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chemical22

All Expansions - Suggestions please.

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I know this has been hashed to death in the forums...

 

But I'm putting out a call to see if there is anyone who has definitive house rules to make ALL expansions playable in a game.  I have every expansion and I'm of the personality where I need to use them all.  

 

However, I really can't remember the last time we played a Talisman game to the end without having people forfeit or imposing a sudden death rule.   And I mean - we're giving 6-7 hours per game and still feeling like no progress is made - it's such a drain on morale.  With the death rate, it is not unusual to be at the 5 hour mark with all relatively new characters.

 

So question - does anyone have any definitive suggestions about tweaking the game/expansions so that all can be played in a reasonable game time?

 

I'm at the point where I am going to yank every fiddly mechanic (reaper, harbinger, werewolf, dragons, tokens, day and night) just to get to a more simplified game.  But that kills me to think that way and I know it causes some issues with gameplay - but if I don't, I think I'm going to lose my players.

 

Suggestions?

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Have you considered assigning some of these "fiddly" mechanics to each player so every person always has to watch this or that?

 

 

You could also do all the fiddly things yourself - if you think you're up for it. (That's what we usually end up doing for my group. ;) )

 

 

---

 

 

One more thing, out of personal experience - if you are playing with the Harbinger "normal" rules as well as the Dragon

(maybe even an alt. ending too), don't expect anyone to ever finish the game.

There is no possible way to do that, hard truth of the matter. -_-

 

And yes, your players have to be willing to do that. Which is why we "usually" don't play with the Harbinger "main" cards and Dragon cards.

This way, like every 10th game or so is ... a pretty special experience, to put it mildly. :lol:

Edited by Lorinor

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However, I really can't remember the last time we played a Talisman game to the end without having people forfeit or imposing a sudden death rule.   And I mean - we're giving 6-7 hours per game and still feeling like no progress is made - it's such a drain on morale.

That is the single worst thing in Talisman I think. To me Talisman with all (or most) expansions and without house rules is borderline unplayable.

 

So question - does anyone have any definitive suggestions about tweaking the game/expansions so that all can be played in a reasonable game time?

I don't know about "definitive" but I have my list of house rules I use and they work fine. They were designed with various goals in mind, but goal number one was always "reduce the length of the game to about 1h per player"

Unfortunately for those who would wish to use my house rules, they work best with custom cards I made (over 300 at this point). But still, some stuff can be used as is.

 

Suggestions?

I think the most important suggestion:

Take everything that slows the game out, and make it usable in game only via alternate endings.

The Reaper? Can only be in the game if you use The Reaper alt ending.

Same with the Harbinger, the Dragons, the Werewolf, etc.

Bonus feature of this solution is that you can then write some "fixes" to original rules on those ending cards.

For example, I don't play with original Dragon rules as they increase the game time. If I want to play with the Dragon expansion, I use this:

e414b7d4a3d44ffcgen.png

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I know I'm in the minority here, but I disagree with a lot of what has been said, as me and my group usually play with every expansion. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter;

Never play with more than 4 people. Playing with that many people massively increases the playtime, to the extent that games are almost never finished.

Play it safe at the start of any game. Try to avoid the harbinger, go into regions he isn't in, don't draw too many dragon cards, etc. Talisman has a reverse difficulty curve so the start of the game is fairly deadly and slow paced but the longer the game goes on the easier it is to survive and more fast-paced it becomes. If you can survive the first hour or so, in my experience you won't usually die for the rest of the game unless another player hunts you down or you have a string of astonishingly bad luck.

With all the boards added, the game becomes very spread out. PvP is still a thing, but nowhere near to the extent that it is in the base game, where the region is comparatively tiny. Don't expect to be fighting other players that often - most player interaction comes in the form of spell casting, the reaper, and card effects. For this reason, spell casters become (in my opinion) a better choice the more boards are added.

As has been said, assigning each of the fiddle mechanics to one person or doing them all yourself is generally the way to go. This makes everything far more efficient, and reduces playtime significantly.

