Aladdin's Dragon: Rules

Designed by Richard Breese

Set aside your doubts unbelievers, and listen to this strange tale from ancient and long forgotten times. In those days, heroes were lured to the lands of Persia and Arabia by tales of bountiful treasure, powerful magic, and beautiful princesses The treasure was found not lying about, but in dangerous caves guarded by hungry dragons Those strong enough to gather the dragons' treasures had to compete among themselves for privileges that would smooth their way to the Caliph's palace. On reaching the palace, the heroes found their way blocked by dark and powerful guards. Here, they could pass the guards only with the right influence or, failing that, generous bribes. within the palace walls, the heroes bartered their hard-won treasures for magical artifacts in a contest to see who could acquire the most artifacts and gain the notice of the Caliph.

  1 board
  5 screens
  1 bag of treasures (crowns, pearls, gemstones, trophies, and gold bars)
    •   5 large of each kind worth 3
    • 14 small of each kind worth 1
40 tokens in 5 colors
10 palace guards
  1 camel
30 artifacts
45 treasure cards
21 magic spell cards
  1 rule summary sheet
  1 rule booklet

The board has 3 levels. Along the bottom are the 5 dragon caves where players can find treasures. In the center is the city where players can add to their abilities by visiting the places there. At the top is the Caliph's palace, with the palace guard and 5 rooms, where players can buy artifacts.

Dragon caves
There are 5 dragon caves at the bottom of the board, one for each of the 5 kinds (colors) of dragons and their treasures. The players place their tokens here to take the treasures the dragons have left behind.

There are 5 different treasures: red crowns, white pearls (mother of pearl shape), blue gemstones, black trophies, and gold bars. The large treasures are worth 3 small treasures. The players use these treasures to buy the artifacts in the Caliph's palace.

Treasury (bank)
Treasures are the money in the game and are kept in a pile next to the board called the treasury (bank). The dragon caves are filled from the treasury and players pay treasure to the treasury when buying artifacts. Also, players can change 1 large treasure for 3 small treasures or 3 small treasures for 1 large treasure as long as all four treasures involved are the same color.

The city has 4 spaces: Aladdin's Tent, the Djinn's House, the Market and the Caravanserai (from the right to the left).

Aladdin's Tent
Two players can get magic spell cards in the magic version.

The Djinn's House
A player can get the ability to use two artifacts in a round in the magic version.

The Market
A player can exchange any 1 small treasure from his hoard for any 3 small treasures from the treasury.

The Caravanserai
A player can choose a new starting player immediately.

Caliph's Palace
The Caliph's palace has 6 spaces across the top of the board: the palace guard and 5 palace rooms.

Palace guard
The palace guard protects the entrance to the palace. The strength of the palace guard changes from round to round and can range from a low of 1 to a high of 10. Players place tokens here to equal or exceed the strength of the palace guard if they want to enter one or more of the palace rooms to buy the artifacts that are offered there.

Palace rooms
There are 5 rooms in the palace. These rooms contain the artifacts players buy from the Caliph with their treasures. In a 3 player game, only the first 3 rooms are used, in a 4 player games, only the first 4 rooms are used, and in a 5 player game, all 5 rooms are used. One artifact is available for sale in each room each round. Thus, players compete, using their tokens, for the right to buy the artifact.

The players' goal is to collect artifacts. Artifacts are objects of magical power. There are 5 of each of the 6 different artifacts: Aladdin's Lamp, Counterspell, Double, Flying Carpet, Key, and Scroll. In the basic game, players cannot use the magical powers of the artifacts. These can be used in the magic version.

Before the first game, carefully remove all tokens, palace guards, artifacts, and the camel from their frames. Place the camel in its plastic stand.

