Purple Dragon Dice

Purple Dragon Dice, sometimes called Dragonslayers or Chase the Dragon, is a common tavern dice game that originated in Cormyr, allegedly in the camps of the Purple Dragons, the mighty army of Cormyr, from which it draws its name. The game is typically played with 5 to 10 players and a 2 to 10 silver piece buy-in.

Purple Dragon Dice may or may not be related to the Dwarven game Rockslide.


In Purple Dragon Dice, each player receives four six-sided dice, painted or cut with one to six dots called "pips." The game lasts a number of rounds (called "hands") equal to one less than the number of players. In each hand, every player rolls his four dice and sums them, dropping the lowest-valued die.

Dustin rolls 4a.gif 1a.gif 3a.gif 6a.gif and drops 1a.gif, the lowest die, leaving 6a.gif 4a.gif 3a.gif. The value of the remaining faces yields 13 for the hand.

The hand values of each player are then compared. The lowest-scoring player is then eliminated. Play continues until only one player remains and claims the pot.

In the case of a tie between the two lowest players, the higher dropped die is used as a tie-breaker. If these values are tied (this is called a "Sleeping Dragon"), neither player is eliminated and another round is played.

The only other special hand is the "Purple Dragon," which consists of 6a.gif 6a.gif 6a.gif 6a.gif. Rather than winning the round, the Purple Dragon wins the game and takes the pot, regardless of the number of remaining players. If two players both roll a Purple Dragon on the same turn (usually as a result of cheating, this is very unlikely) it is called a "War Wizard" and all other players are eliminated and play continues.


These are the possible hands in Purple Dragon Dice, including the frequency of each hand and the odds of rolling it.

Score Name Frequency Percentage
3 Kobold 1a.gif 1a.gif 1a.gif 1a.gif 0.077%
4 Goblin 4 0.309%
5 Hobgoblin 10 0.772%
6 Bugbear 21 1.620%
7 Orc 38 2.932%
8 Ogre 62 4.784%
9 Troll 91 7.022%
10 Fighter 122 9.414%
11 Rogue 148 11.420%
12 Cleric 167 12.886%
13 Wizard 172 13.272%
14 White Dragon 160 12.346%
15 Black Dragon 131 10.108%
16 Green Dragon 94 7.253%
17 Blue Dragon 54 4.167%
18 Red Dragon 20 1.543%
* Purple Dragon 6a.gif 6a.gif 6a.gif 6a.gif 0.077%


Cheating in Purple Dragon Dice is actually fairly common among those trained in the Bluff or Thievery skill. In each round in which a player wishes to cheat, he makes a Bluff or Thievery check, which must exceed the Passive Insight or Passive Perception (respectively) of every other player. If he is successful, he rolls 5d6 and drops the lowest two. If he is unsuccessful, he rolls 3d6 and drops none. If he fails to beat a player's Insight or Perception by 5 or more, he is caught cheating and is usually stabbed to death.

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