Superior Games Books™

T4X 1E8
4813-43 Ave.
Beaumont, AB
Copyright ©2011 by David L. Dostaler. All rights reserved.
Cover Art: ©2011 by Laura E.C. Dostaler. All rights reserved.
Interior Art: ©2011 by Laura E.C. Dostaler and David L. Dostaler. All rights reserved
Copyright Notice: No part of this book may be reproduced in
any form or by any means without permission in writing from the author.
Made in Canada
First Printing: April, 21
, 2012
ISBN 978-0-9868840-4-7
Role Playing Game
Basic Edition
David L. Dostaler
Game Credits:
Laura E.C. Dostaler, Joseph A. Dostaler, Elizabeth L.G. Dostaler, Mom, and Dad,
Special thanks to: Matt Fleming “Formatting Master”, Dannick Pomerleau, Thomas
Pomerleau, Sean Sandeen “The King” Bone Naga, (Roel Schuring) “The Archwizard”
and: Istaran, Oxybe, Mellored, and Xguild on the 4E forums for their invaluable advice.
Table of Contents
(Learn to Play in 9 Easy Steps!)
Introduction…page 3
Step 1. Prepare for Adventure…page 4
Step 2. Choose Your Predetermined Character…page 5
Step 3. Adventure Ho!…page 9
Step 4. Adventure One: Bone Skull…page 10
Step 5. Shopping for New Gear and Abilities…page 16
Step 6. Leveling Up…page 18
Step 7. Adventure Two: The Caverns of Chaos…page 19
Step 8. Adventure Three: War of the Goblins…page 29
Step 9. Your Turn to Create an Adventure…page 35
Our Other Products…page 37
Challenger RPG Character Sheet…page 38

Have you ever wanted to play or design an RPG game but never knew where or how to
get started? Well, you’ve come to the right place. The Basic Edition of Challenger will
show you everything you need to know to play in 9 easy steps and get you started on
creating your own grand RPG games with the 3 included sample adventures.
Stuff You Will Need
All you need to play are: a few friends, polyhedral dice (or a free online dice roller),
pencils, paper, and a little imagination. This game will require 2-5 players ages 13 and up
and each “adventure” will last approximately 2 hours of playing time.
Step 1. Prepare for Adventure!
Okay, so you’ve got your friends, a few fancy dice, paper, pencils, and some imagination.
Now what? You’ll need one special player. This player is kind of like a referee, similar to
a narrator in a story (to describe the action), and like the Banker in Monopoly; taking care
of the little finicky details of the game. This player is known as the “game master” or GM
for short. The game master doesn’t have a character in the “adventure”. The game master
keeps the adventure secret and only reveals the information the players find out as they
play. He controls all the non-player characters (NPCs) and bad-guys/monsters in the
story. The GM isn’t trying to win, he’s just presenting the challenges to the players so
they can have fun attempting to overcome them (and sometimes succeeding). The GM
should play by the rules, describe the adventure to the players (as they encounter parts of
it), and award experience points to the player’s characters at the end of each successful
adventure. Experience points will let your character ‘level up’ and get stronger at the end
of each adventure (if you survive!). As your character gains more experience points he
will become more powerful, harder to kill, and better at all the things he does. Don’t
worry, all that will be explained later.
So, now that you’ve picked the game master, all you have to do is create a character to
play in the game. You will be the player of your character in the game much like an actor
plays the role of a fictional ‘character’ in a movie. During the ‘adventure’ you will play-
act as your character: speaking as she would, describing the actions she takes, and
pretending to be your character in all her strengths and weaknesses; flaws of character
and extraordinary abilities. This ‘acting’ is a lot of fun. The GM gets to ‘act’ too. He also
‘sets the scene’ your character will act upon. The GM’s job is to describe the ‘setting’ and
to play the ‘roles’ of the non-player characters (NPCs) and villains/monsters in the
‘adventure.’ You may have to fight some of these monsters, but more on that later.
The GM will have to read the ‘1
Adventure’ located in this book before play can begin.
None of the players should read it beforehand because it’s a surprise and would ruin the
fun if you did so. Part of the fun of the GM is knowing what might happen next and
creating your own adventures (when you’re more experienced, for now, let’s just keep to
the script).
Normally, in the advanced version of Challenger you would choose all the qualities of
your character—your skills, powers, and abilities—in fine detail. As it is, we don’t want
to get into that complicated stuff. It’s enough that you know it’s there for when you’re
more experienced and more comfortable playing a role playing game (RPG). Below
you’ll find 4 predetermined characters for you to ‘act’ and ‘play’ as. Remember: the GM
doesn’t need a character: he’s the director! It’s his job to play the ‘extras’ ‘villains’
‘monsters’ and ‘non-player characters’ and, of course, to ‘set the scene.’ That sounds like
a lot of work, but really, it’s quite easy. The ‘adventure’ script will give you all the
information you need to do all those things without much effort.
Step 2. Choose Your Predetermined Character
Pick whichever character seems the best to you. You want good abilities and an
interesting ‘personality’ to play. If two or more players want the same character, you
should flip a coin or let them fight it out. Alternately, you could duplicate the character
but switch the name and change the personality a little.
Your Character Sheet
Every player except for the GM has a ‘character sheet’. This is usually a single piece of
paper upon which your write down your character’s: Personality and Game Statistics.
You may also draw a picture of your character, or a small symbol to represent her. When
you find ‘treasures’ or gain ‘experience points’ you will write them down on your
character sheet. At the end of the adventure you will ‘level up’ and gain more Hit Points,
and a new skill to add to your character. You may also ‘buy’ new ‘equipment’ with the
treasures and rewards you find and receive on your adventures and buy ‘new abilities’
with the experience points you earn for playing well during the adventure.
Bob the Warrior
Personality: Bob is arrogant, strong, and handsome. He loves beer and women and seeks
them out at all opportunities. He’s not too smart, but he’s a ferocious opponent in battle.
Not many people want to get on Bob’s bad side. He’s famous for saying stuff like,
“Arrrrgh!”, growling, and throwing temper tantrums.
Game Statistics:
Hit Points: 10. Bob has ten hit points. Bob is still alive until he reaches 0 hit points from
taking damage. When your hit points reach 0, Bob dies and cannot continue the
adventure. If you lose your hit points you can get them back by resting for 1 day. If you
want to rest, agree with the rest of your players and tell the GM. Make sure your rest in a
safe area!
Weapons: Bob carries a sword. When you see a villain you should yell, “Arrgh!” and
attack him (fictionally, of course). To do this: roll 1 twenty-sided die. If you roll high
enough, the GM will tell you that you ‘hit’. If you ‘hit’, roll your damage. The damage
you roll for a sword is: 1d8 which means roll 1 8-sided die. Whatever you rolled is
subtracted from your opponent’s hp (hit points). If their hit points reach 0, you’ve
defeated that opponent!
Armor: Bob wears full plate-mail armor. This makes Bob very tough to hurt. When you
roll your twenty-sided die to try to ‘hit’ a monster or villain and you roll a bad number
(i.e. you roll a low number, you always want high number to hit) the monster will hit
you! However, since Bob has plate-mail armor, when you roll a 2, 3, or 4 on your
twenty-sided die, the blow has bounced off Bob’s thick plate-armor and you take no
Skills and Abilities: Bob has no special abilities. He’s a pretty regular kind of guy. He
does have a couple skills, though. Bob’s skills are: Athletics and Intimidation. When
you want Bob to do something like: run away from bad guys, climb a mountain, swim a
river, or jump over a dangerous pit; roll 1 twenty-sided die and add +5 to whatever you
rolled. Tell the GM you have an ‘athletics skill’ and what your total number is. For
example: if you rolled 15 you would have a ‘total’ of 20 (15+5=20). The GM will tell you
if you rolled high enough to do whatever you were trying. Remember: you want to roll
high to succeed! If you roll too low you might fail. Once you’ve failed a roll, you can’t
use that skill on that obstacle again. If you want Bob to intimidate someone, do exactly
the same thing. Tell the GM you’re trying to intimidate the target and roll your twenty-
sided die. If you roll high, and succeed, the opponent is intimidated: they won’t attack
you, will tell you what you want them to, and will run away if you scare them. If you roll
low, they aren’t scared of Bob and won’t run away. Remember: you can only intimidate
one person at a time!
Aronath the Wizard
Personality: Aronath is an old, cranky wizard. He tries to give everyone ‘advice’ and
loves tea. Aronath frequently spits, but he’s good at heart. Whenever Aronath sees
someone who needs help, he will always rush to their aid. He’s famous for saying stuff
like, “Physics is second nature to me, boy.” “Elementary, my dear Bob.” And “Take this,
you heathens!”
Game Statistics:
Hit Points: 10 (See Bob for details on hit points.)
Weapons: Dagger. Daggers only deal 1d6 (one six-sided die) of damage. See Bob above
for details.
