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Experimenting with home brews -- any tips, please?


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#1 jd3

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 08:36 AM

I play Talisman periodically with friends (2e, 3e) and with my nephew (4e revised). In both cases, we play by published rules.  But I notice people have created a lot of home brews:

 

q1: What advice do you have for someone looking to experiment with home creations?

q2: Would it be advisable to start by experimenting with rules, then simple custom cards (e.g., The Smithy), and then brews that involve custom boards + cards + rules?

q3: What brews do you enjoy and/or recommend?

 

**I was hesitant about starting a new thread in case someone has already raised this topic, although I checked the forum and couldn't find any obvious conversations.  I apologize ahead of time if I missed something.



#2 DomaGB

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 02:02 PM

I've been playing 2nd edition since the 80's, and only played 1 partial game of 3rd edition. I now own 2nd and 4th with everything expect 2nd Dragons.
 
For awhile I wanted to do Homebrew for 2nd edition, but did not wish to do so with 4th, because it is so polished.
 
I also did not want any expansion which mixed homebrew cards into real decks. Sleeving and high quality making processes may fix the problems in that area, but I felt I didn't want that much investment. Therefore I looked for only expansions which had new decks, which possibly meant new boards.
 
And I found a few:

Blacks Tavern
Sewer and its expansion
Village, the one by Carsten Both
Talisman places
 
OK, Black's Tavern looks and works great. In fact There is another expansion you can use with it, Mystic Brew I think its called, lots of people used to like it, it didn't appeal to me, so I didn't add it to Black's Tavern. However, when preparing this expansion I FAILED to notice the cards allude to another UNNAMED expansion which is needed. So it is unplayable after I invested about $10 into it. I suppose those cards which work with the unnamed expansion could be removed, but I found doing so weakened the expansion so I do not use it. No one has yet to respond to what that expansion is, and this problem is not listed on Talisman Island.
 
The Sewer Expansion and its extra expansion are pretty good. In fact there are about 2-4 different boards you can download to use. I chose the most professional looking one. But again I oopsed in my preparation and discovered that a space in some cards is not found on the better looking board. I removed 1-3 cards, and the others I decided to game play edit. Also I did not like the stink token rules and removed them and removed all cards that dealt with stink. I also removed some other cards. It plays very well. I like it. I also made the cards from artscow and anyone can order them, so you can have a professionally made deck for this expansion, I also did this for Black's Tavern.
 
The Village is also another nice expansion. I don't remember any problems or mistakes. I do believe there may be 1 space that allows another expansion to be played but is not a problem. There are a couple of things that are minor I don't like, but overall it works good and is a nice expansion. Because it only had a small purchase deck, I added these cards to other Artscow decks.
 
Talisman Places only creates a couple of small side boards. I think they are great, but even tho I play tested 2nd edition with these expansions all listed, I don't think any of these small boards got any game play. They are a simple but fun edition to the game and the art is great!
 
For me, game play fun is obviously important, but also is quality of the art or design. There were a couple of other expansion I thought were promising, but the art or design was too homebrewish for my taste.
 
By the way I also created my own expansion for 2nd edition a Dragon expansion with a semi new deck and brand new board.
 
You can find it here:

http://boardgamegeek...-with-new-board
 

I cannot speak for 3rd edition.

 

For 4th edition, as shared above I thought the game was so polished, that I had no interest in homebrew expansion, being even fussier than 2nd edition art and design of homebrew work. However, I was very interested in homebrew alternate endings. So I have downloaded many of them found in the wild, and I would say I like about 60% found out there. I probably have about half or a bit more of those downloaded made up and playable.

 

But then when I played Dragons and eventually even owned it, I was so disappointed that I didn't want to lose the expansion so I sought to fix it. I found 3 variants I thought were ok but eventually created my own. And I sought to create a new board to use the cards with. I eventually decided to use an extra Highlands board for the dragon expansion. I did find a very nice homebrew dragon expansion I was almost willing to use its board with my variant using the official cards (or some of them, as some have been removed in my variant, but no new cards have been added). But eventually I decided to just change the text on 3 spaces of the Highlands board, and update my variant rules.

 

There are a few homebrew characters out there I have been very tempted to print up, but since they are few, and there is no figure, I decided to not do those.

 

I was very tempted to try a Timescape homebrew for 4th edition but wasn't impressed with what I saw.

 

So as you can see, I am a bit to picky for 4th edition homebrew, except for alternate endings.

 

I hope I was able to help by sharing my experience and tastes.


