Dragon Run is a game of chance, as you attempt to escape the fiery breath of the dragon whilst running away with his treasure.
Each player takes one of a set of fantasy roles: warrior, wizard, and so on. Everyone is also dealt four Treasure cards from the deck, and the location cards are shuffled and placed centrally. A board is placed centrally that records how angry the dragon is. On your turn you have three options: you can charge, hide in the shadows, or cry like a baby.
Charging means running into the next location heedlessly; you turn over the top location card and take the consequences, which you hope are positive. Many location cards reward you with treasure.
Hiding in the Shadows is a calculated risk that you’re more likely to take when the location cards are at least partially depleted. You pay one treasure to roll a ten-sided die and hope the result is higher than the amount of location cards left in the deck. If it is, you’ve hidden successfully and the dragon calms down slightly. If it isn’t, you’re forced to charge.
Crying like a baby is the option for when you really don’t want to get involved. You pay two gold in order to skip your turn entirely.
What everyone is trying to avoid is flipping the dragon card, where his breath burns you. One hit of this and you flip your character card over to show you are injured. A second hit while injured and you’re out of the game! However the silver lining to this is that each time the dragon burns someone he calms down a little – when his temper reaches zero, he falls asleep and the game is over: the player with the most treasure wins.
Mix into this each character’s special ability (the cleric can heal, the warrior can attack the dragon, etc) and a number of potions and talismans in the treasure deck, and you have a feisty game of push-your-luck.
My kids really like this. The game is quick-moving and the choices are simple. I think it’s best with three or four players – the more players you have, the more possible that your turn may feel inconsequential – it can be frustrating watching everyone else pick up treasure and the turning over a duff card on your turn. But I guess that’s plundering for you.
Pretty high. As well as the dragon trying to catch you, it's possible for the other players to cause you damage too; by stealing cards or redirecting the dragon's fire your way.
Very low. Dragon Run plays fast.
There's only really one decision to make: charge, hide in the shadows, or cry like a baby?
If you're ok with being burnt to a cinder, Dragon Run is a mostly luck-driven game that the turn of the cards dictate.