A little over a year ago we launched a little experiment. Back in November of 2014 we started Red Dragon Inn Organized Play (OP) by offering brick and mortar game stores the opportunity to sign up for Red Dragon Inn prize kits. We were surprised and thrilled by the response, and are excited to announce that December 2015 marks the launch of Season 2 of our OP Program!
Organized Play is your opportunity to prove that you’re a tavern brawling expert in Red Dragon Inn Tournaments! These tournaments are hosted by Tournament Organizers at your local game store, giving fans of RDI a friendly place to compete for fabulous prizes.
Last year we launched OP with a Tournament Kit that featured two brand new promo drink cards that could support up to four tournaments. We got a lot of feedback about how the cards were cool, but getting together four times for the same prizes was not so groovy. After much deliberation we have altered the kit to provide an exceptional pile of goodies for two tournaments.
- 40 copies of the Participation Promo Hair of the Dwarf (20 for each tournament)
- 6 copies of the Premium Promo Whitehawk’s Private Reserve (3 for each tournament)
- 2 Season 2 Winner Pins awarded to the champion of each tournament
- 1 set of 6 Gambling Marker Cards as a Wild Card Prize
- 1 pair of metal Fortitude and Alcohol Content Markers as a Wild Card Prize
That’s a lot of awesome swag to win!
If you missed out on OP last season, don’t worry! Individual Season 1 “catch-up packs” containing Deirdre’s Detoxifying Draught and Compulsive Gambler’s Grog are now available as add ons to Season 2 Kit orders for just $5.00! Limit of one Season 1 “catch-up pack” per Season 2 Kit.
Are you excited about all this cool stuff? Then reach out to your Friendly Local Game Store and let them know you want Organized Play! There is currently no other way to get these sweet promo cards or the Season 2 Winner Pin. Your FLGS can order the kit through our website here.
We are also excited to hear about your experience. So make sure you bring your friends, have a good time and share it.
OP Kits are for you to promote your store and our games. We want you to be successful because you are responsible for the bulk of our income! Keep up the good work and share an exciting program with your customers.
Each kit comes with enough material for two events. We tried our best to price them economically and want all the feedback you can give us about the kits and the program. You can send feedback to us at: SlugFestGamesOP@gmail.com
We are going to need you for Season 2 as well! Storefronts will need dedicated RDI fans to run these events. Organized Play will offer you a chance to earn points toward your SlugCrew Rewards, as well as the opportunity to earn these new promos! We will be relying on the feedback of tournament organizers like you to continue improving the program. When you submit event reports, feel free to include any feedback you might have for us!
You can get all of the documentation ahead of time on the Organized Play Page of our website. Brief yourselves on the rules and regulations, and then get out there and let your FLGS know you want to run events!
We reached out to tournament organizers and attendees for their feedback on Season 1 to guide us in creating this season’s kits, and we know that Season 2 will be huge! With all the new premium rewards stuffed into the kits, make sure to contact your Friendly Local Game Store and get them to sign up for events on the Organized Play Page.
What’s big, jolly and red? Red Dragon Inn 5; The Character Trove! What? Your answer was Santa? Uh..ours, too!
We have quite a few new and shiny things to offer through our online store this holiday season; like the storage behemoth that is Red Dragon Inn 5! We also have three new Allies ready to join your party with Halden the Unhinged, Zariah the Summoner and Wrench the Kobold Artificer. Or, if you are looking for some RDI swag, check out our amazing new 5-player coin and token set and full-sized posters of the entire party in our new Merch Store! Please take a look – you might finish off your Christmas list, or find something for yourself.
The last day to order with us directly and get your items shipped in time for December 25th is Wednesday the 16th!
After that deadline our personal customer service elf will still be getting your items packed and in the mail, but the processing and shipping time means your order will arrive after Christmas. So please put in your orders soon if you’re hoping to score some SlugFest Gifts!
