Pick of the Week – August 4-10, 2014

There’s a cliché in fantasy role-playing games in which all adventures seem to start in a tavern.  But what happens after the adventure when the group returns to the tavern to celebrate their victory over the forces of evil and their new-found wealth.  This week’s pick, Red Dragon Inn, is a game about that very thing.

In Red Dragon Inn, each player takes on the identity of one character in a band of adventurers.  Each player has a deck of character-specific cards that dictate the possible actions they may do.  Additionally, all players have to contend with the Drink Deck, which is just what a sounds like: a deck of beverages , alcoholic and otherwise, they may consume during the course of the game.

Each player starts the game with full health, no alcohol in their system, and a stack gold pieces.  Through the actions of other players and the consumption of the drinks in the Drink Deck, players’ health drops while their alcohol level rises.  If ever these two levels should meet, the affected player falls unconscious and is out of the game.  If a player runs out of gold, he is also out of the game.    

The goal, not surprisingly, is to be the last one standing while your fellow-adventurers end up broke and sleeping it off.  On the way to that end, there are lots of opportunities to buy each other a friendly drink, “accidentally” knock off a bit of a friend’s health here and there, and swipe a bit of gold. 

The base game is for four players, but there are other sets and expansions allowing for additional characters and players.  It is all very light-hearted, and both the text and cartoonish art on the cards is funny and entertaining.  Other than the drinking mechanic, there’s really nothing objectionable in Red Dragon Inn, and it’s very quick to learn and to play.  If you’re looking for a new game to try out with friends, give it a try.

-Alan Decker

@CmdrAJD on Twitter