How To Play

At it’s core, Perilous is simple. All actions are resolved by the roll of a 20 sided die. Roll the die, add your bonuses and compare the result.

If you rolled 15 or more, you succeeded without compromise

If you rolled 10 or more, you succeeded, but with some setback.

If you rolled 9 or less, you failed and something bad happens.

Your Traits

Perilous is a tag-based system. Basically this means that instead of using a lot of numbers, it uses short phrases and descriptions. The most important tags to think about are your traits.

Your traits are the things that define your character. They are the skills, equipment, magic, and aspects of your personality that make up who you are. For every trait that could help you in a situation you get a bonus to your roll.



Obstacles are the tags that are keeping you from your goal. These are the tags that make your enemies and environment dangerous.

To defeat enemies or overcome challenges you need to overcome their obstacles. Every roll you make is a chance to overcome one of these obstacles, when you succeed you get to describe how you dealt with an obstacle.



Opportunities are tags that you can take advantage of. They are similar to traits, but instead of being part of your character are part of the situation you find yourself in.

They give you a bonus to your roll, just like traits, but you can only use an opportunity once before it’s no longer a part of the scenario.

Putting it All Together

You’re facing off against a dragon. It has the obstacles flight and fiery breath. In order to take down the dragon these are the things you have to deal with first.

You might use a rope to lasso the dragon and tie the other end to something heavy. You don’t have any traits that can help you, but one of your party members is waving their arms and throwing rocks at the dragon. This created the opportunity distracted you can use to gain a bonus. You rolled a 16, this is a success. The dragon can no longer use it’s flight now that it’s tethered to the ground.

Next you might try and run behind it where it can’t use it’s fiery breath to harm you. If you had the trait mobility, you would get a bonus to this roll because you’re trying to dodge past the danger. You rolled a 6, this is a failure. Instead of getting out of the way of the dragon’s breath you instead get burned by it.

You can’t defeat this dragon so long as you have to worry about it’s fiery breath. Keep trying until you succeed!