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Lars Gnomish

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About Lars Gnomish

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  1. I have to say I'm a little disappointed. I'd much rather see a new board that covers the middle and inner regions. I suppose if you combine the Highlands with the Dungeon expansion, then you get three potential endgames, so that's ok, but I just don't think the Dungeon and the Highlands expansions are very interesting by themselves. It would be nice if FFG packaged both the Dungeon and Highlands expansions together for $60.
  2. JCHendee: your points are well-taken, and I think that, if anything, they reiterate that the CoC is not 'a joke'. It's part of the game's appeal that there is more to it than just being the first to reach the Crown. I find it's quite exciting when one player seems to be out so far ahead of the rest, but he manages to lose while sitting on the Crown. I think the end would be terribly anti-climatic if it ended as soon as someone reached the Crown. Re: alignment, it would be interesting to house rule an alternative ending for Good-aligned characters so that they don't have to kill other players. Maybe they have to destroy the crown of command instead? The crown could have 5 life points, and the Good aligned character can only strike it on a roll of 4, 5 or 6, but if he fails, he takes damage himself. I don't know... just a thought.
  3. I don't understand the OP's problem. Once someone is on CoC, the rest of the players should be trying to get there too. If players are intentionally stretching out the game without any interest in making an end run, then they are just trying to subvert the game out of spite. A player who takes such a strategy is thinking "hey, I can't win this, but I can stretch this game out forever, and stop anyone else from winning. Aren't I so clever!' I'm not sure how sustainable that strategy is anyway, eventually you are going to run out of life or money for healing. A player like that is kind of like the chess player who only has a King, but he refuses to admit defeat, and he just keeps moving his King back and forth between checks. Players like that are annoying and sore losers, and you shouldn't play with them. If, on the other hand, the player has an objective, and he's just trying to buy some time to gear up for his end run, I would call such a player very cunning. The Poltergeist is generally a disadvantageous follower, but a skillful player can use it to his advantage. What's the problem? I've never played with more than 3 players though. I guess I could see where the end game does get a little stretched out with 4+ players. In a game with a lot of players, a smart strategy might be to let the other players duke it out on the Crown of Command, and then make their own end run after the other players have been severely weakened or killed?
  4. So, I've been sitting on my copy of WH3ed since Christmas. I've read the rules thoroughly, and I just don't feel compelled to play it. I like the basic mechanic of the system: choosing between standard dice, conservative dice and wreckless dice, but nothing else works for me. I really don't have the time or the inclination to learn these rules inside and out, and then to teach them to my players, who will -never- buy the books. I don't like the tracking systems, the group dynamics, the fatigue counters... these are all just inconveniences for me, as a Game Master, since I want to keep everything as simple and straight-forward as possible. I find that when you aren't bogged down by all that meta-game stuff, it gives everyone a more emersive experience. I'm wandering it the game can work with a more simplified rules system? Does the game break down without the fatigue rules etc. I hope FFG will still produce WH2ed, because I think it's more my speed.
  5. Three words: NO RANDOM BOOSTERS!!! That's a great way to kill off the game, if you ask me. The reason MTG and other CCGs have been so successful is because they work on the principle of everyone buying their own card decks (which is an incredibly lame mechanic for a game, btw, since odds favour the wealthy). Talisman is a board game, and it only requires an investment from ->one person<- to play. There is no incentive to keep buying packs to keep up with the Joneses. Nor is there any reason why someone who doesn't own the main board would invest in random boosters. I'd be ok with a non-random booster decks to spice up the adventure deck when the adv. deck starts to get a little stale, but I don't understand why anyone would want more spell cards. In my 40+ games, we've barely scratched the surface of the current spell deck. We don't get much use out of the market deck either. What more do we need from the market deck, anyway? I can only think of two items: a weapon that increases craft the way that a sword increases strength, and A kind of armour that protects you from psychic (craft) attacks just as normal armour protects from physical (strength) attacks Also, as someone already pointed out, the play mechanic for Talisman doesn't offer much potential for variation. The game is already reaching the point where cards are starting to get absurd (regeneration rules, etc). Someone mentioned Runebound's huge number of expansions. True, but Runebound has a rules system allows for more flexibility and creativity. Characters and enemies in Runebound have more attributes than their counterparts in Talisman (Runebound enemies have stats for Ranged, Melee, & Psychic attacks plus variable Hit Points and skill checks). In talisman, for the most part, an enemy has 1 statistic: strength or craft. With each successful deck of adventure cards, Talisman's designers would have to come up with a bunch of special rules and exemptions to differentiate the enemies, and that just slows down the momentum of the game. Worst case scenario, the designers of Talisman introduce something like Runebound's 'character decks'. Those decks, which were kind of like individual spell decks, were a total disaster. My play group tried them once, and prompted retired the cards to the dust bin. I don't even want to think about them. Something FFG could do is revise the Character Cards for Talisman to give each character a special objective, so that you have a character specific objective to get a talisman. For instance, a Wizard might need to gain and sacrifice 4 spells. A Warrior might need to sacrifice a magic sword. An assassin would need to kill another character. A theif would have to steal and sell 4 items from the market. A merchant would need to sacrifice 10+ gold. A ghoul would need to sacrifice 4 undead followers, and so on.
