As we begin revealing the histories behind the Red Dragon Inn characters, we found it fun to just do a bit of fiction to help work out how they interact with one another out in the dungeon.
Thanks to Cliff Bohm, Joseph Blomquist, Dave Kalis, and Sam Waller for smashing heads together and breathing life into Fiona, Dimli, and the rest!
“Fick,” the red-haired warrior maiden professed. Fiona normally stood nearly 18 hands, which, combined with her well-worn plate and bristling assortment of weapons could look surprisingly intimidating. At this time though, she was leaning down awkwardly, trying to sharpen the blade of her enormous two-handed sword. Her efforts were further hampered by only having dim light of four sputtering torches to work with. They flickered in sconces arrayed around the cavernous chamber.
“There’s an ‘L’ sound in there, lass… and a kh at the end,” her dwarven companion corrected in a fatherly tone. Dimli had assumed a casually guarded stance with his battleaxe, near the two massive wooden doors, the only feature besides the massive pillars that reached up into the inky darkness beyond the torch light. “It’s more like ‘Fillkh’.”
“Fillkh,” the girl repeated as she shrugged at her sword blade. It’s edge was the best she could hope for in the flickering light. With the quiet sound of plate armor shifting, she stood and echoed her companion’s stance – hands crossed over the pommel of her weapon. “So Fillkh is the dwarven name for the Dark God?”
“Nay. We call him the Devourer in the Earth, but it’s pretty much the same guy,” the dwarf gave a knowing smile. “It also means rutting.”
The warrior woman’s face flushed to nearly the same crimson as her hair. Before she could comment though, a loud crash came from the other side of the door they guarded, and a pale blue aura seemed to creep from the room beyond. “I still don’t know why Zot wouldn’t let us stay in there,” she said looking longingly at the light emanating from under the door.
The dwarf remained unfazed and said with a sigh, “Because last time, Fiona, you wouldn’t stop touching things and asking questions. That and someone had to keep guard.”
“He let Gog stay.”
“Gog just sits in a corner and keeps to himself when Zot’s doing his thing. He’s rightfully scared of sorcery.”
“None of us should be left alone,” he shrugged. Fiona knew better, though. While he respected Zot, it was no secret that Dimli disliked magic – almost as much as orcs.
Fiona pouted, but then remembered where she was. She was a professional warrior, and pouting was not fitting of such a woman. She resumed her stance beside Dimli.
After a moment of silence, boredom got the better of her, “Teach me another.”
“Sharrds,” Dimli said matter-of-factly.
“What does that mean?”
“In your common tongue… it’s sort of like ‘son of a whore.’ Sort of.”
“Like a bastard?”
“Aye,” Dimli admitted, “but it’s more of an exclamation than an insult.”
“Shar-,“ the redheaded warrior began but Dimli cut her off with a sharp wave of his hand.
“Hooves,” he hissed. “And big.”
The chamber only had one other exit, a long hallway wide enough for two carriages to pass side by side. The tunnel was pitch black beyond their four torches near the door. The party had intended to go unnoticed in the passages.
But the hulking shape that came into view – nearly twice Fiona’s height – had found them anyway. The minotaur was the color of burnt firewood with muscles that would put Gog to shame. He wore only a sword belt and a loincloth and held a broadsword that looked far too sharp and menacing to be in an enemy’s grip.
He breathed out hard and steam shot from his nostrils as they flared in anger. “A dwarf?! You DARE come here!?” the minotaur bellowed. The beast charged headlong, his wicked black horns thrust at the fighters, the rest his body trailing behind. It was clear that Dimli was his target.
Dimli barked a warcry in response as Fiona weighed her options. But just before engaging the dwarf, the minotaur shifted towards the girl. Fiona was prepared, rolling safely away from the charge with instinctive grace. The giant beast plowed into the towering column next to her. The force of the blow sent the column tumbling across the cavern and caught the dwarf unaware.
“Dim!” Fiona shouted as she saw the stone column land on top of the dwarf. With a growl, she gritted her teeth brandishing her greatsword and barked out her challenge, “Alright, fuzzball, it’s just you and me. I can do that!”
“GOOD!” the beast roared, brandishing his broadsword.
