The Rules

Cover Image

Each player chooses a character piece and places him or her on the dragon's treasure in the place marked START. If there is an argument about who gets to play which character, the youngest player always gets to choose first. Once the characters are placed, each player is dealt 8 cards face down in a pile and may not look at them. From the remaining cards, one card for each player is placed face down next to the treasure square on the board (e.g. 4 cards if 4 players).

Playing the Game
The youngest player goes first and play proceeds clockwise. On your turn, you first decide whether or not you want to use one of your cards. You only have 8 cards for the entire game and must decide when you want to spend them. If you decide to use a card, flip over the top one and place it in front of you. There are two types of cards: "+ to move" and "+ to evade Monster". If you get a "+ to move" card, you roll a 6-sided die and add the number on the card; then move that many squares. If you get a "+ to evade Monster" card, you roll a 6 -sided die to move and leave this card in front of you until you reach a monster square. Movement cards are discarded at the end of the turn. Monster cards are kept in front of you until you reach a monster square and then are discarded at the end of that turn. If you choose not to use a card, just roll a 6-sided die and move the number of squares shown on the die.

There are a few things that can happen during your move: you can end your turn on the same square as another player, you can reach a monster square in the middle of your move, you can finish your move on a monster square, or you can move without reaching a monster.

If you finish your turn on the same space as another player, and it is not a monster space, and if you do not have a card in front of you (cards are discarded after checking to see if you land on another character's square), you may draw one of that player's cards and place it in front of you. (Hey, if you see a backpack full of stuff in front of you, reach in and see what happens!)

If you reach a monster space in the middle of your move, you must stop and then try to out-roll the number listed on that space using an 8-sided die. For example, John rolls a 4 and moves 2 squares, but then reaches a monster space that has a 5 listed. John stops and rolls an 8-sided die in an attempt to evade the monster. If he rolls a 5 or higher, he continues his move and advances his piece 2 more spaces. If John rolls less than a 5, he stops at that square and his turn ends. If John had a "+ to evade Monster" card, he would add that number to his 8-sided die roll and then compare it to the monster's number. The card would then be discarded at the end of the turn.

The third possibility is to finish your move exactly on a monster space. When this happens, you try to evade the monster just as before however, if you succeed, you get to roll the movement die again and may continue to use a card that was played this turn (you may not draw a new card, however). For example, John again rolls a 4 for his movement, but this time lands on the monster space at the end of the move. He sees that the monster takes a 3 or better to evade. He rolls the 8-sided die and gets a 5, allowing him to evade the creature and proceed with another move. John then rolls the 6-sided die again and makes his bonus move. If John had a "+ to move" card out, he would again add this to his roll. If John had a "+ to evade Monster" card displayed, he would be able to use it against any other monsters encountered during that turn. After this additional roll (assuming he doesn't finish his move again on a monster space) he discards any card he has face up and ends his turn.

Lastly, if you move your character, reach no monsters and land in an open square, you discard any "+ to move" cards and end your turn. Any "+ to evade Monster" card is kept in front of you, since you didn't reach a monster square to use it.

Special Rooms and Monsters
The way upward includes several special rooms that require certain dice rolls or decisions in order to leave the room. All "+ to evade Monster" cards are also bonuses to 8-sided die rolls in the special rooms. Landing on a room space at the end of your movement is treated the same as landing on a monster square at the end of movement.

Flaming Fireball of Doom
Rovert's fiery dragon breath will chase the characters all the way to the exit, threatening to overtake and consume them. However, the hirelings get a 4-turn head start while Rovert takes and holds his breath before blasting out the flaming fireball. To begin, Place the FFD on the number 1 fireball square at the bottom edge of the board

After every round of play (a round is when everyone has moved once), advance the FFD to the next fireball space. After the fourth round, the fireball enters the start area. After that, at the end of each round one of the players rolls a 6-sided die and moves the FFD that many spaces ahead.

The FFD does not stop for monsters. It always takes the route marked by the fireball symbols, and once it goes completely around a split, the other path is considered full of fire also. If a roll indicates that the FFD would catch or pass a hireling, that player may discard one item card to stay one square ahead of the FFD, wherever it ends that round. If a player does not have any items left when the FFD catches him, then that character is removed from the game. If all players are burned to a crisp, then the Dragon wins.

If you feel that your young Hirelings will have a hard time with the Dragon alone winning the game feel free to not play with the Flaming Fireball of Doom.

Winning the Game
The first player out of the Dungeon is the winner. However, any child who makes it out of the dungeon before her mom or dad (even if the child comes in third) could be considered a winner.