Talisman - Tips

Talisman 2nd Edition Hints, Suggestions, and Strategies

This page gives hints, suggestions, and strategies for playing particular Talisman characters. In particular it covers:

Are some characters more powerful than others?


Abusive Combinations


Are some characters more powerful than others?

Date: 11 March 1993

Some people don't think so - in that every character *can* win, luck being such a big part of the game. It certainly seems that for most characters, by the end of the game it's the "stuff" you've acquired during the game (objects, followers, extra strength and craft) that matter, not your special abilities (except possibly for spell-cycling ("always have a spell"), which seems very powerful).

Others think there's a definite split between "strong" and "wimpy" characters. The LondonTowne Gaming Gang splits characters into the Tough and Wimp decks, and lets each player choose one of 3 randomly-dealt Tough characters, with the option of choosing any character from the Wimp deck. Their Tough characters include: Amazon, Astronaut, Astropath, Centaur, Chainsaw Warrior, Cyborg, Dark Elf, Elf, Gypsy, Gladiator, Highlander, Knight, Leprechaun, Monk, Ninja, Philosopher, Prophetess, Soldier, Sprite, Swashbuckler, Swordsman, Troll, Valkyrie, Warrior, Warrior of Chaos, Wizard, Woodsman, Zulu.

Rick Heli's group rates the characters as follows:

Weak: Amazon, Druid, Ghoul, Halfling, Highlander, Hobgoblin, Martial Artist, Minstrel*+, Orc, Pilgrim, Pirate, Priest+, Ranger, Samurai, Satyr, Thief*, Warrior

Average: Archaeologist, Assassin, Astronaut, Barbarian, Centaur, Chemist[H], Collector[H], Conjurer, Cyborg, Dark Elf, Dragonlord[H], Dwarf, Elf, Gladiator, Inquisitor, Leprechaun, Merchant*, Minotaur, Necromancer, Ninja, Rogue*, Saracen, Scientist, Scout, Soldier, Space Marine, Space Pirate, Sprite, Spy, Swashbuckler, Swordsman, Torturer[H], Warrior of Chaos, Witch Doctor, Woodsman, Zulu

Powerful: Astropath, Chainsaw Warrior, Gipsy, Knight*, Mechanician[H], Monk, Philosopher, Prophetess, Sage[H], Sorceress*, Troll, Valkyrie, Wizard

* means becomes more powerful with more players

+ means becomes more powerful with additional rules (Heli's rules for these particular characters; see previous sections).

[H]is a special character invented by Rick Heli's group; for details, contact Rick.Heli@eng.sun.com.


Date: 11 March 1993

The dwarf seems weak to some people, but, if he is lucky enough to gain an extra few points of craft before others get very powerful, can try for a quick win via the Craft route because of his Special Abilities 4 and 5.

Abusive Combinations

From: jdean@nmsu.edu (Jonathan Dean), gitzlaff@uxa.cso.uiuc.edu (Jim Gitzlaff), bl375@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Brian G. Greenberg) Date: 23 Jun 1993 15:44:59 GMT

Sometimes characters get one or two cards that make them nearly invincible or untouchable. For example:

1.The Ghoul with the Runesword. The Ghoul will gain a life at the end of almost every combat.

2.The Valkyrie with the Champion. If the Valkyrie does want to fight she puts forth the Champion. If he dies then she picks him up as a follower again. Thus, she does not need to fight any non-psychic battle.

3.The Astropath with a chameleon suit. If the Astropaths inate ability to evade fails then it has the chameleon suit to fall back on.

4.The Conjurer High-Mage. Always has two spells and can discard one spell while casting another. Eventually he will get the Finger of Death spell. "I cast Finger of Death at you and throw away Alchemy." We limited him to casting one Finger of Death per encounter...

5.The Sprite (or other always-has-a-spell character) with the Familiar. Minimum of two spells at all times, and gets to examine the top three (!) each time one is cast. Limit them a bit by placing the 2 unclaimed spells back on the unused pile, not the discard.

6.The Scientist with the Ancient Artifact. Actually, this seems to be part of his design. He'd get +4 in every combat - but starts off quite weak.

It may not be necessasry to "tone down" these combinations. Particular cards "will appear eventually" only if the game goes on for a long time or there are a lot of players - there are a *lot* of adventure cards if you have all the expansions (275 according to numbers in the FAQ). If they occur very late, other characters may have already become quite powerful before the "abusive" one gets this chance. Also there may well be some way to take the object or follower away - Mesmerism, theft, defeating the character in combat or psychic combat.


Date: 20 October 1994

From: David Wildstrom

Hide both dungeon doors, and whenever a stream of life, magic stream, or fountain of wisdom pops up, hide it. You can get all the strength, wisdom, or life from the waterays to yourself, and you have your own little "hideaway" (the dungeon). You need the hideaway because as soon as you start hiding things, the other players are going to focus all their abilities on killing you.

If you are looking for new or used boardgames, please visit Funagain Games.

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Copyright © 1996 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Trier, Germany