Tavern Fame Reviewed: Or, Why I’m Terrible at Bluffing

Hello ladies and gents, it’s Harrison here with a … actually, it’s not another Magic article for you. Instead, I’m going to be talking about Tavern Fame, the latest and greatest product from Table Tyrant Games. I sat down with Dylan Shearer, designer and marketing lead from TTG to check out the game.

Tavern Fame is a competitive game of bluffing for 2 to 5 players. Players take the role of adventurers taking their ease in a tavern, attempting to impress the other patrons with their tales of strength, skill and derring-do. Some of those tales are even true!

9.5/10 would cast Fireball again.

9.5/10 would cast Fireball again.

Looking at the cards and tokens that Dylan laid out on the table in front of me, I was immediately impressed with both the quality of the cards, and the character of the … characters. The art was crisp and clear, with a strong flavor running throughout. This gorgeous art was printed at a very high quality, on really nice cards. The rules themselves were simple and clear, and it took Dylan less than a minute to get me ready to play my first game.

The goal of the game is to collect 10 or more tavern patrons, by having your tall tales top those of the other adventurers. The other resource in the game is drinks, which you buy for each other player at the beginning of your turn (isn’t that nice of you!). You can spend drinks to roll additional dice when it comes time to back up your stories.

After you buy a round, you flip one of the enemy cards over and wager a patron. These enemies range from rodents and wolves all the way up to dragons. You then have to – with suitable volume and charisma – tell your fellow adventurers how many of those monsters you’ve slain. The next opponent then has three choices; believe you, raise your story by claiming to have slain more, or call you a liar. If they call your bluff, it’s time to walk the walk.

The embodiment of 'EHRMAGURD'

The embodiment of ‘EHRMAGURD’

Each character has their own strength value, typically sitting at 5 or 6, which represents the number of dice you roll when you attempt to slay the monsters. And each monster has a health value, which is the number you need to match or beat to kill that monster. So if I am, for example, playing the Druid (more about him later) with a Strength of 5, and I claimed that I killed 4 Skeletons with a Health value of 4, I would get to roll 5 dice and I would need at least 4 results of 4, 5 or 6. You can also spend as many drinks as you want to get additional dice to roll. Okay? Okay. If you succeed, you get to take back your wagered patron and take one from the person who called your totally-not-a-bluff. However, if you failed, the caller takes both patrons.

So while that description is great, the easiest and best way to get an idea of how to play the game is to, you know, play a game. Also joining us for our intro game is Brisbane’s own Barnet J. Mersky, AKA Barney. Looking at the set of characters I was immediately drawn to the Druid, as he was the only character smart enough to bring a pet. Admittedly it is a bunny rabbit, but still, the principle is sound. Barney took the Witch Hunter and without any hesitation Dylan took the Paladin. Makes you wonder if he knows something I don’t…

Dylan was not kidding when he said Tavern Fame was a quick game. I very quickly found out that while I am fantastic at running my mouth about my exploits, I’m not very good at backing up my claims. My patrons lost patience with my lies, and deserted me to hang out with the Paladin. Traitors.

Who wouldn't love that face?

Who wouldn’t love that face?

One of my favorite parts of Tavern Fame is the fact that it’s not a clunky, rules-intense game that takes itself super-seriously. In fact, when you have a tie you settle it with an arm-wrestle, which there are mechanics built in to the game for, or you can actually let your biceps do the talking. With my last patron on the line, I took Dylan one-on-one, mano e mano for the last patron he need to win the game. I did manage to win that contest, but lost the game. Unfortunate, but it was a great way to finish off the game.

From my brief interaction with Tavern Fame, the game seems great. It’s fun, quick and easy to play, and has the potential to be a real success. TTG will be releasing it on Kickstarter on the Saturday the 20th of June and are asking for a measly $9600, and I strongly encourage you to support TTG and Tavern Fame. Run, do not walk to do so.

Thanks for reading,

Harrison

Table Tyrant Games : http://tabletyrantgames.com.au/

Tavern Fame : http://tabletyrantgames.com.au/tag/tavern-fame/

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One Comment
  1. July 6, 2015 | Reply

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