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Gorgen

Dark Cultist Over-powered

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Greetings everyone,

After a few games with the Dark Cultist, we realized that the player was way over-powered compared to the other ones. 

I mean, the player almost gets a stat boost after every combat and gets to keep the trophies also.

We were thinking of removing the trophy if you sacrifice it to the dark gods, but even then the player gets his stats up way faster than any other player.

I remember we had that kind of problem in the 3rd edition with the Chaos warrior.  He won 1 D6 exp for every combat won so his xp went way up, and so did his stats.  What we did is we ended up only allowing the use of the Chaos warrior if you died during the game.  And even then, the player with the Chaos warrior sometimes managed to catch up with the other players and win the game!

So, i'm thinking of doing the same with the dark cultist, unless we can find a way to slow her progress a little.

What are your thoughs on this?

Thanks!

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     I agree that the dark cultist is a bit over powered, but in our group for some reason she has a really big problem staying alive in the beginning. Out of the 12 times we have used her she has been killed 8 times within the first 15-20 moves. Yes, it is the luck of the cards, but she only has a three strentgh and if playing with a group of fighter types, she can be easily taken over. Though she can make it psychic it is only a three again and not a great advantage in the beginning, while most that can make it psychic have a craft of 4 to start with.  She also has to roll properly to get an attribute, roughly getting an attribute point a third of the time. Again, luck of the dice. Some games she will get powerful quick and others she will get a bunch of gold and spells. She only has one fate as well, so she doesnt get a lot of chance to change her rolls for her Dark Gift. In a sense she is properly balanced and being always evil makes it rather difficult to get her lives back.  Though there are people out there that just roll good dice. If you want, whenever some is the Dark Cultist make them your target. Though I'm sure who ever is playing her wont be to happy with you. LOL.

     If you think about it the Thief is more a worry then she is. Taking any object they see fit if they land on you or in village, market, or market day can steal anything from purchase deck. Which if lucky, can get all the mules and water bottles making it really difficult for any character to get strong or crafty object wise or to stay alive in middle region. Because it just seems if your in the Oasis your going to roll a 1, if you don't have a  water bottle or grail.

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My group shares your fear of the Dark Cultist and we decided to ban this Character from our games.

I tried to figure out why many players don't complain about Dark Cultist, or seem to minimize her rushing growth, which has been more than evident in my games. I believe it depends from the players' attitude towards PvP. In my group we occasionally fight each other, we don't follow other players to kick their asses at first chance. Most of the fighting takes place in the last part of the game, and by that time Dark Cultist has become a powerhouse that nobody can stop. She defeats you and she becomes stronger at every blow!

In groups where PvP is continuous and repeated throughout the game, I sincerely believe that Dark Cultist can have a hard time at the beginning, because she needs to receive some more points  in Str/Crt to start the rush, and she has to win combats. She has no significant stats advantage against other players, no Special Abilities outside of combat, but if she gets 2-3 points or some useful Objects, the road to victory can be pretty easy if other players don't coalize against Dark Cultist.

Character is overpowered, because the chance to level up is too great, but won't look that way if players are harsh against each other. Dark Cultist can be an easy target for Strength based Characters, but if everyone is going on drawing cards she will be fine. It's not easy to change the way of playing of an entire group; it's better to redefine some of the Dark Cultist's powers.

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Warlock makes good points. In our (as in games here, not games with me and Warlock lengua.gif ) DC is an upper mid-level character, with 3 wins, 5 losses. She's had her share of bad luck, but then, so has everyone else. Around here, games where PvP (or at least using special ability vs another char) are more common than combats against Enemies aren't uncommon at all. If you have a decent shot (2 or more advantage), you have a choice of landing on another char and that char has something you'd like, those PvPs are nearly always taken. Heck, 50-50 shots (so even total stats) aren't rare, mostly people take them, well, just 'cos they can. Especially against the DC, with her 1 Fate, most chars can "afford" to use a Fate, if she uses hers, she is more vulnerable to Reaper/Toad. PvP deaths are common, I could check the totals, but too lazy atm gran_risa.gif . For me, DC isn't an über-char. If any char would get banned from our games, it would be the Sage (aka Philosopher from 2nd ed; who was banned back in the day).

