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Talisman Adventures Fantasy Roleplaying Game €20,56
Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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Talisman Adventures Fantasy Roleplaying Game
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Talisman Adventures Fantasy Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Pegasus Press
by Wayne R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/04/2020 11:19:35

Fantastic system and content, well worth the money!

I usually end up getting frustrated by small rules which aren't logical or cumbersome for no real benefit, not so in Talisman and I love that about it!

There are a few minor errata issues and the odd clarity of rules issue, but on a whole for a document of this size and content, it's stella.

Some minor things I think could have been improved on are:

  • A basic table providing a "suggested" number of from X to Y for The Realm map, just...something to make the wonderful map more immediately useable to new GM's.
  • Maybe include a battlemap for the documented battle scene in the Graveyard instead of an area (outside the Ancient Tomb) which will likely never be used.
  • The way armour works (which is very cool!) is described in a less than ideal fashion, I think that's the only part of the book I had to re-read over and over until I got it...and I'm still not sure I do. I think an example here would do wonders as it's quite a unique system.
  • It made me sad that no Gnome Follower was listed (though there are a lot listed as well as fantatsic rules to create them) when a listed background choice includes one. :(

As you can see for a 300 page pdf, the is very little to complain about, not an easy task for a game designer.

Anyway, I highly recommend people check it out, especially those, who like me, maybe though it was going to be a gimmiky system cashing in on the Talisman brand.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Talisman Adventures Fantasy Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Pegasus Press
by Ben T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/23/2020 06:19:06

I normally don't review, but I felt the need to do so.

This is really solid stuff. I had honestly no hope for this when this first appeared on my radar when Games Workshop robbed Fanatasy Flight of the license, gave it to Everybody else, but took Horus Heresy away from Steam, and uploaded a Talisman Adventure file for sale that was nothing but a few kilobytes photo. I thought this was going to be lazy and thoughtless, and like another reviewer said, just be an OSR clone of DND

My mind was blown. Talisman is a very aggressive PvP game, so I didn't expect to mesh well with playing nice with others, but wow. They took some peoples least favorite characters and made them into compelling classes and ancestries. The Rolling system as some have said feels like Powered by the Apocalypse, with the GM rolling no dice at all, and but you’re going for a target number with 3d6 dice with degrees of success shown by getting past the number alone, or getting doubles or triples as you pass, rather then a range of numbers. One of the Dice is a Kismet Dice, you get light fate if you roll a six and the GM gets a dark one if you roll a 1. Magic is really solid, a nice hybrid of Vancian magic and spell points, that allows you to recast magic if you have spell points, but allows you to burn your memory for increased effect, or sometimes if you stumble you lose the spell. You can rememorize spells but that takes a lot of time, a nice balancing act take on the random card spell system of the board game

Your Ancestry and Class work nicely too. Ancestries avoid the worst of the dnd “plus/minus” system, while being flavorful and clever. Your stats are your class, and you get to chose points in substats based on your stats and your ancestry so it’s not a random nightmare, and while some ancestries have limits at game start, nothing limits a troll from being a good wizard.

The setting is nothing truly new if you follow the boardgame videogame adaptations, but some takes are neat. Love the wasteland theme, it is some what kind of like a greener, more life substanting post-apocalyptic world, or a very cramped “Points of Light” setting from DND 4. I like the balanced take on cosmology, and good and evil. The roleplaying hints for playing an evil person, and in a mixed party, are very nice and useful, Pathfinder and DND would expect you to buy whole books on “good” and “evil” for such advice.

Only downside are some typos and missing things, The Prophet class lacks a unique spell book, unlike all the others even if the description says it’s unique to them, and the Dwarf lacks a Gnome Follower, but these are things that can be fixed with FAQs and updates.

I rate it 5/5. It’s not doing anything truly new or revolutionary, but it is a solid blend of narrative and old school dungeon crawling, and I cheerfully await content with more classes and ancestries. Djinn and Necromancers, anyone?

As an ending note, I think this a perfect rpg for older children or teens who might be put off by some of the games made just for them, or for anybody new to the hobby. It’s a readable system that is not holding anything back, but is easy enough to pick up, with a setting that is not overly grim or adult, but is living and fanciful



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Talisman Adventures Fantasy Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Pegasus Press
by Luke A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/19/2020 01:48:27

I guess I'm a hater or stupid or a stupid hater.

Lots of folks seem to like this product. I like the system but the book feels incomplete to me. I'll give a couple of examples below, if i've missed something and comments are allowed please leave one and let me know where i've gone astray or leave something in the comments for the product.

First is the setting and map. The map has no scale. I don't know if the Realm is about as big as the UK, Maui or China. How many days does it take to ride a horse across it?
Many key features/people are just given bland nouns as names ... the Wizard, the King, the Realm, the City, the Chapel, etc. If someone in the US references 'the city' they're likely talking about New York but it has a name - New York. I understand the RPG is based off a board game but it leaves the setting feeling flavorless and infects reading the history of the setting with the same.

I read the listing of ancestries (races) was was excited - ghouls, trolls, leywalkers (satyrs) and sprites along with the usual ones. Tiny characters are extremely difficult to balance so I was excited to take a look at the sprite. A general description is given - ok. No average or bounded height or weight were given. Are these sprites human size i asked myself and they have unlimited flight - that's very strong. I re-read the entry thinking I missed something - nope - no indication at all of mass or any kind of equipment restriction. I searched the art for clues and found one piece of art showing a sprite next to other characters. They look to be 6 to 8 inches tall. But no listings are given for equipment restrictions or specialized equipment for sprites. Yes, this can all be adjudicated by some common sense but i know one of my players would make a sprite with a greatsword argue it should deal full damage. I'd point out it'd be smaller than a table knife and then they'd state it's still a greatsword and I'd have to overrule it. As consumers we're paying for a set of rules to shape the game we're participating in.

