Today, Bruno Faidutti talks about Dragons, his next game to appear at Matagot in April 2018. Playable from 3 to 6 players over 8 years, the games last about 30 minutes.
Players in Dragons are not impersonating common and greedy adventurers, eager for gold and dragons’ heads to hang as trophy over the fireplace, but proud, noble, winged and fire-breathing dragons. Anyway, dragons might be fantastically ancient, but this doesn’t make them much wiser and virtuous, and their main preoccupations are very similar to the adventurers’ ones. The spent the summer flying over the countryside, attacking castles and abbeys for gold, gems and jewels.
When winter comes, they fly back to their caves, high in he mountain, where they love to display the weapons and armour of knights they have defeated. They spend their time counting and recounting their treasures, and polishing it so that it shines under their fiery breath. So much for the ancient wisdom of these creatures who like to think they are still kings in the world. A game of Dragons is three or four summers, depending on the number of players, and as many winters.
Dragons is a risk taking card game, double or quits, in which one plays less against luck than against the other players’ nerves. Each player on turn either adds one more card to a treasure pile, or yields and take one of the piles, letting other dragons keep on rampaging the kingdom.
Adding cards to a pile is tempting but risky, because some other dragon can always steal it just under your big fiery nose. It is also, though to a much lesser extent, a memory game in which one tries to discreetly spot and focus on the most interesting piles. Last but not least, it’s a tactical game, because there’s some subtleties in the scoring. Nothing revolutionary, but an easy, fun, light and tense card game.
After three or four years, which amounts to a few days in dragons’ time, Glaurung, Fafnir, Rhaegal, Falkor, Melusine and their kind meet to check who has the biggest and shiniest hoard.
Mighty dragons, like us petty humans, are weak creatures. They can get so enthralled by wealth that they forget about the really important things in life, like food. Even dragons must eat, and they even must eat far more than we do. Dragons who didn’t stock enough food are out of the game. With 5 or 6 players, one must even keep a balanced diet, with cows and sheep. Surviving dragons, those who kept enough smoked meat for the coming winter, compare their hoards.
Though gold coins are the base asset, jewellery is extremely popular with dragons. The saying goes that male dragons collect royal crowns and scepters, while females prefer women pieces such as necklaces, torques and bracelets, but we’re actually not even sure there are male and female dragons. No one has ever seen a dragon from near enough to ascertain it and come back to to tell the tale.
Dragons also enjoy bragging that they defeated proud and wel born knights who wanted to kill them and steal their treasure. To support the story, and the dragon’s reputation, one must show the knight’s equipment, helmet, breastplate, shield and sword.
The legend of the one ring is one of the oldest stories in dragons’ tradition, and what is old for dragons is indeed very old. Every dragon fancies having a one ring, the one ring, in its treasure. Of course, two same rings cannot be unique, and there are three in the game. Last but not least, owning a treasure is not enough, one must also make it shine under the its owner’s flames, and that’s were polish comes handy.
Following Bruno's article on his blog: click.