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Subject: Games similar too, but 'better than', Red Dragon Inn? rss

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Jessica
United States
Oklahoma
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Red Dragon Inn is my husbands favorite game; he always wants to play it. We even play it just the two of us (and it plays surprisingly well with just two, given the type of game it is), although yes, both of us would much rather have a group since it plays best that way. The trouble is, I really dislike Red Dragon Inn! Like, a lot. And I try to enjoy it so he can enjoy it, but I'd frankly much rather play anything else!

To me, especially with two players but even with a group, it's just an obnoxious tit for tat game where you're sniping at each other back and forth. I do admit that occasionally I get some fun out of it, usually when we play with a few more people, but for the most part it annoys the heck out of me. There's little to no strategy- There's nothing you can do if you get lousy cards on your draw but to ditch them next turn and hope you draw better. I've gone entire games where I just never drew what I needed when I actually needed it, and the only consolation then is that the game is short! It generally comes down to 'play your highest damage card, does your opponent block it, yes/no, continue'. It's boring, and it's all up to random chance. Can your opponents block your card, will their drink have a chaser, will they have more gambling cards than you? And it's really frustrating when you throw a card only to have it blocked- seems like you may as well not have taken a turn since playing the one card is all you really do. Having to ask half the time whether it's a 'sometimes' or 'anytime' card is also a minor annoyance, as some cards will only affect certain types. It's silly and quick, and seems like the kind of game I should enjoy because it's so laid back, but I just don't. :/ Even with the more in-depth characters, where you have things like Pooky's Mood or Serena's piety to keep track of, I find it only marginally better.

He says he enjoys it mostly for the theme. It's silly and fast paced, with outlandish characters that all play differently. He loves the art style- cartoony, but not too much (He really dislikes Dungeon!'s newer art because it's too cartoony apparently). And you can't go wrong with fantasy in our household!

Does anyone have any suggestions for games that are similar in theme (fantasy, not necessarily tavern and drinking)with great, unique characters, still quirky and fun, but have a little bit more to them gameplay wise? Less random chance would be fantastic. It should play really well with just two players- I'm fine with ones specifically designed for two players, but it'd be great to be able to play with a group as well! Deck building is my favorite game style at the moment, but I'm always open to try anything and everything, as is he! Thanks in advance for any suggestions you guys can offer!
 
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Stephen Williams
Canada
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This is kind of a shot in the dark, but the first game that popped into my mind was Venture Forth.

It's got a mythical Greece theme, so fantasy basically. It's got nice artwork (IMHO) - cartoonish, but not TOO cartoony. The characters aren't exactly detailed, but each has one unique ability, and I think those abilities suit their characters quite nicely. (The game has you building a party of up to 5 characters over the course of the game.)

It's also got a little more meat on the bones than RDI. Not super complicated, but there are meaningful choices to be made. It's best described as a Euro Adventure game. Your party travels around fighting monsters and helping people achieve their personal goals in life. There's leveling up, gaining trasures, making offerings to the gods, etc.

I can't guarantee it'll be what you're looking for, but I think it's worth a shot. It's also not terribly long once you've got the rules down pat. Plays up to 4.

The only drawback I can foresee is that it's not exactly competitive. You guys sound like you might appreciate the "take that!" element of RDI, which you will not find here. There's a little player interaction, but not a lot (basically boils down to playing monsters on one another's paths, or taking a full path before someone else can.)
 
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Karl
Austria
Salzburg
Salzburg
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How about The Dragon & Flagon? Very similar setting and imho also similar visual style just that this time it aint a drinking contest, but rather a bar brawl.
Would be better with more then two however.
 
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