Chris Tannhauser
United States
San Diego
California
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Fig. 1 — "I can see the Crown of Command from here!"
I recently gifted my demi-nephew a copy of Talisman with the Reaper expansion for his eighth birthday both because he needs it like mundane-nerd children need a chess set and because our gaming venue had shifted to his house... and I need it there like the Yanomamö need yopo. RPG Nite moves around to the house with the baby to keep the unfortunate breeders in the loop; the "babies" at the previous house were old enough that they could hear, repeat—and worse, understand—what the bad uncles were saying and so we got the boot to the next baby-house down. Which is cool, except when there's a failure of the RPG quorum due to moral weakness and we end up in that house's game closet looking at half a Monopoly set and Dora the Explorer Risk Jr.* And it's rude to turn up at RPG Nite with board games when the GM has probably spent four hours prepping something we'll all look sideways at and then decide to go rob a bank instead. So, the two-birds/one-stone gifting.

Quorum failure is precisely what we had last night, and besides, Big D was interested in seeing how Talisman worked so he could run it with his son. (I want in on that game. I so want in on that game. Who wouldn't want to be there for a child's first toading? Such a precious moment.) We popped the box and flopped the board and began setting up.

There were four of us, the Dwarf (Big D), the Sage (Dave), the Minstrel (Tod aka "oh-goddammit-I'm-the-Manstrel") with the role of the sallow and creepy Druid being played by me. Right from the start the Sage was trouble, doing all the annoying little things that characters with actual powers do: re-rolling dice, peeping at cards that were not his, making smug faces as we dim and blind men stumbled upon secrets that were so tiresomely obvious to him. Meanwhile I had the power of herbs, or something.

It was a typical game—though no one got toaded—with the usual whirling around in circles and getting into fights with things in their homes, the stabbing, stamping and zortching of hobgoblins just trying to get by in a hatefully human world, the "finding" of bags of gold**, and the meeting of eccentric personages. In a word, Adventure—the kind a serial killer, armed robber or drug-crazed voodoo priest might have.

And then the baby started crying.

Big D rose from the table, ponderously, and intoned, "Just take my turns for me while I'm gone."

Now, this utterance in this group is worse than suicide; we have seen, on more than one occasion, lengthy emails stipulating exactly what an RPG character played in absentia will—and absolutely will not—do. These read like Kafkaesque contracts with BDSM demons ("Never ever ever, never, under no circumstances, anything at all with the word 'anal' in it. Not even 'banal sex' as we all know where that leads. Also, my character is not brave.") Suffice it to say we were all more than just a little bit excited as he left the table.

He was only gone for a single turn.

Upon his return he blinked at the board. "What—happened?" he asked.

"Well," I replied with only a hint of quaver, "You assaulted the Sentinel, crossed into the middle region, lopped off all of Cerberus' heads, pried open the Portal of Power and strode onto the Plain of Peril. Bastard."

You can guess the rest. The Sage sicced the Grim Reaper on someone only to have him bounce back and throttle all the wisdom out of his scrawny neck; the Druid chose suicide by sere desiccation in the Desert if only to rob the Dwarf of another notch in his mystic Crown and in the vain hope that someday, perhaps, someday his mummy would be shoveled into the boiler of an arcane steam engine of some distant empire; and the Manstrel popped like a massive zit in the midst of an orgy with his entourage that consisted of the Princess and the Gnome... the air bubble of his immortal soul heated to trans-infernal temperatures by the crouching, cackling Dwarf in his too-big Crown of Command.

Double-bastard.


*Dear Internet—How is it no one has done up Dora as Che Guevara? You have failed me, and I do not understand how this can be.

**I mean, c'mon—it's gold and it's in a bag! It belonged to someone, and recently. The card should really be entitled "Nobleman in a Ditch".
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So it goes
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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If you can't walk, crawl. If you can't crawl..... well, you know the rest.
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Any game is the right game with the right crowd.
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Talisamn. Or: How I Learned To Listen To Hivegod And Love The Game

If only I needed the game like Napoleon Chagnon needs the Yanamamo, Yanomami, whatever the young anthropologists are calling them these days.

Talisman, the chest pounding duel of the civilized man.
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Felix Lastname
Germany
Konstanz
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Pomboo. Si samaki, si mnyama. Si mzee, si kijana.
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OriginalDM wrote:
If only I needed the game like Napoleon Chagnon needs the Yanamamo, Yanomami, whatever the young anthropologists are calling them these days.

Talisman, the chest pounding duel of the civilized man.
Yanomamö has a lot of traction these days. I think the Ümläüt sells it.

"Talismamö - the Fierce Game", anybody?
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Chris Tannhauser
United States
San Diego
California
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Roll 1d6 and consult the table below.*
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*If you encounter the squid in the desert, it is a flying squid.
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Againsto wrote:
Yanomamö has a lot of traction these days. I think the Ümläüt sells it.

"Talismamö - the Fierce Game", anybody?
Everyone knows ümlauts make everything metal:

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