No. of Players:
2 - 6



Following the successful marketing strategy of interchanging small and big expansions, the newly refurbished 4th edition of all-time classic Talisman goes into the next round with yet another small expansion pack. This time the players will be allowed to splash in the waters of The Sacred Pool, and once again FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES has not stuck to any traditional Talisman-concepts, but instead the new expansion unites several concepts, ideas and improvements which are rooted in ideas expressed by various fans of the game. So, let's have a look which elements can be found if you fish in The Sacred Pool...

From the flood of over 130 new cards a few specific novelties can be singled out. A major portion of the expansion deals with the advanced introduction of mounts, and so the expansion contains a deck of 12 Stable cards which include Horses, Warhorses and a Horse & Cart. The normal Horses give their owner a quicker movement, whereas a Warhorse may give an edge in battle because the rider may add his Craft to his Strength. The Horse & Cart on the other hand give their owner space for transporting his equipment, and so they increase the maximum number of items which may be carried by their owner. Of course, the new Stable deck is anchored in the game by a number of Adventure cards dealing with mounts, and so the Adventure deck now is enriched by cards like the Animal Market or wild (Enemy) horses which may be kept after a successful combat.

Another novelty which comes with this expansion is a deck of 24 Reward cards. If you remember previous expansions, some of them contained a deck of Quest cards which could be drawn whenever a player visited the Warlock's Cave so that the variety of quests became much bigger. The Reward cards now deal with the other side of the quests, since now a player who completes a quest will not receive a Talisman but instead is allowed to draw a card from the new deck. This deck contains a wide range of benefits ranging from useful one-time effects to increases of a player's characteristics, and while it is true that it becomes a bit harder to get a Talisman by a quest it is a nice twist to get a bit of a surprise when it comes to the completion of a quest.

As it is tradition, the small box contains yet another four characters for the game, and as it seems none of these new characters has any origin in any older version of Talisman. Two of the characters are mounted, the Noble Knight and the Chaos Knight, and as it is suggested by their names the two of them are the antithesis of each other. The Chaos Knight starts the game with a Warhorse, and whenever he kills an enemy he is entitled to draw a new spell (provided his Craft rating allows). The Noble Knight on the other hand starts the game with a normal Horse, and he is not allowed to attack another player's character if he is weaker, but instead he may aid other player characters in combat against an enemy. If the assistance is successful, the Noble Knight will receive one Reward card, but he must miss a turn because it took some time to help the other character. The Cleric is deeply rooted in Fate, and so she may take a Fate counter whenever she prays and she may spend Fate instead of loosing a Life. Finally, the Magus (whose miniature unfortunately falls out of scale with all other miniatures) receives one spell at the beginning of the turn if he does not have any spells, and he may also keep Followers to help him in psychic combat. All in all, a nice combination of interesting new characters!

The expansion also included three new alternative ending cards, and here the Sacred Pool card is most noteable since is means a considerable change to the course of the game. Thus, the players must still reach the Crown of Command space to end the game, but now the game will come to an instant end as soon as the first player with at least four Reward cards reaches the Crown of Command. The Demon Lord ending challenges the players arriving at the Crown of Command to a psychic combat, and the Last Judgment ending means that a player has to roll a dice and look at a table to see whether he has won or lost. All other players have a slight possibility to influence the outcome of the diceroll, but overall this ending seems to be a rather artificial construct which has been included just for the sake of adding another ending.

If you leave this last ending card aside, the contents of the new expansion can be seen as very nice add-ons which once again mean a real enrichment of Talisman. The Stable deck and the Adventure cards dealing with mounts are a good and well-matched way to include mounts in the game, and in comparison to horses known from older editions of Talisman there is less ambiguity towards the interpretation of some of the cards. The characters and the Reward cards also offer new ways to explore the possibilities of the world of Talisman, and so the Sacred Pool certainly is a must-have for people with a liking for Talisman.

[Gamebox Index]

Google Custom Search

Impressum / Contact Info / Disclaimer


Copyright © 2011 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany