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Perilous RPG swaps a GM for story cards written by Kids on Brooms co-creator

From the designer of Mage Against the Machine.

Venture into the depth of a dungeon in search of adventure in Perilous, an upcoming RPG that features story-prompting cards penned by Kids on Brooms co-designer Spenser Starke.

Perilous is a tabletop roleplaying game that has players becoming dungeon-explorers on the hunt for priceless treasures and incredible discoveries. The world of Perilous contains ancient magic that permeates its dungeons, sometimes causing unusual effects to occur - but often leading to entire communities creating their homes inside. Players begin their journey as someone living in one of these dungeon communities who’s desperately seeking adventure.

Whenever players want to do something in the fantasy RPG, they have to narrate what their character is doing and roll a d20. Depending on what they have rolled, a particular outcome will occur. Should a player roll 15 or more, they entirely succeed in what they are intending to do, otherwise the player character will have to face varying levels of consequences.

Perilous RPG artwork character 2

Throughout the game, players will have to keep track of a series of tags. These are collections of short phrases or descriptions that help players identify which aspects of the story and other characters are important. Characters have tags called aspects that provide a clear idea of what they’re accomplished at or what their particular approach to the world is. For example, a player character might have a stealth aspect - indicating that they prefer a quieter and subtler way of doing things. Whenever a player uses their aspect to create an advantage in a situation, they unlock an ‘opening’ that they can exploit to overcome various challenges.

Whilst one player can choose to take on the role of games master, Perilous is also capable of being played as a GM-less RPG - meaning that no one person becomes the story’s narrator. Instead, the players can use a deck of prompt cards that ask fundamental questions about how the characters want to proceed and contain various tags to convey what kind of situation players find themselves in.

Perilous was designed by Jordan Palmer, the creator behind indie RPG For the Dungeon!, which sees players become minions defending a location against adventurers, and time-travelling title Mage Against the Machine. Alongside Starke’s contributions are setting details from Pam Punzalan - co-creator of queer map-making game Across This Wasteland With You - and actor Aaron Catano-Saez.

The Kickstarter campaign for Perilous is live until November 20th, with a pledge of $25 (£19) getting backers a copy of the RPG book - as well as a digital set of story prompt cards players can print out - set to arrive next month. Alternatively, backers can pledge $45 (£35) to get a copy of the RPG with physical copies of story cards.

There is also an option for people from underprivileged backgrounds to get a PDF copy of Perilous and print-and-play versions of the cards for $1.


Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Staff Writer

Alex’s journey to Dicebreaker began with writing insightful video game coverage for outlets such as Kotaku, Waypoint and PC Gamer. Her unique approach to analysing pop culture and knack for witty storytelling finally secured her a forever home producing news, features and reviews with the Dicebreaker team. She’s also obsessed with playing Vampire: The Masquerade, and won’t stop talking about it.