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So how does does the revised play?


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#1 rcmoore

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 01:43 AM

While my game sits in pre-order limbo, I'm interested in hearing about how the revised edition plays, especially with respect to:

1) Does it seem balanced?  Especially with respect to the new fate rule.

2) Does it seem sissified?  Is fate making the game "too easy"?  Does the game lack bite without the usual raiders?  Or do you find it a welcome reprieve?

3) Does it play faster? 

 



#2 Zadok13

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 03:47 AM

rcmoore said:

While my game sits in pre-order limbo, I'm interested in hearing about how the revised edition plays, especially with respect to:

1) Does it seem balanced?  Especially with respect to the new fate rule.

2) Does it seem sissified?  Is fate making the game "too easy"?  Does the game lack bite without the usual raiders?  Or do you find it a welcome reprieve?

3) Does it play faster? 

 

1. Only played one game so far with 3 characters.  The Druid, Thief and the Warrior.  All three of us did really well, no one player was clearly in the lead.  The Warrior was the winner this time around.

2. I don't think so, then again I did die at the very end of the game.  Its still a rough game even with the fate.  Sure fate can help, but you could just as easily get the same roll or and even worse one.  Every time you roll that die it is still 1in 6, also the person with the least ammount of fate in our game was the winner.  Once again this is all based on one game.  So it would take a few more to really get the feel.  Raiders still suck, they stole 5 of my gold :(  I personally think that stealing everything is little too much, but it certainly is something you can eaily house rule.

3. It was the first game for 2 out of 3 of us, and it lasted about 2 hours with rule explanations.  We used the rule where the first person who gets to the crown just wins, unless someone else is in the inner region.

 

Hope that helps a little.  I'm sure opinions though will vary greatly, depending on how you feel about the changed and the kind of game group you have.

 



#3 JCHendee

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 10:16 AM

Thanks for the feedback. I hope others will do the same.  For 3 players, it was a slightly quicker game than what our group has experienced before. (I for one like the Raiders as nasty as they were, becuase they are ... well, raiders, not pickpockets. There was always an extra dimension to the game if something good was waiting in the Oasis for everyone to race after. I don't think a few gold will inspire that, especially since there isn't any place to really spend it in the Middle Region.)

Your take on Fate was most interesting, and I'll be doubly interested to hear others' experiences with that new character attribute.



#4 Carrion Prince

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 05:43 PM

 

I wanted to play several games before posting my observations of the revised edition. So far I've played 7 games. 4 games were with 2 players, 2 games were with 3 players, and 1 game with 4 players. My copy of the Talisman Reaper set should arrive any day now so these games were played only with the core revised game.

1) Talisman has never struck me as being a balanced game in the first place but the new edition does seem like the more balanced than 2nd edition (I can’t say much about the 3rd edition since I only played a few games of that version). Many of the weaker characters in the revised version were adjusted and received bonus powers to stand a chance against the other power houses. The priest seemed pretty weak before but now he can kill spirits for spells and starts with an impressive 5 fate. Based off of my experience with 2nd edition it was the expansions that created the most problems in the game so we'll see if Fantasy Flight can maintain this balance with future sets.

2)  I am one of those people that love to see remakes of old movies and rush out to buy the latest Magic expansion just to see what new ideas they thought up. It is probably no surprise then that I was very excited when the revised version finally arrived on my doorstep. I was looking forward to new surprises and especially the new fate tokens.

I must first admit that I had a warped perception of what fate was going to be like, mostly due to the prophetic insights posted on the forum by some of the so called Talisman experts. Statements like fate "destroys the chances of bad things happening to you" or that it gives you "protection from all negative effects" are GREATLY exaggerated. After seeing some examples of how fate affects the game I wonder how anyone who actually played the new version could make such outlandish statements. Perhaps because these Talisman gurus only read the rules once and overreacted because they didn’t understand how it really functions in the game?  In any case, I found that fate may be the weakest attribute that a character has.

