Grab your d20s because today we are going to be taking a look at two games that are beloved by fans of sword-and-sorcery.
Tales From The Red Dragon Inn – Sept. 30th
Red Dragon Inn by SlugFest Games is a deceptively simple game of heroic-level drinking, brawling, and sometimes gambling. One of the reasons for its success is the fact that, in terms of complexity, there is something on the menu for everyone. The core set rules have all the lightness of a pilsner which makes it easy for new players to pick up the game and have a fantastic time. But with 22 separate expansions, all with unique new characters and rules, players can create game play that is as deep and rich as the darkest stout. But with their newest expansion, Tales from the Red Dragon Inn, SlugFest Games looks to be bringing out the barrels of riserva.
Unlike its predecessors, Tales is leaving the tavern (mostly) behind and sending favorites like Fiona, Deirdre, Gerki, Zot, and Pooky out into the world for some classic dungeon-crawling adventure. 1-4 players will work together to take on a series of adventures, each centered around a unique map with its own specific objectives and challenges.
In terms of the rules, it strikes a nice balance between a traditional RPG dungeon crawl while still retaining the lightness of the original card game. For examples, gameplay revolves around characters choosing from a menu of actions and shenanigans, and initiative is determined by drawing tokens from a bag.
As characters advance through scenarios, they will be able to level up both their abilities and equipment. And because there is a shared equipment pool, players are encouraged to swap gear as the game progresses. Even characters left behind at the Inn still level so that they’re ready to join you on the next leg of the quest.
But just as the heroes are flexible, so too are the monsters that you’ll encounter. Not only do the monsters take randomized actions, ensuring a surprise every game, they also have actions that are specific to each map. That robogre you fought on the previous map just might have a few surprises for you now.
While the game’s monsters and villains may have some nasty surprises, the Kickstarter campaign is very straightforward. According to the preview page there is only one $90 pledge level which includes the base game, Kictstarter Kit, and Scenario 00 Pack. The kit includes a number of miniatures that will not be available in the retail version, including a “Beer Goat”, while the scenario pack includes an additional scenario which can normally only be played at cons. For 20 maps, 150+ standees, 6 detailed miniatures, and more cards and tokens than you can shake a flagon at, it’s well worth a look.
The Lazy DM’s Companion – Sept. 28th
If you like your dungeoneering a little more traditional, then there is a helpful tool on the way! Coming to Kickstarter on Sept. 29, it’s The Lazy DM’s Companion.
This is the latest installment in The Lazy DM series from Mike Shea, who rights under the Sly Flourish imprint. According to the first book in the series, The Lazy DM, these books are meant to “Save you time preparing for your D&D game, help you focus on the elements of your game that bring the most enjoyment to you and your group,” and “show you how preparing less results in a more dynamic and exciting game.”
The books do this by pulling from the experiences of other long time DM’s and discussing best practices as well as their applications. They also include innumerable tables, random generators, full-color maps, and guides to help experienced DM’s take their game to the next-level. And though it is billed as a supplement for 5e, the vast majority of the books can be applied to any RPG.
While there isn’t a lot to be gleaned from the “Upcoming Project” page for The Lazy DM’s Companion, it is a safe assumption that this book will be jam-packed with even more useful DMing tools. And considering that last year’s Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master an opening pledge level of just $8 for the PDF, it seems safe to assume that this entry will present a lot of content at an affordable price.