Le Sourire Du Dragon (board game)



Le Sourire Du Dragon (The Dragon's Smile) is a 1987 French board game based on the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon, designed by François Marcela-Froideval with the game board illustrated by Tignous. It is for 2 to 6 players of 6+ years and games take 45 to 60 minutes to play. The box's illustration is by Bill Sienkiewicz.

Starting at the roller-coaster (dubbed the "Death Train") Players have to move around the outer track and onto the the inner track to reach the "Vortex" home. Each turn the players roll three dice; one for Movement (how many squares moved) and one for Adventuring (a value versus Monster cards and Adventure Box tasks). Beforehand the player will announce whether he wants to prioritize Movement or Adventuring and then assign the highest die roll to the prioritized one and the lowest die roll to the other. The middle-valued die is ignored.

The game board has illustrated Adventure Boxes along the route and landing on these means the player has to have a certain Adventuring value to continue. If a player lands on a green square he picks a card; the card may be a magical totem that provide bonuses, a monster he must fight using his Adventuring value, Uni, the Dungeon Master or a written instruction. The player misses a go if he lands on an orange square but nothing happens on yellow squares. 

Players occupying the same square can give or swap cards. One unusual rule is that if occupying the same square players can brawl to steal each other's cards; which is hardly in the spirit of the cartoon. (I can't imagine Sheila beating up Bobby to steal Uni from him, but it is possible in this game...)





Dungeon Master card (x1): If drawn the Player keeps this card and can use it once to automatically succeed when landing on an Adventure Box.


Uni card (x1): If drawn the Player keeps this card and it adds 1 to the number of squares he moves or adds 1 to his Adventuring value when fighting Monster cards.


Frog card (x1): If drawn the Player must have an Adventuring value of 2 or greater or be defeated by this frog and move back to the previous Adventure Box.


Wolf card (x5): If drawn the Player must have an Adventuring value of 4 or greater or be defeated by this bullywug and move back to the previous Adventure Box.


Bullywug card (x2): If drawn the Player must have an Adventuring value of 2 or greater or be defeated by this frog and move back to the previous Adventure Box. (The name has a typo.)


Orc card (x10): If drawn the Player must have an Adventuring value of 5 or greater or be defeated by this orc and move back to the previous Adventure Box. (This doesn't look like the orcs from the cartoon.)


Dragon card (x5): If drawn the Player must have an Adventuring value of 6 or greater or be defeated by this dragon and move back to the previous Adventure Box.


Lolth card (x1): If drawn the Player must have an Adventuring value of 7 or greater or be defeated by Lolth and move back to the previous Adventure Box.


Tiamat card (x2): If drawn the Player must have an Adventuring value of 8 or greater or be defeated by Tiamat the dragon and move back to the previous Adventure Box.


Venger card (x4): If drawn the Player must have an Adventuring value of 8 or greater or be defeated by Venger and move back to the previous Adventure Box.


Bow card (x1): If drawn the player keeps this card. If he is playing Hank the Ranger he gains a +3 bonus to all Adventuring rolls, otherwise if he is playing another character he gains a +1 bonus to all Adventuring rolls but only when fighting against Monster cards. The paper rules state that the bow has no particular faculty and cannot be used in combat but the card rules clearly contradict this.


Javelin card (x1): If drawn the player keeps this card and gets a +1 bonus to all Adventuring rolls. If he is playing Diana the Acrobat then he automatically succeeds when landing on the "River", "Castle", "Wall", "Crevasse" and "Magician's Peak" Adventure Boxes.


Shield card (x1): If drawn the player keeps this card. If he is playing Eric the Cavalier he gains a +2 bonus to all Adventuring rolls and is never sent back to the previous Adventure Box when losing a fight against a Monster card (making winning and losing irrelevant), otherwise if he is playing another character he gains a +1 bonus to all Adventuring rolls but only when fighting against Monster cards.


Cloak card (x1): If drawn the player keeps this card and gets a +1 bonus to all Adventuring rolls. If he is playing Shiela the Thief then when another player occupies the same square he can hide by turning invisible and prevent the other player from brawling with him and stealing his cards.


Hat card (x1): When drawn the player keeps this card. If he is playing Presto the Magician he must roll another die each turn to work out the bonus or penalty to his Adventuring roll. A roll of 1, 2 and 3 equals a -3, -2 and -1 penalty but a roll of 4, 5 and 6 equals a +1, +2 and +3 bonus. If the player is not Presto the Magician then they have a -1 penalty to all Adventuring rolls.

If this card is owned by a player who is not Presto the Magician and he lands on the "Warrior in Armour", "Castle", "Dragon", "Magician's Peak", "Spiders' Web" or "Whirwind" Adventure Boxes and have no cards that provide bonuses then the game is over for them as they cannot achieve the required 6. The only escape solution would be for another player to give them a card that provides a bonus.


Club card (x1): If drawn the player keeps this card. If he is playing Bobby the Barbarian he gains a +2 bonus to all Adventuring rolls and automatically succeeds when landing on the "Castle", "Wall", "Magician's Peak" and "Castle of Shadows" Adventure Boxes. If he is not playing Bobby the Barbarian he gains a +1 bonus to all Adventuring rolls.


