What is it?
A dungeon delving adventure game where every player takes it in turns to try get to the centre to become the champion with the Talisman
What do you get?
Talisman comes with a beautifully illustrated main board, character cards, dice, figures and oh so many cards! Of course, being FFG they give you all the tokens and little accessories needed to play too.
How does it work?
Talisman is really simple, pick you character, roll a dice, choose a direction, move to the space and do as instructed. Most commonly this will be to draw an adventure card in which case you take the top card and read what happens. It is here that the game is mainly formed as the encounters can be anything from luckily finding treasure, traps, enemies, followers or events. This part of the game literally anything can happen.
Is it any good?
I’ll be honest; I don’t think I’ve ever played Talisman without several expansions. There have always been stacks of optional rules, home rules, and additional bits in every game I’ve ever played. So much so that I think I’d be hard pressed to tell someone how it works 100% now. But that’s actually the beauty of Talisman; the rules are very simple with a view that it should and can be amended depending on player count and how much time you have.
For example, our gaming group plays that if you don’t like your randomly chosen character you are allowed reshuffle and randomly choose again but you must use this second character no matter how awful they are (harsh rule I know!).
We like to use the random end boss encounters and if we have time having the Warlock missions in place at the beginning is a must. This is just the start of it really as we always find issues with some aspects of the game which we normally discuss as a group and quickly conclude and carry on.
This is a lot more fun than it sounds.
My issue with Talisman is mainly how long every game takes. You had better reserve 6-8 hours on the off chance it’s a long one. These optional rules usually have us accepting that quests are carried on from character to character after death.
Dying is just an inconvenience, not a permanent lose condition as it forces you back to an amateur character with bugger all to show for it.
Talisman isn’t a game I’d recommend playing with people with low attention spans. Its an easy game to get distracted during. I do really love a good game of Talisman but having the right players, the right amount of time and the right setting can often be a real handful to get right.
In the 80’s this game was far easier to put down without the distraction of phones.