We hope all of you have a very Happy Holidays, full of good food and fun games with friends and family.
In today’s Rulesfest we talk about the Second Rule of Sometimes: Whenever something happens, you can respond with as many cards as you like!
Last week we talked about the First Rule of Sometimes, reminding you that cards don’t have any affect on you unless you must physically move your bits when they resolve. This week we want to cover what happens when cards do affect you, using the Second Rule of Sometimes: You may play any number of Sometimes cards that respond to the same game event.
What the heck does that mean? On to the examples!
Zot Player: Oh no! “Pooky’s on a Drunken Rampage!”
Fiona Player: Well… I can’t prevent the Fortitude loss. But you should know, Zot, I “Instinctively aim for the head!”… twice!
The heroes of the Red Dragon Inn are definitely brawlers, proof positive being the number of “hit-back” cards there are in their character decks! While most characters have at least one, a number of them, particularly the fighter-types, are sporting two (or more, in Bryn’s case). So here, our Fiona player is playing out both of her hit-back cards in response to Zot’s one Action card.
Now, most players, even the brand new ones, are eager to effectively play out their cards in this situation – after all – everyone loves beating up their buddies! However, there are some other very exciting things you can do.
Fleck: Tough luck, Dimli. Looks like you have a good drink there!
Dimli: That’s okay, “Now this stuff is actually good! Try some!”
Fleck: Uh… It didn’t look that good…
Dimli: You know, you’re right. “You have this. I’m waiting for the good stuff!”
A 7 Alcohol Content drinks is pretty scary, unless of course you are Dimli! A crafty dwarf knows how to hand out some killer brews to his companions, and there’s no better way to do it than by using his best drink avoidance cards: “Now this stuff is actually good! Try some!” and “You have this. I’m waiting for the good stuff!”. Did you know you could combine the effects to cause some really scary results?
In this scenario, Dimli plays “Now this stuff is actually good! Try some!” first to split the drink in two, creating two 4 Alcohol Content drinks (because half of 7 rounds up to 4 and 4). When Dimli follows that up with “You have this. I’m waiting for the good stuff!” to pass his half of the drink to another player (or the same one!). And thus, through the magic of Sometimes cards, Dimli avoids taking 7 Alcohol Content and gets to cause other players to gain up to 8 Alcohol Content! Now, if Dimli wanted to get REAL rude, he could then start spiking these drinks with some Firewater!
Gog: Gog think “This taste yucky!”
Joran: I don’t know Gog, “Are you sure?”
Gog: Gog still think “This taste yucky!”
Another important thing to remember is that you don’t have to play all of your Sometimes cards in response to a game event all at once. You can technically play all of your Ignore cards at the same time, but you usually only need one since Ignoring something you are already Ignoring is kinda unnecessary. However, if your first card is Negated, there’s no reason for you to not play another!
After all things are said and done, you need to know one thing: each Sometimes card defines when you can play it, but that isn’t a one-chance window. If you play a Sometimes card and it gets Negated, you’re still have the opportunity to play something else until the game progresses.
Speaking of progressing, we’ve come to the end of today’s blog. Thanks for reading, and we hope you have a blast playing Red Dragon Inn now that you are armed with a bit more knowledge about the rules!
In today’s Rulesfest we talk about the First Rule of Sometimes: If you don’t move a bit when a card resolves, then that card doesn’t affect your Fortitude, Alcohol Content or Gold.
One of the most frequent mistakes we come across when demoing The Red Dragon Inn to newcomers is the following interation:
Zot Player: Huzzah! I got a Holy Water!
Deirdre Player: Let me help you with that. I play “Water into Wine” and add 2 Alcohol Content to your Holy Water.
Zot Player: I play “The stars say, ‘No!’ “ to ignore your card!
Deirdre Player: You can’t do that.
Zot Player: Why not?
