drive and goals.

The character sheet

Before you start character creation you will need to download and print character sheets. These can be downloaded for free on DriveThruRPG via the link below.

Download character sheets

1: Choose class

Pick one of the three classes included in this Quickstart guide. Your choice of class will have a great impact on your character and how you play it. All classes have abilities and talents that are unique to the class. The wizard can cast magical fireballs, the rogue can turn invisible and the cleric can cure wounds. Choose your class based on what type of character you enjoy playing.

2: Distribute your attribute points

Your character’s strengths and weaknesses are determined by your attribute values. At character creation you have five attribute points to spend, make sure you improve the attributes that will support your preferred play style.

3: Pick a starting equipment kit

The last step of character creation is selecting your starting equipment by choosing one of the equipment kits.

1: Choose your class

This Quickstart guide includes three classes, Warrior, Rogue and Wizard. Download this separate PDF to find all the class information.

Download class PDF

Primary attribute

Each class has one primary attribute that is used to make tests when activating one of the class’s three abilities. You should focus on improving the primary attribute of your class, in order to make sure you can use your abilities to great effect.

All attributes are useful and important to all classes, even though there is only one primary attribute.

A wizard uses WILL to cast spells (his abilities) but DEX is still important if he wants to be able to avoid ranged attacks made against him.

Class feature

Each class has a distinct feature that is always available to them. The class feature is closely tied to the classic image of the class, such as the Thief’s feature which gives it Advantage when sneaking and picking locks or the Paladin’s feature which gives Advantage on CHA tests when ordering hirelings.


During your career as an adventurer you will be able to unlock three out of six talents. Some talents alter your abilities, others give you completely new abilities and some alter other aspects of your class.

Talents that grant your class new abilities have the ability type clearly written out next to the name of the talent, such as the Wizard’s talent: Levitation, the Rogue’s talent: Decoy and the Hunter’s talent: Mending touch.

Talents give you the opportunity to tailor your class to your liking. Do you want to be a robed cleric supporting his allies or a battle priest crushing his foes with a mighty hammer? Your talents will decide.

Class abilities

The most defining aspect of a class are it’s abilities. To activate an ability successfully the player needs to make an attribute test according to the class’s primary attribute listed in the class description. Activating an ability always uses up the character’s action that turn, unless stated otherwise.

In some situations the GM can decide that an attribute test is not needed to activate an ability. It can for example be unnecessary if the PC is in a calm situation with plenty of time to prepare and execute the ability.

All classes start with three types of abilities:

  • At will  – These abilities can be used any time as much as the player wants.
  • Once per encounter – After using this type of ability the PC requires roughly ten minutes to recuperate and recharge before it can be used again. This means that it can only be used once per encounter.
  • Daily – After using this type of ability the PC needs at least six hours sleep in order to recuperate and recharge before it can be used again. This means that it can only be used once per day.

All classes can gain more abilities through talents as they increase in level. Read more about talents above.

2: Allocate your attribute points

During character creation your character starts with the score of 1 in all attributes. You then spend an additional 5 points on your attributes. You can allocate these as you desire.

Your starting attributes can look something like the various examples.

Attribute values range from 1 to 5. An attribute value can never go below 1 or above 5, but gaining Advantage when your attribute value is 5 means you roll 6D6.

However, gaining Disadvantage when your attribute is at 1 means you still roll 1D6.

Increasing your attributes

Advancing in level awards your PC with new attribute points to spend. Read more about this below under “Character advancement”.

adventurous attributes examples

3: Choose starting equipment

To determine your starting gear when creating a character, choose one of the two  equipment kits (the full game contains five equipment kits). Each equipment kit contains different items, so choose one that best suits your class and intended play-style.

All items take up one inventory slot on the character sheet, with the exception of a few items, which has this listed in their description. (a PCs carrying capacity is limited to eight item slots)

Apart from the equipment kit all characters also start with 25 coins.

