Wednesday, March 13, 2013

RPG Wish List: Talisman

Books, movies, television shows and games that I wish were available as tabletop roleplaying games....

The stereotype of a group of middle school boys crowded into a wood-panelled basement rolling dice is one that I embrace fondly because it brings back the warm nostalgia of many a long, female-less weekends. We played a lot of different games, but what I remember most, and the one that I still have on my games shelf, is Talisman.
The game was a natural default because roleplaying games required someone sitting down and actually planning out an adventure; Talisman promised the same fun, but required only opening the box, sorting out all the cards and counters and then arguing about the fairest way to pick a character.

The object of the game, in a nutshell (from Wikipedia) is: "to progress through a series of regions and reach the Crown of Command. The game contains three regions: the Outer Region, the Middle Region and the Inner Region. Players start in the Outer Region and try to progress inward. The Inner Region contains the Crown of Command, the central board position. To reach the Crown of Command, players must pass through the Valley of Fire. Only characters possessing a talisman may enter the Valley of Fire, hence the name of the game."

While the board game emphasizes a P.vs.P. style play (attacking and killing your friends was encouraged many years before Munchkin), it isn't hard to see this shifting into a more campaign style play. A Big Bad has stolen the Crown of Command and will use it to cast a spell over the lands unless stopped by the intrepid band of Heroes.

It would be a fairly straightforward adventure, with a surprisingly large potential for sandbox play. Plus it would be easy for the GM to run, especially if they made ggenerous use of the monsters, equipment and encounters already contained within the game.

Suggested Supplements
The Dungeon, The City, Timescape, Dragons, Frostmarch, Highland, The Blood Moon. I'd personally incorporate my own Munchkin: Talisman rules.

Suggested Systems
OSR D&D or AD&D if you wanted to play it straight, but I personally would go with the board game's own 2nd Editions rules, which was STR+Weapon+D6 vs Monster's STR +D6 (or Craft in the event of magic or psychic monsters). For anything physical (jumping, climbing etc) roll under your STR on D6, and for anything mental (puzzles, riddles, magic etc) roll under your CRAFT on D6.

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