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
[5 of 5 Stars!]