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New to Talisman/Started with all available products/Problems with Lord of Darkness


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#1 Wes Falls

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 08:49 PM

The Lord of Darkness is a game-breaking defect, and should not be allowed to transport a player to the Crown of Command.  Since we began playing the game (we are three, sometimes four to a group) anyone trying to win by obtaining a titular Talisman and fight through the Inner Region always fails to do so before another player lays out the Lord of Darkness.  We usually play using everything but The Dragon, so getting strong enough to make attack rolls in excess of twenty is really not difficult.  The game has become more The Dungeon than Talisman.  In fact, the major method of attack between players is to send the Reaper through the Dungeon over and over to try and one-shot kill the other players. 

We always play with random characters, and with all the rules exactly as they were written.  None of us want to just not use The Dungeon, as its a big part of the board, and I personally paid forty dollars for it.  We love a good long game of Talisman--our first game lasted over twelve hours.

I have begun trying to win faster by obtaining a Talisman and going for the center of the board, but so far have only ever almost made it there faster than somebody going through the dungeon one time.   I spent three hours trying to climb the dragon tower once, to have another character completely circumvent it to win, who joined in on the game two hours earlier. 

In almost every game, the player who wins does so without any chance of another player challenging him for the Crown.  That has actually never happened for us. 

I am not sure what I am asking, or even if I am asking anything at all, here.  Basically, the Lord of Darkness "shortcut" ruins the game.  We went from having games last a minimum of four hours, to them lasting maybe two.  What the hell?



#2 Dam

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 12:13 AM

Are you using alternative endings, possible with a random draw? For example, Warlock Quests ending scoffs at the LoD-rush, since you have to work to complete 4 Quests first and while you could do the kill quests in the Dungeon, visit quests are all on the main board. And then there's the Horrible Black Void, king of all random endings reir , that'll teach the LoD-rusher something.

Do you see it as a negative that your Talisman games end in 2 hours instead of 4? Asking because it does come off like that, whereas most people would love to be able to finish Talisman in 2 hours, main gripe is that it takes too long (not one of them). In a normal game, I've found it harder to consistently reach 20+ in battle to beat the LoD by 8+ than it is to get your main stat to 9 and have a Talisman if you want to run through the regular Inner Region.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#3 Wes Falls

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 01:46 AM

We almost always use a random unrevealed ending.  We have never seen the Horrible Black Void drawn, but most frequently seem to draw the impotent Eagle King, Demon Lord or Blood Moon Werewolf.  We don't even both using the Dragon King's anymore, because they're so easy to conquer, unless you try to rush to them.  

I see the two hour games as a negative, because they're all that way, and they now all end the same (usually won by the same player).  There are most often three of us playing, and I have noticed that when we have a fourth, the LoD shenanigans take much longer to pull off.  This is probably over there being 25% more adventure card saturation.

I can blame bad rolls for a lot of my personal failure at winning, but over the last few games there has just been no working alternative to outdo someone else going through the Dungeon.  It usually winds up being that by the time a player gets enough bones to challenge the Portal, a player in the Dungeon or City drops the Reaper or hires an Assassin or is armed with infinite spells and they just annhilate that drastically less-well armed player.  The issue is getting your main stat to 9 with a Talisman before those arming themselves in the expanded areas get strong enough to murder you.  The moment you try to pass through the Portal of Power, you're dead. 

I believe that there should be no path to victory that excludes possession of a Talisman.  The Lord of Darkness should teleport a player to the Plains of Peril, at the very furthest.  Every game I watch at least one player rack up considerable gains to their stats with magic objects from the City, and then use them in the Enemy-laden Dungeon to gain crazy base stat gain.  They don't like going through the Inner Region because it requires them to actually roll the dice for something that is not movement.

