Mike van Schijndel
Netherlands
Rotterdam
ZuidHolland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Session report Talisman

On Sunday april 21 the Manical Shoeshiners played a game of Talisman. We used the base game plus all the expansions except the City and the Dragon. We played with a hidden alternative ending. We added a few house rules:

1) No bonus for daytime encounters in the dungeon (but penalties from nighttime do apply)

2) If you roll a 1 for movement you either move the grim reaper or the werewolf

3) We all made a short back story for our character (no house rule but still fun)

These were the characters we played with:

Michael: Dark cultist
Christian: Ogre chieftain
Herman: Magus (later monk)
Mike: Merchant (later dark knight)

We started at around 15:30 and finished at 21:30. It was a long game but we had a one hour dinner break at 19:00. So, all in all, the game lasted for five hours.

Meet the heroes:

The land are in peril! Monsters roam the forests and fields and dark curses are whispered in the dead of night. In these dire straits we meet four travelers, questing for the crown of command: There is the fierce ogre chieftain who has a hunger for all things shiny. He was told the crown shines like no other object in these vast realms. The intrepid merchant shares the ogres' love of gold but has grown weary of the power struggles between the petty city guilds. He desires real power which is told to be granted to the one wearing this fabled crown. The dark cultist meanwhile, has been tainted by the touch of the grim reaper. She was spared deaths' embrace during an unholy ceremony and has now been sent to retrieve this ultimate artifact left beyond the plane of peril (from which – as we all know - even death is barred). Finally there is the mysterious magus, a brooding and temperous master of magic. His motives are known not by a living soul...

The adventure begins:

The game starts off relatively uneventful. The heroes explore the outer regions encountering the occasional monster or stranger. Many of the earlier fights end in standoffs. The weather must have been awful because a lot of 1's are rolled for movement. Because of this, both the grim reaper and the werewolf pose a serious threat. The merchant is assaulted by the vicious lycantrophe but manages to escape wounded. The magus, having heard a rumor there is a powerful demon residing in the depths of the dungeon, ignores all warnings and decides to travel to the ruins and enters a dark passage to explore it.

The merchant proves to be very unlucky (this must surely have been my unluckiest game of Talisman ever!) and is dragged off to the highlands by a thunder owl. He manages to escape the highlands for a moment but foul Dreadwing sends out a minion to reclaim this foolish trespasser! The garish merchant is swept up by a vast roc and he is never seen again. I curse my luck and reroll a dread knight!

The merchant is not the only one being harried by rocs. The ogre chieftain is attacked multiple times by the feathery giants. The mighty warrior is greatly wounded but manages to escape their wrath only to bump into an angry dragon. Luckily he beheads the mighty creature with one fell swoop of his double bladed axe! While the dark cultist and the dread knight are scrambling for the possessions left by the merchant the magus travels deeper and deeper into the heart of the dungeon. To everyone's surprise he manages to survive and even triumph all of the encounters and ends up in a series of passages where he his luck turns and he is finally waylaid by a great many monsters that use physical combat. He tries to flee – and manages to escape two or three very heavy fights but – only four steps away from the exit - is ultimately cornered by a small group of viscious goblins who pummel him to death while gleefully shouting obscenities.

As the magus' death cries die out a simple monk comes along, carrying a short wooden staff. He sets off to explore the outer regions while the dark cultist decides to set course for the highlands. Meanwhile, the ogre unleashes a werewolf attack on the dread knight who manages to escape the ferocious creature but stumbles upon a dark spirit that wounds him. He loses his only possession: his undead horse Dapper. Powerless without the dark mount he decides to travel back to the graveyard to reclaim it. His journey proves entirely fruitless as he is assaulted by many monsters and almost dies. When he is struck by an alignment change (to good) preventing him from getting back to the graveyard, his fate seems all but sealed. Luckily, the dark cultist takes pity on the poor knight and changes his alignment back to evil for a few moments, giving him a window of opportunity to enter the graveyard and summon his mount Dapper.

Chanting solemn prayers the monk is carried across the river by boat to the middle region. He explores a peaceful glade in search of a quiet spot to meditate and pray but instead awakens a great evil in the form of an infernal wraith. The terrifying monster, strengthened by nightfall and certainly the strongest creature ever to travel the realms of Talisman (it had a modified strength of 13!) – charges the monk (strength 3) who only manages to escape by casting an incredibly lucky divine intervention spell! Some local peasants reward him by granting him a warhorse but he declines their favor and decides to call it quits and sets up a church in their village, effectively retiring from the game (Herman had to leave).

The dread knight's luck is slowly starting to turn but both the ogre and the dark cultist are frantically racing through the highlands to slay vile Dreadwing who is rumored to posses a powerful artifact. The dark cultist is the first to reach the lord of the skies and quickly slays it. He claims a reward and travels to the warlocks cave to quest for a talisman so he can enter the valley of fire. The ogre does the same and gets an easy quest: find the glade where a monk pooped his pants! He follows the smell of holy excrement, and is instantly rewarded with a Talisman. With his mind on shiny things, he sets course for the portal of power but is ambushed by the devilish cultist who is out for the fabled talisman (as it turns out this would not be the last cultist ambush). The bulky ogre is saved by an old ally, a giant from the highlands who fights in his stead and prevents the cultist from stealing his treasured talisman. As the cultist curses his luck the ogre quickly slips through the portal and begins his journey to the crown of command!

