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SpiderKnives

The Dragon

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Hi guys,

Sorry if this has been discussed, the search functionality for this forum has been broken for the past few weeks.

--Commence Rant--

Okay, so I reviewed some threads here and apparently The Dragon is pretty much universally reviled, either being left out or heavily modified. Yes, there are some sympathizers but I see many of you, just like my group, hate the fuss that is tokens and don't like having scales and dragon cards taking over the regular adventure deck. I would further back this by saying that, Reaper + Frostmarch + Pool expansions make the "plain" adventure deck freakin' awesome, the dungeon and city decks are awesome (don't own Highlands yet), and all of these get overidden; not only that, but adding an alternative ending on top of a dragon lord on top of either the tower or realm is just too **** annoying, and it feels like the alternative endings are incompatible with the dragon expansion, EXCEPT for when using the endings that come with said expansion.

--Conclude Rant--

But I'm not here for a rant.

I'm here for a way to fix this.

Like I said, the search functionaltiy here is broken (for me, at least) and I'd like to listen to other fans with the same predicament as I am in - what are your  houserules for making the Dragon fun, not invasive to regular turns, paced to not mess up the regular game board?

How do you work in an alternative ending that doesn't feel shoe'd in?

 

Or maybe we should just shelf the expansion altogether… which pains me as a completionist, but it is, at least at face value, god-awful by design. The cards themselves rule, though.

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First of all, I like the Dragon expansion. But I think I can see why some don¨t. In any case, I think the Lightbearers alternative ending from the Blood Moon sounds great with the Dragon, giving the game a narrative, in a way, with a handful of heroes trying to defeat the Draconic Lords and gaining the power of the Crown of Command before the entire Realm is overrun by the dragons. But the Lightbearers ending might not be for everyone, as it turns a fundamentally competitive game iinto a cooperative one, something the game wasn't really meant for, which is particularly obvious if one takes a look at the Spells.

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I also count myself not in the "universal reviled" group. It would be hard for me and my co player, wife, to NOT use the Dragon expansion.

 

I don't really worry about the alt ending making sense with the Dragon Realm to be traversed. If the Old Wizard was powerful enough to hold them in check, perhaps these alt endings show Dragons are not always in the End game. Others have suitable powers too.

I've previously mentioned that we delay the pulling of scales until after the first Dragon from any regular deck (any non-Dragon Lords deck, that is) is encountered, win, lose, evade, etc.

 But we also set a higher threshold - 5 tokens - to crown the first Lord (game starts with no Lord) with a mandatory card pulled from that Dragon Lord's deck at that time.

 But we only played one game with 5 as the threshold number, because we realized that more scales collected by would-be-Dragon-Lords means more scales to deal with when you finally reach the Dragon Realm.

 We went back to 3 tokens, retaining the delay factor.

  This works pretty well for us.

   I might as well mention that we don't see what all the fuss is with the City - being able to buy your way to the CoC, it would seem. 

 After the second game with the City we really didn't find a great advantage to hanging out there and buying everything.  Maybe we're from the non-materialistic group or something. But its more fun to get trophies and level-ups the old fashioned way still.

   I will say that I love the Dungeon but am often to weak to do much there. Buying at least one weapon really helps and quite frankly why would you go into a Dungeon without the best you could get?  [i know! Off -DRAGON topic, sorry]

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Thanks for the reply guys.

 

My group has two main issues with The Dragon:

First, we have a ton of adventure cards we have never gotten around to, because we got Sacred Pool and Frostmarch along with The Dragon. What happens now is that quickly enough the board floods with dragons and we don't get to enjoy the regular deck.

Another issue is the turn-by-turn overhead of messing around with dragon tokens.

We got it because we wanted a tougher ending, and by design it seems impossible to separate anything Dragon related from the tokens, because one side of the dragon expansion relies on the scales to modify stats for the space whilst dragon cards in general refer to those **** things A LOT.

All we wanted was a tougher, more interesting inner circle to reflect the way with which characters become even more powerful via expansions, and there doesn't seem to be a way to play it that way without discarding cards, having events and descriptions become meaningless etc.

Without proper homebrew rules, we're just going to have to play without it, which is really rather disappointing.

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You can separate the use of either board from the set; We've played several times without the board.  So the oomph in danger in that region is diminished because you don't need the scales, mostly.  Try that, at least.

 

Also delaying the scales' deployment, does give a chance to explore the board and deck before Dragons become ubiquitous.  Reminding that we delay by having no scales pulled until after the first Dragon in a regular deck (non-Dragon lord's) is revealed.

