Released just in time for Christmas 2013, The Nether Realm is Talisman's first ever Print On Demand expansion and comes to you from the mind of talismanisland's Jon New himself! (http://www.talismanisland.com) Jon took an alternate ending that came out in 1986 for the 2nd Edition and built a whole expansion around it.
The Nether Realm is smaller than the traditional small box expansions we’re used to in the Talisman world, but don’t be fooled - there-in lies it’s magic. You won’t find new Characters, Spells, tokens or mechanics here. This is highly concentrated, very challenging and oh so cruel....you’ll love it.
Open the box and you’ll discover three new alternate endings and a whole new deck known as the Nether Deck from which these endings force you to draw. Any one of the 36 Nether cards will raise the hairs on the back of your neck and that’s because every one of them is brutal. Don’t expect to draw any weapons, gold or magic objects; a deck full of nothing but terror awaits the adventurer that draws from it...so be sure you are sure before you do so!
There are foul followers, like the Nether Bane which clasps itself to you and adds -believe it or not- 4 to the attack score of Enemies you fight! Pray then that the next Enemy you fight isn’t the most powerful Spirit yet to be introduced to Talisman - the Titan Wraith which has a chilling Craft of 13.
This expansion sees the introduction of the Chanters which are some of my favourite Enemies, though technically, they are Events and that is because they affect not only the player that draws them, but other characters in the game too...and not in a positive way. The pernicious Pyrochanter, for example, summons a fierce firestorm that forces a player to discard ALL of his Objects before then insisting that all other characters in the same Region lose a life. Ouch.
The three alternate endings each bring a unique scenario to the game and all of them are immensely enjoyable to play in their own right. Here’s a brief overview of them:
Pandora's Box - You’d better hope you get this ending as revealed since you are going to want to know ahead of time that this is what lies in store! If ever you need an incentive to reach the Crown first, this is it. The player who is lucky enough gets to draw 6 cards for each character in the game (including himself) and use them AGAINST his opponents! The chances of surviving this kind of assault are....well....never tell me the odds.
The Gauntlet - Players compete as normal but one Nether card is placed on each space in the Inner Region and two on the Crown of Command space itself. Forget Run the Gauntlet - quite honestly, with these cards, you’d be happy to just wade your way through and come out the other end still breathing. If you’re not prepared, the only running you’re likely to be doing is away.
The Hunt - Players can choose to draw a Nether card rather than an Adventure card and the first player to reach the Crown of Command with four or more defeated Nether Enemies wins the game. It will take a while before players feel confident enough to start drawing from the Nether deck, but once somebody does, well, it just snowballs since nobody will want to be left behind. I’ll get right to the point - when we played The Nether Realm with this ending it was (and I quote from one of our members Brian) “...hands down the most fun we ever had playing Talisman”.
That’s quite a testimonial.
Since it has it’s own deck, The Nether Realm is an expansion which can easily be introduced to, or removed from, any Talisman game without the laborious need of separating cards from the ever-growing Adventure deck each and every time you play. This makes it a perfect add-on for any Talisman fan whether you a diehard supporter or an occasional gamer.
Mother Teresa once said “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies”. She must have been talking about The Nether Realm since, though it is small, only the strongest will survive the onslaught it brings to the land.
Two thumbs up and best of luck!
Edited by adjogi, 29 April 2014 - 04:32 PM.