28 July 2013

Fury of Dracula session and variant house rules

My boardgame group played Fury of Dracula the other day, we had not played it for a while. I winded up playing Dracula and we had a really good time and the game was a blast up until the end when the game pretty much messed up a few things that got us all thinking.

Fury of Dracula has a few things that bothers us, and it seem to be quite universal when checking the FoD forums on BoardGameGeek;

Evasion: Dracula's ability to just magically teleport from one location on the board to any other location on the board has always been a bit of a "WTF", though this card is very rare so it doesn't happen much.

Hypnosis: This card seems ridiculously powerful, and there is another card just like this as well which I forget the name of at the moment. It forces Dracula to both reveal his current location which is extremely powerful on its own, but also forces him to tell his next destination.

In our session Hypnosis was mixed with another card which instantly allowed all Hunters to magically teleport to Draculas location one by one, somehow, after which he was quickly defeated as the first character wore him down and the remaining characters finished him off.

Playing as Dracula should be difficult, but in our session it was plain ridiculous how impotent Draculas event cards were as every single one was countered and neutralized by the Hunters. The game is a lot of fun, but it became obvious that we needed some house rules to nerf some of the powerful cards on both sides. And there are some great tips and house rules on BoardGameGeek which we will try in our next session, they all seem logical and thematic.

The following are written by Chris Wood over at BGG in this thread LINK

1. The two hunters involved in hypnosis must be in the same area (city or sea).
2. The hunter performing the hypnosis would be the one playing the card. The bitten hunter would be the subject.
3. The hunter who was hypnotized cannot move that turn. If they have already moved beforehand, then this rule is ignored.
4. Hypnosis effects are automatic; meaning no dice roll for their effectiveness.
5. A Dracula die is rolled if it is night. 1-3 the hypnotized hunter loses 2 hearts (due to the dark connection). 4-6 no harm.
6. Dracula's current location and encounter is revealed, along with any new vampires and their location. Dracula's future move is not revealed.

Dracula gets +1 to combat rolls at night. It's been working very well; it balances out the fact that minions get a +1 to combat rolls in Eastern Europe and Drac's night powers are moot if the die rolls are not good.

Sense of Emergency: Now gives you the ability to travel three spaces on roads. The card is merely discarded, no loss of hearts. Sense of emergency cards cannot be cumulative during the same turn. Also, the same ability in resolve is used identically.
This gives the hunters quite a lot of mobility without them turning into munchkins. During playtesting, it did end the game for us, where a hunter used this ability to stake Drac after we had cornered him. It was useful at the right moment, speeding towards the location to deliver the deathblow. Combined with fast horse it becomes more similar to the original ability, but still has respectable limits; it becomes more logical than the hunter's ability to teleport.

Feeding gives you back 2 blood

Dark Call, in addition to its regular powers, will cause all bitten hunters to lose 1 heart. Dark call is now night only. (always wondered how he could summon the forces of the night when it was day)
The dark call variant makes me think of LOTR, when Sauron called to the ring and it physically hurt Frodo. This power was especially scary when played in this way.

Rage: Now gives a +1 to the combat roll for: Bite, Strength, and Claws.
The restriction still applies (no escaping) and the card's previous power, discarding an item card, is only available at night.

Castle Dracula:
Because of the dark arcane forces associated with Castle Dracula, Dracula gets the following abilities, in addition to the old bonuses:
1. Dracula can use Dark Call and Wolf Form at Castle Dracula at no blood cost. (Day/Night restrictions still apply)
2. Dracula cannot Feed at Castle Dracula.

1. While in the hospital, bitten hunters are immune from ally powers and Dracula event cards that affect bitten hunters.
2. When resupplying at the hospital and drawing an item card, the hunter can alternatively elect to draw one of these items from the item discard pile: Cross, Holy Water, Heavenly Host

Evasion Event Card: When activated, in addition to the normal rules, the hunter's resolve increases by 1.

: Gives you back 1 heart if in a small city, two hearts in a large city or in the Hospital

Additionally there is another rule for Evasion which I think should be tested and which I hope we will try in our next session-  and that is: Evasion allows Dracula to jump to any location within 2 spaces of his current location. This will nerf the ability to magically move across the entire continent.

I think using the above rules will make the game better, and I'll report back after we have tried them out.


  1. Interesting... I'll watch how you get on. We've played the game a couple of times now, and so far its been a tough ask for Dracula to get a win...

    1. The game worked a lot better with the alternate rules listed above, -will post the results from our last session in a day or two. In short, it made the game a lot more interesting and tense now that Dracula just couldn't "reset" the entire game with his Evasion move and neither could the Hunters teleport across the entire board and zero in on Dracula’s location either.

  2. I've owned this game for several years but sadly only got it to the table once. In that single play we did have some similar complains as you've mentioned. I might have to throw these into the box so that next time we play we can try them out. Anything that makes the game more fun (because it's already a good game) certainly can't hurt!


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