Announced more than ten years ago, then supposedly given up because it was too big of a project, "Tales of the Arabian Knights", the follow-up to "Tales of the Arabian Nights", by Eric Goldberg and Andrew Parks, is happening at the end of 2023 at wizkids !!
Here's your comment. I'm very interested but also balancing that against the fact that I never really play Tales of the Arabian Nights despite thinking it's a fun design. Some modernisation of the matrix lookup would be appreciated. Arthurian legend seems less appealing than 1001Nights but I'll certainly be keeping an eye on this one.
Arabian Nights has been the source of some of my most memorable gaming experiences, but not once have I ever thought “gee, I wish I could play this twice as often” Feels like the narrative in this one will need to be much more cohesive as well, the disconnected randomness of TotAN was a good match for the theme but I would expect it to be jarring in other settings. Will happily play it all the same, I just won’t be running out to the store to bag an early copy.
The randomness of the system is a fine fit for Arthurian stories. Those have a bunch of wackadoodle things happening all the time. Once Lancelot got depressed and ran into the woods, where he lived like a wild man for several years before coming back to his senses.
Especially the more fae parts of the legends — they work on fairy-tale logic and not anything resembling modern senses of narrative or story arcs or character development or anything else. Random shit happens, people die or get enchanted or whatever.
About the actual game, I’m probably a pass, or at least “play someone else’s copy first.” Like a lot of games that try to fit in the uncanny valley between board games and RPGs, TOTAN ended up having the weaknesses of both and the strengths of neither.
Yep. You can see the wild/fae/not-quite-in-reality side of those legends in films like The Green Knight. It's every bit as fantastical as Scheherazade. But I'm on the same page as to picking one up. I traded my copy of TotAN years ago because it was a cool concept, but not cool enough to see constant play. Most sessions ended with a group shrug of the shoulders, where we acknowledged that X person won because they knew what paths to take to get the right number of story points and not because the game was particularly compelling. I'd expect this to be no different: good, but not $150 good or whatever it's going to be.
charlest wrote: Rumor is that it still takes 3+ hours to play, which surprises me.
So where do y'all fall in on a 3-4 hour playtime on games? We just played Mosaic and that's where it ends up.
But it's a civ game, so I'm not sure you can expect a 90 minute playtime on it.
These sorts of adventure games, be they in a dungeon or whatnot kind of beg for more time as well to tell the story.
Is that okay? Or is it a showstopper for most people? It seems to me that a game like this one might be able to create a short-version ruleset as well, aiming for 2 hours. Don't know if other games have done that.
My two plays of Mosaic have been right at two hours, not sure I'd enjoy it at three or more.
A game taking three hours isn't a deal breaker, but the more demands a game places on the group the more rigorously it is compared to other options. By that I mean that I really have to enjoy a game immensely to regularly commit to such a playtime. There are some fantastic games we can be playing instead.
There is a stark difference between a two hour and three hour game in my opinion. We can easily fit a couple of two hour games in on a typical game night, whereas a three hour game will require a dedicated evening.
I love most three-hour games that I play and own. I've never shied away from stuff that takes that long because I'm fine with concentrating for that period if it's something that I enjoy. But, like Charlie says, there's some context about the timing. I have a regular Monday night group at which I've tried both types. Last week we played Blood Bowl: Team Manager because that's a game that fits easily into a 1.5-2-hour time frame (and 2 hours would be quite long for that game.) Similarly, things like Nexus Ops and Godzilla: Tokyo Clash are games where you can easily play one or two times. Heroes of Land, Air and Sea, OTOH, is usually a two-hour game for us, but it can easily drag into three or more, depending on the number of players and the pace of play of said players. Since we don't start playing (setting up, actually) until 8 when the host's young kids are on the verge of heading to bed, a three-hour game means all of us working types driving home at 11 or later. That's fine for me, because I don't sleep that much, but others may not be so equipped with insomnia. I'd love to bring over something like GMT's Gandhi, because the host, me, and at least one other person are gamer types and have played things like TI3 many times, but I'm not sure how long that might stretch and whether the rest of the crowd could last that long.
I regard a 90min game as a short/medium game - three hours is pretty easy for me, played Nemesis last week and it was 3.5 hours and pretty sure no one blinked about it.
Haven't played TotAN, it's a game that isn't owned by anyone in the various groups I have played in and goes for a bit too much for me to buy (as I have too many bloody games). This one will possibly be too expensive (for what it gives compared to many other games I own) as well, although it would be interesting to see if it compliments my dark Arthurian Tainted Grail.
Time as an absolute constraint does not factor much into my decisions. My favourite games tend to be on the longer side but 15 minutes of No Thanks or 60 minutes of Modern Art all have a home in my game nights. What a game has to do is earn its playtime.
A long game with lots of randomness (such a this and TotAN) needs to generate some amazing stories to make the payoff worth it. I think Arkham Horror 2e does a similar thing but with more consistency. I'd be more inclined to dedicate my time to AH2E than this because it's more likely to reward my efforts. The actual logistics of playing are usually such that people are going to be around for half a day regardless of what we're playing so 2 or 3+ hours doesn't make a huge difference.
I'm interested to see how TotAK does, though I'm not optimistic. Certainly TotAN was a formative game for me, the first time I ever got into a cut-loose-and-embrace-randomness. Next it was stuff like Dungeonquest, and then Talisman. So TotAN was a gateway drug for me.
That said I don't play it as much as other games mostly because it's a weird thing to continually pass around that giant book and look things up. That doesn't sound like a big time-sink, but over the course of a couple hours passing that giant book around adds up.
We do dust it off every now and then, because it was among the earliest games we taught our kids. But we've instituted a number of house rules to keep the playtime manageable, like playing to lower totals of points or something like that.
The original didn't go the distance with my group I think because it didn't dependably do what it was designed to do. I think we were comfortable with the randomness coming in, but there were times when the story passage that was selected just didn't seem like a good fit.
This retheme moves us back to vanilla again, a bunch of white men in chainmail, which is pretty heavily trodden ground already. The thing the original did have was a bit of a different flavor. So I think one of the redeeming qualities of the original has been taken away, and it remains to be seen if the new version works any better.