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Memory Lane: How you came by the game and/or favourite Talisman experience.

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#1 Vespers



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Posted 26 November 2008 - 04:25 AM

Well, folks, this is where I get a little nostalgic and go for broke laying out my history with Talisman. Please, feel free to share your own such recollections.
For me, it started back when I was but ten years of age [cue the nostalgic and heritage moment violins!]. Christmas was fast approaching (I suppose that's what's drawing up this memory now), and my parents were in a slight panic as to what I might enjoy as a present. According to my mother I was not a child to ask for the moon when it came to presents, so they paid close attention to anything I might ask of the man in the red suit.
Being 10, I was fascinated by television ads for some new kinds of games. At the time, Saturday morning television was saturated with ads for games that made use of a fairly new fangled technology: VHS board games. Needless to say I wanted one... well me and 2/3 of the children in the area.
This posed a problem; supply was outstripped by demand.
My parents must have looked everywhere to no avail for a VHS game. I've come to learn  it was my father who first spotted the box. It was the same dimensions as the VHS games he sought for me, it certainly was of comparable heft and weight, and the price was on par with what the retailers were charging for VHS games. Most importantly, It had a dragon emblazoned on the cover. He knew of all the stories that he and mom would read to me, stories of brave knights, not so brave Hobbits, and dragons were the ones I was most likely to request. The box sealed the deal.
Christmas morning came and the wrapping paper blizzard began. The gilded lettering hypnotized me and my (at the time) tiny fingers struggled for purchase to free the box from its cellophane prison. With the plastic removed I carefully opened the box... there was no VHS cassette!
Dad checked. Mom Checked. My brother checked. My baby sister played with her doll and the discarded wrapping paper. There was no VHS tape.
My parents began to grumble about the price and something about the receipt, and I began to read and look over the contents of the box. I was quiet, so my parents said nothing more, after all it was Christmas and there would be no way to return gifts until the day after Boxing day at least.
After dinner, I asked if we could try the game all the same. It was a harmless enough request and easily granted. While my sister napped, my parents, my brother, and I entered the world of Talisman. I was hooked.
On Boxing day, I introduced my friends to the game. We played four times that first day. We played every weekend. Occasionally my father or mother would join us. Nothing more was ever mentioned about receipts, returns, or refunds.
I never did get a VHS game... and I could not be happier.
Wow, now that was long winded; however, there is a coda to this little tale: The best time I've had playing the game (so far) happened almost 20 years later...
My friends got together and decided to really surprise me for my 30th birthday. At work there was a LOTR themed cake waiting for me and my roommate had gone so far as to bring my copy of Talisman along. I was presented with a fine Cohiba, several beverages, many cards of well wishes, and a day of Talisman which lasted to the wee small hours of the next morning moving from place of business to home again. 
I wonder what other Talisman stories await me. I would love to hear what ones any of you have...


#2 Dam



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Posted 26 November 2008 - 06:32 AM

While I've played my share of Talisman over the years, the ones that stick to mind are all those occasion when I or one of my cousins would make it to the Crown of Command, draw an alternate ending card, which turned out to be Horrible Black Void  ! There is nothing quite like the emotion, regardless of which side of that card you are. 4th ed needs 2 things badly: more characters and the alternate endings.

"A dirty mind is its own reward."

#3 bryco



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Posted 26 November 2008 - 12:04 PM

Truth be told, I have been playing Talisman since it was first released.  At one point in time I owned every expansion and we would play for hours and in some cases days.  As I grew older, I moved away from the game and my brother picked up where I left off and I truely forgot about those days, until late last year.  On a whim one day, I was reminising, I Googled Talisman and here I find a 4th Edition has just been released.  Well I tell you that I rushed to get a copy and notified my brother and he did the same.  My children are now playing the game regularly and when I can I join in and show them what a real player can do, most of the time the kick my butt.  

