Talisman: The Magical Quest Game

i'm a big fan of Talisman, in particular the Revised 4th Edition. i was first introduced to it via the so-called Digital Edition on Android, and loved it so much that i ended up getting two whole physical sets (one in English, one in German, but later sold the German copy).

Many people belittle Talisman as "fantasy-themed Monopoly" because of its "roll-and-move" system. People who complain about roll-and-move in Talisman don't understand that when you're on a quest you don't get to freely go where you want. You follow the clues and, to a large extent, fate. Part of a quest is not knowing where it will lead. If you know in advance where you'll be going, it's not a quest, but a guided tour.

A surprisingly large number of long-time players of the game still enjoy the 2nd Edition, and that edition is quite easily extendible using homebrew expansions (see the resources links below). That was long before my time, though - 4E is where i live, either on the tabletop or on my tablet. (The 3rd edition was short-lived and is not widespread.)

i'm not a fan of the whole Games Workshop milieu - i find the fiction insane and the style too grim and gratuitously violent for violence's sake. Talisman is the exception to that rule. It's comparatively light-hearted. No, the game is not perfect, but it's fun. Or can be fun. In the right atmosphere. With the right group of people. Or solo (see below).

Talisman Resources

  • The obligatory photo album of my Talisman set/sessions.
  • Talismono (Google doc) is my collection of rules variants for playing Talisman solo.
  • Talisman Island is the site for all things Talisman, spanning every edition of the game. It's run by the world's most dedicated fan of the game, Jon New, and has been online since at least early 1999.
  • The Talisman forums on BoardGameGeek are fairly active.