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Subject: Modifications for an 8-player Red Dragon Inn free-for-all? rss

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James R. Gracen
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Red Dragon Inn is a great game. And being able to choose between the eight different character decks when you add in RDI2’s four expansion decks is a big plus. Yeah, playing the 4-player game the way it was designed is fun, but having the potential to get a larger game going is even more exciting.

However, having played in a couple of *non-modified* seven and eight-player games, I've noticed that some modifications are in order, to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to enjoy the game (like not being eliminated before taking their very first turn...for instance). In the first 8-player game I attempted, by the end of turn nine (the starting player’s second turn), five players ran out of gold and were eliminated. In last Saturday’s 7-player game, two players didn’t even get to take their first turn before they were forced to gamble all their gold away.

So, my question is: Has anyone come up with any modifications that they have used successfully in a larger-than-four-player game of RDI+RDI2?

The main two problems I have encountered seem to be a lack of gold, and a lack of cards. Players tend to run out of gold a lot faster due to the more numerous Gambling cards (and in particular, the "I Raise!" cards) that tend to crop up when more than four character decks are used in a game. And, with more players taking turns before you have the opportunity to replenish your hand, I’ve noticed that you tend to run low on cards too quickly, leaving you with fewer options to defend yourself.

Here are a couple of *untested*, as of yet, solutions that I have come up with:

1) Everyone starts the game with 10 gold as usual, plus one for every player over four (11 gold each in a 5-player game, up to 14 each in an 8-player game). The problem here would be that an 8-player game would require 112 gold plus a few for the Inn’s bank (RDI and RDI2 only come with 50 gold each). This would work fine in a 7-player (91 gold), or less, game without having to find additional gold coin markers.

2) Everyone starts with the usual seven card hand size, plus one card for every two players over four (eight cards each for 5-6 players, nine cards for 7-8 players). In an 8-player game, each player would start the game with nine cards. At the beginning of each of their turns they would discard and draw back up to nine.

3) Maybe everyone should start with two (or more) drinks in a 5-8 player game due to the greater likelihood of drink events emptying their Drink Me pile before it gets back around to their turn as well. Having Drink Me fodder for Drink Chasers is a good thing...

Do these solutions sound reasonable? Have you tested anything similar? Or come up with other modifications that you have found useful? Please let me know what you think.

Thanks,

(¯`’·.,¸_,.·´¯`·-> CavemanLogic

 
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King of the Dead
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Very good ideas it would seem.

I haven't had a chance to play the full eight players yet but I have seen some of these problems with less than that.

None of that solves the "problem" (if you see it as one) of people getting beat up and passed out before their second -or even first!- turn. And imagine the infux of gold that scenario would bring about.

Still, I think these are worth trying.

I'm not sure if I would actually like an 8 player game. It might be kind of boring, actually. But I would want to try and with these modifications you might have some cards to be able to do stuff so maybe it'd be ok.
 
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B C Z
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I've played large tables of RD1/RD2 and yes, gambling can be perceived as a problem.

But we quickly learned two things.

1) Get out of the first round or two of gambling ASAP.
2) Don't WIN the first round or two of gambling.

There's a large benefit to NOT playing all your gamble cards the first, second or even third time around the table. Get out if you can, and stall if you can't.

We also noticed that he with the gold gets the attention, so you are suddenly everyone's best friend, drinking with them and acting as the target of their axes, swords, spells, bunnies and other pranks.

In the end, it balances out. No-one who has won the first 1-2 rounds of gambling ever goes on to take the victory, so it becomes a self-balancing activity where only the gamblers really gamble and all the non-gamblers have 'duck out' cards by the time they bother.

If you really want to tweak anything, either prohibit first round gambling or give EVERYONE the opportunity to dump/draw (without playing an action) for one round around the table before the mayhem begins. That gives everyone ample opportunity to tune their hand slightly before it starts.



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    How is a dwarf supposed to buy a drink for a guy clean across a table that big? I mean really -- he's too short. Could it be that he can only buy a drink for someone in arm's reach, his neighbor and maybe his neighbor's neighbor?

             Sag.


