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Poll: Do you play with a variant or without one?

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I myself do not use any because, in the past, I have used variants for other board games thinking I would improve the design. Then, I realized the designers did what they did for reasons I overlooked, and I ended up worsening the game. I've worked as a consultant on Talisman: Revised Fourth Edition and I understand the importance of having others playtest and check my ideas.

 

Talisman is friendly to house rules and variants but I do not have the confidence to be the sole editor and playtester. Instead, I dedicate my time to improving the efficiency of delivering rules-as-written and making the game go smoothly.

There is, however, a lot of good fan-made stuff out there.

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it's usually very easy for me to break down a game and identify flaws. I like to point them out before games, suggest a fix and shamelessly exploit them if my suggestion isn't agreed upon:)

 

Talismans 1 great flaw is the massive imbalance between characters. Most people seem to think it's more of a feature but I like to compare it to drawing a card to determine how much you start with in a game of poker. You can still win w small starting cash, but far too many games are decided but that 1 initial draw. 

 

The other big change I've made is take out all the complete setbacks (lose all objects/followers/strength/craft/life) and reduced them to smaller setbacks. The game is long enough without having to start over. That is definitely a feature/matter of taste though, and really changes the nature of the game.

 

Other than that the issue w a game like talisman is really finding when to stop, there's so many cards/features that are broken. I managed to limit myself to adding a catchup mechanism for core game.

For expansions id remove scribe spellbook battle axe and flail, limit to 1 bow, 1 horse, 1 scroll. Ban "teleports" to or in inner region. 

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As of the posting of this response, I am the only person who responded with "only a movement variant."  I have many ideas for how the game could be improved and/or could be corrected.  I even wrote up a list of house rules.  The one time I tried implementing it we spent too much time trying to remember the house rules, so I scrapped it.

However, the one movement variant that we continue to use (because it's easy enough to remember) is that if you land on the Reaper, Werewolf, or Harbinger you must encounter them before encountering the space.  Seeing as we regularly forget to move the Reaper or the Werewolf, it adds another possibility for players to interact with those NPCs.

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I do not like the Dragon expansion as is. I will play that expansion with variants only. Once in awhile I will play variants to speed up the game, but not often. I also don't like the Day/Night mechanics as is. I use a variant on that. That's about it, for what I can think of.

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We play with all expansions (we haven't owned Cataclysm long, so let's pretend for the moment that we don't have it).
The only house rules or variants we use: 1. Getting to the Crown of Command in the inner region of the main board places you on the first stair of the dragon tower (which we have set on a large mug above the main board). 2. In the dragon tower, a character draws the number of cards in the directions, but draws them from the Nether deck.

We have long, very chaotic games. It's a grand time for all!

Edited to add:
Began a new game in the Digital Edition and realized I forgot a variant.
So, 3. I've split the huge Adventure deck into two almost-equal decks, one for the Middle Region and one for the Outer. All of the Middle Region cards have a little Sharpie dot on them so that they can be returned into the correct pile upon clean-up.
I split them by expanison, kind of card, type of enemy, and easy/hard. All together, the Middle Region deck is therefore a little harder than the Outer Region, though there are still some hard in the Outer and some easy in the Middle.

Edited by ElfPuddle

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