Armor: None. Aronath the Wizard feels he’s ‘above’ wearing armor.
Spells and Skills: Because Aronath is a wizard he has ‘spells’. Spells are magic effects he
can call upon at will and toss at his enemies. Your spells are: Fireball and Shape
Change. When you cast a fireball ‘spell’ it explodes in a blinding burst and hits up to 4
nearby enemies for 1d6 damage points each. Casting a fireball drains Aronath’s power.
Every time you do so, you must wait until the next battle to cast another fireball to get
your strength back. Shape Change: Aronath can change his appearance by magic to that
of any human he sees. This doesn’t affect his game statistics, but unless spotted, you can
‘pretend’ to be one of the bad guys, a rich prince, or a humble peasant.
Aronath also has two skills (see Bob above for details on how to use skills). Intellect and
Magic Knowledge. Whenever Aronath runs into a problem which requires ‘brains’ you
may roll your twenty-sided die and add +5 to the number. Tell the GM you’re using your
‘vast and powerful’ intellect skill on the problem at hand. If you succeed, the GM must
give you a new ‘clue’ to your problem. If you fail, you can’t ask the GM for another clue
about that problem again this adventure. Magic Knowledge: whenever your group runs
into something magical you may roll your magic knowledge skill as above and if you
succeed gain information about the magic facing your characters.
Johnny the Thief
Personality: Johnny the Thief is a fun-loving, carefree kind of guy. He gambles, flirts,
steals, and generally goofs off. He’s a practical joker and a bit of a tease. He’s famous for
saying stuff like, “Too rich for his own good”, “Now you see me, now you don’t,” and
“My grandmother is faster than you!”
Hit Points: 10 (see Bob for any details that confuse you).
Weapons: Dagger 1d6 damage points. Johnny also has the ‘special ability’ to throw his
dagger up to 30 ft. (6 squares if you’re using a grid). When throwing daggers, Johnny can
attack up to twice per round. A round is a ‘turn’ in combat. Everyone gets 1 turn in
combat. When all the player’s turns are done, repeat the process in clockwise turn order
again. Keep doing this until all of one side is dead, or have run away/made friends
somehow. It doesn’t matter who goes first, just keep to the same order after that.
Armor: Johnny wears light armor so he can get around ‘stealthily’. Light armor prevents
enemies from hitting you when you roll a 2 or 3 on your d20 (twenty-sided die).
Skills and Abilities: Steal, Stealth, Trap Find, Trap Disable, and Pick Lock. You can
try to ‘steal’ any unattended object. If you roll high enough, you have stolen it! If not,
you got caught. Using ‘stealth’ makes you ‘invisible’ to your enemies if you roll high
enough, otherwise they spotted you (but they don’t have to let you know they saw you!).
Using Pick Lock/Trap Disable will allow Johnny to open locks and disable traps.
Remember: add +5 points to your 1d20 roll when using these skills and let the GM know
what you’re doing! If you want to try a skill you don’t have, like athletics, you can do so,
but you don’t add the +5 bonus for training! You can only try to use “Skills” untrained.
You can’t try to use “Spells” or “Special Abilities” untrained.
Amy the Healer
Personality: Amy is a kind, giving, caring and honest woman. She’s very beautiful,
attractive, and smart. She loves nature and music, and tends to enjoy the quiet life. She
becomes very angry in the presence of evil and tries to ‘smite’ it whenever she can. Amy
is famous for saying, “Don’t worry, I’m here” “Take it easy,” and “Why can’t we all just
get along?”
Game Statistics:
Hit Points: 10 (15) see below. (At 0 hit points you die. Rest for 1 day to heal all your hit
points back to 10, but make sure you find a safe spot to rest!)
Weapons: Amy doesn’t generally believe in weapons, but she carries a stick “Just in case
of weirdoes”. This stick deals 1d6 points of damage on a hit. (see Bob for details on
attacking things and Armor).
Armor: Amy doesn’t wear any armor. In battles she casts a magic spell of protection on
herself. This spell of protection gives her +5 bonus hit points which last to the end of the
battle and then ‘disappear’. These extra hit points are removed first when you take
damage. Until damage passes through this ‘shield’ of 5 hit points, Amy hasn’t even been
hurt yet!
Skills and Spells: Amy isn’t a wizard, she’s a healer. Healers cast magic spells like
wizards (see Aronath for rules on spells). Her spells are: Healing and Raise Dead. When
Amy casts ‘Healing’ she touches an injured character and that person heals 2d6 (two six-
sided dice) of damage points (to a maximum of their original max hit points). She can
cast ‘Healing’ once per battle because it drains her power. Outside of battle, she can cast
it once per 3 hours. Raise Dead allows Amy to bring people back to life! As long as
someone has only been dead for a short time (10 minutes or less) her powerful magic
spell brings them back to life (repairing all internal injuries as well as exterior ones). The
character she casts this on immediately returns to max hit points (10 at 1
level). Raise
Dead costs Amy a lot: she can only cast it ‘once per adventure’. After that, she’s too
exhausted to do it again.
Skills: Amy has only 1 skill: Diplomacy +5. When you need to talk to friendly
characters, or convince bad guys not to hurt you, roll a diplomacy check. If you roll high
enough, you will have convinced the creature not to hurt you, or learned a ‘clue’ from a
friendly character. Remember to role-play your diplomacy. Say stuff like, “Wouldn’t it be
easier if we made a compromise?” or “If I pay you this, will you let us go?” etc.
Step 3. Adventure Ho!
If you’re one of the players of a character you should stop reading now! You’ve already
learned everything you need to play. If you’re the one player who is the GM, please read
on. There are a couple extra things you need to know before the game can begin.
Okay, so as the GM, you already know you ‘referee’ the adventure for the players. You
set the scene by describing things as a ‘narrator’. And you ‘role-play’ all the non-player
characters, monsters, and villains. What you don’t know, is that GMing is an art. It will
take many years to master. For now, that’s all you need to know. Just follow the script of
the adventure and you’ll do fine. Remember: you know the adventure and what will
happen, but the players don’t, don’t tell them any secrets or you’ll spoil the game! If they
ask, use skills, or investigate, allow them to find out what is reasonable.
You may read anything below in italics aloud to the players as they come to that part of
the adventure. Only reveal the rest if it as it comes into play.
If there is a battle, all the players get 1 action in clockwise turn order. Repeat until one
side is dead, have run away, or have reached a compromise.
Rewards: When the players finish this adventure, they ‘go up a level’. Don’t worry about
that now. It’s explained at the end of the adventure. If all the player’s characters die, you
can retry the adventure if you want. If only 1 or two characters dies, you can replace them
with new ones at the end of the adventure but they don’t level up like the survivors do.
When the players accomplish certain tasks in the adventure they will gain experience
points. Usually you need a certain amount of xp (experience points) to ‘go up a level’. To
keep things simple, don’t worry about that. Just let the players know getting more xp
means they ‘played better’. They ‘want’ xp. If the players can save up a lot of xp they can
get some ‘special powers’ for their character at the end of adventure. Be sure to let them
know this before the game begins. They’ll also be able to ‘buy’ new equipment, weapons,
and armor for their characters after the adventure. You may let them know they should
try to find ‘treasures’ during the adventure so they can ‘buy’ new and better things for
their characters afterwards.
Congratulations, you’re now ready to read adventure 1. and then try it on your players!
Step 4. Adventure One: Bone Skull
Your group of brave, treasure-seeking ‘adventurers’ have roamed the land in search of a
villain to fight. They have done this for various reasons. Some of you want to do a good
deed, others want more money, some of you may be in it because you’re crazy or just for
the heck of it. Regardless, your characters have resolved to work together to solve the
problem of the Evil Wizard “Bone Skull”. The King of Sileeria “Sean Sandeen” has
offered a reward of 1,000 gold pieces to the band of heroes who can bring the Evil
Wizard to justice. You have decided to be that group of ‘heroes’.
You’ve traveled for 7 days, 7 nights, and 15 afternoons. At last you reach the rolling
farmlands of the Evil Wizard. As the sun sets you gaze upon his dark tower, the windows
unlit and shadowy. A single door lies in the stone of the wall. You almost wonder if the
place is abandoned, but you know the wizard lies hiding within. “Bone Skull” is famous
for controlling the minds of anyone who meets his gaze head on, like a snake charmer.
You shiver at the thought, but put it down to local legend. What would you like to do
As the GM you should allow the players to formulate whatever plans they want. Just
make it clear to them their ‘mission’ is to stop the evil wizard. They can’t all agree to go
off and go on vacation, think of something cooler to do, or run away screaming.
If anyone makes an “Intellect” or “Magic Knowledge” check for information about Bone
Skull the Evil Wizard, his tower, or his magic; you should give them 500 experience
points as a reward (they write this down on their ‘character sheet’ along with their
character’s info). They also learn the following: “It’s true that Bone Skull can control
your mind. There is a magic scepter hidden in his tower which will protect you from his
mind control magic. You’ve heard legends it lies somewhere in the basement.”