1: The adventurer

  • One handed melee weapon of choice, W4/S8 damage
  • Bow, W3/S6 damage, can attack Distant, Far and Near
  • Light armor, gives one armor point
  • Four Supplies, takes up one inventory slot per Supply

2: The skulker

  • One handed melee weapon of choice, W4/S8 damage
  • Two bottles of Burning blood poison (deals Ongoing damage)
  • Light armor, gives one armor point
  • Grappling hook
  • Three Supplies, takes up one inventory slot per Supply

Character advancement

All new characters start at level one, the maximum level a character can reach is five.

Gaining experience points

Whenever a player character fails a test it receives 1 experience point. In order to reach level two a character needs three experience points, the amount of experience points needed to level up increases for every new level reached. See the bottom of the backside of the character sheet for reference.

Only call for tests in important situations

The Game Master should only call for a test when there is something important at stake.

Haggling with a merchant over the price of a torch is not a situation with real stakes and jumping across a puddle of water to not get wet is not a situation with high stakes. Both the GM and the players need to remember this.

Failed initiative tests does not award experience points.

Increasing your level

At level 2, 3 and 4 the PC is awarded an additional attribute point and can choose one new talent from the class description. At level 5 the PC gains two additional attribute points. Once a character has received the necessary experience points, it can spend ten minutes in quiet reflection to apply the effects of the level up

Adventurous ttrpg class paladin


Combat is commonplace for adventurers exploring lost tombs and dark caves.
Here are the rules describing everything from attacking and defending to moving around on the battlefield and conditions that might affect a character.

Rounds and turns

Combat is divided into rounds. Each participant gets one turn each round. One round is roughly six seconds long and in the fiction all individual turns during a round play out pretty much simultaneously, even though they are handled separately.


When combat starts all players make a KNO test, PCs that succeed act before the opponent, PCs who fail their KNO test act after the opponent.
This process is repeated at the start of each round, meaning that a PC or the opponent can sometimes act twice in a row depending on the outcome of the KNO tests.

Actions and moves in combat

Each turn a creature get to make one action and one move. If a creature wants to make a Move, it must always come before the Action.

  • An action can be attacking with your weapon, using a class ability, drinking a potion or pushing a boulder down a hill.
  • A move is moving from one zone to the next, hiding behind cover, climbing a short ladder or a similar change in position.

A creature can choose to make two moves and move two zones in one turn, but this means forfeiting their action.

Distance and movement

Distances are measured in four abstracted zones.

  • Close – You can reach the target with just a few steps (up to 5m/15 ft.)
  • Near – You can reach the target with a few quick strides (up to 20m/65 ft.)
  • Far – You can see the target’s facial expression (up to 50m/150 ft.)
  • Distant – You can see the target’s hair color (up to 100m/300 ft.)

During its turn a creature can move to a location that is Near AND make an Action, or move two zones but not take an Action. Movement in difficult terrain such as swampland, debris and when climbing is halved. To move one full zone in difficult terrain the creature has to forfeit their action to make two moves.

Reach and range in combat

To attack a creature in melee the attacker needs to be Close to it. A creature can generally attack any Close creature without using it’s move.
When using ranged weapons and abilities the reach is listed in the item or ability description.


Some attacks and abilities only affects allies, others only affect enemies and some abilities affect all creatures. Unless otherwise stated all abilities that affect allies and/or creatures can also target the caster as well, such as the Cleric ability “Bless”.

Attacking and defending

When a player character is attacking
The player declares which target he attacks and how he attacks. He then makes an attribute test with the correct attribute, STR in melee, DEX with ranged weapons and WILL with most magical abilities.

The attack has three potential outcomes:

  • If it’s a strong success the attack deals strong damage or has the strong effect of the ability used.
  • If it’s a weak success the attack deals weak damage
    or has the weak effect of the ability used.
  • If it’s a failure the attack is a miss and has no effect.

The damage/effect of the attack depends on the outcome of the test. All weapons and abilities have their damage and effects written in the description of the item/ability.

When a player character gets attacked
The player makes an attribute test to defend, which attribute is tested depends on the type of attack. STR against melee attacks, DEX against ranged attacks and WILL against most magic attacks.

