I've heard many definitions in the years: family game, beer & pretzels game, roll-and-move-and-see-what-hit-you game; a lot of enthusiasm and an equal amount of hate. I can say I've played it with about 40 different persons in completely different situations, and discussed things on these forums with many others, and everyone had a different feeling of Talisman. There are players who are satisfied with the theme, others that play only for winning; there are persons that prefer to interpret the rules, others that analyze word-by-word; some gamers house-rule every situation as they like, others want an official answer to the slightest doubt.
Don't get me wrong, I think Talisman should play smoothly without so many rules constraints. But the game we have now is very different from the Revised 4th Edition published in late 2008. The more cards you add, the more interactions you have, so trying to interpret the designer's intents becomes more difficult as expansions follow each other. Surely the current Immobility Spell does not work as intended, but while some players may try to figure out the "intended use", or just play it as it was in 2nd or BI 4th edition, others will get stuck and won't understand the example in the Rulebook. The card unfortunately had not enough room to host the required text! I hope we'll get an errata for it after 6 years.
If everybody was in the mood of simplifying things, surely we won't need an updated FAQ, but there are so many Q&As lost in these forums that I can hardly imagine how the FAQ could be compiled. In my games, when something is unclear we always stop for a while and discuss the matter. If we had no rules to refer or words to analyze, I don't think we would ever get on. Interpretation is used only when we cannot find an applicable rule or wording. A FAQ would help us a lot, even a forum digest would be ok.
Yesterday I played a game with my wife and she wanted to use Dragon's Blood after rolling the dice for combat. I had to remind her of a rule that doesn't come up very often, but it's there: you must apply effects that modify Str/Cft before dice are rolled. Even if the Blood can be used at any time, she could not use it after seeing how bad she rolled. She complained a bit and I apologized for never explaining that rule to her, but you know, it never came up like that in 50+ games! Some fixed reference helps a lot with the ever increasing variety and complexity of Talisman.
With Spells the natural inclination is to cast them as required, like Interruptions in Magic the Gathering; unfortunately, Talisman rules for casting Spells are very basic and the current set of Spells is advanced. If you're not careful, you may discover that the Spell you've cast cannot be cast at that point. This is particularly irritating, because you've already revealed the Spell to everybody. I hate those kind of situations. Then ok, in the absence of comprehensive Spellcasting instructions, everybody is entitled to play as he sees fit for his games.
Edited by The_Warlock, 14 May 2014 - 10:22 AM.