Early Sunday evening, I had convinced my seven year old son to play a game of Talisman with me using the speedier play rules from the back of the book. We had a rip-roaring good time with two of the more funny, supremely divergent story lines I have ever seen. His troll had raked in tons of beneficial encounters and breezed through combat while my priest was converted to evil by Mephistopheles, lost all his money, was stalked by a hag, and then wounded and challenged around every corner. In that game, I'd had a great comeback in the end only to fall short as he rose to power. Between the amusing dichotomy of our respective paths and my final, futile surge, I'd have to call it my favorite game of Talisman ever.
Thus, later on in the evening when the rest of the family turned in for bed, I found myself without anything to do and still glowing from the game. What better way to spend my last couple of hours, I thought, than to play a solo game of Talisman against the clock. I figured I'd field one hero, use all of the regular rules for leveling up and try to reach the Crown in one hour flat (all while jotting notes for this report, mind you).
I find setting up the time-lapse cam while playing these solitaire games adds to my enjoyment as I really don't feel alone, and I'm accountable to the eye in the sky.
So, I set the timer on my phone, plopped my randomly-selected Warrior down on the board at his starting location in the Tavern, and got on my way.
With a few uneventful bits glossed over, and undoubtedly something left out, here's how the game progressed.
- Early on in my explorations I loaded up on goodies, finding an Amulet in the plains, then on to the ruins for a Mule and a Book of Spells (which yielded a hex spell). I went ahead and cast my hex on a middle-region space thinking it'd free up my one slot should I find a teleport or other useful spell.
- Soon after, I encountered a wraith in the fields, getting my low-craft rear-end handed to me by the specter, taking my first wound.
- My day got a bit better when I found the holy grail in the woods. Kind of makes the rest of the quest anticlimactic when you find the ultimate literary relic under a fern while you're taking a leak against a tree.
- I then ran into a giant in a wooded area, and he reminded me that grail or not, I was still vulnerable to large bludgeoning implements. I took my second wound and ran, screaming like a little girl.
- The Sentinel felt bad for me and offered me a trinket that had gotten stuck in his toll bucket ... It was a TALISMAN.
- I further nursed my wounds with a bag of gold found in the fields.
- Then, in the hills, I got my first taste of victory in combat, besting an Ogre. In this case, my talking mule had no interest in joining the green-skinned brute on his quest. Although I wish he had. He kept talking about parfaits.
- I stopped by the sentinel's bridge, and told him that until I saw the latest inspection report from the Army Corp of Engineers I had no interest in crossing the rickety structure. Showing how fickle he could be, he threw an Orb of Knowledge at me.
- I stopped by the village a couple of times in that time-span and in both cases, the snooty mystic ignored me.
- In the fields, I found a healer, but I had already gotten some healing from the fine sisters at the chapel, so I told him I'd stop by if any other big fellas tried to play whack-a-mole with my noggin.
- In the fields, I found another Ogre, and just like Shrek 2, I couldn't stick around. We called it a stand-off and I left before the credits.
- I then discovered a market in the hills and bought a sword off the clearance rack. Apparently it had been pawned a few hours earlier by a drunken, unlucky evil priest who had no use for it.
- A trip to the ruins turned up a Phantom, but fortunately it was not Billy Zane in purple tights, because that probably would have been too much. It also revealed a Fountain of Wisdom, so I began to bump up my craft score.
- Shortly thereafter I was ignored by the village mystic again. Apparently he's a BIG Billy Zane fan, and I offended him with my previous paragraph.
- I then headed into my home turf for a drink at the tavern, a ferryman was looking to drum up some business, but as his name was Charon, I was skeptical and refused.
- Journeying to the city, I found a fellow named Al Chemist who was running one of those "Cash for Gold" operations, and he bought my amulet from me. I didn't want it anyway. It was half of a BFF medallion for someone I'm not talking to anymore (I'm looking at you, Troll).
- I once again heard the call of nature and stopped by the woods, turns out the tree I was urinating on was a mercenary in some effective camo. As an offer of apology I lent him my swell cloak and gave him the last of my cash to enlist him into my service. I told him to check the mule for some Fabreeze.
