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I like the dragon decks, but the expansion isn't always what I want.


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#1 Zozimus

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 06:16 AM

Anybody find any way to use the decks without the whole expansion (scales, etc.)?  I like it OK, but sometimes I feel like it just slows down what is already a very long game with our group.  

 

I thought maybe if someone was going to use the Fire Wizard or the Dragon Rider/Slayer, etc., they could choose to pick a card from the dragon decks instead of / in addition to the Adventure deck.....that way they could benefit from their abilities, and the deck could still get used.  

 

Any thoughts?


Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play. - Heraclitus


#2 Artaterxes

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 06:58 AM

My advice is to keep playing rules-as-written before jumping to house rules. There are lots of excellent variants out there - Elliott (talismanamsilat) basically revamped the whole book while another user (sorry forget who) made a corner Region for dragons.

But, I think if you stick to as-written rules for a while, you'll see past the fiddly tokens and actually realize that a Dragon game can be quite strategic. The way Dragon scales add +1 to combat and the way the three decks are divided into strength, craft, and both are part of the strategy.

One way to speed things up is to divide the Dragon scales evenly among all the players before the game begins. Give each player his own bag. Rather than pass the same bag around each turn, which actually takes up a surprising amount of time, each player can always begin his turn with a dragon scale ready to go. You can have each player draw a scale while they are waiting for their turn and keep it facedown in their play area, ready to go.

You'll be surprised at how much that speeds things up! Then if you still don't like the expansion, you can look up house rules.Try Elliott's - I played it once and it's decent!

#3 0beron

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 10:57 AM

I believe some players have taken the scale that should be placed on space, and just pull that card and encounter.

 

BTW, Artaterxes, that is a point I seldom see, that collecting scales addes +1 to combat (with Dragons). It is a good reason to keep Dragons in the game. And what would a fantasy game be without Dragons.

 

While I like limiting the scales, somewhat, I would never want to lose most aspects of Dragons Expansion.



#4 Artaterxes

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 11:15 AM

Well a scale gives you +1 in battle or psychic combat against Enemies or Draconic Lords of the same color, according to the rules of the standard Dragon ending. You seldom see that? Wow, people must really house rule this expansion up the wazzoo :P

#5 0beron

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 12:06 PM

I may have not spoken / written clearly.

 

But what I mean is I don't see/often the discussion point that collecting scales increases strength or craft. I see lots of mentions about the reasons they don't like scales, but I don't see mentions of *this* advantage, the +1 factor.

 

Could be that folks got tired after a game or two of scales littered about, and didn't play enough, to realize the tactical advantages scales may bring.

 

My own coplayer, "wife" does everything possible to not land on a space with a scale, if that color is the current Crowned King. When she has a chance to encounter a scale or go with the space/card on the space/etc, she almost always chooses not to encounter the scale.

 

  I've taken great pains to show her some of the better Dragon objects (she likes to hoard stuff), but she is still unmoved.

 

Of course, when you're going through the Inner/dragon realm, than she realizes that some scales would have come in handy.

 But this doesn't happen all the time.

 

Our 2 player games take h-o-u-r-s, sometimes (which is okay, we make a day or weekend out of it), but we mostly go our own course which means either of us try to find the short cuts to the COC (flight potion, winning the Lord of D, etc.)



#6 Felis

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 07:27 PM

You could always shuffle dragon cards into the adventure deck like it was done in 2nd edition. Of course then your adventure deck would share 2nd edition's biggest flaw - overabundance of very powerful enemies. A real nightmare for the beginning characters. Obviously you would be able to tell if the dragon card is on the top of the pile but, well...

It's probably a crude approach but it will speed up a game and might just work for you :)



#7 Granville

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 07:54 PM

I'm with the OP, I love the decks, don't love the scales. My favorite character is the Dragon Priestess and I like clogging the table with dragons. The Dragon really offers a new dimension of tactical game play, especially for our PVP heavy 6 player table.

