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Another week, another new batch of characters!








The Broken Immortal is a great warrior who offended Death with his braggadocio, and is now cursed to never die until War itself lies dying, and to never heal from his wounds in the meantime. In game terms, the Broken Immortal cannot be killed until a character reaches the Crown of Command; whenever he would lose his last life, he loses a point of Strength (from maiming) or Craft (driven mad by pain) instead; essentially, his lives pool is just a buffer to keep him from losing Strength or Craft points. The downside comes from the fact that he can never heal lives throughout the game, and his low Strength and Craft values mean that he can actually be beaten down worse than where he started. If the Broken Immortal encounters the Grim Reaper (and he's actively seeking him, trying to get the curse lifted), the Reaper merely mocks him by strengthening the curse's power.


Never dying is a big plus; with his large starting life pool and decent starting stats he can take bigger risks early on, maybe making an early trip into the Dungeon or the Woodland, for example. He also doesn't have to worry about losing all his Objects and Followers in one fell swoop, unless he's toaded. But if he's unlucky he can be hosed by the middle and late game, potentially walking around with 2s in both stats and having a harder time than most characters climbing out of that hole.


Of all my characters this guy might have the trickiest balance tightrope to walk, so I'm particularly interested in feedback. In designing him I've made multiple tweaks to his Strength, Craft, and life values, trying to find the point where he won't feel invincible but also won't be too frustrating to play if things go south.









These two characters don't have to be played together, but in many ways they're a matching set. Twin witch-priestesses, one is the herald of the day and the other is the guardian of the night. 


Mechanically, they have an interesting thing in common besides the obvious parallels in their mechanics; they both have an almost co-op feel in play. The Dawn Chanter brings positive Lunar Events back into play, the Dream Singer pulls negative ones out of play; both of those actions have global benefits, and the Dream Singer puts out her sleep tokens before she rolls for movement so there's no guarantee she'll be the one benefiting most from the action.


Both characters get a significant prayer bonus if the time of day is right, at the cost of not being able to pray at all if it's the wrong time of day. The Dawn Chanter has better Spell generation and can churn them a bit, while the Dream Singer has a much higher fate value and can evade sleeping Enemies.









The Detective's first ability is the Stranger-based twin to the Occultist's main ability; he can roll a die to investigate a Stranger and try to come up with something interesting. It has a chance of backfiring significantly (and unlike in the case of the Occultist, there's no potential benefit to the Detective if it does), but the potential rewards are pretty impressive; he might even find a stolen Object or rescue an enslaved Follower, pulling them out of the discard pile (or he can just shake them down for some gold if there's nothing else he wants).


Speaking of gold, the Detective can spend gold to influence die rolls at Strangers, Places, and spaces; this represents the expense of special tools he's bought or specialized research he's done, or maybe just the cost of greasing the right palms.








This magical parasite was once a wizard who made the error of erasing his own name from existence, believing that would keep others from gaining power over him. It did, but the price was extreme. Now, with neither fate nor magic of his own, he is forced to steal both from other characters who happen to share his space.


With no identity of his own, Spells can't find him (other than the Command Spell) and other characters can't manipulate his rolls. But he can't cast any Spells or use any fate unless he shares his space with another character, in which case he can use theirs...and he can stop his movement on other characters freely, so that's his go to move: find another character and suck them dry.








Ok, yes, the primary inspiration for this is perhaps a bit specific and dated, but dragons have been thematically connected to Words of Power at least as far back as Ursula LeGuin's Wizard of Earthsea back in 1968, so there's that at least. :)


The Incantator is a warrior with no actual spellcasting ability, but he does have a peculiar talent for uttering words of magical power from the language of dragons. His main mechanical innovation is that he "buys" Dragons with breath attacks from the Dragon deck discard piles and "spends" them when he gets in fights with other characters. Breath attacks can get pretty powerful, but the stronger ones are attached to very strong Enemies, and he has to discard the right color dragon scale to pick them up. By the mid and late game, a normal breath attack isn't likely to work against a competitive character, but the Incantator's are powered up a bit if he's got the right dragon scales on his card.