The six instruction cards; "Give Your Cards To The Last Player" (x2), "Do Not Miss-A-Go" (x2) kept and used once to negate an orange miss-a-go square, "Pick Any Card You Want" (x2) kept and used once to take a card from another player, "Go Back One Adventure Box" (x2), "Advance Two Adventure Boxes" (x4) and "Give Object To Its Owner" (x6) where the player must give any Magical Object cards he owns to the players whose characters are the proper owners of them. 






Below are the rules:

BEFORE GAME PLAY
Before game play shuffle the cards and place them face down in the “Pick” pile. Players pick cards from this pile and if not instructed to keep them then place them on the “Rejected Cards” pile. If during play all cards have been picked then shuffle the card in the “Rejected Cards” pile and place them face down in the “Pick” pile.

Each player should roll the dice to determine order of play and which character they want to be, with the highest going first and choosing which character he wants to be first. All players start on the "Death Train's entrance".

ADVENTURE & MOVEMENT VALUES
Every turn each player announces whether they want to prioritise Movement (the amount of squares they move along the board) or Adventure (the number needed when landing on an illustrated Adventure Box or when picking a Monster card from the deck of cards). The player then rolls the three dice and the highest-valued die is designated to the one he prioritised while the lowest-valued die is designated to the other. The middle-valued die is ignored. The player now has an Adventure Value and a Movement Value calculated.

MOVEMENT
The player then moves a number of squares clockwise along the game board equal to his Movement Value.

REACHING THE INNER TRACK
The game board is composed of two tracks; an outer one starting at the “Death Train's Entrance” and finishing at the “Whirlwind”, and an inner one starting at the "Castle of Shadows” and continues around in a circle.

To migrate from the outer track to the inner track a player has to land on the “Whirlwind” and if his Adventure Value is 6 or greater then he moves to the “Castle of Shadows”. If it is less than 6 then he must remain on the “Whirlwind" and next turn roll a die to calculate a new Adventure Value. 

If their Movement Value exceeds the number of squares the “Whirlwind” is away then the player must remain where they are instead. If on a green square in this situation a card must be drawn as normal.

The rules don't state whether the “Go Forward Two Adventure Boxes” card advances a player who is in between the “Spiders' Webs” and “Whirlwind” to the “Castle of Shadows”. The game seems to be designed to make migration from outer track to inner track as difficult as possible so allowing this card to override this seems an oversight. In this situation the card can be allowed to advance the player (Allowed rule), disallowed with the player not advancing (Disallowed rule) or disallowed with the player not advancing and picking another card instead (Redraw rule).

ADVENTURE BOXES
If the player lands on an illustrated Adventure Box then there may be an instruction where he needs to achieve a certain number. If his Adventure Value is equal to or higher than the Adventure Box’s required number then he has succeeded and can continue as normal next turn. If it is lower then he has failed and on his next turn must try again.

If a player has been stuck on an Adventure Box in a previous turn and his new Adventure Value allows him to move but his Movement Value lands him on another Adventure Box or a green square that results in drawing a Monster card then the player must roll another die to determine a new Adventure Value.

YELLOW SQUARES
If the player lands on a yellow square nothing happens.

ORANGE SQUARES
If the player lands on an orange square then he misses a go.

GREEN SQUARES
If the player lands on a green square then he must pick a card.

INSTRUCTION CARDS
If the picked card has any instructions written on it then these must be followed, such as “Go Back To The Previous Adventure Box”, “Go Forward Two Adventure Boxes”, “Give The Object To Its Owner” where if he owns a Magical Object card he must give it to the player whose character is the proper owner, “Give Your Cards To The Last Player” (the player in the last position on the game board not last in order of play), “Pick Any Card You Want” from another player, and “Do Not Miss-A-Go” which can be used to negate an orange miss-a-go square.

The rules don't explain what happens if you draw the "Give Your Cards To The Last Player" card and there are more than one player in the last position. A simple rule for this could be that the player decides which card to give to which player.

An alternate rule for the “Give Your Cards To The Last Player” card could be that the player is allowed to keep his Magical Item card and just give his surplus ones instead.

An alternate rule for the "Pick Any Card You Want" card could be that you cannot pick the Magical Item card off of the player it belongs too.

MONSTER CARDS
If the picked card has a monster on it (Frog, Wolf, Bullywug, Orc, Dragon, Lolth, Tiamat or Venger) and the player's Adventure Value is lower than the card's number then he must go back to the previous Adventure Box as he has been defeated by that creature.

DUNGEON MASTER CARD
The Dungeon Master card can be used once when the player lands on an Adventure Box to automatically succeed even if his Adventure Value would have resulted in failure. The Dungeon Master card cannot be used against Monster cards or Brawling players though.

UNI CARD
The Uni card gives a +1 bonus to all Movement Values or a +1 bonus to all Adventure Values versus Monster cards and Brawling players. The Uni card does not give a bonus versus Adventure Boxes though.