The revised edition and Reaper expansion sets look fantastic and I really cannot wait.  Playing Talisman was a regular part of my childhood and now will be a regular part of my children's childhood, and I can play again too.

Cheers to FFG for blowing the dust off of one of the greatest games ever created. 

#4 Crag78



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Posted 26 November 2008 - 12:35 PM

As for me,I used to read/play french translated gamebooks from Games Workshop.One day I discovered a *giant book* shaped box on the same shelves as thoses gamebooks.Which was of course a french version of Talisman 2nd edition.The game looked cool so I decided to buy it anyway.The year was 1986 and I was 11 years old.Let me tell you that I never played Monopoly or Game of life ever again.That was my introduction to fantasy boardgaming and Talisman became my favorite since then.Only four years later that I knew the existence of expansion sets.I bought everyone of 'em except Talisman Dragon which I came really close to buy it.Me and one of my friend played Talisman hundreds of time.Sometime 'til sunset.And yeah,alternate endings are very cool too!!Anyway,can't wait for FFG's version and their upcoming expansions.

#5 Jackwraith



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Posted 26 November 2008 - 04:42 PM

I first played Talisman in 1986, my freshman year at Michigan. It was 2nd Ed (the ONLY Edition, AFAIC) and I knew immediately that I had to have a copy of it for myself. I promptly acquired one and every expansion except Dragons and we played it for years; almost 20 years, in fact. I kept a little chart of who had played each character, whether the character had been drawn randomly or picked (we went back and forth between the methods), whether the character had won, what ending had occurred, and so on (it was partially an interest in the game's design and partially just a sign that I'm obsessive about some things...)

As noted in the notes released today by John G., the Prophetess was outlawed for being too powerful and the Chaos Warrior was taken at risk; the risk being everyone else would take every effort to kill or hinder the character throughout the game. If you were willing to take that risk, you could play him (in the end, the Chaos Warrior won the most often of our games.)

Finally, after two decades of play, Talisman began to get a little old. So, I arranged a trade on BGG: my copy of 2nd Ed. and all the expansions for new copies of several games ordered from Thoughthammer. Included in said games was Descent and Runebound. Since the latter was such an apt replacement for Talisman (and for which I now own all the expansions... obsessive, see?), I've never regretted the trade for a moment. Of course, once the Black Library re-released Talisman, I figured I could stumble back into a copy if I really felt the urge, anyway. Then, I heard that, in typical GW fashion, they'd simply churned out an error-laden copy of 2nd Ed. It was good in that it was the best of any of the editions of the game, but bad in that they didn't bother to fix any of the game's flaws (i.e. lack of playtesting... 40K/Fantasy players: can I get a witness?) Consequently, I was thrilled to hear that FFG was taking over most of the BL's properties and this latest article by John is a perfect example of how Talisman will finally be getting some serious refinement (not to mention minis!) I'll be glad to put it back on the table and start turning people into Toads again. Now, when's that Dungeon expansion coming out?

#6 helios



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Posted 26 November 2008 - 07:03 PM

for as long as i can remember the talisman second edition, with all the expansions has been in my familys game collection, and while my parents devotion to the game has faded, it is still my favorite board game ever, in fact the main reason i have any interest in the fourth edition is so that i can have a copy of the game myself. of all the games we have played the one that sticks in my head most was a 8 hour marathon, i used all the stock expansions plus a few fan made (the far outer region, the party system, and the epic inner region). i dont even remember who won, or if anyone did, i cant speak for the other players, but for me thats never been important. with the party system we would have multpiple characters advneturing in one group, and we would risk encountering more monsters (every monster drawn is potentialy 1, 2, or 3 monsters based on a die role) so me and my companions found ourselves in the hidden valley facing 5 dragon princes, even with our cumulative strength we lost, but by a die role. it was a great moment.