I am absolutely ruthless when it comes to playing the game, and I will murder the crap out of anyone I can.  I am also very focused on what I need to do each turn to get through to the Inner Region, and more importantly, to survive it.  I refuse to win by beating the Lord of Darkness, however.  The game is called Talisman.  While I focus on that, someone else always repeats the same sequence I stated above.  They usually will not even start to fight Enemies until they can win without bothering to roll. 

Last night, I got through the Portal of Power on my turn with my third character.  This other player, on his second (he got killed by the Reaper on his second turn with his first), was also on the Portal after being teleported there from the Crypts after I convinced him to try and win the old-fashioned way.  He decided that there was no reason to even bother.  So on the next turn after mine, we began a race to the finish.  I was still throwing dice with Death when he made it to the LoD and won the game right out from under me.  I had rolled through the Catacombs on my first try, and was only on my second attempt to bypass the Reaper.  That was also the closest I have come to beating someone rushing the LoD, too. 

I see the regular game as played spent searching for the perfect storm of cards that grant you victory.  I see the Dungeon, and to a lesser extent the City, as played spent avoiding the perfect storm that can actually make you lose.  The entire appeal of Talisman was that its different every game.  Well, its not.  The same tactic seems to work every single time, regardless of character or player.  If you try to power up on the Outer or Middle Regions, you are going to lose.  If you try to win the old-fashioned way, you are going to lose.

And even if the LoD rusher gets sucked into the Horrible Black Void its not like I won, its that he lost. 



#4 Dam

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 02:03 AM

Wes Falls said:

I refuse to win by beating the Lord of Darkness, however.  The game is called Talisman.  While I focus on that, someone else always repeats the same sequence I stated above.  They usually will not even start to fight Enemies until they can win without bothering to roll. 

How do they go about doing what you mention in the last sentence? It's not like most characters can evade Enemies, so if you draw them, you have to fight them.

Wes Falls said:

Last night, I got through the Portal of Power on my turn with my third character.  This other player, on his second (he got killed by the Reaper on his second turn with his first), was also on the Portal after being teleported there from the Crypts after I convinced him to try and win the old-fashioned way.  He decided that there was no reason to even bother.  So on the next turn after mine, we began a race to the finish.  I was still throwing dice with Death when he made it to the LoD and won the game right out from under me.  I had rolled through the Catacombs on my first try, and was only on my second attempt to bypass the Reaper.  That was also the closest I have come to beating someone rushing the LoD, too. 

How does he get from the Portal of Power to the Dungeon to the Treasure Chamber in 3 turns??? Or even less, since you say you started the race the turn after your next turn, meaning you were at the Plain of Peril when the other player started heading for the Dungeon. Even if you spent 4 turns Dicing with Death, that's way fewer turns than the time needed to reach the TC. Assuming he had a Riding Horse?


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#5 Froman

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 04:44 AM

I know what you mean about the LoD, most of the people that I play prefer to win that way rather then the Inner Region with a Talisman. In my opinion the Inner Region is easier anyways. A simple solution would be a house rule that states you can only get to the plain of peril by beating the LoD.



#6 Wes Falls

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 12:52 PM

By "start fighting enemies" I mean that they do not actively pursue fighting them, choosing to stay within the City where there are far fewer stronger Enemy types.

 

How he moved so far, so fast, was using that Relic bird that lets you teleport if you roll doubles combined with one effect that lets you gain 1 Fate each turn, and another (a pet, I think) which lets you determine your Fate die roll.  He always rolled doubles.



#7 Wes Falls

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 12:56 PM

House rules don't go over so well with my group.  I would have to find some officially produced reason to cut off that avenue to victory, or they simply will not accept it. 



#8 BanthaFodder

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 10:02 PM

Hi, welcome to the game.

I might be reading this wrong but it seems like you are waiting an awful long time to head into the inner region.

If you make a move earlier, the LoD is less of a help to the chasing pack.

 

Typically I would make a move with:

Mines: Craft 9/10  & Battle Strength 6/7

Crypt: Strength 9/10 

 

The more fate the better and may go in with lower stats if have a high fate.