At some point the heroes will have to try to get into the tower. When this happens
describe to them the following:
The walls are slick stone. Even an Athletics Skill won’t let you climb up, no matter how
high you roll. You’d need to be ‘higher level’ to make that kind of attempt. The windows
are also too high up and you haven’t brought a rope and grappling hook. It looks like
you’ll have to go in through the front door. Does anyone want to check for traps? They
might be magic traps because Bone Skull is a wizard. I’ve given you this freebie warning,
but later you’ll have to think of things like that on your own. It’s not the GMs job to warn
you of danger!
The door is indeed trapped with magic. If anyone uses a “Magic Knowledge” or “Trap
Disable” skill check and rolls at 15 or higher (remember they get +5 if they’re trained in
the skill!) they find and can avoid the trap. It’s a magic fire sigil hidden halfway up the
door by invisibility magic. By angling their bodies away from it, they can pass safely
within. If they disable it, the sigil explodes in a flash of smoke and disappears. If they fail
to find it, it explodes once on the first character to open the door for 1d6 points of
damage. It then disappears.
The inside of the tower is dark. You pull out your torches and light them. You also cast
spells of ‘light’ if you’re a wizard or a healer. You make a mental note to go shopping for
better supplies when you get back into town at the end of the adventure. You’re also sure
that you’ll be more experienced and ‘level up’ if you can manage to survive this battle
against Bone Skull the Evil Wizard. In preparation for the encounter, you ready your
weapons, spells, and skills and look carefully around. Because you were ‘searching’ you
spot a hidden door in the floor! Remember: eventually you’ll have to say ‘I’m searching
for traps/hidden doors’ yourself. It’s not the GM’s job to let you know where hidden
doors and treasure are! You also see a large granite statue of a gargoyle in one corner of
the room.
Okay, here’s an interesting bit for you to work with as the GM. The next time one of the
players says they’re looking for traps or hidden treasures/secret doors have them find
one! It’s part of the GM’s job to make stuff up, and when you’re more experienced you’ll
make up the whole adventure on your own. For practice, try making up little features of
the adventure as you go along. Nothing major, just little details: the cobwebs on the
ceiling, the chill on the character’s spine, the mad laughter of the wizard echoing through
the tower. Be prepared to improvise if the players do something unexpected. If you make
up a wardrobe and someone opens it, what’s inside? It’s your job to make that up. Is it a
trap? A monster? A treasure? A diamond? Nothing? Clothes? Practice creating a few
things as you go along. Try to keep the players guessing. Which parts are in the text of
the adventure? Which parts are you making up? They shouldn’t know.
As your eyes adjust to the lighting and you finish searching the room for other hidden
doors, you see the large granite statue moving towards you. At first you think your eyes
are playing tricks on you, but no! A living statue approaches and it doesn’t look too
Allow the players to react. Pretend to be the menacing gargoyle statue moving toward
them, snarl and hulk over the table. See if you can scare their pants off. When they state
their actions, tell them the following:
Just before you can do that, the stone statue opens its mouth and speaks! “Trespassers,
answer me my name and you shall pass. Answer wrongly, and you shall die. Choose your
answer well!”
There are three correct answers to the riddle: Statue/Gargoyle, Bone Skull, and Granite
(the material the statue is made of). If anyone answers any of the following, the statue
freezes and lets them pass. If anyone rolls a 15 or higher on a “Diplomacy or
Intimidation” skill check the statue will also let them pass, but for different reasons. A
successful Knowledge Magic or Intellect roll of 15 or higher will grant a ‘clue’ to the
answer of the riddle.
If anyone gives a ‘wrong’ answer or attacks/tries to run away; the gargoyle statue
‘attacks’ the party! This is a battle. The gargoyle is too fast to escape. Only Bob can ‘run
away’ if he rolls athletics of 15 or higher. No one else can escape even if they roll a 15!
Gargoyle Game Statistics:
You must roll a16 or higher on 1d20 (a twenty-side die) to hit the gargoyle, otherwise
the gargoyle has hit you! If you skip your turn, the gargoyle automatically hits you!
Hit Points: 15 (it’s made of rock).
Weapons: Fists 1d6 points damage.
Armor: Stone Skin: Reduce all damage done to the Gargoyle by 1 point. Any negative or
0 result deals no damage (it can’t heal in this way).
Experience Points: If the party defeats the gargoyle, each character earns 500 experience
points. Tell the players they can buy a ‘special’ ability if they gain enough experience
points by the end of the adventure. If someone ‘outsmarts’ the Gargoyle that character
alone earns 1,000 experience points.
When the battle/riddle of the gargoyle is done, read the following to the players:
Now that you’ve dealt with the Gargoyle, you have two choices. You can climb the stairs
and look for the wizard, or go down into the basement through the trapdoor you just
found. What could he be hiding down there?
There is a magical electrical trap on the hidden door, if no one finds or disables it (15 to
find or disable and avoid) it deals 1d6 points of damage to the first character to open the
trap door.
If the players climb the stairs, read on. If they go through the trap door, skip to “The
Basement” below.
The Stairs
You climb up the spiral staircase all the way to the top of the wizard’s tower. You face a
large black door into his personal abode. No doubt he’s put some nasty trap on the door.
What would you like to do?
Here’s a new trick to try: ask the players exactly what they’re doing to the door. Don’t let
them roll any dice yet, tell them they must ‘discover’ the trap by role-playing the
investigation. The trap is hidden in the lock of the door. Anyone who attempts to force
open the door will be struck by a magical bolt of lighting from the ceiling. When the
player’s find the trap by describing how they locate it, allow them to roll their dice to
disable the trap or pick the lock. Give them a +2 bonus to the roll if they describe their
actions well, a -2 to the roll if they do poorly. Explain to them that they can solve
problems with their ‘wits alone’ and describing things well gives them a +2 bonus to
rolls, while doing a poor job of describing what they do gives them a -2 penalty to rolls.
Keep applying this rule throughout the rest of the adventure(s). The RR (number you
need to roll on a twenty-sided die to disable the trap) is 10.
The room beyond the door is dimly lit. You can see a few skulls scattered about on tables
with beakers of vile green liquid. The wizard has obviously been experimenting with dark
magic. You can see him at the far end of the room. His back is turned to you and a fair
young maiden is tied to an altar before him. He seems to be trying to summon a vile
demon by sacrificing her! You must act quickly to stop him, but you must do it carefully
or he’ll spot you and kill you with a spell. He’s much higher level than you are, you’ll
have to find an advantage or strategy to defeat him. Maybe take him by surprise. What
would you like to do?
The players have a lot of options at this point. If they have the magic scepter, they could
use its power. They could try to ‘sneak’ up to him with stealth and kill him unawares.
They might try to negotiate with “Diplomacy” or scare him away by saying “We’re much
higher level than you” with Intimidate. Intellect skill use might give a clue about the
scepter hidden in the basement.
Here’s where the skill of the GM comes in. You must rig the encounter based on what the
players do. If they come up with a great idea they are at advantage if they don’t come up
with a good idea they are at disadvantage.
Advantage: describe to the players, in your own words, how their plan miraculously
succeeds. However, the wizard isn’t dead yet! At the last second he diverts the blow,
spots the party, or whatever (unless they left for the scepter in which case go to “The
Basement” below and return here when they have it). A battle breaks out!
Bone Skull the Wizard (Off-guard/Weakened)
Your skills have allowed you to catch Bone Skull off-guard, you free the young maiden
before he can react, and his spells aren’t at full power as you surround him.
You need to roll a 10 or higher on a twenty-sided die to hit the weakened Bone Skull. If
you miss, he hits you!
Hit Points: 15
Weapons: Magic Ball of Fire 1d6 points of damage. (Bypasses all armor because it’s
Armor: None
Special: When Bone Skull would normally die, he instead blows up in a giant fireball.
Anyone who doesn’t ‘duck out of the way’ immediately takes 1d6 more points of
damage. If this would cause anyone to die, they go to 1 hp instead (the flames aren’t hot
enough to kill). Tell the players congratulations, they’ve beaten the adventure! They each
gain 1,000 more experience points and may ‘level up’ see “End of Adventure One”
Bone Skull (Full Power)
Use all the same stats as above, but Bone Skull can attack twice. (Remember: if a player
misses, Bone Skull hits! So every time someone misses him, Bone Skull gets 2 attacks
which both automatically hit whoever he wants! Armor doesn’t help against his magic.)
Try to have him attack the players with lots of hit points, dying is no fun, and the GM
isn’t trying to ‘win’. The GM just wants the players to have fun, and challenge them to
the best of their ability. If you want to ‘improv’ the battle, go ahead. Just stick to the
combat rules as much as possible. You can give Bone Skull more or less HP as you deem
fit or perhaps give him a weak monster minion to aid him in battle. If the party is having
a tough time, consider lowering his HP or giving him a penalty to damage rolls.