Everyone needs to be very familiar to the game and rules. For this reason, adding the expansions in gradually so people can get used to them from game to game could be a good idea. The more people are used to the game, the more they will know what they want to be doing, where they want to be going, ect. The more people know what they're doing, the faster the game becomes.

Also, actually try to win, and encourage other people to do the same. In a lot of our earlier games, my group and I would just wander around aimlessly for hours, building our stats to a ludicrous degree before pretty much auto-defeating the lord of darkness and teleporting straight to the crown of command. However, the inner region can actually be approached surprisingly early, and if one player tries it and succeeds, or almost succeeds, more players will be inclined to do so and the play time will be significantly cut down.

In terms of reducing game time, the other key is honestly to practice, and have patient players. My friend group and I used to have two day games that we still wouldn't finish, even with only the dragon, highland, dungeon, and the first few small box expansions. Now, we can finish a game in 6 or 7 hours, even with all the expansions. Talisman isn't an easy game to fit into a day, nor is it a short game no matter how good you are at playing it. It can, however, be done, and be a more enjoyable game for it.

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I know I'm in the minority here, but I disagree with a lot of what has been said, as me and my group usually play with every expansion. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter;

Never play with more than 4 people.

I can play my version with more than 4 people. In fact, I played with 7 players a few times and we were able to finish the game in under 6 hours.

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Three very Basic and necessary rules :

 

1. a 1 is always a 1. you can never change it with fate Points.

2. experience Points (trophies) come only from enemies who are equal or stronger than the pc, no experience from weaker enemies (objects and followers not counted)

3. you have to kill all the bosses in the expansions (woodland put mab in the last space)

 

from that base you can continue to develop your riules.

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Three very Basic and necessary rules :

 

1. a 1 is always a 1. you can never change it with fate Points.

2. experience Points (trophies) come only from enemies who are equal or stronger than the pc, no experience from weaker enemies (objects and followers not counted)

3. you have to kill all the bosses in the expansions (woodland put mab in the last space)

 

from that base you can continue to develop your riules.

How are those good (or necessary) house rules? Edited by Bludgeon

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First of all, thanks to all of you for offering your input... it's nice to see that I am not the only one with these issues.

 

I appreciate all your comments.  I've replied where I can... in between work hours... :)

 

Have you considered assigning some of these "fiddly" mechanics to each player so every person always has to watch this or that?

 

 

You could also do all the fiddly things yourself - if you think you're up for it. (That's what we usually end up doing for my group. ;) )

 

I've actually taken it all upon myself - it works best that way.  I am most familiar with the rules and it unburdens the other players with most of the mechanics of the game.

 

 

 

 

Suggestions?

I think the most important suggestion:
Take everything that slows the game out, and make it usable in game only via alternate endings.
The Reaper? Can only be in the game if you use The Reaper alt ending.
Same with the Harbinger, the Dragons, the Werewolf, etc.

 

I'd never considered that and I'm going to give it good thought.  It is a good way to still use those expansions, but not every game.  That is a VERY interesting suggestion.

Bonus feature of this solution is that you can then write some "fixes" to original rules on those ending cards.
For example, I don't play with original Dragon rules as they increase the game time. If I want to play with the Dragon expansion, I use this:
e414b7d4a3d44ffcgen.png

 

I played the majority of our games with housed rules for the Dragon Expansion.  Just recently I went back to the original rules in attempt to play it as-is.   While it definitely contributes to the fiddly aspect of the game - I find using the dragon expansion can actually push the game along.  Once you get to a certain level where you can take on 7, 8 or 9 Strength/Craft. characters can start gunning for the Scales and really progress fast.

 

 

Never play with more than 4 people. Playing with that many people massively increases the playtime, to the extent that games are almost never finished.

 

I play with 3-6 players.  Typically about 4.   I actually don't really see much difference between it...  4 players is lasting 6-7 hours as are 6 player games.   In the end, we always forfeit or speed it up anyways :)

 

If you can survive the first hour or so, in my experience you won't usually die for the rest of the game unless another player hunts you down or you have a string of astonishingly bad luck.