Fate lets you reroll a die once and you can’t spend another fate to keep rerolling it again (more on this later). Fate is also very difficult to replenish even if you are an evil character with the graveyard change. In the games that I’ve played characters burned through most (if not all) of their fate halfway through the game, about the time when they reach the middle region. If you are evil, you have to abandon the middle region to replenish fate at the graveyard and even then it is difficult to land on the space with random dice rolls. The chapel is only a few spaces away which proved to be quite an annoying obstacle when you’re ping-ponging around the area to land on the graveyard.

The graveyard is just as annoying as having a good character with one life left desperately trying to land on the chapel before he dies. The odd thing is that the evil characters who have the easiest time of replenishing fate also have the lowest fate values, but some good characters have the highest fate values in the game. The priest and monk have a whooping 5 fate! Even when an evil character replenishes at the graveyard it is still less powerful than having a good character heal all of his lives at the chapel IMHO. Maybe the fate values were designed this way for balance reasons but I think it would have been cool to have at least one evil character with a fate rating of 5.

In one game I tried to have the priest turn evil at the village mystic so that I could get the full benefit of replenishing 5 fate. This was an experiment to not only test the power of fate if a character could replenish 5 at a time, but also to try to see if the game would be greatly unbalanced as a result. For several turns I kept bouncing around the area and finally landed on the village on three occasions = I didn’t want to waste fate on rerolling movement just in case I needed to reroll the encounter result. When I finally landed on the mystic I kept getting ignored and once I was even turned good which was just as bad because my alignment was already good. Each time I landed on the mystic and failed to roll a 1 to turn evil I burned a fate to reroll. This all powerful fate which some have claim can destroy the chances of bad things happening to you, this mighty token that can turn men into gods, this thunderbolt from Zeus given the form of a cardboard chit couldn’t even help me reroll to get a 1. After spending more turns than I care to count trying to land on the mystic and after losing 3 fate to results like ‘you are ignored’, I finally gave up trying to break the game and just played for fun. Ironically, when I just played for fun is when I started to get the feeling that I could actually win the game.

While I am glad that fate introduced a new resource to players and I am really looking forward to seeing fate develop in new expansions, I believe that fate is too weak in the game. I am not saying that fate does not have its uses, I just think that fate could use some beefing up instead of being such a limited resource.

My first suggestion is to allow players to reroll the dice as many times as they want as long as they have the fate to spend. Maybe the designers made the limit of only one reroll or the inner region would be too easy. If so, then you can just have the limit only count in the inner region for balance and let players continue to reroll in all other regions. Another alternative is to change fate to let you roll an extra die and then you can choose which result to use.

My other suggestion is to allow players to spend a fate to either reroll a die OR to add +1 to their die roll. That way you can prevent the fate reroll from getting a worse result. My gaming friends like to stick to the rules so I probably won’t get a chance to test these suggestions soon. I will post any comments after a few plays if we get the opportunity.

To answer your questions more directly:
Yes, I think fate is sissified but it does not necessarily sissify the game. As it stands, I think fate is too underpowered but perhaps things will change with the next expansion sets.

Fate does not make the game any easier IMO since the worst encounters in the game are events which fate doesn’t help you avoid. I’m taking about the hag, poltergeist, leper, sacrificial altar, dragon attack, pestilence, alien spores, and even the gold stealing raiders - which I don’t mind the change to the card at all. Gold is harder to come by since some of the ‘bag of gold’ cards were switched out for more craft monsters. Even losing a few gold to the raiders is very painful now. I also noticed that while the characters do feel more balanced in the revised version it was the characters with the lowest fate ratings that usually made it to the crown of command first – so fate only played a very small role in the inner region compared to having a super high strength or craft.

The new edition seems to play faster which is probably due to fate but I can’t really tell for sure. Although fate can come in handy sometimes it is also a double-edged sword that can give you even a worse result than you started with (which is why I propose that fate lets you roll an extra die and you choose which result to use). Sure fate can really save your arse if you roll a toad but most instances are either rerolling movement to skip the black knight/desert/forest/any other negative space or to reroll a botched combat roll.