 
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James R. Gracen
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Nazhuret wrote:
Very good ideas it would seem...

...None of that solves the "problem" (if you see it as one) of people getting beat up and passed out before their second -or even first!- turn.


That's why I would like to try adding a few cards or gold to larger games. With more cards, I figure players would have a better chance of defending themselves from the effects of drinking or fighting...or dancing with Gog! (As Gog lumbers over to Eve and asks "dance with Gog?" she replies "Ha! That's just an illusion. I'm actually over here!").

And with more gold, everyone would have a better chance of surviving those monster rounds of gambling that they are unable to drop out of ("You raise? Well hell, *I* hafta raise" says Dimli the Dwarf, as the other players groan, and toss in yet *another* coin).

Nazhuret wrote:
I'm not sure if I would actually like an 8 player game. It might be kind of boring, actually. But I would want to try and with these modifications you might have some cards to be able to do stuff so maybe it'd be ok.


Well, let me know how it goes if you do get one going...

Thanks,

(¯`'·.,¸_,.·´¯`·-> CavemanLogic
 
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James R. Gracen
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byronczimmer wrote:
I've played large tables of RD1/RD2 and yes, gambling can be perceived as a problem.

But we quickly learned two things.

1) Get out of the first round or two of gambling ASAP.
2) Don't WIN the first round or two of gambling...


Ah yes. Very wise. In our last game a couple weeks ago, the first *three* rounds of gambling all had the pots get pretty high, only to have all three end with an "Oh, I guess the Wench thought that was her tip..." to the annoyance of a few, and the amusement of many...

byronczimmer wrote:
...If you really want to tweak anything, either prohibit first round gambling or give EVERYONE the opportunity to dump/draw (without playing an action) for one round around the table before the mayhem begins. That gives everyone ample opportunity to tune their hand slightly before it starts...


Nice! I like the dump/draw idea. I hadn't thought of that.

How about: After drawing your starting hand, before the first player's turn, everyone can dump as many cards as they wish and draw back up.

The No Gambling the first round idea is interesting as well... I'll have to try these out at our next monthly gameday.

Thanks,

(¯`'·.,¸_,.·´¯`·-> CavemanLogic
 
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James R. Gracen
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Sagrilarus wrote:

    How is a dwarf supposed to buy a drink for a guy clean across a table that big? I mean really -- he's too short. Could it be that he can only buy a drink for someone in arm's reach, his neighbor and maybe his neighbor's neighbor?

             Sag.


Solution: Hire Gog to deliver drinks for you... In our games, I've never found a shortage of helpful players who wouldn't mind placing a drink that you've just purchased for the guy next to him, on the "Drink Me!" pile of the guy next to him. ;-)

(¯`'·.,¸_,.·´¯`·-> CavemanLogic
 
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CavemanLogic wrote:
Sagrilarus wrote:

    How is a dwarf supposed to buy a drink for a guy clean across a table that big? I mean really -- he's too short. Could it be that he can only buy a drink for someone in arm's reach, his neighbor and maybe his neighbor's neighbor?

             Sag.


Solution: Hire Gog to deliver drinks for you... In our games, I've never found a shortage of helpful players who wouldn't mind placing a drink that you've just purchased for the guy next to him, on the "Drink Me!" pile of the guy next to him. ;-)

(¯`'·.,¸_,.·´¯`·-> CavemanLogic


    The point I was trying to make was that maybe you place limitations on who can do what to who, based on seat position. The limitation will evaporate on its own as people are eliminated.

    Too clever by half.

             Sag.


 
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James R. Gracen
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Sagrilarus wrote:
    Too clever by half.


Wow, Gog never been called "too clever" before. Gog not know what to think... Dance with Gog?

(¯`'·.,¸_,.·´¯`·-> Gog (CavemanLogic)
 
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martha sickling
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For many player games, we let each player draw one card at the beginning of every player's turn. If it's your turn, you still fill your hand up to seven cards.
 
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Eric Shift
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I haven't played this game before but it sounds like it might be fun to play it in teams of two for six or eight player games. The two players in a team could pool their money and would only need to play one card from either players hand during a gambling round.

This could add in quite an interesting quirk to the game.
 
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