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RiCHiE

The new fate rule

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Carrion Prince said:

The forum is the place to express and discuss all points of value on all issues in openness. It is not the place for making judgements on who is acceptable by however long they've played or what edition of the game. Improvements are only improvements if seen so by the individual. Bad mouthing people isn't going to reason them to change their opinion... or more importantly a viewpoint (something reasoned or otherwise supported).

As exemplied in discussion, few have found issues of improvement are simple or black and white. We will continue debate Fate's value, and we will determine individually if we consider something an improvement, or not, or something in-between. Though I will not speak for others, debating the value of the people involved does not interest me. I'm interested in hearing reasoned perspectives from old or new fans ... all enthusiasts who come here to do the same.

 

 

 

 

 

Well said! I never before seen it put so clearly and well written what forums fulfil for needs.

 

I work as a game designer so its very interesting to reed this thread. To me the problem whit fate is that the game designer had a great idea, they wanted to bring a resource in to the game that gave the players more control over their own "fate".

A very great idea! No doubt about that, and that’s not really the issue. But just handing out benefits and not increase the difficulties of the game alter the balance. It makes the game much easier. Benefits are two edged sword, because they make the winner win more, and that’s not a "fun" game characteristic. By trying to solve a problem a new one arrised.

So what do the game need now? Well a classic design pattern that most great games have "turning points”. There should be a way for the week player to suddenly be the strong. Talismans have always had that mechanic and incidentally that was what made it in to a great game in the first place. Lets think about it what are the memorable moments people has from a game, in most cases there are when the strong didn’t win, but the player that was about loosing turns it around and wins. A lead boardgame designer here in Sweden said that "this design pattern was his main ingredients in game design, whiteout it players don’t find the game to exciting since it becomes to predictable "(i.e. the one that’s become the dwarf is the player that wins)"

So how would I have approached a change to the game?

As I said adding resources is a great idea, but it should be costly for the player that is currently in the lead to use "the recourses, fate".

So how do player advance in the game? Well they get experience, item, followers and spells.

 

My concrete ideas:

 

Use fate only when you don’t have any experience, item, followers and spells. //this give players a good start, and help players that have died but is not so interesting idea since you don’t have the resources for long.

When you use a fate counter, lose all your experience counters. give those experience counters to a player of your choice . //this effect will give rearrange player resources (experience), the weakest player would get a experience boost, since it makes most sense to give your lost experience to the weakest player.

 

The ideas above are not well thought through, but hopefully someone else can whit the insight of my (rather other great boardgame designers before me) come up whit a better solution.

 

Summary

  • The luck factor in talisman is its game balance. Alter it and the player who has the best character from start wins more easily.

  • Adding player recourses and control are a great idea and needed, but as it is now implemented is on the cost of game balance.

  • What the game "really needs" now is a way for the underdog to turn the game around. So that the tension of ”who will win" will last until someone wins.

Chers.

 

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And nicely put too Bijan.  I think your earlier simple suggestion may nerf it enough, yet to playtest.  You would get full fate benefits from Random, COC and movement, but reduces the odds of goodies at the Enchantress and other boon cards.. definetly worth a test.  With the news that the bandits card no longer steal items, it seems making the game easier seems to be the design choice.

Sorry to make people cry, but I wanted too see if others out there thought the same as our playing group, because to me this seemed like a game spoiler, and wanted to see if I was just me.  There have always been broken rules in Talisman. The only difference with fate is that is new concept added to the game that will most likely play a prodiment role in future expansions like The Raper and has already made its way onto the board on character cards.

The other issue is we have ideally a group of 10 players who play occasionally (and now our kids who we have taught to play) and getting everyone to buy a copy of the game and playing it just to find out that it's enjoyment has diminished and that would be embrassing for me.  I believe the fate rule definetly does that by removing the enjoyable risky negative effects of the game.  Also only 2 players would probably play it a second time (give it a second chance and tease out the rules) if it was less enjoyable, which would mean a quick death of fourth edition for our group (and sales for FFG).  So we playtest and Try before we Buy..not the other way around.

On a positive note there are some great new additions to the game so i will be buying the upgrade version.  Less gold, a few more crafties, better wordings on the cards and nice new balancing abilities on the characters are all welcome additions for me.

