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How to Play: Dragonfire

Game the Game is Geek & Sundry’s tabletop board game on Twitch and Alpha, where host Becca Scott breaks out some of the best boardgames the industry has to offer, with new guests each week! Despite being holiday break, we’re still going live with fantastic how-to-play videos.

This week Becca is bringing the dungeon to you with Dragonfire. Dragonfire is a deckbuilding game by Catalyst Game Labs set in the universe of Dungeons & Dragons, letting you play in that world without having to buy all of the rulebooks and designing the dungeon yourself. It’s perfect if you want to do a pickup game without having to spend time prepping it or if no one wants to run a game. Like with the roleplaying game of D&D, you play a band of adventurers, so no backstabbing (that includes you, chaotic neutral friends.)

At the start of the game, you get to choose a character based on race and class. Go on, play the elf wizard if you want. Each character starts with a different deck of cards based on what’s in their equipment pack, so it pays to diversify the party a bit. As you play through the game, your character will gain experience and new abilities. These will carry over from scenario to scenario.

Do a dungeon crawl or jump into campaign mode, the choice is up to you. The campaign cards can be played by themselves or as part of the overarching story. If you feel like power leveling, the scenarios have optional extras that make the game harder and give you more experience.

At the beginning of every scene, more bad guys join the fray. They get played in front of different players based on rules in the scenario. Anyone can beat up on another player’s bad guy on their turn, so you’ll want to support your party members who don’t have piles of health. Gold gets split as evenly between the party as possible, with the current player getting the first gold and then going around the table until all the money is gone. It cuts down on those slight-of-hand checks the party’s rogue might be doing, pilfering loot off the top.

One of the cool things that sets this game apart from other deck building games is that the cards you buy from the market go into your hand and not straight into the discard pile. This makes your selections more important to the game in front of you instead of playing the long game. If you don’t have enough money to buy from the market, you get to discard a card and replace it with one from the deck, keeping the market from getting stale.

There is one more thing you need to watch out for and that’s the Dragonfire deck. This amps up some of the enemy cards and can curse you with bad effects. The more cards discarded from the deck, the worse things get. But don’t worry, so long as you kill all the bad guys, you win.

Do you play games in the D&D universe? Tell us about it in the comments! Don’t forget to check back every week for a new how-to-play video from Becca, and tune into her tabletop game show, Game the Game in the new year on Wednesdays starting at 4PM PT on Twitch and Alpha, where she’ll be playing games, talking about what’s hot and new in boardgames, and busting out games to play with new guests every week. 

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