 

I respectfully disagree with this.  That is not my experience at all.   With very strong expansion creatures and a few instant death cards/effects out there - it is much more frequent than that in our games.   We can be at the 4-5 hour mark and each be on our third character.

 

Also, actually try to win, and encourage other people to do the same. In a lot of our earlier games, my group and I would just wander around aimlessly for hours, building our stats to a ludicrous degree before pretty much auto-defeating the lord of darkness and teleporting straight to the crown of command. However, the inner region can actually be approached surprisingly early, and if one player tries it and succeeds, or almost succeeds, more players will be inclined to do so and the play time will be significantly cut down.

 

That is a very good suggestion.   I'm always making an effort to keep that in mind - it wouldn't hurt to give the others a reminder now and then.

 

In terms of reducing game time, the other key is honestly to practice, and have patient players. My friend group and I used to have two day games that we still wouldn't finish, even with only the dragon, highland, dungeon, and the first few small box expansions. Now, we can finish a game in 6 or 7 hours, even with all the expansions. Talisman isn't an easy game to fit into a day, nor is it a short game no matter how good you are at playing it. It can, however, be done, and be a more enjoyable game for it.

 

We actually are all quite a seasoned group of players.   A few of us are 2nd edition players.  Now mind you, sometimes our conversation does stray away from the game - but hey, that's the fun of games night right?  I wouldn't want to sacrifice the social aspect for the sake of gameplay - the game is good, but the chat and beer keeps us coming back :)

 

Three very Basic and necessary rules :

 

1. a 1 is always a 1. you can never change it with fate Points.

2. experience Points (trophies) come only from enemies who are equal or stronger than the pc, no experience from weaker enemies (objects and followers not counted)

3. you have to kill all the bosses in the expansions (woodland put mab in the last space)

 

from that base you can continue to develop your riules.

 

I appreciate your input, but I don't see how any of these items would really speed up the game.  As a matter of fact, your suggestion for the trophies would significantly make it longer.  Interesting take on the game however.

Edited by chemical22

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My suggestion is to have the most detail-oriented, hard-working player who has memorized the rules (usually the owner of the game) handle all the bookkeeping. In my group, if we play with all expansions, this responsibility is mine. As a result, I monitor the following:

  • Remembering to move both the Reaper and Werewolf if a 1 is rolled. (I keep both sheets near me as a reminder.)
  • Flipping the Time Card when an Event is drawn. (I keep the Time Card near me as a reminder.)
  • Moving the Harbinger when an Event is drawn. (I keep the Harbinger sheet near me as a reminder.)
  • Monitoring the current Lunar Events. (I keep Lunar Events near me.)
  • Monitoring the current Omen, and remembering to retreat the Harbinger when an Omen is flipped. (I keep the Omen stack near me.)
  • Drawing a dragon token at the beginning of each player's turn. (I keep the tokens near me and personally draw and resolve them for each player.)
  • Keeping track of the current Dragon King. (I have all three Draconic Lord sheets near me with the crown and scales.)

My "workstation" consists, therefore, of the Reaper sheet, Werewolf sheet, Harbinger sheet, Time Card, Lunar Events, Omen stack, and if playing with the standard Dragon ending, the dragon tokens, Draconic Lord sheets, and crown. Although I am doing a lot of upkeep, the game proceeds very smoothly.

 

EDIT: Also, I do not play with all expansions at once with every group. With every board game in my collection, I begin with the base game only, and add expansions over time. I add the expansions in release order and ask the group how many they wish to add for the next game. This allows players to be familiar with the rules and vastly reduces the amount of questions when many expansions are added. It also allows players to see how the game has evolved. For instance, players may appreciate best the Harbinger and Cataclysm expansions after they have played the expansions as they unfolded through their development.

Edited by Artaterxes

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I know I'm in the minority here, but I disagree with a lot of what has been said, as me and my group usually play with every expansion. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter;Never play with more than 4 people.

I can play my version with more than 4 people. In fact, I played with 7 players a few times and we were able to finish the game in under 6 hours.