 

But it does bog the game down a bit as the short-of-memory often have to go back and read the rules on how the scales work over and over. This is really the only rules set we need to cross-reference often out of them all. Once in a while we go online when we fight over  card interaction but that's it. The scales are a good edition but how they are placed on the table and interct with players is a bit over complicated. (For Talisman)

 

We still play with it EVERY game. We use the Dragon Realm every game too, never use the regular and never use the tower.


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#8 Artaterxes

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 09:40 PM

Oberon if I may make a suggestion. For your next game with your wife, invite her to try the Dragon Tower. See, the Dragon Realm is nearly identical to the regular Inner Region, except you need more stats to pass. You still don't fight any Enemies from cards.

But the Dragon Tower on the other hand requires you to encounter up to 4 Dragon Cards per turn... And they could be from any deck! Since you draw from the Dragon King's deck and he constantly changes. So if you are high Strength, you'll do fine against the red cards but poorly against green unless you got some green scales and leveled up your Craft a bit.

The cool thing about Dragon scales is that each enemy you defeat from dragon deck effectively gives you a point of strength or craft (ie 1 scale = +1 in combat). So whether you beat a weak enemy or a strong one... You get an instant stat point. It pushes you to level up both attributes especially when playing the Tower!
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#9 Granville

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 09:55 PM

I dont know if you sold Oberon but you just sold me on giving the tower a try.



#10 DomaGB

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 10:19 PM

I disliked the Dragon expansion, as is, and looked around for some house rules (and found 4 that were ok), and while discussing it, came up with I think, and my friend too, the best new way to play it.

Get an extra Highlands board (or another Talisman board will work, if on a budget, you can also use the 1 highland board as both a Highlands and a Dragon Realm, using the following rules separately from highlands, as the board would represent both places). Attach it to any space you prefer, but from the middle region may be best. In this new Highlands, you will draw a Dragon token for any cards drawn. Place that token on the space and that space will now draw that kind of dragon card.

This is the only place to draw Dragon cards. However there are cards that will send dragons out to other spaces, like the temple and castle and such. This is fine or you can take those cards out.

I removed Dragon Rage and Sleep tokens.

Place a random dragon at the end.
 
Then I came up with a more detailed version of this:

Each level caters to a specific deck/dragon:

1st level Green Deck/Grilipus
2nd level Gold Deck/Cadorus
3rd level Red Deck/Varthrax

Each drawn cards on these levels have a 50% chance of drawing the card type appointed for that level, if not drawn, then draw a random dragon token to see card type (only colored dragon tokens are in draw pile). If a 50% success occurs, pull a token of that color and place on the space. If the 50% fails, do not place the token after pulling one, draw the card and place the token back in the pile, leaving the space empty of tokens for that card.

In multiple draw card spaces, follow the same procedure for each card to be drawn.
The following spaces have changed to Dragon Temples:

Ridgeway: Grilupus Temple
Mountain Pass: Cadorus Temple
Lost City: Varthrax temple

Each space now reads instead:

Players must stop here (when entering further but not leaving the region). You have 3 choices to pass the Temple:

1. Fight the designated Dragon Lord. If you win, you may pass; if you lose, flee or evade, you cannot pass.
2. Donate a Talisman to the Cultists to pass.
3. Consult the Cultists. Roll a d6:

1. Sacrificed. Lose a life and pass.
2. Stuck in judgment, either pay 3 gold or lose a turn. Choose 1, you may then pass.
3. Pay 1 gold in tribute to pass.
4. Allowed to pass for free.
5. Gain a spell and pass for free.
6. Gain a life and pass for free.

The Eyrie is replaced by the Dragon King, if you defeat him you win the game. (One possible win, with a win at the CoC possible as well.)

http://community.fan...xpansion-board/


Edited by DomaGB, 22 July 2014 - 10:40 PM.

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


#11 0beron

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 08:17 AM

I dont know if you sold Oberon but you just sold me on giving the tower a try.

