Jump to content


Alternate House Rules to Speed Up Your Game of Talisman

  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 bragi



  • Members
  • 48 posts

Posted 10 September 2011 - 12:20 PM

Alternate House Rules to Speed Up Your Game of Talisman

1. 5 or 3 trophies for stat increases.
2. Trade in trophies for stats at any time except combat, even if it’s not your turn (something to do while awaiting your turn.
3. You can turn in 3 items for a craft or strength.
4. You can trade a relic (Highland expansion) for a craft or strength.
5. You can trade Quest Reward cards for craft or strength (Sacred Pool expansion).

1. You can trade items with other players when on the same space.
2. You can trade items with other players, even when not on the same space.*
3. You can trade followers.*
*We never use these rules.

1. Use Fate tokens to adjust movement rolls (one token per additional movement).
2. Option to move one space instead of rolling for movement (even a toad can move one space).
3. Don’t roll for movement, all characters have a movement score set at 2, 3 or there starting Strength or Craft.
4. Roll 2 dice for movement, choose which one to use.
5. You may move UP TO your movement roll (i.e. roll a 4, you can move 1, 2, 3 or 4 spaces).

1. Assign another player your nemesis. Your nemesis always rolls your monster rolls.
2. Bring in another set of dice as monster dice, and roll your monster and hero dice at the same time.
3. All 6’s are critical hits. If both the hero and monster roll 6’s, it is a push.
4. All 1’s are critical fails, and automatically lose the battle. If both the hero and monster roll 1’s, it is a push.

Obtaining a Talisman:
1. Start everyone with 1, 2 or 3 Warlock Quest cards. When the last one is completed, the player receives a Talisman.
2. If you confront the Eagle King or Lord of Darkness in the Eyrie or Treasure Room, in the Highland or Dungeon expansions, win or lose, you steal a Talisman.

Entering the Middle Region:
1. Earning a Talisman automatically teleports you to the sentinel space.
2. Earning a Talisman automatically teleports you to the Warlock’s Cave.
3. Win or lose, you always pass the sentinel on your next turn.

Characters and Teams:
1. Every player receives 3 or 5 hero cards. This is their team. They choose which hero they put in first, and the rest are reserves. When a hero dies, they are replaced by the next reserve hero of their choice. The hero retains the Strength, Craft and Life bonuses of their predecessor. Equipment and followers are left on the space the original hero died (first player to get there can take them). Spells from the previous hero are discarded. In a 2 or 3 player game, distribute the heroes by alignment.
2. Team play: with 2, 4 or 6 players, divide the characters into good and evil. Players with the same alignments are on teams. They can trade equipment, gold and followers when they are in the same area. You can only fight other players who are on opposing teams. Only one Talisman is needed for the entire team. Either discard the alignment change cards, or allow players to switch teams if their alignment is changed. With 3 or 6 players, make a neutral team.

Ending Conditions:
1. Game ends when the Crown of command is reached. Period.
2. Insert any or all of the alternate endings from expansions.

  • Master of R'lyeh likes this

#2 Draii



  • Members
  • 123 posts

Posted 21 September 2011 - 08:58 AM

Alot of nice ideas here =)

I'll try to convince my group to try some of them out our next game.
I really like the "choose to take one step instead of rolling for movement", "6 for crits, 1 for auto-fail" and "team of players that inherit the strength and craft".
We already play with 3 warlock quests and a Talisman on the third.

#3 azoic



  • Members
  • 77 posts

Posted 21 September 2011 - 09:29 AM

Talisman Highspeed Game: Each player rolls a die. Highest die roll wins!

Some of your ideas are nice, but Talisman is not a speed game. A lot of players want even more playing time! More adventure, more regions, bigger or second mainboard ...

#4 JCHendee



  • Members
  • 2,811 posts

Posted 21 September 2011 - 01:29 PM

Good grief... if we player even half of these it wouldn't even be Talisman anymore... just a freebie fest... and Talisman already has plenty of that.

