By Roy Smith Copyright Roy H Smith Jr 2001. Created November 11th, 2001

is copywrited by

Talisman is a great game and my friends and I have spent endless hours playing it. Searching the web reveals a number of people love this game as well. Most of their pages added extra cards to the game but I wanted to try something different.

My end goal is to create a free and playable version of Talisman that people can play over the net or by themselves. And if I'm redoing the game why not change a few things? The game is great but does have a few weaknesses plus there are quite a few new ideas I'm tempted to add.

I need you to read this page and tell me what you think of my ideas. If something strikes you as brilliant or horrible please let me know. If enough people like an idea I'll make it a fixed part of my game but if some ideas are unpopular I can drop them or make them options. we go.
Boards Used
Since this will be a computer version at least we won't have six boards scattered all over the place :-) This what I'm currently considering...

  • an Outer Region, a Middle Region, and an Inner Region screen (each separate so you don't have to squint)
  • an Astral Plane screen (not the Timescape!)
  • expansion screens for the City and Village
  • two screens for the Dark Wizard's Tower (you must pass through before the Final Battle)
Character Concerns
Just a few ideas here...

  1. Homeland - When beginning a turn on your Starting Space you may choose to miss your turn to..
    • heal 1 Life if you currently have less than your maximum number of Lives
    • replace any item you begin the game with but do not currently possess
    • draw 1 spell if you have fewer spells than the number with which you begin the game
  2. Alignment - special abilities and additions
    • Good characters may heroically sacrifice a Life of theirs to save a Follower from death.
    • Evil characters may selfishly sacrifice a Follower to prevent them from losing a Life
    • Neutral Characters can't do either (pick a side already!) but can miss a turn to become Good or Evil.
  3. Carrying Objects and Strength
    • All objects have a Weight Rating from 0 (very light) to 3 (very heavy)
    • Some possibilities: Bag of Gold, Weapon, Shield (Weight: 1), Armor, Gold Statue (Weight: 2)
    • The total Weight of all objects a character can carry is equal to his strength
    • Characters beginning with weapons treat their Weight as 1 less than normal.
    • Characters beginning with helmet/sheild/armor treat their Weight as 1 less than normal.
  4. Craft/Character advantage for Spells
    • Characters with a Craft of 8 or greater can have 4 spells
    • Characters beginning with spells are natural wizards and can hold one more spell than their Craft normally allows
  5. Spirit - a new attribute comparable to Strength and Craft
    • Used to fight off demons and draining magics
    • A character normally has a maximum of four lives
      • A character with a Spirit of 5 or 6 may have up to five lives
      • A character with a Spirit of 7 or 8 may have up to six lives
      • A character with a Spirit of 9 or greater may have up to seven lives
  6. Hit Points - a replacement for Lives
    • The difference between Combat or Psychic Combat totals (after all modifications and die rolls are made) are inflicted to the combatant with the lower roll.
    • If a Troll character (Craft:1) rolls a 3 in Psychic Combat and is facing a Shade (Craft:3) that rolls a 4. Troll total is 4, Shade total is 7 so the Troll suffers 3 (7-4) points of damage. If the Shade rolled another 4 (total of 3) and if fighting the Archmage (Craft:5) would rolled a 6 (total 11) then the Shade suffers 7 points of damage (11-4).
    • Characters could have 10 to 15 hit points.
    • Enemies could have 1 to 20 hit points.
  7. Special Abilities and Balancing Characters - Some characters are far stronger than others and there are two solutions to this...
    • Strengthening the weak characters by fusing a few of them together. A Sprite, Monk, or Prophetess as very powerful compared to many others but is equalled by a Martial Artist/Ninja, Elf/Samurai, Hobgoblin/Assassin, Halfling/Spy, Leprechaun/Rogue, Troll/Witchdoctor, Dark Elf/Inquisitor, or an Amazon/Swordman (uh Swordswoman).
    • Weakening the strong characters by making them "buy" their more powerful special abilities or requiring a sacrifice to use a special ability.
      • The Dwarf gains a bonus to his roll in the Mines or Crypt if he enters the Cave, Crags, or Chasm (+1 bonus for each one he visits).
      • The Scout sacrifices a spell or point of Craft to hide a place.
      • The Sprite might have to spend 7 points of monsters to always have 1 spell and later spend 14 points of monsters to always have 2 spells.
Regional Decks
You can encounter a Dragon in the allegedly easier Outer Region. You can run across a pitiful creature like a Goblin in the Middle Region where it is supposed to be more challenging. A simple solution...

