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Black Void ending, Game design question


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#1 Persiatic

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 09:16 PM

Hi all

First of I'm not here to bash on Black Void alternative ending since it is an optional "Alternative Ending". but since my group always plays with the rules that the first char reaching Crown draws an alternative ending and we have payed some good money for the content of this expansion I would like to see what the rest of the community thinks about this:

I know there are endings that also kills the player, but the whole game of Talisman as I see it design wise has been around chance. Which means there's almost always good and bad events that can happen to you.

The Black Void though has no chance involved and it actually punishes the goal of the game "to be the FIRST player to reach the crown"

I just wish they would have put at least a small chance of making it out alive. What do you guys think of this ending does it fit in with the rest of the Talisman game design?

 

P.S. Yes I know I can change the rules however I like, that's not the point of the thread.

Regards
Pers



#2 talismanamsilat

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 11:16 PM

Persiatic said:

Hi all

First of I'm not here to bash on Black Void alternative ending since it is an optional "Alternative Ending". but since my group always plays with the rules that the first char reaching Crown draws an alternative ending and we have payed some good money for the content of this expansion I would like to see what the rest of the community thinks about this:

I know there are endings that also kills the player, but the whole game of Talisman as I see it design wise has been around chance. Which means there's almost always good and bad events that can happen to you.

The Black Void though has no chance involved and it actually punishes the goal of the game "to be the FIRST player to reach the crown"

I just wish they would have put at least a small chance of making it out alive. What do you guys think of this ending does it fit in with the rest of the Talisman game design?

 

P.S. Yes I know I can change the rules however I like, that's not the point of the thread.

Regards
Pers

The Horrible Black Void has been ported directly from the 2nd edition version of Talisman. Yes I think it does fit in with the rest of the game. It gives other players a chance to win the game, even if they are far behind the guy who gets to the Crown first!

Ell.



#3 Dam

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 11:46 PM

Persiatic said:

 

The Black Void though has no chance involved and it actually punishes the goal of the game "to be the FIRST player to reach the crown"

I just wish they would have put at least a small chance of making it out alive. What do you guys think of this ending does it fit in with the rest of the Talisman game design?

 

 

First off, there is a chance, that the first player reaching the CoC does NOT find the HBV there. Currently there are what, close to 10 (?) endings you can use as hidden. I personally use six (Crown and Sceptre, Hand of Doom, Battle Royale, Ice Queen, Eagle King and HBV), mainly A) because the Werewolf is very much like the IQ/EK, but no option to get out of the CoC if you made it that far, whereas IQ/EK allow/force you to leave and B), can shuffle the endings and roll a D6, flipping over that ending once a character reaches the CoC. Only then, because the backs of the ending cards don't match up and you could tell from which expansion the ending at the CoC is. So unless you are choosing the Hidden ending and choosing HBV, there is a chance that the ending is not HBV, just that the chance occurs during setup (if you place the ending card at that time). With say 10 hidden endings, 1/10 chance of the first ending being HBV, at least by math, Murphy's Law tends to work wonders .

Second, for me, HBV is the greatest card ever made. Not only greatest ending or greatest Talisman card, any card and game, all of time included. We had the Adventure expansion for the 2nd edition, which originally introduced HBV and have been pining for this ending since the 4th came out. Much like the Raiders (sadly, RAW, nerfed) used to be the great equalizer, whoosh, all your gold and Objects gone, can't do anything about it, same goes for HBV. I'd like to see more cards like the Basilisk who can kill any character and barring spells or evade, there is nothing you can do about its ability, if it rolls doubles in battle, you're dead, end of story. One of the key things that pushes the Reaper expansion to the top, even though Blood Moon gave it a run for its money, is that the Reaper can kill you with a single roll, whereas the Werewolf is rather toothless. Reaper too is a catch-up mechanic, if one player is in the lead, have the others make the Reaper hunt him down.

Yes, Talisman's goal is to reach the CoC, but I always refer to Talisman as a race game, just one where the first player over the finish line (reach CoC) does not win. One of the plays this month, Rogue reached the CoC first (playing default CoC ending), but then got Curse of the Werewolf cast on her and ended up getting killed. Grave Robber reached the CoC second, but the Warlock, thanks to spell-cycling two Healing spells, then spell-cycling during their battle at the CoC, ended up winning, being the third and last person to reach the CoC.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#4 Persiatic

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 08:57 PM

Dam & Ell

I'm not disagreeing that there shouldn't be dangerous stuff coming up in the endings that can kill you and other type of  getting killed moments. But you should have a chance to be rewarded for taking risks.

For example:

"I see that the Warlock is in a big lead, but since he has a big lead he is taking the safe route and trying to bulk up so he can manage any BOSS ending that he might encounter once he get's to the crown. So I see that he is moving his way down to the dungeon to farm some enemies.

Me the Dwarf have around 8-9 in craft/strenght. I will take this opportunity to rush for the crown. I lock pick the Big Door since I'm such a tricky guy and I know the mines like the back of my hand so I manage to get half way into the inner region when the Warlock understands my plan and he is pissed he can't do anything about it.

Now I'm going to draw an alternative ending. I know that most of the endings because I rushed the crown pretty early are going to be dangerous for me but I still have a chance even if it's small on all of them except The black void. Guess what I draw the black void and die and also take it out of the game so the passive happy farming Warlock don't even have that small risk anymore. "

My point here is that often the one's in the lead are not the one's rushing for the crown. They want to be as safe as possible when they finally reach the crown so they actually create a moment when the rest of us can plan some alternative strategies on how to beat the leader.
 

