Learn to Play Expedition

It only takes a few minutes to set up a game of Expedition. Let's get started!

First, get equipped. You'll need:

  • A copy of Expedition (Buy a copy from the Expedition Store, Amazon or print and play your own copy)
    • If you print your own copy, you'll also need a d20 die and a dozen tracking clips (we recommend clothes pins or paper clips)
  • A smartphone, tablet or computer running the Expedition app

Choose a Game Mode

There are currently three game modes available for play in the app, with more on their way:

  • Featured Quests: (start here) A curated selection of choose-your-own-story style adventures run entirely by the app.
  • Community Quests: Looking for new adventures? Try playing quests written by the community! You can also write your own quests at quests.expeditionRPG.com.
  • Tools: Discover advanced modes, such as GM Mode where you can tell your own stories and have the app just handle combat.

Player Setup

Everyone (except the Guide if you're playing with one) should now select the Adventurer of their choice. The card lists that Adventurer’s starting cards, to be drawn from the Magic, Melee, Ranged, and Music decks. Make sure these decks are shuffled, then draw the number listed from the matching deck(s).

One Player: Play with two adventurers.

One and Two Player: Draft pick your starting abilities: for each ability, draw 3, keep 1 and discard the rest. We also recommend picking adventurers with few or no music abilities, as they're designed primarily to support other adventurers.

Players should read through their abilities to become familiar with them. Once ready, they shuffle their abilities together and place them face down in front of them. Players should also affix a health tracking clip to their Adventurer card over the maximum health on the top right corner.


At this point, we're ready to begin the quest. For maximum immersion, each player should invent a backstory for their character and try responding to the quest as if they were that character.

If you're playing a Featured Quest, you can jump right in. Players should take turns reading each page of the quest story, then passing it to the next player.

If you're playing with a Guide, your Guide will set the story and build a world for you. 


Your quest will eventually provoke combat against one or more enemies. The Guide (or whoever currently has the app) draws the indicated encounter cards from any or all of the Bandit, Beast, Fae, or Undead decks and places them in the center of the table, adding health trackers to each card.

Each round:

  1. Pre-draw the top three abilities. You should only have three cards in your hand.
  2. Start the timer, then flip the cards and look at your hand.
  3. Play one ability from your hand.
  4. Hold your finger on the app. Once all players are holding the app, the timer will stop. Note: you can also disable multi-touch in settings, in which case a single tap will stop the timer.
  5. Follow the in-app instructions to resolve combat. To resolve abilities, each adventurer rolls a d20 for each ability played and looks to the card to see what happens.
  6. Discard all abilities played this round.
  7. Put the rest of your hand back in the draw pile.
  8. Shuffle your draw pile.
  9. Repeat!

Loot and Learn

If your combat ends in victory, the app will indicate how many loot cards the party gets to draw and share. Rewards are determined by the difficulty of the fight. Each Loot should be claimed by an Adventurer, but may be shared and used at any time in or out of combat (and can be used independently of played abilities). Each loot card specifies how many times it may be used. Cards with multiple uses include a handy "use tracker" on the right side of the card. Once used, Loot should be discarded to the bottom of the Loot deck.

The app will also indicate if adventurers level up. When you level up, you may choose to discard and / or learn a new ability. This is done by drawing three abilities from the deck of their choice, keeping one and discarding the rest.

FAQ / Specific Cards

Some cards have more complex rules than other. Here's some clarifications:

  • Blizzard (ability): The card is correct - it deals double damage if you roll <= 1 or >= 20. Because it damages everything (both enemies and adventurers), dealing additional damage is a double-edged sword.
  • Desperation (ability): If you critically fail and die, you're still revived at the end of combat. (will be changed to "you are knocked out" in future versions)
  • Give and Take (ability): You may take any amount of damage (you decide) up to your current health, and deal that amount to the target. If you choose to take damage equal to your current health, you are knocked out for the rest of the fight, or until healed.
  • Imbue (ability): +5 to target's FIRST roll.
  • Whirlwind (ability): You deal three damage to each target and three (total) damage to yourself.
  • Abilities that reflect damage (i.e. Signal Shot): To see how much damage enemies wold deal you this round, you'll need to jump ahead in the app to the damage screen, then go back to the enemy tier screen.
  • Abilities that let you play additional cards from your hand (i.e. Channel, Careful Aim, Follow Up): Your hand is the three cards you drew. If you run manage to play all three abilities from your hand in a single round, you do not draw more abilities until the next round.
  • Roleplaying roll: rolls that happen outside of combat, such as sneaking past guards. These will be prompted by the in-app quest, or your human guide.
  • What happens when you're dead (or knocked out)? Well, we're not qualified to answer that... but, in Expedition, if you die during combat, you cannot play loot or abilities for the rest of combat, or until healed. Other adventurers may heal you with loot or abilities during combat. At the end of combat, any dead / knocked out adventurers are revived to the same health as the rest of the party.

Questions? Suggestions?

If you have other questions regarding the RPG rules, cards or how to play - or suggestions on how we can improve this roleplaying game - you can email Expedition@Fabricate.io