 

 

 

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rcmoore said:

 

 

I wouldn't say we were fans of the rule overall, or it adds any new dimension to the game at this stage, but I am assume it will play its part in "The Raper"

 

I don't like the sound of THAT expansion.

Its a new version, instead of using his scythe the grim repear offers you a nice cup of hot chocolate.....

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Hiya all,

I will be offering you some Fate options to tone down the effects of fate, if you consider it to be too powerful for the game. However, I've now got to go sit my kids for the day!

 

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I think some options for Fate have already been offered (at least until we see its other uses in expansions). Ones that come to mind are...

  • Starting Fate Only: what a character starts with is all it gets for the game. In any situation by roll or draw of card when Fate is gained or replenished, re-roll or discard and draw again. Additionally, in the Graveyard Evil characters heal Lives instead of replenishing Fate.
  • Replenish Fate Only: whenever you encounter "gain" a Fate, treat it as "replenish" instead. Each character may only have Fate equal to its Starting Fate.
  • The Gods Decide: the source of Fate is the generic powers of Good and Evil in Talisman. Any time a Fate point would be "gained" (not replentished), roll one die higher than the character's Starting Fate. Failure equals no "gain"; this gives characters with a low Starting Fate some limited chance throughout the game to grow Fate equal to those which start higher.

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Bijan said:

Use fate only when you don’t have any experience, item, followers and spells. //this give players a good start, and help players that have died but is not so interesting idea since you don’t have the resources for long.

When you use a fate counter, lose all your experience counters. give those experience counters to a player of your choice . //this effect will give rearrange player resources (experience), the weakest player would get a experience boost, since it makes most sense to give your lost experience to the weakest player.

The ideas above are not well thought through, but hopefully someone else can whit the insight of my (rather other great boardgame designers before me) come up whit a better solution.

Summary

  • The luck factor in talisman is its game balance. Alter it and the player who has the best character from start wins more easily.

  • Adding player recourses and control are a great idea and needed, but as it is now implemented is on the cost of game balance.

  • What the game "really needs" now is a way for the underdog to turn the game around. So that the tension of ”who will win" will last until someone wins.

Chers.

 

Thank you for posting these suggestions Bijan. Its nice to see some well reasoned discussions instead of knee jerk reactions that this, that, and the other thing is totally broken and ruins the games and sucks out every ounce of fun and makes little puppies cry....etc....etc....

You mentioned that you are a game designer. May I ask which games you made or whether they are board games or computer games? I am an avid gamer and it would interesting if I played something you worked on. Have you made any talisman expansions perhaps?

Getting back to business, some questions came to mind after looking over the article again.

"Use fate only when you don’t have any experience, item, followers and spells."

What about characters that start the game with items or spells? Characters that always have a spell like the wizard and prophetess can never use fate with this rule.

"When you use a fate counter, lose all your experience counters. give those experience counters to a player of your choice ."

This if anything, sounds like it would be even more unbalanced since people would just play favorites. My wife would kill me if I gave someone else my XPcorazon_roto.gif.  I know some players that would probably give the leader all their stuff just to end the game faster and put them out of their misery.

"The luck factor in talisman is its game balance. Alter it and the player who has the best character from start wins more easily."

Sorry if I misunderstand your point here, but if you're saying that luck is the game's balance, would not increasing a player's luck with fate increase the game's balance then?

"Adding player recourses and control are a great idea and needed, but as it is now implemented is on the cost of game balance."

This is such a broad statement that it kind of went right over my head. How exactly does adding recourses and control cost game balance? If the game is easier or harder to win I don't really see that as a balance issue, it is just a choice made by the game designer. Some alternative ending cards are much harder to win than others, but that doesn't mean they are unbalanced if they effect all other players equally. Maybe I'm missing the point so if you can elaborate on this it might finally sink in.

"What the game "really needs" now is a way for the underdog to turn the game around. So that the tension of ”who will win" will last until someone wins."

That sounds like a great idea! How about if the cost to gain additional craft and strength points increased the more a character gains. So the first counter might cost 3 points of killed enemies, then the next one would cost 4, then the next one would cost 5, etc. Players would gain levels fast earlier in the game and then steady out to give players lagging behind a chance to catch up. Thoughts?