Please note that these comments are based off of 7 games and my opinions may change with more plays. This post is simply my observations so far and I will add notes if things are changed with the new expansion.



#5 Gargamel

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 12:55 AM

Great feedback on fate.  Very much appreciated.



#6 JCHendee

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 03:52 AM

Agreed, the feedback is excellent... please continue if and when you can.



#7 myomer

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 06:55 AM

I agree with Carrion about fate it doesn't seem to take too much out of Talisman's reputed bite. It's a great mechanic IMO and a great new function to balance characters and give you options. With the reaper expansion for example, thinking about Carrion's experiment of re-rolling for moves, you can also re-roll moves to try and get the reaper to move (to other players), etc.

I think it should stand that fate is just a re-roll so it doesn't become too overpowered; in fact other house rules on fate that I read on these boards would be interesting, such as one suggestion of taking away 1 life if you roll the same roll as your original one.

As to how the revised plays.... I picked up this version because I know FFG's games pretty well and I know how they can make a game better and had to get Talisman to see their take on it; such simple changes as balancing the chapel and graveyard and putting in more craft enemies make for a better game, IMO.

Wife and I played it and it still came in at about 3 hours, with us going to our alternate characters. My first was the ghoul which I thought would be strong but he died easily, and quickly.  I had better luck with my Troll with its high strength and I was able to quickly get into the inner region. My wife had an amazing come from behind game with her priest getting her craft up to appropriate levels in something like 5 minutes and came to within 1 life of challenging me at the Crown (I was casting the command spell for the last 6 turns with low success). I was also down to 1 life so it was a great, close game.

I imagine this would even be better with more players and I plan to introduce this to my relatives as we tend to play these board games over the holidays.



#8 JCHendee

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 04:31 AM

Having received my upgrade, we played a few games, but I won't go through all of them. General impressions were mixed about changes in the upgrade. BUT overall, Fate gained some appreciation versus earlier doubts and dislikes. We'll have to see what happens with future expansions to be certain of all its dimensions (which most players thought should have been included upfront).

Cards: backs were consider attractive but annoying; most (not all) players preferred labelling to remain with or without iconography. Size was mixed but leaning positive... until the fronts were examimed; all opinions shifted neutral or negative. Size affected text, art, etc., and hence readability when combined with other alterations. Description backgrounds are darker in most decks, forcing many to pause to read (especially those taking reading glasses on and off between reading and playing). Font size seemed larger at first. Careful study suggested only pitch height increased; the font is narrower. Character card sized seemed pointless and took up more playing space. Alignment cards were collectively hated and immediately abandoned in favor the standard ones.

Miniatures: a novelty, but no one wanted to use them. Without skills to paint them, they wasted time spotting who was where on the board in tracking other characters. Standees with matching art were used.

Tokens: (fate or otherwise) no one used them, though all had the option to do so. With more component size increases, table space became premium. Fate tokens brought only chuckles. If/when the two side color is explained and put into play, we will reconsider those only. (NOTE: admittedly our groups have always used note pads or stickies in plain sight for all recorded current attribute levels and other information.)

Three games were played with various characters over several days, but I will focus mostly on the last.

Players: 3 always
Time: 2.5 hours average (moderate pace)
Endgame: First to the Crown of Command
Char.s: Sorceress, Monk, Druid (last game only)

Like others we found Fate not unbalancing but an interesting new dimension when played. It did not speed up the game at all; not compared to the increased potency of certain character abilities, which was a balance problem in some cases. Fate was rarely used except in battles / movement to avoid disasterous outcomes (trapped between two destinations with nasty Adventure cards early in the game, or losing a battle 1 Life left). Fate changes on the board slightly worsened an old problem: Lives for Evil characters. Even with a Fate point for a re-roll, a Life couldn't be gained. Until the Healer and/or Pool of Lives came into play, Evil characters were at a disadvantage slightly greater than before. Fate replenishing at the Graveyard was considered severely skewed in mechanics and for what "Fate" really means.

