Take your meetings to the Tavern! …Virtually!
If you’re in Zoom meetings left and right these days, you’ve probably had the urge to mix up your virtual backgrounds for a bit of brevity. Let us help with some backgrounds of our own!
You can be in the warm (but unoccupied) seating area of The Red Dragon Inn…
Or, you can be in the busy and foreboding drinking cavern of The Black Dragon Depths! Enjoy!
With so many people sheltering in place, teleconferencing apps such as Zoom and Discord have become nearly ubiquitous. And, of course, gamers have gotten in on the action.
We took a look at playing The Red Dragon Inn via teleconference, and it turns out that it works pretty well! The rules and guidelines are below. These instructions assume that you already know how to set up a teleconference – we’ll just be talking about the game itself. So if you want to play some RDI, and you want the physical experience of shuffling cards rather than playing on Tabletop Simulator, read on!
Want to see us take a crack at playing this variant? We’ve archived our 4/30 livestream on YouTube; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNosNzWOS3A
The players in the game are assumed to be across several locations, connected virtually. Multiple players could potentially be playing in a single location.
Each location must have the following:
- A microphone and camera to connect to the video conference
- An RDI character deck (with applicable side decks and components), player mat and Fortitude and Alcohol Content markers for each player at that location
- Gold pieces
One location (and only one) must have a Drink Deck to be managed by the Boozemeister (explained below).
Play Order: It’s hard to take turns clockwise around the table when there’s no table! At the start of the game, figure out a sensible turn order, then make sure that everyone knows that turn order – perhaps by posting the order in the chat or having each player rename themselves by adding a number to their name (if the platform you’re using has a “rename” command). After you figure out turn order, determine a starting player at random like normal.
Playing Cards: Each player will have a hand of cards from their deck, as usual. When a player plays a card, they should read its title and what it does. Bonus points if you hold the card up to your camera as you read the title for dramatic effect!
Fortitude and Alcohol Content: Each player will track their own Fortitude and Alcohol Content like normal. We recommend that players verbally announce both their Fortitude and Alcohol Content totals every time either one of them changes.
Gold: Each player keeps their own gold stash, as usual. Each location should also have its own “Inn” – a pile of extra gold off to the side. If a player must pay gold to the Inn or take gold from the Inn, they simply pay to or take from their location’s Inn. If a player must pay gold to another player, the paying player should give gold to their location’s Inn and the receiving player should take the same amount of gold from their own location’s Inn. (Pretend that it magically teleports!) We recommend that players verbally announce how much gold they have whenever that amount changes.
Gambling: Each location will have its own pot during a Round of Gambling. When a player antes, the gold goes into the pot for that player’s location. When a player wins the Round, that player takes their location’s pot. Then, each other location reports the size of their location’s pot. The winner takes that much gold from their location’s Inn, and the remote location adds their location’s pot to their location’s Inn. (Again, just imagine that each location’s Inn is a magical coin teleportation device!) If any location runs out of gold, just use some other markers as a substitute.
Example: Fiona, Zot and Gerki are playing a game at different locations. During a round of Gambling, each of them has anted 2 gold, but Gerki stole one gold back with his card “Grab a coin while no one’s lookin’”. Fiona wins the round. She takes the 2 gold in her location’s pot. Zot announces that his location’s pot has 2 gold and puts that gold into his location’s Inn. Fiona takes 2 gold from her location’s Inn. Then Gerki announces that his location’s pot has 1 gold and puts that gold into his location’s Inn. Fiona takes 1 gold from her location’s Inn.
Drinks: At the start of the game, choose one player to be the Boozemeister. Only that player will physically interact with all of the drink cards in the game. The Boozemeister should have a drink deck and some way of creating and handling every player’s Drink Me! Pile. We recommend something simple like a post-it note on the table for each player that isn’t at the same location as the Boozemeister. The Drink Deck and each player’s Drink Me! Pile work exactly the same as they do in a normal game of RDI. The only exception is that they all live in a single location and are physically handled by the Boozemeister.