 

Although this can vary depending upon character (Dwarf needs much lower stats, as does a player with Gnome)

Also depends upon the position of others and their style. Timing is pretty important, you can be mosy-ing around and suddenly bolt to catch the others unware.

 

 

[EDIT] Oh, I just read your second post - you already aim to get to 9. Interesting, no-one ventures much into the Dungeon in our games.



#9 BanthaFodder

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 10:32 PM

Ok, this is bugging me now.

We do have the dungeon but have never much ventured into it. That said, we only play a couple of times a year. I think we finish the game

on much lower stats where the dungeon is still a formidable place.

 

On average you would need a Battle Strength/Craft of around 20 in order to beat the LoD by 8+ and get to the CoC,

an absolute minimum of 15 (If you rolled a 6 vs a 1 for ol' spikey helmet)

 

I can't think of any game where anyone had stats remotely that high.

 

I am not sure what you mean by "infinite spells" - perhaps there is something you are not doing quite right there. There are some specific exploits to do with particular characters but they cannot be drawing that character every time.

 

You do draw random characters don't you?

 

If you give a bit more detail on how this other player gets so strong and your stats in comparison, perhaps we can find a strategy or a rule break that is going on..

 

For the record, I am with you on the "must have a Talisman" and feel that players should have ended up at the Valley of Fire instead of Crown of Command and hence still needing a Talisman.

 



#10 Triakor

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 02:12 AM

My group had a similar problem. No one ever went in the inner region or ever got a talisman just fought LoD and went to crown. We just made the house that in order to be in the CoC you MUST have a talisman. So even if you beat him by 8+ which is really easy to do with a flail. You still need a talisman. It's seems to balance him for the less strong people to still take the inner region. So far it has worked well.



#11 BlueHawks206

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 02:18 AM

I wen from 3 str 3 craft to 6 str and 7 cfaft in only 7 turns before. You can level massively if your lucky with getting those pools of strength and craft. 

Than I went to the dungeon and power leveled and got to  10 10 when near the end of it lucky :).

 

Than again i have been killed on the first turn many times.



#12 Wes Falls

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 04:51 AM

Usually he won't build up his base Strenght or Craft over five or six.  He usually buys a flail, and then buys a pet, and then runs through the Highlands to get that one Relic follower that gives you the great movement options.  Fate exploitation is typically one of his things to actively pursue, too.  He'll buy a Bow, usually.  By "buy" I mean "obtain" these things through the various avenues available within the City.

 

At Bantha--We are pretty intent on knowing, and playing by, the rules.  We used to do the "draw three, pick one" method of character selection, but that one player would always choose one of his "pet" characters, for which he has specific strategies for.

This player's entire deal is to gain ridiculous bonuses to combat, but not necessarily to Strength or Craft.  If we do not use the City or Dungeon, however, he gets his butt kicked. 



#13 Froman

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 06:49 AM

Well, if you can't house rule the LoD, the regular path is actually easier (as some people here have pointed out). And if you play with someone like that, I myself would work completely on messing with his character, or use his strategy against him. Also, if he is able to get to 20 strength before you can go up the centre, he's obviously a pretty good/lucky player and deserves to win



#14 Dam

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 06:50 AM

Wes Falls said:

Usually he won't build up his base Strenght or Craft over five or six.  He usually buys a flail, and then buys a pet, and then runs through the Highlands to get that one Relic follower that gives you the great movement options.  Fate exploitation is typically one of his things to actively pursue, too.  He'll buy a Bow, usually.  By "buy" I mean "obtain" these things through the various avenues available within the City.

You do play RAW, meaning Relic is random draw, so only 1/4 chance of getting it? Treasure in the Dungeon per RAW is take your pick, but Relics aren't.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#15 Wes Falls

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 10:19 AM

We started orignally drawing Relics at random, but at some point we came to believe otherwise.  Perhaps reading for the Dungeon and then the information corrupted what we knew.



#16 RiCHiE

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 07:22 PM

I like the dungeon bypass.  If you are string enough to beat the lord of darkness by 8+, then you would easily make it through the inner region.  It just speeds the game up.  I also like the highlands 1/4 chance to get Arknell and make it easy to get to the CoC.  With the exception of some overpowered characters, I don't see it as much as as a 'rush' - it takes time to get powerful enough to actually beat the LoD!  For me Highlands and Dungeon are both great expansions for this purpose.  With so many Adventure cards in the main deck, the predictability of Dungeon and Highland cards make the venture worthwhile.  These expansions are much more rewarding than their 2nd edition counter parts.

As mentioned, throw in an alternate ending and the capability for a quick win is diminished.

We play with all boards except Dragons, and don;t play with the Reaper or the Werewolf.

 

 

 



#17 BanthaFodder

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:53 PM

Ok, so a few pointers:

 

Only draw one character each, no selection - you get what you get.

 

Relic is a random draw

 

I have only played City once or twice, are the Pets not also a random draw?

 

From what you have described of your friends tactics, that still takes quite a while for him to do all those things, what are you up to whilst he is doing this?

To be honest it sounds like the City is causing you more of a problem than the LoD as he is using that as an accelerant. I found that although you can get good things in there it does take a bit of time and you can get left behind if you spend too long in there.

It is only really any use once you have gained a bit of Gold, the best way to attain that is to go into the Highlands. I am guessing this is what he is doing. In that case, follow him in there and attack attack attack

 

The key to Talisman is using the Strengths of your character, so although there are general tactics to think about, they are generally secondary to how you maximise your character's abilities.

If he always beats you, learn what he does with each character.

You could always take notes at key stages then look back and learn how things could have gone differently.

 

As an aside, does anyone ever do that ? I have come across it in some digital games and it can be quite useful (are you listening Nomad ?)

 

 

 

 



#18 Foreshadow

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 05:39 PM

In 2e I made a chart when you got to the end of the Dungeon, roll 1D6 and I had a little random chart where you went, much like the one listed. The closest to the crown you got was the Portal, but you needed the talisman. We played a couple times so you went as if you were on the other side of the portal. You still had to go through all the spaces of the inner region either way.

The other thing you got from that die roll is a number of Gold equal to the die +1. So you could get up to 7 GP. Alternatively I'd leave it at 1D6, but then you can take an item from the Purchase Deck, and if you rolled a 6 you could make it that you could alternatively take a 6 GP item like the Two Handed Sword, or one of those awesome non-magical best armor, shield, swords in the game (which I think cost like 6 or 7 GP.

This way he point of the dungeon is to get money, and if you got your talisman, then you can potentially go for it. In fantasy like D&D, that is what the dungeon represents. A means to an income. Much like the city can be lucrative too.

Yet, if you want ways to quickly win and your crunched for time I would jsut allow someone to go to the Crown and if so let them win IF you want the game to be shorter. It really boils down to you, your group and circumstances your playing.



#19 fasteddy23

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 11:32 AM

I have 20 plus games by going through the inner region! Most important is having fate to get through there. We play all sets except Dragon usually. When the Highlands came out,,it seemed that the Dungeon was definitely not used as much. I remember the old days when you would just get into the middle region and stay forever till you got to about a strength or craft of 10 and bullied your way through the Inner Region. I like the shortcut to the Crown of Command via Lord of Darkness because it gives someone something to think about when battling Lord Of Darkness. Sometimes you might not want to be shipped to C of C because another player might be playing defense and have multiple life gaining abilities. I like sneaking up on to the Middle Region and surprising my opponent with a quick run through the Inner Region!! Enjoy the game!!!



#20 Kallabecca

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 04:27 PM

"is armed with infinite spells"

 

You can't have infinite spells. The most you can cast is limited by what was in your hand when you started your turn on your turn, or one spell if it isn't your turn.






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