Friday, 29 January 2010

Friday Talisman Blogging: Edging Ever Closer

Also, if Drum gets to start using a picture of the Grim Reaper to accompany his posts on healthcare reform, then so do I.

(Note how he waiting outside an Imperial bastion. The Ultramarines manning the facility have no idea what's coming for them, but apparently they won't need to worry until one of them steps out for a fag break.)

Including the Reaper in Talisman games is an odd experience. On the one hand, he's fun to use. We played a four to five hour game over New Year's, and every single time he was moved it was to a chorus of DEATH!!! from those present. It should have gotten boring, but it never did (at least, it never did for me, but I was kind of drunk on apple brandy at the time). There's just something intensely satisfying about moving the personification of mortality around a game board, chasing your opponents down.

On the other hand, he rarely makes any difference to the game. You need to roll a one for your movement score in order to move him, then you need to roll the right number to get Death to whomever you want menaced. So it's only once in every thirty six turns that he'll do anything at all (assuming the times he's out of range are balanced out by the times he has more than one potential target). Moreover, he only has a one in six chance of actually killing whomever he decides to hassle (it's just as likely he'll demand a game of chess or even, somewhat oddly, offer you a present, which may or may not be a reference to Hogfather, I neither know nor in any way care), which can often be re-rolled. Thus, even in a game where a clear winner is emerging, as it did in ours, the chance that G. Rizzle can polish off the current leader is 1 in 1296 each turn (a calculation that I did in my head, just now, because I am a motherfucking doctor of maths!!!), which is less than impressive.

On the other other hand, if the Deathmeister does get his skeletal mitts on those ahead of the game, and take them to Talisman Heaven (where presumably the dragons all have strength 1 and everyone gets to play as the Prophetess), then they start all over, and the game suddenly gets a few more hours tacked on to it. I mentioned it took about 270 minutes to play (do you see the ease with which I bend maths to my will?), at least half of that wouldn't have been necessary if we hadn't reached consensus that we were going to use Death as our personal assassin and hunt down the poor bastard in the lead. Sure, we killed our foe, but we also killed our own free time. It didn't help that three hours later the game was won by the exact same team we'd scythed the shit out of. I blame being stuck with the ghoul. The ghoul is shit.

So, Death. By turns fun, pointless, and a tremendous inconvenience. How like life. Except the fun bit, obviously.


Senior Spielbergo said...

The ghoul was indeed rubish. We did absolutely nothing in that game... Except provide some off key harmony in the communal chants of DEATH!

SpaceSquid said...

Yeah. Did we even eat anyone?

Worst undead cannibal ever.

Senior Spielbergo said...

I believed we tried to... Once... Then everyone provide to be vastly harder than us so we just kind of shambled around the outer ring for 4 hours.