There are many different cards that create very similar scenarios in the game. Today we are going to discuss the First Rule of Sometimes: If you don’t move a bit when a card resolves, then that card doesn’t affect your Fortitude, Alcohol Content or Gold.
Let’s take a look at the cards from our first example:
As you can see, Holy Water is pretty awesome. It heals your Fortitude and doesn’t come with any Alcohol Content, so of course Zot wants to prevent bad stuff from happening to his safe drink. The problem is that Deirdre’s card “Water into Wine” doesn’t actually affect Zot’s Alcohol Content. “Water into Wine” affects Drink Cards, and must be negated with more powerful cards like “I don’t think so!” or “The Wench thinks you should stop playing with the drinks.”
However, you might be saying: “But Deirdre’s card will cause me to gain Alcohol Content if I don’t stop it!” While that is true, we only have to look back to the First Rule to understand what’s going on. Ask yourself: “At the moment when Deirdre’s card resolves, will Zot’s Alcohol Content change?” If the answer is “No” then the card does not affect Zot’s Alcohol Content. In this case, when Deirdre’s card resolves it only changes the effect of a Drink card, and doesn’t actually move Zot’s Alcohol Content marker. Keep in mind that even if a lot of cards have been played in response to one another, they still only resolve one at a time.
The vast majority of these problems come up when people are altering other people’s Drinks. Remember, all of these cards that affect Drinks aren’t affecting you. There are some card interactions that do not involve Drinks though. Here’s another example:
Ozrik Player: I play “Recharging the Elements” to gain 1 Fortitude.
Joran Player: Sorry Ozrik. I play “I’m gonna save this healing for the dungeon!” to reduce that Fortitude gain to 0.
Ozrik Player: “Oh please. Your powers are no match for mine!” lets me Ignore your card!
Joran Player: No it doesn’t…
Unlike the above example, Joran’s card is actually affecting Ozrik’s card. However, Joran’s card does not directly affect Ozrik’s Fortitude. Once again, ask yourself: “At the moment when Joran’s card resolves, will Ozrik’s Fortitude change?” In this case, the answer is no because when Joran’s card resolves all that changes is the effect of Ozrik’s card and doesn’t move Ozrik’s Fortitude Marker.
Remember: cards really only affect you when they move your bits around as they resolve (and they resolve one at a time!). So when you sit down to your next round with those craft characters who mess with your drinks, make sure you’re holding onto those Ignore Drink cards!
RulesFest is a blog where we go over a few of our design choices as well as cover the occasionally missed rule. This week we talk about the exciting world of Chasers, the scariest drinks at the Red Dragon Inn.
The drinks of the Red Dragon Inn are arguably the main attraction for adventurers far and wide. While the fiery Dragon Breath Ale or disgusting Ogre Brew are likely to turn heads (as well as stomachs!), when these drinks are combined with other more run-of-the-mill refreshments you’ll see adventurers dropping like flies. Today we are focusing on the dreaded Chaser, what they do and how to get out of drinking them!
What is a Chaser?
Every Drink Deck has a variety of Chasers in it, usually made of the more “normal” drinks. While these drinks on their own aren’t too exciting, the simple fact that they combine with other drinks makes them very formidable. To start things off, a quick refresher on the Chaser rules.
To the right is the Chaser icon. Whenever a player reveals a Drink Card with this icon, they must reveal another Drink Card and combine its effects with the previous card, making one super hybrid drink!
Now for the nitty gritty:
- Where do these extra Drink cards come from?
If the first Drink Card came from your Drink Me! Pile, then any other Drink Cards you must reveal come from your Drink Me! Pile. If you run out of cards in your Drink Me! Pile then you stop and do not add any more cards to this drink.
If the first Drink Card came from the Drink Deck, then any other Drink Cards you must reveal come from the Drink Deck. Because the Drink Deck never runs out of cards (you just reshuffle it), you always have to reveal another Drink Card.
- What happens if I reveal another Chaser?
