Gambling is a reoccuring theme in fantasy novels, games, and films. I guess since they have no TVs or Xboxs all Orcs have to do when they have down time from their pilaging is to throw dice and play cards. Today I wanted to show a few games that could be used in-game to add realism and depth to your campaign’s tavern experience.
For brevities sake I will not be going into rules or mechanics of each game, but I will provide links to their site so you can find more information.
Three Dragon Ante
This is supposed to be the premiere card game in the D&D multiverse. TDA works well as a stand-alone card game and is quick and easy enough to be worked into an adventure without taking up the whole night. TDA (and really all of the games mentioned today) give you a great oppurtunity to role play and let those charasmatic players shine. One thing that I really like about TDA is that it has a section in the rule book that lets you us character skills to affect the card game. This option really lets players feel like they didn’t waste those skill points and have a great deal of fun in the process. At the link provided above, you can get a free copy of the rulebook and TDA quest ideas.
Not to be outdone by Wizards of the Coast, Paizo has created their own card game for the Pathfinder world. Harrow is a stand-alone card game that can be played in-game or out. One cool feature about Harrow, is that it is can also be used as a furture telling device as well. According to Paizo’s website, Harrow fetures the artwork of Kyle Hunter, whose comics have appeared in Dungeon Magazine. If you would like to learn more about Harrow, the rule book is available as a free download here
The Red Dragon Inn: Gambling? I’m In!
This is actually nine games inspired by Slug fest Game’s The Red Dragon Inn, and can be used interchangably. I had a chance to demo this game (not all nine, but the main game and two others) at last year’s Gen Con and they were all easy to learn and enjoyable. The game includes a 90-card deck and rules for all nine games that can be played as a stand-alone or in-character in any fantasy RPG.