  6. I own the base game, the Reaper expansion, and the upgrade kit (for the extra cards, option to have two of the same character, etc). The only thing I want, and the only thing I am willing to buy, is a more interesting board. I want a non-linear game board with more interesting options, and more opportunity for strategic play, and or, a new endgame, because the existing endgame is kind of underwhelming. I would consider buying 'replacement spaces' that cover existing spaces seamlessly. For instance, the current tavern is sort of lame, and a replacement tavern space that offers a greater range of opportunities would be much better. I do not want the simple game mechanics of Talisman to be interrupted by too many rules variations. I do not want tons of text on the cards. I do not want more characters because I find every set of new characters gets more and more ridiculous and munchkin-y. A type of card that has not been used much in game yet, that I think would be quite useful, is an instant teleport card that transports your character to another part of the board, such as unwelcome spaces like The Glade, The Black Knight, etc.
  7. Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad that my idea is being received well. Ideally, what I would like to do is inspire the folks at FFG, convince them that this concept could work with a little effort, and produce an official expansion using this concept. JC Hendree, I thank you in particular for taking the time to look at how I've arranged things so far, and for providing feedback. I will try to address some of the points you raised. CARDS Cards are probably the biggest issue that needs to be worked out. The board would have to be huge in order to accomidate cards on the spaces. I'm keen on Runebound's approach: have numbered counters that you place a space, which correspond to cards which are arranged to the side. A maximum of 10 counters should be sufficient. Once you have cycled through all 10 counters, you start to eliminate the oldest card in play (counter 1, then 2, and so on). This might actually improve the game, as players will want to race to pick up a dropped magic item, or slay a big trophy beast. I don't like the idea of disposing cards right away. The whole basis of Talisman is watching the way the board develops over the course of the game, and it would undermine a lot of the rules if places and monsters didn't stay on the board. It might be interesting to rule that you can't move through a space occupied by a monster unless you stop to fight it. That could force players to move into spaces they don't want go to. The narrow landmass on the south end of the board could become treacherous. As could the middle region, where there is less space to move around. ENCOUNTERING ENEMIES IN THE MIDDLE REGION +1 might work... I don't know. It's worth a test. DESERT IMHO the two desert spaces in the base Talisman game are lame. The only time anyone ever goes to the desert is if their only other choice is the Chasm (which nobody EVER goes to). The board I created makes crossing the desert almost essential. You only have 2 options to reach the Portal Of Power: through the desert or through the Black Knight. With this board, the Black Knight can afford to be more powerful since you won't be forced to land on him: therefore the Black Knight will demand 1-6 gold, or you will need to fight him with a 10 strength. So, the desert could potentially become a more appealing option. I also wanted to put spaces of interest on the far sides of the desert, to encourage players to take the risk to cross it. Therefore, I added a Mystic space, where you could potentially gain more strength, craft or spells, and I put the Temple in the desert. OTHER STUFF I was also thinking of eliminated the talismans from the Adventure Card Deck and requiring all players to take on a Warlock Quest. However, I would re-write the warlock quests so that players are forced to travel around the board. For instance: the warlock instructs you to deliver a package to someone in the City or the Graveyard. Or the Warlock tells you to seek the talisman in the Glade or the Ruins, etc. I might actually switch the current locations of the Warlock's Cave with the Mystic.