Usually Chasers tell you to reveal only one extra Drink Card. The only time you reveal more Drink Cards is when your extra drink is also a Chaser. That’s right, Chasers can chain into more Chasers! In the below example, some poor adventurer has to deal with a 9 Alcohol Content drink!
- What happens if I reveal a Drink Event?
If you ever reveal a Drink Event while resolving the ability of a Chaser, you stop immediately, discard the Drink Event, and move on to responding to the drink.
- How do cards that respond to drinks work with Chasers?
Remember, the original drink and all extra drinks count as a single drink. Any card that modifies or affects a drink affects the whole thing! That’s why you need to wait until all cards are revealed before you play anything. In modern editions of the rules we clarified that this was the case, that “No player may respond to a drink until all of its Chasers have been revealed.”
Chaser Example 1: Fiona drinks from her Drink Me! Pile and gets Wine with a Chaser. She reveals the next card on her Drink Me! Pile and gets Dragon Breath Ale. She adds the effects of both Drinks, for a total Alcohol Content of 6. Fiona plays “This is just the thing to get the rust off my armor!” to Ignore the Drink, so she gains no Alcohol Content.
Chaser Example 2: During a Drinking Contest, Deirdre reveals Dark Ale with a Chaser from the top of the Drink Deck. She reveals the next card from the Drink Deck and gets Round on the House. Since Round on the House is a Drink Event Card, it has no effect as a Chaser. Deirdre gains 1 Alcohol Content.
Chaser Example 3: During a Drinking Contest, Fleck reveals Dark Ale with a Chaser from the top of the Drink Deck. He then reveals the next card from the Drink Deck and gets Holy Water. In response, Eve plays “Actually, that’s Dragon Breath Ale” turning Fleck’s Dark Ale with a Chaser of Holy Water into a Dragon Breath Ale!
Whew, that was a long drink! Hopefully we’ve been able to dispel any confusion players had about Chasers and how they work in RDI. Now if you don’t mind, we’ve got some drinks waiting for us at the bar. See you next time!
In the RDI Artists series, we’ll be telling you a little bit about the many great artists who have provided art for The Red Dragon Inn series over the years. First, we speak with Erin Wong, an artist from the Vancouver area whose amazing art rocketed her from RDI fangirl to SFG Staff Artist in a very short timeframe. Her work for SFG includes Lizwick the Collector from RDI 5, Keet the Treasure Hunter (now available via SlugCrew), and the much-talked-about, retweeted and generally-drooled-over cover to RDI 5!
Erin: When I was going through my first year science courses in university, and I realized I had more doodles and drawings on my notebooks than actual notes.
SFG: Where did you learn your craft?
Erin: I’m a self-taught illustrator, meaning lots of trial and error, looking up tutorials, progress shots from other artists, and watching time lapses to learn different techniques. I learned how to use Photoshop by basically messing around with it and wondering “what does this button do?” Even after twelve years of using Photoshop, I probably have only skimmed the surface of all its functions and tools.
SFG: What kinds of art do you specialize in?
Erin: I’m very fond of character artwork and design. I enjoy creating outfits, and putting characters that I love from other media in different attire. I also specialize in illustrating scenes that involves interaction between characters and their environment. To be able to tell stories with a single image is a really amazing and fun thing to do. That is to say, I had the time of my life drawing Lizwick, Keet, and the RDI5 box art.
SFG: Which projects are you most proud of?
Erin: I created a multi-chaptered doujinshi (a Japanese fan-comic) back in 2010. I love Kingdom Hearts and have always wanted to create a doujinshi, so I decided to go for it. Over the course of a year and a half, I wrote the script and used Photoshop and Manga Studio to illustrate the story. It was hard, grinding work, but so worth it in the end when I finally saw it come together in a nicely bounded 184 page book.
SFG: What do you want viewers to take away from your art? How should it make them feel?
