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Subject: Playtime estimate? 180 minutes? rss

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Enon Sci
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I was just comparing Talisman, a game I remember overstaying its welcome often with the 2nd edition, and Prophecy, a title I'm close to selling or trading for 4th Edition Talisman.

Anyhoo, my question is this: For two players, is 180 minutes a realistic estimate for Prophecy's playtime?

Talisman claims 90 minutes, which also seems absurd.

I haven't played Prophecy in years; when it last came out it overstayed its welcome to such a degree nobody has thought to request it back. However, I just picked up the expansion to allow for co-op and solo play (plus the added variety of race selection), plus have some new personalities in my life to try it out with. Even if it's a success, though, I suspect it'll be a rarity at 180 minutes (especially if similar games have literally half the playtime).
 
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Prophecy definitely overstayed its welcome, but all we did was stop the game once the first minor artifact was found. The "kits" help *a lot* and add to the theme. Which expansion are you talking about? I know the Dragon expansion added races (not sure if it's necessary with the kits) but added that fiddly board.

EDIT: I have an opened copy of the Dragon expansion for sale or trade!
 
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Enon Sci
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Sam and Max wrote:
Prophecy definitely overstayed its welcome, but all we did was stop the game once the first minor artifact was found. The "kits" help *a lot* and add to the theme. Which expansion are you talking about? I know the Dragon expansion added races (not sure if it's necessary with the kits) but added that fiddly board.


Oh, I didn't realize more than one expansion every saw the light of day in America (but for all you knew I had a Czech copy, so fair play). Yeah, I'm awaiting the Dragon expansion's arrival at my door. Figured it was smarter to buy it now, especially with Zman changing hands, than to discover it OOP down the road.

Speaking of OOP, is Prophecy itself OOP in the states? I just noticed that the cheapest one was selling for $70~ on the Geek (with mint copies going for $120). Humm, that's either a sign to hold onto this or to get in while the getting is good (*flips coin in head*).
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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Anarchosyn wrote:
Talisman claims 90 minutes, which also seems absurd.


Up to 3, maybe 4 players, amongst people who know what they are doing and keep the eye on the ball (as in, remembering the goal is the get to the center, not gear up for 2+ hours, then maybe think about heading up there), 90 minutes is very reasonable. 3-player around here averages 75 minutes, 90 min when certain Alternate Endings, wins in under 60 minutes are somewhere between uncommon and rare.
 
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Enon Sci
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Dam the Man wrote:
Anarchosyn wrote:
Talisman claims 90 minutes, which also seems absurd.


Up to 3, maybe 4 players, amongst people who know what they are doing and keep the eye on the ball (as in, remembering the goal is the get to the center, not gear up for 2+ hours, then maybe think about heading up there), 90 minutes is very reasonable. 3-player around here averages 75 minutes, 90 min when certain Alternate Endings, wins in under 60 minutes are somewhere between uncommon and rare.


Ever play with 2?

If so, how does it compare to Prophecy with 2? I presume Prophecy holds that player number better, especially with the co-op variant rules found in Dragon Realms, yeah?
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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I do prefer 3+ for Talisman, though sadly 3 is about the limit we can get. 2 isn't bad, although PvP can get very lacking given the size of the board, even more if you add the two extra boards. For 2-player, I prefer to go with Runebound when in the adventure mood or Middle-Earth Quest if looking for a purely confrontational game vs a race game (Talisman, RB). However, with 2-player, Talisman is quick enough (eye on the ball players again) that you can generally get two games in in one session.
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Eduard Navratil
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I had a great game of Prophecy in 3p that lasted 180 minutes and I enjoyed every minute of it. I believe that in two players -when they know what to do- it would last 120 mins max, probably even less.
Plus, the Prophecy is playable in two - it is fun enough even when the two players don't clash (save for the ending). Talisman for couples sucks, there's no gameplay without player interaction, and with only one opponent you won't get much of it.
 
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At our first annual Nerdfest (cousins, brothers and best friends who live apart getting filthy drunk and nerding it up for three straight days) three years ago we played Prophecy. It took so damned long and returned so little fun it's been in its box, in a bigger box, in my garage storage loft ever since. And I'm talking with all of us it took like 4+ hours. It was f'ing brutal. (Must note: This was with the *totally god awful use at your own risk, make a longer, badder game, even badderer and longerer* Dragon expansion.) It was sad for us too because, when we first got the game we all thought, "Hell yes! It's Talisman but you actually make choices!"

What we realized later was that, yeah, you make choices, but they aren't interesting, are prone to paralysis and are out of place for the genre. It's trying to cram more skill (though actually just book keeping and efficiency) than should be warranted or necessary for a beer and pretzels fantasy kill shit and get stronger game.

Nerdfest 2012 begins in about 160 hours, not that I'm counting. Prophecy is staying in the box(es). We chipped in and rebought Talisman. (Though I still have my first edition box. I'm pretty old.)

I played it two player with my six year old. Took us about 90 minutes and that was taking time to help him read the titles of the cards and spaces, though we just had the win condition be getting to the Crown.