Even if he doesn't have any unique Words of Power stored up, he's got a PVE ability he can use in battle as many times as he wants, giving him a potential free kill against weaker Strength Enemies. The more dragon scales of one color he's got, the stronger it gets.








Less a priest and more an itinerant holy man, the Invoker is a self-proclaimed mouthpiece for the gods, but his powers seem to back him up on that. When other characters pray, he can intercede with the gods and either increase the reward they get (and get a karmic boost of fate for himself in the process) or speak against them and try to insure that they get nothing. If another character accosts him, he can try to inflict the wrath of the gods upon them, but whether they'll respond is by no means certain.








The Magister isn't the most powerful spellcaster in the Land, but he's got the right combination of power, noble birth, and wisdom, and that's given him a position as the official Royal Wizard. He starts out with a nice sum of money, and by doing his job and wandering the Land casting helpful charms, lifting curses, curing illnesses, and so on, he can ensure himself a steady income. He can also make deals with shopkeepers when buying items, trading a helpful spell for a better price.








This big, armored brute is intended to feel a bit like a force of nature, plowing his way through obstacles, like the Mountain but without the pointless cruelty. When he's fighting multiple enemies in battle, if one of them's weak enough he can kill it right off the bat before proceeding to the others, and if he fails to win a fight but manages to avoid getting hurt he can just lower his shoulder and shove his way on to the next encounter.










Originally I tried to make this concept work with Warlock Quests, but it just wasn't coming together, so the Minister has his own small deck of cards to fuel one of his abilities. This isn't a design well I plan to go back to often (but see the Runesmith, below), partly because it makes for a more complicated character but mostly just because it's a lot more work.


The Minister is a highly placed adviser to the King, with a high (but not total) degree of trust. By speaking a few words in the King's ear (either directly, or through messengers sent from the City or Village), he can try to get a proclamation issued that will change the law throughout the King's lands (specifically, the City and the Outer and Middle Regions). Most of these Edicts require characters to spend a bit of gold when they take a certain action or risk being thrown in jail; the Minister can't be thrown in jail, so he's usually free to ignore his own Edicts. Gold spent in accordance with an Edict goes to the Castle, not the Minister, but the Minister can skim a bit off the top every time he visits.







This guy might look a bit familiar! I've actually gone back and changed my Soldier a bit to streamline the concept, and in so doing I found him some new character art. I took the old art and the ability I removed and spun them off into a new character, the Myrmidon. While the Solider is now a professional, no-nonsense type just doing his job, the Myrmidon is a veteran sellsword looking out for number one. He can either fight on the defensive to try and make sure he lives to fight another day, or he can fight dirty, slipping a blade past your armor and twisting it to make it hurt just a little bit more.







The Oracle gets visions of the future from the gods/spirits, and uses those visions to influence his movements. On average, this is like a limited version of the Sage's ability to look at the top card of the deck, but every time there's a chance of a much better result, looking at the top 3 cards and putting them in the order he wants. Conversely, there's a small chance of a drawback; the Oracle has to interpret his visions and doesn't always do so successfully, so every so often another player gets to decide where he moves.


The Oracle is a principled sort, and believes his gifts were given for all men to benefit from. If another character starts in his space, they can pay the Oracle to use his ability on their behalf. He can't say no, but they aren't allowed to pay him with false goods.











Another character I had to resort to making a small deck for. Whereas the Runecaster is a scholarly sort, using the runes to chart the course of the future, the Runesmith is a hands-on type, inscribing runes on objects to increase his personal power. He starts with a small subset of the Rune deck; as the game goes on he learns more and more. The Runes are a bit fickle; once he inscribes one, if he loses the Object it may be awhile before he can inscribe that same rune again.








The Shaper works with the raw substance of magic, shaping into solid material that fades away over time. In game terms she can craft Objects from some of the shop decks; if her Craft grows high enough she can even Craft the dreaded Flail. She has to spend a Spell to make an Object though, and it only lasts for 3 turns. The Objects she makes are essentially weightless; she can even carry a raft around.


