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Timescape Question

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Hey guys. I haven't played the Second Edition of Talisman before, but it seems the Timescape is the only expansion from previous editions that hasn't seen a "big box" re-imagining in the Fourth Edition.

I'm just wondering why the Timescape is so polarizing (some people love it, some people hate it), and wondering whether it's reasonable to expect it to appear in the Revised Fourth Edition.

What do you think? :)

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I am sure there are many reasons why it is polarizing, and 1 reason why some people hate it, is they think it's wrong to mix sci-fi and fantasy, not realizing its been done numerous times. Thus it wasn't a mistake, nor a new idea.

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Theme might be the main reason for disliking (or liking) Timescape, but there's also the impact on gameplay. I confess I've never played Timescape, as it was not available for me when I used to play 2nd edition, but I've searched the web later on for information.

 

It looks like an extra board where you don't move like the others, but follow random paths between several outer worlds. There seems to be a great risk/great reward ratio in that place, as you might get out sensibly stronger in a short time, or die miserably in the effort. Characters in the Timescape are safe from any action from other players, especially Spells (incl. Command Spell). This last thing bothers me a lot, since a character sitting on the Crown of Command is forced to wait for others to get out of the Timescape before being able to win. I don't know for how many turns a character can stay inside on average, but if he finds the Warp Belt (makes movement non random) he can really linger there as much as he wants. Other users (where's Nemomon? :D ) that have played with it will provide more detail.

 

I'm not against an interplanar-adventure expansion, but it needn't have a sci-fi theme, nor mechanics that overstretch the game when it reaches the climax.

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Nemo was sleeping, and until now was unable to answer this question =P.

 

;)

 

As Warlock and Doma have said, the main reason people hate the Timescape is that it is a sci-fi themed expansion, and most notably a Warhammer 40k themed. Since I have been playing Polish version of the game (and Polish version has different artwork than the English version, and for starters it is a black and white only version), my judgement might be biased a bit. In my opinion Polish Timescape has the best artwork among all expansions released in Poland. But after seeing the scans of the English Timescape I must agree with people - the artwork in there looks terrible, yet it is FAR-FAR LESS sci-fi than the Polish version.

 

Comparison:

 

1. http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s1/Nemomon/MiM/Inne/Podrnicy_w_czasie_Time_Travellers.png

2. http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s1/Nemomon/MiM/Inne/Robot_Bojowy_Battle_Droid.png

3. http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s1/Nemomon/MiM/Inne/Skafander_Combat_Enviro-Suit.png

 

For me the artwork in English Timescape is acceptable, and there's no reason to hate it. It isn't that much sci-fi. About aliens... pick up a strange creature in the land of Talisman, call it an alien, and You may call it a Timescape creature even though it was born on the Earth. Timescape creatures aren't any different than the creatures on the land of Talisman.

 

===

 

The board is quite short, and has only a few of spaces. Players cannot decide where they will move, so most often they will leave the Timescape as soon as they entered it. Exceptions are the Belt Warlock mentioned above (but only if it was found on a very specific space (Negative Zone), or otherwise even it won't be useful) or Astropath character.

 

There are many useful cards in the Timescape too. Though we must look at it from the 2nd Ed perspective rather than from the 4th RE perspective. For example in the 2nD Ed. the Dungeon has A LOT of random and stupid restrictions, so an object that allows carrying unlimited amount of Objects might be considered an average object now, but in the 2nd Ed. mules or horses with carts were unable to enter the Dungeon, so this object was a beast.

 

The Timescape deck is pretty small too, so chances of drawing something interesting, or something deadly are higher too. The most interesting card in there is the Omnipotent Being that allows teleporting anywhere (including the CoC), so pretty much this card was the one that lured people to the Timescape. Enemies in the deck are though, but the board spaces are more deadly than the enemies themselves. Especially that in the Timescape there are no fate points to reroll.

 

What makes the Timescape even more deadly is that all cards can be used only against other Adventure (but not Timescape) cards. What does it mean? For example that You won't cast the Healing Spell, because You may cast it only on Yourself and in the Timescape that is prohibited. You have a Runesword, Holy Lance and 50 other Magic Weapons? Don't worry, You will be unable to use any of them! In the Timescape You fight pretty much using Your bare hands only!