Oh, I'm sold. I'm not really sure why I've never tried it up to now. I'll definitely give it a try and thanks, Artaterxes.


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#12 sanityismyvanity

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 11:55 AM

I've devised a variant that gives the Dragons a Region all there own, similarly to Doma above. Warning, requires a very large playing area.

 

Set Up: Set the Dragon Tower board to the side of the primary boards. The Dragon Tower is its own freestanding Region. Do not draw tokens every turn, they are only drawn when in the Dragon Tower. Randomly determine 1 Draconic Lord to be the starting Dragon King as usual. Place Scales as per the Dragon Spawn variant.

 

Entering the Dragon Tower: Any time a character kills an Enemy or takes a life from another character as a result of winning a combat while on a Runes space, the blood sacrifice made opens a portal to the Dragon Tower. On their next turn they may teleport to the first space of the Dragon Tower instead of their normal move.

 

Ascending the Dragon Tower: Rules for movement are the same as the standard Dragon Tower rules. However, the number of cards to be drawn indicated on a space is instead the number of tokens drawn for that space.

 

Drawing Dragon Tokens: The Dragon Tokens drawn have the following effects.

 

Dragon Strike: As the standard rules.

 

Dragon Rage: As the standard rules.

 

Dragon Slumber: Slumber Tokens are kept by the player when drawn. They can use 1 Slumber Token and place it on any Enemy:Dragon they are about to Encounter.

 

Dragon Scales: For each Dragon Scale drawn, draw 1 card from the corresponding Dragon deck, except for Scales that correspond to the Current Dragon King. Draw 2 cards for each Dragon Scale drawn that corresponds to the Current Dragon King. Encounter the drawn cards in the standard order. For each Enemy card that is killed, you may claim the corresponding Dragon Scale. All remaining Dragon Scales are placed on the corresponding Draconic Lord at the end of the turn, which may cause a different Draconic Lord to be crowned the Current Dragon King. When a new Lord is crowned, place the Scales from the newly crowned King on the spaces occupied by all other characters not in the Dragon Tower, starting with the player to the left, with 1 Scale placed per player in order.

 

Confronting the Dragon King: When a player reaches the final space of the Tower, they must engage the Current Dragon King as usual. All standard rules for this apply, except for what happens when defeating the Dragon King. Should the player remove all 5 lives of the Dragon King, they may draw 2 random Treasure Cards from the Dungeon Expansion and gain 10 Gold as they plunder the dragon hoard. They are then transported immediately to the Plain of Peril space in the Inner Region.



#13 adjogi

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 07:52 PM

One option you may want to try has worked very well for us.

 

We don't play with The Dragon expansion.

 

But -

 

We took most of the Dragon Deck cards and added them to our Adventure Deck. We removed the ones that have any reference to the dragon kings/tokens and therefore can only be played with the expansion. We printed them using Strange Eons and used existing Adventure Cards from a spare 4th Edition to stick them on so you cannot tell the difference when you pick a former Dragon Card

 

It does tip the scales a bit to more enemies of course, but there are also some mighty powerful objects in there.....besides, who says an adventure should be easy?

 

For those who don't enjoy The Dragon expansion (and I guess there are a few) this is a nice way of bringing in what you can without changing the mechanics of the game. The cards and the artwork are simply so nice, it's a shame to not use them.

 

:)


Edited by adjogi, 26 July 2014 - 07:55 PM.

Welcome to "Monsters & Magic", a NJ based Talisman Game Club!

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#14 DomaGB

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 09:10 PM

You could use sleeves and not even have to wreck those cards, just tuck the print outs in front of the card.


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


#15 adjogi

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:34 AM

True, but I bought the 2nd board (used on Ebay) specifically for that purpose...half of them have already been used to make custom cards with!


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#16 Nemomon

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 08:42 AM

People seem to forget that the Dragon expansion brings not just a few cards, but a lot more stuff. A lot of stuff that can be homebrewed.

For example the Crown token. Does it really need to be used to show who is the current Dragon King? Why not at the beginning of the game randomly give it to a character with rules that it is considered a Magic Object that cannot leave the game by any means, and is required to enter the CoC space?

Or the dragon scales. Why not to create some super powers and use the scales as a Ki Energy points that would trigger that powers? At the start of the game each character draws one or two super power card, and can gain Ki Energy points by killing spiris, sacrificing turns, exchanging trophies or doing some other beforehand predefined tasks.

A few years ago I wrote a whole campaign that used the components from the Dragon expansion. I won't translate it, but each dragon scale there had a different effect, and also gaining the third token of the same type also triggered some other effects. All players kept their tokens, and with some optional rules they even were able to use the three identical tokens to gain some advantage agains the game. The Crown token was giving some positive modifiers when encountering certain cards, and also allowed once per game cancel the effects of a just drawn bad card.

What I want to say that while cards are important, the tokens also are waiting to be used somehow. And in fact they may bring more fun than the cards themselves.
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#17 0beron

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 03:26 PM

Sounds highly intriguing. Much better than what I might come up with. As a token, a scale can represent just about anything.



#18 Nemomon

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 04:38 PM

Sounds highly intriguing. Much better than what I might come up with. As a token, a scale can represent just about anything.


Exactly, the dragon scales have a different artwork, so they can represent many things at once.

This is my campaign I mentioned above. I did it for a some kind of competition. It is in Polish, but if You have someone to translate...

http://z5.ifrm.com/3...ata_Nemomon.pdf

Generally that campaign is a co-op campaign between players, and they fight together against some great evil. They win and lose together.

If that will help You get some possible ideas, I will translate for You how I have used the tokens:


Varthrax - Place on your space a Distortion card. If there's already one, put it on the nearest free space clockwise.
Grilipus - nothing happens
Cadorus - nothing happens
Dragon Strike - draw 2 more tokens and encounter them all. if you drew yet another dragon strike tokens, draw next tokens.
Dragon Rage - lose 1 life
Dragon Slumber - give that token to another player. During his nearest turn he doesn't draw a token.

The slumber token may looks weak, but it is pretty important, because the tokens usually are dreadful (so giving it to a weaker player may save his life), and because of the three identical tokens rule:

If you drew third token of the same type, this happens in this order:

1) You lose 1 life
2) You place a Distortion card on your space as though like you would just encounter the Varthrax token.
3) You encounter the effect of the token you drew
4) You take the Crown token from the current character and add it to your inventory
5) You put aside that three identical tokens, and your count for them resets to 0.
6) You continue your turn as normal.

====

Hope this will help You somehow! :)
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#19 Taranthor

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:12 AM

I use it as follows

 

At the start of the game, each fields and runes space has a dragon token placed on it, this dragon then becomes the dragon king.

 

When landing on this space, the player can choose to encounter the token, or draw a normal adventure card.

 

If they encounter the token, they draw from the dragon deck, and take the token if they kill an enemy, a new token is then drawn and replaced on the square.

 

Dragon tokens do the usual job of increasing your attack roll vs same deck enemies by 1, but you can also choose to discard one to increase or decrease any dice roll by 1.

 

I removed all of the dragon rage, dragon strike and dragon sleep tokens for now, but may incorporate them again in future some time.



#20 chemical22

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:23 AM

Our group was the same.  The mechanics of the Dragon scales were just cumbersome... but I really like the characters and the cards.

 

Here is what we do:

 

At the beginning of the game, randomly choose who the dragon king will be.   This is the king for the duration of the game.

 

On the roll of a 1 for movement, randomly place a dragon scale on the space that you begin your move from.  If there is already a scale in that space, move the new scale clockwise until there is an available space.

 

Scales act as normal - You may either encounter them or the space and you can keep them as trophies when you defeat a creature on the space of that scale colour.


Edited by chemical22, 28 July 2014 - 08:24 AM.





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