Example: Zot is the Boozemeister. During Fiona’s Order a Drink Phase, she announces that she is ordering a Drink for Deirdre. Zot takes the top card of the Drink Deck and puts it face-down on Deirdre’s Drink Me! Pile. Fiona then announces that she is proceeding to her Drink Phase. Zot reveals the top card of Fiona’s Drink Me! Pile and shows everyone that it is Dark Ale with a Chaser. He reveals the next card in Fiona’s Drink Me! Pile. It’s a Wine. Fiona has no response, so she gains 3 Alcohol Content, and Zot puts both of Fiona’s drink cards into the Drink Deck discard pile.
Example: Zot is the Boozemeister. During his own Drink Phase, he reveals a Drinking Contest. In turn order, he reveals and announces drinks from the Drink Deck for each player. After all the drinks have been revealed each player has a chance to respond, then the drinks resolve. Zot wins the Drinking Contest, so he receives a gold from each other player – they each pay one gold to their location’s Inn, and Zot takes the corresponding amount from his own Inn. (In other words, this works just like a regular Drinking Contest, except that only one person touches the drink cards, and the gold “magically” teleports.)
Public information: It is important to remember that, in a game of The Red Dragon Inn, nearly all game information is public. The only pieces of private information are the identities of cards in a player’s hand or in a deck or Drink Me! Pile. Everything else is public, including:
- Any player’s Fortitude, Alcohol Content or Gold
- Any face-up cards or tokens in front of a player
- The number of cards in any player’s hand, any player’s Drink Me! Pile, or any deck
- The complete contents of any discard pile
Playing RDI remotely is impossible unless each player is open and honest about all public information! Any player should feel free to ask any other player about any public information at any time. (Remember Wheaton’s Law!)
Tricky characters: Some characters can give out game components to other players. These include Phrenk, Remy, Amundyr, Warthorn, Natyli, Keet and Evil Pooky. If you are playing one of these characters, you will need to keep track of each player’s components via post-its or something similar, just like the Boozemeister does with drinks. When playing a character that gives away game objects, it is your responsibility to keep all other players informed of the objects that they have!
A few characters deserve special mention here:
Spyke and Flower: If Spyke and Flower are playing in different locations, they should choose one of the players to control the treasure deck and keep track of both players’ treasure in front of them. (Although, to be honest, if each player just uses their own treasure deck, it won’t change the game all that much.)
The Wench: If The Wench is in the game, she must be chosen as the Boozemeister. In addition to being thematically delightful, this ensures that there will be no confusion over whether or not a certain player’s Drink Me! Pile has Special Reserve Drinks on top of it.
Murgath: Unfortunately, Murgath doesn’t quite work as intended in this version of RDI. The problem is that Murgath must give out private information to other players in the form of Blessing Cards that only one player is allowed to see. If a player wishes to play Murgath, the best option is for Blessing Cards drawn by any player to be face up. They still count as part of that player’s hand. Murgath himself should track each player’s Blessing Cards with post-its as described above for the other tricky characters.
While people are staying at home, we’ve decided to start doing regular streams on Twitch! We’ll be going live on Thursdays at 4pm Pacific starting on 4/30.
This schedule is something of an experiment for us and probably won’t last forever, but we think it will be a fun thing to share with you while we #PlayApartTogether!
You can find us on Twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/slugfestgames – just navigate there on your browser and watch away! There’s also a Twitch app available for mobile devices.
If you miss the live broadcast, we will be uploading all of our streams to YouTube after they’re finished. You can find our YouTube channel here; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuxgh2lfoGfenu_bIYzbRZQ – Like and Subscribe, as the kids say!
The SlugFest Games staff will be there, in whole or in part, bantering, playing games, and chatting with the folks on our channel! For many streams, we’ll be playing some Red Dragon Inn, but we’ve got some ideas for a variety of content, and we hope you’ll be there with us to see it.
Stay safe, and we hope to see you next Thursday!
Hello, SlugFans! With lots of people out there sheltering in place, we thought it would be fun to provide a small creative outlet for our Red Dragon Inn fans. So, here’s our “staying at home and being creative” design contest. Design an RDI Drink, Drink Event or Prize card and send it to us! Use your newfound curve-flattening time at home to come up with a few fun card ideas!