The defensive test has three potential outcomes:

  • If the test is a strong success the PC avoids all damage and effects.
  • If the test is a weak success the PC takes damage equal to the weak damage of the opponent’s attack or is affected by the weak effect of the ability.
  • If the test is a failure the PC takes damage equal to the strong damage of the opponent’s attack and/or is affected by the strong effect of the ability.

Dealing damage

When an attack hits a creature you reference the damage values of the weapon or ability, one for weak successes and one for strong successes.

You then subtract the victim’s armor points from the damage value, and the result is the actual damage taken, which is deducted from the victim’s HP. HOWEVER, an attack that hits always deals at least one point of damage, regardless if the victims armor points would negate the entire attack or not.

Maximum armor points

The maximum armor points a PC can have is three, regardless of their combination of armor, shield and magical effects.


  • Stuck: Many attacks and effects can cause a creature to become Stuck, such as an ability or a poison. A Stuck creature can not move until the start of its next turn, but it make take all other actions as per usual. A creature can only become Stuck once per encounter.
  • Slowed: A Slowed creature automatically fails it’s next initiative test and thus acts last during the next round of combat.
  • Ongoing damage: A creature that takes Ongoing damage takes 1 HP of damage per round for three rounds. The damage is taken at the start of the creature’s turn and armor does not protect against Ongoing damage. There are several abilities and situations that can cause Ongoing damage. A creature can only be affected by one count of Ongoing damage at a time. A character that is set ablaze and poisoned at the same time still only takes 1 HP of damage per round for three rounds.

Health and injuries

All player characters (PCs) have 10 health points (HP) and can never have more than this. Current hit points are tracked by writing them down in the heart on the character sheet.

Being reduced to 0 HP

If a PC is reduced to 0 HP it becomes Wounded and rolls on the Critical injuries table. The PC also loses all active effects, such as the Warrior’s Rage ability or the Druid’s ability: Power of the wild.

Bleeding out

A PC that is Bleeding out must roll 1D6 each turn, on a 5 or 6 the PC survives for another turn, on a 1-4 the PC dies immediately.
To stop the bleeding an ally must either magically heal the bleeding PC or perform first aid through a successful KNO test and spending one Supply, representing bandages.

Being Wounded

While Wounded the PC has Disadvantage on all tests. The PC stays Wounded until it can recover through Proper rest.
A Wounded character can be healed by magic and potions just as well as a non Wounded character, but the Disadvantage caused by the Wounded status remains.

Critical injuries

When reduced to 0 HP, roll on the table below using 1D6.

critical injuries table adventurous ttrpg

Rest and recovery

The adventurers can stop for two different types of rest, Camping and Proper rest.


When camping out in the wild the PCs need to find a safe location and have a tent to be able to get a good night’s rest. PCs recover 1D6 HP when camping, but do not recover from the Wounded status.

Food and water

In order to get the benefit of camping all PCs need food and water for that day. This can be achieved by either using one Supply or by spending six hours to forage for food and water.

Proper rest

Proper rest is when a PC rests at an inn (or at home) after eating a cooked meal (not rations), this restores all HP and the PC recovers from the Wounded status.

rest and recovery ttrpg

Equipment in Adventurous

Rules covering inventory slots, items sizes and the concept of Supplies.

Inventory slots

A PCs carrying capacity is limited to eight item slots represented on the front of the character sheet.

All items a character carries with it are written down in these eight slots. They are used to track everything from weapons and armor to Supplies and potions.

Depending on the size of an item it either takes up one or two inventory slots.
If a PC want to carry more than eight items, the ninth item needs to be carried in the PCs hands, and is treated as a bulky item. See below.

Item sizes

  • Normal sized items takes up one slot in the inventory. These are items such as a longsword, a dagger, a ring, a potion, armor or one piece of Supplies.
  • Large items takes up two inventory slots. These are items such as a great sword, a maul, a shield, a tent or an alchemy kit.
  • Bulky items need to be carried in your hands, which means you can’t use them for anything else. These are items such as a barrel, a corpse or a chest. While carrying bulky items you move at half speed.


The currency used in Adventurous is coins. Prices are written as “200 c”. There is no limit to the amount of coins a PC can carry. If needed, the GM will decide a reasonable limit.