RoboRally, then Talisman. That's the way it is... ;)


#3 jd3

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 12:35 PM

Thanks, DomaGB, for taking the time to share your homebrew experiences.

 

I read a post of yours elsewhere about trying Artscow decks -- taking your feedback into consideration, it sounds like the place to start is with homebrew decks.  But I'm glad you mentioned Black's Tavern and said it's good, I may try that as a first custom board.



#4 DomaGB

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 06:50 PM

It is good, however there is a problem, some cards refer to an unknown expansion. And that unknown expansion is not Mystic Brew which can also be added to Blacks Tavern. So I found Black's Tavern weak without the unknown expansion. Playable and nice, but weak. Just take a peak at the cards and you will see reference to saddlebags or some such thing...


RoboRally, then Talisman. That's the way it is... ;)


#5 talismanisland

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 02:50 AM

Aha!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I know we have spoken about this "missing" expansion before, but your mention of saddlebags just triggered something within the dark and dusty vaults in my mind!!

 

If you check out the old site - http://www.talismani.../expansions.htm

 

You will see an expansion underneath Black's Tavern called the Equestrian Set.

 

Maybe that will clear it up? If not, let me know and I will scour my hard drive!

 

As you say, the expansion already makes use of Mystic Brews, but it also refers to the Noblemen expansion which is on the download page.


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#6 DomaGB

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 08:10 PM

Aha!!!!!!!!!!!
 
I know we have spoken about this "missing" expansion before, but your mention of saddlebags just triggered something within the dark and dusty vaults in my mind!!
 
If you check out the old site - http://www.talismani.../expansions.htm
 
You will see an expansion underneath Black's Tavern called the Equestrian Set.
 
Maybe that will clear it up? If not, let me know and I will scour my hard drive!
 
As you say, the expansion already makes use of Mystic Brews, but it also refers to the Noblemen expansion which is on the download page.


There we go!

Jd3, get those expansions and Black's Tavern will be good to go. I cannot speak on the quality or nature of Noblemen or the Equestrian Set though.

Edited by DomaGB, 10 June 2014 - 08:12 PM.

RoboRally, then Talisman. That's the way it is... ;)


#7 jackyboy

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 03:18 PM

Hi jd3,

 

I have been really getting into printing out expansions for the 2nd Edition over the past say 5months. Being able to use an excellent printer at University, and spending alot of time with trial and error, I've been able to print out the expansions as best as possible. I use card approx. the same thickness as the original cards and have been able to get printing both sides accurate :)

 

Having been able to do this I have downloaded LOADS of expansions from Talisman Island for 2nd Edition and have printed and play tested some:

 

Firstly I would suggest printing out the Dragons expansion if you do not already own a copy and playing with that. It adds over 80 adventure cards to the deck and changes the style of play greatly.  I've played with it somewhat and have enjoyed the games I've played with it, although there can sometimes be far to many tough dragon cards come out in early play, which unless you are character from the expansion, it can cost lives! :wacko:

 

Also all the little official extras like the white dwarf magazine characters and cards are definetly worth adding to your collection. Characters like the Mystic and the Chaos Champion stick out as been popular and strong characters.

 

When I printed out Rob Wingrove's 'Far Outer Region' and was able to make a good usable copy of it, my group immediately started playing with it, so much as now the board seems far too small without it. Rob did a great job with the artwork for the board and the places too (I love the bandit fortress!). Having those extra 'draw 2 cards' spaces and with the opportunity to have so many cards on the board really gets the games pace moving. If i can just reccommend one thing to you from this post please give the Far Outer Region a go, you will love it! ;)

 

Many other expansions I have looked through and like the idea of, but just haven't got round to getting them printed. The way I print is quite specific and I am very anal with getting them looking their best! (naturally! ;)) So for some expansions I've delayed getting them printed becuase they are taking me an age to get ready to print stage.

 

That being said however, one person's expansions which I LOVE and also love the way they are set out (print ready for me!) is Djeryv Tar. Over on Talisman Island is where I found his work, and i beleive he helped in creating Tal-is-por and Talisman Journey (again both available over at Talisman Island). His expansion, simply called 'Djeryv's Expansion' is brilliant! With it he adds the Far Outer Region to the standard board, creates many new characters which interact with the far outer region more (starting locations etc), 100+ adventure cards, 100+ purchase cards including a new type of card; potions, alternative endings for the Dungeon and crown of command, 4 new master level characters and an epic inner region! :D
All the artwork he has used I beleives come from just one or two great sources, so there is a brilliant consistency to the cards which just makes them so good to add to the original deck.

