Sample of Gameplay
In this example of play, a group of four heroes attacks an orc stronghold.
Narrator Nate: "After a few hours of walking in the forest, you come across a clearing where all the trees have been cut down and used to build a walled fort. Even from a distance, you can smell the orcs living inside. As night falls across the clearing, you see a bonfire come to life within. What do you do?"
Wade Warrior: "What are we waiting for? Let's bash down the gate and charge right in!"
Mary Mage: "We don't know how many orcs are in there! There has to be a better way to do this."
Rachel Rogue: "The darkness is our ally here; they won't be able to see us approach the outer wall at night unless they've got lookouts."
Chad Cleric: "Good point, Mary. Nate, do they have a watch set? Are there any orcs up on the walls?"
Narrator Nate: "You peer through the darkness, searching for shapes moving along the wall. Roll awareness."
Chad Cleric: "Hmm, I don't have any ranks in that skill. Mary?"
Mary Mage: "I have two points, but I could use some help."
Narrator Nate: "Yes, this can be a teamwork roll. Mary, you roll awareness and everyone else roll 1d6 with disadvantage, which is a -1 on your roll. Let's see who gets the highest number and, remember, as always: any extra ones get added to that. Roll!"
[Everyone rolls: Mary gets a 2 and a 5, Chad gets a 3, Wade gets a 1, and Rachel gets a 6.]
Rachel Rogue: "I got a six! But, with disadvantage, that's only a five, so Mary and I tied. I guess that's what we get."
Wade Warrior: "Hang on, you can add my one, so that brings us up to 6. Narrator, is that enough? What do we see?"
Narrator Nate: "The orcs don't appear to have any sentries posted. You could easily get to the wall without them seeing you."
Chad Cleric: "I'll bet a bunch of dumb orcs in a makeshift fortress left enough cracks for us to look through. Let's get close and see if we can determine how many are in there."
Narrator Nate: "You pick your way across the field of tree stumps and get to the outer wall of the stronghold. Sure enough, it's shoddy construction and there are places you could actually fit your arm through if you wanted. Peering inside, you count about eight orcs."
Wade Warrior: "No sweat! I'll break down the front door and you all follow me in!"
Mary Mage: "Slow down there, Wade. Eight orcs is a lot! Let's do this the right way. I promise you there'll be a battle, we just need to stack the odds in our favor."
Rachel Rogue: "She's right. How about I climb the wall and get some high ground with my crossbow?"
Mary Mage: "Sounds good. I'll cast a spell on their bonfire to make it blaze bright enough to blind them for a while. That'll be our queue to attack!"
Chad Cleric: "I'm going to try to cast a defensive spell on Wade, then I'll follow him in the front gate."
Narrator Nate: "Let's see how well you execute your plan. Everyone roll!"
Mary Mage: "Well, there's no rush, so I'll skip the intelligence roll to lower the casting time. My spellcraft is 3; here goes!"
[Mary rolls a 1, a 3, and a 6.]
Mary Mage: "Yes, that's 7 total!"
Rachel Rogue: "While she's doing that, I'm climbing the wall using my climbing kit. I don't have any points in strength, but the kit cancels out the disadvantage."
[Rachel rolls a 5.]
Rachel Rogue: "Hope that's enough!"
Chad Cleric: "I'll do what Mary did and skip my wisdom roll to shorten the casting time. Here comes my religion roll."
[Chad rolls a 2, a 3, and a 4.]
Chad Cleric: "That's probably not high enough for a spell."
Narrator Nate: "Nope, roll willpower to avoid losing your next action and getting disfavor."
Chad Cleric: "I figured. Here goes."
[Chad rolls a 6, and a 6.]
Chad Cleric: "Well then, does a six do it?"
Narrator Nate: "Yes, a six is high enough to avoid the negative effects of failing your spell casting roll."
Wade Warrior: "Since we've got all the time in the world, can I get a running start at the gate for an advantage?"
Narrator Nate: "Yeah, with all the trees cut down, there's more than enough room."
Wade Warrior: "Rrrraaaah! Strength roll incoming!"
[Wade rolls a a 2, a 5, and a 6.]
Wade Warrior: "Six with advantage is seven! Wade smash!"
