How to Play



In the depths of an ancient lair, undisturbed for centuries, the Dragon slumbers. If the Dragon wakes, it could be the end of our world as we know it. As legendary heroes, you have been sent on a quest to enter the lair and slay the Dragon before it wakes. But beware! Your party of heroes has been infiltrated by cultists who only wish to unleash destruction and death on the world. Will you be a hero or a cultist? Will the heroes find the relics they need to slay Dragon? Will the cultists outmaneuver the heroes with lies and deception and wake the Dragon?

Enter the lair and discover for yourself, but remember…

Don't Wake the Dragon


Each player will be given a secret Role Card. This determines their role as either Hero or Cultist. Heroes and Cultists have different objectives to complete to win the game.


Heroes win by finding all of the hidden Relic Cards. As soon as the last Relic Card is found, the Heroes slay the Dragon and win the game.


Cultists win by finding the Dragon Card. They will lie, deceive, and do everything in their power to hinder the heroes and wake the Dragon.

If neither the Relic Cards or the Dragon Card are found by the end of the game, the Dragon wakes and the cultists win.


Each game of Dragonwake includes Artifact, Event, and Power Cards which change the way you play the game.  We recommend playing the basic version of the game first so you can learn the basics.

First, set up two decks of cards, Role Cards and Search Cards, using the chart below:


Note: The Role Card sets above are only recommendations. Feel free to customize your pool of role cards and change the balance of the game!

Shuffle together the Role Cards and deal one to each player. Players should keep these cards secret.


Shuffle the Search Cards and deal five cards to each player. Each player should memorize their Search Cards before shuffling them and placing them facedown in a row.


Once every player has five Search Cards and a secret Role Card set aside, spin the Runestone. Whoever is chosen by the Runestone will be the first Runebearer.

How to Play

Beginning with the Runebearer and going clockwise, give each player an opportunity to declare their Search Cards. This is their chance to let other players know what cards they might find in their hand of facedown Search Cards. They are allowed to lie, conceal information, or stay silent.

Next, the Runebearer must point to another player’s Search Card using the Runestone. As soon as the Runebearer lets go of the Runestone, the card it is pointing to is revealed. Flip the Search Card faceup and place it in the center of the play area where everyone can see it. The Runebearer is never allowed to reveal one of their own cards.


The player whose card was revealed takes the Runestone and becomes the new Runebearer. They pick the next Search Card to be revealed.

Continue revealing Search Cards and passing the Runestone until the number of Search Cards revealed equals the number of players. At this point, the round ends. The final player to receive the Runestone will be the first Runebearer of the following round.


Gather the revealed Search Cards and set them aside. Gather all unrevealed Search Cards and shuffle them into a deck. Deal an equal number of Search Cards to each player. Each player should receive one less Search Card than they received the previous round.

Begin the second round. Give each player an opportunity to declare what Search Cards their hands may or may not contain, let the Runebearer lead the search until the number of new cards revealed matches the number of players, then set aside the revealed cards and shuffle and deal the remaining cards.

Repeat this process to begin playing the next round and continue to do so until the game ends. There are three ways a game can end:


All of the Relic Cards are found (one for each player).

Heroes Win

The Dragon Card is found.

Cultists Win

The fourth round ends without all of the relics or Dragon being found.

Cultists Win

Advanced Setup

Each game of Dragonwake includes three decks of optional cards to shake up the gameplay. Artifacts replace Gold Cards to cause unexpected occurrences when revealing Search Cards. Events affect all players for an entire round. Power Cards allow players to control the game in powerful ways. Add Artifacts, Events, and Powers in any combination that makes the game funnest for you.


Artifacts replace some of the Dragon’s gold hoards with mystical items that can alter the game. To play with Artifacts, simply replace the Gold Cards in your deck of Search Cards with an equal number of Artifact Cards. When an Artifact is revealed during gameplay, follow the instructions on the card. Artifacts always affect the player who chose to reveal the card.


Events are wild occurrences that affect an entire round of gameplay. Randomly select an Event Card at the beginning of each round before the Search Cards are dealt. Follow the instructions on the card to see how the round will be affected. Do not draw an Event Card on the fourth round.


At the beginning of the game, give each player one or more Power Cards to superpower your gameplay. Keep your Power Cards hidden until the perfect moment to activate them and gain an advantage. Activate a Power Card by flipping it into a faceup position. It remains faceup to show it has already been used.


If the Runebearer has already let go of the Runestone, the Search Card is revealed first and then the power can be used. If it is difficult to tell what happened first or the Runebearer has not let go of the Runestone, the power is to be used first.

Power Cards trigger in the order they were activated (flipped face up). If it is too difficult to tell which card was activated first, spin the Runestone. Whoever the Runestone points toward uses their power first.

If there’s a card you don’t like playing with, feel free to leave it out. We opted to provide more cards rather than less and give players the opportunity to choose how to balance and set up their games.

Yes. If you want to guarantee a longer game, play so that a certain number of cards need to be revealed before the Dragon ends the game. If the Dragon is revealed before that number of cards is reached, treat it as a Gold Card and replace a Gold Card with the Dragon card when the Search Cards are shuffled at the end of the round.

No. Any effects caused by the artifact are undone along with the card reveal.


Yeah. You're technically using the power on another player (even though it directly affects you), so it's okay.


Yes, but the facedown card you use the Runestone to reveal cannot be one of your own Search Cards.

Yes, Eclipse only affects the beginning of the round when players normally look through their Search Cards.

No. Cards removed from play by the Gluttony event cannot be revealed, targeted, or affected by any means.

Sorry you have to deal with that, pal. If that's the case, after each player has been dealt their Search Cards and has had the chance to memorize them, have each player shuffle the Search Cards of the player to the right.

So we can learn to pick ourselves up again.

If you have any questions about the game that aren't answered here, feel free to send us an email at