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Talisman (Revised 4th Edition)» Forums » Sessions

Subject: The worst game of Talisman ever rss

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M A
Australia
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Hi all I want to share a highly annoying game of Talisman because it really was rage-inducing. I wonder if anyone else has been through a similar experience.

Participants (end of the game): Apprentice Mage, Witch Doctor (AI), Ancient Oak (AI), Leprechaun, Devil’s Minion

Expansions installed: Woodland, Firelands, Blood Moon, Nether Realm, City, Dungeon, Highlands, Sacred Pool, Frostmarch, Reaper.

Platform: Steam

It all started out relatively normally.
Everyone was playing their characters and adventuring about. No one was really gaining any craft or strength, but people were getting items and populating the board.

The (end-game) Leprechaun player got killed three times by the Grim Reaper (!) before finally managing to survive long enough with the Leprechaun to get to the crown of command. The character who kept sending the Reaper to the Leprechaun player was the Ancient Oak, so he had a huge grudge against him.

However, long before he got to the Crown, the Ancient Oak had been slowly increasing his stats. Ancient Oak was the only character in the game that never once died (except the end). In fact, Ancient Oak would have won it (he was 2 spaces away from the Crown when the Leprechaun player, to my annoyance (as the game had been going for 4.5 hours already by this point) cast acquisition on the Oak and stole his only Talisman, forcing the Oak to go all the way back and get another one).
During this time, the Witch Doctor character (having died several times before becoming the Witch Doctor) literally spent more time as a toad than as the Witch Doctor. He was having awful luck and did not even budge from his starting stats for most of the game (until the end, as we shall see). All he was doing was faffing about in the woods on his own, occasionally annoying players with some dark-fate rolls, but that’s it.

The (end-game) Devil’s Minion player died several times from the dangers of adventuring before being the Devil’s Minion and didn’t have a huge impact on the overall game. It was their first time playing, and I can’t think of a worse way for them to be introduced to the game than this 9-hour slog, which should have been over in 5, but thanks to the Leprechaun character it was drawn out to nearly twice the length.

I started with the Amazon, and should have won the game perhaps 3 hours in, but didn’t because of some utterly awful bad luck in the woods. I had about 10 turns where nothing went right for me (including having my items stolen by magic (Leprechaun player), being turned into a toad, being stuck in the swamp, and having to keep encountering Titania, who kept draining my life until I was dead). I eventually became the Apprentice Mage, and, oddly enough, was the last one left standing alongside the Witch Doctor.

But how did it get to that point?

Well, as the Ancient Oak had finally recovered from his theft at the hands of the disgusting Leprechaun, he was trudging back to the Crown of Command. Except that Leprechaun’s theft had brought him enough time to get his stats (via the gold and items he collected, mostly) to a high enough level that he raced the Oak. They both ended up at the Crown, and, after some back and forth of fighting each other, the Oak lost out.
The Leprechaun was left on only 1 hit point, as was everyone else on the board from the Crown of Command. Enter the Witch Doctor. He rolled exactly enough to pass through the Sentinel (and though he only had a strength of 7, he actually beat the Sentinel!), to get to the Black Knight in the middle region, pay him 1 gold coin and drain the Leprechaun of his last life! So, the two players who were well-developed (Oak and Leprechaun) were the first ones to die, thanks to an external element. No one saw this coming.

Suddenly, stats didn’t matter anymore. All that mattered was surviving, since surviving longest meant winning the game. Since a player had made it to the Crown of Command, respawns were no longer a thing. The Witch Doctor, Apprentice Mage, and Devil’s Minion, were the only ones left standing, all on 1 life. The Minion died first (can’t remember how, doesn’t matter), and then there were two.

The Witch Doctor fought the Eagle King in the Highlands and lost the battle. However, he had armour on and of course he rolled a 4 to save himself. I then landed on the Black Knight square but had no gold to pay him so I encountered another Denizen, which gave me gold. Sadly, before I could get back to The Black Knight, I encountered the money lender or whatever and rolled a 1, which meant I had to give him all my gold or lose my last life. I obviously gave the gold. Then the Witch Doctor rolled a 1, and moved the Werewolf onto me. I rolled a 6! I was going to heal all of my lives. Of course, that’s not what happened because the Witch Doctor used a dark fate and made me reroll, which I got a 4 out of. I battled the werewolf and lost, losing my last life, and thus ended the most unsatisfying, annoying, and frustrating game of Talisman I have ever played. The one blessing from it was that the Leprechaun player didn’t win, as it was his fault the game had gone on for so long.
It was literally the worst gaming experience I have ever had. I can't ever remember feeling so drained, angry, and unsatisfied after a gaming experience.

The player who deserved it least (ie, spent 95% of the game doing nothing) won it, and only barely. Plus he was an AI player! You know a game is bad when the void or whatever it is would’ve been a more satisfying way to end it. In fact, I was hoping that once the “big two” had died and the rest of us were on 1hp each, someone would draw a Pestilence card (as we were all in the outer region at one point) and end us all at the same time. It would’ve been a fitting end to a horribly grotesque game of Talisman.

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Stephan Beal
Germany
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Bayern
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Necrosis wrote:
Participants (end of the game): Apprentice Mage, Witch Doctor (AI), Ancient Oak (AI), Leprechaun, Devil’s Minion
...
(as the game had been going for 4.5 hours already by this point)
If you haven't already done so, be sure to increase the "AI Speed" and "Camera Speed" options to all the way up. That will shave a bit of time off of the game and it adds up over longer sessions. Also, be sure to enable Runes and use the Trophy Cost-adjusting runes (4, 5, or 6 Trophy Points per attribute point instead of 7 Trophy Points). i typically only use one trophy point rune per character - the one for their "primary attribute", and always play with the 4-point attribute upgrade cost. Five is also okay, but 6+ simply drags out the game too much.

Necrosis wrote:
The player who deserved it least (ie, spent 95% of the game doing nothing) won it, and only barely. Plus he was an AI player!
In my 100+ sessions of the digital edition i've only ever seen an AI take the Crown two (maybe three) times (i always play either the Race to the Crown or Pandora's Box endings, and never use any Command Spell endings). One of the reasons i like Pandora's Box so much is because it provides a way for the player reaching the Crown to still lose, providing some late-/end-game tension and prodding players to race for the Crown before any other character gets too powerful to survive the Pandora's Box onslaught (if any character survives it, the character on the Crown loses).
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chris thatcher
United Kingdom
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Sounds like classic Talisman to me.. Love it!
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Dan The Man
United States
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Re: the Title - pretty low bar...
 
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Qwerty Cat
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I have played many, many Digital games of Talisman. Some of them have ended as you stated, with frustration. However, nothing can top your experience. 😐 Hopefully the new player will give it another try.
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