Please Note - We sell both the Fantasy Flight and the Pegasus version of this game through this product. The version you receive will be dependent on the stock we're currently holding in our warehouse.
Enter a mythic world of dragons and sorcery! In Talisman, the classic fantasy adventure board game for two to six players, you’ll embark on a perilous quest for the legendary Crown of Command. You’ll choose the warrior, priest, wizard, or one of eleven other heroes with powers both magical and mighty, and you’ll race your opponents through a perilous realm. Each player rolls a die to determine his movement around the regions of the board, where he encounters dangerous foes and claims powerful rewards, all in preparation for his final climactic test. Ages 13+, 2-6 players, 90 minutes playing time.
Talisman, published by Pegasus Spiele (alongside popular tabletop giant Games Workshop), is an RPG-based board game set in the high fantasy world of Talisman. Players assume the role of a hero, dedicated to claiming the Crown of Command before their rivals and ruling all of Talisman how they see fit.
Players will travel across the land of Talisman, building their characters and searching for a fabled Talisman amulet to grant them access to the Crown of Command. They will encounter many different events through an adventure deck, be it a creature to fight, a witch to seek aid from, or a font of magical power to siphon. Other heroes also pose a risk; crossing paths with one may lead to a challenging fight! If you’re a fan of roleplaying games in particular, look forward to a love note to the genre’s origins in Talisman.
Each player will be assigned a hero at random from a pre-set selection. You will then set up the board, and place the relevant decks and token pools next to it. Each player is given tokens to match their ‘life’ and ‘fate’ scores, 1 gold piece, and their hero figure.
As stated, the goal of Talisman is to reach the Crown of Command before any of those pesky friends of yours get their grubby hands on it. You accomplish this by moving from the outer region to the middle region via raft, teleportation, or other means. From this region, you’ll need to head to the inner region, which is only achievable by possessing a Talisman object. Each region grows smaller in distance but larger in difficulty the further inwards you travel. The final region forgoes dice movement, only allowing players to move to the next adjacent space along the path to the Crown.
Playing the Game
Players will then take it in turns to roll a dice and move that many spaces in any direction. Each space you land on will give you info on what to do there; draw from the adventure deck, roll a dice to see what happens, and so on. Play continues like this as players build up their heroes’ stats, seek out a ‘Talisman’ object, and find a way into the next region on the board. Once a player reached the Crown of Command space in the centre, the endgame ensues – a race to usurp that player, or die without revival and be removed from the game for good.
There are plenty of different ways to move from region to region, as well as lots of different ways to claim Talisman objects. This means no matter where you are in the game, or what number of playthrough you’re on, a new opportunity will be just round the corner to advance in the game.
Feel of the Game
Talisman is a game that invokes feelings of '90s fantasy nostalgia in me. ‘Classic’ fantasy is often the watchword these days, and it absolutely delivers on that. The artwork and the theme of the story and text on certain cards is reminiscent to ‘Choose your Own Adventure’ books and games, a good example being Escape the Dark Castle. Even the combat mechanic is almost identical to that genre; roll dice, add dice and ability scores together, compare. Short, sweet, satisfying.
The gameplay itself is also especially reminiscent of a ‘classic’ board game; you have your playing piece, you roll a dice to move spaces, and things happen upon doing so. A tried and tested method, and certainly one that almost anybody can grasp quite easily whatever the theme may be. This game also has a very strong following and expansion count, as it’s been around for a long time. That means plenty of chance to broaden the games horizons with house rules and extra bits and bobs!
Talisman is a well-rounded, satisfying board game that absolutely lives up to its ‘classic’ claim. It provides an evening of immersive, dice-rolling, RPG fun and doesn’t over-complicate things with over the top rules and paperwork. It’s certainly a staple for a board game lover who’s a fan of RPGs, especially one who grew up in the '90s, and is a great infection vector for people new to the genre. Even converts from the limited world of games such as Monopoly will find plenty of things here to skate into the wider universe of board games and on. Sometimes the luck of the dice and the draw combined will feel like the game is poorly balanced or far too brutal. While that can certainly sometimes be the case, I’ve found it’s thankfully quite a rare occurrence that’s mitigated with Fate, and the ability to start afresh with a new hero.
It’s a game with almost boundless replayability; just the core game itself has offered so much of this that I still haven’t seen every adventure card, and my playthroughs are well into the teens now. With the addition of many different expansions, that replayability grows exponentially. Talisman is an RPG staple that any avid board gamer and RPG player would appreciate on their shelf for many years.