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Fate Points seem like a good idea


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#1 Gaudy Scabbard

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 12:26 AM

For some reason the option to post a reply in the Fate Rule thread wasn't available so i'm posting this here.

I picked up the revised 4th Edition last night and looked through it all at great length. I believe that Fate Points will really come into their own once the game has  one or two expansions under its belt.

Having played a fully and completely expanded 2nd Edition for the last 18 years, I think the addition of fate points is a good move. Having some control over your character rather relying on the vaguaries of chance will help reinforce the "RPG" aspect of the game. There is nothing worse than having played the game for 3 hours or so and then be screwed over by completely random chance while the most powerful character romps to victory without any opposition.

Also, fate points will be used up far quicker with the additional threats that expansions bring e.g. more adventure cards, additional boards etc. Fate points will become something to use carefully. I can predict strategies forming where a powerful character will be ganged up on, other players firing spells at them, attacking them etc. That will deplete Fate points soon enough, just adds another interesting wrinkle to the game.

Plus, it freshens up the game which is something i'm glad to see. I'm a huge fan of the classic 2nd Edition but even I recognize that the game should move with the times, at least a bit and bring something different to the table. Fate Points do that and there are obviously other uses for Fate points that we are not aware of yet. What are the dark and light sides of the Fate Point counters all about?

I really think we shouldn't denounce something as bad for the game until it has been played a good while. THEN we will be in a position to form a considered opinion.



#2 Dam

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 03:05 AM

Gaudy Scabbard said:

 There is nothing worse than having played the game for 3 hours or so and then be screwed over by completely random chance while the most powerful character romps to victory without any opposition.

First, our games rarely if ever took/take even 3 hours. Second, getting screwed by random chance is for at the core of Talisman. Yeah, Horrible Black Void is one of my all-time favourite Talisman cards  .

Gaudy Scabbard said:

Plus, it freshens up the game which is something i'm glad to see. I'm a huge fan of the classic 2nd Edition but even I recognize that the game should move with the times, at least a bit and bring something different to the table.

I'm in the same boat regarding the 2nd ed, but if FFG had merely reprinted it + it's expansions, I would've been actually happier. I don't care about updating Talisman, as it was fun just as it was. The game I grew up with belongs/-ed (not quite sure where it is now) to my cousins, so I couldn't play it 24/7.


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#3 Gaudy Scabbard

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 04:07 AM

You never/rarely had games go over 3 hours?! Wow!!!

By contrast, I rarely had a game last UNDER 5-6 hours. There were usually 3-5 of us and often our games would reach epic lengths of 10-15 hours. By that stage random chance stuffing someone up was not funny. Our default house rule was you could retire the character then play one of the broken characters such as the Prophetess, Warrior of Chaos or the Cyborg but even then your chances of slowing down the lead character were poor.

I'm aware, VERY aware, that random chance is part of the game but there is such a thing as too much randomness. Except for the Random Spell!

Horrible Black Void  

Yep, it was a joy to see someone reach the center and encounter that. Mind you I used the alternate option presented by the Timescape expansion which meant the Void sent you into the Timescape rather than obliterate you. Even that was pretty harsh, either you came out of the Timescape powered up the wazoo or you didn't come out at all.

Still think Fate points are good. I'd like to port the idea back to 2nd Edition but it might be too difficult to do.



#4 Dam

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 04:17 AM

Gaudy Scabbard said:

You never/rarely had games go over 3 hours?! Wow!!!

By contrast, I rarely had a game last UNDER 5-6 hours. There were usually 3-5 of us and often our games would reach epic lengths of 10-15 hours. By that stage random chance stuffing someone up was not funny. Our default house rule was you could retire the character then play one of the broken characters such as the Prophetess, Warrior of Chaos or the Cyborg but even then your chances of slowing down the lead character were poor.

By the end of the 2nd hour, someone would be heading up towards the Inner Region. We never spent, nor still spend too much time preparing, just decent enough that we'd get through Mines/Crypt (although the Crypt path was pretty much never taken, thanks to DwD; which Fate again nerfs). Pit Fiends were and are a minor bump in the road.

Gaudy Scabbard said:

Horrible Black Void  

Yep, it was a joy to see someone reach the center and encounter that. Mind you I used the alternate option presented by the Timescape expansion which meant the Void sent you into the Timescape rather than obliterate you. Even that was pretty harsh, either you came out of the Timescape powered up the wazoo or you didn't come out at all.

We only had Finnish Talisman (which included base + expansion) and the English Adventure expansion. I've played Timescape once, and hated every minute of it.

 

On a side note, have you peaked at the Boardgamegeek thread talking about the Reaper chars? Not all the details are in, but the Dark Cultist is sounding worryingly like the Warrior of Chaos (getting random benefit from killing).


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#5 Roy

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 12:18 PM

Gaudy Scabbard said:

You never/rarely had games go over 3 hours?! Wow!!!

By contrast, I rarely had a game last UNDER 5-6 hours. There were usually 3-5 of us and often our games would reach epic lengths of 10-15 hours. By that stage random chance stuffing someone up was not funny. Our default house rule was you could retire the character then play one of the broken characters such as the Prophetess, Warrior of Chaos or the Cyborg but even then your chances of slowing down the lead character were poor.

I'm aware, VERY aware, that random chance is part of the game but there is such a thing as too much randomness. Except for the Random Spell!

Horrible Black Void  

Yep, it was a joy to see someone reach the center and encounter that. Mind you I used the alternate option presented by the Timescape expansion which meant the Void sent you into the Timescape rather than obliterate you. Even that was pretty harsh, either you came out of the Timescape powered up the wazoo or you didn't come out at all.