  8. Thanks for the comments Erester! Much appreciated. I've revised and added more elements, and thought about new rules for movement: PRELIMINARY MAP KEY All Gray Spaces - Special Rules Apply, player can not move through grey spaces, must stop and take action Black Spaces - Impenetrable Mountains, no movement Blue Spaces: Water - Players can only cross blue spaces with raft, one space per turn Light Green Spaces: Plains - Move as normal - Draw one Adventure Card Dark Green Spaces : Woods - Move half speed - Draw one Adventure Card (Elf can teleport to any dark green space & move normal speed) Orange Spaces: Hills - Move half-speed - Draw two Adventure Cards (Dwarf can teleport to any orange space & move normal speed) Brown Spaces: Middle Region - Move normal speed, Draw two cards. Add +2 to any enemies encountered Yellow Spaces: Desert - Move normal Speed, draw 1 card and suffer lose of 1 life or expend water bottle Red Spaces: Inner Region - Move one space per turn, do as instructed You'll not that this greatly improves the Dwarf and the Elf, since they will be able to bounce around the outer region. New Movement Rule: player can not cross the same space twice in 1 turn or he is automatically 'lost' and misses his next turn. (I apologize about the quality of the image, click link for enlarged image) img9.imageshack.us/img9/6518/talismanhexboard.jpg
  9. I've been trying to develop a new gameboard for Talisman that would allow for more flexibility of movement, and a less linear design, while still using all or most of the existing game cards. One of the ideas comes from Runeboard: a hexagonal landmass board. I've been experiment with this concept, and created a very rough and very early thumbnail design. See the image attached. Green spaces would be 'the outer region', and you would draw one adventure card if you land on a green space. Brown spaces would be the 'middle region', and you would draw two cards if you land on a brown space. Yellow spaces are desert spaces, and you draw one card and lose a life point, or expend one water bottle. Red spaces are the 'inner region' spaces, and you move through them one space at a time. Gray spaces are special spaces, and you cannot pass through them without stopping. Blue spaces are water, black are impenetrable mountains. You can't move through mountains, and you can move through water one hex per turn on the raft. This is just to get our creativity flowing. I think there are real possibilities here, but much needs to be considered, which is why I'm opening up the idea to discussion at this early stage. I still need to incorporate several important lands, like forests and woods, crags, the chasm and the Glade. The movement system might have to change as well, with certain types of terrain reducing movement in half (counting as two spaces). I intentionally created several narrow pathways in order to spur player v. player interaction. What do you think? Do you see where I'm going with this? img121.imageshack.us/img121/6518/talismanhexboard.jpg
  10. I owned them all at one point. Now all I have left is Dungeon. Fireball Island has a huge cult following. A google search will turn up tons of websites devoted to it. The thing about Fireball Island was that the box was huge, so trying to trade it today online costs you a fortune in shipping. Last time I checked, a fully loaded copy trades for $200+ before shipping, and because of the game's size, the boxes are almost always beat up from long periods in storage. Regarding game play, Fireball Island was not nearly as complex as Talisman. It actually quite simple, and it got a bit repetitive after a few games, but the fun board and the marble fireballs definitely appeal to the imaginative board gamer. Dark Tower is even more rare. The electronic tower wasn't made to last forever, and most copies that turn up today are broken. A mint, working copy could sell for $500.
