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Talisman: Quest for the Crown

By Umbrella Incorporated

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?

Every adventurer and hero aspires for greatness. Some have greatness thrust upon them. Some have to reach out and take it. This story deals with the latter.

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 things

You 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.

Welcome to the land of Talisman. A land frought with danger and wonder. The first thing you need to understand is what you're looking at.

Confused? Overwhelmed? Intimidated? You should be. Just kidding. You start by rolling a six-sided die (refered to as d6 from now on), moving your piece across the board, and following the instructions of the space you land on. There is no set in stone direction you must go. You may move in one direction this turn and the other direction on the next.

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.

Thankfully though, you have the option to choose who you want as well as who you will be up against. At first glance, the special abilities won't make much sense unless you read the rest of the guide. It's best to begin the game with random characters just to get a feel for what each can do.

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.

Fate - The amount of luck your character has. Every time you roll a d6 for anything (movement, attack, armor, praying, etc.) you may spend one of your fate to reroll the d6. You must accept the new roll, even if it turns things for the worse. You may only reroll once per roll situation, meaning you can't keep spending Fate and rerolling your movement to get to a space you want, only once (until you roll again). You also can only reroll one d6 even if you are required to roll more than one. There is no limit to how much Fate you can have. Fate is represented by a purple 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?

This vast countryside will be your playground during your stay in the land of Talisman.

Man, my feet are tired just looking at all these! For a refresher of the board overall:

Adventure Cards: The nouns that make you verb

Don'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.


If you thought the other players were going to be your only opponents, think again!

When encountering enemies, combat is initiated unless you can evade them. More on combat later. Killing Enemies turns them into Trophies.


You'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.

You can only carry a total of four items at once. If you want to pick up something extra, you need to drop something to make room for it. Objects do not have to be picked up when encountered. Depending on your Alignment, some Objects can't be taken.


For better or for worse, Events have potentially global effects that can affect all players.

All events are discarded once their effects end, usually immediately.


Robin Hood needs his band of Merry Men, right? You can create a party of your very own with Followers.

Followers can be dropped on any space during your turn for any reason. Followers do not have to be taken when encountered. Some must be taken.


People 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.

Some Strangers disappear immediately after their work is done. Some hang around until they are destroyed by a Spell or other card effect.


Special 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.

Not all places must be encountered.

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.

Combat is fairly straight forward. Your stat (Strength or Craft) plus any modifiers (Objects, Spells, Followers, etc.) plus one d6 makes your total attack. The enemy responds with their stat plus one d6. If there is more than one enemy of the same type, their Strength or Craft will be combined.

Whoever has the higher attack is the winner. If you win, the Enemy is killed and you may take them as a Trophy. If the enemy is victorious, you will lose one of your Lives. If there is a tie, the round is considered a standoff.

If the enemy is not killed, they will remain in the space that they were encountered in, ready to be fought by the next character that lands on the space. It is generally a good idea to hold onto your Fate to use during combat to change the outcome, if the odds are favorable.

When you land on a space that is occupied by another character, you can choose to encounter them instead of the space. Combat is held in the exact same manner. The winner then gets the choice to force the loser to lose one of their Lives, or they can choose to take an Object of their choice or take one Gold. Some characters can instigate psychic combat with other characters.

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!

Just take a gander at your Trophies and select the ones that have a total point value that add up to 7. Trade in 7 Strength worth of Trophies to gain a point of Strength for yourself. Same process with Craft.

Can't match 7 exact and have a total of 10? Wait a bit for a 4 to come around and trade in all 14 for 2 points. Unlike most other games, the more powerful you become, the easier it is to level up!

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 threat

Spells 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.


Someone's got something shiny but you're too much of a wimp to take it from them by force? Cast this spell as you shout, "YOINK!!"


Someone's got that smug look on their face as they try to put the hurt on you with a spell. You just smirk back. Denied!


This spell is good for destroying Adventure Cards on the board that are either hindering you, or helping your opponents. Good for destroying the Healer while on your way to the Crown.


Knowing what the next 5 Adventure Cards will be can be handy, but there are much better spells out there.


For the times when you have more blood outside your body then in, or if you want to watch two bitter rivals continue to pummel each other. You don't have any friends.


Nothing says ,"Don't tread on me." more than losing a life. This is a great spell if you know where someone is heading to and you want to make them think twice about it.


You need to prep this card before the beginning of the character's turn that you want to stop. Then select them as the target of the spell. Unless they have a Counterspell, they lose a turn.


Cast this spell on yourself if you know you're going to be attacked by another character or if you are forced to land on a space with an Enemy you know you can't defeat.


Overloaded with gear and someone else has a Mule? Use this nifty spell on it and their *** is YOURS! Pun intended. Damn censors.


A much better substitution for the middle finger when an opponent just so happens to gain their full compliment of spells. If up against multiple spellcasters, use this on the one that has the hardest time getting their spells back.


Got your heart set on taking out a certain Enemy but some other jerk beats you to the punch? Cast this sucker on it and duck for cover...because something is probably going to be thrown at you.

Psionic Blast

Suddenly you can fight as well as you can think! Great for when a brute thinks you'll be easy pickings or when you just need that little extra 'oomph.'


Do I feel lucky? Luckier than him, I bet. Might as well cast it on yourself if you have nothing to lose. This is one of the more rage-inducing Spells.


For when you absolutely have to be there NOW! Great for catching up to a victim, snagging the last point from a pool, or making a quick getaway.

Temporal Warp

Got an unfair advantage you want to make insurmountable? Lagging behind and need to catch up? This is the Spell for you. And, for the love of God, please stop singing Time Warp.
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