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King of Dragon Pass


Most of these tips can be found in the manual (which is available from the Lore screen). For your convenience, we’ve also made the manual available in PDF format.

These tips are relevant to all versions:

  • The game isn’t won by raiding, and raids can cause counter-raids. You can raid only twice a season but you have more than two neighbors…
  • Try not to have too many feuds at once. Feuding clans are a lot more likely to raid.
  • Even a Peace Clan has to raid occasionally (to keep up warrior morale and war magic). But not even a War Clan needs to raid each year (raiding is risky & consequences can snowball).
  • Pay attention to the season — the agricultural calendar is important. (A quick tap on the Menu or Info button will remind you.)
  • Don’t forget to consult your advisors! Their personality may color their advice, but they are also full of good information.
  • Remember that nothing is certain — you may pick a course of action but your clan leaders could fail to execute it (they could be out-bargained, out-argued, or out-fought).
  • There are 6 adjectives for the skills of clan leaders, but within a category, leaders slowly improve over time.
  • Relationships are complex. Your emissaries may improve another clan’s attitude with gifts, but this may not erase an old grudge. (It’s even more complex when there’s a tribe…)
  • Don’t neglect exploring your own tula (don’t move the exploration marker, just pick an explorer and tap “Explore”).
  • Exploration can find things even in places you’ve been before.
  • Consider learning Vinga’s Pathfinder blessing and building a shrine early in the game, since it will make exploration safer.
  • Ring members have slightly improved odds while exploring (they embody the clan in a way that ordinary clan members do not).
  • The fewer feuds you have, the fewer clans spread stories about you and encourage attacks on your missions.
  • Don’t forget that the clan’s farmers tend the herds as well as till the soil. (Your advisors mention each task separately.)
  • Farmers have to farm. Sea or Earth season raids take them away from the fields. (Missions reduce production only by a few footmen.)
  • Be sure you know the heroquest (to the secret level if appropriate) before questing (sacrifice for Knowledge).
  • Heroquests are important but unusual. Ten times to the Other Side in a long game is easily enough to win.
  • If a scene offers you the chance for an emergency heroquest, you won’t be penalized if you’ve already quested this year.
  • Myths always guide heroquests, but are only ever partial maps to the Otherworld. Review Lore before questing.
  • Try not to heroquest without preparation, or too often. They can give a big reward, or mess you up big.
  • Don’t forget that weaponthanes aren’t the only thanes in the clan; they all need horses. This can constrain your recruiting. Raids or trading can get more.
  • Kingly reputation is one of many factors tracked, and can vary significantly from your own clan mood or how other clans relate to you. See “Tribes” in the manual.
  • You get to initiate two actions per season (unless you use the season wheel), but things will happen as they happen (e.g. raids or other consequences).
  • Small unit combat has lots of uncertainty; the initial clash is like rock/scissors/paper that affects the odds of the overall outcome. (As does heroic combat.)
  • War clans FAVOR war, Peace clans FAVOR peace. Winning will require avoiding extremes (goal is make a new thing, not conquer or status quo).
  • Winning the game has nothing to do with conquering neighbors and everything to do with convincing them to let you be their king.
  • Single-mindedly pursuing war with your ancestral enemies is unlikely to end well. You live in the present, unlike your ancestors.
  • Tap a leader’s face to see their abilities. This is especially important when a trade caravan is beset by bandits: can your trader fight?
  • Once in a while, attackers may destroy some of your fortifications. It’s possible to miss this in the battle results, so check with your advisors on the War screen (or the Fortify dialog) occasionally.
  • Be sure you’re wealthy enough before trying to start a tribe, it’s not a race. (In the short game, the Ten Year Ring means you need to hold the crown 10 years. You don’t need to gain it in 10.)
  • When creating your tribe, offer gifts first thing, before negotiating. It can soften up a clan for any subsequent demands.
  • When you are part of a tribe, other clans will hold you to somewhat higher standards of generosity. They expect kings to be more generous still.
  • Try to gift goods, not cattle. Cows generate food and more wealth. (And are a visible measure of success.)
  • The manual explains many things. Each management screen also has brief help in the form of the “More Info” button.
  • It can be useful NOT to call on favors you owed. This leaves clans obligated to you. By the same token, repay favors promptly.
  • Clans can owe each other more than a single favor; repaying one can leave you still in debt.
  • As usual, nothing is 100% certain, but if nothing stands out about a chief, your advisors won’t have as much to say about him.
  • Two ways you can reduce the threat of bandits: send out explorers, or succeed at the Issaries the Conciliator heroquest.
  • If there are many bandits, increasing the number of caravan guards may be necessary.
  • Orlanthi clans become unmanageable when they get too large. Splitting is the time-tested solution to this political problem.
  • Your clan has more nobles than true leaders. The Clan screen counts all nobles, but only the dynamic ones appear in dialogs.
  • People are called by the gods, rather than choosing a patron. Sometimes you just have to wait for a Trickster or Vingan among your leaders.
  • Second chances to form a tribe are rare. Grab them if they show up.
  • Cragspider is centuries old. Think twice about offending her. (Or make use of Restore in the Saga screen [2.0].)
  • If you ever want to stop another clan’s tribute to you, send another Demand Tribute emissary, and demand none.
  • Learn more about Glorantha, the world of King of Dragon Pass, at glorantha.com and chaosium.com.
  • Follow @KingDragonPass on Twitter for more tips, or visit this page for updates.
  • Want more? Check out the spiritual successor, Six Ages.
2.0 (iOS/Android/Steam) Tips:
  • The Hard game is not quite as hard in 2.0 as in the original, but it is still very difficult. Do start with Normal difficulty, you will be less frustrated.
  • Saving is automatic. To restore the game, go to the end of an earlier year in the Saga screen.
  • One thing advisors track for you is important Sacred Time magic (Mysteries, Quests, War).
  • Skim the relevant myth (Lore screen) before embarking on a heroquest. The Hint button will provide a recommendation based on the story, but you only get one or two. And heroquests have surprises…
  • The “cows” number also includes sheep and pigs. Losing sheep or pigs will reduce the aggregate herd value.
  • If you want to restart the tutorial, reset all Game Center achievements (the tutorial is an achievement).
  • VoiceOver users: Play with Hints on, since that’s how some information (such as advisor skills) is presented.

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