Johan Grimm
United States
Ithaca
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My game group loves themselves some Talisman (I'm a big fan too, although perhaps not as fervent as some of my gamemates..) so we're in the process of building up the game (currently rocking Base + Reaper + Sacred Pool) as it hits the table at least once every few weeks (and we often have 8-10 players at our weekly game nights, so Talisman is a great patch for those events).

Anyways, background aside, I'm curious if other people have been disappointed by weaksauce characters? Has anyone come up with fixes for these characters? If not, this might be a challenge for my homebrew-er-rific brain!

Out of our current collection we've found most of the characters to be fun and well-balanced except for a few... Namely the Elf, Sorceress, Monk & Priest.

Anyone have thoughts on this matter?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kelly N.
United States
Richmond
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm too new to the game actually help, but....

That Priest and Monk are two of the homeliest looking dudes I've ever seen. Maybe have any enemy they encounter make a Horror roll (a la Eldritch/Arkham Horror) to test their Sanity. If the enemy rolls a 1, 2, or 3 they are -1 on their attack roll due to the sheer fright caused by staring at them ugly faces.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Wiese
Germany
35043 Marburg
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I can't really relate to your question in terms of the Elf and the Sorceress. The Sorceress in my opinion is a pretty strong character: the psychic combat ability always comes in handy and the ability to steal followers no matter if you encounter the player or not is pretty cool too.
The Elf can also be quite good with his ability to teleport from woods spaces especially if there are some fancy places waiting to be visited (Magic Stream,...)

The Monk and the Priest on the other hand are not really good characters. The Monk used to be the most OP character back in 2nd edition times and they nerfed him down so that he is pretty weak, except maybe the praying ability and he also has a good start with 5 strenght in combat which makes it easier for him to level up.
The priest is what I would consider totally worthless, except for the praying ability. Defeating Spirits without combat is nice, but since you don't get the trophy this is pretty lame. I was thinking about introducing a rule that allows him to keep auto-killed spirits as trophies - maybe this would help him a bit!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rich
United States
Orlando
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I wouldn't worry too much about tweaking underwhelming characters. If you don't want to play them, remove them from your game.

If you play similarly to the way I've always played, you probably do a random assignment of characters, e.g., everyone draws a card at random. Then you make everyone play who they've drawn (aka, "pick and stick"). Well, what you do with an underwhelming character is you just be ultra-aggressive. Either you kill yourself off pretty quick and get to pick another character, or the aggressive play pans out and you level up pretty quickly.

Once you get +3 strength somehow, with followers, objects, places, it doesn't matter what your starting character is.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ray
Thailand
Bangkok
Bangkok
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't necessary agree with you picks, but yes, a few characters exceed in the first few rounds of a game of Talisman.

Normally at the start of the game, we randomly give players 2 or 3 character cards to each player to choose from. I guess what one can do to to help balance things out is to let the group pick the character the players will play. The odds of a player getting three really good characters is rare, but if it happens, its fate.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Korner
United States
Tomah
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Some characters like the Dark Cultest are better than others, it just makes winning with the "weaker" characters a challenge that I readily except. We sometimes shame a player who takes one of the better characters or just gang up on them early on. You can always just ban the characters you don't like for a few games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Wiese
Germany
35043 Marburg
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
We also had a game variant called "Tournament of the Weaklings" in which every player drew 5 characters in the beginning and the opposing players chose one character he had to play with devil
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Elliott Eastoe
United Kingdom
Street
Somerset
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Some characters are strong, some are weak that's how it's meant to be. We don't want balance in characters. They are all individuals!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron Tubb
United States
Fuquay Varina
NC
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Draw a character you don't like? Run into the Dungeon! You'll either die quickly and draw a new character, or powerlevel to the point where you are stronger than the other players. WIN-WIN.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Johan Grimm
United States
Ithaca
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the feedback everyone! Glad to hear that we're not alone in sensing the disparity in power, but also interesting that the consensus is to just play through it instead of altering the characters. We usually deal out 3 characters for people to pick from, so inevitably many characters just never get picked. I guess that's a solution, but it'd be nice if every character hit the table once and a while instead of their being the same cast of characters in most games.

As for the Elf & Sorceress I think it's interesting that people disagree that they're underpowered. In our experience the Elf just doesn't compete well and while the Sorceress' ability to steal followers is nifty, her beguiling skill never seems to work out very well.

I think we'll revisit those two characters and really try to play to their strengths and see how it goes...

Thanks again everyone!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rauli Kettunen
Finland
Oulu
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
AzureLion wrote:
As for the Elf & Sorceress I think it's interesting that people disagree that they're underpowered. In our experience the Elf just doesn't compete well and while the Sorceress' ability to steal followers is nifty, her beguiling skill never seems to work out very well.


I'm on board with the Sorceress, she's not quite the Priest bad, but bad regardless. Take a Follower, Unicorn and Maiden are two of the followers you'd most want to take, but can't, so it's not that great (with expansions, you have other neat followers, but the odds of drawing her and them in the same game go down). Instead of Beguiling, against low Craft characters, it's easier to attack them in psychic combat and take the item with better odds than through beguiling.

Elf on the other hand, I would indeed disagree. In fact, if he wins his next appearance, he'll have the best win-loss record of any base game character, even if he doesn't, he'll still be shared best with the Troll (currently 8-14 in 22 games, Elf is 8-13). Move to Woods, bounce, bounce, bounce, those trophies should add up. You only really need to quit the cycle if/when the Woods are clogged by other cards and you can't draw cards.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paolo Tosolini
Italy
Povoletto
Udine
flag msg tools
That's because I currently cannot play any board games.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't have many problems with underwhelming or underpowered characters, but on the contrary with overpowered ones.

Monk and Priest can be considered weak because they have something that almost no character has: a limitation. Limitations could be used more often, but they have become quite unpopular in 4th Edition (the Minotaur can't use Armour, but that doesn't impact as much as no Weapons in battle). Same goes for the Sorceress, who has such a nice beguile ability; too bad it is so random that nobody wants to use it most of the time. The Elf has no real weaknesses, but his strategy is very predictable and absolutely non-flexible. That is probably the reason why he doesn't perform well in most games (ours included).

Monk is strong enough as he is. Strong in battle and strong in faith, so he has enough abilities to compensate the absence of a Weapon. The Priest, on the contrary, might seem hopeless but I've always had rewarding games when I played him, often coming close to victory when I did not win for real. His ability to automatically kill Spirits is normally not useful, but if you can get your fatty Priest hands on a good piece of Armour, then you'll be quite safe while you travel Highlands or Dungeon. I've tried this many times and it turned out to be a good strategy to follow. Killing Spirits that are too strong gave you Spells that could often be used to attack Strength Enemies or to face Lord of Darkness or Eagle King. The rewards gained after the fight were often of good use to the Priest. Ah, these characters are great if they become Evil and can replenish fate for free.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brett Haskell
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've modified a lot of the characters (plus some adventure cards and werewolf/city rules), even though they will never be balanced and they never should, I find that some of the stronger characters being toned down and the weaker characters having a boost makes the game overall more fun.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Plaid Dragon
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't agree with the Elf on your list as being... "weaksauce".

One I'd add would be the Dread Knight. If he loses his horsey early it will simply crush his progress. Thus, we play by the rule of: "No character ability may steal/kill the Warhorse."
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.