Mind Control: Anyone who meets your gaze has fallen under Bone Skull’s Mind
Control. They must do whatever he says until he is defeated! If the players cover their
eyes and describe how they’re defending against his powers, they are immune to his mind
control. However, it’s difficult to fight blind so they take a -2 to rolls (You can let them
open their eyes now to play! We know their characters still have their eyes closed).
If the players win, see above for their XP gain and the skip to the “End of Adventure
One” below. If the players want to search the rest of the tower, read on below.
Remember: Bone Skull will only use ‘mind control’ while at full power. Any character
who tries to ‘break free’ of mind control may make an unmodified d20 roll and if they get
an 11 or higher they succeed, otherwise they can’t attempt to break free again.
The Basement
You step down into the basement. It’s damp and cold down here. You can see a chest
before you on the right wall, and a magical scepter on the left wall. What would you like
to do?
There is a trap on the chest. A player must roll a 15 or higher to discover it (Trap Find or
Search) and also another 15 or higher to disable it (Trap Disable). Otherwise, touching
the chest will trigger the trap. The trapdoor slams closed and the room starts to fill with
water. Inside the chest are 1,000 pieces of gold (used to buy stuff after the adventure).
The magic scepter is white with a diamond on the end. (It isn’t trapped.) The scepter will
make anyone carrying it immune to Bone Skull’s magical fire spells and his mind control
ability. It can also shoot bolts of magic which (on a hit) deal 2d6 (two six-sided dice) of
damage. Anyone can use the staff, but it only has 5 charges and when it runs out, it stops
working. It can be sold for 1,000 gold coins.
If the players trigger the water trap, role-play their heroic escape. Force them to come up
with an improvised way out, or to use their skills creatively.
The End of Adventure One
You may inform each of the surviving players that their characters have ‘leveled up’. In
the full version of Challenger this will give them all kinds of options about what to
advance and which new powers to take. For now, just tell them to add 5 points to their
characters Hit Points making them tougher (which will now total 15 HP) and make up 1
new skill for their character. Tell them it must be reasonable, but otherwise it can be
anything they want. They are now “Level 2” characters.
Since they’ve beaten the adventure they can now shop for new gear and, if they have
enough experience points, ‘buy a special ability’. If anyone’s character died, they can
come back with a new one now. If there are no characters left, they can duplicate one of
the characters, but just put a new name and personality to make them ‘different’.
If the whole party died, you can retry the adventure from the point where they made a
mistake or died, until you complete the quest.
When your players attempt and complete the next two adventures, have them come back
to the below sections. Every time they complete an ‘adventure’ they ‘level up’ and gain 5
more Hit Points and 1 new skill of their creation. If they have enough XP they may buy a
special ability with it. If they have gold and treasure they may use it to buy new
‘Equipment’. Congratulations! You’ve just run your first successful adventure! When you
run out of adventures you’ll have to make up your own or get a hold of the complete
Challenger rules. There’s also a supplement out with 7 free adventures for Challenger
called “Adventure Pack One”. You can use that, but you might need to update to the full
rules to fully enjoy them. Good luck!
The King, Sean Sandeen, pays you handsomely for your deed. You receive 1,000 pieces of
gold to be split evenly amongst your group. You may use this gold and any treasure you
found on your quest to buy new Gear. If you earned experience points, you can use it to
purchase ‘new abilities’. Also remember to level up after each adventure you survive!
Step 5. Shopping for New Gear and Abilities
Every item in the game is worth a certain amount of ‘gold’. Sometimes a value will be
listed in the adventure, other times the GM will make up the value of an item. When you
return to the ‘village’ you can sell any items you don’t want any more and buy new items.
If you have some gold at the end of any ‘adventure’ you may go to the ‘village’ and shop
for new items. You can’t shop in the middle of an adventure, but when it’s over, you can
usually do so.
At the end of each adventure you can also buy “New Abilities” if you have enough XP to
purchase them and meet their ‘requirements’. You can’t buy new abilities during an
adventure but, when it’s over, you can usually do so.
Equipment List:
Dagger: Costs: 1 gold, damage 1d6
Stick: Costs: 1 gold, damage 1d6
Sword: Costs: 10 gold, damage 1d8
Huge Sword: Costs: 50 gold, damage 1d10 (one ten-sided die).
Plate-mail Armor: Cost: 500 gold. Blocks all enemy attacks when you roll a 2-4 when
attacking. However, you can’t ‘sneak’ when wearing heavy armor, it’s too noisy. Wizards
and Healers aren’t trained how to use Armor this heavy, so they can’t wear it.
Two Sword Combat Training: Cost: 1,000 gold. If you buy this, you can re-roll your
attack roll on 1d20 once per round up to 2 times per battle when you’d normally miss.
You only miss (and take damage) if you fail the second roll as well.
Bow/Crossbow: Cost: 100 gold 1 gold per 10 arrows. You can fire this weapon up to 60
ft. (12 squares on a grid). Because you can attack far away, if enemies are outdoors and
you fire this weapon, you get it as a ‘free attack’ before the regular battle starts. You can’t
use a bow when surprised, indoors, or in ‘close combat’.
Torches: Cost: 1 gold for ten torches. Good for seeing in the dark. They last 1 hour each.
Rope and Grappling Hook: Cost: 50 gold. Handy for climbing: adds +2 to all climbing
skill rolls (athletics).
Special Mount/Pet: Cost: 10,000 gold. You can ride this animal, or it’s your friend. It can
be pretty much whatever you want (within reason). This animal/creature can attack once
per combat round (right after your attack) and its attack deals 1d6 points of damage. Your
Mount has 10 hit points if any monster attacks it. You can only have one mount or pet.
Abilities List:
Stealth Attack: You must be a Thief to take this power. Cost: 1,000 experience points.
When you roll a 15 or higher on your stealth roll and then attack you lose the ‘stealth’ but
you deal an additional 1d6 points of damage with your ‘sneak attack.’
Speedy Dodge: You must be a Thief to take this power. Cost: 2,000 experience points.
Once per adventure you can ‘dodge’ any attack that would have otherwise hit you. You
take no damage from this attack.
Great Strength: You must be a Warrior to take this power. Cost: 1,000 experience points.
Anything which requires your strength to roll on a skill gains a +3 to that roll. So if you
were climbing you would add +3 to your roll (and any other bonuses you had such as +5
for being trained in Athletics).
Combat Cunning: You must be a Warrior to take this power. Cost: 2,000 experience
points. Every time you drop a foe to 0 Hit Points, you get an immediate free attack. Even
if you miss this second attack on a new foe, you still take no damage from that opponent
when you make this ‘free attack’.
Lightning Bolt: You must be a Wizard to take this power. Cost: 1,000 experience points.
Once per adventure you may fire a mighty lightning bolt of power. This bolt deals 2d6
points of damage (two six-sided dice) to any foe you throw it at, if you hit. You gain a +2
to the roll to hit because Lightning is fast. Armor can’t protect against it, either.
Teleport: You must be a Wizard to take this power. Cost: 2,000 experience points. You
can teleport at will over short distances. This makes you harder to hit. You are considered
to have armor 2-4 (see Plate-mail in equipment) while you’re teleporting in battle. You
can only teleport where you can see.
Mass Healing: You must be a Healer to take this power. Cost: 1,000 experience points.
Once per adventure you can heal ‘all’ your allies 2d6 points of damage and it takes only 1
round. You also don’t have to be able to touch them for this to work, but they must be
within 60 ft. (12 grid squares) of your character.
Bonus Life: You must be a Healer to take this power. Cost: 2,000 experience points.
Whenever you die, revert to 10 hit points instead. You can only use this power once per
Step 6. Leveling Up
Whenever you complete an ‘adventure’ and survive, you level up. Add 5 more Hit Points
to your character, and make up 1 new skill for your character (within reason). Some skill
ideas are the following: Tracking, Hunting, Magic Detection, Enchanting of Magic Items,
Healing Ability, Athletics, and Acrobatics. I’m sure you can come up with more on your
Because I haven’t included many powers in this Basic Edition, you might have to make
up your own powers to buy with experience points. To make a new power: come up with
a cool idea and then assign it to a type of character such as “Warrior” and give it an
‘experience point’ cost to master. Good luck! Some power ideas are: Multi-attack,
Invisibility spell, Flying power, X-ray vision, Telekinesis, and Laser Eyes.
For loads more powers and skills, and complete rules on them, see the full version of
Challenger. It’s free!
Step 7. Adventure Two: The Caverns of Chaos
The young maiden you rescued from the wizard, Bone Skull (They did rescue her, right?
If not, it’s time for some quick improv!) tells you her name is “Arianna”. She was
captured by vile creatures known as Ogres along with her kid brother, Marco. She pleads
with your group on her hands and knees for you to save her brother. Being decent folk,
you readily agree. It appears you have your next adventure, rescuing Marco from the
Caverns of Chaos where the Ogres live. Perhaps Arianna has some more information she
can offer you? or would you like to seek out the caves themselves? There’s only one
problem. You don’t know where they are!