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The_Warlock said:

Character is overpowered, because the chance to level up is too great, but won't look that way if players are harsh against each other. Dark Cultist can be an easy target for Strength based Characters, but if everyone is going on drawing cards she will be fine. It's not easy to change the way of playing of an entire group; it's better to redefine some of the Dark Cultist's powers.

     This is true. It would be better if she couldn't take a trophy, if using her dark gift. We don't do a lot of PvP either, but like to play the character's abilities fully. Like when one of us is the Ghoul, we are going to want to attack other characters to gain there life or have the Sorceress beguile / take followers as much as possible. Assassin kill. Thief steal. Etc. So there are games when a lot of PvP happens but as a whole not really.

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Interesting comments guys.  I guess we're not focused a lot on PVP here unless we are very late in the game and at that point the DC goes up like crazy.  I'm gonna try a few games without letting the DC keep the trophies if she sacrifies the creature and see how it goes. 

Just got my Dungeon expansion, it looks awesome!

Thanks everyone

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We (the borg) agree in considering the Dark Cultist overpowered! For this reason we use this house rule: giving the DC a choice to keep the trophy OR sacrifice it.

With this tuning he is still powerful, he will aim for weak combat to have a chance to level up easily, while hard fight will be keeped for trophy (building the favourite stat)

Rough statistical math: 3 sacrifices would provide 1 random counter

Note that counters awarded by sacrificing cannot be focused in the favourite stat, but the new dungeon has plenty of hard combat, either craft or strength based, so these sacrifical bonus are more profitable than in past

Note that i'm taking this too seriously cool.gif

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I've had 4 games with the Reaper Expansion and everytime the Dark Cultist has died early in the game. However I usually play Talisman with 4 or even 5 other people so perhaps this evens her abilities and it was down to bad luck?

****, my order for the Dungeon expansion is on back order!

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Cailus said:

I've had 4 games with the Reaper Expansion and everytime the Dark Cultist has died early in the game. However I usually play Talisman with 4 or even 5 other people so perhaps this evens her abilities and it was down to bad luck?

****, my order for the Dungeon expansion is on back order!

Yeah, the Dark Cultist can be defeatedgran_risa.gif

As i said above. .. i have defeat her twice at the crown of command. So she need luck to level up fast.

Talisman is all about luck !

PS: We have play that game with 2 players;)

 

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I don't get the obsession that is the Dark Cultist being too powerful. She has been played regularly in our games, but has yet to do anything significant. I drew the DC our last game over the weekend. It took about 15 turns before I was dead, and then drew the Troll and ran through the Dungeon straight to the Crown. In fact, it seems that the characters that are portrayed as being the weakest, on these forums at least, have actually had greater success. Elf, Priest, Minstrel have all done more including winning a few games a piece. It all depends on how the luck of the draw is in the game, and house ruling to keep the DC out is a little over the top in my opinion.

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Talisman is all about being lucky over being good! I think the trend is that "overpowered" characters get attacked more often in multi-player games. This gives "underpowered" characters a chance to level-up and sneak a win before everyone realizes what is happening.

So to make it "fair", all players should make sure to pick thier characters in a random/ semi-random manner (draw 2 or 3- pick one or draw equal to the number of players - pick one and pass to the left). I would not worry too much about overpowered chracters.

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liverpoolfc said:

I don't get the obsession that is the Dark Cultist being too powerful. She has been played regularly in our games, but has yet to do anything significant. I drew the DC our last game over the weekend. It took about 15 turns before I was dead, and then drew the Troll and ran through the Dungeon straight to the Crown. In fact, it seems that the characters that are portrayed as being the weakest, on these forums at least, have actually had greater success. Elf, Priest, Minstrel have all done more including winning a few games a piece. It all depends on how the luck of the draw is in the game, and house ruling to keep the DC out is a little over the top in my opinion.