 

If that wasn't enough he has another huge expansion called 'The Land of Ice' where he hads ANOTHER layer to the board (five in total now) a large new deck called 'The Citadel', new Adventure, Spell and Timescape cards, 23 new characters, another master level character and even alternative boards! With Djeryv's expansions add to a fully offically expanded Talisman 2nd Edition the Adventure deck is approx 7 inches tall! :o I have personally kept my originals tucked away and have printed a full copy of everything offical to go with Djeryv's and I can happily say it gets played with often and is very loved by all in my Talisman group :D

 

As I have said though, I have many expansions downloaded and have read through them. They all seem so good but I am not sure whether or not it is just my boardering unhealthy obsession with all things Talisman that makes me think they are great, or if indeed, they are infact GREAT!!!

 

I hope reading this you (or someone) have enough interest to try Djeryv's expansions, they are well worth the hours standing at the printer! ;)



#8 DomaGB

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 05:59 PM

Which Dragon expansion are you using? I think I see 3 of them for 2nd edition on Talisman Island, which I don't think has mine there. Mine can be found here:

http://boardgamegeek...nsion-new-board

RoboRally, then Talisman. That's the way it is... ;)


#9 jackyboy

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 08:18 AM

DomaGB I am talking about the official expansion for Talisman 2nd Edition 'Dragons'. A 'faithful' recreation of the expansion can be found on the expansions page of Talisman Island. It is the 2nd from last entry in the 1st & 2nd Edition section :D



#10 DomaGB

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 11:57 AM

Interesting! My expansion is also based on the official one. Except like 4th Ed, I thought a separate region/board would be better. Some cards were removed, and I also added cards from other official decks. To make the theme stronger, you can find the Chinese Dragon and the Bronze Dragon. Several cards were changed.

Edited by DomaGB, 31 July 2014 - 11:58 AM.

RoboRally, then Talisman. That's the way it is... ;)


#11 jd3

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 10:58 PM

Hi jd3,

 

I have been really getting into printing out expansions for the 2nd Edition over the past say 5months. Being able to use an excellent printer at University, and spending alot of time with trial and error, I've been able to print out the expansions as best as possible. I use card approx. the same thickness as the original cards and have been able to get printing both sides accurate :)

 

Having been able to do this I have downloaded LOADS of expansions from Talisman Island for 2nd Edition and have printed and play tested some:

 

Firstly I would suggest printing out the Dragons expansion if you do not already own a copy and playing with that. It adds over 80 adventure cards to the deck and changes the style of play greatly.  I've played with it somewhat and have enjoyed the games I've played with it, although there can sometimes be far to many tough dragon cards come out in early play, which unless you are character from the expansion, it can cost lives! :wacko:

 

Also all the little official extras like the white dwarf magazine characters and cards are definetly worth adding to your collection. Characters like the Mystic and the Chaos Champion stick out as been popular and strong characters.

 

When I printed out Rob Wingrove's 'Far Outer Region' and was able to make a good usable copy of it, my group immediately started playing with it, so much as now the board seems far too small without it. Rob did a great job with the artwork for the board and the places too (I love the bandit fortress!). Having those extra 'draw 2 cards' spaces and with the opportunity to have so many cards on the board really gets the games pace moving. If i can just reccommend one thing to you from this post please give the Far Outer Region a go, you will love it! ;)

 

Many other expansions I have looked through and like the idea of, but just haven't got round to getting them printed. The way I print is quite specific and I am very anal with getting them looking their best! (naturally! ;)) So for some expansions I've delayed getting them printed becuase they are taking me an age to get ready to print stage.

 

That being said however, one person's expansions which I LOVE and also love the way they are set out (print ready for me!) is Djeryv Tar. Over on Talisman Island is where I found his work, and i beleive he helped in creating Tal-is-por and Talisman Journey (again both available over at Talisman Island). His expansion, simply called 'Djeryv's Expansion' is brilliant! With it he adds the Far Outer Region to the standard board, creates many new characters which interact with the far outer region more (starting locations etc), 100+ adventure cards, 100+ purchase cards including a new type of card; potions, alternative endings for the Dungeon and crown of command, 4 new master level characters and an epic inner region! :D
All the artwork he has used I beleives come from just one or two great sources, so there is a brilliant consistency to the cards which just makes them so good to add to the original deck.