With a wailing warcry, Fiona slashed at the minotaur with a wild over head swing. The minotaur laughed and easily dodged her reckless attack and Fiona’s sword came down hard on the stone floor. Seizing the opportunity, the minotaur stomped his giant hoof down, his bulk snapping its blade off at the hilt.
“For Fillkh’s sake!” she spat as she drew the bladeless hilt back with disbelief. “That was my favorite sword!” Fiona backed away from the minotaur. Her pack, and arsenal of weapons she kept with it, was on the floor behind her adversary. It would be tricky to get around the beast and get to them.
She glance behind the minotaur to her companion. Dimli’s armor had held against the fallen pillar but he was trapped under the stone blocks – all his attention focused on attempting to heave them off his chest. But the glance cost her as her footing slipped, sending her onto her rear on the chamber floor.
“Just you and me, eh little one?” the minotaur snorted as it raised its broadsword slowly in what would certainly be a killing blow.
“Fi! Axe!” came Dimli’s bellow from behind the minotaur as the dwarf’s throwing hatchet – a smaller, one-handed axe he liked to use for more personal kills – slid under the minotaur and into the empty spot on the floor between Fiona’s legs.
Fiona grabbed the haft in both hands and drove it’s head skyward, her eyes squeezing shut just before blood splattered across her face.
The minotaur gave a horrible shriek, screaming in pain and rage. Fiona opened her eyes as blood soaked through the beast’s loincloth. The handle slipped from her fingers, the axe head still lodged in the beast’s groin. Without it she was in trouble, and the weaponless warrior had only one option left. Retreat!
A shadow fell from the inky darkness above and landed squarely onto the monster’s back. Without a sound, the green-clad halfling reached around the minotaur’s head with two daggers, and in a clearly practiced movement, plunged them both into the beast’s eyes. Fiona hooted with triumph as she watched her friend Gerki drive the blades into the beast again and again.
The minotaur – blind, bloody, and raging – yanked the halfling from his back, tossing him head over heels. With a heavy thud, Gerki struck a wall and fell in a pile.
Fiona tried to make a dash to her pack and a weapon she could use to put the beast out of it’s misery. The monster’s blind thrashing blocked her advance, but at least she was keeping its attention.
With a guttural cry, Dimli’s battleaxe came down on the minotaur’s neck. The massive head fell from the beast’s shoulders. Fiona barely scrambled away in time to avoid the monster’s body crushing her as it fell.
All fell silent except for the last haggard moan of the minotaur and the sounds of heroes breathing.
One of the doors creaked open as Fiona stood to dust herself off and the party illusionist, Eve, poked her platinum blonde head out into the hall. Without a moment’s pause she chastised, “Would you keep it down out here? This is a very difficult spell!”
“But,” stammered Fiona, covered in the monster’s blood.
Eve took a split second to take in the scene and muttered, “Oh, I see… carry on… I guess.” The door slammed closed before Fiona could even process a response. Dimli chuckled under his breath – it was rare to catch Eve admitting to a mistake.
“Oh, thank you for the new blade, Mr. Horns,” Fiona said, suddenly cheerful. With a smile, she picked up the minotaur’s fallen weapon and gave it a couple practice swings. It had barely been more than a short sword to the minotaur, but in Fiona’s hands it was only a little bit smaller than her greatsword. To be honest, this bastard sword was of far greater craftsmanship than her shattered blade – to which she simply said: “Pretty.”
“Aye,” Dimli said as he dusted off his helmet and put it back on his head. “Dwarven craftsmanship, that is.”
Fiona rolled her eyes. Everything that was even remotely nice, Dimli claimed was dwarven made. With a shake of her head, she belted the minotaur’s scabbard to her waist.
Suddenly she remembered something and looked over to where Gerki had been thrown. “What happened to Gerki?” she exclaimed.
“Shh! There are more coming,” came a tiny whisper from the darkness above, “And I’m fine.”
“Kol?” came a rough voice from the long, dark hallway and the sounds of two pairs of hooves. “Kol, we think there are humies down here in the maze. We found the orcs in da south all dead and-” The voice stopped just short of the light. “Kol?” There were two of them, Minotaurs. One armed with a massive battle-axe and the other with an orkish long spear.