 

In a recent game, I was the Prophetess, and my ability allowed me to discard Dragons for a very long time, so - none were encountered til quite well into the game, and thus scales only built up after that.

  It was a pretty cool game because all kinds of great objects, followers and strangers were turning up, and - actually helped with fighting Dragons when they finally appeared.

  For those purists out there, the game was hours and still hard - fought, despite these in-house rules.

 

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We played the game today by giving each Dragon Lord their own 5 lives, and whenever dethroned they'd lose it. Once they die, they're out of the game, thereby making the dragon scales unfold early but finish before the board is cluttered to death.

 

It went really well. The first game since we got The Dragon where everybody seemed to enjoy it. This is an awesome modifier! I think that, if we combine this with your suggestion of introducing them only after the first dragon card is introduced, would make for a great game.

 

Thanks!

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I like your idea as well and will try it too.  I think if you go with this idea; Dragons are important, but will die out, possibly before the final gambit - makes it easier to not use the board then.

 Alternate endings would make sense, not neccessarily being tied to Dragons (FRost Queen, WW, Demon Lord, etc.)

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Is the dragon expansion more difficult then the dungeon? I own everything but the dragon and would like a little more difficulty (though not alot of extra playtime) in the game even if I have to modify/houserule some stuff.

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There's no way that the Dragon expansion does NOT add more challenge and danger to the game. Probably you can gather from this thread that people may love or hate it, or have there own ideas on how to limit or mitigate the effects of all those scales.

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I was really enthusiastic about it when it came out:  it was a new take on the game, and added a whole lot more imaginative changes than the previous expansions, which were really mostly "more of the same".  I'm not interested in more AltEndings with yet another "Big Boss".  Boring.   But after playing a few times, and even fiddling with house rules to help it along, my group rarely wants to play with the Dragon expansion anymore.  I still like it in the abstract, but in practice it seems clunky.  It's like you're not really playing the same game.  I think I do prefer the dragon tower to the normal inner region, but I miss the cutthroat battles against other players at the endgame.  I don't want to kill a boss to win; I want to kill my friends!  :)    Plus I want to be able to use the dragon decks without reference to the scales and dragonlords.  Plus some of the character abilities are kind of useless unless you're playing with the expansion rules to the "T".     

 

I like what you suggest about slowly eroding the dragonlords' lives.  That way there might not be a dragon at the endgame; it adds a random element to the game that I like.  However, I still want to fight my friends.  I wonder how those two mechanics could be resolved?   I think I have decided that I don't care for the dragon scales at all.   Hmmmm......any ideas, anyone?

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Had some ideas myself, just as I posted:   What does everyone think of this:

 

I use my own dice that we roll when rolling for movement:  they look like this:  

http://boardgamegeek.com/image/1698578/zozmachine

 

 

SO:   Roll a die along with your die for movement.  On a 3 or 4, draw a card from the dragon decks (instead of?  In addition to?  what do you think???) the normal adventure card for the space.  

 

Give each Dragon lord five tokens as lives.  Each time you defeat a dragon of his colour, you have a choice:  Either take one "sleeping dragon" token, or one "dragon rage" token, or take one token off the relevant dragon lord so he loses a life.  That way, he might not even be around when you get to the inner region.  When you get to the CoC, any surviving dragon lords are waiting for you.  You can use a "sleeping dragon" token to put one dragon to sleep for one round while you try to cast the Command spell.  If you run out of tokens, they wake up and deal their dragon rage damage to you.  You can spend a dragon rage token to negate that effect.  But you still have to deal with the awakened dragon lord(s).  EDIT:  I think maybe it would be fun to have the dragon lord knock you "backwards" down the stairs of the tower when it takes a life.....say, 1d6 spaces?  

 

This way, two characters who got to the CoC at the same time would have to deal with any dragon lords first, and only once that was resolved, would they vie for the crown and be able to cast the Command spell.  The "rush for the inner region" might be triggered by the death of a dragon lord, and everyone can see how close that is to happening.  I think it has potential!  

Edited by Zozimus

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Tried playing with these rules last weekend...it worked OK, but dragged the game on even longer than usual because everyone was waiting for the Dragon Lords to be killed before they made a dash for the inner region.  Nobody realised that they would be killing dragons IN the tower, and that would have made it a lot faster.  I love this game, but there has got to be some way to shorten it.

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I'm with you Zozimus, we were all excited at first but it only took one game for it to fizzle.

 

I like the concept, it really makes Talisman a different game.  On paper it seems great, but in reality it just turned out to be too long and clunky.  

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