There is no flavor or personality given to any of the greater powers in the game that a priest or prophet class would devote themselves to just 'light' and 'darkness' or the 'On High'. Nothing else. The restrictions for the priest also gives me flashbacks to the pacifist healer feat from D&D 4e shudder.

It was a bit of a 'death of a thousand cuts' situation for me. There are other small issues but i don't want to write an essay as a review.

I really like the d6 system all this was built on though. However, the above issues give me pause about even running a one shot with this game. As it is i'm cancelling my pre-order for the hardcopy.

If i've missed something please leave a comment if possible. I wanted to like this product, maybe it's just not for me.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Talisman Adventures Fantasy Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Pegasus Press
by Daymon M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/11/2020 11:43:55

The balance of narrative gaming and chance are done with great effect. The only thing that brings the game down for me is the armor and wounds. It adds a level of crunch that feels unnecessary. I guess I'm too old school in that I still prefer hit points. I feel that Black Hack 2nd Edition has a lighter system that would fit what they were going for. Regardless this is a great game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Talisman Adventures Fantasy Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Pegasus Press
by John G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/01/2020 03:15:25

This book was a pleasant surprise. Not for the layout and art, which I expected to be quality, but the system. It is Powered by the Apocalypse in the sense that it is player-facing with Moves, but these are rolled with a 3d6 vs target number: the threat or challenge facing the player. Rather than 6-, 7-9, 10+ or whatever variant, the success level of the Move comes from beating the target number (success with complications), doing so with two die faces matched (no complication) or all three (heightened outcome or a benefit). This is a way to handle scale of difficulty via variable target number, different to the solutions I see in other modern variants (build a die pool, keep one die). One of the three dice is the Kismet die, it earns the player a token of metacurrency (light side) on '6' but gives the GM a dark token on '1'. The Moves themselves are sufficiently distinctive and flavorful so that the genre is baked into the rules. Overall the ruleset has a fairly traditional elaboration for the combat and injury side of things, which is obviously essential for the genre, but synthesized with the above narrative-leaning resolution procedure the game reads like an aesthetically pleasing trad-narrative hybrid. I had expected something more OSR but this is a welcome direction. I look forward to see how Pegasus Press handles any suppplemental material for this game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Talisman Adventures Fantasy Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Pegasus Press
by Arthur R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/29/2020 07:00:04

I'm going to be editing this as I dive through the book.

summary - Talisman Adventures RPG is a faithful representation of the board game, extending its rudimentary mechanics and transforming into a robust RPG system for longer term play. The mechanics are modern and streamlined, with elements that encourage Player Agency. The game looks to be easily hackable, without undermining too much of the implied setting or mechanical workings. It doesn't feel too difficult to expand ancestries and classes to any of the character cards from the boardgame, its expansions or your homebrew. The starting values for Strength and Craft look like they're taken directly from those cards and maybe the special abilities as well. Character creation is fast.

Why 5 stars? - Concise character sheets. Simple mechanics. Min-maxing. Easily hackable. Interesting mini-games. Good use of bookmarks. Great index. Note: At this time, the PDF is not optimized and will parse slowly regardless the platform. I didn't ding the rating because that problem is imminently solvable whereas an unbookmarked PDF is a load of additional work for the publisher.

Task Resolution Mechanics

3d6 v. Target Number. Players make all the rolls. Players and DMs alike have meta-currency to affect rolls or trigger additional results.

There are two attributes, physical and mental, or in game speak: Strength and Craft. Each attribute has 3 aspects, such as Agility and Brawn and Mettle (Strength) or Insight and Wits and Resolve (Craft).

You either have a skill or not. Each skill is tied to an aspect. If you are skilled in a task, you may add its linked Aspect to your die roll.

Degrees of success are measured by the number of die results that match. A success beats the target number. A double and Triple are degrees better. One die (the Kismet die) is a different color and on a 1 or 6 generates Dark or Light Fate. This is meta-currency the DM and Player can use to activate special abilities, influence dice rolls or change degrees of success. This is very similar to other games with Fate/Doom/Momentum mechanics and is great for groups that like more collaborative story telling or Player agency. It is also great for DMs to control the narrative as well, because they can choose when to spend this currency, instead of letting dice derail a plot or tpk a party.

Character Creation

Character creation is a 5 step process.

  1. Pick an ancestry. The game offers familiar ancestries like Human, Elf, Dwarf and three for those familiar with the board game: Ghoul, Leywalker, Sprite, Troll. Ancestries provide background skills and may cap the maximum of Strength or Craft.

  2. Pick a class. Several classes are available. They set your starting Strength and Craft, Life (Hit Points) and Starting Skills.

  3. Pick an alignment. Good. Neutral Evil.

  4. Increase Strength or Craft by 1. Then distribute a number of points equal to twice the Attribute's value to their Aspects.

  5. Pick a two additional skills or elevate a skill to a Focus. Then write down your starting gear. Focused skills provide an additional +2 to your dice rolls with that skill.

advancement

The game has a 10 level progression chart, with every level improving multiple values on the character sheet and adding additional special abilities. Most special abilities are activated when rolling a 6 on the Kismet die or when the player decides to spend Light Fate. Ancestries may limit the maximum value of either Attribute. Attributes are always half the sum of all its aspects. The game doesn't explicitly say whether an Ancestry cap means you have an Aspect cap as well, but the wording in the advancement rules implies this might be the case.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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