#7 Dam



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Posted 26 November 2008 - 08:08 PM

Jackwraith said:

I first played Talisman in 1986, my freshman year at Michigan. It was 2nd Ed (the ONLY Edition, AFAIC) and I knew immediately that I had to have a copy of it for myself. I promptly acquired one and every expansion except Dragons and we played it for years; almost 20 years, in fact. I kept a little chart of who had played each character, whether the character had been drawn randomly or picked (we went back and forth between the methods), whether the character had won, what ending had occurred, and so on (it was partially an interest in the game's design and partially just a sign that I'm obsessive about some things...)


That is SO kewl, not to mention anal-retentive but I have a streak of that in me (a-r), so it's all good   !

"A dirty mind is its own reward."

#8 ced1106



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Posted 27 November 2008 - 08:28 AM

Um... I bought a friend's beat-up copy of 2nd edition in college 20 years ago for ten bucks. HUZZAH! :D

#9 TeufelHund



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Posted 27 November 2008 - 12:17 PM

I remember seeing the add for the game in White Dwarf magazine (back when it wasn't solely dedicated to Warhammer) featuring the monk. It looked great and the evocative Gary Chalk artwork (who was also illustrating the Lone Wolf gamebooks at around the same time) really drew me in.

I remember seeing the game played at the game club I used to go to every second Sunday - I remember seeing the Sorceress equipped with the Wand wrecking havoc, only to see the Thief turn up and pilfer it away. It looked amazing.

Shortly after I picked up the 1st edition (the adventure and spell cards were in back and white!) and my friends and I played it to death along with all the expansions. I still have them all sitting at home, including the ultra-rare Dragons which I don't even remember purchasing (maybe my brother bought it?). I had the 3rd edition for a while but after a messy break up one of my exes ended up with it. I did have the Black Industries 4th edition for a while but I sold it on EBay as soon as I saw that FFG would be producing a revised version.

#10 golgothika



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Posted 27 November 2008 - 08:58 PM

I don't remember the exact year, but I went with my oldest daughter into a hobby shop in -maybe-1986,and saw Talisman 2-ed sitting there.It looked cool and I grabbed it and the first two expansions.It's become my favorite boardgame of all time.I own a copy of each edition and we still play about every two weeks on weekends.My youngest daughter learned to count by rolling the dice and moving that many spaces. LOL  That's my history and my fondest memory of Talisman.I played The Ghoul in that first game and he's been a favorite ever since. No one here even remembers what we actually went to the hobby shop for that day. LOL   

#11 Boggs The Rat

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 02:27 AM

I was introduced to 2nd Edition Talisman at University, and quickly acquired (no, not with the spell!) my own copy along with all the expansions except the Dragons expansion.

My most memorable game was one that took a mammoth 18 hours to play! We started at 2pm and didn't finish until 8am.

And I won!

We were using all the expansions, and after a long (12 hour) six player game I reached the centre and got Pandora's Box. I quickly killed off four of the other five players, but just couldn't kill the last one.

It rapidly became apparent that - apart from the occasional spell or event - he could cope with anything that I could throw at him; so each turn I would play most of the cards on myself so that I could kill the monsters for experience.

My rival was extremely stubborn, and refused to come to the centre to take me on because he thought I would beat him. So he spent his time roaming around the board(s) trying to get powerful enough to come and get me.

Eventually, after 6 hours, he got turned into a toad (I think it was by the Warlock?) and I eventually managed to get him.

#12 Velhart



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Posted 13 April 2009 - 10:27 PM

I have learn the game from my old father. At that time, he owns the 4th edition. When we have talk about it a lot, my father has paid the third and second editions with all expansions on ebay.

We have played the third edition many times. And now we play Talisman revised edition too

Off course, i have buy the revised edition myself.

#13 The Hunter

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 07:11 AM

I first heard of Talisman when I saw the game being played on The Big Bang Theory when I started watching it on DVD during the holiday season of 2011.
A couple of friends mentioned the series during a conversation and, because I had not yet seen it due to not seeing the beginning, they let me borrow the series on DVD, and have probably regretted it when I started displaying a personality similar to Sheldon Cooper.
And it's ironic that one of those friends is one I have gaming seshes with on a regular basis.