Narrator Nate: "Okay, here's what happens: There's a brilliant flash of light as the bonfire in the middle of the orc fort flares, temporarily blinding the orcs. A second later, the gate busts open as Wade barrels in, followed closely by Chad. Seeing as you've caught them by surprise, we'll skip initiative and just let you go first."
Chad Cleric: "I'm going to take the opportunity to smash a surprised, blinded orc while I've got it. My weaponry skill isn't that high!"
[Chad rolls a 4.]
Narrator Nate: "With disadvantage, that's a 3, which would normally miss an orc, but since you surprised them, you have advantage, so it's back up to a 4. You nail one of the orcs in the head with your mace and he drops."
Wade Warrior: "Let's have some fun here. Can I use my strength to kick an orc into the bonfire?"
Narrator Nate: "Sure, they're surprised and blinded."
[Wade rolls a 1, a 1, and a 6.]
Wade Warrior: "Tonight's my night! That's an eight, total!"
Rachel Rogue: "Hey Wade, I doubt you need a roll that high. How about sharing some of those extra ones?"
Wade Warrior: "Yeah, good idea! I'll just take my six and give my ones to Rachel and Mary."
Narrator Nate: "A six is more than enough. You boot a hapless orc backwards into the fire and he bursts into flames. You can forget about that one."
Rachel Rogue: "Do any of the orcs look like they're in charge? Bigger? Stronger? Maybe a fancy hat?"
Narrator Nate: "Now that you mention it, yeah. There's an orc near the back of the fort wearing a suit of armor with a helmet shaped like a skull."
Rachel Rogue: "I'm going to nail that one with my crossbow! Here's my dexterity roll."
[Rachel rolls a 3, a 4, and a 4.]
Rachel Rogue: "Could have been better. Let's add in that plus one Wade gave me. That gives me a five."
Narrator Nate: "You sink a crossbow bolt into his shoulder, but he doesn't go down."
Mary Mage: "Ooh, an elite! That must be their leader. I'm going to try to cast a spell to set him on fire."
Narrator Nate: "It's hard to see him through the wall. You'll have to climb up or move over to the doorway."
Mary Mage: "Okay, I'll go around to the doorway, but not inside. I don't want to get close enough for the orcs to attack me."
Narrator Nate: "That's everyone, right? Now it's their turn. Two are down, so there are six left. Only one of them sees Rachel up on the wall. The orc chieftain draws a spear and hurls it at you."
Rachel Rogue: "Yikes! Here's my reflexes roll."
[Rachel rolls a 2, and a 3.]
Narrator Nate: "Not enough. His spear hits you."
Rachel Rogue: "Oh no, let's see if my leather armor is thick enough to stop it."
[Rachel rolls a 2.]
Rachel Rogue: "That's a failure, too. I guess I take a wound. I'll cross off deception because I doubt I'll need to use that this scene."
Narrator Nate: "Okay. Meanwhile, the rest of the orcs rush around the bonfire to engage Wade and Chad. Three of them attack Wade and the other two head for Chad."
Chad Cleric: "Here goes nothing! I raise my shield and hope for the best. Two reflexes rolls coming up."
[Chad rolls a 5 on one roll and a 4 on the other.]
Chad Cleric: "Not bad! The advantage from my shield cancels out the disadvantage from not having any points in reflexes, so five and four it is!"
Narrator Nate: "You fend off both attacks, their spiked clubs clanging uselessly against your sturdy shield."
Wade Warrior: "Shields are for weaklings who can't lift real, two-handed weapons! Here are my reflexes rolls."
[Wade rolls a 1 one the first roll, a 5 on the second, and a 4 on the third.]
Wade Warrior: "That one is a failure, so I'll just apply it to the four I rolled. With disadvantage from not having reflexes, that's two fours."
Narrator Nate: "You sidestep two of the attacks, but the last one connects."
Wade Warrior: "Come on, plate armor, don't let me down! Here's my fortitude roll with advantage."
[Wade rolls a 5 and a 6.]
Narrator Nate: "The orc's club bounces harmlessly off of your breastplate. That's all the orcs. It's your team's turn again."
And the battle continues back and forth until the heroes either win or lose. If they win, they can search the fort for treasure and clues about what to do next on their adventure. If they lose, they'll wake up in cages in the fort, waiting to be eaten for dinner the next night. Can they figure out how to escape, get their gear back, and defeat the orcs? The adventure continues...