Dragonmaster: A Fantasy Game of Mythical Cards and Magical Crystals [BOX SET]
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Dragonmaster is a trick-taking card game based on an older game called Coup d'etat. Each player is given a supply of plastic gems, which represent points. Each player will get to be the dealer for five different hands, with slightly different goals for each hand. After all cards have been dealt out, the dealer decides which hand best suits his or her current cards, and the other players are penalized points (in the form of crystals) for taking certain tricks or cards. For instance, if "first" or "last" is called, then a player is penalized for taking the first or last tricks. All players will get a chance to be dealer for five hands, but other players can steal this opportunity by taking all of the tricks during certain hands. At the end, the biggest pile of gems wins the game
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Dragonmaster is a fantasy card game from Milton Bradley, long out of print. The game is a trick taking 3 to 4 person card game consisting of four rounds, with five games per round, with plastic gems used as currency. The play style is not unlike an odd cross between spades and hearts. Fair warning - neither the plastic gems, nor the cards are highly durable. The gems will get chipped and cloudy over time - I use glass counters like those used in M:TG and other card games. The cards will begin to split over time as well, but very quickly, the art will begin to wear with normal use. Protect them with card sleeves.
The cards themselves look something like tarot cards, and are beautiful portraits in a soft style and color. The art is stunning, and the suits Dragonlords, Druids, Warriors and Nomads are all in their own themes. The cards however are *old* and can easily be damaged. I got large protective sleeves to stop white spots from rubbing into the surface from friction during normal play. The spots started to appear after only a couple of games on a wooden table.
Each round starts with a Dragonmaster, and the object of the game is to accumulate the most gems by taking tricks, or forcing other people to take tricks, depending on which game is being played. The Dragonmaster controls the course of the game, but it doesn't guarantee he or she will win the game they have chosen.
There are three play levels: Basic, Advanced and Expert. In expert games, other players can wrest control of a round from the current Dragonmaster by running a Power Play, and potentially gaining more gems.
Basic is great for the whole family to play, but it will take teens and up to fully realize the fun of playing expert and advanced modes, which can get fairly competitive.