Board: Place the board in the middle of the table.
Screens and tokens: Each player chooses a color and takes the screen and 8 tokens of that color. He places the 8 tokens face up (number side) behind the screen. Each set of tokens has the numbers 1,2, and 4-9. The 3 is missing. The number indicates the strength of the token.
Palace guard tokens: Shuffle the 10 gray palace guard tokens (slightly smaller than the player tokens) face down and place them face down near the upper left corner of the board.
Treasures: Place the treasures next to the lower left corner of the board (as shown in the rule summary) in a pile. This is the treasury (bank). Each player takes 3 small treasures of any kind (color) and places them behind his screen. Note: A player's color is not related to the treasure colors.
Camel: The youngest player takes the camel which he places in front of his screen for all to see. The player with the camel is the starting player. A player may choose a new starting player and give him the camel by visiting the Cavaranserai in the city.
Artifacts: Shuffle the artifacts face down and stack them, 6 per stack, on the square spaces above the palace rooms. With 3 players, use only 18 artifacts and 3 rooms, with 4 players use 24 artifacts and 4 rooms, and with 5 players, use all 30 artifacts and all 5 rooms.

Treasure cards: The game has three sets of treasure cards, one set each for 3, 4, and 5 player games. Each set has 15 cards. The cards for the 3 player game all have 3 people pictured on the backs of the cards, the cards for the 4 player game have 4 people, and the cards for the 5 player game have 5 people. The starting player takes the set for the game being played, shuffles it thoroughly, and places it face down next to the board as shown on the rule summary sheet. Return the unused treasure cards to the box. The treasure cards indicate which treasures are available in the dragon caves on each round.

Magic spell cards: Return the magic spell cards to the box as they are used only in the magic version.

The owner of the game 'is the vizier. At the beginning of each round, he does the following:
• He turns over the topmost treasure card and moves the treasures indicated on the card into the dragon caves from the treasury.
• He shuffles the 10 palace guards face down and places one of them face down in the palace guard space without looking at it.

Playing the game
The game is played in several rounds. Each round has two parts: placing tokens and tallying token strength.

Placing tokens
in the first part, players place their tokens face down on the spaces on the board, one at a time, in clockwise order, starting with the starting player. A player may place as many tokens in a space as he wants, but may place no more than 5 in each palace room and may place none in dragon caves without treasures, Aladdin's Tent, and the Djinn's House. A player may look at his own face down tokens to remind himself of their values at any time.

Tallying token strength
in the second part, the vizier turns over all the tokens in each space, one space at a time, starting in the lower left corner of the board, skipping any spaces which have no tokens. Only the tokens in the space being tallied are turned over. Tokens in spaces already tallied remain face up and those in spaces not yet tallied remain face down. At the end of the round, after all spaces have been tallied, the players remove their tokens to the areas behind their screens.

When tallying tokens in a space, each player sums the values of all his tokens in the space to get his token strength for the space. When players have the same token strength in a space, the ties are broken in player sequence order. Player sequence order starts with the starting player and continues clockwise around the table. When the token points in a space have been tallied, the vizier moves on to the next space in the order shown on the rule summary sheet.

The spaces in each area of the board are tallied differently as described below.

Dragon caves
In the dragon caves, each cave may have treasures on 0-4 shelves, but never more than 1 less than the number of players. The number of players who may earn treasures is the number of shelves with treasures. Thus, if a cave has treasures on 3 shelves, 3 players may get treasure. The strongest player in the cave takes the treasure from the top shelf, the next strongest player takes the treasure from the second shelf and so on.

In the city, only the strongest player can earn the abilities offered in the Market (exchanging 1 small treasure for 3) and the Caravanserai (become the starting player). Other players get nothing.

Palace Guard
The first space tallied in the palace is the palace guard. When the palace guard space is tallied, the vizier turns over the palace guard token to show the strength of the palace guard. He then turns over the players' tokens. To enter the palace, a player's token strength in the palace guard space must equal or exceed the strength of the palace guard.

If a player's token strength is less than the strength of the palace guard, he may still enter the palace by bribing the palace guard an amount of treasures equal to the difference between the palace guard's strength and his token strength. He may use any combination of treasures that equal the difference.

Players do not compete for entry to the palace. All players may enter the palace if they placed tokens and are strong enough or bribe the guard. If a player has no tokens in the palace guard space, he cannot enter the palace.

In the example on the rule summary sheet, the palace guard has a strength of 8. Green and blue may both enter the palace as they both played their 9 tokens. Yellow (with a 6) must bribe the palaceguard with 2 treasures and red (with a 7) must bribe the palace guard with 1 treasure to enter the palace.

