My first session report, played while I was visiting my parents' place.
My mom, passionate rpg-videogame player ever since I showed her Legend of Zelda on the NES, as well as reading tons of fantasy books (among other).
My sis, a lot younger than me (in her late teens) and also liking videogame-rpgs.
And finally me, 20+ years of pretty much all kind of fantasy-based games (yes I started early).
Both my mom and my sis played one game of Talisman, the night before, to get to know the rules and basic mechanics (or so I thought, more on that later).
My mom got the Warrior, much to her dislike (she usually prefers any kind of magic-user).
My sis drew the Ghoul, which she thought was interesting but wasn't too thrilled about it either.
I ended up with the Sorceress, who read good on paper (and I heard good things about her), so I was basically happy.
Things started going bad for me pretty much from the start, my first encounter was a snake and of course I got beaten (my sis tends to roll good for monsters for some reason). The Ghoul and the Warrior strolled rather easily through the outer region, gathering items and a few followers as well as knocking some heads in.
After some rounds I finally managed to get my hands on an item to boost my strength by one (the belt).I never managed to land on a field with one of the other players to use any of the Sorceress' special abilities (not to mention the followers they did get were the exceptions that can't be taken away). After asking me a few times about the pvp rules, my mother decided the belt would look much better on her Warrior and knocked me over the head, grabbing my only item.
A few more rounds without unusual happenings I landed on the Town. Having no need for healing and no item bad enough to turn to gold I had to roll at the Enchantress. I rolled a 2, meaning I would lose the one extra strength I managed to get, so I decided to spend Fate to roll again. You probably guessed already, it turned up a 1, Toad-time for me.
The very next roll my sis managed to get on the town as well, cashing in one of the items she now knew would be useless at the alchemist and grabbing all my stuff.
So far so good (at least for the Ghoul), however in her greed to get my stuff my sis lost sight of the fact she only had one life left, which got painfully obvious when she encountered the witch next round, rolling a 2 and losing her final life. Needless to say she stared in disbelief at the dice and an impressive stack of items, gold and followers was now lying there, waiting to be picked up.
And of course the Warrior did get it, two rounds later. I just got back from being a toad and my sis respawned as Monk, but being nowhere close enough to get the stack. Now my mom (who kept asking rule-questions all through the session) had effectively the items and followers of three characters, as well as the mules to carry it.
As expected after these happenings, what followed was a complete cake-walk for my mom. First she breezed through the Sentinel. Having not to worry about getting a Talisman since either she or my sis found one in an encounter and having the gnome as follower she had no problems passing through the Portal and the mines. In the Vampire-tower she sacrificed a few of the many followers she didn't need anymore, the Pitfiends being too weak to make rolling necessary.
And then, after a few rounds standing lonely at the Crown she easily killed off both my sis and me, who were drawing bad cards and rolling rather weakly, never giving us a real chance to catch up somehow.
Once again Talisman showed anybody can win. My mom still didn't get all the rules by the time she had us killed, yet she didn't lose a single point of life during the whole game (yes, she was that lucky).
My sis got a bit cranky when her Ghoul died, but still stuck with the game to the end and enjoyed it as well.
And finally me, the only one who really knew the game properly, being very disappointed with the Sorceress. So far she's the weakest char I've played as, but there are a few more I didn't draw yet.
Either way, it was fun (and that's what it's all about) and it showed why Talisman is both for everybody (since anybody can win it, no matter how experienced) and not for everybody (since some people don't like the fact anybody can win).