Arianna was blindfolded when the two Ogres “Stink and Pig” captured her and her
brother. She can’t tell the group where it was. She knows it was ‘very smelly in there’
and that’s all. She can’t offer the party a reward because she’s not rich, but she promises
them the Caverns of Chaos are filled with treasure, traps, and dangerous monsters.
It’s now time to learn a new GMing skill: role-playing an NPC (non-player character).
Try using a funny voice as you play-act Arianna, wave your arms around in desperation
for your brother ‘Marco’. Plead with the Player’s Characters (PCs) on your hands and
knees. If the player’s ask questions, answer them as Arianna. If they roll skills, role-play
the results. If they roll high, their skills garner successful information about the
adventure. If they roll low, they learn nothing (and can’t roll that skill again!).
Remember: you always want to read an adventure through before playing it. Otherwise
you might not know what to tell the players when they roll for a new clue!
Your next Task: make up a small map of the area. Put the following things on your map:
a forest, a river, a range of mountains, the village (give it a name!), the castle of the king,
and mark the tower of Bone Skull and your dungeon on the map. Also, include a
coastline and a port village named Talath. That’s not important right now, but it’ll come
into play in Adventure Three: War of the Goblins. This is what’s called world-building.
You can show your map to the players if you want, but you don’t have to. Try adding a
few things of your own design. Here are some ideas: a magical pool (what does it do?) a
buried treasure (what is it?) some hills (are there dungeons to explore there?), an evil
castle (a stronghold of a villain? What’s his name?)
Okay, now let the PC’s explore your map and role-play any friendly NPCs they meet.
Allow them to use Intellect and Knowledge Magic skills to help them discover clues
which will eventually lead to the Caverns of Chaos marked on your new map. When they
finally find the place, read them the following:
At long last, you have found the Caverns of Chaos. Because of your great skill and effort
in finding the place, you each earn 500 experience points. You enter some low hills and
see torchlight flickering ahead at the entrance to a ‘dungeon’. Before the dungeon is a
small yellow creature with evil eyes holding a spear. This is a goblin and he hasn’t
noticed you yet, but he doesn’t look friendly!
When the players have some time on their hands, try to get them to each draw a small
picture of what they think their character looks like on their ‘character sheet’. If they
don’t want to, at least make them draw a symbol for their character. This makes it easier
for everyone to visualize their character. Also, try getting them to add to their character’s
personality entry. Include things like: background, likes and dislikes, traits, appearance
(in written description), and mannerisms/favorite catchphrases. This will make the
character ‘their own’ and add to the fun of the game. When you create your own “NPCs”
you’ll be doing the same thing! But don’t work too hard, most NPCs won’t have as much
‘screen time’ as the heroes. Do the most work for important people like the king of the
land and the villain of all the adventures. People like farmers and peasants rarely need
more than a brief description of appearance and one or two quirks of personality to be
role-played effectively as an individual (and a name of course!) Try writing a list of ten
names on a piece of paper before the game. When the players ask for someone’s name,
you’ve got one ready! Just mark down who you assigned the name to.
The Goblin
To hit the Goblin you will need to roll an RR (Risk Rating) of 10 on your d20 (twenty-
sided die), otherwise he hits you!
Hit Points: 5
Weapons: Spear 1d6
Armor: None.
Special: If the players want to Intimidate, or Negotiate with the Goblin, they will need to
roll only a 10 or higher to make him run away, or leave peacefully. He can see he’s
outgunned. There is no experience point award for killing the goblin, because he’s an
‘easy challenge’ but if the Player Character’s cleverly negotiate with him, each character
to do so earns an extra 500 experience points to write down on their character sheet and
use to buy new abilities later at the end of the adventure.
The Goblin doesn’t know much about the Caverns of Chaos, but he does know the
“Goblins of Fire” have claimed this land as theirs, if the heroes trespass into the dungeon
they will have declared war on the goblins! (setting the ‘hook’ for next adventure).
Creating Your First Dungeon
Grab a piece of scrap paper and a pen or pencil, it’s time to design your first dungeon!
Don’t worry, it’s easy. All you have to do is draw a load of aimless squares on a piece of
paper with lines connecting them. These are “rooms” and “corridors”. Add a few doors, a
few hidden doors and traps, maybe a couple of treasures and stairs, and a map key. The
Map Key tells you what each symbol on the map means. A “D” might mean a door, an
“H” a hidden door and a “T” a treasure. A simple way to remember which room is which
is to give each encounter area (whether in a room or a corridor) a consecutive number.
Let’s say from 1. to 10. for this adventure. When the players arrive at that location, read
them the description for that area. I’ve already written ten room descriptions by number
below, but when you’re creating your own dungeon, you’ll be the one creating them! You
can also put encounter areas outside of rooms in corridors, or in wilderness areas, but
more on that later.
Dungeon Room 1.
When the players reach the spot you’ve marked a 1. on your map, read them the
As you enter the room a strong smell of sulfur hits your nostrils. You see before you a
terrible dragon! It snarls and roars, preparing to throw a ball of fire at you. Its green tail
flicks ominously. This challenge may be too much for you, perhaps you should retreat?
This monster isn’t meant to be fought. The party should retreat and go somewhere else, or
sneak past the dragon. It has no treasure, but usually dragons have vast treasure hoards to
sleep on. If the party insists on fighting, you can shake your head and proceed with the
battle. Be sure to offer them opportunities to run away if they seem to be losing. In this
battle, running away is automatic, the dragon just wants to go to sleep and won’t pursue
the party. If it did, they’d be in trouble! Dragons can fly.
Green Dragon (Small)
Hit Points: 50
Weapons: Bite and Claws, Eat Whole, Fireball. Every time a character misses the
dragon’s RR (target number to hit) of 18 the dragon can choose which attack to use on
that character. Claws and Bite deal 1d6 damage and then another 1d6 damage. Eat Whole
kills the character instantly unless they make a ‘saving throw’. A ‘saving throw’ is a
single d20 roll against a target number of 11. If the character rolls 11 or higher, they
negate the attack/effect. If they roll a 10 or lower, it takes effect as usual. From now on,
let a character roll a saving throw every time they face instant death, but not against
regular attacks! You’re also allowed saving throws against mind control (like in the last
adventure). The dragon’s Fireball breath deals 1d6 damage to up to 4 characters at the
same time!
Armor: The dragon’s thick armor is nearly impenetrable. Reduce all damage dealt to the
dragon by 5 points. If this results in a negative number or 0, the attack deals no damage to
the dragon and ‘glances off’. The dragon can’t get ‘extra hp’ in this way. If the heroes
somehow manage to slay the beast, they can forge 1 suit of dragon armor each out of its
hide. Dragon armor offers protection on all d20 rolls of 2-6 and is the ‘strongest’ armor
available in the game (including magic armors!). They must find a special armor smith to
do this for them and pay him handsomely (at least 1,000 gold per suit of armor). See
“Plate-mail” in equipment for what 2-6 protection means.
Special: when the Dragon reaches 10 or less HP, it roars in fury and flies away. The PCs
can’t catch it unless they pursue extraordinary means. If the party would die, have the
dragon capture them instead. They now must escape. If they try to fight it again it kills
them this time. (New Rule: when someone reaches 0 hp, the character/creature dealing
the damage has the option of ‘knocking them out’ instead of killing them).
Tactics against the Dragon
If the players use good ‘tactics’ against the dragon, such as ganging up on him, flanking
him, or sneak attacking. Give all the players characters to do so a +2 advantage to their
‘to hit’ rolls. Keep using this rule whenever the player characters use ‘brilliant’ tactics or
clearly ‘outnumber’ their foes. Don’t overuse it, just use it to reward good play just like
you do for good role-playing in a ‘skill encounter’.
Dungeon Room 2. The Blob
This room contains a green blob sitting on a pile of rubies. The rubies can be sold for a
total of 5,000 gold coins if recovered. The blob won’t move and it’s made of a jelly acid.
Anyone to touch it takes 1d6 points of damage. If attacked, the blob multiplies! The only
way to kill it is with the fire of a ‘torch’.
Describe the blob and the room to the players in your own words. Remember to include
the rubies under the blob!
Dungeon Room 3. Goblins
Some of the Fire Goblins are here sitting around a fire. There are 5 Goblins. Each goblin
has the same statistics. However, any goblin which at least one player ‘doesn’t’ attack
gets a free hit against any character he can reach. A ‘free hit’ automatically does damage
and cannot be blocked by armor or a saving throw. The players better defeat these goblins
in a hurry or they could be in trouble! As always, Intimidate and Diplomacy might be
helpful and befriend/turn away the Goblins. Using a fireball on them would also be a
good tactic.