Fiona brandished her new sword and Dimli knelt to pick up the hatchet. “Sharrds,” she breathed as they readied for round two.
Greetings, SlugFans! This year’s Red Dragon Inn Doppelganger Tournament drew a record-breaking 63 players!
For those of you unfamiliar with this event, it’s simple: each player is randomly assigned an RDI character. In the first round, each player plays against 2 or 3 other players, all playing the same character! So, first we must determine who is the “real” Fiona, Gog, Cormac, etc. The winners from each table get randomly assigned to games in round 2, and the winners of those tables advance to the final table!
And yes, we used the new characters, as well! (Well, except for Natyli–we decided that her debuff mechanic doesn’t work very well in a Doppelganger setting.)
So, without further ado, here are the first round winners!
- Fiona: Diletta Dang
- Deirdre: Chad Elann
- Zot: Gary McLaughlin
- Gerki: Bill Hegg
- Gog: Kassidy Brechbill
- Fleck: Jim Sutherin
- Eve: Gordon Cunningham
- Dimli: Chris Calvert
- Wizgille: Aimee Coleman
- Serena: Stephen Foster
- Kaylin: Hans Peterman
- Phrenk: David Nicklaw
- Captain Whitehawk: Byron Olson
- Remy: Max Raabe
- Tara: Isaac Payne
- Bryn: Bobbie Almy (who also made last year’s final table!)
- Cormac: Michael Bryant
- Erin: Cecily Cunningham
- Pooky: Mark Morrison
The final table consisted of Gerki, Zot, Dimli and Erin, and it was a very interesting match! Everyone was jockeying for position, then, all of a sudden, everything was over! On Gerki’s turn, he was getting rather close to passing out, while Zot and Erin were both hurting on gold. Gerki started a Round of Gambling, forcing Erin to ante her last gold. Later in the round, Zot forced Erin out of the Round and therefore out of the game. By the end of gambling, however, Zot had also been forced to commit his last gold to the pot! Gerki won the round, then proceeded to have no way to avoid his drink for the turn, so he passed out, leaving Dimli looking around wondering what happened to all of his friends!
The Final Table: Bill Hegg (Gerki, 2nd place), Gary McLaughlin (Zot, 3rd place), Chris Calvert (Dimli, 1st place), and Cecily Cunningham (Erin, 4th place)
Congrats to all the winners, and many thanks to all the participants! Come back and play again next year!
Well that was fast!
It is a great pleasure to meet newcomers, and welcome back old SlugFans! Thank you so much for rocketing the campaign through our funding goal in less than 24 hours. That is a HUGE accomplishment and makes us very proud of our game and overwhelmed by the support of our fans.
Now, with our sails at full mast we’re going to be dead set on getting to our first Stretch Goal: The Sea Event Deck.
The Sea Event Deck
The Sea Event Deck provides you with a new way to play The Red Dragon Inn. Instead of carousing in the relative safety of The Red Dragon Inn, you are partying in the Captain’s Cabin aboard The Crimson Drake. Because you are out on adventure, the party runs the risk of being interrupted by random encounters. Some of the encounters are relatively safe, while others are very dangerous!
The following graphics and text are subject to change. The mechanics and contents of the Sea Event Deck as you see them here are going through playtesting with our SlugCrew all across the country, so this preview will give you a great look at some of the card effects and basic mechanics. We were actually planning on doing this update next week, but you guys are so darn eager, we just had to put this out, final art and text or not.
How to Play with the Sea Event Deck
At the start of the game, you shuffle the Sea Event Deck and place it in the middle of the table with two Progress Counters on it. You then play RDI like normal. However, at the end of each player’s turn, that player removes a Progress Counter from the Sea Event Deck. When you remove the last Progress Counter, reveal the top card and an Event takes place!
A Sea Event is a lot like a Drink Event. When you reveal the Sea Event, follow the instructions in the text box (4). After an Event has resolved, place a number of Progress Counters (3) equal to the Encounter Level (2) onto the Sea Event Deck, then play proceeds as normal. The next time a player removes the last Progress Counter at the end of their turn, they reveal the next Sea Event!