And Fate was never used with the Mystic because no one chose to see the Mystic at all; when a character had nothing else it could do in that space, and Fate was more than once used to avoid going there (and having some other nasty option waiting in the other direction). I can't fully explain it other than the addtion of being turned Evil (the whole rules justification for that has nothing to do with mysticism). Overall, the Village and City saw few visits compared to the old days, even when something was actually to be sought there. A pity, since some PvP used to occur there, especially on interactions with the Thief character (either stealing or getting his comeupance).

The new wording to distinguish between Strength and Craft combat (attacks, and battles, and psychic, oh my) got a lot of scoffs. That was never unclear and shouldn't have been made more wordy and complicated. Some cards were again over-wordy and not in a truly clarifying way in all cases, as opposed to some other elements (like board spaces) where original clarity was truncated and left old (and some new) players in a pause.

Extra Craft Enemies were a positive except in considering particular characters. It was nice to see Craft grow in a like fashion to Strength, and Craft based characters were now more equal to Strength based. The final game was the clincher for problems in this, and was the shortest game overall (2+ hours). And the winner was... oh, come on, you should have guessed it already: the Monk.

He reached the Inner Region before any others established a stable foothold in the Middle Region. His ability to add Craft to Strength in Attacks (Physical Combat) was even overpowering than in earlier editions. Taking away all weapons (versus just swords and axes) made no difference in balancing. Taking down Craft Enemies, elevating Craft like others but being able to use it in combat put him in a position to take down Strength Enemies quickly. And yes, he took the Crown by Strength in the end. Passing the Werewolf was an utter joke with Craft 9 and Strength 9; that mutt had no chance at all against him.

As to the Druid, his ability to draw maximum spells upon Woods spaces became more than an annoyance to others and even bothered the person playing him. Most utility and STN (Screw Thy Neighbor) spells drawn early on were of little use. Some had to be cast in legally useless ways just to get rid of a spell that didn't help him versus elevated abilities of other characters. There was also confusion as to when new spells were drawn versus Adv. cards to be drawn or landing on one placed on the Woods Space (and thereby becoming the space's actual immediate encounter).

Overall the game was enjoyed almost as much as the old days. More familiarity with play should get all players comfortable with the new changes. But house rules were immediately established after the third game.

House Rules Confirmed

  • The Monk may only add Starting / Innate Craft in Attack (Combat).  Craft boosting spells may be used as well, but not Current Craft (built up skill rather than innate Intelligence, Wisdom, etc.) nor Applicable Craft (mods from Followers or Magic Objects).
  • The Druid may not draw new spells on a Woods space until after facing any waiting upturned Adventure Cards or facing another character already there. (In other words, he hasn't had time - like a true druid - to interact with Nature to gain new powers). He may draw spells before drawing a new Adventure card there.
          Alignment change must be declared at a turn's beginning or end and not during. This is a rather illogical ability (by Alignment concept or actual historical druidic practice). In one situation he changed twice in one turn to gain a space advantage (praying in the Graveyard) and then picked up the Holy Lance (dropped there). One other situation raised the possibility of three switches in one turn. it was getting ridiculous by the game's end... and it still wasn't enough to challenge the Monk.
  • The Graveyard remains worded as "Pray" instead of "Invoke" but on a roll of 5 a Life is gained rather than a Fate. It's not much for Evil characters, but since they can replenish Fate by choice, the gaining a Life by prayer should not have been messed with.

House Rules Under Consideration

  • Fate can additionally be used after a movement roll to modify +1 or -1 (max. 6, min. 1, so only applicable 66% of the time and a minor benefit compared to cost). This is a more real "choice" use of Fate and would actually speed up the game in instances where getting to a specific space is desperately needed / wanted. It also beefs up non-combat competition and forces even more hard choices on Fate use. (We tried it just once, and when the Pool of Live popped up, a rousing free-for-all race and tumble began that brought many laughs... distracting from the imbalance of Lives for Evil characters.)
  • City and Village returned to "may" visit on personalities there. Trying to figure out what to do (when nothing was needed or even possible) broke the fantasy adventuring mood, and was considered illogical and silly (even more than annoying)... and it wasted time (slowing the game).

