Dragon's Hoard is a common dice game played in many taverns. Patrons often find the game's layout on the taverns tables. In lower class establishments the layout is often crudely carved into the tables' surface, whereas finer establishments have been known to use inlaid precious metals and intricately carved scrollwork.
The layout is usually nine circles with the numbers 3 through 11 inside them. This layout is used for both d6 and d4 gameplay (occasionally an establishment will have a layout specifically for d4 play, which is made up of 5 circles with the numbers 3 through 7 inside them).
In most establishments, the currency of the region is used to wager; however some establishments provide counters or chips. Players sometimes play to divvy up other valuable stakes, such as jewelry and magic items.
Players throw the dice in turn. After each throw, they place a chip on the corresponding number on the layout. For example, if a player throws a total of 4, he places a chip on the area of the layout marked 4. Once a number on the layout has three or more chips on it, the next player to roll that number collects them. If a player rolls a pair of 1's, known as Dragon Eyes, that player places a chip on all the numbers on the layout. If a player rolls two 6's, know as Stealing the Hoard, they collect all the chips on the layout. Play continues for a pre-determined time, or until it is agreed to end the game.
This dice game requires two dice (2d4 or 2d6), chips and a layout drawn up with the appropriate numbers on it. This game is based on a dice game known as Jackpot.
For those who missed the original article, we discussed the various superstitions folks here at Wizards of the Coast harbor about rolling their dice--and, of course, asked for your superstitions and stories as well! To share a few:
Theory of Competition
In my group there is one superstition. Several of my players believe in the competitor die. What they do is roll two d20's at once, and declare which one will count. The belief is that the die that counts has a die to compete against, encouraging it to roll higher.
I was DMing a high-level campaign, and the PCs were squaring off against some daemons. Just about all the PCs were unconscious, and the main foe, an arcanoloth, was up and about. It looked grim. The arcanoloth had several spells up, including mirror image. The elven fighter/thief had a vorpal sword, and managed to not only hit the right image but also scored a "20" with the sword. That right there saved the campaign.
The Son of PC Killer
Most DMs have that "one d20", the one they'll refuse to go to a game without. Mine happened to be a d20 that I believe came in my first D&D Basic Game. Burnt yellow, black numbering, rounded edges that rolled just right.
A few years ago that dice was nicknamed the "PC Killer" by my fraternity brother after I killed three quarters of the party in one fight (it was a good night for the evil barbarian to roll 20s). I had a bad tendency to toy with their fear, bringing the die out and watching their faces fall before a climactic battle.
I lost that d20 after a particularly late session, and my players spent the next week smirking, thinking they'd get an easier session next time. Just to play with their minds, I went out and bought an almost identical d20, and revealed it when we played that weekend. Most of them didn't believe it was the same dice, that I was just screwing around with them -- and they were right.
Then I started rolling 20s.
If you use a dice game in your own campaigns, here's your chance to share it. Send it in to: firstname.lastname@example.org, and we may feature it in a future edition of Dice Games!
About the Author
Mark A. Jindra has been a fan of Dungeons & Dragons for over 25 years. In 1998 he landed his dream job as a web developer for Wizards of the Coast and is currently the developer of the D&D website.