The rules do not state whether the player chooses a bonus and it is applied throughout game play (Static rule) or whether he is allowed to change his choice each round before rolling his dice (Versatile rule).

BOW CARD
If the player has the Bow card and he is playing Hank the Ranger then he has a +3 bonus to all Adventure Values. If he is not playing Hank the Ranger he has a +1 bonus to all Adventure Values but only versus Monster cards or Brawling players and not Adventure Boxes.

SHIELD CARD
If the player has the Shield card and he is playing Eric the Cavalier then he has a +2 bonus to all Adventure Values and can ignore the rule of returning to the previous Adventure Box when losing against a Monster card. If he is not playing Eric the Cavalier he has a +1 bonus to all Adventure Values but only versus Monster cards or Brawling players and not Adventure Boxes.

JAVELIN CARD
Any player who has the Javelin card has a +1 bonus to all Adventure Values. If he is playing Diana the Acrobat then he automatically succeeds when landing on the “River”, “Castle”, “Wall”, “Crevasse” and “Magician's Peak”, even if his Adventure Value would have resulted in failure.

CLOAK CARD
Any player who has the Cloak card has a +1 bonus to all Adventure Values. If he is playing Sheila the Thief then he can prevent the Brawl rule affecting him when another player lands on the same square by turning invisible.

HAT CARD
If the player has the Hat card and he is not playing Presto the Magician then he has a -1 penalty to all Adventure Values. If he is playing Presto the Magician then he must roll another die each turn to determine how it modifies his Adventure Value. Rolling 1, 2 and 3 causes a penalty of -3, -2 and -1 while rolling 4, 5 and 6 causes a bonus of +1, +2 and +3. The player could use the previously ignored middle die to determine the hat's results.

CLUB CARD
If the player has the Club card and he is playing Bobby the Barbarian then he has a +2 bonus to all Adventure values and automatically succeeds when landing on the “Castle”, “Wall”, “Magician's Peak” and “Castle of Shadows”, even if his Adventure Value would have resulted in failure. If he is not playing Bobby the Barbarian then he has a +1 bonus to all Adventure Values.

BLACK-SPOTTED CARDS
Cards with a black spot in the top left corner are kept by the player. The Magical Object cards and the Uni card are kept indefinitely but the Dungeon Master, the “Pick Any Card You Want” and the “Do Not Move” cards must be placed on the “Rejected Cards” pile when used.

EXCHANGING CARDS
If more than one player occupy the same square or Adventure Box then they can give or swap cards but are allowed to refuse any offered cards. Resolving the Adventure Boxes and drawn cards must be done before any swapping or giving.

BRAWLING
If two players occupy the same square or Adventure Box then they can brawl to gain a card that the other player does not wish to give. Both brawling players must roll a die to calculate a new Adventure Value (modified by any Magical Object cards or the Uni card). The winning player takes a card of his choice from the losing player. No cards are exchanged if Adventure Values are equal. Resolving the Adventure Boxes and drawn cards must be done before any brawling.

WINNING THE GAME
The goal of the game is to reach the “Vortex”. To do this the player has to land on the green square with the arrow and then pick a card. If the player does not draw either the “Go Back To The Previous Adventure Box” card or the “Go Forward Two Adventure Boxes” card or lose against a Monster card and get sent back to the previous Adventure Box then he has won. If a player misses the arrowed square then he must continue around until he lands on it.

3 comments:

  1. Having played this game with a group of people I would probably tweak the rules as following:

    #1: The player can treat the orange miss-a-go squares as either yellow (nothing happens) or green (pick a card) if they want to risk an encounter from the deck. Players already risk missing goes from the Adventure Boxes so the orange squares just slow game play down further.

    #2: Scrap the bizarre Brawling rule. Players mugging each other for cards when they land on the same square is not in the spirit of the cartoon. Make it compulsory for players sharing the same square to give each other their rightful magic item cards.

    #3: As the Brawling rule is scrapped Sheila's Cloak now needs a new advantage as before it made her immune to the above rule. When Sheila wears her Cloak she can automatically succeed on the Armoured Warrior, Dragon, Venger and Tiamat boxes as she can sneak past them invisibly.

    #4: Castle Of Shade is treated as a yellow square where nothing happens. Moving from the outer track to the inner track is laborious enough without being stuck on the Castle Of Shade afterwards. This should improve the flow of game play and provide a safe respite for players navigating the inner track.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops. Apparently the "Ne Passe Pass Un Tour" card means "Do Not Miss-A-Go" which makes them useless with my revamped orange square rules so they need to be tweaked too...

      #5: The "Ne Passe Pass Un Tour" card allows the player to roll his dice again if he is stuck on an Adventure Box and his previous roll failed.

      (Thanks to Kuronons for helping me out with my dodgy French.)

      Delete
  2. It's annoying that the club and javelin cards don't have the boxes they can bypass written on them. The club just mentions doors so you could forget about the wall. You have to check with the written rules.

    ReplyDelete

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