Monday, May 03, 2010

The end for Talisman?

Yesterday I played Talisman for the first time in probably a year, maybe two years, I havn't actually checked.

I played it because my son had been asking. I was reluctant because I knew just how long the game takes. I've felt for a long time that the game is too long, under the normal rules it usually runs for 3+ hours.

To address the time problem I've made a few house rules, which are as follows.

1 ) When you kill Craft based monsters you can cash in your trophes for a gain in craft, just like you do for Strength.

2 ) Instead of needing 7 Strength ( or Craft, see rule 1 ) in trophies to increase a stat, you only need 5.

3 ) You can have as many followers as you can collect.

4 ) No limit to how m any items you can carry

5 ) No limit on the number of weapons, armors etc you can use, so yes, you only have two arms but can use 6 swords.

6 ) Start with 4 gold.

So thats what I changed in order to speed up the game. However, it wasn't enough. Sure it speeded up the game, but something was still wrong. It's only now the next day that I've allowed mysef to see the problem.

"Allowed myself to see", you say? Yep, I believe that I've been in denial about this game. I've actually had this game since the 80s and even bought an expansion for it back in the day. This game has followed me for over 20 years and that has given it a certain amount of "value".

But now, now that my experience of games has grown, I've come to realise in the last day that I don't actually like the game. I don't like this game that I've kept safe and secure for 20+ years and carried from home to home. That was a hard truth to uncover.

So, what is it that I dont like? Obviously it's too long. But it turns out there's more. It's just too random for my liking. As a principal I dont mind randomness in games, but here, it's gone too far. Roll to move, roll for the event card, roll for the encounter, roll for the location effects. Roll, roll, roll leading to too little choice, too much bad luck and too little stratergy.

With my new realisation I'm now planning on selling my 1983 copy of Talisman along with its expansion, making room in my collection for a game I do like!

Oh, and despite the game being so random, how come the Witch always ends up on the doorway to the inner circle?

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