Erin: I want them to feel inspired when they see my artwork. Nothing makes me happier than when viewers tell me that my art has inspired them to want to create something of their own, and want to improve on their craft. Art should drive other people to create more and keep that wheel of creativity turning. I guess that’s why I love drawing fan art so much. It’s a nice community for fans to come together and enjoy works created by other fans.
Erin: This is one difficult question. My style is constantly changing as I learn different techniques, but right now, I’d probably describe it as semi-realism cartoons.
SFG: Are you a gamer? What games do you play?
Erin: Yup! I play mostly story-driven RPG video games like Legend of Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, Assassin’s Creed, and The Last of Us. Whenever my friends and I get together, I’m always up for rage-inducing party games like Mario Kart and tabletop games (including Red Dragon Inn of course! It’s the only drinking game I can actually participate in).
Erin: After a night of bubbletea with friends and winning a round of RDI as Erin the Ever-Changing (how fitting!) I decided to send the pleasant chaps at SFG a fan e-mail saying how much I enjoy the game and the character artwork. I threw my portfolio at them for good measure, because I figured “hey, it wouldn’t hurt, and maybe they’ll need more artists in the future,” and right off the bat they recruited me in to help them create Lizwick for RDI5! Woooo!
[Editor’s note: we enjoy getting artist solicitations, and get them fairly frequently. Erin’s had both an amazing portfolio and impeccable timing, since we were actively looking for artists to help with the seven new characters we were working on at the time!]
SFG: Where can we find your work/Where can we follow you?
Erin: www.littleeworks.com – my art portfolio which includes illustrations as well as 3D works from my time at BCIT studying 3D modeling, and www.nijuuni.deviantart.com – A nice compilation of illustrations and fan art.
SFG: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Erin! Stay tuned for more interviews with the artists of The Red Dragon Inn
All fan artworks and art are copyright to their respective owners.
RulesFest is a blog where we go over a few of our design choices as well as cover the occasionally missed rule. This week we’re talking about combining drink decks in The Red Dragon Inn!
Today we would like to discuss one of the small but important aspects of The Red Dragon Inn: the size of your Drink Deck.
A Drink Deck right out of the box is a carefully-crafted 30-card force of destruction and merriment that has been both boon and bane to many a party-goer. As more adventurers have joined The Party, so too have new and exciting drinks been added to the menu! Many players have shuffled new drinks into their Drink Decks, either from promos that they have collected over the years, or from the many new drinks found in the various expansions. It seems that not a small number of fans have their own favorite custom Drink Decks or shuffle them all up into a behemoth pile!
Of course, you are all welcome to play the game with any number of drinks that you want. However, we would like to encourage you all to stick to one simple rule of thumb:
The Drink Deck should be (about) 30 cards.
“Why?” you might ask? Well, simply put, the 30-card Drink Deck is designed to be a game clock. Remember, each time the Drink Deck runs out, each player must pay 1 gold to the Inn. This slow drain on everyone’s gold is very important to the balance of the gold-stealing and hard-gambling characters in the game. Without this occasional, yet reliable tax on player’s stashes, Gerki and the other rogues like him find the game significantly harder to win by way of stealing everyone’s hard-earned gold.
There’s another ramification of the 30-ish card Drink Deck. When the deck is eventually reshuffled, there are typically still drinks out on player’s Drink Me! Piles. So, the second time around, the Drink Deck will have fewer than 30 cards in it. Again, that’s extremely important for the gold-focused characters, who benefit from the second shuffle (and sometimes the third shuffle) to pull off a victory.
Therefore, when you are playing with these gold-focused characters, they are at a slight disadvantage because all their gold-stealing shenanigans have less of a relative impact on the game. So give Gerki, Fleck, Eve and the rest a chance and keep those Drink Decks pretty short.
If you really want to play with a single, monolithic, inebriating drink pile, we recommend the following rules. These rules strike a balance between the fun of a giant Drink Deck and the pain the gold characters will feel if that deck never runs out. Enjoy!
