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Talisman (Revised 4th Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Want to love this game.. rss

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Andy Bredin
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So I got this game about a year ago.. without having played any talisman game before.. but hearing it was interesting. Well, I've played three times now .. each with a different audience (I have a review on here of the first time). Each time I run into the same problems. Inevitably someone just gets 'stuck' on the first realm.. and either doesn't have the strength to beat the Sentinel.. or just cannot seem to find any loot, or land in town to get an axe.. and get into the middle. My nephew was still stuck in the first realm.. even with 3 of us trying to help him get the most out of his turns (to catch up) when 3 of us were working on inner realm. I know the movement in this game is meant to be sort of random.. and fun.. but 3 for 3 games now.. someone has got really screwed by it.. and may as well not even be playing. I mean.. the person in this game that shot out to an early lead was the character that got the curse that they could only move one square at a time.. at least they could reliably get to where they wanted to go in a finite amount of turns. Maybe I'm doing something wrong?
 
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Rich Moore
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Oxford
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If you want to love the game you need to embrace the randomness and capricious nature of "The Talismangler." Yes, some will get stuck in the first region or will get continually smacked around, while others may seem to breeze through; however, this is the nature of the game. Don't take it too personally and you'll do fine. Your turn to be stuck in the first realm will be just around the corner.

[Note, this doesn't mean the game is devoid of meaningful choices. Luck is ever present, but the game is all about risk management and weighing your chances in light of chance.)
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Hugh G. Rection
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I had a similarly disappointing play of this version, not having the nostalgia factor of playing the old versions. I like games with randomness. I like games with screwage. I hate Talisman. It goes on far too long for the type of game it is.

To the OP, try DungeonQuest (third edition) instead. It's crazy-random, and you can even die on the first turn (just start a new character in this case). But at least the game finishes in under an hour (provided you use the dice-based combat variant).
 
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Aaron Tubb
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Fuquay Varina
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Trying to land on the village to buy a weapon is playing it wrong.

Common noob mistake, though, as new players don't realize that the average adventure card is actually beneficial, and if there are face-up cards near the village that don't help you, you are wasting turns if you hang around there just so you can buy a weapon.
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Simon Lundström
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Now who are these five?
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Soldinar wrote:
Maybe I'm doing something wrong?


No, you are not. In a 4 player game of Talisman, a typical is that 1 or 2 players will go for the crown.

The trick is to be quick and end the game before the guys in the outer region get too bored.

A gam that you can't control much simply shouldn't take too much time. A random roller coaster ride is amazingly fun… but only for so long.
 
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Juan Medina
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I agree with the stances advising you to embrace the randomness of the game. Make this more about the story going than the actual win.

Having said that, you can always make the game shorter by providing more experience. I would also recommend adding Talisman (Revised 4th Edition): The Reaper Expansion to your games as that allows for some interesting interactions between players.

In the end, Talisman is a game about the journey, not the finish. Very simple mechanics and really luck driven.

An alternative with a better mechanics for those looking for a balanced game may be Runebound (Second Edition).
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Ian Kelly
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I agree with Aaron; it's generally not worthwhile to obsess over landing on a particular space (unless it's where you got toaded and you're trying to get all your stuff back). There are so many ways to get into the Middle Region that don't require landing on the Village with 3 gold. Here are some of the other methods I've seen:

* Land on the Tavern and roll a 6.
* Cross the bridge and defeat the Sentinel.
* Cross the bridge and use a spell like Invisibility or Immobility to evade the Sentinel.
* Cast the Water Walking spell to cross the river anywhere you want.
* Find the Winged Boots and roll a 6 for movement.
* Encounter the Boatman and pay a gold to cross.
* Buy a raft from the Market or the Market Day event.
* Find a Rune Gate and teleport to a Runes space.
* Encounter the Imp and roll a location in the Middle Region.
* Cast Magic Portal and roll a location in the Middle Region.
* Complete a quest (thereby teleporting you to the Warlock's Cave).
ETA:
* Go through the Dungeon and defeat the Dungeon Lord.
* Go through the Highlands and defeat the Eagle King.

Note some of these may require expansions -- I don't recall exactly which cards are in the base game.
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Jon Simpson
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Regarding the roll and move mechanic, I used to think this was symptomatic of old school game design but now realise this is purposeful , your supposed to have a limited choice and the game is designed around this. You find different ways to move through spells and objects adventure cards, abilities etc and this increases your options.

