Fury of Dracula

“There must be no chances this time. We shall not rest until the Count’s head and body have been separated, and we are sure that he cannot re-incarnate.”
   –Dr. John Seward, Dracula

Eight years ago Mina Harker and her companions returned home from Castle Dracula believing that they had definitively banished the vampire Count’s evil presence from the earth. They were wrong. The King of the Un-Dead has now risen again to menace mankind. Throughout Europe wolves are behaving strangely, superstitious peasants are growing fearful, and mysterious deaths are proliferating. Tormented by uncanny dreams and haunting visions of nighttime travel and drinking blood, Mina has rejoined her former companions, now even more determined to find Count Dracula and destroy him once and for all.

In Fury of Dracula you undertake their perilous quest, hunting Dracula across Europe and battling him wherever he is revealed. Or you take on the role of the legendary Count Dracula himself as he seeks to thwart these pursuers and plunge the entire continent into an unrelenting and evil darkness.

Fury of Dracula is an asymmetrical game of deduction and Gothic horror for two to five players based on Bram Stoker’s classic novel, Dracula. At least one player governs the iconic characters of Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, Dr. John Seward, Lord Arthur Godalming, and Mina Harker. One player assumes the role of Dracula, traveling secretly from city to city, laying traps for the hunters, and expanding his vampiric influence. The hunters must either defeat Dracula before his influence track reaches the cursed number of thirteen, perish in the attempt, or live to see a reality worse than death: Victorian Europe conquered by the Un-Dead.

From Broad Daylight to the Dark of Night

“Each sunrise and sunset opens up some new danger.”
–Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, Dracula

When the hunt begins, the hunters know nothing about Dracula’s location, recent activities, or intentions, only that he has risen again. They must travel throughout Europe and search every possible city for clues until they discover his trail. With every night Dracula grows more powerful, but with every day the hunters make their way closer to him.

Each hunter can take one action every day and one every night. Since travel between cities can be treacherous, the hunters may only move in daylight, but they can do so by road, rail, or sea. Travel by rail requires a ticket but allows you to cover more distance faster than the other two options—it is also the only means of travel not available to Dracula. Reserving a train ticket simply takes another action.

Night or day, you can rest to recover your health, search the city you occupy for clues, trade with another hunter in the same city, or acquire useful supplies, like Holy Bullets or a sharpened Knife . But beware: venturing out into the city and interacting with the local citizenry can be dangerous. Whenever you use the supply action you must draw an event card. Some events benefit the hunters: they may hear Local Rumorsabout Dracula’s whereabouts, or make a Lucky Find of a valuable weapon. Other events benefit Dracula: aRoadblock could prevent the hunters from leaving his present location, or a False Tip may compel the hunters to travel away from the Count rather than towards him.

Mina Harker’s psychic bond with Dracula, formed when the vampire preyed upon her years ago, grants her an additional action to play. As long as another hunter is present to monitor her, she can fall into a trance and perceive the world as the Count does, hearing the thumping rhythm of horse hooves, smelling the salt spray of the sea, or walking down a darkened street. Since these sensations are vague and uncontrolled, she can use them to detect whether Dracula is in her region, but no more.

The King of the Un-Dead

“With this one, all the forces of nature that are occult and deep and strong must have worked together in some wondrous way.”
–Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula

Mina and her stalwart companions are working against no ordinary vampire. Beyond his immortality, death-dealing fangs, numberless minions, and fiendish cunning, he has knowledge: he always knows where the hunters are, keeping his hideouts concealed from them as much as possible.

Dracula awakens in the deepest dark of night, once the hunters have performed their final actions.  The hunters move by placing their figures on the board, but Dracula moves by secretly playing location cards. Travel by rail is too public to suit his needs, but he can move by road or by sea: in one turn, for example, he can set sail from Nantes into the North Atlantic , and on the next turn dock in Galway , on the western shore of Ireland. Once established in his new hideout, Dracula then goes about his sinister work, playing an encounter card in order to create an obstacle for the hunters: perhaps a colony of bats , perhaps a newly-sired vampire .

Dracula also possesses an arsenal of power cards that he can use to misdirect the hunters, call upon the aid of his dark servants, metamorphose into a wolf, retreat into the shadows, or recover strength by feeding on warm human blood. He may also place a rumor token on a past location. Placed on a hideout where one of his vampire progeny dwells, the rumor token grants Dracula three points of influence if the vampire lives long enough. Placed where no vampire exists, the rumor token might mislead the hunters by luring them towards an empty and abandoned hideout.

Fighting an Immortal Evil

“I know now what men feel in battle when the call to action is heard.”
–Dr. John Seward, Dracula

If Dracula surfaces at a location occupied by a hunter, or if a hunter arrives at one of his hideouts, the Count and the hunter are certain to fight. Each possesses a unique range of combat tools, as well as the option to escape. Neither can predict what move the other will make, but both must respond in the moment, relying on their wits as much as their weapons. Simultaneously, the engaged players select and play a combat or item card. If the icons match, Dracula’s combat card is cancelled. If they differ, Dracula could wounds the hunter, or worse, bites him. It’s possible for the Count and the hunter to harm each other in one round. For example, if Dracula moves in to slash the hunter with his claws at the same time as the hunter throws a punch, both take damage in the brawl.

Mina, fearing to be bitten for the second time in her life, wields a knife against the Count in their first round of blows. Her fear is proven correct when Dracula attempts to reach her neck with his piercing Fangs; her Knife at once defends her and deals three damage to the count. Having already made a move with her knife, however, she cannot use it immediately again. In the next round he attempts to overcome her through his uncanny Strength , but she Dodges the blow. The fight continues for six harrowing rounds, until someone escapes or until someone is defeated.

Hunt or Be Hunted

Mina Harker and her companions may view themselves as the hunters and Dracula as their prey, but in this treacherous chase throughout the civilized cities and uncivilized wildernesses of Victorian-era Europe, you may end up being both hunter and hunted. At any moment Dracula may stop fleeing and begin pursuing his determined, mortal foes. At any moment the hunters may close in around the Count, causing the seemingly omnipotent fiend to suddenly fear for his Un-Dead life. The only way to survive is to become a clever, relentless, and inescapable predator. Your life—and the future of Europe itself—is in terrible danger the moment that you become another’s prey.