- Shuffle all of your Drink Cards together. This is the Bar Deck.
- At the start of the game, make a Drink Deck from the top 30 cards of the Bar Deck.
- Whenever the Drink Deck runs out, each player pays 1 Gold to the Inn as per normal rules.
- Instead of shuffling the Drink Deck discard pile, make a new Drink Deck from the top 30 cards of the Bar Deck.
RulesFest is a blog where we go over a few of our design choices as well as cover the occasionally missed rule. This week we talk about making sure you start with the correct amount of gold!
Did you know that your starting gold changes depending on the number of players in the game? In normal, 3-6 player games of Red Dragon Inn, all players start with 10 Gold. However, that number changes when you start a 2-player grudge match or a 7 player free-for-all!
In a 2-player game, each player starts with only 8 Gold.
Over the years, we have collected a LOT of playtesting data. The majority of the balancing that is done between RDI characters is handled by having seasoned veterans of the game compete in The Gauntlet, a series of 1-on-1 matchups with all of the characters against the new guy. Over time, we discovered that gold-focused characters have a significant disadvantage when starting a head-to-head match, but that disadvantage disappeared completely in 3-4 player matches. Looking at the data, as well as running with our gut, we determined that in most multiplayer games of RDI, gold-focused characters can get away with stealing the odd coin or two without contest because their target has to pay attention to other folks at the table. To compensate for loss of that “lost in the crowd” advantage in multiplayer games, we deemed an overall gold reduction to be a great fix to the win-rate disparity. After implementing this change, not only have new characters been appropriately balanced, but old characters have closed the gap!
In a game with 7 or more players, each player starts with 12 Gold.
The 12 Gold bump was implemented to combat first-turn gambling shenanigans. All too often, players in 7+ player games will start off a massive round of gambling before many other players have had a turn. Frequently, that massive gambling round will strip almost all of the gambling cards out of everyone’s hand, leaving everyone vulnerable to follow-up rounds that can be won by even non-gamblers. This is all good and fun, but we wanted to make sure that that the 7th, 8th and later players got a turn before they lost all their gold! This simple fix puts even the most hard-on-their-luck player out of reach of losing all of his gold in the first few turns about the table.
The Red Dragon Inn has been constantly expanding since 2007, and shows no signs of slowing down. Combining sets to mix and match party members has always been a winning feature of the game. So whether you’re having a wild party of a dozen heroes or a white-knuckled contest between just two, make sure you’re playing with the right amount of gold so everyone has a good time!
P.S. – The original print run of RDI and it’s first expansion RDI 2 did not actually have this rule yet! This rule was added in future expansions and eventual re-prints. You can download a copy of the updated rules for each of the RDI games here.
We had a fantastic time at Gen Con this year. As we eagerly anticipate fulfillment and delivery for the RDI5 Kickstarter we thought it would be good fun to recount one of our favorite Gen Con moments: The Annual Doppelganger Tournament! Each Gen Con we host a tournament for The Red Dragon Inn. This tournament pits players playing the whole cast of heroes against one another to prove that they truly have what it takes to survive a wild night of partying! Only the toughest and trickiest players make it to the top table, where they will go on to win fabulous prizes!
All 29(!) members of The Party have gathered at The Red Dragon Inn for their yearly reunion. But once again, dastadly doppelgangers have invaded the tavern with nearly 80 participants! With up to four each of Fiona, Zot, Deirdre, Gerki and the rest showing up, the first round of the tournament had players pitted against their mirror matches to prove that they were the real version of themselves in a battle of brains, brawn, and booze!
After the players had eliminated all of their doppelgangers from the tournament, the night really got started. With each character randomly assigned to one of six tables, they partied hard to prove that they had what it took to make it to the final table! The matchups were ferocious, and the results always exciting!