To make Objects, she needs Spells, and she can get them by burning Objects, transforming the matter into raw magic. She can't burn the Objects she crafts; she has to find her fuel, or buy it.








A light fighter, either flitting from tree to tree or from alley to alley, the Skirmisher can use stealth and agility to ensure that he's never outnumbered, and when he would lose a life he almost always has a chance to avoid the threat. "Dodge" is just a convenient keyword; it could be a literal dodge, but it could also mean stealthily fleeing at the right time, or coming up with some other clever trick. He can "dodge" the Desert, for example, by remembering enough survival lore to get by or just stealing water from a passing caravan.








This character and the next are both inspired by D&D's schools of magic. The Philosopher has an Alteration magic feel to him, but it's rather haphazard; I wanted a character with at least a bit of control of the transformations he makes. In combat, the Transmuter's magic is a bit unreliable; it has a chance to backfire, but on a success he manages to temporarily turn his opponent's weapons to wood, or the earth at their feet to mud, or something else that lets him escape. On a really good roll, he defeats them by turning them into stone or a small woodland animal or the like for a time; he can't win trophy's or claim rewards this way, but characters have to miss a turn waiting to change back.


Out of combat, he can shape the board on a major scale. There's a significant personal cost (and an even greater cost if he wants the change to be permanent), but the ability has a lot of useful applications.








A pretty simple character, inspired by D&D's Abjurers. (The Digital version's Exorcist has something of an Abjuration feel, but with no innate ability to dispel magic he just doesn't quite get there). He's got good Spell draw, and he can discard a Spell to send an unnatural creature to an area of the board where, in theory, it can do no harm. Whenever another character casts a non-Command Spell, he can discard one of his own, if he's got one, to cancel the effects.

Edited by Vendark

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Are you implying you are going to post a dozen new characters each week? :-O

I see you went for a similar basic concept as my Cancer Mage: survive even after you're out of lives. I like the way you handled it, and especially the fluff behind the character concept.

My only doubt about the character is that, since he can freely choose to lose either 1 Strength or 1 Craft, death is really cheap to him. After all, most of a game of Talisman consists of boosting *one* stat to high levels.

From a design point of view, I would also suggest you to change his life value to 0: you can cut the bit about not being able to heal, since that's already covered by having life value 0, and you can change his first ability in "You begin the game with 2 Strength counters, 1 Craft counter, and 6 lives."

I really like these two, especially how they're both good and they are mechanically very different.
I've never played with the Dragon expansion, but if I remember correctly aren't sleep tokens kept facedown and shuffled with all the other tokens? If so, the Dream Singer's ability to gain sleep tokens looks bothersome, since it would imply searching for a sleep token and then reshuffling the remaining ones each time.

I like the concept.
Now, this is an objection I think is always valid, but it's especially true for your Detective, considering how easy-to-use and broad his ability is: I don't think it's a good idea to let players pick and choose cards from the discard pile. Not only can it be annoyingly long, but it's also kind of cheap: nothing can be done to prevent it and the player doesn't even need to hurry after some good card gets discarded. I would suggest you to make so that the Detective must pick the first card of the appropriate type from the discard pile.

I like it, though you need to clarify how the Spell limit works for this character. Technically, he starts the turn with no Spells, so he still can't cast any when he stops in another character's space.

Interesting, although I should probably know the Dragon expansion better than I do to rate this one.

I really like this one, nice mechanics and flavor.

I really like the flavor and character concept, but the Magister's last ability seems a bit much in combination with the City. Not only can he buy a Flail from the very start of the game (3 gold + Spell), but a permanent discount of 2 gold (with no 1 gold minimum price) seems really strong. Just think of all those cheap Pets!

Really love this one. Simple but nice abilities!

Got to be honest, this character would need some major rework.
I don't really like the idea of using a separate deck of cards for one character. But most importantly, this character is too complicated and has too many options. No character in Talisman needs *sixteen* different abilities. Not only is that far more options than any other character, but most of them will probably hardly see any usage. Especially troublesome is the fact that the Minister player is expected to memorize his 16 cards and choose one from the entire pool every time.

