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The Nether Realm: A Humble Fan's Review

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#1 adjogi



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Posted 29 April 2014 - 04:18 PM

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.

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#2 Granville



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Posted 29 April 2014 - 06:15 PM

We are mixing The Gauntlet Ending with the Dragon Realm Overlay, so one must confront the Dragon King to win.


....How do you think this will go? Crown has 2 Neither cards + DK ;)

#3 chemical22



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Posted 30 April 2014 - 12:56 PM

I haven't used it yet.  However once I received it, my first impressions was how small the expansion was.


Not that I feel I was mislead in any way, because the contents are clearly stated, but it just didn't set in until I had 3 ending cards and a small pile of expansion cards sitting in front of me.


I was also hoping that the cards could be used with other endings - that perhaps there were some adventure cards that would bring them into play.  I think for an extra $10, I'd rather get a larger expansion with more cards, new characters and greater versatility.


But really... at the end of the day, I'm never truely let down by Talisman and I'm sure I will still enjoy this expansion.  It looks interesting and well thought out.

Edited by chemical22, 30 April 2014 - 01:23 PM.

#4 The_Warlock



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Posted 30 April 2014 - 07:33 PM

The Nether Realm is a small jewel, it gives you so many way to put it into play that you have to deliberately want to leave it out.


It has spiced up a good rate of endgames around here, no matter what of the 2 versions was played. It was nice. :D

#5 DomaGB



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Posted 30 April 2014 - 07:39 PM

You can use them with another ending. use your imagination. For example, use the cards with the Dragon Tower when drawing cards and use any alternate ending at the end.

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

#6 adjogi



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Posted 30 April 2014 - 08:03 PM



I was also hoping that the cards could be used with other endings - that perhaps there were some adventure cards that would bring them into play.  I think for an extra $10, I'd rather get a larger expansion with more cards, new characters and greater versatility.




There are many ways you can bring the Nether Deck into play other than the standard three endings. For instance, someone on here (forgive me, don't remember on the top of my head) suggested using the Nether Deck when drawing cards on the Runes space. Now, personally, with a +2 for Enemies in a deck full of the worst Enemies ever, I think that's a tough one (suicide!!)...but it's an option.


However, another suggestion was to use them on the Cursed Glade. (Again, don't recall whose idea this was so chime in if it's you!) This is much more acceptable in my opinion - though we have yet to try it.


Edited by adjogi, 30 April 2014 - 08:04 PM.

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#7 0beron



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Posted 30 April 2014 - 09:41 PM

On another thread I mentioned some ways we have used or will be using Nether Realm cards:


If you are also using the Day/Night Mechanic, pull a Nether card when a player lands on The Cursed Glade, during Night.


There are several Rune Gate 'place' cards, in the Adventure deck and less in each Region deck; whenever a player pulls such a card, they are obliged to pull a Nether card, as the Rune Gate opened up the Nether Realm when discovered.


**** a sudden death scenario, perhaps?  - The Nether Drake card is repeated from the Dragon Expansion's Grilipus' deck. 

 If you should happen to pull the Grilipus deck's Nether Drake, you must also pull the top card from the Nether deck.


  ... If you should happen to pull the Nether Realm's Nether Drake, after pulling the Grilipus' Nether Drake, you are killed immediately. No fate, no spells.


  Nice review btw, I also wrote a review on Amazon. Don't have the link but if you go to Amazon and search 'Nether Realm' you should find it, I suppose. Yours is much better and detailed for sure.

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