Stepping Back In Time – Revisiting Talisman

Eighteen years ago… almost to the day now I think about it I played my last game of Talisman. It was the September Weekend, a local holiday in Scotland, in 1991 and we had just spent the Friday and Saturday playing what was to be my last ever game of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. I can’t remember exactly what happened but I had stayed over at my GM’s house on the Saturday night and we spent all day on the Sunday playing Talisman and never went back to his house after that.


Fast forward to today and I’d been invited along to my World of Warcraft guild ‘s Guild Master’s house to play in his regular Talisman game. Also playing was another friend and another WoW player. If I get this right my experience until today had been almost all 1st edition with three or four games of 2nd edition before I stopped playing. We would spend all our RPG downtime playing this game so when I walked into his house and seen the 2nd edition box sitting on the table it started to come flooding back. They use the 4th edition board with the 2nd edition cards and we also had to the 4th edition Dungeon expansion set to play with.

Flicking through the character cards before we started brought back so many memories and so I picked my favourite from all those years ago… the Dwarf. Back in the day we played the game slightly differently from how most might play it. We actually played the characters as if it was an RPG we were playing. The Dwarf would like to go to the Tavern for a drink or two and the Druid would be more likely to go to an outdoor square than one of the corner ‘civilised’ squares. so when I chose the Tavern over another square because it’s what a Dwarf would do I was told, “Hey… this isn’t an RP server”.


My game started slowly but everyone else managed to die off pretty quickly and once they were reincarnated one of the players started to surge ahead. After we realised we could survive in the Dungeon it started to heat up pretty quickly. I found myself a horse and with a strength and craft pool almost next to one another I managed to get my character a good foundation before heading for the boss. I hadn’t read much about the implications of beating the boss so once I had received my loot and we worked out where I would teleport to we soon realised that I was going straight to the Crown of Command. The end game had started and noone had even started trying to get there. My dice rolling was that bad however that by the time I won almost everyone had found a way to knock on my front door. I cut it fine but I won in the end. It was a nice way to get back into playing.

Now should I continue playing with the RPG element to my characters or play it completely as a board game?

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