Published on April 23rd, 2014 | by Gregg Miller3
Feeling Brave Tonight?
Brave enough to do battle with hideous monsters, hm?
Dragon Strike is one of a few “Dungeons & Dragons Light” games that have been made over the years. Though the VHS that came with it is cheesy, the game holds a significant place in the history of both board games and role playing games.
In this game of the imagination, one player takes the role of the Dragon Master, ensuring that all the rules of the game are followed. The Dragon Master sets up the provided scenarios in the game’s collection of adventures. Dragon Strike comes with colored plastic figurines that help denote the significance and faction of any character or monster on the board. All other players will control one of the different heroes in the game, using the skills, spells, and abilities granted to them, based on the character’s class.
Each adventure has an objective that distinguishes how the heroes can win, and how they will fail. Finding a signet ring, escorting a noble through a hostile stretch of road, finding and slaying would-be assassins in the middle of town- all of these are examples of game scenarios from the book. Each scenario offers to the Dragon Master possible sollutions for the heroes to undertake in learning more, or achieving new and interesting solutions to achieving victory. Talking to monsters, performing feats of strength or dexterity, or using specific items and the environment in interesting ways are all valid paths to victory, depending on the situation.
The heroes aren’t free to take their time. A set amount of time is given, after which the villain Teraptus unleashes the mighty dragon on the heroes. While it’s not impossible for the heroes to slay the dragon, the odds are stacked heavily against them, and it’s advised that all plans to succeed in the adventure involve speed and co-ordination, to avoid the arrival of the dragon.
The game was published and released in 1993 by TSR, and was presented as an introduction to the role playing game hobby. The previously mentioned tutorial VHS tape pretty much explained what this kind of game is all about to those who didn’t know anything about RPGs, or who probably only saw the movie Mazes and Monsters. Later, in Dragon Magazine #196, an additional adventure was offered for the game.
Though the game is woefully out of print, if you’re lucky you can find a copy in a garage sale, Salvation Army or other similar donation stores. A community has formed around expanding the adventures and rules of the game, adding more characters, adventure, a leveling campaign gameplay option, and more. For those that want a more current game that is similar, Hasbro has published their D&D Adventure System series of games which is based on a similar premise. Also, Mansions of Madness is basically the Lovecraftian version of Dragon Strike, or you could try out Fantasty Flight’s game Descent: Journeys In The Dark.