Another idea is that if a player gets an object and has the most objects, he must give it to the player with the least number of objects. The same for followers, strenghth/craft points, gold, and maybe even fate.

 

I was thinking that if players really want to nerf fate, then the simplest solution might be that players can never reroll a 1. Anyone that rolls a 1 will always suffer the worst outcome on cards like getting toaded by the enchantress.

All comments are welcome just please don't use the term BROKEN unless you actually knows what it means!

 

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Bijan said:

That sounds great! Are you an employe at FFG? It would be nice whit some official variant rules for fatebabeo.gif

There were some designers floating around here earlier.

talismanamsilat works as a talisman consultant so maybe he can give some insight to the design choices.

btw talismanamsilat - when are advanced characters going to be released?

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Carrion Prince said:

I was thinking that if players really want to nerf fate, then the simplest solution might be that players can never reroll a 1. Anyone that rolls a 1 will always suffer the worst outcome on cards like getting toaded by the enchantress.

We tried this out before (well more specifically you can't use fate if you roll a toad - see my above post) with locations and fate points known , i think your suggestion is better however.  It was an effective nerf, lets just hope there are no positive effects added when you roll a 1 added to the game or future expansions!

I also would disallow fate in the inner region - to hinder people against dice with death, werewolf etc.

Thats the path we'll go down for the moment, but we don't have any games planned until after the upgrade arrives.

BTW my argument against fate i not one against balance, but fun.  For our playing group the bad effects of the game make it fun - I couldn't imagine Talisman without the Hag, The Poltergeist, Raiders and being Toaded! 

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Bijan said:

Use fate only when you don’t have any experience, item, followers and spells. //this give players a good start, and help players that have died but is not so interesting idea since you don’t have the resources for long.

When you use a fate counter, lose all your experience counters. give those experience counters to a player of your choice . //this effect will give rearrange player resources (experience), the weakest player would get a experience boost, since it makes most sense to give your lost experience to the weakest player.

The ideas above are not well thought through, but hopefully someone else can whit the insight of my (rather other great boardgame designers before me) come up whit a better solution.

Summary

  • The luck factor in talisman is its game balance. Alter it and the player who has the best character from start wins more easily.

  • Adding player recourses and control are a great idea and needed, but as it is now implemented is on the cost of game balance.

  • What the game "really needs" now is a way for the underdog to turn the game around. So that the tension of ”who will win" will last until someone wins.

Chers.

 

Thank you for posting these suggestions Bijan. Its nice to see some well reasoned discussions instead of knee jerk reactions that this, that, and the other thing is totally broken and ruins the games and sucks out every ounce of fun and makes little puppies cry....etc....etc....

You mentioned that you are a game designer. May I ask which games you made or whether they are board games or computer games? I am an avid gamer and it would interesting if I played something you worked on. Have you made any talisman expansions perhaps?

Getting back to business, some questions came to mind after looking over the article again.

"Use fate only when you don’t have any experience, item, followers and spells."

What about characters that start the game with items or spells? Characters that always have a spell like the wizard and prophetess can never use fate with this rule.

"When you use a fate counter, lose all your experience counters. give those experience counters to a player of your choice ."

This if anything, sounds like it would be even more unbalanced since people would just play favorites. My wife would kill me if I gave someone else my XPcorazon_roto.gif.  I know some players that would probably give the leader all their stuff just to end the game faster and put them out of their misery.

"The luck factor in talisman is its game balance. Alter it and the player who has the best character from start wins more easily."

Sorry if I misunderstand your point here, but if you're saying that luck is the game's balance, would not increasing a player's luck with fate increase the game's balance then?

"Adding player recourses and control are a great idea and needed, but as it is now implemented is on the cost of game balance."

This is such a broad statement that it kind of went right over my head. How exactly does adding recourses and control cost game balance? If the game is easier or harder to win I don't really see that as a balance issue, it is just a choice made by the game designer. Some alternative ending cards are much harder to win than others, but that doesn't mean they are unbalanced if they effect all other players equally. Maybe I'm missing the point so if you can elaborate on this it might finally sink in.

"What the game "really needs" now is a way for the underdog to turn the game around. So that the tension of ”who will win" will last until someone wins."