If a player does not have tokens in the palace guard space or does not have sufficient token strength and does not bribe the guard the difference, he must remove all tokens he placed in the palace rooms to the area behind his screen. He cannot buy artifacts this round.

Palace Rooms
The palace rooms are tallied next, left to right. Only one artifact is available in each room. The strongest player has the first chance to buy the artifact. To buy the artifact, the player must pay as many treasures as he has token points, use as many kinds of treasures as he has tokens, and must match the numbers of treasures to the number on the tokens. If a player played his 7 and 1 tokens, he must pay 7 treasures of one kind and 1 of a different kind. He cannot pay 8 of one kind.

If the strongest player cannot or chooses not to pay treasures in the combination required, the player with the second most token points in the room gets a chance and so on until the artifact is bought. If no player pays the required treasures, the artifact remains unsold and is the token available for purchase next round from this room.

Game end and winning
The game ends immediately when the last artifact is bought. The players count their artifacts. The player with the most artifacts is the winner.

Magic version
The magic version adds the magic power of the artifacts and the magic spell cards to the game. Use the rules for the basic game with the following changes:

Preparation: Sort the artifacts by type and keep one artifact of each type for each player in the game. Return the extra artifacts to the box. Each player takes 1 Aladdin's Lamp. Shuffle the remaining artifacts face down and stack them in groups of 5 face down on the spaces provided above the palace rooms. As in the basic version, use the same number of rooms as players. Shuffle the magic spell cards and place them face down near Aladdin's Tent.

Vizier: At the beginning of each round, the vizier turns the topmost artifact face up above each room, unless there is already a face up artifact for that room.

Artifacts: Each player may invoke the power of one of his artifacts each round.

City: Aladdin's Tent and the Djinn's House become available to visit.

Aladdin's Tent - the strongest player draws the two topmost magic spell cards, selects one, and gives the other to the second strongest player. Both put their cards behind their screens. If there is not a second player, the player discards the other card.

The Djinn's House - The strongest player can use the power of two artifacts this round.

Game end and winning: Ties are broken by the scroll artifacts.

A player invokes the power of an artifact by placing it in front of his screen. These powers are described on the backs of the players' screens and below:

Aladdin's Lamp
The player may play his magic spell cards in this round. The player may play as many magic spell cards as he wants in the round.

When a player plays a magic spell card, another player can play the Counterspell to negate the effects of the magic spell. The magic spell has no effect and is discarded.

The player chooses one of his face-up tokens to have a double. In this space, the player has now 2 tokens with the value of the one that was doubled.

Flying Carpet
The player places the Flying Carpet in any space on the board as the space is tallied (instead of in front of his screen). The Flying Carpet counts as token of value 3 for that player in the space.

This allows a player to enter the palace without playing tokens in the palace guard space, although he may do so.

The scroll is used at the end of the game to break a tie among players collecting the most artifacts. The player who has the most Scrolls amongst those tied for most artifacts, breaks the tie and wins the game.

At the end of the round, players return the artifacts they invoked to the area behind their screens.

Magic spell cards
By invoking the power of the Aladdin's Lamp artifact, a player may play any number of magic spell cards in a round. The following guidelines apply to all magic spell cards:
• Each card may be played at any time.
• The illustrations on the cards are only examples; the text on the cards and the detailed rules here define the effects of the cards.
• A card may not be used to move a token to a space that has already been tallied.
• If a player cannot fulfill the demand of a card completely, he must do as much as he can.
• Cards may be used and can affect all spaces on the board except the palace guard space.
• If 2 or more players want to play a card at the same time, use the normal player sequence to determine the order the cards take affect. First, the starting player, and then the other players in clockwise order around the table.

example: Anna plays Lunar Eclipse on the Djinn's House, which is being tallied. The card causes all odd tokens to be removed from the space. In order to save his token, Sam plays Second Chance. If Anna sits earlier in player sequence than Sam, his token must be removed before he can save it. Otherwise, Sam can move his token before Anna's card removes it. Anna could play both cards to first move one of her tokens and then remove other players' tokens.

The magic spell cards are described below in alphabetical order:

2nd chance -
Move a face up or face down token to another space. Place it in the new space, face up or face down, as it was.

