How To Play Red Dragon Inn

OBJECTIVE OF RED DRAGON INN: The objective of Red Dragon Inn is to outlast your friends in a rambunctious night of drinking. You want to be the only player left conscious and with cash.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: The game can be played with as many decks as you own. A minimum of two players is needed and the base game comes with four decks for four players.

MATERIALS: 4 decks corresponding to individual characters (Fiona, Gerki, Zot, Deirdre), 4 mats for players, A Drink Deck of cards, 4 red markers for fortitude, 4 clear markers for alcohol content, Gold pieces

TYPE OF GAME: Deck based Strategy game

AUDIENCE: For players 13 years and older (not an actual drinking game)


The Game Box

Players will use decks featuring a character of their choice to win the game. You can do this by being the last person conscious with gold to their name. In Red Dragon Inn you will drink, fight, gamble, and cheat to be the last one standing.

In the base game, you get to play with one of four astounding heroes. There is Zot the wizard, Fiona the fighter, Deirdre the healer, and Gerki the rogue. Though there is a multitude of released characters to add to your collections (most with advanced powers and special abilities), these base characters are a great place for new players to start.


To set up Red Dragon Inn, someone should shuffle and place the drink deck in reach of all players.

Then each player must take a character deck, a red and clear marker, and a player mat. Each player will shuffle their character deck, place the red marker on the 20 and the clear marker on the zero on your play mat. Then collect 10 (in a 2-player game the number is 8, for expanded games with 7+ players the number is 12) gold from the supply.

Each player mat has a place for you to put your character deck, a place for your discard pile, and a place for your drink pile. Every player will take a card from the drink deck without looking at it and place it face down in their own drink me pile.

Finally, each player will draw a 7-card hand, and pick someone to go first. Then the game begins.


The gameplay happens in turns, and each player’s turn has 5 phases. Each part must happen in order. 

Discard and Draw Cards

Each turn starts with a player deciding if they would like to discard any cards, then after they have discarded or not discarded cards the player will draw cards up to 7 cards. If a player has more than 7 cards or exactly 7 cards in hand no cards are drawn. No cards can be played in this phase and if you draw the last card of your deck you may reshuffle the discard pile and place back into the draw deck section of your mat.

Action Phase

In your Action phase, you may play one action card. Action cards have the word action printed on them under the title of the card, and to play them you must read the title of the card, give players time to respond, complete the action it allows you to do and then discard it. For example, if you play a “Gambling? I’m in” card you will start a round of gambling.

If you can not or do not want to play an action card you may skip this phase.

Buy Drinks

After your Action phase, you will enter the buying drinks phase. Now you will draw a card without looking, from the Drink Deck and place it on someone else’s drink me pile. You do not have to pay gold for this, but might later in the game, or if you have a card that allows you to buy extra drinks. 


In the drinking phase, you will draw and drink the top card in your drink me pile. These cards can have many different effects but in simple terms, if it’s a tankard symbol you will move your alcohol (clear) marker that many spaces forward or backward depending on if its plus or minus, and if it’s a heart you will move your life (red) marker in the same fashion. When you complete the action on the card discard it in the drink deck discard pile.

If you do not have any drinks in your drink me pile when you enter your drink phase you start to sober up and move your alcohol marker backward one.

Ending Your Turn

After you finish your drinking phase the turn of the player on your left starts. 


In addition to Action cards there are Sometimes and Anytime cards. 

If you wish to play a sometimes card you must read carefully what the card says. Sometimes cards can only be played under certain conditions, and you must meet those for the card to have any effect. If you meet the requirements you may read the card’s title, give other players time to respond, then fulfill the instructions on the card. When that is done the card will be discarded into your discard pile.

To play an anytime card you simply must play it, they can be played during any phase on any players turn and can even interrupt other players actions. Just read the title, give players time to respond, fulfill the cards’ instructions and discard it when you are done.


Gambling is a special circumstance in the game where players will be able to play cards outside of their turn. When a player plays a card that starts a round of gambling every player must pay an ante of one gold into the pot, (there are cards to get players out of this) and then the person to the left of the player who starts it can play a gambling card that says they can take control of a round of gambling. If they cannot or wish not to then they may simply pass, but this does not mean they are out of the round of gambling. 

There are cards that will do special things in gambling, such as the “raise” card, which means every player who is still in the round (whether they passed or not) will pay another gold into the pot. There is also the winning hand card, which means the only way another player can take control of the round from you is if they have a cheat card to do so, and cheat cards let you take control of a round of gambling whether or not a winning hand was played. Finally, there are cards that will let you leave a round of gambling or force another player out of a round of gambling, these are the only way a player can leave a gambling round. 

If a player takes control of a round of gambling and the round gets back to them (either everyone passed or could not play) that player wins, collects the gold, and the player who played the original gambling card will continue their turn.


If your rules booklet you will find the last two pages include additional rules, these include ruling for certain circumstances and cards, additional drinking rules and some advanced rules not used in the base game. These will be helpful pages to keep open as you play your first few games and as you add new characters.


The game will end at different times for different players to win you must be the last player conscious with money.

How To Lose

To lose if much simpler, and there are multiple ways to do it. You can become too drunk or get knocked out, either way, when your red and white markers ever occupy the same number you are unconscious and lose. If you get knocked out all your gold is shared evenly amongst all players.

If you lose all your money you will lose and get kicked out of the game. This can happen because of gambling, buying drinks, or players stealing from you but if ever your gold reaches zero (unless you’re in a round of gambling) you lose. If you are in a round of gambling you are allowed to play it through and see if you win, if not you lose. 

Nakoa Davis