But as you said, you're not playing the game as it was designed, you're playing a heavily house ruled version. Of course, you can play with as many players as you like if you modify the game enough, but I'm giving tips on how to play the game unmodified, with all the expansions included.

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I know I'm in the minority here, but I disagree with a lot of what has been said, as me and my group usually play with every expansion. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter;Never play with more than 4 people.

I can play my version with more than 4 people. In fact, I played with 7 players a few times and we were able to finish the game in under 6 hours.

But as you said, you're not playing the game as it was designed, you're playing a heavily house ruled version. Of course, you can play with as many players as you like if you modify the game enough, but I'm giving tips on how to play the game unmodified, with all the expansions included.

Ah yes. You are right then, more than 4 players is a bad idea.

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My suggestion is to have the most detail-oriented, hard-working player who has memorized the rules (usually the owner of the game) handle all the bookkeeping. In my group, if we play with all expansions, this responsibility is mine. As a result, I monitor the following:

  • Remembering to move both the Reaper and Werewolf if a 1 is rolled. (I keep both sheets near me as a reminder.)
  • Flipping the Time Card when an Event is drawn. (I keep the Time Card near me as a reminder.)
  • Moving the Harbinger when an Event is drawn. (I keep the Harbinger sheet near me as a reminder.)
  • Monitoring the current Lunar Events. (I keep Lunar Events near me.)
  • Monitoring the current Omen, and remembering to retreat the Harbinger when an Omen is flipped. (I keep the Omen stack near me.)
  • Drawing a dragon token at the beginning of each player's turn. (I keep the tokens near me and personally draw and resolve them for each player.)
  • Keeping track of the current Dragon King. (I have all three Draconic Lord sheets near me with the crown and scales.)

My "workstation" consists, therefore, of the Reaper sheet, Werewolf sheet, Harbinger sheet, Time Card, Lunar Events, Omen stack, and if playing with the standard Dragon ending, the dragon tokens, Draconic Lord sheets, and crown. Although I am doing a lot of upkeep, the game proceeds very smoothly.

 

EDIT: Also, I do not play with all expansions at once with every group. With every board game in my collection, I begin with the base game only, and add expansions over time. I add the expansions in release order and ask the group how many they wish to add for the next game. This allows players to be familiar with the rules and vastly reduces the amount of questions when many expansions are added. It also allows players to see how the game has evolved. For instance, players may appreciate best the Harbinger and Cataclysm expansions after they have played the expansions as they unfolded through their development.

 

Yep... that's me!  You should join our games so I don't have to do it ;).  

All the fiddle doesn't really bug me, I can handle it.  From the other player's point of view, they have a smooth drive.  It's not the effort that is the problem, but the time it all takes.

Edited by chemical22

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My suggestions to decrease the waste of time and to coordinate all the expansions:

  • gain strenght/craft every 5 point trophies
  • start the game with a bonus strenght/craft/fate life at your choice
  • start the game with a warlock quest
  • coordinate all the expansions using a single "Adventure Die". I use a D20 because I match all expansions, but You can use a normal D6. I have distributed probabilities based on statistics in-game (except for Dragons because they change a lot the game, so I decreased probabilities of dragon tokens from 100% to 20%)

Roll the Adventure Die before your turn.

Example 1:

1) Leak from the Nether: Draw Nether Realm Cards instead Adventure Cards during this turn
2-3-4) Time is Over: Move Reaper

5-6-7) Blood Moon: Move Werewolf

8-9-10) Message by the Harbinger: Move the Harbinger in your space at the end of your turn

11-12-13-14) Dragons Advance: Draw a Dragon Token

15-16-17) Day/Night: Turn the Time Card

18) Random Encounter: At the end of your movment, place a Denizen in your space; discard it at the end of your turn

19) Rare Discover: At the end of your movement, place a Remnant in your space

20) Good Luck!