  1. Each "card" is divided into one of three classes of power: Weak, Moderate, and Powerful.
  2. When in the Outer Region you draw from the weak deck. What items you can find are not very powerful but you do not have to fight Liches, Dragons, and other lethal enemies either.
  3. When in the Middle Region you draw from the moderate deck. The enemies and Events are more challenging but the rewards are more valuable.
  4. When in the Inner Region you will encounter the deadliest creatures, the most powerful Events, and have a chance at the greatest treasures.
    • Also in the Inner Region deck are cards based on the Inner Region of the original game (Crypt, Werewolf Den, Dice with Death, etc).
    • One of the cards in the Inner Region deck is the Black Fortress. This special place cannot be affected by spells, Events, or anything else. If a character enters its space and he has a Talisman he can enter the Black Fortress and confront the Dark Wizard.
  5. This option would seem to work well with giving characters hit points instead of Lives since one is unlike to face an opponent vastly more powerful than himself unless he enters the Middle or Inner Region without building himself up first (and then it's his fault)>
The New Enemy
Dark Enchantments and Coping with Them

  1. The main enemy in the Dark Talisman is now the Dark Wizard. There are a new class of Events - called Dark Enchantments - that represent him casting spells to weaken those that would dare attack him. Dark Enchantments are basically permanent Events. A partial list:
    • Rage: All enemies have a +2 bonus to their rolls
    • Madness: there is a 50% chance that any Stranger you encounter attacks you! (Strength 3)
    • Drain: all characters have their Strength and Craft lowered by 1 (to a minimum of 1).
    • Greed: all goods/services costs are now doubled!
    • Storm: when a 1 is rolled for movement the player loses the turn instead
    • Fear: all characters are barred from entering the City, Village, or Royal Castle
    • Unluck: all characters are treated as Good or Evil when either is a disadvantage
    • Anti-Magic: the number of spells characters are allowed is lowered by 2
  2. Maybe if all 13 Dark Enchantments are in play the Dark Wizard wins the game and all the players lose! Definitely would speed things up a bit (players wouldn't risk going through the entire deck)!
  3. Dealing with Dark Enchantments
    • Cast the Dispel Enchantment spell or discard the Scroll of Light to destroy the Dark Enchantment of your choice
    • The White Witch can discard two spells to destroy any single Dark Enchantment
    • The Hourglass can be sacrificed to place all Dark Enchantments or Events in play or the discard pile back into the deck (which is then reshuffled).
Events Revisited
Hosers and the Siren

  1. No more begin at the complete mercy of the cards and the die
    • If Toaded you can discard a spell or a Magic Mirror (Magic Object) to prevent it.
    • If attacked by the Slavers or Raiders instead of just loosing everything you could fight them!
    • A player should always have an option and a possibility of escape from every situation, did we learn nothing from James T Kirk?
  2. Something has to be done with the Siren. Many character have immunity to her power as a special ability and since she only causes the loss of a turn then this is the weakest, most pathetic excuse for a special ability in the game. Two solutions present themselves: Strength and Diversity.
    • Increase the power of the Siren (thereby making immunity to her worth something) to... Siren sings for 1-6 turns, during this time all human characters cannot move, cast spells, or defend themselves (automatically lose all Combat and Psychic Combats with other players). Human followers lose all special abilities during this time as well.
    • Or add three new cards
      • Siren: All humans instantly lose 1 Life
      • Faerie Judgement: All human lose 1 Spell or 1 Craft.
      • Orc Bandits: All humans lose 2 Objects, 2 Gold, or 1 Life.
Enemies and Combat
Hunters, Stalkers, and Extended Combat

  1. Hunters - You can't sneak past them!
    • Moving through a Hunting monster's square without fighting them is impossible since they are on the lookout for others.
    • An Example: The Warrior rolls a 2 and 2 spaces away is the Royal Castle (he needs healing) so normally he'd just move there. Now let's say that the Goblin Gang (Strength 3 - Hunting) is in the space between them. Now the Warrior moves to the Goblin Gang square and must fight them! If he wins he can rest (stay in the same square) or continue his movement.
  2. Stalkers - You can't run from them!
    • A fast monster like an Air Elemental or a Wolf Pack can outrun any adventurer. If a character leaves an area containing a Stalking Monster the monster will follow him to his new area qhere he can encounter it again and again!
    • Even Stalking monsters will not follow a character into the City, Village, Church, Tavern, Temple, Royal Castle, or Cursed Glade!
    • An enemy with low Strength/Craft might be left behind in the Marsh/Maze.
  3. Extended Combat - You can't beat them in a day!
    • You've just lost a combat and your Enemy (or another Character) is still in your area. You can decide not to move and to attack them instead!
    • This allows two adversaries to fight to the death if they want or (if the hit points rule is used) allows for faster combat since multiple battle might be needed to destroy a monster.
Miscellaneous Stuff
A few final (finally!) thoughts..

  1. Maybe one traitorous character actually gets stronger when Dark Enchantments are in play, his goal is to destroy all the other players since he really works for the Dark Wizard!
  2. Some treasures/items are too powerful to be justed randomly encountered.
    • This list includes armor, Talismans, any item that gives a +2 bonus to anything, movement items, the Staff of Mastery, and the worst offender...the Wand of Magic (endless spells)
    • These items can only be gained by quests or special want the Wand of Magic...defeat the Dragon Prince. You need a Talisman then return the Lost Child to the Village.
  3. There is only one real Talisman! Only the first one a player reveals is real, the others are just flawed copies.
    • The real talisman cannot be destroyed by any force in the game. If "destroyed" at reappears in the Village and can be bought for 3 gold.
    • The Witch, Warlock, Mystic, or Alchemist can remove a flaw from a Talisman for four gold (but these new unflawed Talismans can still be destroyed).

That's a Wrap Folks

Ok, I'm done. I'm very interested in what you have to say so please email me, Roy Smith , with any ideas and suggestions you have. And thanks.