Dubious Alliance is the perfect game to introduce noobs into RPGs! In my blog about DunDraCon, I mentioned that I immediately jumped into an open game and thus my winging-it-weekend was started. The game that I jumped into happened to be Dubious Alliance! It was an awesome way to really get into my first con and (later that day) my first D&D session ever. It drove my hunger for more RPGs! So, if you want to get your friends into D&D or MonsterHeart or whatever- or even just TEST them to see if they’ll fare well, play some DA with them first. It’s also a good pick-up game if you don’t have enough time to play a full on Role-Playing Game.
This card-based game calls for cooperation but leaves room for deception and brutal sabotage! Not too much, though, because if one person dies, everyone loses- definitely not something to be bumcakes about as it allows for some good push-and-pull throughout game play. You get assigned a player card which gives you survival points and a goal for prestige points. Everyone starts with as many cards as there are players (up to 5). At the beginning of a round, you’re given the opportunity to trade. Everyone puts a card face down and then can either bluff, be honest or outright lie about what they have. That’s where the shade comes in! There’s a trade tracker to keep see whether someone has just traded, hasn’t traded or if they MUST trade- at which point they can be forced to trade. You have to be careful with who you’re trading with because if you kill someone with the object, trap or monster you’re giving, then EVERYONE loses.
So, don’t be too much of a jerk. It’s forced cooperation paired with some shiestiness! Designer, Brandon Raasch, compared the energy to Thanksgiving saying, “People kind of pretend to get along, but secretly they’re all mad at Grandpa and two of them are trying to leave anyway. There’s a whole secret dialogue going on in the background.” So true. You try to be good to everyone, but really you’re conniving. The designer went on to say, “It’s a bit of a hybrid because it’s clearly a social bluffing game but has an element of a competitive card game.” The idea of the game was born when Brandon met A Band of Orcs. They shared a love of gaming and thought it would be cool to have a game that echoed old pen-and-paper style RPGs that also featured the band. For the next year, Brandon worked on Dubious Alliance and has gotten to playtest it at hella cons- perfecting the orc mentality.
You and your orc buds are just rampaging around on adventures- finding treasures and falling in traps and fighting monsters- BUT ALL CONTAINED IN 40 MINUTES OR LESS! Shablah! This is another great party game, too, because it really generates conversation. Every time I’ve played (always with strangers), people joked around easily. So, it’s a good ice breaker! To make it even better, though, Brandon himself gave me some legit drinking rules: TAKE one drink every time you lose survival points or GIVE one drink whenever you gain prestige points.
ADVANCED DRINKING GAME VARIATION:
Take 1 drink for EACH survival point lost
Give 1 drink for EACH prestige point gained
I feel like any dude or testosterone-driven person, gamer or not, would be down to play this monster drinking game. I am SUPER excited to try it out at my next shindig. I’ve recently befriended a bunch of frat boys and I am convinced they’ll eat this up. Dubious Alliance- joining geeks and bros everywhere!
Brandon is totally independent and I respect his DIY attitude. He’s created this awesome idea and there’s just so much I love about Dubious Alliance. It really transcends group lines which you might not assume when you see an Orc theme, but it’s easy to pick up and ridiculously fun with the little flourishes like the tusks up sign. It’s well-crafted and fine tuned- he thought of everything! Like the trade tracker and he’s now including a PDF of a sheet to keep score. The first time we played, I think we used 20 sided die to track scores. I like both ways, though.
The Dubious Alliance Kickstarter funded in its first 12 hours, but they have some awesome stretch goals that add extra cards to the base pack- 9 have been added so far! Backers can expect their DA packs by November. I’m already antsy! This is going to be a rad addition to game nights and I’m sooo excited that I’ll be one of the first to get my paws on it. *maniacal laughter* Just over 2 weeks left until the kickstarter ends! You can get a VANITY card (you know I’m so into that) that allows you to have your photo on a player card with your name and character type. Whhaaattt?! Yes. It’s amazing. Get in on it, bro!
I’ll be posting the whole transcript of the interview with Brandon Raasch soon. Play on, playas, but stay tuned!
- This game is awesome for anyone.
- Probably one of the best drinking games bc you add a little bit of roleplay with booze but it’s still manly
- Drinking Game Rules: TAKE 1 drink when you lose survival points, GIVE 1 drink when you gain prestige points
- ADVANCED Drinking Game Rules: Take 1 drink for EACH survival point lost, Give 1 drink for EACH prestige point gained
- Have testosterone, will like
- Easy to understand
- Quick! 40 mins or less!
- There’s a Kickstarter!
- They’ll be at Polycon, so try it yourself if you’re there!