Surely, victory is at hand?

The cultist, left without a talisman at the portal of power, sees only one way to fight on and frantically tries to complete his warlocks quest (to get a talisman). He is beseeched to find two followers. He is racing through the regions in search of some allies while the dread knight decides to explore the highlands. Unfortunately the ogre gets lost in the crypts and ends up back in the warlock cave, giving both the cultist and the dread knight some room to breathe. The dread knight makes good progress in the highlands and finds many great magical rewards while the cultist finds his first follower, a riding horse. Having heard rumors of little red riding hood hiding out near the village he desperately attempts to locate her. (Michael spent a number of turns trying to end up on the space containing that only remaining follower on the board).

The ogre reenters the portal of power and finally manages to find his way through the crypts. After dicing with death and slaying a great many werewolves he enters he valley of fire, ready to take his just reward! But before he would claim his shiny crown he would have to confront the last remaining guardian which turns out to be (hidden ending) the ice queen!!

It was still nighttime, which meant that the queen had the upper hand in combat (strength 13 vs the ogres 12). The struggle was fierce and bloody but somehow the brave ogre managed to stay alive long enough to suddenly feel a sharp pain in his back! Grimacing, he looks over his shoulder and sees the treacherous dark cultist there, grinning in triumph! How... was this possible?

Let me tell you... While the ogre was fighting the ice queen, the dark cultist - still searching for that last follower – had stumbled upon a spiteful imp who offered to instantly teleport him to any other character, in any region!!! Of course the choice was easy and the cultist backstabbed the ogre, taking his last remaining life. However, there was still the ice queen to be dealt with. Would the cultist have survived the battle, had the queen not not been weakened by the ogre? Probably not.. but now the weakened sorceress was quickly overpowered by the cultist dark magics. As the cold hearted sorceress perished the dark cultist proved victorious and reclaims the Crown of Command...

Victory! Or is it? Remembering his unholy deal with the grim reaper, the dark cultist slowly realizes he is trapped between worlds. The ultimate power at hand but with death waiting for him at the threshold of the portal of power, no way to use it...

The end

Observations:

We had a ton of fun! Unfortunately the game took a little bit longer than expected but the ending was very satisfying with the epic battle with the sorceress and the spectacular (and thematically brilliant!) betrayal of the cultist. Eventually it all came down to one final die roll (isn't that how this game should be, really?). The ice queen was at her last remaining life and so was the cultist! It was very exciting and we were all cheering and jumping around in joy, happy that he made it..

Even - albeit grudgingly - the ogre who had just been backstabbed!
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian Luis
Spain
Rotterdam
Kralingen
flag msg tools
I shall have my revenge Dark Cultisssstttttttt *dies* zombie
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike van Schijndel
Netherlands
Rotterdam
ZuidHolland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For sure!

I told you guys we were doomed from the start when he drew that character.. He should have kept that damn pixie (which was his first draw)..



 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Netherlands
Vlaardingen
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
It indeed was a great session, just a pitty i had to leave at 19.00!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike van Schijndel
Netherlands
Rotterdam
ZuidHolland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, I never expected it to last this long.. Last couple of games we played were finished in about 3 hours max..
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rauli Kettunen
Finland
Oulu
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
FreakFire74 wrote:
But before he would claim his shiny crown he would have to confront the last remaining guardian which turns out to be (hidden ending) the ice queen!!

It was still nighttime, which meant that the queen had the upper hand in combat (strength 13 vs the ogres 12). The struggle was fierce and bloody but somehow the brave ogre managed to stay alive long enough to suddenly feel a sharp pain in his back! Grimacing, he looks over his shoulder and sees the treacherous dark cultist there, grinning in triumph! How... was this possible?

Let me tell you... While the ogre was fighting the ice queen, the dark cultist - still searching for that last follower – had stumbled upon a spiteful imp who offered to instantly teleport him to any other character, in any region!!! Of course the choice was easy and the cultist backstabbed the ogre, taking his last remaining life.


Without knowing the wording of the Imp that set it all, I'd say this sounds like an illegal move on the part of the DC. Not the teleport, but the attacking against the OC. On the CoC, when there is an Ending there:

"When using the Alternative Ending Cards, characters on the Crown
of Command must encounter the Alternative Ending Card and
follow the rules printed on the card – they cannot cast the
Command Spell or encounter other characters on the Crown
of Command unless the Alternative Ending Card specifically
states otherwise." (Frostmarch, p. 2, but found on other expansion sheets)

IQ doesn't provide a way to encounter another character, you have to encounter and fight her.

Quote:
Victory! Or is it? Remembering his unholy deal with the grim reaper, the dark cultist slowly realizes he is trapped between worlds. The ultimate power at hand but with death waiting for him at the threshold of the portal of power, no way to use it...


Gah, DC is a she, not a he !
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike van Schijndel
Netherlands
Rotterdam
ZuidHolland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Rauli!

Thanks for your comment!

Yeah, you are absolutely right.. We even hesitated for a moment and even agreed to not have the encounter but then we picked the card from the discard pile and interpreted the Spiteful Imps attack would trump over the IQ's presence.. It's a bit silly in hindsight but it still makes for an excellent climax..

Yeah, the dark cultist is a she! We even made lots of jokes about it while playing.. I noticed I was using 'he' when I was done but then I couldn't be arsed to change it all..

Game on!

Mike
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.