  11. Hmm... Well, I think Talisman Revised 4th Edition is obviously trying to emulate the design of Magic: The Gathering. So if it's art you're looking for, I'd start with Magic: The Gathering. I'm personally not crazy about this look, and prefer the old Saturday morning cartoon look of Runebound, or the slightly unhinged style of Games Workshop's Talisman 3rd Edition. (I'm old, and my tastes reflect the style of my youth.) In terms of play mechanics, Talisman is very much a product of the 1980s. The core mechanic of the game: -> roll die -> move -> draw card -> do what card says -> repeat steps clockwise around the table - was very common back then. The two closest games that come to mind are The Dark Tower, which is a highly sought-after rarity today, and Talisman's predessessor: The Classic Dungeon. Neither game has been in print for years. The Classic Dungeon is like an extremely simplified version of Talisman for kids, but its quick to play, and it can be a lot of fun if you are in the mood for a short, mindless game. The Dark Tower is like Talisman but with an electronic tower instead of cards. Another old game that is Talisman-esque is the wonderful . Talisman was unique among these games thanks to its multitude of cards, characters and options.Modern board game designers prefer strategy to randomness, and generally don't make games like Talisman. They are considered juvenile. Runebound, in my opinion, went too far in trying to beef up the mechanics to make it 'more mature'. I think that was Runebound's downfall. Talisman, The Dark Tower, The Classic Dungeon and Fireball Island were all fun games because of their simplicity. (By the way, be sure to check out the Dark Tower link... Orson Welles!)
  12. So, I'm one of those guys who grew up on Moldvoy D&D and Gygaxian AD&D, and I played or owned just about every system that came out prior to 1993. I was curious about the new WHFRP 3rd edition because it looked -different-. I mentioned it to my non-gamer wife, and she gave it to me for Christmas. I haven't had a chance to play it or completely grasp the rules system yet, but I wanted to share some of my initial thoughts: -The dice system is interesting, though I'm not too keen on the dice themselves. The D10s are very messy looking, and in some cases, I can't even tell what the symbols are. I think it was a major design mistake to put the most detail on the dice with the most (and therefore smallest) sides. -The cards: in theory, I like incorporating cards into the RPG table, it's nice to have something tangible. The problem is that these cards are clearly designed to drive profit for FFG. FFG will keep putting out new cards with new powers, and players and GMs will feel compelled to keep buying them. Eventually, this will become unsustainable and frustrating for GMs and the system will die out (a phenomenon that also killed AD&D 2nd Edition, by the way). Also, a lack of duplicate cards creates a problem, especially with regard to Occupation cards. (I maintain that the best RPGs, the ones people keep going back to over time, are the most minimalist ones.) -The package: FFG is selling the system as an all-inclusive package, but this creates a huge problem for game groups. Namely, the players are unlikely to have a copy of/ familiarity with the rules. The core rules cost over $100, so it is very unlikely that players will buy their own copy. Even then, its not always in the GM's best interest for his players to have a copy. Then you have to deal with issues of players having access to sensitive material (like the adventure), keeping track of who owns what cards and dice and counters and so on. The last thing a GM wants to do after a long session is count every little piece to make sure his package is complete. The fact that the books are soft cover makes me very reticent to share the books with my players. They are, frankly, a slovenly bunch, and if I lend a book out, it's likely to get returned to me torn, worn and stained, or never returned at all. There are two stereotypical gamers: obsessive-compulsive gamers and slacker gamers. The obsessive compulsive gamers tend to be GMs, and as such, we don't trust our players farther than we can throw them. Having a big price tag increases our OCD behaviour. The adventure: The adventure in the GMs book is really great and well laid out. I hope that its layout will be the model for future releases. However, I think the overall theme of the adventure is more victorian horror (Ravensloft/ Cthuhlu-esque) than the over-the-top inky-black medieval fantasy that I think has defined the Warhammer world for nearly 3 decades. As an old-school gamer, Warhammer represented a very particular type of fantasy RP. It was gory and dark to an absurd level. In a way, the setting was like a satire of Tolkien fantasy. Whereas Tolkien-esque heroes were nigh-on indestructible, WH PCs experienced frequent and bloody deaths, and the nihilism was part of the joy of the game. Dismemberment, guts and decapitation was written as an integral part of the combat system, and after a few sessions, you were lucking if your PC still had all his limbs. I always saw this a reflective of a distinctively British sense of humour. That is, for me, the essence of the Warhammer RPG. I was disappointed to see that the setting was mostly sanitized in this latest edition. It shouldn't have surprised me. FFGs, much as I love them, have never had much appreciation of irony. I'm going to play the adventure soon, and then write back about how the system works. In the meantime, I'd like to offer the following advice to the designers at FFG: PUT A FREE PDF OF THE RULES BOOK ONLINE. Players need a copy of the rules, and they aren't going to drop 100$ just because their GM wants to experiment with a new system. In my experience, most new game settings don't survive past 2 or 3 sessions. If the system and the game do not capture the players' imagination after the first session, the game falls apart and gets catalogued forever on the Bookshelf of Forgotten RPGs. Players who know the rules are much more likely to have a solid playing experience at the outset of the campaign. If the game survives over 3 sessions, it's likely to continue for the long term, and players and the GM are more likely to buy additional products. Furthermore, potential GMs are more likely to buy the core rules box if they know what they are getting in it.