Goblins (5)
RR: 10 (the heroes will need to roll a 10 or higher on 1d20 to hit a goblin, otherwise they
miss and the goblin hits them!). Any goblin not attacked by any PC in a ‘round’ gets a
free hit against anyone he wants! See above. Special: On the second round, let the players
‘defend’ a doorway. Then only 1 goblin can attack them. (The others don’t get ‘free hits’
because they can’t ‘reach’ the characters to do so.) 1 Round=1 Turn for each player.
Hit Points: 5 each
Weapons: Spears and Clubs 1d6 damage each
Armor: None
Treasure: 10 gold pieces each.
Special: One goblin has a magical ‘potion’. This potion can be drunk as a free action (you
still get your normal actions) and heals 2d6 hit points instantly like a healing spell. Once
you drink it, it’s used up. If you happen to have 2 potions, you can only drink one as a
free action, drinking the second uses your regular action and you get no other actions that
turn (You can’t drink a third potion!). You can allow the PCs to buy new potions when
they get back to the ‘village’ from a friendly wizard/healer. You set the price!
You see a glint from one of the goblins pockets. It appears you’ve discovered a magical
potion! When you drink it, something magical will happen, but what?
Tell the players they may want to ‘search the bodies’ sometimes to find good stuff. If
anyone uses a “Magical Knowledge” skill they learn what the potion does (no roll
required). If anyone ‘searches the bodies’ allow them to find another potion. You make up
what this potion does. Feel free to make up a few other ‘potions’ when the PCs search the
bodies later on. Maybe even a few coins or something else magical you’ve invented?
Dungeon Room 4. Armory
You seem to have found an abandoned armory. There are all kinds of weapons and
armors here. Perhaps if you search here you can find some magical weapons and armor?
Allow the players to stock up on as many weapons and armors as they could reasonably
carry and wear (see Equipment for statistics). If anyone ‘searches’ for the magic weapons
they find them hidden in a chest at the back of the room. The long chest is locked. It must
be ‘broken open’ with a strength or athletics skill or the lock picked by a ‘pick lock’ skill
to open it. The players must roll a 15 or higher to do so. When you’re making up your
own adventures and monsters, you’ll have to assign the target numbers (RRs) yourself for
challenges. Don’t worry, it’s easy when you get the hang of it.
The Magic Weapons (Only if they’re found!)
Read the following only if the players uncover the magical weapons and armor:
As soon as you crack the lid on the chest, your eyes are dazzled by bright magical light
and fine worksmanship. You’ve uncovered some magical elven blades! In the full
Challenger rules you’ll be allowed to play elves, dwarves, elementals, giants, and a host
of other races and not just human. You’ll also have access to special professions and
abilities which will let you make your own magic items!
These magic items are obviously powerful, but what do they do? Will they harm you or
help you? You’ll have to experiment and find out!
Allow the players to mess around with the magic items. Describe each one in detail, but
don’t give away their powers unless the players roll a 15 on their Magic Knowledge
skills, or find out through ‘role-playing’ the discovery.
Magic Sword
This long sword is made of finely crafted silver with intricately carved leaves. The hilt is
of solid gold, and the pommel is studded with a star sapphire which sparkles in your
torchlight. Something is written on the blade, but it’s in elvish, and you don’t know elvish,
do you?
The elven writing says “Foe Slayer” If anyone speaks these words in elvish, the blade
glows bright green for 1 battle every time it is activated. When activated the elvish sword
adds +1d6 damage to the character’s damage for the sword for a total of 1d8+1d6
damage points on a hit. Because it is so well made, it adds +1 to the ‘to hit’ attack rolls
of the character who wields it, even when it’s not activated! The first time the character
uses the sword in battle, inform her about the bonus to attack so she may write it down on
her character sheet.
Magic Bow
This longbow is made of solid unicorn horn, it is at least 8 ft. long and the string is made
of unicorn hair. There is a button near the grip. Would you like to press it? A quiver of 20
fine elven arrows accompanies the bow in the chest.
Pressing the button while holding the bow will temporarily enchant any arrow knocked to
the bow. If it is then fired, the arrow will ‘seek out’ the target aimed for, and hit
regardless of armor. This attack requires no roll and deals 1d6 damage points. Because
this is such a strong power, the bow will run out of ‘charges’ after 5 uses. Afterwards it
simply adds +1 to all attack rolls when activated because it is so finely made.
Magic Dagger
This dagger appears to be completely normal. Perhaps it is not magical at all?
Appearances can be deceiving. This is a “Boomerang Dagger”. Whenever it is thrown, it
will always return to the hand of whoever threw it! The Magic of the dagger even works
when it hits a target. Because of it’s magical nature, this dagger adds +1d6 to all damage
when it hits for a total of 2d6 (two six-sided dice) of damage on a hit. It adds +1 to
attack rolls because of its magical qualities.
Magic Armor
This suit of magical elven plate-armor is enchanted to be almost weightless. A character
wearing it can still sneak around as if he was wearing ‘light armor’. It affords the second
best protection in the game 2-5 on 1d20 (see plate-mail for what 2-5 means in
Equipment). The only armor better in the universe is Dragon Hide armor which can only
be forged from the hide of a dragon and can be worn by anyone. Anyone can wear this set
of Magic Armor.
The Magic Armor has one more power. Once per battle it may negate any one hit
which would otherwise have hit you by springing a magic ‘force bubble’ into existence
before you a second before the blow lands.
Magic Shield
Whoever picked their magic item last should find the magic shield. As long as the
character only wields a 1-handed weapon (not a huge sword which requires two hands)
they can use the magical shield. The magical shield adds +5 hit points to the character
who wields it as it blocks attack. Remove shield Hit Points first in any battle. The
character isn’t injured until they take at least 6 damage.
Dungeon Room 5. Nasty Monsters and Traps
Place three traps in this room wherever you wish. Some ideas are: on the door, on the
floor, and hidden in the walls. They can be activated by “trip wires” “magical sensors” or
“pressure plates” in the floor. Each trap deals 1d6 points of damage. One is an arrow trap,
another is a magical flame trap, and the last is a poison dart trap. If the poison dart hits
someone they must drink an ‘antidote’ within 10 minutes or their character dies. If the
dart hits heavy plate-mail or a shield, it doesn’t ‘poison’ the character. The antidote can
be found in the possession of the ‘monsters’ in the room.
Time to learn something new! Let’s say you have lots of monsters (like below) but you
don’t want them taking free hits on the players, or you don’t want the battle to last
forever. In Challenger you can avoid this by ‘stacking’ monsters. It’s really easy to do.
Just take a band of monsters and rename the ‘challenge’: x amount of monsters. If any
player ‘defeats’ that ‘stack’ of monsters by reducing the stack’s Hit Points to zero; all of
the monsters are defeated! This will save you loads of time. Let’s try it out.
Stack of 5 Goblins Challenge
RR: 15 (it’s harder to fight 5 stacked goblins at the same time than 1 goblin alone.)
Hit Points: 5 total (because we raised the RR we don’t need to raise the HP too!). Once
at 0 Hit Points ‘all’ of the Goblins are defeated!
Weapons: Spears and Daggers. 2d6 damage (because it’s all 5 goblins attacking you!)
Armor: none
Treasure: 500 gold total.
Stack of 2 Trolls Challenge
RR: 16
Hit Points: 10 total.
Weapons: Claws 3d6 damage.
Armor: none.
Treasure: a diamond worth 1,000 gold if the ‘bodies are searched’. 5 bottles of ‘antidote’
to poison.
Stack of 10 Giant Spiders Challenge
RR: 10
Hit Points: 5 total.
Weapons: Bite: 1d6 damage and poison (dead in 10 minutes unless antidote is drunk!)
Armor: none
Treasure: none.
If things go badly for the characters…
Allow them to run away without a roll, negotiate with the monsters, or go outside and rest
up to regain all their hit points. Remember to tell them they can retreat and fight
elsewhere! Another good tactic is to ‘sneak’ in and steal the antidotes, then leave!
Monsters Ganging Up
Usually any foe not engaged gets a ‘free hit’ on any character he can reach. In this battle,
the monsters fight each other instead! (they each want to eat the PCs themselves).
Whenever a monster gets a ‘free hit’ have them use it against one of the other monster
‘stacks’ instead.
Dungeon Room 6. Chasm
You see before you a giant chasm barring your way. To continue onward, you’ll need to
find a way across. Perhaps if you had a rope?
It’s role-playing and skill time! There are two ways across the chasm: skills and role-
playing. Anyone who comes up with a brilliant idea may cross the chasm for free.
Anyone who rolls a 15 or higher on a Jump or Climb skill (with a rope only) may cross
that way as well, however, if they fail the roll they fall into the chasm!
Allow any character who ‘falls’ to roll a ‘saving throw’ to grab a vine and pull
themselves out. Remember: a saving throw is a d20 roll which succeeds on a roll of 11 or
higher. You get a saving throw when you’re facing instant death!