 



#9 Gentlegamer

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 04:48 AM

The Monk only adds his Craft value (the starting value printed on his card) to his Strength during Battle. So the Monk has a permanent +3 in Battle. Still very powerful, but not the nuclear powerful of adding all Craft during Battle.



#10 JCHendee

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 05:08 AM

Gentlegamer said:

 

The Monk only adds his Craft value (the starting value printed on his card) to his Strength during Battle. So the Monk has a permanent +3 in Battle. Still very powerful, but not the nuclear powerful of adding all Craft during Battle.

 

 

Can you point to the rule, errata or faq where it mentions this clarification? Maybe its something we missed as far back as 2nd edition.  Calling it Craft "value" doesn't clarify since values for all character attributes change throughout the game.



#11 talismanisland

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 06:04 AM

 Page 5 of the Rules.

A character’s Craft at any time is the character’s Craft value, plus Craft counters, plus any Craft gained from Followers, Magic Objects, and Objects that may be used at that time.

When a character is required to lose Craft, counters are removed accordingly and returned to their stockpile.

A character’s Craft can never drop below that character’s Craft value (i.e., the number printed on the character card).


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#12 Gentlegamer

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 07:09 AM

talismanisland said:

 Page 5 of the Rules.

 

A character’s Craft at any time is the character’s Craft value, plus Craft counters, plus any Craft gained from Followers, Magic Objects, and Objects that may be used at that time.

When a character is required to lose Craft, counters are removed accordingly and returned to their stockpile.

A character’s Craft can never drop below that character’s Craft value (i.e., the number printed on the character card).

 

This also means that effects that heal a character up to its Life value mean not just up to 4 Lives, but the number printed on the card next to Life. Some characters have a Life value greater than 4, such as the Troll (Life value 6).



#13 Gentlegamer

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 07:13 AM

JCHendee said:

Gentlegamer said:

 

The Monk only adds his Craft value (the starting value printed on his card) to his Strength during Battle. So the Monk has a permanent +3 in Battle. Still very powerful, but not the nuclear powerful of adding all Craft during Battle.

 

 

Can you point to the rule, errata or faq where it mentions this clarification? Maybe its something we missed as far back as 2nd edition.  Calling it Craft "value" doesn't clarify since values for all character attributes change throughout the game.

This a new definition for the revised 4th edtion. "Value" refers to what is printed on the card; i.e. starting value. It's a codification of what we used to refer to as "starting Craft," etc.

The Warhorse from The Reaper expansion bestows the Monk's ability (add Craft value during Battle), so the bonus you get is variable depending on which character you are. I can't wait to be the Wizard (Craft value 5) and get the Warhorse!



#14 Dam

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 09:12 AM

Gentlegamer said:

The Warhorse from The Reaper expansion bestows the Monk's ability (add Craft value during Battle), so the bonus you get is variable depending on which character you are. I can't wait to be the Wizard (Craft value 5) and get the Warhorse!

Has the warhorse changed? IIRC, it used to work like the old Assassin, you could only charge an already face-up card (or char). With the Assassin having mutated into a wiping-out machine, will the Warhorse also work on encounters you draw as well?


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#15 Gentlegamer

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 10:12 AM

Dam said:

Gentlegamer said:

 

The Warhorse from The Reaper expansion bestows the Monk's ability (add Craft value during Battle), so the bonus you get is variable depending on which character you are. I can't wait to be the Wizard (Craft value 5) and get the Warhorse!

 

 

Has the warhorse changed? IIRC, it used to work like the old Assassin, you could only charge an already face-up card (or char). With the Assassin having mutated into a wiping-out machine, will the Warhorse also work on encounters you draw as well?

Warhorse (Follower) - Add your Craft value to your Strength during Battle. If you lose a life during any battle or psychic combat, you must discard the Warhorse.