Since playing Talisman with various friends, I have introduced some of my other friends to them, and I have been introduced to friends of friends.

#14 talismanamsilat


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Posted 22 April 2014 - 08:05 AM

Hunter are you on steam? I'm talismanamsilat on there as well.


First played Talisman in the year of its release in 1983!

#15 DomaGB



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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:29 AM

I saw it originally in a game store while serving in the military, I was searching for D&D or other role playing game stuff. This was Grand Forks, ND probably around 1987. I also remember seeing TMNT rpg at the time there as well. The Talisman box and details of the game intrigued me. I bought it probably the 2nd time I saw it at that store, never having played it. I was big into D&D at the time and was reading lots of fantasy.

I enjoyed it tremendously. Though I do not remember playing it with my gaming friends. Instead I remember playing it with co-workers in the Air Force. One particular co-worker liked it and when I worked 2nd shift we played it frequently for quite some time on duty on 2nd shift when we were not busy.

I liked it so much I returned to the store to buy the expansions, one may have been there originally, or soon after, and the next year or two when looking for gaming stuff I always looked for new expansions for Talisman. I never saw the Dragon expansion, and in fact never heard of it till years later. Only recently learning that the expansion was not sold in stores but was mail ordered, one source claims it was in stores but that was a European source.

I brought Talisman with me when traveling back to Wisconsin (home) on leave and shared it with my friends who all loved it. Most were gamers like me.

Sometime later one friend bought the game himself but I don't remember when.

When I left the military, I had a life change and got rid of most of my possessions, including Talisman. I gave it to my friend's brother who enjoyed the game, perhaps because my friend owned his copy?

My life change didn't last and went in another direction. It wasn't until around 1995 or so I began gaming again on any scale worth noting. And some of that gaming included 2nd edition Talisman.

Now sometime after 2007, I don't remember when or all the details because I was not the initiator here, a friend of a friend who was searching for his own copy of Talisman on Ebay discovered the 4th edition Black Industries. He and my friend soon bought copies and we were playing this more than 2nd edition.

Then my friends brother who had my original 2nd edition game went through a divorce. It was bitter and my game got torched with other possessions of his by his wife. Literal and true! The boxes survived and he gave them back to me.

When the revised came out and expansions I liked it but not as much as 2nd edition. But in the fall of 2013 I restarted my collection. I bought the revised on Ebay which came with Frostmarch, and started collecting other expansions as cheap as could be found when great deals became available.

Only until a couple months ago when I had the game tweaked did 4th edition surpass 2nd edition in my opinion. But my favorite expansion is 2nd edition City still.

Also last fall I was able to obtain the entire 2nd edition except Dragon again, on Ebay for about $40! It is in great condition 2 cards are slightly damaged and 2-3 cards are missing. Boxes were missing but now I have my originals back.

Now my youngest son who is 10 is a Talisman player, and his friends come over and they play sometimes.

That is my Talisman story.

RoboRally, then Talisman. That's the way it is... ;)

#16 0beron



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Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:45 PM

I don't remember when I first got or played it. We had been playing Cosmic Encounter, Mystic Woods and games like that in the late '70s and early '80s. We were still playing around the time our son was born, in January 1983, but I really don't remember exactly when we started. We went to the same comic and hobby store at that time, so I know I must have gotten that 2nd edition there, in the early to mid '80s. We played a bit in the '80s, but for other life reasons we just sorta stopped by the decade's end.


Flash forward to whenever the revised 4th edition came out. We had not touched games in that long, so I guess 20 or close to years.....


But we were hooked, again, immediately and what was better we got used to the expansion sets coming out nearly twice a year.


So here we are now. I would have to really wrack my 58 year old brain cells to come up with a memorable game - certainly from the '80s.  So we'll see if I find one.