 

Example 2:

1) Move Reaper

2) Move werewolf

3) Move Harbinger in your space at the end of your turn

4-5) Dragon Token

6) Day/night

  • decrease Sentinel's strength
  • If you die, inherite your objects, followers and gold
  • If you die, you can choose between more characters (or just choose no-limits)
  • use a music background: players will be more focused on the game
  • embolden the current player to play quickly and smart, eheh
  • Have Fun, use your immagination, who cares about real time. You are in the Talisman's world now. ;)

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Beware wall of text. :)

 

--

 

 

@ Cookierobber:

"Never play with more than 4 people. Playing with that many people massively increases the playtime,
to the extent that games are almost never finished."

 

Depends on what kind of game you want to play. When we play with 6-10 players,
we usually have about 7-8 hours time and manage to finish the game during that time span.

And even if you don't finish it, there's always next time.
So now you'll probably complain how to remember everything.

 

Easily. I made a little sheet in Excel that I just have to fill out so everyone
knows what goes where when we continue playing.

 

"Try to avoid the harbinger..."

 

Even with only 4 players this can very easily increase play time a lot, because you can't go
where you want to go if you try to avoid him at all costs.

 

"Start of the game is fairly deadly and slow paced..."

 

Don't know how the people in your group play, but we never start slow and deadly.

We want fast progress here.

Must be pretty interesting to play at your table.

 

"If you can survive the first hour or so, in my experience you won't usually
die for the rest of the game..."

 

Never been screwed by the Basilisk, Swamp Siren, Mob etc. I wager.
They is no point in time where you are save in this game.
I know this is hard to accept for some, but it is the harsh truth.

 

"Everyone needs to be very familiar to the game and rules."

 

No, they don't. As long as you have a "game master" that is attentive,
nice and forgiving, not everyone needs to know the rules by heart.

 

"Talisman isn't an easy game to fit into a day..."

 

If you don't have anything else to do, it's entirely possible.
Like I said before, you decide your play style which in turn
can lead to longer or shorter games.

 

Apart from the randomness of the draw and/or players screwing you over,
that is. ;)


---

 

@ magicrealm:

 

1. That's too brutal. If I were to use that rule at my table,
everyone would refuse to play at all.

 

2. Makes the game longer. Why do this?

 

3. Makes the game longer waaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy longer. Why do this?

 

---

 

@ Filippo:

"Start the game with a warlock quest":

 

Depending on your random draw , this can screw people at the start.
I would be very careful with this.

 

--

 

Neat idea with that Adventure Die.
Might try that one out in the future. ^_^

Edited by Lorinor

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@ Filippo:

"Start the game with a warlock quest":

 

Depending on your random draw , this can screw people at the start.

I would be very careful with this.

I have something better - public quests. At all times there are 2 quests at the warlock's cave that are available to everyone. Not to pick them up but to complete without picking them up.

I also made 2 decks of warlock quests. First has 15 cards and very easy tasks. Second has harder tasks but better rewards. You shuffle both and put easy deck on top of the advanced deck.

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@ Cookierobber:

"Never play with more than 4 people. Playing with that many people massively increases the playtime,

to the extent that games are almost never finished."

Depends on what kind of game you want to play. When we play with 6-10 players,

we usually have about 7-8 hours time and manage to finish the game during that time span.

I genuinely don't understand how this is possible. When you say you finish, you do mean reach the crown of command and resolve whatever ending you're using, right? I don't see how it would be possible to do that in 7-8 if playing with 10 people and every expansion. Can you explain how you can reach the end so quickly with such an absurd number of players?

"Try to avoid the harbinger..."

Even with only 4 players this can very easily increase play time a lot, because you can't go

where you want to go if you try to avoid him at all costs.

It's not all that hard to avoid him if you're playing with all expansions, as you're always close to another region. The start of the game typically involves building up your stats and getting useful items and followers, and none of those things are super dependent on which region you're in, so it doesn't really slow the game down at all. This is just to keep you alive through the start of the game, where many of the enemies in the harbinger deck will completely destroy you.

"Start of the game is fairly deadly and slow paced..."

Don't know how the people in your group play, but we never start slow and deadly.

We want fast progress here.

