This guide was first posted on Steam in October 2013, when the game was first launched on Early Access.
There are many perils and suprises waiting for you on your quest for the Crown. It's too dangerous to go alone. Read on if you wish to live.
Introduction: Have you heard of the Crown of Command?
Congratulations! If you are reading this guide, then that means you're one of the lucky few who have decided to pick up this marvelous video game of a board game. With that said, the rules and gameplay of this game mirror the rules of the board game. So if you ever decide to get the actual board game, then you'll already have a nice running start on it. If you already have Talisman at home, then there is no real reason for you to read this guide, because you probably already know everything there is to know. In fact, those of you with the board game already have knowledge of what to expect from the various expansions.
To put it simply, the goal of Talisman is to make it to the center space of the board, the Crown of Command, and then to promptly put all of you opponents 6 feet under. Sound easy? If so, then you definately need to read on. I hope I don't end up scaring a few of you away.
Gameplay: A great oversimplification of thingsYou begin your epic quest for the Crown as a simple adventurer. Through trial and bloodshed you will become a force of power so great that even the Gods will take notice of you. Or you will end up in a pool of your own blood as some upstart makes an example of you.
Quite often, you will be asked to draw a card, an Adventure Card specifically. Whatever is on the Adventure card is what you encounter in the space you land in. Some spaces ask you to draw more than one card, all of which must be encountered unless you are stopped prematurely. You will find enemies to fight, people to meet, and many places of great interest. The land of Talisman is ever changing. There's no telling what you'll come across.
But, before you begin on your quest, we must first find out who you are.
Characters: Who will you be today?In these humble beginnings, there are a total of 14 characters to choose from in Talisman. All of these unique individuals have special strengths and weaknesses, none of which are inherintly superior or inferrior to others. Using standard Talisman rules, all players must have their character chosen at random.
Let's take a look at who's who, shall we?
Stats: All these numbers make my head hurt!Looking at the stats and all those numbers won't mean a thing unless you know what they're used for, right? Well then, let's learn about those numbers.
Strength - The physical prowess of your character and the basis for all physical combat. This number, plus modifiers (spells, objects, etc.), plus a d6 roll determines your attack in a fight. More on combat later. Strength is represented by a red circle in game.
Craft - The mental prowess of your character and the basis for all psychic combat. This number, plus modifiers (spells, objects, etc.), plus a d6 roll determines your attack in a fight. More on combat later. This number also determines how many spells you can carry at one time. You need a Craft of 3 to carry one spell, 4 for two spells and 6 and above for three. You cannot have more than three spells at a time. Craft is represented by a blue circle in game.
Lives - The physical endurance of your character. Any effect on any card that says heal will not increase your lives above this printed amount. There is no limit to how many Lives you can gain from card effects. Lose all your Lives, and you are dead. Death is only permanent when there is at least one character on the Crown of Command. Otherwise, you will respawn at your starting location, just as you started the game. Lives is represented by a green circle in game.
Gold - The spending power of your character. The more Gold you have, the more you can buy from the various markets and the Blacksmith. There are also encounters that offer you Spells for gold, amongst other things. Gold is represented by an orange circle in game.
Start - The space in which you start the game on. If you are killed and there are no characters on the Crown of Command, at the beginning of your next turn you will respawn on this same space.
Alignment - The overall disposition of your character's personality. There are three alignments: Good, Neutral, and Evil. Alignment comes into play on certain spaces (such as the Chapel and Graveyard) and some items cannot be picked up by characters of certain alignments.
The Board: Care for a guided tour?
Adventure Cards: The nouns that make you verbDon't think I'm going to send you out into the world blindly! You see all those Adventure Cards? You won't believe what you'll turn up out there.
There are six different types of cards you can end up drawing. These are: Enemies, Objects, Events, Followers, Strangers and Places.
EnemiesIf you thought the other players were going to be your only opponents, think again!
ObjectsYou'll need some equipment and trinkets to help you out along the way. Objects are either magical or mundane. Mundane Objects can be purchased while Magic Objects tend to have special properties.
EventsFor better or for worse, Events have potentially global effects that can affect all players.
FollowersRobin Hood needs his band of Merry Men, right? You can create a party of your very own with Followers.
StrangersPeople you meet along your journey that want to accompany an adventurer are Followers. People who are happy staying where they are right now are Strangers.
PlacesSpecial locations of interest are Places. These Places can either help you on your expidition, impede your progress, or do nothing at all, depending on your luck.
There is no limit to the number of Adventure Cards that can be in one space. If there are equal to or more cards than the space requires you do draw, you do not draw any Adventure cards.
If there are multiple Adventure Cards on one space, they must be encountered in order of importance, noted on each card as a number in a green circle to the right of the card type.
Order of importance is encountered in order from lowest number to highest.
1 = Event
2 = Strength Enemy
3 = Craft Enemy
4 = Stranger
5 = Object and Follower
6 = Place
Combat: The pointy end goes into the other guy, right?It wouldn't be a game if there wasn't any healthy (or unhealthy) competition, would it? Throughout the course of your travells, you'll come across dangerous animals, mythical beasts, and a few shady characters.
When you draw an Enemy Adventure Card, you must engage it in a fight, either through battle (Strength) or psychic combat (Craft), depending on the nature of the creature you're fighting.
Character inventory is public knowledge, so you can take a look at what everyone else has at any time.
Level Up!So what the heck are you supposed to do with Trophies? They're not just for showing off and bragging rights. You can turn your Trophies into Strength or Craft points that are added to your character's base stat!
Also, it's important to note that you do not get Trophies from defeating Enemies that are part of the board itself, or are a result from another card. I am refering to the Sentinel, Tavern Farmer, Forest Brigand, Crags Spirit, Werewolf, Pitfiend and others like the Dragon or Goblin in the Cave.
Magic: Less of a gathering, more of a threatSpells are a great way to provide yourself a major boost at just the right time, recover from a near-death experience, or show another player just how much you love them (sarcasm).
You need to have a Craft of at least 3 to have a Spell. With 4 Craft, you can hold two, and 6 or more Craft allows you to hold a whopping three Spells. There is no way to have more than three Spells at one time. Cast a spell by clicking on it several times while it has a glowing blue border. The border indicates that the spell can be cast. You can prepare a spell by clicking on it several times. You will see the card be edged upward, this indicates that the spell is prepared. While prepared, the spell will automatically be cast at the earliest possible instant.