That sounds like a great idea! How about if the cost to gain additional craft and strength points increased the more a character gains. So the first counter might cost 3 points of killed enemies, then the next one would cost 4, then the next one would cost 5, etc. Players would gain levels fast earlier in the game and then steady out to give players lagging behind a chance to catch up. Thoughts?

Another idea is that if a player gets an object and has the most objects, he must give it to the player with the least number of objects. The same for followers, strenghth/craft points, gold, and maybe even fate.

 

I was thinking that if players really want to nerf fate, then the simplest solution might be that players can never reroll a 1. Anyone that rolls a 1 will always suffer the worst outcome on cards like getting toaded by the enchantress.

All comments are welcome just please don't use the term BROKEN unless you actually knows what it means!

 

I am glad that my morning thoughts before I got to drink some coffee are interesting=) "Carrion Prince" ha ha you nailed all my unclearness in the reply totally. Design and "user needs" are what interests me since I studied Cognitive science (psychology, neurology, AI, game design, interaction design.). I started as a Industrial designer but  now I work for the dark side of gaming, i.e. betting computer games and try to use that knowledge to force people in to deprivation. Talisman second edition was the first game i got at the age of 13 and what triggered my interest in RPG/Magic the gathering/Warhammer and fantasy in general. That the reason why I love the game. What this tread is turning into is very interesting and shows the power of forums, 1000 small ideas can merge together and bring a new understanding!

 

"The luck factor in talisman is its game balance. Alter it and the player who has the best character from start wins more easily."

What I had in mind was that the game balance is total randomness. If the random factor don’t decide who wins, getting a significantly better character from start greatly affects your chances of winning.

"Adding player recourses and control are a great idea and needed, but as it is now implemented is on the cost of game balance."

The designers gave the players a way to avoid total randomness. Having partly randomness and a way to only the benefits of randomness is indeed strange. So what happens is that player that has fate only gets "good adventure cards" since they can avoid their bad odds through fate. Its turning every character whit fate into new Prophetess:P And as we all now the old Prophetess won games!

"What the game "really needs" now is a way for the underdog to turn the game around. So that the tension of ”who will win" will last until someone wins."

I thought on this more. In games like Risk that players that are underdog can band together and attack the strongest player. Can’t that be implemented in Talisman to? If players where able to join in parties and get benefits, two weaker players could whit combined effort attack the greatest player and make him weak. Pherhaps there can be a new expansion named Talisman parties=)

 

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I'm note sure how everyone else plays this game but my group plays it very aggressively, player on player.  If a player is getting ahead everyone else gangs up on them.  I find it hard to believe that a 5 fate dwarf running back and forth between the graveyard and the enchantress can survive being on the wrong end of every negative spell and every character who is trying to attack him using fate to land on his space.  I'm looking forward to fate as it will allow for PvP action far more often, the best part of the game.  How much more powerful will the assassin and thief be when they can roll twice to land on another character.  I'm pumped to play with fate, I think characters are going to be dieing early far more often, or burning their fate just to stay alive and not to get more fate. 

If you think the dwarf is too powerful, imagine this:  The Dwarf who got lucky and is evil running between the graveyard and the enchantress and the Assassin hunting him down.  I'm pretty sure the Dwarf will lose.

 

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Roy said:

They have also changed the bandits event... now he only takes your gold.

It looks like the theme of this edition is to keep negative effects to a minimum, which for me is really the enjoyment of Talisman.  Anyway we'll see...

 

After looking through the new set, this definitely seems to be the case. More socialism in gaming. This trend began with MMORPG's when many non-traditional gamers began playing fantasy adventure games, has reached even into old stand bys like D & D, and is going to be implemented into all of our old classic games that still had some level of difficulty and challenge. "Oh no! People won't want to play a game if anything bad can actually happen to them!".

Ok, I know I'm not being very open minded but, it is frustrating to see every game being watered down. I actually like a bit of a challenge.

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igfa_277 said:

I'm note sure how everyone else plays this game but my group plays it very aggressively, player on player.  If a player is getting ahead everyone else gangs up on them.