But with Talisman's system for building your stats, it's significantly harder to do so at the start of the game, and significantly easier to do so later on. At the beginning of the game, your character is fairly weak and can easily be killed through just a few too many strong enemies and bad luck, and it takes longer to level up because you're not able to fight particularly strong monsters. This is just inherent to Talisman - the more powerful you are, the easier it is to survive, and the easier it is to increase your stats, whereas at the start of the game, the harder it is to survive, and the longer it takes to build you stats. It's not something to do with how we play - we don't deliberately start out the game slowly, it's just how it's designed.

"If you can survive the first hour or so, in my experience you won't usually

die for the rest of the game..."

Never been screwed by the Basilisk, Swamp Siren, Mob etc. I wager.

They is no point in time where you are save in this game.

I know this is hard to accept for some, but it is the harsh truth.

Of course I have. But those cards are few and far between, and even they aren't all that likely to kill you - the basilisk only has a 1/6 chance of killing you, peasant mob only kills you if you're a lycanthrope, swamp siren only kills you if you repeatedly lose to a craft 3 enemy - not so much an issue later on in the game - etc. If you manage your lives well, are aware of the effects that can kill you, and take precautionary measures where you can, it's not that hard to survive once you become fairly powerful. It's not unheard of for a character to die late game in our sessions, just uncommon.

"Everyone needs to be very familiar to the game and rules."

No, they don't. As long as you have a "game master" that is attentive,

nice and forgiving, not everyone needs to know the rules by heart.

Not everyone needs to know the rules by heart to play talisman, of course. It's an extremely easy game to play as a beginner, given the simplicity of the battle and movement systems. That said, I'm talking about finishing a game in 6-7 hours - again, I don't understand how you could finish a 10 person game in 8 hours if the players aren't very familiar with the game. People who aren't very familiar with the game will take longer on their turns as they're not exactly sure what they're doing, and will take more time deciding what to do because they don't really have a proper game plan. In my experience, new players slow the game down significantly.

"Talisman isn't an easy game to fit into a day..."

If you don't have anything else to do, it's entirely possible.

Like I said before, you decide your play style which in turn

can lead to longer or shorter games.

Can you explain what you mean by play style? We play fairly time efficient games ourselves, where players are pretty good at handling all of the fiddly mechanics and always have clear goals in mind, so turns are quite short and progress is fairly rapid. With that said, I don't understand how you could possibly finish a 10 person game in 8 hours, with all expansions in play and no house rules. Edited by Cookierobber

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@ Cookierobber:

 

Like I said, we don't usually use the Dragon and the Harbinger main mechanics,
so no Tokens, Dragon Lords, Omens, Harbinger or his cards.

[When we do, like I said in my first post, I'm the one in charge of everything
fiddly, so the others can concentrate on playing the game for the most part.]

 

 

Yes, this means we use a hidden random alternative ending, explore the world,
draw cards, roll the die, visit spaces, gain craft and strength

until someone manages to get to the crown.

 

We sometimes use a variant where the first player to get there wins,

but most of the time, we don't do this.

 

 

Since we are often a mix of experienced players and some who have only played a few times,
the veterans tend to look out for the other players in terms of gameplay, fiddly stuff etc.

 

People may need some time to get to know all the cards, but they pick up the general stuff
on the way easily enough - if you guide them.

 

 

There are also a couple of house rules that we use. Not everything is for speeding up the game though.

 

Exchanging trophies: Your Craft/Strength is 2? - Need 3 points for the next step and so on.
Makes for a faster game.

 

 

Sometimes people also tend to think they are not strong enough to take the crown yet,
when in fact, they have pretty good odds.

 

We tell them when we think they can go. Speeds up the game most of the time.

Edited by Lorinor

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Ah. That explains a lot. Yeah, in my original post I was addressing how to handle playing a game with every expansion and no house rules. I see now that in your earlier post you said you thought this isn't possible, but it definitely is - the tips that I've given all help with speeding up the game and fitting it into a day. And yeah, I can see how with your house rules the start might not be as slow or deadly, but my comments were dealing with the actual rules of the game, not a modified version. Of course, if you play using modified rules then your experience will be different, but that's something you should mention, rather than just disagreeing with me when I'm talking about the intended way to play the game.