#17 JediKnightAmoeba



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Posted 22 April 2014 - 04:59 PM

Holy cow...digging up an OLD post!  When this was last replied to we did not even have a corner expansion.  But a cool thread none-the-less.


I don't have any specific memory but the memories I have are from 3rd edition since I am not as OLD as some of you guys! :rolleyes:   LOL


The memory that comes to mind would be we always used to allow the reuse of characters since most of us only wanted to use a certain race (we never believed in random drawing, that's just stupid.)  But two of my friends tried to kill each other every single game. So they would spend the whole game tracking one another down to fight.....and then if one of them managed to die, they would rush to the respawn point to attempt to kill the person again....  One time I saw my friends Dwarf killed 4 times in a game by our other friend, so he took the Assassin miniature that my friend had killed him with and smashed it with one of his battlehammers and told him he loses.  That was the end of the game that night.  

I don't think either of those 2 ever won a game.  I do not think they cared, but it was always funny.  


For how we got into Talisman, just view my profile.....

#18 Triple A

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:48 PM

Playing 2nd edition in the mid 80s.  I was volunteering as a Big Brother, and Talisman became our go-to thing if there weren't any movies we wanted to see. 

#19 The_Warlock



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Posted 23 April 2014 - 12:39 AM

I discovered Talisman (2nd Edition) in the late 80s when I was a kid. My older cousin introduced me to it, as he usually did for a great lot of good things (PC use, videogames, board games, RPGs, miniature games, Magic the Gathering, etc...). We played it for a couple years, sometimes with his friends, then he lend me his copy of the game to play with my friends. I still have that copy with me. It was the first game in English language that I've played in my life. I had to memorize the translation of each card to play it with my friends, because I was 9 years old and my English was not so great at the time.


The game was packed and hidden around 1993 and I've never considered it until 2007, when I saw Black Industries Talisman on sale at Lucca Comics & Games (a big game convention in Italy) and bought it immediately. I summoned my cousin and his sister for a revival game, then I started playing it with my friends (not the same friends I used to play with 15 years before). I remember our first sessions lasted forever, beginning around 22.00 in the evening and lasting until 5 in the morning.


When FFG edition was published, I started collecting all expansions and gradually introducing them to the friends. Most of them did not want to play as the game grew more and more complex, but 3 of them remained and we gather all together at least twice in a year to play. I taught Talisman to my wife as well and now we enjoy a game once a week.


I still have my cousin's 2nd edition base set and I use it as a "travel copy". Me and my wife always take it with us when we go on holiday, as it is easy to pack and I don't care if it gets more worn than it already is.

#20 adjogi



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Posted 23 April 2014 - 06:43 AM

What a great thread to revive! I already have this posted on our website but will happily post it here.




I came by the game in 1986 thanks to my friend Tim. It was a Sunday, it was raining and we sat on his living room floor with his two brothers. He opened this strange game with a dragon on the box and said with just enough intrigue:


"You are going to love this game..."


I remember a chill running down my spine and a strange silence hanging in the air...it almost felt like Obi-Wan Kenobi inviting me to Alderaan! This game was sacred to the three brothers. I found this out the hard way as a I reverently reached over to help set it up and spilt my tea all over the games cardboard gold pieces! They were not very happy with me I can tell you.


Somehow though, I was forgiven and Talisman turned into a regular Sunday adventure for us over many years. But it was always an unwritten rule that my tea had to be far away from the game board!


Life passed, as it always does and over twenty years later I found myself working in a bank and a co-worker Brian and I started designing our own board game based on the bank and it's quirky customers. That was a whole heap of fun and it inevitably got me thinking about Talisman and I asked him if he had ever played it. Turns out he had never even heard of it so I googled it to show him.


What to my wondrous eyes should appear, but a Revised 4th Edition!!! Well, of course I had to have it. Brian fell in love it with it, as all true nerds do, and we started our own group which now play together pretty much once a month.

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