Five days left until we launch the Dragon Bridge Kickstarter! To get everyone hyped for it, I’m doing what I know how to do best: write game design articles. I’ll be writing one short article per day for the next five days, leading up to the launch, each about a specific Action Card in the game. There are sixteen in total, most of which are unique (some cards have two copies), and you cycle through them all many times throughout a match (which is nice in that it makes the game more uniform-random than almost any card game out there).

Today’s action card, for day five, is RUN, which features a Potato Wizard doing some running.

Probs a weird choice for “run”, given that potatoes have no legs

This is one of the most elemental, basic cards in the game: it simply lets you “Move 3”, which means, move your character up to 3 spaces in either direction. By the way, yes, moving 0 is allowed. It is a little bit strange, but it feels less bad, in playtesting, to let players occasionally move 0 (usually because they’re on a Gem Tile and want to stay there) rather than having players play cards that actually hurt them sometimes (because you only have 4 cards in hand, after all).

Moving might sound simple, but you have to remember that it’s complicated by a number of factors. The most important one is this: will the Dragon FLY soon, or not? If I don’t think the Dragon is going anywhere, then I probably want to run AWAY from him and see if I can win outright. But if I think the Dragon is rearin’ up to switch sides, then maybe I actually want to run closer to the Dragon (risky!). In addition to that, you also want to think about navigating to gem tiles (which power you up) and think about triggering player abilities (such as Bunny’s, which gives him free movement any time the players pass each other).

On the bottom of the card, we have the TILTING BRIDGE Dragon Power, and one orb. The single orb means that this card increases the total orbs in the “Nest” (basically a grid of played cards) by one. If there are seven orbs there (sometimes this number changes), the dragon switches sides. One orb is kind of the “baseline” or average amount of orbs per card (some have 1, some have 2, one has 3, and several have none), so not too much to think about there, usually.

The TILTING BRIDGE power gives all players +1 Bumping power when you’re bumping someone toward the dragon. Basically what this means is, while the Tilting Bridge is active, strategies involving ending the game via bumping the opponent toward the dragon are stronger. Believe it or not, you sometimes will want to bump the opponent away from the dragon (most often when you know the dragon will be switching sides soon).

Overall, this is one of the game’s simplest cards, and I used it today so that I could explain some other basic mechanisms which you’ll need to know about for the upcoming days.

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