Anyone who ‘still’ falls to the bottom takes 2d6 points of damage and still must find a
way to climb out. If they fall again they take only 1d6 points of damage because they’re
only ‘half way up’. Allow the players to ‘help each other out’. Any character doing so
gives his friend a +2 to the roll (total, not cumulative) and each ‘helping’ character earns
500 experience points for doing so.
Dungeon Room 7. Hidden Treasure Room
You come into an apparently empty room. What would you like to do?
There is a hidden door leading into an alcove with treasure. Anyone who ‘searches’ for it
finds it. Sometimes you’ll want to make the characters roll to find something even when
they ‘search’ for it. Just assign an RR and go to town. Characters might want to take a
‘search’ or ‘perception’ skill when they ‘level up’ to aid them in ‘searching’ later on.
The alcove contains 1,000 pieces of gold, a Topaz worth 500 gold coins, and a golden
crown worth 300 gold coins.
Dungeon Room 8. Empty Room
This room is also empty. Perhaps there is something hidden here?
This room actually is empty. Allow the characters to search as much as they want and
make ‘skill rolls’ to search too. There’s nothing to find here, but don’t tell them that!
They might think there is and they just can’t find it. Keep the mystery alive! If the players
waste too much time, you can let them know that sometimes there isn’t anything to find.
Or…you could make up something for them to find, but it doesn’t have to be good.
Dungeon Room 9. Trial of Fire
Up ahead you can hear the screams of a small boy and the growls of two large, smelly
Ogres who are tormenting him. Marco yells, “Stop trying to feed me dead rats, you
“Honey,” cries one of the Ogres, “he won’t eat his dead rat soup!”
“I’m trying to read the paper, Marge,” replies the second Ogre.
The path to the boy lies through a bed of hot cools ringed with magical fire jets, going
ahead may be extremely dangerous but there appears to be no other way.
The trial of fire is a test of the character’s courage. As they run down the corridor, have
them take 1d6 damage each turn. Keep telling them they haven’t reached the end yet, do
they still want to go on?
When the characters have only 1 hit point or similar left, they make it through (unless
they ran away, in which case they’ll have to try again). The fires disappear. It was all an
illusion to test their courage! (they get all of their lost hit points back). They can now
save Marco and finish the adventure!
Dungeon Room 10. Marco and the Two Ogres (Final Room in the Dungeon).
You enter a small living room where two Ogres sit. One is trying to feed a small boy with
a huge spoon. The other Ogre is reading what appears to be a large parchment
newspaper and hasn’t noticed you yet. You get the feeling you won’t have to fight here.
The Ogres are sad because they lost a son to some nasty adventurers. If the player’s
characters are nice to them, they grudgingly let Marco go and the adventure is a success!
Each character earns 500 experience points and goes up a level! (See: steps 5. and 6.
earlier in this book). They may now shop for items, and buy new abilities if they can
afford them.
If the characters try to fight the ogres anyway, or if they’re nasty to them, a battle breaks
2 Ogre Stack
RR: 18
Hit Points: 80
Weapons: clubs 3d6 damage.
Armor: None.
Special: The Ogres are fierce fighters and cannot be intimidated.
Treasure: None
Experience Points: for fighting them? None. It takes more skill to negotiate with them
(see above).
End of Adventure Two
Arianna cries as you return her brother to her. Marco shakes your hand. “Thanks guys,
you really saved my butt there, do you have any idea how bad rat brains taste?” You
return to the village to restock your supplies and equipment and train for your next levels
of experience. However, one thing bugs you. The Goblins you fought in your adventure
are known as the Fire Goblins and they had territorial rights on that area. They will
probably seek their revenge soon. Perhaps that will be your next adventure?
Step 8. Adventure Three: War of the Goblins
Are you ready to try something new? Don’t worry, you already know ‘loads’. You’re
probably well on your way to becoming a master GM if you’ve read this far. GM’s can
never have too much help, though. When you’re done with this book and this final
adventure you might want to check out: Adventure Pack One: 7 free adventures for
Challenger, Challenger RPG (the full version) which contains over 60 pages of GM
advice, or any other GMing books you can get your hands on. They’re always packed
chalk-full of great advice for you to use. How to Play a Role-Playing Game (And Win)
might also be useful to you, as well as “Free E-Book Dice Roller” on Amazon Kindle.
Okay, now for that new thing. Some ‘adventures’ are in dungeons. But not all of them.
There are wilderness and ocean adventures too. You design them in pretty much the same
way you made your world map. Draw a map of the area and put numbers on it where the
players might run into ‘encounters’. When the characters reach that area, describe what
you’ve made up there. Wilderness encounters are a little harder to run than dungeon
encounters because the players can go in ‘any direction’. There are no walls and rooms to
keep them ‘boxed in’. You must be prepared for them to go anywhere. If they leave your
map you must make up new things on the spot or give them a good reason to go back
there (an adventuring ‘hook’). A ‘hook’ is something to hook the readers/players into the
story/game. Such as: “There’s lots of treasure there”, “There is a villain who must be
stopped”, or, “Innocent people are in danger”. I’m sure you can come up with good
‘hooks’ on your own. Time limits also help: “If you don’t stop the mad wizard in ten
days, he’ll destroy the world!” etc.
The ‘hook’ of this adventure is the goblin invasion the PCs are responsible for. If it
wasn’t for their meddling last adventure, it wouldn’t have happened. They ‘owe’ it to the
people to help stop the invasion. The hook of adventure 2. was Arianna and her brother
Marco who needed rescuing. The ‘hook’ of adventure 1. was the treasure promised by the
king, and stopping the evil wizard Bone Skull for the good of all (it might have been a
weak hook, but it’s a start).
Okay, so let’s try making a wilderness map. This adventure will take place on the ocean.
Remember that port village of Talath I made you add to your area map on the coast?
That’s where this comes in. Create another map of the ocean containing the coastline and
5 islands. Also include a pirate ship and a giant whirlpool. Place these things wherever
you want on your ‘ocean map’. You can even add a few things if you feel up to it.
Number each island 1. thru 5. and add notes for anything you decide to put in yourself.
Adventure Three Introduction:
Not long after your last adventure, you learn the Goblins of Fire you angered have
started a war on the humans. You feel terribly guilty, but you had to save Marco. It is
now your honorable duty to stop the Goblins. Okay, even if you didn’t want to, you’d risk
becoming outlaws if anyone ever found out it was your fault, it’s probably best to stop the
problem now. You make for the port city of Talath which was attacked last week and find
it in a shambles. Everyone is running about and trying to build impromptu defenses. The
mayor of the town “Garrold” comes up to your group and looks relieved. “Thank
goodness you’re here, heroes. You’ve come not a moment too soon. The Goblins of Fire
attacked unexpectedly from the Sea of Fire! Before we knew what was happening they
kidnapped over half of our village’s women and children— even a few of the men. They
sailed away and our ‘search parties’ at sea haven’t returned. We have only on ship left,
the Nebbercannazerschnozer. It’s kind of broken, but we’ll help you fix it. Will you rescue
our families from the Goblins?
It’s now your chance to create a non-player character. Give Garrold a brief appearance
and a couple quirks of personality. Role-play with the player’s characters and help them
in any way that is reasonable. Garrold doesn’t have loads of money, but what he can
provide is time, and information. The players may be able to gain ‘clues’ about the
islands, the Goblins of Fire, a magical crystal skull, and the upcoming adventure.
When they’re ready, they should repair the boat (role-play that!) and get underway at sea.
Tell them they can go whatever direction they want, but try to keep them on the right
track to finding the goblins. Perhaps the winds of the sea and a few storms steer them the
right direction?
Try creating another NPC: the captain of the ship. Give him a name, some low combat
stats, maybe a couple of skills, and a personality!
The Whirlpool
Your ship is being sucked into a giant whirlpool at sea. It came out of nowhere! What can
you do?
This is a ‘role-playing’ challenge. Allow the players to come up with a brilliant way to
save their lives and award them 500 experience points each for doing so. If they can’t,
the ship is wrecked and they must swim (RR 10) to the nearest island on your map and
build a new ship with what remains of their crew.
The Pirate Ship
You see the Fire Goblin pirates! But they’re many leagues away. Before you can catch up
with them, a storm blows in and separates you. There is one good shred of luck, though.
Now you know where they’re headed.
Use this encounter just to point the players in the right direction, or if they’re getting lost.
Feel free to re-use it in different forms if the PCs get sidetracked on the ocean.
Island 1. Deserted Way-stop
You’ve been at sea for over a month. Your supplies are running low when you spot land.
You hope there’s game to hunt on this island, or at least some fresh water. You’re
running desperately low.
This island is deserted but there is a magical well-spring hidden at the center of the
island. When the PCs find it they find the magical waters restore all strength to the men
of the ship! It fills the belly just like a full meal!
