Dragonhoard

A really terrible doodle, meant for my own entertainment

What is Dragonhoard?
Dragonhoard is a competitive card game intended (as of this writing) for 2-to-4 players (although, maybe it can support a few more? We’ll find out!). Players each take on the role of a Dragon intent on ravaging the countryside, harrying kingdoms, kidnapping princesses, and accruing the greatest treasure hoard in all of the land. Dragonhoard is played with a specially-made deck of approximately 80 cards, including such types as:

  • Conflicts: Someone or something has come to slay you and raid your hoard! Whether it’s the delusional crusader Don Jalapeno, or a wandering party of pimply teenagers with dice, its all the same: If your Dragon is Old Enough, he’ll make short work of them. Defend your lair, or the other dragons will have their pick of your loot, and then its all gone!
  • Challenges: It’s time to go on the offensive! Is your dragon decked out appropriately to overcome challenges such as Baron Bloodthroat’s Fuliginous Fortress? Or will you be stumped by Old Man Omaha’s Cattle Corral? When the Success Requirements of a Challenge is met, the player rakes in more Loot than they otherwise would!
  • Dragon Parts: They say it happens to everyone sometime — your voice starts to crack, you’re suddenly taller than your Dad, your scales turn metallic and you begin to breathe fire and crave roasted pigs by the truckload… right? Dragonparts are yours to use as trophies in your Hoard, inflict on other players, or enhance yourself with to give your Dragon the competitive edge!
  • Treasure, Loot, Spoils, Moolah… Hoard Cards!: A large selection of cards that exist solely to hang over your mantel, fill the Change*Star at the supermarket with, or to clean “conveniently” when your daughter’s boyfriend comes to visit; these cards straightforwardly boost your Hoard’s value — however, some may come with a curse and are more trouble than they’re worth!

Throughout play of Dragonhoard, players have the opportunity to build up their own Dragon into a true terror of the countryside, pillage villages and kingdoms for all they’re worth, battle armies and wizards, and capture princesses — all possible through the use of the cards in the deck. Players must, from turn to turn, make decisions that will influence their chances to come out on top when the game ends and the hoards are tallied. Will you build up your Dragon’s Size and hold a larger hand of cards for the whole game? Or will you instead drop that Dragon Part into your Hoard for an extra 3000Gold? You could always drop it on the player across the way, and watch as his Dragon is suddenly too small to succeed at the Challenge he just drew! Success and Sabotage are all at your fingertips in Dragonhoard — and in fact, are the point of the game.

But WHY Dragonhoard?
Dragonhoard is honestly inspired to a degree by Steve Jackson’s Munchkin: specifically the competitive nature of the game that can only, honestly, be described as “screw-over-y.” It’s hilarious! It’s fun! It’s fast! However, while the screw-over-y tone significantly informs the game-play of Dragonhoard, the style of play is different enough and clings to the trappings described above; that is, Giant Flying Lizards Being Greedy Grubby Monsters. The focus of Dragonhoard is not specifically on acquiring levels of power (or increasing the Age of your Dragon), but is instead on amassing a substantial hoard of shiny pretties for your dragon to stare longingly at himself in. Aging your Dragon is secondary, and while it is in support of the first goal it is not necessary to have a fully tricked out Dragon to win the game — and in fact, it may be impossible for everyone to have a fully enhanced Dragon as I currently consider limiting the number of Dragon Parts in the game (who knows! Speculation!) but the point is: Aging is useful, but Gold is how you win the game.

I wanted to conceive a game that was visceral in terms of how it played out; a fast-paced game based around hampering everyone around you, everyone ganging up on everyone else, and slamming down cards in a messy heap in front of you and imagining throwing gold coins and dollar bills over your head while pulling a Scrooge McDuck. The idea of aging/upgrading your Dragon occurred to me early on as just a fun element of enhancement and development, and then later turned into a critical element in terms of how it interacts with Conflicts, Challenges, and how it balances out how one spends their turns during play (what has become in my head the Monty Hall-esque problem of Upgrade-ScrewOver-Lootpile). As it currently stands — which is to say, unplaytested — it seems entirely likely and typical that players will actually go through several generations of Dragons in pursuit of the greatest hoard that man has ever known, killing off and robbing their kin as just a matter of procedure… Awesome, to say the least!

So in the end, Why Dragonhoard?

Because you want a fun (I hope!) card game of greedy dragons robbing the kingdom blind, growing into enormous Elder Wyrms of untold power only to be felled by the combined machinations of three of your chromatic kin, and revenge your guardian’s slaying through the clever applications of cursed treasure and wizardly minions.

And at the same time that is happening on your side of the table?

The other three players are doing something similar to everyone else also.

Cue “Yakety Sax.”

Coming Soon:So How Does One Play?

Of course, questions and comments are always welcome and appreciated in the comments, and I can be contacted at alfred_rudzki[at]yahoo[dot]com.