 

As Warlock mentioned in the Timescape players cannot encounter each other, and anything what happens in the other Regions (including "regardless of the Region" effects) are ignored in the Timescape. This is good and bad. It is good, because players might escape to the Timescape and either try to draw the Om. Being or at least gain some extra Strength points. The Belt of Hercules and the Dragon King had fixed Strength value of 12 (even if the character originally had more), so gaining a few extra Strength points would mean that actually they will win the game instead of the player who drew the Ending card.

 

The bad thing - what Warlock worries about - is that it might extend the length of the game. Though we must admit that it is a bit different now than it was in the past. In the past Talisman was played by children, and they had a lot of free time in their hands, so half an hour more was not really noticeable by them. Now Talisman is played pretty much by adults only, and their free time is pretty limited. But there's one more difference - the 2nd Ed. Talisman had just 6 Ending cards. Our Talisman has gazillion of Ending cards, and many of them can be won regardless of what other players are doing. There might be some Ending cards that will be affected by the Timescape, but not all of them and players simply may agree before the game that if such an Ending is drawn they will not be playing with the Timescape (and if they're playing with the hidden Ending, once the ending is revealed all characters from the Timescape return to their starting spaces and until the end of the game the Timescape is shut down).

 

The only problem, for FFG, might be that the Timescape had specific rules for specific cards. For example raiders take all gold and disappear (they do not ditch it on the Oasis), or the fountains grant one attribute point and then are discarded. This won't be an issue if a file on the FFG website will appear with each card that might have different effect if it was drawn in the Timescape.

 

====

 

Generally the Timescape is an interesting expansion. Rather nobody will enter it at the start of the game, because they rather will die in there. It is meant to be played in the middle of the game or at the end of the game. Plus, it is not super easy to enter the Timescape anyway, so even if characters will want to enter it, they might be unable to do so. Therefore the Timescape is played only when it is needed. Plus, pay attention that the 4th RE Dungeon is a pretty great place to farm attributes, so even if the Timescape were released to the 4th RE, players probably would ignore it, unless it would have even more great cards to offer.

 

Personally I consider the Timescape the best expansion ever released to any edition of the Talisman.

 

====

 

A funny note. In the Timescape the Ancient Artifact is considered to be an Object, and not a Magic Object. The reason of that is that the Ancient Artifact (in the 2nd and 3rd Edition) is in a shape of a gun, therefore we might think that it accidentally dropped from the Timescape to the land of Talisman. And while in the Timescape it is a common (and probably super weak) weapon, in the land of Talisman it became an ancient artifact, because it had a great power and nodoby really knew what it is... ;)

 

====

 

If any of You have any questions, I will be glad to answer them! :)

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Thank you guys, especially you Marcin for your thorough reply!

In January, I played a game of Talisman with all expansions including the standard Dragon ending. Epic! At the end, a few people (who were all more or less new to Talisman) said it would be neat to have a "time rift" expansion - they'd never heard of Timescape before. (I didn't mention it either.)

I'm sure Timescape can be re-invented to work well with the current mechanics. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't interested in it... maybe it's because I haven't formed an opinion due to never having played the Second Edition. The idea of Timescape is appealing to me, though...

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Like Jon mentioned, it would be very easy to incorporate the Timescape to the 4th RE. But it would need to retain its special rules (like the rules that neither card can ever be placed on the board, or that nothing that happens on the other Regions affects characters in the TS), or otherwise the Timescape will become a yet another "corner board with some extra cards on its last space".

 

While this is more or less true for the old Timescape too (the last space there was a S/C 12 Warp Demon, we were able to decide which attribute we will be fighting, and upon winning we were gaining 2 points of that atribute), the other expansions of the 2nd Ed. each were different too. The 4th RE has three corner boards that are rewarding some cards at its last space, so a fourth expansion would be an overkill.

 

But there are many things that would make the "new Timescape" still interesting to visit. Plus, since now we have the Nether Realm therefore the players would rather be visiting this dimension (I bet it is scattered into many sub-domains which are ruled by a different hellish beings) rather than a Timescape itself.