As an exercise, try creating your own monster on the island, perhaps guarding the
magical pool. It should have a name, appearance, and Hit Points from about 1-30. Its RR
shouldn’t be higher than 18 or lower than 10. Its attacks shouldn’t deal less than 1d6 or
more than 3d6. Try giving it a special ability like: flies, breaths fire, invisible, controls
minds, or can dig through sand and attack with surprise. Once you get the hang of making
your own monsters, you’ll be well on your way to making your own adventures! You can
also find pre-made monsters in the full version of the Challenger book.
Island 2. Volcano Island
This island has a volcano on it. Will you risk stopping here?
If the ship stops here, they find the island is safe; inhabited by friendly, beautiful natives;
and rich in food and fruits. This is because of the nutrient-rich, volcanic soil. Award 500
experience points to whoever wanted to stop here and then continue on the voyage.
Also, try role-playing some of the natives. Perhaps some of the native women take an
interest in the PCs or the shaman lays a special magical ability/spell on one of the party?
Island 3. Ghost Island
This deserted island is filled with mists and old gravestones. Long ago an ancient battle
was fought here.
This island is haunted. When the PCs go deep inland, ghosts, skeletons, zombies, and
ghouls rise up from their graves in ancient battle armor and seek to destroy the party!
RR: 13
Hit Points: 10
Weapons: Touch of the Dead (bypasses all armor) deals 1d6 damage +1d6 more damage
on the next round unless the character immediately runs away screaming and jumps into
the sea.
Special: cannot be harmed by anything other than magic and magical weaponry (all other
attacks pass right through the ghost and do nothing to it no matter what you roll).
RR: 10
Hit Points: 5
Weapons: Sword 1d8 points damage.
Armor: None.
Special: No vital organs. When a skeleton would normally die, it just loses an arm or a
leg and keeps on fighting. You must cut off the head to stop it. Even then it keeps
moving, but it can no longer see.
RR: 10
Hit Points: 8
Weapons: Claws 1d6 damage.
Armor: None.
Special: Already Dead! You cannot kill a zombie. It just loses body parts when it would
normally die. The only way to kill it is to cut off its head (4 hit points damage to do so,
and you must declare you’re aiming for it).
RR: 14
Hit Points: 4
Weapons: Ghoul Gaze: Any character who meets the gaze of the ghoul is instantly set on
fire for 1d6 points of damage until a full round is spent rolling around on the ground to
put it out (no attack or other actions that round) or the character runs away and jumps in
the sea. A character may make a ‘saving throw’ to avoid this effect. Fighting blind will
also negate this power, but doing so is difficult and the character will take a -2 penalty to
all rolls while ‘blind’.
Claw: damage 1d6. Using “Ghoul Gaze” is a ‘free action’ for ghouls once per turn. (a
turn is all players taking 1 action in a ‘round’).
Your Choice
Now is your chance to try making ‘monster stacks’ and/or choosing how many and which
types of monsters attack the party. Don’t try to kill them off, just try to ‘challenge’ them.
Allow them to run away if they’re getting beaten, and award them 500 experience points
each if they defeat the undead.
Island 4. Treasure Island
This island is surrounded by a dangerous reef. The players must find some way around it
if they want to land. If their ship is broken, they must swim to shore or risk drowning.
Make up the RR numbers they will need to roll for these skill checks. A good number is
15 for a tough task. 10 is a good number for something easy to do.
This island is full of wood (for building or repairing a ship) and also has a few treasure
chests hidden in a grotto for anyone who ‘searches’ for it. Each chest contains 1,000 gold
pieces. And one of the chests contains a magic wand. Make up the effect the magic wand
has and how many ‘charges’ it has left. Of course, only a wizard can use a magic wand.
There is also a magic lamp of three ‘wishes’. Each wish can do pretty much anything, but
the meaning may be twisted too. Only allow wishes which won’t unbalance the game.
Remember: the players don’t know what the magic items do until they experiment with
them! Wishes can also spoil adventures, be careful!
Island 5. Pirate Island!
This is the last island! The Fire Goblin’s pirate ships are docked here. When they spot the
PCs approach (if they do) they set sail and a ferocious sea battle breaks out. Role-play the
sea battle and let the PCs attempt attack rolls with catapults to sink enemy ships (RR 15)
but the enemy ships have rams and catapults too!
If the Fire Goblins board the PCs ship (or vice versa) or if the PCs catch them on the
shore, use the goblin stats below for the battle.
There are 3 goblin pirate ships.
Fire Goblin Pirate
RR: 10
Hit Points: 5
Weapons: Cutlass 1d6+1 point of damage.
Armor: None.
Skills: Seamanship +5 Climb +5
Treasure: 1 gold piece each.
Try stacking up the goblins into sets of 5. Allow the PCs to fight several sets of goblins
before the battle is over. The crew helps in the battle too. You don’t need to roll attacks
for them. Just tell the players the crew is fighting with them but outnumbered. They will
have to defeat 25 goblins themselves for the battle to swing in their favor! Allow the
players to heroically save members of the crew from danger and the goblins. Add sharks
to the waters if you want to increase the risk and let people get pushed in! Remember to
give the sharks stats and have a RR set for swimming back to the boats and ‘climbing’
back up and ‘climbing’ into the rigging.
The Battle is Won!
Assuming the PCs won (or they’ll have to start over) they can find the prisoners on Pirate
Island. They are all incredibly grateful for being rescued. Try role-playing one or two of
the kidnapped prisoners. Give them names and couple of personality traits each. Try
describing them briefly and using funny voices. Yeah, basically act like a fool, your
players will enjoy it and the praise.
If one of the players ‘searches’ the island, they automatically find the ‘crystal skull’ see
below. Otherwise, one of the villagers gives it to them as a reward.
The Crystal Skull
You hold in your hand a small, clear crystal skull. It is yellow and glassy to the touch. No
man-made tool crafted this perfectly formed object. It appears to be the skull of a small
Fire Goblin. Even as you gaze at it, the skull glows brighter and brighter, mesmerizing
you with no saving throw. As it reaches a blinding pitch a sharp sound rings out!...
This is what’s known as a ‘cliffhanger’. It’s what keeps the players interested in coming
back and playing next time. Always try to include a ‘cliffhanger’ whenever you end an
adventure or have to take a break to do something else. Cliffhangers are always exciting
developments, and they always leave questions in the player’s minds. Never tell them
what the cliffhanger is! If you do, you’ll ruin your cliffhanger. Always say, “Come back
and find out next time…” It’ll keep your players interested in your adventures. I leave the
resolution of this cliffhanger up to you. Try to use it to build your next adventure.
Some examples are: the skull teleports the party far away into an unknown and dangerous
land/dungeon. The crystal skull summons a giant demon who swears to destroy the
kingdom and teleports away, or the crystal skull shows visions of fabulous treasures and
the means to find them—but it will be a difficult journey with many obstacles on the way.
I’m sure you can come up with something much better on your own. Good luck!
The End of Adventure Three
The mystery of the crystal skull will be revealed in the next adventure (right?). For now
you may level up your characters and purchase any new abilities you can afford with
your experience points. You can’t buy new equipment yet because you’re way out to sea!
When you find a village, you can buy new gear. If you enjoyed these adventures, please
feel free to check out the full version of Challenger with more types of characters to play,
more powers and levels to achieve, more skills, and more races to play. You can also find
Adventure Pack One which contains 7 free adventures for the full rules of Challenger.
You might have to make small changes to your existing characters to update them to the
full version of Challenger, but you can keep playing your favorite character over and
over again as long as you want, or even make up your own new one from scratch!
You could even keep creating adventures, powers, and new equipment for this version of
Challenger, if you want. You might be missing out, but as long as you’re having fun, it’s
worth it.
Step 9. Your Turn to Create an Adventure
Well, that’s it. You’ve learned to play a role-playing game in 9 easy steps.
Let’s look back at what you’ve learned:
 What a Role-Playing Game is
 How to understand Game Statistics
 How to Create Personality for your Character
 How to Create a Character Sheet
 How to use funny Polyhedral Dice
 How to create an Adventure
 How to create Monsters
 How to Role-Play
 How to Make an NPC
 How to World Build
 How to Create a Dungeon
 How to Create Magic Items
 How to Create Maps and Wilderness Areas
 How to Set RRs for Skill Challenges
 How to work Advantages and Disadvantages
 How to Stack Monsters
 How to Level Up a Character
 How to Buy New Equipment
 How to use Experience Points to Buy Character Additions
 How to use Skills
 And, How to Create Traps and Hidden Doors/Treasures
Congratulations! You’ve certainly learned a lot. I hope you learn even more, and enjoy
yourself thoroughly while playing your favorite RPG. It’s now your turn to create the
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If you have any questions or comments about this game, or any ideas to improve
Challenger (the full rules), please let me know via e-mail at: I always read everything everyone sends me. Just be
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appreciated. Even better would be a kindly review. Paying for any one of our free e-
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Best Regards
David L. Dostaler
Author, Challenger RPG

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