Published on June 26th, 2013 | by Gregg Miller
So You Meet In A Tavern
Gregg Explains: Red Dragon Inn
Many know the trope of various Dungeons & Dragons adventures: the adventurers are approached by a mysterious person at the inn, a dungeon crawl is undertaken, and in the end, everyone takes their treasure back to the inn, waiting for the next adventure to fall in your lap. Red Dragon Inn is about a group of four adventurers, and the night of drinking, gambling, and unwinding after one such adventure.
The four adventurers, have thematic cards and actions that seem to fit the stereotypes of a certain four person party. We played two rounds of this game with the first round being:
- Matt “The Favorite” Zot, the Wizard
- Dave “You’re On Maps” Gerki, the Sneak
- Travis “Buuut Anyway” Fiona, the Volatile
- Me “The Explainer” Deirdre, the Priestess
After that game finished, we passed our decks to the right, making it so Matt was Deirdre, I was Fiona, Travis was Gerki, and Dave got to be Zot.
There are three resources that each player has to track to determine if you’re still in the game, and not leaving the night of drunken gambling that goes on. Stamina, which roughly translates to how strong and healthy you are, Intoxication, which a measure of just how much you’ve had to drink, and finally there’s your money, which tends to be an ever dwindling resource that everyone slowly loses to the Inn.
Each turn you will draw up to your hand size, then play an action card. Primarily, cards are divided into Action, Gambling, or Anytime. Primarily this translates to being the thing you play as your primary action for the turn, a card that is part of the gambling mini-game, or a reaction card to avoid some of the perils you will have to deal with in the game. After your action is complete, you will “buy a round” for any player, then draw the top Drink Card on your personal stack of Drink Cards, and follow the instructions listed there.
The gambling mini-game is a simple mechanic of playing certain cards that declare you as the winner of the “game of cards” the adventurers are playing, and anything that tweaks or changes how things normally play out. Some cards can be Turn Peanuts into Gold, where you take a gold coin from the Inn, and use it to ante into the game, or pay for raises. There’s also the nefarious “Guess The Wench Thought It Was Her Tip” where the winner gets none of the gold, and the pot is lost to the Inn, forcing the steady drain to increase on the total pool of coins each player has. If a player runs out of gold, they turn in for the night, since you won’t be able to buy more drinks, or participate in future gambling rounds.
Stamina and Intoxication run an the same twenty-one numbered track. Stamina starting at the 20, while Intoxication starts at the opposite end with zero. If the two trackers ever meet, or overlap, the adventurer has gotten too drunk, and “passes out for the night”, removing them from the game.
This game can be quite serious, but it’s incredibly funny, especially if you read all the text out loud of each card. Title and all. In a way, it’s like reading out of a script of these four adventurers messing around, and with each other. The cleric shrugging their shoulders and mentioning that their healing spells sometimes wear off, or even threats about making “chain mail bikini” jokes from the fighter.
The first game, Dierdre was out due to being drunk, followed by Fiona from being broke, then Zot passed out form one-too-many drinks, leaving Gerki the Halfling Sneak the ultimate victor. In the second game, Fiona had to call it an early night after losing all her money, while Gerki passed out form too many drinks. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the tail end of the game, since I had to catch a ride home with Travis. I do fully recommend this game to anyone who likes Munchkin and other humorous fantasy card games. Red Dragon Inn was tons of fun!