 

If that wasn't enough he has another huge expansion called 'The Land of Ice' where he hads ANOTHER layer to the board (five in total now) a large new deck called 'The Citadel', new Adventure, Spell and Timescape cards, 23 new characters, another master level character and even alternative boards! With Djeryv's expansions add to a fully offically expanded Talisman 2nd Edition the Adventure deck is approx 7 inches tall! :o I have personally kept my originals tucked away and have printed a full copy of everything offical to go with Djeryv's and I can happily say it gets played with often and is very loved by all in my Talisman group :D

 

As I have said though, I have many expansions downloaded and have read through them. They all seem so good but I am not sure whether or not it is just my boardering unhealthy obsession with all things Talisman that makes me think they are great, or if indeed, they are infact GREAT!!!

 

I hope reading this you (or someone) have enough interest to try Djeryv's expansions, they are well worth the hours standing at the printer! ;)

Thanks for your posting, jackyboy.  I've gone to the TI site and downloaded the "Far Outer Region." It looks great!

 

Out of curiosity, how have you found printing the homebrew boards?  Is it an easy DIY process?  I think someone in one of the forums said he/she goes to a stationery store (Officemax, or similar place) to print the boards, which I imagine would be expensive.



#12 DomaGB

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 11:35 PM

I spoke of going to stores and getting boards printed. It cost about $4-$5 for 1 sheet to be laminated. So while its not a nice think board, the lamination makes it durable. You can also get your homebrews printed cheaply overseas, but they won't match the official size, therefore its only a good option for stand alone decks. And its a great option for that. I have done this for Talisman, Runebound, Jamaica, and possibly other games.

RoboRally, then Talisman. That's the way it is... ;)


#13 jackyboy

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 03:10 AM

Interesting! My expansion is also based on the official one. Except like 4th Ed, I thought a separate region/board would be better. Some cards were removed, and I also added cards from other official decks. To make the theme stronger, you can find the Chinese Dragon and the Bronze Dragon. Several cards were changed.

 

Sounds interesting buddy. I like the idea of taking other Dragons from other expansions like the Chinese Dragon. I've downloaded your expansion and will add it to the list of things to print ;)

 

@ jd3 : With regards to printing out the Far Outer Region. Firstly I just printed all the sections and then trimmed them with a rotortrim. Then I got some A3 black card and stuck them to the card so that the main game board could set snuggly in the middle. I was very happy with the process until I decided to photoshop the gameboard onto Far Outer Region and print the whole thing together.  Doing this was pretty easy once the photoshopping had been done. I just selected A3 paper size in the Paint program that comes with windows, set the ratio to 47% and it printed perfect size. I had read somewhere that it needed to be 47% ratio so thank you to whomeever it was! ;)

 

If you wish I can email you the image so all you have to do is print out. I use A3 card from my local crafts shop which worked out at 6p a sheet. The whole board was 9 A3 sheets and I am lucky to get the printing for free, so the whole thing cost me £0.81p and it looks fabulous! :D



#14 jd3

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 10:25 AM

DomaGB: sorry for not recognizing/remembering that it was you who had commented earlier about printing.  Attribute it to increasing age and a very hectic life!  Is there a particular store you recommend for printing?

 

jackyboy: thanks for the offer to email the image to print out.  If it's okay, I'll send a message separately to share an email address.



#15 jackyboy

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 11:59 AM

You have mail buddy :)

 

At this point I'd just like to offer this board, or any others (I have all official ones in the US artwork and the Polish alternatives available from the Tal-Is-Por set) ;)



#16 DomaGB

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 05:54 PM

I have used both Office Depot and Office Max. For my Dragon expansion I went with a bigger print: 11x17 and had it laminated, I did this at Office Depot. But I have printed other Homebrew boards at Office max at regular size paper sheets. These were a bit small, but cheaper and they all work great.

I can't remember which is cheaper, but I am sure a phone call to both would work. Office Max seems to have less workers and you usually have to wait if they are busy. Office Depot has more employees but sometimes has customers with big orders. And if you get caught behind one of them its a long wait.

I have made my own boards in the past for RoboRally. My 1st time around I went and bought some used game boards and simply pasted my prints onto them. This works and looks great.

Then I went to walmart and bought clear shelf lining. This works just like lamination and you get a lot really cheap! So I would paste construction paper between my RoboRally boards (Double sided boards) and then used the clear shelf lining as lamination. This works wonderful and they hold up well but don't look as nice.

So while I think a laminated paper holds up better, the pasting onto a used game board looks nicer, but won't hold up as long. Tho my originals are doing well. I just like the insurance of not having my boards get ruined with drinks when they are laminated.

RoboRally, then Talisman. That's the way it is... ;)





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