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I for one would love to see a revised Timescape. I enjoyed it in 2nd edition and it wasn't until later looking back that I felt any awkardness with it. I'll be honest, even then - I still loved it! If it were to be redone it could be redesigned to be less 40K and more of an astral plane as others have mentioned before with esoteric and immaterial beings etc. (Alot of the mechanics could actually stay - it seems to be the theme that people find debate with most of all). This way, it still has an other-worldy feeling, but one that could find acceptance within the classic fantasy realm of Talisman that we all love.

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It was a long time ago that I played Talisman 2nd ed. with my friends. The way I remember it, we were all a little disappointed that you could play as a Space Marine with a chainsword who was as weak as any of the other characters. His power armour was no match for the medieval weapons of Talisman! Nor was his chainsword all that great at ripping enemies to shreds. Gameplay-wise, we mostly stayed clear of the Timescape because it was just too chaotic. I remember there was a lot of frantic scrambling towards it as last ditch attempts to affect the endgame. It rarely worked, but when it did, it became legendary!

 

All in all, the theme of Timescape is an odd fit with Talisman, particularly in 4th ed. where all Warhammer references have been removed. Rules-wise, it would require a complete overhaul at any rate so it is hard to say how good a 4th edition version would be. Most of us will buy it regardless, no doubt.

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I'm so excited to make my first post to this forum!!

I played a lot of 2nd edition back in the day and the Timescape never felt right with a game that featured dragons and unicorns and For me there were only 2 good reasons to enter the Timescape: Omnipotent Being and Anti-Grav Platform, which made dungeon exploration easier. Space Vampire and Alien Spores always made me think twice about casting a Warp Gate spell. I'm in the "nay" camp for a 4th edition Timescape. I'd rather see a Storm River based expansion with all kinds of marine creatures and navigational hazards.

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Rules-wise, it would require a complete overhaul at any rate so it is hard to say how good a 4th edition version would be.

 

Not really. The old Timescape pretty much was edition-free. You could play it with every edition of Talisman. Themed-wise indeed it should be changed a lot, but rules-wise not to much.

 

Or rather I should say something different. One of the things that was very good in the old Timescape was that it had a small amount of cards in a deck. But since i hardly can imagine FFG releasing a big box expansion with just 50 cards inside, I think FFG would need to find a way how to include extra 80 cards, so the total number of cards would be 130-150 without making the main deck much bigger. I'm pretty sure, though, that Sam will know what to do with the extra slots for cards.

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FFG should remake Timescape as a standalone game base on the Talisman system.More focus on time travel/adventure rather than space traveling.A giant board also divided in tiers but with different time periods on each side.For example a western world on one side, a futur world on another,a savage world with dinosaurs, etc.Not sure what would be the goal but a game that is fill with side quests or missions.Anyway I welcome any Timescape expansion or not.

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Space Vampire and Alien Spores always made me think twice about casting a Warp Gate spell.

 

It is funny that You mention this. While I agree with the Alien Spore, I think the more dangerous card was the Space Orks. But we always played that each fight with the Orks is resolved separately, and therefore if we will lose all 4 battles, we're losing 4 life as a result. I have seen a lot of fresh characters dying (or barely surviving) after fighting the Space Orks.

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I haven't used the Timescape in years but I do recall character death frequently occurred, especially if you unfortunate enough to land in the Rad Zone without protection. Since you couldn't use spells, healing was nearly impossible. I did enjoy the occasional random selection of being the Scientist, though, as I am one in real life.

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The problem with Timescape is threefold.  As mentioned here, the main dislike is the theme of sci-fi not fitting in well with the original Talisman theme and its expansions.  Second is the ease/randomness of movement.  However, one of its biggest failings is the same problem with the 2nd edition - game balance.  Fourth Edition has really addressed a lot of the concerns and make the experience much more fun.  However, I am of the camp that FFG NOT make a new Timescape. 

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Just the concept of Runes spaces, Rune-gates and various portals that teleport one to other parts of the board now existing, is an example of how Sci-Fi does meld with Fantasy. 

 

Various fantasy novels, but in particular Andre Norton's Witch World series, use portals, gateways, etc to teleport even to possible other dimensions (Timescape!), times or more.

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Likewise with Dragons, I would think. From the conversations here, one would think that almost everyone hates Dragons expansion, but it seems to sell, go out of stock, sell again, etc.

 

I would say that Timescape is possibly more niche-like to today's crowd.  ON the other hand Talisman's fan-base composes people from most of the previous, and present editions.

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