Ludvig Bowallius
Sweden
Stockholm
Ă…rsta
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I played a very entertaining and surprisingly short, intense and even to the end game of Talisman this weekend. We played with the reaper and frostmarch blended in, all spells and characters in the mix and with the boards from the city and the dungeon. but as we discussed we came to a conclusion that while we actually like the content from the dragon (The actual cards and the dragon tower are really quite good add-ons to the game) it is WAY to fiddly which I am sure most Talisman-fans can agree with.

I saw some interesting variants here on BGG regarding the Dragon expansion, such as having dragon lords guard specific areas (Like replacing the sentinel, and guarding outside the portal of power) and encountering dragons on a certain roll of the die. But it lacks the same simpleness and elegance all the other expansions have (The only extra mechanic I use nowadays is the reaper, all other mechanics function according to the "roll and encounter" nature of the game).

Wouldn't it be cool if a new board integrated the content from the dragon? Imagine, entering a dragon-realm where you have three paths, where three different dragon lords have their influence. Then instead of drawing adventure cards (Or perhaps in addition to it) you would have clear instructions to draw dragon-tokens, or maybe just cards from the appropriate dragon-lord. Maybe it's not so simple as three paths, but you have a great latitude in choice in choosing what type of colour to encounter. Also, at the end of the paths, the dragon lord will wait. If you beat one, it should give about the same level of reward facing down the dungeon-lord does.

I have some other thoughts regarding how the dragon expansion SHOULD work with it's existing content:

- NO dragon-king coronation process

This is the fiddly part, which stands in the way for me fully enjoying the expansion. I actually liked the other variants I've seen, that they guard certain passages and I especially liked the variant that you could give a talisman to the one being sentinel, and from then having free passage between the outer and middle region, but at the same time I thought it didn't properly utilize the theme of the dragon lords and their proper decks.

- A way for scales to actually be placed in the normal regions?

What I really liked as the original idea and theme of the expansion was that the dragons are invading. They are not a silent institution or a still obstacle like the city or dungeon is. They are here to reclaim their birthright and their presence can't be ignored. It was an interesting idea to have scales pop up, and it affects the current leader of the dragons, but I think an easier way to do it is just to draw a scale when you roll a 1, since it will make the drawing probably around acceptable levels of occurence. If it is TOO slow, I think the established variants of pre-spawning tokens would suffice. Another idea if a dragon-realm is existing is that something in that realm spawns scales in the normal regions, but I still think that scales should be able to occur on their own in the normal areas.

- Only dragon-cards, no scales?

Another idea is to just have a dragon-realm, and it is the ONLY way to encounter the cards. Like I said earlier it COULD have normal adventure cards as well, but it would be treating the dragon-expansion like the even higher level-up in difficulty from the dungeon-expansion. I have also seen variants where certain spaces on the regions allow the drawing of dragon cards.

- Consequence of facing down a dragon lord in a potential dragon realm?

So, if there is a dragon realm and a dragon-lord is faced down, what happens? There should be a suitable reward, but what if there is a spawning of scales, and the way the spawning happens changes based on the slaying of a dragon lord?

This was just a random musing I thought of based on a discussion this weekend. I think it would be easy to just do a test-board to see if it was fun to enter a new realm where you drew scales and cards. If someone has an even better idea, please mention it, I really want to use the dragon expansion more but it gets a hard time in the picking due to it's stated fiddliness.
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Eric Sokolowsky
United States
Laurel
Maryland
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Here's one idea: use the Dragon Tower inner region instead of or in addition to the normal inner region (depending on how long you want the game to last). Whenever a character enters the inner region through the portal of power, roll a die and use the result to determine which of the draconic lords is crowned king (but the dragon king does not change if a character is already on the crown of command space). The players can therefore influence which of the draconic lords is crowned king through fate or other means. Then players in the dragon tower can encounter dragon cards on the spaces in the tower as normal. The dragon scales would not be used.

This variant resembles the dragon tower expansion for Talisman 3rd edition.
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