- My buddy the merc and I hit the fountain of wisdom again. I was feeling craftier and craftier.
- Then I went to the hills, where Prince offered to join me if I'd shoot some hoops with him and eat some pancakes. Turns out, Prince can ball.
- My growing entourage and I headed to the tavern where Charon begged me to try his ferry. Again, I told him my posse and I had better things to do.
- I decided we'd head back to the fountain of wisdom, where I finished it off to the last drop, raising my craft to 7.
- At this point, I was feeling a little bad about the way I'd treated the ferryman, so I headed back to the tavern and, sure enough, once again he offered me a ride. This time, I took him up on it.
- Turns out, my earlier apprehension was justified. As soon as we got to the temple, Chuck sold me and my boys into slavery and paddled back across the river chuckling.
- Fortunately, the templars weren't too enamored with me and my sour smelling cohorts, so we were able to escape the next turn, heading to the Runes where I found a Holy Lance. It'll go nicely with my grail.
- I heard there was a ranch in the Hidden Valley with some fantastic salad dressing, so I headed over there. Turns out, there was no salad at all, just a serpent, a guide and Solomon's Crown. I turned the snake into boots and put on my shiny new hat. I asked the guide to show me how to get to the big door down in the corner. Not only did I cut a dashing figure, I had an effective craft of 9 and felt confident that I could saunter through the Portal of Power.
- I rolled a 5, sending me to the aforementioned portal with movement to spare. I rolled a THREE on my craft check. Turns out the secret knock was "Shave and a Haircut."
- From the Plains of Peril, I decided to take the route that headed through the mines. Prince said he had once played a concert there for some dude named Balin and I thought, "What the heck."
- The mines didn't provide much of a challenge, as I rolled a 7 on my craft check, breezing on through (but with all kinds of unnecessary CGI effects).
- At the vampire's tower, I was able to convince the count to let me go with just a little nibble if I agreed to get Keanu Reeves the hell out of his house. (I rolled a 2, escaping with the loss of only one life). Keanu got into a phone booth with George Carlin and I moved on to the pits. (just like the second and third movies in The Matrix trilogy).
- Three pit fiends arose to challenge me, but I was under the influence of various performance enhancing drugs, and put down all three of the critters in rapid succession (Combat rolls of 11 to 7; 12 to 9; and 10 to 6 ... thank you Holy Lance).
- I stopped to switch my orb of knowledge to the mule and pull out the Talisman the Sentinel had given me early on, using it to pass the stern looking door man at the velvet rope blocking off the Valley of Fire.
- Taking the steps two at a time, I tossed away my Crown of Solomon for the even shinier hat at the top.
... All in all, even stopping to take notes and nursing a refreshing Canada Dry, I completed the game in 37 minutes. Perhaps, next time I play beat the clock, I'll shoot for half an hour.
Still, after the beatdown I'd taken for much of the game I'd played with my son earlier in the evening, it was nice to have some good luck.
- Last edited Mon Dec 8, 2008 5:10 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Dec 8, 2008 8:51 am
Now who are these five?
Come, come, all children who love fairy tales.
Wonderful. Well written, and I enjoyed the video afterwards. Thumbs up!
- Last edited Mon Dec 8, 2008 11:11 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Dec 8, 2008 11:05 am
I always love to read the stories that this timeless game generates. Thanks for sharing this, er, uncommon, and hilarious, solo session report.
Solo play obviously removes some of the bizarre screwage fun that's a regular feature of the game but I've been pondering on solo play myself lately.
These time lapses are way cool. I've played this one solo myself once, and though it lacks any player interaction, it's much quicker and is still a decent way to get a Talisman 'fix'.
looks fun .. the video clip is short and neat
enjoy it very much
I like how you recorded putting the game back in the box. Made me laugh.
Come and get them if you dare!
To Do List: 1. Eat 2. Workout 3. Be Amazing
4 years later, yeah I know. Great session report! Good for a few laughs.