SFG is seeking card designs of the types Drink, Drink Event or Prize. A submitted card must be fun, flavorful and functional. It should have no rules holes – in other words, it should work in the various situations in which it could come up in a game. In particular, a Drink card submitted must function properly if:
- It is the result of a Chaser
- It is the result of a Drinking Contest
- It is the result of a Round on the House
- A player splits it with another player
- A player passes it to another player
To submit a card, fill out this form! The form includes a way for you to tell us who you are, tell us what your card is, and to fill out a bit of legal stuff.
You may submit up to three card designs in this contest. (Three TOTAL, not three of each type.) If you submit more than three, only the first three you submitted will be considered.
Submissions will close at 10 PM Pacific time (GMT-7) on July 24, 2020. And yes, there will be prizes!
- Grand Prize: $250
- Honorable Mention: $50
Thanks, everyone! We look forward to seeing your ideas!
And, as with our other design contests, there’s a bit of fine print: We reserve the right to select any number of winners, including none. In addition, if you are selected to win a prize, your receipt of that prize will be contingent upon assigning exclusive rights to your design to SlugFest Games.
As more and more areas come under shelter in place orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, we have been mulling over ways to support our international demo team.
In ordinary times, we don’t allow demonstrations held online to count towards earning SlugCrew points. However, for folks who can’t leave their homes, or who can’t gather in groups, this means they can’t run SlugCrew events at all right now.
To that end, we’re opening up SlugCrew to include events hosted online from now until July 31, with some stipulations – read on to learn more!
Your Online Event
You can run a demo on Tabletop Simulator, or give folks a walkthrough on Twitch, Zoom, Discord or some other platform – as long as the folks in your demo can clearly see the cards and hear your guidance, whatever method you choose is fine.
The online games you report MUST be demos! That means that you must be teaching people how to play the game. If nobody at the (virtual) table is a newcomer, you shouldn’t report the event. Additionally, ONLY one SlugCrew member can report for an online event.
Reporting Your Event
In order for an online event to count towards SlugCrew, there needs to be a public solicitation for the event on a public-facing web or social media page associated with a venue at which you could normally run such an event in person. You must provide a link to that post in your Crew Comments. Please only post with permission, and respect the rules and members of the groups you post to.
Remember to include information that guests to your event will need in order to attend, such as links to your Discord server and so on! If you don’t want to post those details directly, leave a ‘breadcrumb trail’ for interested parties such as your email or an invitation to DM you so you can tell them what they need to know privately.
That sounded a little stuffy, didn’t it? Here’s an example; John Crew wants to host an event online, and his local game shop, The Game Store, has a Facebook page. John asks The Game Store if he can toss up a post on their page advertising a Red Dragon Inn demo on Discord and Tabletop Simulator, and TGS gives him the thumbs-up. John makes the post, and saves the link for his reporting later. His event goes off, and 3 store regulars show up to learn Red Dragon Inn! John’s reporting looks like this;
Name: John Crew
Date: [Date of John’s Online Event]
Location: ONLINE, on behalf of The Game Store
Phone: [Phone number of The Game Store]
Duration: 2 hrs [The time John spent teaching the game]
Number of Players: 3
Number of First-Time Players: 3
Games Played: Red Dragon Inn
OP Tournament?: No
Tavern League?: No
Crew Comments: The Game Store is my usual spot to host a demo, and you can find my post here; www.facebook.com/hypotheticalgamestore/postid=numbergarble. I used Tabletop Simulator to host the game. Gerki stole everyone’s money. It was great!
Advice on Online Events
When it comes to running things online, a host often has to cobble things together from an arrangement of hardware and software. Our advice is to not use hardware or software that you’re not yet comfortable with, and to test the combination you’ve settled on using before your event to make sure things are working together!
You may also need to give your guests a little extra conversational time to prevent people talking over each other because there aren’t any nonverbal cues to go on. Be patient, and help people who may be struggling with a simple ‘You were saying, Jane?’ or a ‘I think Bob had a question?’
Advice on Venues
While we style SlugCrew as an in-store program, we understand that some areas don’t have a friendly local game store, or in this case, their FLGS lacks a Facebook page or similar space where you could advertise your events.
