The Red Dragon Inn 2 is a game by Geoff Bottone, Colleen Skadl and Cliff Bohm, published by Slugfest Games. It is for 2-4 players. In this game, players will take on the role of a party of heroic adventurers in a fantasy realm that have just come to town to celebrate a series of hard fought victories inside the deepest and dankest of dungeons. They will spend the night inside the Red Dragon Inn drinking, gambling and roughhousing. They’ll be trying to stay conscious and sober enough to keep the others from taking all their gold. The player that can last the longest will be declared the winner.
To begin, the drink deck is shuffled and then placed face down where everyone can reach it. Each player chooses a character deck and take it along with a player mat, red marker and a clear marker. Each player shuffles their character deck and places it on the corresponding space on their player mat. They then place the red marker on 20 and the clear marker on 0. The red is the player’s fortitude while the clear is their alcohol content. Each player then receives 10 gold from the supply. The remaining gold coins are placed to the side and will represent the Inn. Players then take a card from the drink deck and place it face down on their player mat on the space marked “Drink Me”. Each player draws the top 7 cards from their character deck. The first player is chosen and play now begins.
Each player’s turn consists of 4 phases. Those phases are discard and draw, action, buy drinks and drink. Each phase is played in order. The first phase is discard and draw. In this phase a player is allowed to discard cards from their hand and then draw cards from their deck to replenish their hand limit of 7 cards.
The next phase is the action phase. This phase allows the player to play one action card from their hand by reading the card aloud, allowing other players to respond and then following any instructions on the card before discarding it to the player’s discard pile. Players are also allowed to skip this phase if they choose not to play an action card. If the player plays a “Gambling? I’m in!” card, they begin a round of gambling. This halts all other actions in the game. Players must then each ante up 1 gold by putting a gold coin in the middle of the play area. The player that started the round of gambling will be winning to begin with. Players will then be able to play either gambling or cheating cards in turn order or they may pass. If either of these cards are played, the player gains control of the round of gambling. Once a player passes they are able to still participated in the round as long as it doesn’t end before coming back to them. The round ends once the last player passes. The winning player takes all the anted gold and normal play resumes with the player that started the round moving to the third phase.
The third phase is the buy drinks phase. In this phase, the player takes the top card from the drink deck and places it face down onto the top of another player’s Drink Me! pile. Once the drink deck runs out of cards, each player must pay 1 gold to the Inn. Afterwards, the discarded drink cards are shuffled into a new drink deck.
The final phase is the drink phase. In this phase, the player reveals the top card of their Drink Me! pile. They then must follow the instructions on the card and place it into their drink discard pile. If a player has no cards in their Drink Me! pile, they begin to sober up and their alcohol content is reduced by 1. If a player reveals a card that has “with a chaser” in the title, they must then reveal the next card from their drink deck. If it’s a drink card, they must add it’s effects with the first card’s effects. If it’s another chaser the process is repeated. If a drink event card is revealed, the instructions on the card are followed. Once this phase has been completed, play passes to the next player in turn order.
The game continues until either all but one player have either ran out of gold or passed out from consuming too much alcohol. If a player runs out of gold they are kicked out of the Inn and out of the game. If a player’s alcohol content ever becomes equal to or greater than their fortitude, they fall unconscious and are dragged to their room in the Inn. The player’s remaining gold is split between the Inn and any remaining players. The last player standing is the winner.
The game comes with 4 character decks and a drink deck of cards. The character cards are really great and have some really fun and light hearted art on them. Each one is specifically designed for each character so each one is appropriately themed. The drink deck consists of lots of drinks, chasers and event cards. Once again, these too are appropriately themed. The theme for this game really comes through in the cards. These are absolutely the best part of the whole game. The gold coins are thick cardboard that have a medieval fantasy coin style to them. These are nicely done and also add to the theme. The player mats are all thick cardboard as well and have room for all the different cards and markers to be placed. They are a little bland looking but as they are usually covered up with cards, it’s not a real issue. The alcohol and fortitude markers are made of glass and are really quite nice. They kinda look like those little glass beads that you might find in the bottom of a fish bowl or in a hobby store. Everything looks really nice with the game. However, I did find one small problem. It seemed that the insert didn’t really hold the cards all that well. It seemed that either the cards were too big for the holes or the holes were too small for the cards. I’m not sure if this was just an issue for my particular insert or if this was something across the whole production run. In any event, I won’t hold that against an otherwise nice looking product.
9 out of 10
The rulebook is nicely designed and looks quite good. There are lots of pictures and several examples throughout the book. The first 3 pages of the book are for those players, like myself that had never played one of the Red Dragon Inn games. The remaining 3 pages are for those that have. The new rules explain several different new cards and how to use them, such as the new drink Mead as well as the Drinking Contest event. Everything is explained really well for both new and veteran players alike. It’s well written and doesn’t take too long to read. Overall, I’d say that it pretty much covers everything that you need to know to play the game.
9 out of 10
This is a really fun game, especially if you have any type of interest in Fantasy RPGs. The game itself is quite simple. It’s mainly draw cards, play a card, put a card out for another character and then reveal a card to see what happens to your character. It really couldn’t be much easier. Each character has their own unique style and cards so what works well for one character won’t be the same for another. I really love the variation in classes, although I’m not really sure why the dwarf and half-ogre are considered classes. In any event, they are lots of fun to play. I especially like Gog the half-ogre who sounds a bit like the Hulk when we play him. The theme is really well integrated and can be the precursor to any good game of DnD. It’s very humorous and we found ourselves laughing quite a bit at the ridiculousness that occurs. The gambling part of the game felt a little disconnected and seemed to take longer than I would have liked. Everything else seemed to mesh really well and it played quite quickly. Most of our games sessions lasted about 40 minutes. The setup for the game takes only a minute which makes things really easy. I really enjoyed it and found lots to love.
9 out of 10
The Red Dragon Inn 2 is a light weight card game of character interaction with a fantasy flair. The game is quite simple and can be played in around 40 minutes or so. Setup is a snap and only takes a minute. The artwork and theme are fully integrated and make for an overall Fantasy RPGer’s delight. I love the different character designs. Fans of DnD and other RPG games should enjoy the inside jokes and fun of this one. It’s very humorous and you’ll laugh a lot. It’s not something that you’d want to play with the kids, seeing as the main themes of the game are gambling and drinking but for older gamers it’s quite enjoyable. I would recommend it. It’s a really great game with great humor. Last Call for fun!
9 out of 10
For more information about this and other great games, please check out Slugfest Games at their site.