This dice game is said to have originated in cities and villages that border mountainous regions harboring dragons.
Dragon Slayer is played with three 6-sided dice and chips, and is played for stakes. All players first roll a die; the player with the highest roll then rolls 3 dice. The resulting total sets the number of rounds it will take to slay the dragon. Starting with the player who set the number of rounds, each player in turn rolls three dice and continues to throw them until a double is thrown.
Each throw that does not contain a double counts as missing the dragon. A throw that contains a double counts as successful strike. A number of chips that equal the number of misses and the throw that contained the double are placed in front of the player. After all rounds are played, the player with the lowest total chips in front of them has slain the dragon the fastest and wins. The winner sets the next game's number of rounds.
Dragon Slayer is sometimes played as a drinking game amongst the heartiest of adventurers (and is said to be a favorite of dwarves). In this variant, known as Drunken Dragon, players drink a shot of liquor for every miss and a mug of ale for every strike, with the losers picking up the bar tab for the winner.
This game requires three 6-sided dice (3d6). This game is based on dice game known as Dice Golf.
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! This time, we share a few stories of punishing offending dice:
I have to punish dice that consistently roll badly, as an example to the other dice I own. What I do is throw the offending die in a large body of water... the bigger the body of water, the better. I was in the U.S. Navy for 6 years; as it stands now I have one d20 in the Atlantic Ocean, one d20 in the Indian Ocean, and two d20 in the Pacific Ocean (one near Oahu, HI, and one near Adak, AK), and one d20 in the Huron river in Michigan.
...the ultimate in bizarre rituals is this: When a player has rolled poorly for two nights in a row, they bring their dice home and "sacrifice a die to the dice gods" by shattering it with a hammer. The next game, their luck with the dice improves thanks to their appeasement of the dice gods.
--Biddy the Bard
So we start our game, and (my girlfriend's) first three rolls on that die were all natural 1's. So she threw the die out the window and onto the front lawn, where we picked it up several hours later on our way home.
She tried that same die again when we started our next Eberron game. And it still rolled badly. So to punish it, she put the die in our fish tank with our extremely large black moor goldfish (may the gods rest his tiny fishy soul). We left it in there for a month with the fish pushing stuff around the bottom; it seemed that every time we went by the tank, the die had a new number on it. We finally decided that the fish wanted to play and was actually rolling for something, and seemed to be rolling better than my lady ever did.
Well, after the fish passed away, we took the miscreant d20 out, and it started to roll great. Ever since then, we throw our dice into the fish tank for a month to punish them when they don't roll well.
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.