In ordinary times, we clarify to SlugCrew members that to qualify for points, a SlugCrew event has to be 1] open to the public (ie not invitation-based) and 2] held in a public space (ie not someone’s private residence). We want people to be able to discover your demos, and see your players having fun out in the open! Of course, these aren’t ordinary times, but hopefully this puts the rules relaxation in context.
If you would like to run online SlugCrew events, but there’s no FLGS website to post your event to, please consider alternative venues like your local library, a university center website, or even a friendly local pub’s forum! So many folks are working to stay connected right now, and you can help each other with some fun events. As above, please post with permission and respect your community members.
Considering the risks, we want to strongly discourage SlugCrew members from running ANY in-store, face-to-face demos right now. Please don’t put your health on the line to run SlugCrew events – we have also suspended orders for our in-store events for the foreseeable future to help discourage gatherings that may spread COVID-19.
Hopefully soon we can all go back to providing great in-store, in-person gaming together. In the meantime, stay safe, and game on!
Yes, the long wait is over! You can now be among the first to get the 50th character for The Red Dragon Inn!
This product includes Evil Pooky, the 50th character for The Red Dragon Inn, plus a new drink deck, with 8 brand-new drinks. Evil Pooky is, of course, a villain, so he may also be played as a Boss in the Boss Battle variant. In addition, this product includes cards needed to play the original Pooky as a Boss in a Boss Battle! This game is live on Kickstarter right now, so get in touch with your evil side and back now!
Our Organized Play tournament program is rolling into its sixth season, with refreshed promo cards, door prizes and exciting new Winner Coins! Read on to learn more about the new content, and visit the Organized Play site for rules and program information. Let your Friendly Local Game Store know – you want to play Red Dragon Inn tournaments!
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.
We’ve continued to update and refine the prizes on offer, and we’re excited to share this season’s stuff with you.
Season 6 includes the lovely promos above as well as new, hefty Winner Coins replacing the pins we’ve offered in the past! We’re bringing back the Prize Bin Markers as a door prize, and a new design of Gambling In/Out Markers as well.
We hope you’ll enjoy these prizes and participate in Season 6 of Organized Play! We’re also debuting something new…
Welcome to Red Dragon Inn Tavern League!
Tavern League is a casual play program meant to attract newer and more laid-back players, where RDI fans can meet and play games in a friendly, relaxed environment. The League format is ideal for hosting regular RDI nights (or days, we won’t judge) with a little structure and prize support to keep customers coming back to play multiple times. The focus isn’t on winning or losing, but on regular attendance, good sportsmanship, and hearty laughs!
What does TL mean for OP?
Don’t worry! We’re not taking anything away from existing programs. Stores that run Organized Play tournaments can absolutely participate in Tavern League and vice versa. All we ask is that you don’t “cross the streams” and use Tavern League prizes for tournaments or Organized Play prizes at league events! The kits have different purposes, so the support inside each is weighted differently.
Okay, so…What are the prizes?!
Tavern League offers Participation Promos and Finisher Promos, as well as Finisher Stickers, and an array of Special Award Stickers given out based on special criteria.
Expensive and inquisitive promo drinks!
Gerki’s a great sport, and Kaylin eyes a great big drink!
For this first season, the theme is ‘Bringing the Party Together’ – that means the Special Awards are for Best Sport, Best Recruiter, and Biggest Drink! There’s also a sticker for the League Organizer, to give them a little recognition for their hard work.
If Tavern League sounds like a fun way to spend some time gaming with other Red Dragon Inn fans, let your friendly local retailer know about the program!
Season 6 Organized Play Winner Coin designed by Brian Patterson (D20 Monkey), and manufactured by our friends at Campaign Coins.
It’s a whole new decade of gaming, and we’re happy to join you all in it. And what better way to start than to show off the exciting new 2020 SlugCrew Rewards?
SlugCrew is our international team of gamers who demo, run tournaments and share their love of SlugFest Games with others. By running events at game stores and conventions, SlugCrew members earn special rewards like promo cards for The Red Dragon Inn as well as pre-release versions of upcoming Character Decks. Ozrik, Wrench, Keet, Adonis, Murgath and Piper have all been pre-released to SlugCrew over the life of the program.
