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"Using your dowsing crystal, you must overcome the elements, uncover ancient mysteries, avoid the attentions of a tyrannical ruler and save the last of the dragon eggs."


Dragon Dowser is a solo journaling RPG using the Carta SRD by Peach Garden Games.

'The Carta SRD is a great toolkit for setting up games of exploration. It is played with a deck of cards and this will allow you to have a different game every single time you play - which is just awesome!' - WuDeRPG via Twitter


'Looks immediately intriguing! The art! the name! The whole thing!' - Nemo via discord

You play a mysterious character known as a 'Dowser'. Your aim is to locate abandoned dragon eggs and return them to your Sanctuary. If you succeed before expending your resources, the hatchling you rescue will be reared to change the kingdom forever! 

Dowser with hatchlings

Throughout this task, you will be tested in four distinct ways, each associated with a different playing card suit.

♥️ Community: Associated with culture and people.
♣️ Conflict: Associated with war and intolerance.
♦️ Mystery: Associated with exploration and secrets.
♠️ Survival: Associated with landscape and weather.

Dowser taking shelter

'Rich has been an invaluable member of the team from WOAD's inception. Generating fresh ideas for gameplay, establishing fundamental mechanics and consulting throughout development.' - Art of Arklin

The Carta system will have you traversing a spread of 24 playing cards (6x4 grid) answering journaling prompts as you go. Your aim is to find a preselected dragon egg (Ace) and return it safely to your Sanctuary (Joker). Journaling has you answering a series of questions to form a picture of your experiences.

You begin the game with 8 resource tokens, which can be increased or expended depending on the cards you reveal. The lower the number on the playing card, the higher the drain on your resources. Revealing a 2 of any suit is calamitous, whilst a King is the ultimate boon!

Protected by the King

The four Aces represent different eggs, but also distinct narrative conclusions. If you choose the Ace of ❤️s for example, with adulthood, your dragon will overthrow the ruler with help from the community. However, if it's the Ace of ♠️s, they'll use the environment to their advantage. 

If you reveal an egg not chosen from the start, it will turn up broken. By offering a blessing and burying the shell fragments, you will gain resources.

Dragon eggs

Two Sanctuary cards are placed on the outside of the grid. You can begin from and return to either of these as you play. Once your rescued egg is taken to a Sanctuary, you'll be asked to journal the experience of rearing the hatchling to adulthood and describe how it influenced the world when released.

Incubating eggs

The beauty of journaling games is in the sheer variety of potential stories. With 48 cards, each displaying 3 open-ended questions, every playthrough will be unique and every experience distinctly personal.

For example, in one session the tyrannical ruler could be consuming dragon egg yolks for eternal youth. In another, they could simply be greedy for land. Whatever your answers to the prompts, Dragon Dowser is certain to ignite the imagination!

Tyrannical ruler on throne

For a softcover of the rules, the custom card deck and our handcrafted UV dice, head to  our BackerKit preorder page:

https://dragon-dowser.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

Updated 25 days ago
StatusIn development
CategoryPhysical game
Rating
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(12 total ratings)
AuthorHatchlingDM
TagsGM-Less, Itch Funding, journaling, Solo RPG, Tabletop, tabletop-role-playing-game

Rewards

Get exclusive access to this game by purchasing while quantities last.

Digital Edition

Digital PDF of the Dragon Dowser core rules.

You will get access to the following files:

Dragon Dowser PDF (singles) 73 MB
Dragon Dowser PDF (spreads) 73 MB
Dragon Dowser Track 6 MB
PDF Custom Playing Cards 31 MB

Development log

Comments

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Hi, I backed this on itch.io in 2022 on the Queen tier and recently received my physical rewards. However I am missing the die cut sticker that was supposed to come, as described in your message on 23/05/23 via itch.io following the Kickstarter launch. Is this something that can be fixed?

Thank you. 

(+1)

I've bought this game in the "Solo but not Alone" bundle. This game is awesome and has a very nice atmosphere to it. I like the evocative prompts and the simple mechanic.

However, the file available to me was "pdf only" and had no cards. Where can I get access to the printable cards? It would certainly make my games more immersive. 

In March I will place the cards on our website for download. 

Where can we buy a physical copy? Previous links appear to be closed or just not available

You can now order from our website… as of today coincidentally. www.hatchlingsgames.co.uk

got it :)

(+1)

This is a fun, quick to learn game that can be played with anyone of any age! I was lucky enough to back the kickstarter and have a physical copy with the special cards that go with the game and couldn't be happier.

Hi! I’m an educator looking at trying these to get my reluctant readers to write.  Do you have a signup list for community copies? This seems like it’s kid-friendly and interesting. :)

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Hi, any chance of the cards being available for PNP ?

(+1)

+1 👍

(+1)

Is it still possible to get the physical version?

Absolutely. Head to our preorder page. 
https://dragon-dowser.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

How long for the next batch of printed books to ship?

I really enjoyed reading through the game! I made a short video about it!

Very fun game!  This is a perfect solo-journaling game in that it builds the story SO well from prompting the player in addition to  having great mechanics.  The artwork for this is also absolutely beautiful.  

I definitely recommend, and check out the review on TTRPGkids here:

https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/05/23/review-of-dragon-dowser-a-solo-journaling-t...

(+3)

My daughter and I have a podcast about playing roleplaying games with kids: Almost Bedtime Theater.  If you are interested in a review and a short actual play of the Dragon Dowser, you can hear us go through it in Episode 19.  Even though the game is designed for solo play, it worked out great as a collaborative story game for the two of us!

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1505161/12856657

(+3)

I'm still super excited about getting my hands on this game one day! I really do hope that folks come across this and continue to help it reach its target.

Um do we get charged once it reaches 100%?

(+1)

No, you get charged immediately. It doesn't work the same way as other crowdfunds that succeed or fail on a goal like Kickstarter. Regardless, we have enough funding to produce the cards we wanted, so the book and deck will be delivered complete.

(+1)

Ah OK thank you! Sorry was puzzled when the charge didn't go through right away.

(1 edit) (+1)

Hello! I wanted to let you know that the third card down is titled "Queen of Spades" but the symbol is a K -- which is for the King. In addition /she/her pronouns are used in the card text :)

I'm really looking forward to this game! I've bene wanting to try a solo jrpg for a while and this is set to be the one!

Congrats on reaching 50% goal! Would you be showing a gameplay video, that would certainly help some of those who are on the fence! Marching forward to 100%!

(+2)

Stunning game and wonderful execution. Very excited to see this live!

(+2)

This looks so great! Very well put together Itch page too!

Thanks Ben!

(+2)

Where will this game be shipped from? Just so ppl can gauge shipping/tax

It'll be shipped from the UK by ShipQuest for backers here and in Europe.
Indie Press Revolution will handle US orders.