There are a wide range of different Sea Events in the deck, and while many of them are detrimental, others can be beneficial to one or more players. You’ll have to stay on your toes each time the Progress Counters start to dwindle!
How does this change the game?
The Sea Event Deck adds a new level of complexity to the base game. Not only will you need to protect yourself from the other players, as well as the Drink Deck, but you may find yourself forced to defend against a Sea Event! You could even end up working alongside other players to get a bonus from the various Events you’ll see throughout a game. There are 12 unique Sea Events in the 20-card deck, and most 4-player games will see about a third of the Sea Event Deck over the course of the game.
It will also be big! The cards will be portrait-style 3.5”x5” cards with full color art!
How do we get it?
We are very excited about the Sea Event Deck and want to include it in every copy of The Red Dragon Inn: 4. That means we need to raise at least $20,000. You can help us out by spreading the word. Like the campaign, tweet about it, and post and comment on your favorite blogs, subreddits, and forums.
The Red Dragon Inn 4 is a new base set with four nautically-themed characters. These characters are the crew of the Crimson Drake, a sturdy sailing vessel that our heroes use when their adventures take them to sea. Of course, it can be combined with any previous Red Dragon Inn sets to allow for larger games and new match-ups!
The four new characters are:
And if we meet our stretch goals, more stuff gets printed! The first stretch goal is for the Sea Events Deck. With this deck, instead of partying in the relative safety of The Red Dragon Inn, you are in the captain’s cabin aboard the Crimson Drake. But watch out! While visits from merfolk can be good fun and games, encounters with sea monsters are anything but!
The second and third stretch goals are new characters for the RDI: Allies series! These will be offered as low-priced add-ons for anyone who gets a copy of RDI4 via Kickstarter.
So, what are you waiting for? Head over to the Kickstarter, where you can find a whole lot more information about the game. If you like what you see, support us!
Congratulations to Erik Wintz of Southern California, our first SlugCrew member to earn 150 points by demoing our games! Erik will soon be receiving Ozrik the Adept, our SlugCrew-exclusive RDI character!
In addition, Erik will receive a copy of The Red Dragon Inn 4.
[ZOMG! Did he just say RDI4??!!??]
Yup. Stay tuned for a big announcement tomorrow!
Anyway, Erik: from all of us here at SlugFest Games, thank you! We really appreciate the work you’re doing for us.
Hey, everyone. Guess what went out in today’s mail?
That’s right! The SlugCrew promo drink cards went out!
Congratulations to the first five SlugCrew members to get to 30 points: Erik Wintz, Larry Capasso, Logan Knight, Mike Smith, and Shannon Khosravi. Thanks very much for supporting us, guys! If you don’t receive your cards in the next week or so, please let us know.
In fact, Mr. Wintz is getting within striking range of 150 points, which would make him the first SlugCrew member to earn Ozrik the Adept, our SlugCrew-exclusive Red Dragon Inn character. Want to read about how you can earn these rewards yourself? Head to this previous blog post!
Speaking of Ozrik: we have an artist (Royce Southerland, aka FooRay) lined up for him, and things are underway. Here’s a preliminary sketch!
Hey there, SlugFans! It’s been a while since our last blog post. Sorry for that, but we’ve been working like crazy on our Kickstarter-backed RPG project, The Red Dragon Inn Guide to Inns and Taverns. That project is taking a bit longer than we had hoped, but we’re really coming down the home stretch now.
In our last post, I introduced the SlugCrew Rewards Program, whereby you can earn points by doing demos of our games at stores and conventions. To recap: a two-hour store demo is worth about 10 points. At 30 points, you will earn the current year’s Minor Reward, and at 150 points, you will earn the Major Reward.
For 2013, the Major Reward will be Ozrik the Adept, a SlugCrew-exclusive RDI character. We’re working on him now, and he’s turning out to be really fun to play (and his power level isn’t quite as crazy high as it was the last time I wrote about him).