#5 The Sorcerer King

The Sorcerer King


  • Members
  • 50 posts

Posted 27 September 2011 - 06:07 PM

 Though I think some of the ideas are interesting, I'm pretty sure you could ALWAYS trade items (and followers, I think) when on the same space. Only thing you can't trade are spells, trophies, and quest rewards. 

I find that the 5-point trophy suggestion and the teams idea to be the most promising- especially teams that can roll together during the endgame (would SURELY speed it up).

Personally, I think the speed of Talisman is just right- the endgame begins just as everyone begins to grow weary, and this revitalizes the last few minutes of the game. What it could use far more would be more excitement during the game itself- the dungeon added that region to explore when the main board grows too safe, and the highlands added an alternate region in the early-midgame. This has contributed to making the game flow more nicely, even if it doesn't reduce game time per se.

Now we just need the City expansion, and it will all begin to come together...

#6 Dam



  • Members
  • 7,312 posts

Posted 27 September 2011 - 06:26 PM

The Sorcerer King said:

 Though I think some of the ideas are interesting, I'm pretty sure you could ALWAYS trade items (and followers, I think) when on the same space. Only thing you can't trade are spells, trophies, and quest rewards. 

You mean between players? There's no trading in Talisman unless it is of the Merchant/Thief-type (rip-off where only side has any say) or sword to the gut, take all your stuff as you are now a corpse going cold kind of "trade".

"A dirty mind is its own reward."

#7 JCHendee



  • Members
  • 2,811 posts

Posted 29 September 2011 - 03:41 PM

The trade or "swap meet" option when encountering a character is a very common house rule; only the one taking the current turn and landing on another character can request a trade.  If the other player / character declines, the turn is over.  But it isn't and has never been in the official rules.

#8 Draii



  • Members
  • 123 posts

Posted 29 September 2011 - 08:46 PM

I tried some of Bragis suggestions my last game.

The 1 for fail and 6 for critical during combat gave us some interesting battles. You could never be sure to instant win, but always had some hope of slaying even the mightiest foe. Although I might be a bit much with both 1 and 6 as special numbers, that only leave 4 for "normal" combat. Might remove the effect of the 1 next time. I have used this system in a lot of RPG and other games, and I like that David might have a chance to defeat Goliath. We did a special version for the "end bosses" and removed the 1 effect and changed the 6 to turn int0 2 dices (stacking) instead of instant win, Thus keeping the mechanic to see where you emerges from the Lord of darkness.

The rule to choose one step instead of rolling a dice for movement was highly appreciated in our group. It made it easier to reach your locations. We added that the one-step counts as rolling a "1" thus moving the Reaper each time. So He saw alot of action and slew alot of players. Suggestion for next time is that we keep the one-step and the reaper as is, but it will always be the NEXT player who moves the Reaper. So instead of moving last in the turn of the player rolling a 1, it moves at the beginning of the next player. This will work as a price for the player who choose to make it "easy" and just move one step, but instead of being able to control the Reaper as a bonus, he will risk a visit instead.

Keeping craft and strength for you next characters in your character-pool made it possible for restarted characters to have a chance of winning. Very nice.

Overall it was a fun game, and it only lasted 8 hours on five players (no breaks) so the speedup was a welcome addition =D


#9 Tons-Home-rules



  • Members
  • 126 posts

Posted 07 October 2011 - 09:44 PM

We tried open ended D6 for a while, but as you said, 2 “special” numbers was a bit much.


By, open ended, this is what we personally meant…

If a 6 was rolled, you kept the 6 roll, took another dice, and added them, essentially making it D6+6.  If the second dice was a 6, you now keep both 6s, and you get a 3rd dice, making it D6+12, and so on.  That STR 1 / CRA 1 enemy… isn’t an auto-win fight anymore.

