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D&D: Games Adventurers Play

3 Minute Read
Dec 9 2020

Need a game for your gaming tools proficiency? The next time your characters sit down between Dungeons and/or Dragons, here are some games to play.

Let’s talk about gaming–within the context of D&D that is. In fantasy literature, gaming and gambling are often a staple of ill-behaved adventurers who walk on the greyer side of morality. Whether you’re a puckish rogue with a heart of gold, a scoundrel who knows when to hold ’em, when to fold ’em, and when to walk away, or even just an ex-soldier, spending the night relaxing in an inn with some old buddies, drinking ale and playing a game of dice, there are a number of games themselves contained within another game; D&D. Today we’re here to talk about games within games that your characters might play.

Three Dragon Ante

This is a classic card game that happens to be released by Wizards of the Coast as a separate game that you can play, which feeds off of the skills your character might be proficient in as well. Even if you don’t have a set, there’s a quick and dirty way to run this game. Each round, players roll a d8. If they are proficient with a skill (chosen at random from a table or by the DM), they get to reroll or add a bonus to try and hit the highest number.

Dragon Dice

This game hails from the days when D&D was owned by TSR–though it’s now owned by a different company, the core concept is the same. It’s a dice-based wargame, where each die corresponds to a unit and you roll them each turn to find out how your units are doing. There’s a loose goal of trying to capture terrain while locked in combat with this enemy–but the important part here is you can play a seasoned wargamer in D&D and it’s basically canon.

Gambit Of Ord

This game was introduced by Critical Role and when I first came across it was struck by how simple but competitive it is:

Rules: Each card player rolls 1d8, keeping the die hidden. Each player has the chance to raise the bet, call the bet (meet it), or fold. It continues when all bets are equal.

Then each player rolls a 1d6, keeping it secret as well. A final chance to raise, call, or fold. Each remaining player rolls 1d4. They all reveal the 1d8, 1d6, and 1d4, adding them all together.

Winner takes 80% of the pot (the other 20% goes to the casino). Ties split the 80%. Sleight of Hand can give a reroll; Deception can force a fold.

Or perhaps you’ve invented your own game to play whenever doing that gambling downtime activity–or maybe your party members sit around to play Houses and Humans between epic quests. Let us know in the comments!


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