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As a follow up, based on some of your feedback, I've decided that perhaps it's not the fiddle aspect of the game so-much that is causing the long games and the drag - but instead, it is the lack of character progression.

Next game I am going to use all expansions as written but house rule the following:

 

1.  It costs only 5 trophies for a cone, rather than 7

2.  All characters begin with a warlock quest

3.  A character who "dies" drops all equipment, followers and coins on the space and is resurrected back at the graveyard with full starting health and fate.  The character will retain all strength/craft that it has.

 

Maybe for flavour, I will have the Reaper teleport to the graveyard as well :)

 

I'll give an update on how that works.

Edited by chemical22

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As a follow up, based on some of your feedback, I've decided that perhaps it's not the fiddle aspect of the game so-much that is causing the long games and the drag - but instead, it is the lack of character progression.

Next game I am going to use all expansions as written but house rule the following:

 

1.  It costs only 5 trophies for a cone, rather than 7

2.  All characters begin with a warlock quest

3.  A character who "dies" drops all equipment, followers and coins on the space and is resurrected back at the graveyard with full starting health and fate.  The character will retain all strength/craft that it has.

 

Maybe for flavour, I will have the Reaper teleport to the graveyard as well :)

 

I'll give an update on how that works.

1. The variant from the rulebook. Works fine but not my cup of tea.

2. My variant "public quests" is like that but through entire game.

3. I like that idea.

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As a follow up, based on some of your feedback, I've decided that perhaps it's not the fiddle aspect of the game so-much that is causing the long games and the drag - but instead, it is the lack of character progression.

Next game I am going to use all expansions as written but house rule the following:

 

1.  It costs only 5 trophies for a cone, rather than 7

2.  All characters begin with a warlock quest

3.  A character who "dies" drops all equipment, followers and coins on the space and is resurrected back at the graveyard with full starting health and fate.  The character will retain all strength/craft that it has.

 

Maybe for flavour, I will have the Reaper teleport to the graveyard as well :)

 

I'll give an update on how that works.

1. The variant from the rulebook. Works fine but not my cup of tea.

2. My variant "public quests" is like that but through entire game.

3. I like that idea.

 

 

I really like your variant of public quests - it is sort of a toss up for me.  I also considered your idea with some slight tweaks:

 

Place ONE public quest on the warlock's cave.  When any character completes it, they may choose to teleport to the cave, discard the quest and gain a talisman.  If there is no quest on this space, draw a new one.

Edited by chemical22

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What we do is the following:

 

- Play with a maximum of 2 corner boards. (So people don't get too spread out)

- At the start of the game, you may gain a free point strength/craft. (Just to speed up the level/grinding process at the beginning)

- In order to trophies in, it has to be the same or higher as your current value. (f.e. if you have craft 5, and your throphy is 5 or more you can hand it to gain a craft point).

- Lower the Sentinels strength to 7 instead of 9. (IMHO, strength 9 is way too strong, people will therefore stick way too long in outer region and corner boards)

- What we sometimes like to do is only have 1 Talisman in the game, this encourages people once they have the Talisman to go for the Inner region. (Also encourages PVP, which doesn't reduce gametime though)

- You always get to choose two characters, this gives the player some sort of control on who they want to be plus what stats they want to play with. 

 

Hope this helps! Curious to see what other are doing :).

 

Edit: I now see that others proposed somewhat similar tips

Edited by mightywolve

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What we do is the following:

 

- Play with a maximum of 2 corner boards. (So people don't get too spread out)

- At the start of the game, you may gain a free point strength/craft. (Just to speed up the level/grinding process at the beginning)

- In order to trophies in, it has to be the same or higher as your current value. (f.e. if you have craft 5, and your throphy is 5 or more you can hand it to gain a craft point).