 



#5 Dam

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 11:43 PM

For me, if I'm clearly in the lead, why not grind up stats until you have about 15 in whichever stat you're using against the EK/IQ/WW, just in case you flip one of them? In your example game, if the Dwarf doesn't rush it, leaving the Warlock to grind his stats and be the first to the Crown, then he would've been sucked into the HBV and lost. It's Schroedinger's Ending . If you hadn't rushed to the Crown, then the Warlock's safe play would've seen him lose. Of course, with hidden endings, heading for the CoC with 8-9 stat is very, very risky, there are like one or two endings that you can win with with a reasonably chance (all the combat endings for example would almost guaratee to defeat you).


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#6 JCHendee

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 02:31 AM

Dam said:

 

First off, there is a chance, that the first player reaching the CoC does NOT find the HBV there. Currently there are what, close to 10 (?) endings you can use as hidden.

 

 

That's not a game "mechanic" chance. That's a game "component" chance. And you're assuming everyone has that many AltEnds; not all do.  That being said, I think you have the right idea. Talisman's marketing model has really screwed the game up.  More is not better; more is just more… or sometimes less, and most here know what I mean.

6 random endings is a really good notion, Dam, as a max for any one game. If a group collectively has more than that, they could even just shuffle and deal out 6.  No game of Talisman is ever going to need even that many.

Personally, my group likes to choose an ending to play so that each game has something of a different feel at the start… even a little, tiny something.  Without that, there's little to no chance of applying real tactics, let alone strategy (ha!) in such a random game. Random is fun; completely random is boring. So endings like the HBV are shunned entirely.

And since part of the original post by Pers discussed a chance inside a card (mechanics) in addition to multiple cards (components), there are alternatives to the HBV.  I'm not the only one who has envisioned or created such, so look around… they do exist.  Then again, why bother?  There are so many AltEnds, commercial and otherwise, that any group can just toss out as many as they (dis)like without losing anything. Even my HBV alternative has been ditched as well, though it is still out there for download by others.



#7 talismanamsilat

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 03:03 AM

It's each to their own. I love the HBV being in the game as it brings back fond memories of the 2nd edition!

Ell.



#8 Froman

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 03:59 AM

The horrible black void rules!!! I've lost the game because of it, and I've also won because of it. I like the 4e version better then 2e though! If you don't like it though, don't use it. simple



#9 Dam

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 06:09 AM

Yeah, I updated my Statistics thread over on BGG, sadly, couldn't add a new list titled "Horrible Black Void victims" as HBV wasn't drawn in any of the three random ending games. Did start keeping track of the number of Adventure cards drawn during each game though, only 12 games so far, so very small sample.

www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/402911/my-talisman-statistics


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#10 JCHendee

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 01:05 PM

Since Persiatic's OP was about a middle ground approach, not about who likes or dislikes the HBV, here is the alternative that my group (and others abroad) used for a while, though we abandoned it as well later on.  The image is full print resolution and HTML reduced for display. Right-Click and "Save" or "View" as you please.  It is rigged to punish those who are "unworthy" in using tricks and shortcuts to the CoC.




 



#11 natstar

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 04:10 AM

 I disagree with it punishing the first person to get to the crown because the first person has more cards to pick from meaning he/she has a higher chance of not picking the card and its a funny way to die because you killed yourself nothing to feel bad getting killed that way due to the fact the other players did not kill you.



#12 Zozimus

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 10:42 AM

I like your Vortex a lot, JC, and I wish that more of the AltEnd cards from FFG were imaginative in this vein, instead of a video-game-esque "boss".  I am still totally thrilled to see the HBV back again!   Both the vortex and the void will provide a great story to tell at the end of a game of Talisman:  different stories, to be sure, but good ones!   I am looking forward to seeing how my gaming friends will react to the void.   Positively, I hope!   


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


#13 JCHendee

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 02:49 AM

natstar said:

 

I disagree with it punishing the first person to get to the crown because the first person has more cards to pick from meaning he/she has a higher chance of not picking the card and its a funny way to die because you killed yourself nothing to feel bad getting killed that way due to the fact the other players did not kill you.

 

In general, you are right… IF you are discarding the AltEnds… though "picking from" isn't what really happens.  Typically the AltEnds are shuffled and stacked and drawn like any other deck. That's the way it is handled in most groups I've encountered on and off line.

Zozimus said:

 

I like your Vortex a lot, JC, and I wish that more of the AltEnd cards from FFG were imaginative in this vein, instead of a video-game-esque "boss".  I am still totally thrilled to see the HBV back again!   Both the vortex and the void will provide a great story to tell at the end of a game of Talisman:  different stories, to be sure, but good ones!   I am looking forward to seeing how my gaming friends will react to the void.   Positively, I hope!   

 

 

Yeah, Z, you've got the option that wasn't mentioned even by me.  It doesn't have to be an issue of replacement but rather addition.  And me and mine got tired of the EndBoss endings way back in Talisman 2E. It was also the reason only one person in my extended group bought the Dragon… and half of them didn't even want to try it once.  A convoluted and fussy approach to the same old endings.

But again, might as well mixed up those endings as much as possible.  I find that some threat of disaster is helpful for the game and keeps the "rush" to the CoC via tricks and shortcuts down to a minimum.  But me an mine feel that threat of disaster should be a matter of degrees based on character preparedness, otherwise there's no effort to play the game as well as win it.

The other problem on the other end is that the more AltEnds that are added, the less impact the HBV has anyways.  Consider balancing the "challenge" endings that lean on character attributes with those that are more outright disastrous …and some that are disastrous by measured degrees.






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