First, moving is in progress, at a temporary home, waiting for the final sale, then buying the new place. Soon!
Second, since I've been ahead of moving I got the go ahead from Mrs. Twyg to stop in at the club where I was invited to play a game of Talisman with Fritz, Black Matt and Scott. Brother James was there painting a custom green stuff only model made by Sylus (sp.)
|Remind you of an old Apple IIe game box much?|
So, what is this Talisman? It's a board game with a tiny amount of rpg, and a whole lot of traditional board game.
Here's how it works, each player is given a character card containing stats, lives, strength, fate and craft (mana). You build your character up to be stronger and better than the encounters on the board as well as through a random card pickups. The board is made into three consecutive rings, with the concept to get the crown in the center, descending deeper into the adventure to get your crown. Along the way there's a large amount of random encounters, and a lot of good hearted attacks on your fellow players. More on that later.
Each character has strengths and weaknesses in special abilities. Black Matt had the leprechaun who, for example, when landing upon a forest spot on the board would gain three gold each time. As the game progresses you're able to purchase items from a limited resource pool of modifying types of equipment. As you progress you're collecting items that improve your abilities sometimes in the form of dice rolls (a helmet that grants you a save on a 5+ roll, a sword that adds +2 to your strength roll, etc.) You can purchase these on the board if you land on the right square, or occasionally a card pickup will grant all players the ability to purchase something.
There's a lot of fun to be had in upgrading your character, and even more fun to be had taking out other characters. I was playing the warlock who was able to have up to four spells at any time, most spells have to do with disrupting other players. For example I had three spells, one would stun a player for two rounds so they couldn't do anything, one restricted their movement to only one space regardless of dice roll, and the final would strip two lives from them.
Saving those for a good moment is always best as the game continues since there's a lot of randomization in the game, here's why.
Every time it's your turn, you roll a die to see how far you go. Most squares require you to pickup a card. On that card you will likely have a monster to fight, with either a Strength and number, or Craft and number. Your character of course has a Strength and Craft modifier. So, if you draw a Strength monster it's your Strength vs. its Strength... and a die roll for each of you to add to it. So you roll your Strength, then another player rolls for the monster's Strength roll. In this way you may find yourself losing fight after fight because of a poor roll. Rollin' dem bones!
In order to get deeper towards the crown you need to survive these random encounters and be strong enough to fight the guardians between the rings. This can be avoided through item collection/purchase, however it's best to have your character loaded for the good fight.
To further add to the randomization any time a one is rolled "Death" is activated. Death is rolled by another player and is sent d6 in any direction by the one who activated Death (rolled the one.) This is where the player versus player begins...
Playing with these guys we knew we could josh each other around a bit, and we wasted no time. The very first turn I sent Death towards Black Matt's character, "Hey man, we're just geting to know each other and you're already after me!?" in mock exasperation "Bring it..." and so it began, spells were lobbed to slow each other, Death sent to knock other players about, and generally a lot of blocking happened to keep each other away from the center.
The game designers were no slouches though, since this rivalry only makes the characters playing stronger while having a good time busting on each other. Inadvertently by blocking other players you're able to get further faster with each successful win/draw/lose.
Once things are settled I'll definitely be picking the game up and the expansions once my family and friends bore of the basics.
Go take a look at Talisman! http://boardgamegeek.com/image/332870/talisman-fourth-edition