If a 1 was rolled, you got –6 to your Attack Score, but rolled another dice, and added it as above, essentially giving you between a –5 to +0 modifier to your Attack Score since it was D6-6.  However, if you rolled another 1, you got a second –6, and took a 3rd dice making it D6-12…

Then we spent a LOOOONG time rolling the dice all night.  That house rule lasted about 3-5 games, and we went back to normal.  The randomness was fun… heroic win against a STR 10 Enemy, surprising loss against a CRA 1 Enemy, but just not worth the extra time of all those extra rolls, at least for us.

#10 bragi



  • Members
  • 48 posts

Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:28 PM

Another idea we've been trying out lately, instead of 6's being critical, swap out d6's for d10's.  This does away with the special number, but still offers a little hope when blind-sided by a heavy.


BTW: we have usually play with about 2 or 3 of these rules to speed it up; never all of them.  I wrote these up because the amount of time it takes to play vs. the amount of luck involved in the game is the biggest objection I've heard to playing.  I usually play with kids aged 10-14, so I have to wrap it up in about 3 hrs or I'll lose them.

#11 bragi



  • Members
  • 48 posts

Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:30 PM

Another idea I had (but never tried) was 2d6 with an extra die for rolling doubles.

#12 Zozimus



  • Members
  • 318 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:17 AM

We sometimes play that on natural rolls of 6 and 1 in combat, it's an automatic win/loss.  Can lead to unexpected results!  (Although to be fair, we've several times seen a toad kill a bandit even without this rule)

Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play. - Heraclitus

#13 Calinor



  • Members
  • 7 posts

Posted 23 March 2013 - 05:32 PM

I don't reduce the number required to increase Strength/Craft (still 7), but I changed it to XP instead of trophies. When you kill something you get XP equal to it's Strength or Craft and you can trade 7xp for a stat bump.

It gets rid of combining STR and STR to get STR; and it gets rid of adding up to 9 and losing 2pts.


We've also played it where it cost an amount of XP equal to the current stat to raise it by 1. This resulted in slightly more rounded characters, but wasn't necessarily more fun. It does speed up the early game though.

#14 Dam



  • Members
  • 7,312 posts

Posted 23 March 2013 - 08:21 PM

Calinor said:

I don't reduce the number required to increase Strength/Craft (still 7), but I changed it to XP instead of trophies. When you kill something you get XP equal to it's Strength or Craft and you can trade 7xp for a stat bump.

It gets rid of combining STR and STR to get STR; and it gets rid of adding up to 9 and losing 2pts.

Why not just wait until you get to 14 and cash in for +2 instead losing 2 points? Hell, in the Dungeon I often see people get to 17 and wait until they reach 21 before cashing in.

"A dirty mind is its own reward."

#15 Calinor



  • Members
  • 7 posts

Posted 23 March 2013 - 09:36 PM

I'm not saying I wouldn't wait, I generally would. It's a choice though, and not a rewarding one.

#16 talismanamsilat


    Talisman Veteran

  • Members
  • 1,362 posts

Posted 23 March 2013 - 11:29 PM

Using all those house rules you are changing the game of Talisman into something else! Not good….


#17 BlueHawks206



  • Members
  • 24 posts

Posted 24 March 2013 - 09:35 PM

                       I use different house rules that no one has posted on these forums at least in terms of Lunar Events. 

I use a D20 role to start the turn and if there is no 20 rolled than the previous lunar event takes effect for that turn.

If there is no lunar event at the start of the turn then the turn is played as normal with the plus/minus one in effect for day and night.

It’s cool because you actually see the lunar events working a few times a game.

                     I also have to make sure the ratio of monsters is correct at least 35% monsters and 15% loot. If you don’t have these set right

You can go 20 turns with no monsters or monsters that are all 6 7 8 9 and 10 and they will hide all the items and followers. I got killed 6 times like that in

one game. Plus you wont even get enought money to use the city if you dont have enough loot. You just have to randomize the monsters according to their 

numbers that way you don’t know which ones will be in the game. Same thing with strangers followers etc. the amounts will be adjusted and the game will

always be different. also with all the cards you get you can make a lot of decks.