Still think Fate points are good. I'd like to port the idea back to 2nd Edition but it might be too difficult to do.

I had second edition and playing with ALL the expansions it was rare a game would last 3 hours. It was Dragons that seemed to slow the game down a lot.  When you reach 8 or so strength or craft, we usually go for the crown.  We play pretty aggressive though.

I don't think fate will help you catch up to the lead character unless their starting fate is low.  I find high fate characters can build extra strength and craft points quicker than the other players and as long as they have a source of replenishment (ie graveyard) .  The enchantress and temple have decreased risk, so you can make them a major part of your strategy.



#6 Roy

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 12:21 PM

Dam said:

 

By the end of the 2nd hour, someone would be heading up towards the Inner Region. We never spent, nor still spend too much time preparing, just decent enough that we'd get through Mines/Crypt (although the Crypt path was pretty much never taken, thanks to DwD; which Fate again nerfs). Pit Fiends were and are a minor bump in the road.

 

 

I'm with you 100% there.  It was amazing how often DwD would trap a player... a thing of the past now



#7 Gaudy Scabbard

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 09:51 PM

Well our games used to take so long because we enjoyed exploring the City board, becoming the Advanced characters such as the High Mage (which we houseruled, you had to give up 2 magic items to become him plus the dice role), the Master Thief and the High Sheriff; taking out bank loans to buy potions, Great Swords, plate mail armour etc, visiting the Anarchist's Guild, etc. Great fun. Also, we were terrible backstabbers. We took every opportunity to stuff other characters over. Anytime anyone played the Inquisitor, they would go around trying to declare everyone a heretic and get them imprisoned in the Royal Jail, a pain in the arse to escape from.

Then there was the Timescape. I know people had a love/hate relationship with it, we loved it and still do. Great fun to wonder around in, trying desperately to avoid the Rad Zone and Death World, getting hold of the Battle Droid and the Star Sprites and trying to meet the Omnipotent Being. Fantastic fun.

All this meant that actually reaching the Crown of Command space was secondary for the most part. Eventually when we were tooled up one of us would make a break for the middle, being hotly pursued by the others and taking heavy fire from the plethora of offensive spells. Then there was the dreaded moment when we would find out which of the six alternate endings were going to be encountered.

All of the above is the reason why 2nd Edition in particular, with all of it's expansions, is considered a classic and why many people can recount tales of games of prodigous length. On the rare occasion that we had a short game, we'd play again!

I think it's worth bearing in mind that Fate Points are a resource like anything else and it's fairly easily depleted. You could spend it all getting through the Inner Region but I think you'd better keep some in had for holding onto the Crown of Command while people fire Random Spells at you and fight you for it. It will bring a new tactical element to the game which i'm looking forward to, I don't have any fears regarding Fate Points.

In fact i'm a GM for the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and Dark Heresy RPGs which use Fate Points so my players and I are very used to the concept. Fate Points disappear fast I can tell you.

I haven't had a chance to read the Dark Cultist in detail, the Warrior of Chaos could certainly rack up an impressive amount of craft, strength etc but that made him a target for the spell casters, back stabbers and other malicious types. It was broken in the early game if left alone but that rarely happened. I'm hoping the Dark Cultist has had some play testing and doesn't work exactly the same way.



#8 RiCHiE

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 10:39 PM

Ahhh.. the city!  Yes that can be a real time consumer.

I also have all the exapnsions, and if you really wanted to get engrossed in them all, then games can take a long time indeed.  Our group and also nasty back stabbing team up bunch, but we played the game for due course.   We take the capitalist approach I suppose - do something if it is worth doing and beneficial to each own.  City and Dragons really added time to the game: if we wanted a quicker game we would just take them out. (I should note that if actually don't even enter City or make it a brief visit and head for the Crown earlier you'll have a better chance of winning and it will be a shorter game IMO, depending on the rules you play of course :D)

As for the game taking a long time, from reading your description you have just answered your own question.  I don't do half those things in the course of a game, it takes too much time and deters you from your ultimate goal - but I have been there mate, I know where you are coming from!  I doubt Fate would speed up the game for you if you put it into second edition, but its damn easy to adopt the concept if you choose too.

For me, I am cautious of the imapct of fate on the game's fun, but I'll introduce it to out playing group and we'll just see. The fact that it is pretty easy to replenish gives you the ability to just keep rolling for strength+ craft etc at the Temple or Enchantress, or protect yourslf for the course fo the game. Our group are not into Warhammer (HATE IT), Dungeons and Dragons (HATE IT) and any of that stuff, we play Talisman because its fun.  If Talisman became like those other games we wouldn't play it, simple as that.  We like to have a few beers and have a social but well paced game.

In our group we have ten players now and none of them are into other board games or rpg's at all. The problem for us is that only 3 players own copies of Talisman and we have problems with logistics.   Scanning is too much effort and no one has time.  It would be good for everyone to have their own copy, and after a few bought the BI version we were told FFG were taking over, so the rest stopped buying it.  I bought my mates kids a copy of the BI version and now all the kids up the street are crazy about it and playing it, which says something about the game as it stands.  Watching them is like watching ourselves  - the fun of the game was watching your mates pick up the hag or raiders or seeing them toaded, I just hope the Fate doesn't spoil that. 

We'll see when Santa comes.

BTW - I like Timescape too.  Hated the space theme, liked the mechanism - it will kill you or make you stronger.  I have lost countless times to a mate who escapes to Timescape  while i'm in the crown to come out with pumped out strength and wipe the floor with me.  Great fun!

 






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