Supplies are an abstract collection of common adventuring items such as rope, torches, rations and ammunition. The PCs can buy Supplies in town or find them as loot on their adventures.

Whenever a character needs a common adventuring item he declares what he needs and the game master determines if the item can be classified as common adventuring gear, if the GM approves the player spends one Supply and gains the use of the item.

This means that the player doesn’t have to decide beforehand what Supplies the character choose to pack before venturing out into the wild.

Example of items classified as Supplies:

  • A torch (burns for one hour) Ammunition (enough for one fight), Armor repair kit, Rope, 20m/65 ft. or shorter, Rations and water (enough for one person for one day), Lock pick, A handful of nails, Bandages or similar (one time use)

Example of items NOT classified as Supplies:

  • Antidote, Oil, Crowbar, Magic potions, A long pole, Climbing gear, A mirror

Supplies and ammunition

After a combat encounter ends, all PCs that used missile weapons or throwing weapons roll 1D6, on a 5 or 6 they manage to retrieve their arrows/bolts/throwing weapons, on a 1-4 whatever ammunition they used were lost or broke and they need to spend one Supply representing that.

Weapons and armor

melee weapons

*Polearms have superior range to all other melee weapons. This gives the wielder Advantage when defending against melee attacks.

ranged weapons

*Missile weapons and throwing weapons spend Supplies for ammunition.

armor and shields

*Wielding a shield gives the creature the ability to take the Cover action. This means that the creature can use their action on their turn in combat to take a defensive stance, giving Advantage when defending against ranged attacks, such as bows, crossbows or a manticore’s tail spike attack.

Other equipment

adventurous equipment table


The full game includes a bestiary with 33 monsters and other opponents that the PCs can come across. This quickstart guide contains six of these. Use them in your game or use them as a basis when designing your own monsters.

Creature health points

Written in the heart symbol is the creature’s health points (HP), when these reach zero, the creature dies.


Remember that few creatures fight to the death. When a creature’s HP goes below 50%, or if the leader of a group of creatures is defeated, such as a goblin shaman or orc warchief, roll 1D6, on a 1-4 the creature flees, on a 5-6 it stays and fights to the death.

Creature armor points

Written in the shield symbol is the creature’s armor points (AP). The damage of attacks made against the creature are reduced by this amount.

Random attacks

All creatures have a number of different attacks and abilities listed in their description.

When it’s the creature’s turn to act in combat, the GM rolls 1D6 to determine which attack is used. This adds a dose of randomness to creature behavior and it alleviates the GM of the task of choosing an appropriate attack.

If for some reason the attack makes no sense, the GM can re-roll or choose a different one, but as much as possible the GM should stick to rolling, since the randomness adds variety and excitement to combat, even if it sometimes means that a singular strike decides the fate of a player character.

Need an adventure to play?

Adventurous can be played using any fantasy adventure module and there are any free ones available online. To use modules designed for other systems you will have to do some light conversion of monsters and treasure. Use the bestiary above to convert monsters, and simply use the class abilities and general mechanics of the game to get inspiration for some cool magic items to reward your players with. Or just check out our one-shot adventure module, The Serpent Cult which is designed  for Adventurous.

Great free adventure modules

The Serpent Cult

The Serpent Cult is designed for Adventurous and made to be run in one session. It contains all the hallmark components of a fantasy adventure:

  • A small town
  • A handful of NPCs
  • Travel encounters
  • Puzzles
  • A dungeon
  • A large monster
  • And of course, an evil cult!
Buy on DriveThruRPG

What else is in the full game?

This quickstart guide is based on a condensed version of the game, so that you can try out the core elements of Adventurous as smoothly as possible.

The full game contains many more features and some of the mechanics are more “fleshed out” than in this quickstart guide. Some notable features in the full game are:

  • Momentum rules
  • Five additional classes
  • Additional features in combat
  • Magic items and cursed items
  • Potion brewing rules
  • Dungeon exploration procedures
  • Travel procedures and events
  • A full bestiary with 33 unique monsters and other opponents
  • 20 pages of game master advice
Buy the full game on DriveThruRPG
adventurous cover art