Dragon Hunt? I'm In!
Today we would like to show you Dragon Hunt, the Gambling? I'm In! design contest winner designed by David DeLauder, and one of the brand new games joining the anthology of games that utilize our unique Rogues and Warrior's deck.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Gambling? I'm In! is a spin-off game with the goal of transporting you into the world of The Red Dragon Inn. The games found within this anthology can be played stand-alone for a fantasy poker night, taken with you to a LARP/Faire, or be combined with RDI to add a LOT of flavor and a bit of strategy to the game. Each game utilizes the included Rogues and Warriors deck, a 90-card deck that enables you to play brand new games.
Every adventuring party needs a good tale of a band of heroes heading off to slay the dragon. Only the best party of adventurers will take home the glory and loot the horde at the end of the hunt. Will it be you?
Over the course of the game, you will be laying down bets on whether your hand of adventurers will be better suited for slaying the dragon than your opponents. The tricky part is that you don't know what kind of dragon you'll be hunting!
Sharpen your lances and assemble your party. Today we hunt dragons!
Dragon Hunt is a hand sculpting game with a slow reveal of what scores points at the end of the game. You will be making important decisions before and after revealing the objective of the game (the color of Dragon you are hunting). So playing the odds, getting lucky, and skillfully concealing the strength of your hand will all be important to winning that pot of Gold at the end of the game.
At the start of the game, you want to rely on the diversity of cards in your hand. The bulk of your points will come from being able to get to 4 or 5 unique Ranks in hand, regardless of the color of the Dragon you end up hunting. The Rogues and Warrior's deck features five unique ranks: Warrior, Lady, Bard, Merchant and Rogue, with each rank being progressively more common then the last (there are 5 Rogues for every 1 Warrior in the deck).
While you will have plenty of opportunity to sculpt your hand, the real gamble comes down to how you manage your Scouts, the cards you lock down and may not exchange for the rest of the game. You will be faced with a difficult choice: do you lock in two Scouts of the same color or do you lock in Scouts of different colors? If you double down on one color, you will have a stronger hand if you guessed correctly and your color of Dragon flips, or a worse hand if you guessed poorly. If you split the difference, then you cover your bases, but are playing catch up against anyone who was daring enough to throw caution to the wind. Of course, sometimes your hand just doesn't give you a choice in the matter, but you don't want your opponents to see you sweating!
At the end of the day, a diverse party of adventures sets you up for victory, but being specialized for the type of dragon you're hunting wins you the prize. It's safe to assume that most players will be able to get to three unique Ranks, so you'll want to have four to really get an edge on your opponents. However, matching the dragon's color can earn you up to 5 Points, which is more than enough to sneak ahead of other, similarly diverse hands. Like any game of chance, being able to obfuscate the value of your hand by placing clever bets will help you maximize the winnings of a strong hand or turn a mediocre hand into a win - or, if you're feeling a bit like Gerki, an awful hand into an outrageous victory. Lets see how a sample hand plays out:
At the end of the round, this hand scores 3 Points for matching three cards to the color of the Dragon, as well as 6 Points for having 4 unique Ranks (Warrior, Lady, Bard, Merchant) for a total of 9 points - not too shabby! Note that the Merchant still contributes points, even though it doesn't match the color of the Dragon. Unfortunately, the Red Bard contributes no points, because it neither matches the color of the Dragon and it's Rank is already present in the hand.
Of course, that's not all. One of the aspects we love about Gambling? I'm In! is the inclusion of optional variant mechanics in many of the games. Just like how there are multitudes of ways to play Poker, there are multiple ways to play Dragon Hunt. You can include bonus scoring mechanics that rewards having a hand of all the same rank or color, regardless of the Dragon. Your Scouts could be public knowledge, or you could be forced to never look at them again after sending them out (better have a good memory!).
And, like many of the games in the set, Dragon Hunt can be integrated into your game of The Red Dragon Inn whenever a player starts a Round of Gambling. Cheaters will love this game due to the sheer number of variables they can manipulate with their Cheating cards (for more on that, check out the rules for playing GII within RDI here).
Dragon Hunt is just one of the many games added to Gambling? I'm In! in this set.