I think you are completly right about that.gran_risa.gif

People are talking about that the elf is a weak character, but actually he is very strong.

In outrlast game, i lost from the elf with my philosopher while most of the people are saying that the philosopher is too powerful.

Of course, i must add to the point that i made a mistake in the battle, but the elf is 2 points stronger than the philopher !

I have not tried the priest yet. It seems that you have won with the priest a few times. So he is not bad at all ! gran_risa.gif

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let's clarify the difference between over-powered and under-powered.
If his game is lucky, the Priest become fairly strong, and even could win
If her game is luck, the Dark Cultist become a steamroller gran_risa.gif

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Cailus said:

 

I've had 4 games with the Reaper Expansion and everytime the Dark Cultist has died early in the game.

 

 

The Dark Cultist, as Costolaz notes, can get lucky and steamroll.  I agree this character has more potential for good luck than most other characters.  But Dark cultist starts fairly weak - weaker than most characters.  When I played her I died in less than ten turns (to an Angel of all things).

A lot of the luck in this game comes down to a good start.  The character who wins battles early will level up early and from then on win even more fights more easily and further level up.  It's  a snowball effect.  The Character who can't find an enemy (of reasonable size), or just can't catch a break will stay weak while the others accelerate past.  The Dark Cultist magnifies this effect.  If she wins a few fights early she gets a fast edge, but if she loses early she remains even weaker than most other unlucky characters would.

All that said, I surely do acknowledge the Dark Cultist as one of the better characters.  :)

On a final note, wouldn't this thread do better in either of the other sections?

 

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Thinking back to the old days of playing Talisman the CW was pretty strong but i never remember him getting out of control.  the same goes for the cultist, who has a greater potential to be stronger IMO.  However just like in the old days with this new version most guys i play with never take her because everyone jumps her first to make sure she never gets out of hand.  I would say your groups reluctance at PvP early is the issue.  For my playgroup guys are ruthless.  This leads to the Thielf and the Assassin being the 2 most watched for in game as well as the Prophetess.

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hprwhg said:

     If you think about it the Thief is more a worry then she is. Taking any object they see fit if they land on you or in village, market, or market day can steal anything from purchase deck. Which if lucky, can get all the mules and water bottles making it really difficult for any character to get strong or crafty object wise or to stay alive in middle region. Because it just seems if your in the Oasis your going to roll a 1, if you don't have a  water bottle or grail.

I believe the Mule is a Follower, not an Object, in revised 4th edition.

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boxcornersdiety said:

hprwhg said:

 

     If you think about it the Thief is more a worry then she is. Taking any object they see fit if they land on you or in village, market, or market day can steal anything from purchase deck. Which if lucky, can get all the mules and water bottles making it really difficult for any character to get strong or crafty object wise or to stay alive in middle region. Because it just seems if your in the Oasis your going to roll a 1, if you don't have a  water bottle or grail.

 

 

I believe the Mule is a Follower, not an Object, in revised 4th edition.

It doesn't matter if the Mule is a follower. The Thiefs card cleary states take any 'card' of your choice, not object. The Merchant does have the 'object' clarity on his card though, so it makes me believe that it isn't a mistake to let the Thief take the mule.

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hprwhg said:

 If you think about it the Thief is more a worry then she is. Taking any object they see fit if they land on you or in village, market, or market day can steal anything from purchase deck. Which if lucky, can get all the mules and water bottles making it really difficult for any character to get strong or crafty object wise or to stay alive in middle region. Because it just seems if your in the Oasis your going to roll a 1, if you don't have a  water bottle or grail.

