I think it's better to think of Talisman as a risk management game. Even if all choices at your disposal are bad, it's better to go for the lesser evil.
For instance, in my last game my fateless Minotaur was at the Warlock's Cave after completing a quest.At the start of his turn he turns into a Lycanthrope via an opponent's spell.A vicious Pesant Mob is cheering nearby.
He rolls a 1 for movement.
The adjacent Runes space is occupied by an Eastern Dragon, Strength 6/Craft 6. He won't be able to attack it in Battle(which would have given him a slight stampede bonus in this case), since the Eastern Dragon must be encountered with your lowest stat. For the Minotaur this is his measly Craft value of 2.
The adjacent desert space is empty, and the Werewolf is prowling in the vicinity. The Minotaur has no Water Bottle, but losing to the Eastern Dragon is a bigger threat since upon defeat he'll have to lose one of his valuable Magic Objects as well. So he chooses to head towards the Desert sands. He loses 1 life(down to 2 lives) and draws two cards(one of his followers enables him to draw an extra card on every draw space with no Enermies)
He draws a Lunar Event in the Desert that turns Day to Night, and the Wolfbane.He then rolls for the Werewolf, and moves it to his space. Via Lycanthropy and the Wofbane's combined bonuses, he gets to roll a 6 on the chart, and chooses to be healed to full health. (5 lives).
So, it's all a matter of minute decisions. They may lead you to your doom, but in every game situation there are always indicators of better choices.
And yes, the Minotaur won that game session. He could have easily lost had he chosen the path of cetrtain defeat at that particular junction.