Game progress and duration is based on leveling up and theres no mechanic to move you on if your not getting enough craft and strength points, so keep hitting enemies and use the the enchanter or mystic, use fate if neccesary, use the alchemist if you need gold or steal it from another player.

I dont think Runebound is any less random, you move around a map choosing which colour of encounter you want, which actually is really determined by the current strength of your character,at least in Talisman there are areas on the board that have a specific purpose.









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Aswin Agastya
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Sometimes you just can't get off. I've had this a few times. In that case I just enjoy my adventure in the countryside, living my final days while some bastard is blasting the world from the crown of command.
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Simon Lundström
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Peristarkawan wrote:
There are so many ways to get into the Middle Region that don't require landing on the Village with 3 gold. Here are some of the other methods I've seen:


The most common for me is "Landing on the tavern and rolling a 6".

During the hundreds of times I've played Talisman during the years (OK, maybe not hundreds, but at least close to 100) I think I've crossed the bridge once. Or twice.
 
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Simon Lundström
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redeye wrote:
at least in Talisman there are areas on the board that have a specific purpose.

I find this EXTREMELY necessary in an adventure game. That different parts of the board feels different is for me a must for adventure games. As long as they give the sense of "going to different places" I don't care if I can't really control stuff.
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Donald Duck
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The problem with this game is that it just takes too long for such a random game, especially when played with more than 4 players. Our last 6 player session was pretty terrible, took us 3 and half hours and it consisted of mostly "wait for 10 minutes in order to roll a dice, draw a card and perhaps roll another dice for combat" rinse and repeat for 3 1/2 tedious hours at the end most people were just dying on purpose in order to end the game as fast as possible. Good fun eh?
 
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Aswin Agastya
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Wait for 10 minutes??? Most of our turns lasted 15 seconds to a minute top.
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Simon Wiese
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It really depends on what kind of persons you play with. If i play with guys who are all very experienced it takes a very short amount of time. Someone draws a card, sees the picture on it and knows immidiately what to do. In my gaming group we know all the cards very good as well as the tables on the board spaces. Yet, when I play with newbies, it last a LOT longer, since they want to read the full text on the card (even if its just flavour text), do not understand them on the first read etc... There is also the kind of person who want to take a longer look at the illustrations. This can indeed turn out into very long games, especially if one of the newbies plays characters such as the Prophetess or the Sage... you will know why
If everyone knows the deck, games won't last more than an hour up to an hour and a half which is absolutely acceptable and fire for me
 
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Juan Medina
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Sevej wrote:
Wait for 10 minutes??? Most of our turns lasted 15 seconds to a minute top.


This is a symptom of someone that ones to solve the game or a rules clarification. This game is soooo simple in execution that really, there is just not many instances where the flow has to stop.
 
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Joe McD
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I know the feeling - Talisman really has little strategy, the board plays itself. This, like DungeonQuest, is a throwback to the 80's style where the fates of biology determined your random character and the environment could easily kill you.

Unfortunately, for a game like Talisman to work without a player "running the game," like a DM or something, the board has to play itself, which means highly random game play, and very simple rules. This means that there will be little strategy to work with - you will be at the mercy of the board. This is the price you pay for a game that gives you the 80's RPG feel while still being quick to learn, and easy for players who don't want to have to take a semester of rules classes. Yes, DungeonQuest is faster, but it is brutally unforgiving and requires even less strategy than Talisman... you can draw insta-kill cards, for instance. Not something I'd want a group of casual gamers to tackle.

With a game like Talisman, someone's going to be stuck in the Outer Region. It sucks, but that's the game. If it's any consolation, it is entirely possible someone will die while in the middle or inner region, or getting ported to the outer region in the caves or mines.

The length of the game is inaccessible, yes, and I would only suggest it if you have an entire afternoon and evening available.

At the end of the day, if you don't like it, then you don't like it. Nothing's wrong with you, you aren't playing it wrong, it's just not your cup of tea. The same things happens with me. If you think there's no hope for Talisman, trade it with someone for another Fantasy Flight game they have.
 
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Ian Kelly
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I once tried 4th edition Talisman with no expansions as a party game for a crowd of mostly non-gamers. It was excruciatingly slow, mainly because the players were more interested in talking than in taking their turns. I don't think we even finished the game.
 
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Aaron Morgan
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Soldinar wrote:
Maybe I'm doing something wrong?


Nope. It's just a game with way too much randomness and not many meaningful choices.

It gets a pass because lots of gamers have fond memories of it. Talisman was pretty innovative when it first came out.

But three editions later, it's still just a roll and move game with some chrome.
 
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