Holy crap, I had totally missed this bit (only saw it quoted in one of the new posts)! Mules I get, I do that myself all the time with the Thief. But Water Bottle??? Seriously??? Around here, it's the first item Alchemied (Spell or City), first item ditched when you need to clear space, nobody ever buys one (okay, maybe the Merchant could make use of his ability with it). Basically, it's pure space-waste. As to Oasis and rolling a 1, that has killed 1 char in 40+ games lengua.gif, other times, nobody even bats an eye, they just take the Life hit.

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Too bad someone wasn't paying attention when doing expansion boards... exactly how is an adventurer getting enough water in any prolonged stay in the dungeon?  Even if it finds such, underground sources are often fetid, too mineral laden, too few, or if close to the sea may be too brine tainted. There are plenty of reasons for even a simplified game to make a house rule...   after a certain count of turns in the dungeon, an adventurer loses a life if they don't have a water bottle or other source of fresh water. Hey, some much of the expansions so far have involved alternative ways of whacking characters for a life in random ways... why not whack them if their unprepared?

Back on topic...

One issue that has been passed over herein and not pointed out more clearly. Judging a character as over or under power is not about EITHER its listed abilities OR how it plays in "luck" in the game.  It's both.  Any bit of analysis shows the Dark Cultist is overpowered (essentially its a rework of the old Chaos Warrior from 2E). Whether it plays well in bad luck or good luck is just and amplifier. The "steam roller" metaphor used earlier is a good indicator.  Luck shouldn't be that amplified for any one character; if it happens that way, then then character indeed might be a little to a lot too potent.  Look to anaylzing the mechanics and don't dismiss such simply because of luck in the draw/roll.

A way to deal with the Dark Cultist is the way we dealt with the Chaos Warrior...  Any time it made a roll on its little table and got something, it could never get that gift of the gods again.  (NOTE: I do not have that expansion, and haven't looked up the DC or CW lately on line.... so my details here may be off the mark... I may even be suggesting something already built into those characters.) So each time it gained something reduced the chance of gaining anything in the future, more and more and more.  It was simple, and it worked... sort of.  Eventually the CW was retired from play because always got whacked by everyone the minute it showed up.  The a couple of power mad players (who also like having a character that ignored alignment more than most did anyway) did a lot of kicking screaming. Then again, they were also the kind who couldn't figure out a strategy, or even tactics of their own, for winning with any other characters.

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I tried the expension sets with the kids last night and got the Dark Cultist.  I couldn't believe how powerfull her special ability was! Unfortunately, her stats didn't go up as fast as I hoped because I kept getting spells and with only a craft of 3, only could hold 1.... Kids had to go to bed, so we all ran into the dungeon for the 1st time and it was a slaughter.  Monsters out of the ying yang, 2 space with 3 monsters and the reaper was closing in. I was down to 1 life before we had to call it quits for bed. It was funny when we got near the lord of darkness, the kids saw his stats and turned and ran in the other direction...toward the Reaper waiting near the entrance...good fun!

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mcshame said:

I tried the expension sets with the kids last night and got the Dark Cultist.  I couldn't believe how powerfull her special ability was! Unfortunately, her stats didn't go up as fast as I hoped because I kept getting spells and with only a craft of 3, only could hold 1.... Kids had to go to bed, so we all ran into the dungeon for the 1st time and it was a slaughter.  Monsters out of the ying yang, 2 space with 3 monsters and the reaper was closing in. I was down to 1 life before we had to call it quits for bed. It was funny when we got near the lord of darkness, the kids saw his stats and turned and ran in the other direction...toward the Reaper waiting near the entrance...good fun!

In our games, the Reaper has not go into the dungeon yet. But i think it is a lot of fun, and the dungeon will become a very dangerous place.

You can better try to run out of the dungeon than staying there ! gran_risa.gifdemonio.gif

The dangerous part about the dark cultist is that she can not changed allignment, so i think it is not easy to stay alive..

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