Table 1: The fearsome ninja Sera outmaneuvered Gog, Remy, Zariah and Captain Whitehawk!
Winner: Sera – Etta Scheu
Gog – Robert Castiello
Remy – Chad Somerville
Zariah – John Niemann
Whitehawk – Steven Burke
Table 2: Korash answered Bastian’s prayers for victory against Fiona, Halden, Natyli and Pooky!
Winner: Bastian – Ashley Krisp
Fiona – Emily Parkerson
Halden – Grant Allen
Natyli – Amanda Greene
Pooky – Jess Cwik
Table 3: Erin shapeshifted her way to the final table against Tara, Joran, Gerki and Zot!
Winner: Erin – Rachel McCartney
Tara – Jason Coleman
Joran – Jim Schwan
Gerki – Robert Lane
Zot – Hans Petersen
Table 4: For the second time Bryn muscled her way to the top against Serena, Deirdre, Lizwick and Dimli!
Winner: Bryn – Isaac Payne
Serena – Nicholas Peterson
Deirdre – Geoff Lynch
Lizwick – Dan Deger
Dimli – Ross Hyman
Table 5: Zakhan’s antics quickly overcame Eve, Wrench, Cormac and Kaylin!
Winner: Zakhan – Craig Scott
Eve – Daniel Moody
Wrench – Chris McMahon
Cormac – Jonathan Cucchiaro
Kaylin – John Cacciotti
Table 6: Ozrik’s elemental power was too much for Wizgille, Phrenk and Fleck!
Winner: Ozrik – Kelly Bertram
Wizgille – Kelly Overholger
Phrenk – Shane Voegerl
Fleck – Tyler Anastasia
Zakhan and Sera must have had the beginner’s luck this year, both new characters making it to the final table after going drink for drink with some tough competition. Erin, Ozrik and Bastian rounded out the table with some serious magical firepower, and strangely enough a perfectly normal (albiet outstandingly large) deck-hand took the sixth seat. These six squared off at the final table for one last round of drinks. Each player was already guaranteed a fabulous prize, and were competing for their picking order (and bragging rights!). The bulging biceps of Bryn the Boatswain won the day, piloted to victory by Isaac Payne!
1 – Bryn – Isaac Payne
2 – Erin – Rachel McCartney
3 – Bastian – Ashley Krisp
4/5 – Sera – Etta Scheu and Zakhan – Craig Scott
6 – Ozrik – Kelly Bertram
With the sweet taste of near victory of the top table last year only to be tainted by bitter defeat at the hands of Eve the Illusionist, Bryn must have been pumped to have a second chance to redeem herself. Who knew that lifting canons all day would make you tough enough to take on the likes of spell casters, shape shifters and trained martial artists?
In Part 1 of Keet’s Corner (here) we talked about how Keet mechanically affects the game and why we were so excited to bring him to the Red Dragon Inn. This week, we’re going to be diving head-first into all of the thematic design elements for this character. Welcome to Keet’s Corner Part 2: Look and Feel.
One of the guiding principles for every RDI character is that their deck needs to tell a story. We have three opportunities to tell players about the character they are playing:
The Card Titles: We try our best to have characters tell their own story. That’s why most of the card titles are quotes. We want players to know how their character talks and engages the rest of the party. Arguably, our most successful use of card titles is shown off with Gog, who doesn’t use many pronouns and yells a lot. Many newcomers sit down with us for a demo of RDI 2 and immediately start acting like Gog, shouting out their card titles and referring to themselves as “Gog” rather than “I” or “me”. This ends up drawing laughs from everyone at the table, and is just a great deal of fun.
The Art: Perhaps the most important storytelling opportunity we have is with the art. This is our chance to really show off the character’s body language and facial expressions, and is a great chance to include a visual gag. We have had a lot of success here in the past – for example, the one-two punch of title and artwork in Gerki’s “Where’d the little guy go?”
