Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Toads and death everywhere!

Last two games of Talisman for this year were a four player game and a three player game.

First was the four player game, and characters were Knight, Vampiress, Priest and Prophetess. So there was some sort of a theme here, when everyone started from chapel except one player, who started in the graveyard. We played a revealed game variant "A Hero Rises" which

Knight went to Highlands right away, and there he picked up two monsters that caused extra damage before the fight. Due to a stand-off he didn't die yet, but during first fifteen turns or so Knight had died. New character was the Bounty Hunter.

Vampiress and Priest went to forest quite early in the game, but Titania's or Oberon's or someones gate teleported Vampiress to the space right before Treasure Chamber in the Dungeon.

Prophetess got stuck in the Highlands when there was a Talisman in an eagle's nest in the mountain pass space. Whatever she did, she just didn't land on the space. She did pick up amazingly good items and tossed enemies left and right as she drew them, so her Strength and Craft started soaring. At one point Prophetess did run through the Woodlands and got herself a wealthy destiny - whenever a player gained gold, she'd replenish fate. And because we had this game variant where you gained a Fate if you replenished when at maximum Fate, this destiny made for a nasty combo with Bounty Hunter. Bounty Hunter gains a gold whenever he wins a battle. Prophetess looked like a strong candidate for victory.

Vampiress took her chances in the Dungeon, but in the end it didn't pay off. She died there, and got replaced with Highlander. Bounty Hunter had had a good start even if original character died. Highlander also had a really good start, but this death happened in the middle stages of game, so it was a lot more punishing.

But yeah. Bounty Hunter was amazing, and gained both Talisman and enough fate to begin the race for Crown of Command. Well, this time it just couldn't be called a "race", since nobody else got into the Inner Region in time. Just a turn before Bounty Hunter reached the valley of fire, Prophetess encountered the Gong of War or something like that, which summoned a character from any region to battle her.

She chose Bounty Hunter.

And Prophetess was the same player who added some extra hours to the game length last time around at the very last possible moment. I guess she has a knack for these things.

So, the game continued.

Bounty Hunter, having both Talisman and enough Fate started a second run to the Crown of Command, all the while Prophetess desperately tried to get the Talisman from the birdie.

And there he was again. Just as he was reaching the valley of fire Prophetess cast a spell on him that removed all of his fate and gave them to Prophetess, which in this game variant meaned Bounty Hunter wouldn't be able to win the game, and had to slowly backtrack away from Inner Region.

Finally Prophetess got her Talisman, beat the Eagle King and teleported close to Portal of Power. Seven rounds later the game ended to the triumph of Prophetess.

Oh, and the Priest. I haven't talked anything about the Priest.

Well, Priest played entirely mediocre game with no real highs or lows. Only memorable thing was when he turned evil just a turn after he had cast the very same fate stealing spell Prophetess later used to win the game.

Game 2 (or 3?):

Last Talisman for the year started with a hidden ending, Amazon, Elementalist and Totem Warrior.

Statistically I was a bit bummed by Amazon and Elementalist, since they've had a lot of screen time. But at least we saw Totem Warrior make his entré.

Amazon had a rather hilarious start. No matter wherever she went, she picked up absurdly powerful magic weapons. So much so that she soon couldn't carry any items any more and started leaving magic weapons behind.

Elementalist also got a good start. He rolled a six from encountering the Reaper, and got turned into a lycanthrope from an encounter with the Werewolf. And it felt like the game was played in an eternal night, giving only bonuses to Elementalist and penalties for other characters. His progress was astonishing.

Totem Warrior was messing around in the Highlands and danced there for a long time with only one life remaining, and managing only stand-offs even against Strength 1 monsters. I guess Totem Warrior got all bad luck that should have been evenly distributed between players.

Soon it started to look like it was mostly a game between Elementalist and Amazon. Amazon thought it was a good idea to enter the Woodlands, since with two dice for movement she'd be able to dodge most of the more annoying spaces.

And just there was only about 30% left to go, she encountered a Fey Witch or something like that who rolled two dice for attack. If it rolled doubles, the character got turned into a toad. Double sixes.


All the items she had dropped there, as did the followers. And worse yet - if the toad didn't move forward, it'd start fleeing the Woodlands and not be able to move forwards any more until it or she'd get out. Once Amazon finally turned back into a real person, she had only one chance to get her stuff back - by rolling a three for movement. And then she'd have to flee the entire Woodlands and abandon her path.

Amazon thought the items were better than the non-destiny reward of completing her path, and she did roll a three for movement. All items back.

One turn later she encountered the Toad King. Toad King turns your character into a toad for three turns and jumps three spaces counter-clockwise. If you encounter Toad King as a toad, your character gains either Craft or Strength.

But the horrible thing here was that Amazon had to dump all her items, and since she was fleeing the Woodlands, there was now absolutely zero chance of easily getting the items back. Perhaps after twenty turns or something.

Next space the Toadzon landed it encountered Dryad. Roll two dice, if the score is equal to or less than your Craft, you gain one Craft. If not, you're teleported to the forest space.


Twice in a row turned into a toad, then teleported away from your items and as an added insult being denied your prize of encountering Toad King again.

What a cruel way for fate to revenge the good luck at the beginning of the game.

Amazon never really recovered from such a crash land, and now there was nobody to challenge Elementalist unless he'd get his share of bad luck.

He didn't, and it was a victory for the Elementalist.

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