So you essentially play it like a FPS (First Person Shooter) in Arena or Death Match mode rather than a board game as intended. Of course, since the whole Alignment issue has been whimpy since the 1st edition, there are no consequences for repeatedly assaulting a character of the same alignment (especially those of GOOD). Not many of us would find that interesting, even when ultimately seeking an end-game that again disregards the weak Alignment stat.

Fate won't change this kind of play in any notable manner. Those who play this way might note a slightly higher rotation of characters on the board. Fewer characters would get anywhere in development, which in turn increases the length of the game... and gets boring for most other (the majority) of board game players.  All guesswork of course, but based on your desciption and assumptions, this is what would result.

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Caliban said:

After looking through the new set, this definitely seems to be the case. More socialism in gaming. This trend began with MMORPG's when many non-traditional gamers began playing fantasy adventure games, has reached even into old stand bys like D & D, and is going to be implemented into all of our old classic games that still had some level of difficulty and challenge. "Oh no! People won't want to play a game if anything bad can actually happen to them!".

Ok, I know I'm not being very open minded but, it is frustrating to see every game being watered down. I actually like a bit of a challenge.

x2

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JCHendee said:

 

igfa_277 said:

I'm note sure how everyone else plays this game but my group plays it very aggressively, player on player.  If a player is getting ahead everyone else gangs up on them.

 

So you essentially play it like a FPS (First Person Shooter) in Arena or Death Match mode rather than a board game as intended.

 

 

 

Actually its not uncommon at all for people to gang up on the leader in a board game, in fact in Talisman it's pretty much encouraged.  Boardgames can be very cutthroat in nature, and one of the best ways of winning is tearing down the guy currently in the lead. 

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I haven't read through the whole Topic, but I see character advancement tied directly to game speed. The one complaint I've ever had with Talisman, is there were too many turns spent with little going on. If Fate speeds it up, I'll take it.

 

I also like the fact that it is another way to help balance characters.

 

Don't forget, we were promised the dark side of the tokens would be fleshed out in future expansions. So, the shield may become the sword and give new, fun ways to ruin our friend's evening.

 

Overall, it looks pretty easy to house rule Fate right out.

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vogless said:

I haven't read through the whole Topic, but I see character advancement tied directly to game speed. The one complaint I've ever had with Talisman, is there were too many turns spent with little going on. If Fate speeds it up, I'll take it.

Character advancement does speed the game up, but not just add +x strength and Craft, its easier and doesn't negatyively impact the game.

vogless said:

Overall, it looks pretty easy to house rule Fate right out.

At this stage... but I am assuming you won't be able easily do it in Raper.  It would be to know of good ways to nerf it without impacting Raper, or whether we can just take out the whole grim reaper thing out of Raper and play with the 90 new cards to elimiate the impacts of Fate in that expansion.

I'll get the upgrade edition next week and I have bought a copy for a mates child  - last time he got the BI version he and the all kids down the street were playing it for weeks.  It might be easier for them to play.

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RiCHiE said:

 

 

At this stage... but I am assuming you won't be able easily do it in Raper.  It would be to know of good ways to nerf it without impacting Raper, or whether we can just take out the whole grim reaper thing out of Raper and play with the 90 new cards to elimiate the impacts of Fate in that expansion.

Please stop calling it that! Its Reaper, Raper is something quite different! ;o)

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I think it is fair to say that the majority of the negative feeling towards Fate is coming from Talisman players of old who have yet to actually play a few games with the new "mechanic" in place.

I remember Ell and I were quite resistant to the change as we felt it would spoil the chances of Toading someone, though I think there are enough chances for someone to use up their Fate tokens before casting Random on them!

I would suggest that people simply give it a chance, as it will become much more as expansions are released. You might even come to like it! gran_risa.gif

If you don't like the frequency of being able to use Fate, then rather than discounting it completely, why not try ruling that it can only be used once per turn, and possibly not at all if it is not actually your turn?

The problem with Talisman is that EVERYONE has an opinion on what should have been done to make it better, myself included, but you have to just take the game as it is and run with it. You will find it more enjoyable, and less confusing for newcomers to your gaming group if you are all singing from the same sheet.

However, Talisman has always been a game where different interpretations of the rules have led to many, many house rules and that is another thing I love about it. People take the game, and make it their own.

