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Variation with the Dragon Expansion


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#1 0beron

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:49 PM

Recently I played my usual once a month or so game, with my main co-player, my wife, who is mostly a casual player; doesn't have quite the adoration for all things Talisman.  At any rate, we'd been discussing Dragon scales and whether or not to slow their accumulation down. Here's what we decided, partially based on another poster's experience.

  First we decided that NO scales could be collected by any would be Dragon King - the game starts with no OverLord - until, the first Dragon is encountered through an Adventure (or Dungeons, Highlands) card. Once that happens, the first Dragon's presence makes the 3 Lordlings take notice of the Realm of Talisman.

 From this point, scales are pulled each turn as in the normal game, but it now takes 5 scales to Crown the first Dragon (and all subsequent) Lord(s).

Because this delays the presence of Dragon scales, cards etc in the game, whatever player pulls the scale that crowns the first Lord, must pull and enoucnter that Dragon's deck. 

** Our game has me as the Necromancer and her as the Dragon Rider. It took much longer, many turns, before one of us turned up a Dragon. It was from the Highland deck. Eventually a Lord was crowned, Grillipus.  The game lasted a while and was mostly interesting. She strengthened easier than me but eventually we came closer in levels. She cast the Lycanthrope spell on me and I became empowered - something she hadn't thought out I guess.

 But we ended up conceding the game as a tie, because we were pretty evenly matched, though more complementary to each other, she had more objects and things to help carry them, I had more Followers with strong abilities. I had Colossus and used him to destroy a place she wanted to land on and I later used a destroy all cards in the Region type spell, which further enraged her (thats whey she turned me hairy). But we couldn't get quite strong enough for either of us to try the Portal. One of us lacked a Talisman, too, at that time. So we agreed to quit.

 Other elements in play;  did not use Dragon realm board, but used scales and cards.  Used Day/Night changes with Blood Moon, used a hidden alternate ending. Since we conceded I looked at it and it was the Demon Lord. I think this game had balance, but will probably use the Dragon Realm in the future *with* a hidden alt ending (seems odd having, say, Ice Queen, up on the Crown with all those Dragons, though)

  ** In the future we are considering a Blood Moon house rule; The Werewolf does NOT move unless it is Night, when a '1' is roled.



#2 Velhart

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:22 AM

Hmm, i have no problems with the dragon tokens.

it is fast and easily. Just keep the bag with tokens by the dragon lord cards, and you can easily switch tokens or put tokens on the card.

 

Some days ago, i have tried the dragon domain ending, and that was no fun at all.

Too many dragon cards must be place upon the adventure deck or region deck depending where the character is, and they draw those cards all the time.

characters are going dead too.

We decided to end the game.



#3 The_Warlock

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:38 PM

0beron said:

Recently I played my usual once a month or so game, with my main co-player, my wife, who is mostly a casual player; doesn't have quite the adoration for all things Talisman.  At any rate, we'd been discussing Dragon scales and whether or not to slow their accumulation down. Here's what we decided, partially based on another poster's experience.

I got married in 2012 and now my main co-player is my wife too. In those first months I got her to play board games such as Talisman, Runebound, Dungeonquest and Arkham Horror. She likes most of them but Talisman is on the top of the list and now we play it at least once or twice a week.

We're almost finished trying out every single expansion, basically repeating the process I've done with friends over the last three years (Reaper-Dungeon-Frostmarch-Highland-Sacred Pool-Dragon-Blood Moon). What surprised me is that she liked Dragon Expansion a lot and soundly kicked my ass in the three games we played with it. It may be a matter of luck, but she grasped the little strategical concept about Dragon Scales and new opportunities for Character development.

Two-player games with Dragon Expansion are quick and fun, at least with "Dragon-oriented Characters". I know that other Characters will have a harder time with scales than Dragon Rider/Hunter/Priestess and Fire Wizard, who gladly prey on Dragons and scales, but with Minstrel and Philosopher it looked like there was always a chance to draw normal Adventure cards or try the Highland.

This is valid for two-player games. With more players drawing Dragon Scales is tiresome and Dragon King changes almost every round. I recommend Domain of Dragons for 4-5-6 players (though I've never tried it with 5-6) and standard Dragon rules for 2-3, three players being suitable for both.

