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Talisman 4e: The Themed Adventure Decks Project

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17 Oct 2016 00:51 #236298 by wadenels

We have a group that plays big games of Talisman with every expansion a few times a year, and I like to get my own games together from time to time.  Our big games always have all the Adventure Cards mixed together into one giant deck.  I decided for my games I'd rather have a smaller and more coherent decks centered around various themes.

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17 Oct 2016 09:52 #236299 by Gary Sax
Wade---posts like these are excellent but don't always get a lot of comments (I don't have much to say about it besides awesome content)! But trust me, when people start to think about a particular game they often come back to these. I remember how much heat Skeletor's how to play Runebound stuff got over years and years.
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17 Oct 2016 10:28 #236305 by SuperflyPete
I loved the post.

My "GO TO" is Dungeon + Reaper + Frostmarch. I always use the Ice Queen ending where you're triyng to kill her, but with a twist. For the game to END, both the boss at the end of the Dungeon AND the Ice Queen has to be killed.

I treat it like a co-op in some ways.
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17 Oct 2016 11:04 #236315 by hotseatgames
Nice article. I only have Talisman digitally, but it's still cool to read.

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17 Oct 2016 13:57 #236335 by mutagen
Great post Wade. This is exactly what I was looking for after I bought myself a bunch of Talisman.

I recently introduced this to the family with just the base and reaper, and it went over really well. Even though we did level-ups at five instead of seven, the game still took longer than I remember, but back in the day I never played sober, so that probably accounts for it. Also, the wife and youngest were just happy puttering around the outer realm buffing their characters, so that probably slowed things down as well.

I just told the family that the first to the crown was the victor, because I really didn't want to end the game with me mercilessly beating the snot out of my family, and let's face it, that is exactly the way it would play out, because that's the way I do. Even though she was way underpowered, when I made my run on the crown, my eldest snuck in ahead of me, made some lucky rolls, and got the victory. While I'm totally happy with the way the game played out, I think in the future I will steal Superfly's idea of adding a boss monster to the end, so nobody gets the idea of going for the cheap victory 15 minutes in.

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17 Oct 2016 14:28 #236346 by Egg Shen
Great article Wade. I hope these bastards love Talisman because after this Halloween I'm going full bore into a buyer's guide. It's gonna be all Talisman all the time.
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18 Oct 2016 11:24 #236396 by Columbob
General question for everybody: approximately how many actual piles of cards are formed on the table from that massive deck? I've only played with a few expansions at a time, but the deck is still split up in more than one pile and we don't care from which you draw.

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18 Oct 2016 21:07 #236439 by wadenels

Columbob wrote: General question for everybody: approximately how many actual piles of cards are formed on the table from that massive deck? I've only played with a few expansions at a time, but the deck is still split up in more than one pile and we don't care from which you draw.


When we do the BIG deck it's two tall stacks side-by-side with a third stack on top across the two. It's a little Adventure Card mountain in the middle of the board.
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19 Oct 2016 10:02 #236470 by Columbob
Adding a little Villa Paletti to the game, that's always fun.

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20 Oct 2016 12:19 #236549 by SuperflyPete
I refuse to play the vanilla "get the crown then kill the rest" version. It overstays its welcome far too long, so when the crown is gained, that's the win condition. This shaves an hour or so off. It also changes the game dynamic because instead of "getting buffed enough to get it and KEEP it", players only need to be buffed enough to GET it. That's a big change, but a welcome one.

It's like Runebound....these games are essentially RPG "races", but people tend to forget the "race" part and just keep Munchkining.

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20 Oct 2016 20:03 #236583 by wadenels

SuperflyTNT wrote: It's like Runebound....these games are essentially RPG "races", but people tend to forget the "race" part and just keep Munchkining.


That's a common problem with Talisman. People play it too safely. I always just do the thing that seems exciting at the time. Last game I got killed and my second character was having kind of a tough time. I went for the crown with almost no items and only a Strength and Craft of 4 each. I did it because I saw another player getting "strong enough" to go for it. I got there damnit. Playing the Cataclysm board I had to roll four or less on 3 dice in the Inner Region. I rolled 1-1-3. I Fated that 3 and rolled a 2. Four, baby.

I only held onto the ending card for a few turns before he got up there and clobbered me, but if I hadn't done it at all it might have been another hour before anyone even tried.

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21 Oct 2016 08:24 #236614 by Egg Shen
Yeah a big problem with most of these games is that people don't know the game well enough to figure out when to make the push towards victory. Vanilla rules Talisman can be won with a character that has reached 9 or 10 strength or craft (sometimes even less depending on character, items and luck of the Dice Gods). You might need a few lucky rolls but it's possible. I also think part of the fun in these games is the adventuring and level up of their character. So instead of winning they power level their characters so that they can have a "guaranteed" victory...or whatever.

Runebound 3rd Edition easily side steps this problem with the built in timer of each scenario. It applies pressure, but I find some people don't like it because they feel like they don't have enough time to level up. Well, duh! A motherfuckin' dragon is about to turn the world to ash and cinder...you don't have time to gain one more level or save up to buy that really awesome "savage crystal blade of +1 badassery."

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30 Nov 2016 13:59 #239452 by SGT Dave
I've homebrewed Talisman so much, I don't even know the real rules anymore. I took out all the Talismans (Talismen?) from the adventure deck because I like the idea of having to earn them -- sometimes we earn them by fulfilling Warlock Quests, sometimes we say you have to complete the Highland or Dungeon map. We used just mix all the cards together, but it was just a mess. So we've been playing with the base and one expansion mixed. I've never thought of thematically creating adventure decks though, and it sounds like a great idea. Because it's so much work, though, I think I'll make 3-4 decks of increasing difficulty and try out playing a 3-4 session campaign.

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