  13. I got to thinking, wouldn't it be nice if players had more options to manipulate the board, and to create more tension for the other players, and one thought crossed my mind... what if players could build strongholds ala monopoly. Here's how I thought it might work: There are 4 fields and 4 plains in the outer region. Lets say these are the only spaces that can be developed. When a player lands on one of these spaces, he can choose to pay 10 gold to build a stronghold there. For the remainder of the game, the stronghold can house any excess items, gold and followers the player wishes to leave there. While there, the items and followers are protected and cannot be lost. When the player returns to his stronghold space, he can choose to draw up to two cards. If he draws a monster, he gets a +1 to his combat roll. Any other player landing on the stronghold space MUST draw two cards instead of one. If he draws an item, he must offer it to the owner of the stronghold first. If he draws two items, he must give the owner of the stronghold one of the two items (active player's choice). If the player draws a monster, he must fight it as usual. If he fails to beat the monster, the own of the stronghold can immediately fight the monster with a +1 advantage to his roll. If anyone, including the owner of the stronghold, draws a Place or Event card on the developed space, the Event or Place card is moved to the discard pile and the owner of the stronghold receives 1 gold coin in taxes. Finally, if a monster of 8 or higher strength or craft is drawn on the stronghold space and is not defeated in combat, it immediately attacks and destroys the stronghold. All objects and followers housed within the stronghold are placed on the board. Sound interesting? Ideas?
  14. Velhart said: ameritrasher said: Old Master said: I would have like to see some bag of gold cards replaced by events or objects until we do get a place to spend the gold we already have! The goblin sapper blows up cards on the table when you pay him gold. etc etc. That will not fix the problem. we still need more cards to spend our gold. SOLUTION: Training. Any character can level up their Strength, Craft or Life by returning to their starting location and trading in 7 gold coins. Benefits: -Makes gold a hellava lot more valuable -Gives more purpose to the starting place -may force a player in a middle region to trek out to the outer region, thereby slowing down his advancement -Inspires more PvP as players will try to jump an opponent who is going back to level up -Makes the merchant a little more viable since he'll have a head start on the next level up -Prevents dropped items from clogging up the spaces later in the game, because players are more likely to trade it in at the alchemist Concerns: -Players who start in the city or village have the minor advantage of being able to trade in their items and train in the same turn, but most the characters that start in the village and the city are weak to begin with, so it works out. -Characters who have an alignment change might not be able to visit their starting position without getting harmed (Ghoul, Cleric etc)
  15. master yoda said: It has already been done.....Descent is the answer. Wow. We must have different definitions of what constitutes an RPG. Role-playing games are not minature tactical battle games. RPGs are open-ended, improvisational storytelling games with infinite possibilities. As I see it, a Runebound RPG would simply compile, adapt and expand upon all the flavour text and maps of Runebound into a world sourcebook. A rules system rules would also have to be agreed upon. It might be a new system inspired by the existing game rules, but that would require a lot of work. You're probably better off adapting the setting to D20 or GURPS or any other rules system conducive to a generic fantasy setting. One of the neat features could be the use of movement dice. So, the party is on a quest, and need to venture to X location. The GM rolls the movement dice behind the screen and consults the map. Each die represents a day of travel, and each hex on the game map is one day's travel distance. If the movement dice provide a combination that would allow the party to get from Point A to Point B, then they make it unmolested. But if they don't have the adequate arrangement of dice, then they either have a random encounter, are stuck, or get lost. But really, the beauty of RPGs is that you don't need anything but pencils, paper, dice and imagination. And you could probably get away with only 2 of those.
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