- Lower the Sentinels strength to 7 instead of 9. (IMHO, strength 9 is way too strong, people will therefore stick way too long in outer region and corner boards)

- What we sometimes like to do is only have 1 Talisman in the game, this encourages people once they have the Talisman to go for the Inner region. (Also encourages PVP, which doesn't reduce gametime though)

- You always get to choose two characters, this gives the player some sort of control on who they want to be plus what stats they want to play with. 

 

Hope this helps! Curious to see what other are doing :).

 

Edit: I now see that others proposed somewhat similar tips

 

Thanks for your input!

 

1.  I'm too OCD to play with only two corner boards.  I NEED to use them all :)

 

2. This is actually our sudden death rules.  At a point in time we declare sudden death and then each turn your character gets +1 Strength or Craft.  It also means all deaths are final.  I find, it wraps the games up in 30-60 minutes after we do this.  But it isn't my favourite solution.   I find the magic minimum stat number is about 8 before you can consider trying for the crown... so doesn't this speed up the game too much?  In 7-10 rounds anyone could be ready to attempt a run.

3.  Something similar has been suggested - I could only see this helping if you do your previous house rule, otherwise this would significantly lengthen the game.  It also makes combat a little bit unrewarding in the later rounds.

 

4.  This has really never been an issue for our group.  I'd also comment, that the inner region is not exceptionally better than the outer region in terms of game progression.  I find the corner boards are MUCH better at helping progression, which might be a reason for me to further vote for all 4 corners.

 

5.  This is interesting and makes for a much more cutthroat game.   I find some of our most exciting games however were based on 2+ characters racing for the crown at the same time.  This would prevent that unfortunately.   It might also exclude some endings - not sure off hand.

 

6.  Assuming you mean choose between 2 characters, and not 2 characters at the same time; then this is exactly what we do too.  We also have a rule, that if you used it in a previous game, you can choose to redraw.  It's amazing how often the same characters are drawn :)

 

Thanks again for your input!  I love hearing how others play the game.

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- In order to trophies in, it has to be the same or higher as your current value. (f.e. if you have craft 5, and your throphy is 5 or more you can hand it to gain a craft point).

Elementalist and Ancient Oak are broken with this houserule.

- You always get to choose two characters, this gives the player some sort of control on who they want to be plus what stats they want to play with.

In my games everyone just chooses who they want to play from all characters. Edited by Bludgeon

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I found a way in my games, with heavy home rules.

[The Highlands, The Woodlands, The City and The Dungeon]

Very briefly, I built 4 decks of 50 Adventure Cards each from the "corner expansions":

-The Highlands has more Strength enemies (3 Strength for every Craft)

-The Woodlands has more Craft enemies (3 Craft for every Strength)

-The Dungeon has ONLY enemies, equally divided between Strength and Craft

-The City has a lot of Events and very few enemies

This way, characters can join The Highlands to improve their Strength and The Woodlands for Craft (with some risk), then The Dungeon when they're strong enough, while characters based on Gold and Objects can build up in The City without interference.

[The Dragon]

Put Varthrax in the final space of The Highlands, Grilipus on the final space of The Woodlands and Cadorus on the final space of The Dungeon.

Whenever a player must draw an Adventure Card in The Highlands, draw a Dragon Token before: if it's a Varthrax token, he draw the card from the Varthrax Deck instead of the Adventure Deck, then put the Crown Token on Varthrax card and discard the Dragon Token. Do the same with Grilipus in The Woodlands and Cadorus in The Dungeon.

This way, the corners become riskier and players will join them in the mid-game, so Dragon Token mechanic doesn't load too much the early-game (and it's faster then the original mechanic anyway, because you don't lose time with Dragon Tokens to define the Dragon King or collecting them).

[The Reaper, The Harbinger and Blood Moon]

I don't use to deploy all the "NPCs" in the same game, but they are all compatible. Furthermore, The Harbinger can force players to leave their "safe zone" (Highlands for Strength characters and Woodlands for Craft ones), so it adds more unpredictability.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

 

With this setup every corner is well exploited and match all the classes (fighters, mages, rogues, controllers, etc.)

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