As mentioned above, make sure everyone keeps the goal in mind: You only need 11 Craft or Strength to have a better than 50% shot at getting past the Mines or Crypt. I think what Talisman suffers from is a bunch of old a-holes like myself playing it back when we were kids. It was fun, fun, fun, then we started getting older and it started becoming, long, long, tedious... and that's the flavor we still have in our mouth. But I was playing that game ALL NIGHT LONG on sleep overs and crap, cracking really unfunny jokes about game events, talking about how great sex must be and how big Kim's boobs were going to be after summer vacation.

Grownups should be able to reasonably play this game to conclusion in a couple of hours.

Plus, time to pour another beer is all but designed into the system.
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Enon Sci
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Dam the Man wrote:
I do prefer 3+ for Talisman, though sadly 3 is about the limit we can get. 2 isn't bad, although PvP can get very lacking given the size of the board, even more if you add the two extra boards. For 2-player, I prefer to go with Runebound when in the adventure mood or Middle-Earth Quest if looking for a purely confrontational game vs a race game (Talisman, RB). However, with 2-player, Talisman is quick enough (eye on the ball players again) that you can generally get two games in in one session.


Thanks for the feedback!

Though I have a pretty hardcore game group (Power Grid, Agricola, Caylus, Imperial, Twilight Imperium, etc) this inquiry is more for fantasy adventure options to spend with my girlfriend. My dream would be a fast playing, fantasy based version of Arkham Horror; the story telling potential of the location and event cards would certainly be up her alley (she's a writer and loves fantasy), but finding the closest fit between Talisman (good expansion potential and character differentiation), Runebound (great item options and decent story potential with expansions) or Prophecy (a lighter and perhaps less intimidating introduction, though less prone to variation) has been rough.

I've owned Runebound for years now, and even liked it a bit with the Sands of Al-Kalim expansion thrown on, but found it too focused on combat and lacking any real sense of narrative. Scenarios that demanded the player have skills that went beyond combat, and the options in which to use them, would be great (maybe I'm dreaming of a version of Tales of the Arabian Nights offering Runebound's greater effect on the outcome of events). It's also long and unwieldly, but perhaps not any more so than Prophecy or Talisman. The real kicker is Runebound lacks any sense of a player catch-up mechanic, so early leads might just kill the atmosphere of the game. With Runebound's emphasis on pressing one's luck with difficult encounters, I could see this being a recipe for disappointment (my other major criticism is the combat mechanics for Runebound can be so convoluted that other players lose interest in following the developments on your turn, but I with two this problem is lessened).

Talisman lacks the movement dynamics of Runebound, or even Prophecy, but it has a handful of non-combat encounters (right?) and non-combat events / choices can be prompted by board locations as well. It also might lack a sense of catch-up, and no official cooperative variants, right? The characters and board spaces are probably the best in the genre, however (of these three, at least).

Prophecy seems to have all of this, is a rarer commodity and offers arguably more story / non-combat scenarios (comparing base-set to base-set) than either Runebound or Talisman, right? The only drag is the comparative lack of expandability and arguably the low card counts (but, as a wiser man than me once said, if the cheap appeal of novelty is the only life to a game, that's probably not a game you really enjoy playing). However, if the play time is upwards to three hours, I doubt it will see more than one play a year. soblue

 
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Rauli Kettunen
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Anarchosyn wrote:
Talisman lacks the movement dynamics of Runebound


I think the more appropriate issue is, does this make a real difference? A space is a space. Talisman, most spaces are draw 1 card, but RB doesn't really do much more. Green Challenge space you draw a Green Challenge. All the movement adds is time to figure out if you can get to the space you want to get to. Not saying it's bad, I like chucking dice, but ultimately, moving to a draw 1 space in Talisman is very much the same as moving to a Challenge space in RB. And the extra dice can also create problems. Cult of the Rune expansion, both times I've played it, the Cult has gotten stuck behind the mountain chain in the south, leaving the heroes with nothing to do but wait until you roll a mountain. Grinds the game to a dead halt.
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David Tlustak
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If the players are not new to the game. the gametime of the basic game whitout the extra boards can be as short as 90-120 minutes.
I have played 3 games in tha past Months and all of them have been under 2 hours but none of them has been with the expansions
The basic gametime of the game is about 120 minutes if all people who play know what they are dooing, But you must add +60 minutes cca for the expansion., +90-120 for both of them.
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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IMO expansions don't add any play time (bit extra setup to properly shuffle two extra decks), assuming again the players keep their eye on the prize. If they just head to the extra board to see what it has to offer, sure, that won't propel the game along.

But before the Dungeon board was added, wins in under 60 min were much more rarer, since the Dungeon expansion was added, there have been a few times when a character has reached the Crown of Command in 30 minutes (or less) by beating the Lord of Darkness by 8+. Ogre Chieftain is the easiest hero to do this with, you don't even need to boost your starting stats one bit, Necromancer can also do it. No place offers up opportunities for faster stat gains through kills than the Dungeon. It's a hard place, but collecting 14 or 21 points of trophies can be done like that (snaps fingers ). If you're at say Str 7, spending maybe 5 turns in the Dungeon should get you to Str 9 and ready to hit the Inner Region.
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