#16 akuma508

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 10:50 AM

JCHendee said:

  • The Druid may not draw new spells on a Woods space until after facing any waiting upturned Adventure Cards or facing another character already there. (In other words, he hasn't had time - like a true druid - to interact with Nature to gain new powers). He may draw spells before drawing a new Adventure card there.
          Alignment change must be declared at a turn's beginning or end and not during. This is a rather illogical ability (by Alignment concept or actual historical druidic practice). In one situation he changed twice in one turn to gain a space advantage (praying in the Graveyard) and then picked up the Holy Lance (dropped there). One other situation raised the possibility of three switches in one turn. it was getting ridiculous by the game's end... and it still wasn't enough to challenge the Monk.

 

He can only change alignment once per turn. I'm pretty that's in the rules somewhere or FAQ (for BI).



#17 El-DoX

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 11:57 AM

akuma508 said:

He can only change alignment once per turn. I'm pretty that's in the rules somewhere or FAQ (for BI).

 

simply check rules, under alignment explanation. no character (including druid) may change alignement more than one time in a turn. 



#18 Carrion Prince

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 01:11 PM

El-DoX said:

akuma508 said:

simply check rules, under alignment explanation. no character (including druid) may change alignement more than one time in a turn. 

Are you saying that we should read the revised rule book instead of basing our judgements off of outdated editions?

You know, that just might be crazy enough to work!!!  



#19 Carrion Prince

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 03:55 PM

JCHendee said:

House Rules Under Consideration

  • Fate can additionally be used after a movement roll to modify +1 or -1 (max. 6, min. 1, so only applicable 66% of the time and a minor benefit compared to cost). This is a more real "choice" use of Fate and would actually speed up the game in instances where getting to a specific space is desperately needed / wanted. It also beefs up non-combat competition and forces even more hard choices on Fate use. (We tried it just once, and when the Pool of Live popped up, a rousing free-for-all race and tumble began that brought many laughs... distracting from the imbalance of Lives for Evil characters.)
  • City and Village returned to "may" visit on personalities there. Trying to figure out what to do (when nothing was needed or even possible) broke the fantasy adventuring mood, and was considered illogical and silly (even more than annoying)... and it wasted time (slowing the game).

 

That's a cool idea for fate modifying movement rolls. I was thinking of a variant where you could spend a token BEFORE you roll movement to be able to choose what you roll. Maybe you would have rolled that number anyway but spending a fate is a sure bet to land on the space. Your suggestion sounds like a better solution since you still have some chance involved but with additional control, and isn't that the point of fate anyway?

If you make the city and village encounters optional, people will never visit the enchantress, at least that is what I've experienced with my group. Turning into a toad is too risky even if you have a stockpile of fate. If you remove mandated encounters you end up removing the threat of the enchantress which is also the most common way of getting toaded.



#20 JCHendee

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 03:23 AM

Gentlegamer said:

 

JCHendee said:

 

Gentlegamer said:

 

The Monk only adds his Craft value (the starting value printed on his card) to his Strength during Battle. So the Monk has a permanent +3 in Battle. Still very powerful, but not the nuclear powerful of adding all Craft during Battle.

 

 

Can you point to the rule, errata or faq where it mentions this clarification? Maybe its something we missed as far back as 2nd edition.  Calling it Craft "value" doesn't clarify since values for all character attributes change throughout the game.

 

This a new definition for the revised 4th edtion. "Value" refers to what is printed on the card; i.e. starting value. It's a codification of what we used to refer to as "starting Craft," etc.

 

The Warhorse from The Reaper expansion bestows the Monk's ability (add Craft value during Battle), so the bonus you get is variable depending on which character you are. I can't wait to be the Wizard (Craft value 5) and get the Warhorse!

 

 

Oh good grief! Why mess with terminology and ignore what the community has already been using for two decades? It's like that whole attack, battle, whatever listed on the sheet that came with the upgrade pack. We were around the table, only half of us actually playing, half writers, some of us having done contract work as editors and publishers, and one of us read that aloud. Reactions varied... including needed amusement to get the game rolling.

But I thank you all for the clarification. Much appreciated. The rule mentioned combined with misunderstood terminology was the problem.






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