Long story short: teach the games you love, tell us about it, and we send you cool stuff!
We have three new promo cards again this year; two drinks with a follow-up effect and one Prize card that’s stuffed with potential. Hopefully the Holy Council won’t need their notes anytime soon!
You can earn these drinks by getting 30 SlugCrew points (or about 6 hours worth of demoing). SlugCrew who earn 150 points or more will get our Major Reward, a brand new pre-release character deck: Melvyn, the Collegium Archivist!
Melvyn is a wise minotaur and a lifelong student of the ancient Runic Magicks. He’s responsible for the mapping and curation of the Arcane Archive – a vast extraplanar space created to store all manner of strange, powerful and dangerous items. The outer rooms of the Archive serve as the Collegium’s library, while the labyrinthine inner chambers are off-limits to all but the most senior staff. Melvyn was brought to life with lovely art from Megan Langan!
While Melvyn may be an infrequent adventurer, he’s also an old classmate of Zot’s, and he’s always up for sharing a pint with our heroes and introducing them to a new game (fresh from the dusty tomes of the Arcane Archives!)
As a scholar of Runic Magicks, Melvyn comes with a side deck of Rune cards. At the beginning of his turn, and whenever a card tells him to do so, he reveals a card from his Rune deck and places it face up near his player mat. The Runes come in four colors; Red, Blue, Gold and Black. Runes allow Melvyn to ‘power up’ some of his cards!
Many of Melvyn’s cards have a better effect when they are powered up with Runes – the colored scroll icons in the card’s text indicate which color(s) of Rune(s) are needed. There is also a four-color scroll icon, which means any Rune can be used. To use a Rune to power up a card, simply discard that Rune as you play the card! If a power-up cost involves multiple Runes, you must discard all of the Runes listed for that ability.
This curious calligrapher is a skillful and flexible gambler, with plenty of ways to make the most out of a round! To really get the best play out of Melvyn, you need to generate and spend Runes wisely. He reveals at least one per turn, so while you may want to save them up, hoarding them will leave some of Melvyn’s best card effects unused.
These rewards go ‘live’ as of today – if you’ve already earned the points you need for them, we’ll be getting them to you in a couple of weeks! If you’ve moved since the last time you earned a SlugCrew reward, please email us right away to let us know at email@example.com.
You’ve probably seen our previous post about our partnership in support of Extra Life, but now we’re joining in and planning a stream of our own to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals! We’re raising money for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals this year, and you can help us reach our goals.
Next weekend on November 9th, from Noon PST until 6pm PST, we’ll be livestreaming on Twitch to encourage donations to Extra Life! We’ll also be giving away copies of the Water of Life promo card, and raffling other sweet, to-be-revealed prizes.
We’ll be playing games, chatting with guests, answering questions, and telling a few ripping yarns about SlugFest Games’ history, so join in on the fun!
You can watch the stream on our Twitch channel.
We’ve got one more piece of good news – we’re getting ready to announce the 50th Red Dragon Inn character! Who are they? What are they? We’ll be revealing the identity of the 50th character at 5pm PST, 8pm EST on November 9th, LIVE on our stream!
So mark your calendars, set your reminders, and please join us on Twitch to be among the first to know who will be the next visitor to the tavern.
It’s time for two new characters to join our party in The Red Dragon Inn!
Piper, Eagle-Eyed Sniper is a brilliant marksman who can hit any target with ease. Her mortal enemy Ripsnarl is a literal party animal. Together, they are a product that you can back on Kickstarter!
Piper has a side deck of hilarious arrows that allow her to (once in a while) combo off, Legolas-style, showing her opponents what it means to be on the bad side of such an excellent archer.
Ripsnarl’s deck includes cards that have a different effect whether he is in his human form or his werewolf form. His werewolf form tends to cause more damage to his opponents, but when he is a human he builds up Fury, allowing him a damage bonus when he becomes a werewolf again. And, of course, Ripsnarl is a villain, so he has extra cards to add to his deck during a Boss Battle!
The Kickstarter campaign offers pledge levels for the casual fan, the hardcore collector, and even the total Red Dragon Inn newbie! So head over to Kickstarter and back the project today!