What is the Adventure Game?

In the Adventure Game (TAG), each player takes on the role of an adventurer, delving deep into dungeons, defeating the monsters that lurk inside, and returning home for a round of ales at the local pub after looting the treasures of ancient kings, dead wizards, and forgotten powers.

What do I need to play?

A pencil, a handful of 3x5 cards, and at least one each of six- eight- ten- and twelve-sided dice (shown in order below). While a single set of dice is sufficient to play TAG, having two or three sets of dice makes combat run more efficiently.

pencil.png 3x5cards.png d6.jpg d8.jpg d10.jpg d12.jpg

The example of combat below is lengthy and much of what you read will not make much sense. If you like, you can skip ahead to adventurer creation and begin rolling up your adventurer and come back to the example of combat later.

Continue to Adventurer Creation

An Example of Combat

Ath, Bane, and Carrisa have delved deep into the dark, dank Dungeon of Dreadmoor. The denizens of the dungeon have put up a fierce fight, bloodying the three heroes, but not defeating their lust for treasure and power. This example will involve a lot of rules and other terms you probably will not understand, but it will give you a sense of how combat works each round and will be a resource you can return to and review as you read through the rest of the rules.

Player actions at the table and brief explanations of rules are written in italics. They are not spoken words. Text inside "quotes" is in-character dialogue spoken by the players. Everything else is the player talking or describing what their character is doing.

The Adventurers & The Players

  • Ath — Arcane Leader (Force), One Handed Ranged Weapons
    • Played by Janice
  • Bane — Martial Defender (Brutal), Two Handed Melee Weapons
    • Played by Mike
  • Carissa — Primal Skirmisher (Plant), Implements (Staff)
    • Played by Tara


Each player rolls their Agility (AGI) and Intellect (INT) to determine initiative for their adventurer while the Gamemaster rolls initiative for their group of monsters. Ath has a d8 AGI and d10 INT. He rolls them both and gets an 11 while Bane rolled a 13 (AGI d8 + INT d6). Carissa rolls a 10 (AGI d6 + INT d12). Finally, the Gamemaster rolls for the monsters (four spear wielding goblins and a large, heavily armored hobgoblin with a two-handed warhammer) and gets a 3 (AGI d6 + INT d8), deciding to run them as one group instead of individually.

Movement Phase

Movement begins with the adventurer or monster who has the lowest initiative. In this case, it is the hobgoblin and goblin warband. An adventurer or monster may seize the initiative however, and move first, but by doing so, they are forced to act last during the Battle Phase and grant advantage to any attackers until the end of the round.

GM: The goblins alerted by a sentry, move out of the cave entrance and ready their spears. They rattle the wooden hafts of their spears against their bucklers and chant in their harsh goblin tongue. The hobgoblin moves forward, bellowing a war cry, and shoves the goblins out of his way as he strides towards you.

Tara: Carissa will move forward into short range to the right of the hobgoblin, staying out of reach of its warhammer.

Janice: Ath moves opposite Carissa, but stays back in medium range, muttering an arcane word of power that creates a bolt of blue force in her silver gilt hand-crossbow.

Mike: "Your kin killed my brother, hobgoblin. Today your blood will water the earth." Bane charges his hated foe, ignoring the goblins entirely.

GM: One of the goblins is close enough that you will provoke an opportunity attack as you charge. The GM picks up two six-sided dice and then adds an eight-sided dice to the roll. The goblin gets advantage against Bane since he charged. They also get advantage against him since he is adjacent to one or more allies of the goblin. The GM rolls three ones. Absolute failure…

Mike: Bane casually bats aside the goblins spear and continues his charge.

Battle Phase

During the battle phase, the adventurer or monster with the highest initiative acts first. This method of initiative for the movement and battle phases may seem complicated, but it gives the highest initiative more options since they can seize the initiative during the movement phase or delay their actions during the battle phase to take advantage of favorable terrain or tactical blunders by the opposition.

GM: The hobgoblin lifts his black-iron warhammer to meet Bane's charge. Mike, you're up first in the battle phase.

Currently under revision

Possible cover art for The Adventure Game.


Background Image Source: WotC Nov 2006 Map-a-Week (Cityscape 4)