Talisman is what it is. It has no agenda to speak of. It is simply a jaunt through a fantasy realm, meeting creatures of legend and a chance to have a good time with like minded people. You simply have to allow yourself to enjoy it and don't take it too seriously!

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talismanisland has some great points!

I've been playing the game all weekend (1 big run that hasn't ended yet).  I actually got my wife to play with me.  She loves games, but typically couldn't be bothered with anything like Talisman.  On the bright side she really enjoys the game!  On the not-so-bright side she cannot stand fate.  In fact I assumed she'd really like the fate feature since she wasn't familiar with the game and would want a little bit of help the first play through or so.  NOPE!  She'd rather get the smack-down early on from a dragon or demon.  So for now, house rules are allowing you to use your fate, but not replenish it.  We'll assess the situation once the expansion comes out with the added fate components, but as of now it isn't fully implemented.  The kicker for her was that I got out of being toaded by the witch and on my re-roll I was granted all my fate back.  She thought that was quite cheap...and although I was happy I wasn't a toad I completely share her sentiment.

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Very true it will have to be house ruled... but I hope it will not be so prominant in future expansions that it will be a lot of work.

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Leaning towards a middle ground - fate only being used on combat, moves, and rolling against strength or craft.  (ie, usable with the Portal of Power, but not the Temple)

 

EDIT: 'compromise' changed to 'middle ground' for clarity of intent

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HallertauRogue said:

talismanisland has some great points!

She'd rather get the smack-down early on from a dragon or demon.

The kicker for her was that I got out of being toaded by the witch and on my re-roll I was granted all my fate back.  She thought that was quite cheap...and although I was happy I wasn't a toad I completely share her sentiment.

Not sure why someone would rather get smacked around early by dragons and demons but whatever floats your boat!

This may be a little presumptuous but throwing away an entire game mechanic based on one encounter during the game sounds like you're overreacting just a wee bit. What are the chances that you'll even draw the witch card during the game, and then roll a one, and then happen to have a fate available to reroll, then just by pure dumb luck you happen to roll the best outcome of the card? That's like one in a thousand, or even one in a million?

So you will never use fate again because there is a one in thousand chance of rerolling a toad at the witch? Does sound reasonable to anyone? sorpresa.gif

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HallertauRogue said:

talismanisland has some great points!

I've been playing the game all weekend (1 big run that hasn't ended yet).  I actually got my wife to play with me.  She loves games, but typically couldn't be bothered with anything like Talisman.  On the bright side she really enjoys the game!  On the not-so-bright side she cannot stand fate.  In fact I assumed she'd really like the fate feature since she wasn't familiar with the game and would want a little bit of help the first play through or so.  NOPE!  She'd rather get the smack-down early on from a dragon or demon.  So for now, house rules are allowing you to use your fate, but not replenish it.  We'll assess the situation once the expansion comes out with the added fate components, but as of now it isn't fully implemented.  The kicker for her was that I got out of being toaded by the witch and on my re-roll I was granted all my fate back.  She thought that was quite cheap...and although I was happy I wasn't a toad I completely share her sentiment.

 

I was going to reply to talismanisland's post but HallertauRogue's comment brings the issue into even greater focus.

Let me you a true story and don't worry, I will try to make it as short as possible.

During a game of Talisman, one of the players was struggling to catch up. Let's call him Monk because that was the character he was playing. Everyone else had a good mix of cards and experience points. Due to bad rolls, bad card draws, and overall bad luck the Monk was rapidly falling behind. He started to turn it around by getting some powerful items then WHAM! Raiders swooped in and stole away his only hope of winning. The player was so distraught that he quit the game and went home. Now he hates the game and calls before coming over just to ask "are you going to play Talisman." If the answer is yes then he waits until we bring out Arkham Horror or any other game before he will join us.

My point is that some people refuse to play a game, or in HallertauRogue's case a certain game feature, just because they have ONE bad experience. Sure bad things happen to you in Talisman, but you just laugh it off and have fun. What is even more baffling to me is why HallertauRogue had the same hateful reaction as my friend when his experience actually HELPED his character!

I do not think that it is fair to judge a game based off of a bad experience from one card, or one reroll, or even one encounter.

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