               When you play with six or more people you simply use two dice for movement and pick one. It makes for a good speed for everyone and also you

role a separate dice for death and the wolf. If the wolf and death are further than 6 spaces away from anyone then you use two dice. That way the

expansion boards won’t help you hide from them. Make sure to have them role only one dice even if the wolf or death is 6 spaces away from the person rolling

for death and the wolf as others can move them towards you. I only encounter them once or twice even with this rule so it works out quite nice. 


 When playing with 6 or more we also only need 5 trophy points to level up.

                     One more rule you .may want to add to the city is that when you get to the gate you can stop by the board and cash in rewards for wanted

posters. it’s too crazy to spend a lot of turns trying to land on it. This helps increase money and speed in the game but not too much to interfere with 

quests like visit the city etc. 

#18 zealot12



  • Members
  • 751 posts

Posted 07 April 2013 - 09:28 PM

First and foremost,:


1) Level up after acquiring 5 points of trophies-big time saver!

2) Talismans awarded for special encounters/tasks, or after completing a Warlock Quest cannot be stolen or snatched from you by any game effect/character ability, etc.(unless you have more than one)

If you have more than one Talisman, they can be traded in at the Warlock's Cave for a Quest Reward(one  Talisman per visit)

3) Replacement characters get to inherit one of your previous character's Talisman, if it was drawn from the Talsiman deck.

4) Replacement characters get to inherit up to two points of stats from your previous character( if the latter had done any leveling up. That is, either 1 Craft and 1 Strength OR  2 Strength/2 Craft)

5)  Play with one big expansion only(we cycle through Dragon, Highlands, City and Dungeon periodically)

6) When playing with the Highlands corner board, put the City shop decks next to the board. (even when the City corner is not in play). Arrange them alphabetically or any way you want(say, Armoury, Magic Emporium, Pets, Potions, Stables)

Once per visit to the City space, you may buy   items from any one random deck. (to avoid favoriting a specific deck) Roll a die to determine from which deck to buy. Then follow the instructions on buying from that deck as if you were visiting the associated shop.

All the other shops  are considered to be in shortage for the duration of your visit.


#19 elitegoliath



  • Members
  • 1 posts

Posted 30 January 2014 - 09:18 PM

Hey, there are a lot of great suggestion to help speed up gameplay. I actually just created an entire article about some of my favorite house rules. Do you guys think that some of the rules on this thread would work well with the ones I have listed? My article is pretty detailed, but hey, I love Talisman, and have since childhood. Please take a look if you guys get a chance, I would like to know what might work and what doesn't.



#20 exion



  • Members
  • 22 posts

Posted 03 February 2014 - 11:02 AM

Though it doesn't really speed the game up tremendously, I play with a house rule I call "Progressive Levelling";
Improvements to your stats get progressively more expensive the longer you play, so early on in the game you can level up fairly quickly whereas later on it takes considerably more effort, this keeps the game more balanced in my experience. This is how it works:

Let's say, for example, that a player has a Strength value of 4 and a Craft value of 2. In order to level up his or her strength to 5 they would have to exchange 5 strength trophy points, whereas to level up their Craft to 3, they would require only 3 Craft trophy points. To jump up two levels in Craft they would need to spend 7 craft trophy points (3 for the first upgrade + 4 for the second).
So to level up, the trophy price is your current stat-value +1. (this makes enemies that give you an instant increase in stats as a reward gold-dust for high level players!)

This also has the benefit of easing the pain of re-levelling your character after being killed/drawing a new character, whilst slowing down the high-level players from the usual steam-rolling effect.

It's gone down fairly popularly with my gaming group, and it definitely speeds up the early game and tends to give some players more focused goals. I think it'd work well with some of the home-rules mentioned above, so I'm looking forward to giving some of them a try...

Edited by exion, 03 February 2014 - 11:04 AM.

© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS