"There are many reasons why Powers and Perils is well worth the money that you would invest, should you purchase it. However, as I am the designer, I may be somewhat biased in this.
Powers and Perils is dedicated, first and foremost, to creating unlimited variation and possibilities as simply and easily as possible. This does not mean that, in all cases, the systems that are contained in this game are simple and easy. It does mean that, given the detail and variability that the game provides, it can be used by nearly anyone with a minimal amount of effort....
The Character Generation system is designed with one purpose in mind: to create detailed and unique characters, of either sex, in any of four races [human, elf, dwarf, and faerry], each time that they are used. The factors generated are used throughout play. Unlike some other systems, they are not rolled and forgotten. Each characteristic that is determined for a character has some use that will be important to the character's success and survival. These uses are detailed throughout the first book and many of the basic formulae that are applied in using them are included on the Character Record Sheet.
Second, the characteristic system reflects both the native ability, i.e. genotypical potential, of the character and the effect that his interests have on the person that he becomes. Within the realistic limits that nature imposes on him, each character has the capability of being anything that he wants to be - depending on how his interests modify his ability.
Third, major sections of the Character Generation system are designed to reflect the events and experience that the character would have had before his creation for use in the game. The optional Special Events section reflects major events, lucky twists of fate and other influences during his life. The range of events is quite extensive and some may require the adjudication of the Referee. The major factor reflecting the Character's past is the Initial Increase Factor. This is determined by the Age and Station characteristics, plus a random roll. These points are allocated to acquiring experience, expertise, wealth and characteristic points, which improve a character's starting characteristic values.
Another feature of the system is the Special Attribute section. This section details factors that can be gained as Special Events, reflecting mystical ties and disabilities that the character may have (either because of some past event or because of his nature). The forces range from curses to awesome mental and physical powers that transcend the normal limits of the magic system.
All in all, a Powers and Perils character is the most unique individual that you can create in any role-playing system. His capabilities can directly influence the course of the game. He is not a paper illusion, but a heroically real and exciting individual who is intimately a part of his world."
The Powers and Perils basic set contains 5 books:
- Book 1: The Character Book (44 pages)
- Book 2: The Combat and Magic Book (52 pages)
- Book 3: The Creature Book (60 pages)
- Book 4: The Book of Human Encounters and Treasure (52 pages)
- Book 5: "County Mordara" (24 pages), an adventure module set in the Mordara section of the continent described in the Perilous Lands module.