Useful tips of Talisman – Base Game: Legendary Deck for “Characters, Rules, Combat, Quests, etc.”.
1 – Battle, Psychic Combat and character encounters
It might sound obvious when written like that, but a battle isn’t a psychic combat, and a psychic combat isn’t a battle.
Pay extra attention to the wording whenever you want to use an ability in encounter: does it say battle? Or does it say psychic combat?
The re-do ability of the Amazon only works in battle
Finger of Death spell only works in battle
.. and Mind Shatter only works in psychic combat
When it works for both, it will be explicitly written on the card. For instance :
- Originally posted by Bolster spell: Cast on yourself when you are about to engage in battle or psychic combat. Roll 1 die and add the result to your attack score.
Also, character encounters are always battles (so not psychic combat), unless it is stated otherwise.
2 – Craft and craft value
Some abilities talk about adding the “craft value” in battle. This is not the current amount of craft you have, but rather, your starting craft! Craft value here means “the craft value as written on your character sheet”.
So when a Troll of craft 5 gets a Warhorse, it doesn’t add 5 in battle, but rather, just 1 point. On the other hand, a Wizard will get a +5 modifier with Warhorse, because his craft value is 5.
This craft value can change though – some Destinies as well as some Warlock rewards can increase it.
3 – Portal of Power, quests and dragon tokens
So you are ready to enter the Inner region, you have all the cards in your hand to win! You roll the dice, and.. what is this magic? The game isn’t proposing you to go the inner region, the space isn’t highlighted.
If you have an active Warlock quest, and you don’t play on the Cataclysm board, you cannot cross the Portal of Power. So you must first complete your warlock quest. This is why it’s important to ponder whether or not you should accept a quest! And that’s also why many people play with the “Replacing Quests” houserule: there can be instances where your character is blocked from going to the inner region (such as: Ninja getting the “deliver two followers” quest).
Also, if there is a dragon token on the portal of power, with a color matching the dragon king (for instance: Grillipus token when Grillipus is king), then you cannot cross Portal of Power. You have to either wait for a new king to come, or you should find a way to get rid of the token.
The same rule applies for the Sentinel space: it can’t be crossed (from outer region to middle region) if there is a dragon token of the dragon king on it.
4 – Lucky Coin and dark fate
The Lucky Coin is a Woodland item that goes like this:
Other characters cannot spend dark fate during your turn.
The obvious interpretation is that other players cannot spend dark fate to reroll your dice during your turn, but it’s actually even stronger than that!
The other players cannot spend dark fate at all as long as it’s your turn. So they cannot use any of the destinies requiring to spend dark fate, such as The Divisive
Once per round, you may spend 1 dark fate to force a character to ditch 1 Follower of your choice.
That’s only during your turn though – they can still use it during others turns.
5 – Ditching items/followers on the ground
Ditching stuff on purpose is usually rare in Talisman, but there are some situations where it might be good. You can do it before encountering a card, before encountering a space, or right before the end of your turn.
If you ditch before encountering a space, then you may not have to draw extra cards! This can be useful to recover an item without taking a chance to draw a nasty enemy. For instance, if there is a very useful item/follower on a “draw 2 cards” space, you could imagine ditching an item of yours to get that card for free without having to draw an additional card.
You can also ditch before encountering a nasty event or a nasty space. For instance, the Ice Bridge in the Highlands :
Roll 1 die and subtract the number of Followers you have.
If the score is zero or less, the bridge gives way and you are killed!
You may ditch any number of Followers before you roll the die.
If you land in there with 6 followers, are you dead? If you don’t ditch any follower, yes. But if you ditch them all, then you’re safe!
Same goes with the event Electrical Storm
All characters in this Region that have any Armour or Weapons are struck by lightning and lose 1 life.
The Storm then thunders off to the discard pile.
When you encounter it, if you wish to conserve your life because you’re in a precarious situation, you can ditch your armors and weapons.
6 – Arnkell, Cloak of Feathers and Crown of Command
That trick is known to all Talisman veteran but maybe not to you 😉
Arnkell is one of the 4 possible rewards of the Eagle King. Cloak of Feathers is also a reward from the Dungeon, but it’s harder to get than Arnkell, especially if the “Random Treasures” house rule is in place (it most often is activated in multiplayer games).
Instead of moving normally, you may discard Arnkell to teleport to any space in the same Region.
You must ditch any Followers before you move.
Moving normally here means either: rolling a dice for the move, but it can also moving 1 space per turn. So you can use it in the Inner Region to teleport to Plains of Perils to Crown of Command.
Yes, you’ve heard me correctly. You can skip through all the nasty spaces of the inner region (including the space that checks for a Talisman!!) to go directly to the crown and win.
This makes Arnkell easily one of the most powerful items of the game. If you have say 6 craft, and a “Twist of Fate” spell (allows you to choose the value of a reroll), you have fair chances to open the portal of power, and then use Arnkell.
Defeating Eagle King repeatedly to get Arnkell is actually one of the viable “classical” strategies to win a Talisman game, the other classical strategy being to defeat Lord of Darkness with a high enough score difference using Flail + Bow (+ spells or warhorse) from the City.. But I might talk about this in more depth in another guide 😉
On the other hand, Teleport spell or Flight Potion do not allow you to do this. Indeed, their text goes something like:
You may discard this potion instead of rolling the die for your movement to move to any other space in the same Region.
You do not roll the die for movement in the inner region, so you cannot use Flight Potion.
7 – Spellcasting limit and spell cycling
Spell cycling is the act of casting spells as soon as possible in order to get new fresh spells. This is usually used by characters with abilities to gain spells easily.
For instance, the Sprite:
During the game, you always have at least 2 Spells. (Whenever casting a Spell reduces your total to less than 2, draw another Spell immediately to replace it).
Spell casting in Talisman is very strong – spellcasters tend to be on the stronger side (in terms of character ranking). If you take a spellcaster such as the Sprite, it’s very important to spell cycle to make the most out of your ability.
But you can’t spell cycle indefinitely during a turn – there is an actual limit to the number of spells you can cast per turn:
If it’s your turn, you can only cast as many spells as you initially had in hand when starting the turn. So if you started your turn with 2 spells, you can only cast a maximum of 2 spells
If it’s another character’s turn, you can only cast one spell.
It is important to know about this – typically, in the digital edition, abilities like the Totem Warrior happen after the start of the turn:
At the start of your turn, you may discard 1 Totem Spirit token from your character card to either heal 1 life, replenish 1 fate, or gain 1 Spell, if your Craft allows.
This means if you have 0 spell when starting your turn, and you draw 1 spell with your totem warrior ability, you cannot use the spell right away, and need to wait 1 turn before casting it.
This is quite tricky – but it helps to pay attention to this, to prevent nasty surprises of “spells not wanting to cast”!
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