The artwork becomes even more important when we use a phrase or plain text for a card title. In these instances, we can still pull off a funny thing to say like Pooky’s “Nasty big pointy teeth” card. However, other times the title ends up being pretty vanilla, like Wrench’s “Noble sacrifice”. In these situations, we really need to push the visual gag, as we did for Pooky, or tell a lot of story, like how Wrench cowers while one of his gizmos acts heroically.
The Effects: Occasionally we’ve used the effects box to inject some extra flavor into the game. Usually, we use the mechanics of the effect to continue the story from the picture or title. Other times, we explicitly provide a bit of italicized flavor text. We drop flavor text on many Drink Cards, as well as most of the “Everyone Pay Me” cards. But sometimes it pops up in other places, like Wizgille’s Gear Deck. We are always striving to pair the mechanical effect of a card with its flavor – for instance, Joran’s “I know there’s Gold in here somewhere…” card is a perfect example of the effect playing off the visual and title.
To really bring Keet to life, we needed to figure out how he talked. Was he curt and distracted or a little bit of an insulting sour puss? Talking with Ben and going over his card effects, we figured that Keet needed to be a fair bit excitable (he’s REALLY into his artifacts) but also a good deal sarcastic (being somewhat of a rogue). It also felt appropriate to sneak in a couple of references to his primary inspiration, Indiana Jones.
With those design choices in mind, we ended up with Keet getting some rather clever card titles like:
- “Throw you the idol? All right, you asked for it!”
- “A toast to lightly-guarded loot!”
- “This whip isn’t just for show!”
- “Eureka! This must be…”
It was extremely important to get a specific reaction out of players when they saw Keet for the first time. He needed to be a pulp-fiction archaeologist adventurer, reminiscent of Indiana Jones, and we worked with our artist Erin Wong to push him more and more in that direction. In the end, we are extremely happy with how this ruggedly handsome goblin (can goblins be ruggedly handsome?) turned out.
As we moved from conceptualization to specific card art, we wanted to inject more humor into him. If we went with a simple, calm badass we wouldn’t be able to get as many laughs or give players a real character to act out. So a major part of Keet’s development went into figuring out how much of the time he really is as cool as he thinks he is, and when he isn’t. In the end, Keet turned out to be pretty energetic and emotive. His cards take you through the quiet and off-putting lows of a dedicated, meticulous researcher on up to the exhilarating highs of someone enthusiastically dedicated to his sharing his work. With a bit of sarcastic attitude mixed in, Keet came out with a great personality to fit with his exaggerated facial features and role in the party.
Another thing that’s been popping up in the artwork of our more recent characters has been the cameo. As the number of adventurers that make up the guild known simply as “The Party” grew, it made more and more sense to show off how they interacted with one another. Part of our look and feel overview usually includes a little bit about who a new character hangs out with, which other characters are their friends, and who maybe rubs them the wrong way. Often enough, we come up with little histories for our characters along with the design process. Lizwick was an obvious compatriot for Keet, as both characters have a clear interest in strange and magical objects.
We have a lot of Keet’s artwork uploaded to our Facebook Page. You can check it out in Keet’s Facebook Album.
Keet’s artifacts needed to be a collection of amazing and useless objects. Some of them were easy to come up with, such as a helmet that may or may not be Dimli’s Great-Grandfather’s (how many great-grandfathers does this dwarf have?), while others were a bit trickier. Fortunately, this deck, like many side-decks, was an excellent opportunity to inject more humor into the game. Like the rest of Keet’s art, you can check out some of these brilliant artifacts in Keet’s Facebook Album.
That just about wraps it up for Keet! Look for him to come out next year as a brand new RDI: Allies product. If you are eager to try Keet before he hits store shelves in mid-to-late 2016, you can earn a copy for yourself through our SlugCrew Program. Run demos to teach RDI to new players at your local stores or game conventions and Keet can be yours!