Also in our last post, I described the 2013 Minor Reward, but I described it only as “an exclusive RDI drink card that’s much zanier than anything we’d normally print.” Well, we decided to up the ante a bit. We’re not doing one new drink card–we’re doing three, and I’m writing to show you two of them. Want to see the third? (It’s the zaniest.) You’ll just have to earn 30 SlugCrew points! So, without further ado:
We expect to ship these out sometime in March. Any SlugCrew member who has earned 30 or more points will receive all three of the new drinks!
So, to all of you out there running events: thank you! And to those of you still on the fence, hopefully these SlugCrew-exclusives will
bribe persuade you into action!
Hi, everyone! Today we’re excited to announce some big changes to SlugCrew!
First, if you visit our new SlugCrew page, you will see a description of SlugCrew and a form to sign up. (We ask that any existing SlugCrew members sign up again via this form so that we can get everyone into the new system.) Once you log in, you will see some useful resources, including a form which you can use to inform us of the events you run at stores or game conventions.
This is all well and good, but the big new change to SlugCrew comes in the form of the new SlugCrew Rewards Program. Starting today, you can earn SlugCrew points by running events. As you accumulate points, you will be eligible for SlugCrew-exclusive rewards. Each calendar year, we will come up with a minor reward and a major reward. When you earn 30 points, you will receive that year’s minor reward. When you earn 150 points, you will earn the major reward.
So, how do you earn points? By running demos of our games, of course! After you enter an event report via our web form, we will confirm the event (by contacting the game store or convention staff) and award you some number of points. The rule of thumb we will use is that 2-3 hours of demo time at a store will earn you 10 points. Point awards for different activities will be scaled using that rule. And points earned starting today will count toward 2013 rewards, so you can all get a head start by running some holiday season demos!
So, without further ado: the 2013 rewards!
2013 Minor Reward: an exclusive RDI drink card that’s much zanier than anything we’d normally print!
2013 Major Reward: Ozrik the Adept, a SlugCrew-exclusive new RDI character!
Ozrik is a powerful elementalist who can beef up some of his cards by discarding other “element cards” when playing them. We’ve playtested him a bunch so far, and he’s super interesting and fun to play. (OK, he’s a bit too powerful right now, but we know how to fix that…)
Yes, that’s right: you can be the first on your block to play a brand-new RDI character. We do plan to eventually print Ozrik as part of the RDI: Allies series, but to keep him exclusive to SlugCrew, we promise not to make him available to the general public until May 2014 at the earliest.
We expect the 2013 rewards to start shipping sometime in April. So start earning points now!
If you have any questions or comments, please post them here or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks, everyone! We hope you’re as excited about this new program as we are!
I’d like to talk a bit about how we template our cards and why it matters. I’ll also talk about an important example from The Red Dragon Inn.
So, what is “templating”? Well, in most card games that have text on the cards, the designers make some efforts toward consistency when wording the cards. Specifically, if two cards are meant to function the same way, they are worded the same way.
The converse of this is where consistent templating can be very helpful: if two cards are worded differently, it is because the game designers intend for the cards to function differently.
A quick sidenote: OK, we’ll admit it. We weren’t as careful about this in the early days as we are now. For example, in first and second editions of RDI 1, there are examples of cards that are worded differently that are actually meant to function identically to each other. So, when following along with this blog post, please imagine that your RDI cards use the updated wording that we started using with the 3rd edition of RDI 1, the 2nd edition of RDI 2, or any edition of RDI 3.
Here’s an example where templating helped us clarify a source of potential confusion in the RDI rules. There are two particular types of Sometimes cards which can respond to you getting hit by another player: those that affect the damage before it happens, and those that let you hit the player back after it happens.
We decided to use templating to our advantage for these cards. The key difference is in the phrases would and immediately after.
would: a card has been played, but has not yet resolved, which will make some event happen.
immediately after: a card has just resolved and made some event happen.
Our intent here is to communicate to players that if you want to reduce damage, you have to do so before the damage resolves. If you want to hit someone back, you must wait until after the damage happens. More specifically, we wanted to make it clear that you can’t weasel out of damage AND hit someone back.
Expect to see more of our good friends “would” and “immediately after” in future editions of RDI. Until next time, SlugFest rules!
Got a question about this or any other aspect of SlugFest’s rules? Leave a comment here, or email us!