Abracadabra -
When you buy an artifact, search the entire stack for that room and take any artifact you want, including, of course, the face-up artifact.

And the last will be the first -
The card effects the space being tallied and all spaces tallied after it in this round. It has no effect on spaces already tallied. Of course, it has no effect on the palace guard space.

Charity -
Take any 3 small treasures or a single large treasure (worth 3) from the bank and put them behind your screen.

City tax -
All other players, in player order sequence, pay any 2 treasures for each token they have in the city. If a player does not pay for a token, he must remove it immediately from the space. The player considers each token separately, and pays the tax or removes the token.

Each player decides, in player sequence order, which treasures to return. If a player does not have 5 treasures, he must set aside his screen to show all his treasures and then return them all (even if he actually has more than 5) to the bank. The player, who plays the card, must also return 5 treasures.

Dragon leaves
Choose a dragon cave with no treasures. Put 4 treasures on the top shelf and 2 treasures on the second (from the treasury). Players may now place tokens in this dragon cave. If the card is played after all tokens have been placed, players may Place their Flying Carpet artifacts there.

Dragon's return
Play this card during the tallying part of the round. Move all treasures from the dragon cave named to the treasury.

Eye for an eye
The removed tokens may be either face up or face down, but may not come from the palace guard space.

Lunar eclipse
The card is played on any space with face up tokens (usually on the space being tallied). All tokens with odd numbers are returned to their owners, including the Flying Carpet artifact.

Mage's apprentice
Take the face up artifact above any palace room. Replace it with any artifact from behind your screen (not used in this turn).

Search through the face down artifacts in any palace room (you need not have a token there) for the artifact of your choice. Place it face up on top of that stack and place the previous face up artifact face down under that stack.

Parasite -
The artifact used must be one that an opponent has already used this round. Using an artifact's power in this way does not count as using an artifact. The card cannot be used to copy the ability of the scroll.

Sacrifice -
Each player decides, in player sequence order, which treasures to return. If a player does not have 7 treasures, he must set aside his screen to show all his treasures and then return them all (even if he actually has more than 7) to the bank. The player, who plays the card, must also return 7 treasures.

Smuggler -
This card may only be played if one or more city spaces have no tokens after all tokens have been played. It is played after the last dragon cave is tallied. The player who plays this card is considered to be the strongest in the empty city spaces. If another player plays the Flying Carpet artifact into one of the empty city spaces, the strongest player is determined by player sequence order. If the Caravanserai space is empty, the player may, but need not take the camel.

Solar eclipse -
The card is played on any space with face up tokens (usually on the space being tallied). All tokens with even numbers are returned to their owners.

Spy -
From the moment this card is played, all other players must play their tokens face up instead of face down. Thus, it is often best to play it at the beginning of the round.

Sultan's tax -
All other players, in player order sequence, pay 1 treasure for each token they have in the palace rooms (the palace guard space does not count). If a player does not pay for all tokens, he must remove all tokens immediately from the rooms.

Once this card has been played on a space, no more tokens may be placed there in this round. Also, the Flying Carpet artifact may not be placed there.

The token must be moved to a space that has not yet been tallied. The player playing the card chooses which treasures to pay.

The traded treasures must have the same value.


For example, both Anna, the starting player, and David have token strengths of 7 in the Market. As they are tied, Anna will win and have the ability to trade 1 treasure for 3 this round. As she is winning she has no need to use artifacts or magic spell cards to enhance her position. David wants badly to trade and uses his Flying Carpet artifact to add 3 token points to his strength, giving him the edge in the space. Anna, still wanting the trade, uses her Flying Carpet artifact to bring their strengths back into a tie and her into the strongest position. David has nothing else to play and Anna gets the 1 for 3 trade.


For their help in testing and their many suggestions, the author and publisher want to Ludwig Berger, Dawn, Jonathan, Juliet, Mark and Stuart Breese, Keywood Cheves, Gunthart von Chiari, Barbara Dauenhauer, Karl-Heinz Schmiel, Mike Siggins, Clemens Wildemann, and Schorsch, whose surname always escapes us, and naturally, quite particularly, Dieter Hornung for his untiring ability to take the best out of the game.

© 2000 Hans im Glück Verlags-GmbH

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