Way of the Dragon - General game info
Way of the Dragon
2-5 players, 30 minutes, 7 years and older
AuthorNestor Romeral Andres
IllustratorCarlos Aliaga
Published byNestorgames
Online since 2014-12-18
Developed byAitor (ArkTheLad)
Way of the Dragon - Rules

Way Of The Dragon on Yucata.de

Changes with regard to the real game

  • Dead Pieces option: The game uses grey stones instead of pawns not used by any player.


This is the ultimate race between the five elements. The earth dragons, the water tortoises, the metal tigers, the fire birds and the wood dragons cross the way of the Great Celestial Dragon to gain immortality.

The goal of the game is to get your five pieces as far as possible through the five paths when the game ends. This happens when at least one of the players has reached the end of the five paths.


A “Way of the Dragon” set includes:

- A “Way of the Dragon” board.

- 5 “water” tortoises (black)
- 5 “fire” birds (red)
- 5 “metal” tigers (white)
- 5 “earth” dragons (yellow)
- 5 “wood” dragons (blue)

- 5 counters in 5 colors (black, red, white, yellow, blue).

- 5 special chinese dice (“chindice”). Each die has the five chinese elements plus a celestial dragon.



Place the board in the middle of the playing surface.

Each player selects a color and picks all the pieces of that colour (5 animals and one counter). The players place their counters in front of them to indicate their colours.

Upon agreement, the players may place some non-playing animals randomly onto the board spaces (except onto the ones with the symbols or numbers). These are “dead” pieces, they are not moved during the game, but they block the movement of the playing pieces. No space can contain more than 1 piece.

In the basic game no special powers are used. See “Special powers” at the end of this rulebook if you want to play the advanced game.


The player that lost the previous game starts. In case of being the first game each player rolls the 5 dice. The player that rolled the most dragons starts. In case of a tie, the tied players re-roll.

The players take turns in anticlockwise order. On your turn you must do the following in order.

1. Roll the five dice. You may elect to roll a second and third time re-rolling any or all of dice (as in Yahtzee).

2. If you can, you must move one of your pieces, except if you’ve called the great dragon (see below “Calling the dragon”).

Then the turn passes to the next player.


Once you’ve finished your dice rolls, you must choose one of the elements and advance the piece on the corresponding path as many spaces as dice are showing this element. If there is no piece of your color on the corresponding path, you must enter a piece from outside the board onto the symbol space of the path and then move it the full number of spaces (pieces never stay on the symbol spaces). There cannot be more than one piece of each colour on each path, so there is one path for every piece the player has.

If the destination space is occupied by another piece, the player’s piece cannot be moved at all (nor can it be entered onto the board) this turn.

A piece lying on a numbered space can no longer move, but can be swapped by calling the Great Dragon (see below).

Moving is mandatory. This is, if the player can move at least one piece, he must move one.

If the player cannot move any of his pieces then simply passes the turn.


The red player rolls the 5 dice…

…and gets one “dragon, 2 “water”, one “metal” and one “earth”.

He decides to keep 2 “water”, and rolls the other 3…


… and gets another “water” and 2 “fire”. He rolls the 2 “fire” again…


… and gets a 4th “water” and a dragon.

Then he enters one of his pieces onto the board, on the 4th “water” square.

Board Example
The player may swap any
2 pieces of the “water” path.

If a player has rolled 4 or 5 dragons, the he may call the Great Dragon instead of moving. The Great Dragon has the power to swap 2 pieces of one of the paths.

- If the player has rolled 4 dragons, he is allowed to swap any two pieces of the corresponding path of the element shown on the 5th die.

- If he’s rolled 5 dragons, he is allowed to swap any 2 pieces on any one path.


If all the 5 dice show the same element (not dragons), then he’s reached ‘perfection’ and may play a complete turn again after moving.


If all the 5 dice show a different element (not dragons), then he’s reached ‘equilibrium’ and he must move each of his pieces forward one space (those that can be moved).


Board Example
Black tortoise: 3+3+5+0+1 = 12
Red bird: 4+1+0+2+3 = 10
White tiger: 2+0+1+4+4 = 11
Yellow dragon: 1+4+3+1+2 = 11
Blue dragon: 5+5+2+3 = 15

Blue dragon wins!

The game ends when one player has all of his pieces on numbered spaces.

Then each player sums up the numbers underneath their pieces. The player with the highest score wins the game. In case of a tie, the player with most pieces on numbered spaces wins the game. If the tie persists then the game is a tie.


In the advanced game, each element has a special power. Each player can use his power only once during the game. To indicate that he’s used his power, the player must discard his counter .

  • Black tortoise (water): Fear. The player may elect not to move any of his pieces, even if he’s forced to.
  • Red bird (fire): Re-birth. The player has an extra turn.
  • White tiger (metal): Eye of the tiger. The player may roll a 4th time.
  • Blue dragon (wood): The dragon. The player can use the rolled dragons as a substitute for any other element.
  • Yellow dragon (earth): Anxiety. If the destination space is occupied, the yellow dragon can jump over the blocking piece/s to the next empty space. This works for “equilibrium” too.


Each piece is immune to the Great Dragon when it is on the path of the same color. For example, the black tortoise is immune to the Great Dragon in the first path (water).

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