Your ideas are nice if you want to delay the coming of Dragons, but this won't make for a better game experience, IMHO. There's no need for Dragons when players have gained lots of goodies and extra Str/Cft. Dragons will suck and be easily disposed of, while they can be a great danger in the early game. You always take a risk if you encounter a Dragon scale in the first part of the game, but you may be rewarded with powerful Objects and Followers. If you don't want that risk, try to stay away from scales. It becomes gradually more difficult, but it's not so difficult for 2 players as it is for more players.



#4 0beron

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:21 AM

I agree with most of your points. My wife and I are the only players so we wanted a break from the surplus of scales on the board. We more or less liked our experience. But then, much of the time we kinda play non-competitvely. She is not so interested in kicking my ass - until she gets to the Crown. And she just wants to avoid having to encounter Dragon cards. She's such a sissy, as I agree with you both that scales/encounters is a good way to level up. But I think, even in our mid '50s she still goes for the easy, shiny and pretty things. She likes aquisition and thats her main goal until she thinks she's ready for the crown. So she gets mad if I want to challenge her or cast spells against her or move the Reaper, etc. 

 What's a fella to do? But seriously we still have fun and we're both looking forward to the City. As I said before, we both thought it was unusual that it took so long for a Dragon to appear and I'm sure the next game we use this varient could be different.

Thanks for your comments, friends!



#5 zealot12

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:42 AM

We only managed to get the Dragon expansion working using Elliot's rule:drawing a dragon token each time one or more Enemies are defeated during a player's turn.

That, and limiting accumulation of dragon scales  to three of each color per player. Also, any time a draconic lord is crowned, all the characters, regardless of their  position, suffer the Dragon Rage of the new Dragon King.

The third houserule makes the Dragon Priestess a very powerful character. 



#6 0beron

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 01:36 PM

In the variation I had described, I had proposed the Dragon Rage rule; when the first Dragon is crowned, ALL players suffer his rage. My co player refused to accept that, so we changed it to the player drawing the final scale MUST draw that Lord's encounter card.



#7 zealot12

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:19 PM

Hmm, I could try it out as well. Because in my variant The Dragon Rage rule is quite a bit more dangerous when you're using the Dungeon expansion. Since there are so many Enemies in the Dungeon, the lords  are crowned faster.

 



#8 Osbo25

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:38 PM

My wife is also my most frequent competitor in Talisman, though we're trying to get some other couples we know to play, too.  We used to play non-competitively.  We pulled out a lot of cards that we simply didn't like; we wouldn't attack each other; and we'd blatantly cheat to keep characters alive.  We figured that we were playing to have fun, so why worry about following the rules that we didn't like?  Just recently we switched to playing the game the way that it is meant to be played.  There's no animosity, of course, but we are turning our characters against each other a bit more.  For example, right now we are playing a game where we each have two characters.  (Our games usually last for several days as we only play for about an hour each night.)  Last night one of her characters had only one life.  I managed to land both the werewolf and the reaper on that character in the same turn.  The character survived, but we both knew that that very well could have killed her.  Oh well.  That's the game.

Anyway, we also changed the rules for dragon scales.  We usually play with three characters each.  When you have that many characters, the board gets absolutely littered with scales before anyone is strong enough to handle them.  As such, we increased the number of scales that need to be collected on a draconic lord card from three to six.

However, I played a one-on-one game with my brother the other day, and I discovered that six was far too slow of an accumulation with only two characters in the game.  (So also this basically eliminated any effectiveness/usefulness for the werewolf and the reaper.)  We were able to have maybe seven or eight scales out before we started encountering them.  But once those all got picked up we went through a scale drought for several turns.

So I'm thinking that a tiered structure might be in order.  For 2-3 players it takes four scales.  For 4-5 players it takes five scales.  For 6+ (I know the box says "2-6 players," but you can have more) it takes six scales.

We also play with the Dragon Tower for the inner section rather than the normal or the Dragon paths to the Valley of Fire.  The Dragon Tower is far more dangerous and difficult to get through.  With the other paths you can pretty much get through once you get a strength OR craft of 12-14.  With the Dragon Tower you almost need to have a well-rounded character who is strong in both attributes.

But since the game is called "Talisman" we still require that a character have a Talisman in his possession to get to the Crown of Command.

And once there we use hidden alternate endings instead of fighting the dragon king.  In the game against my brother I made it up to the Crown of Command and drew the Black Void.  I love that ending, even when I draw it.






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