Here's a random idea. You mentioned you tried to make this concept work with Warlock Quests. Have you tried Path Cards instead?
Here's my take at it: The Minister can use his ability to select one of the three faceup Paths. The Travel effect of the Path he selected will apply to all characters in the Outer, Middle, and City Regions. At the start of his turn, a character may discard 1 gold and place it on the Castle to ignore that effect for the remainder of the turn.

The Minister can make edits that benefit everyone in a civilized area (punishing players for venturing in the wild) or issue some restrictive edit, giving negative Paths more use.

Seems ok.

I really like this one.

Like the Minister, I don't really love devoting an entire new deck to one character.


A very creative character, I like it.

I really like ability #1, I'm surprised no one thought of it before.
I think that ability #2 activates rarily enough that it doesn't need a long list of exceptions, unless I am missing something.

This character seems ok. But losing 1 life seems a fitting price to place a Terrain card. I don't think that the ability is powerful enough to warrant the extra cost (1 fate) and the complication of counting turns.

Interesting character, though probably frustrating to play against for a spellcaster.
One minor nitpick. I'm pretty sure that the Demon and Undead subtypes were created for the specific purposes of making them immune to special abilities targeting Spirits.

Edited by Loudo

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Hah, no, I'm not planning on posting a dozen characters a week. But while I may be working on characters during the week, I'll generally wait to post them until I've got at least a small group together. I'd be surprised if my next post is half as long as my last one; my lists of mechanical and thematic ideas I'm interested in exploring are each just about exhausted, for now.


Thanks again for the constructive feedback; I'm glad you liked most of the characters!


Re: The Broken Immortal, if I made the change you suggest with his life value I'd still have to include the line about healing, since there are ways to increase your life value in play. Good thought, though.


Re: The Dream Singer, yes, if you're actually using the Dragon decks while you use her, fishing for sleep tokens will be a bit annoying. The published game isn't free of this problem; the Dream Singer Stranger requires you to do the same thing (albeit one time only). I don't really want to add any lines to her card devoted to a work around to this, so I'd just note it and possibly draw a new character if she came up during a full Dragon game.


Re: The Detective, I hesitated, but ended up implementing your suggestion about the discard pile. Given the odds, I'm not sure it was that significant an issue but I decided not to take the chance. Thanks!


Re: The Faceless One, nice catch; that's a character-breaking bug I missed. Fixed now.


Re: The Magister, I weakened his barter ability; he can still get a Flail pretty early if he wants to but he's far from alone in that.


Re: The Minister (and the Runesmith), while I think there's probably an interesting character to be made from your Path suggestion, I think the effects kind of stretch beyond what's thematically believable for this character; they'd be more suited to a magely or priestly character.


I agree the character is more complicated than we generally expect from a Talisman character, and I absolutely understand that it won't be for everybody, but at my table at least I think there's some room for characters that stretch the complexity curve so long as they don't also stretch the power curve. Now, that doesn't mean that these two characters are necessarily the right two characters, but now that I've made them I'm at least going to give them a few plays and see how it turns out.


I agree that the Minister's Edicts are a little uneven, I may end up consolidating them a bit. I had room for 18 cards on a sheet, so I figured I'd come up with 18 cards and see what was worth keeping.


Thanks for taking the time to come up with a possible fix even though it wasn't to your taste, I appreciate it. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing a character using something like the ability you came up with. :)


Re: The Skirmisher, the Command Spell limitation is there because that ending already takes too **** long as it is; the prayer limit is there because even I just can't see the Skirmisher outsmarting the gods; the other limits were mainly to try to reduce the number of objections players might have ("How'd he dodge the Pestilence?"), but you're right that they probably aren't necessary for balance; I took them out.


Re: The Transmuter, the fate cost was there mainly because I'm worried about a Transmuter player abusing the ability in some way I haven't thought of yet, and I didn't want to make it too easy. I'll take it out for now; it's in my pocket if I determine the ability is too strong.


Re: The Warder, I agree that the Demon/Undead split is there at least partly for that reason, but since the Warder's version of an anti-Spirit ability is quite weak as far as those abilities go I don't think it's a problem if it's also a little broader.


Thanks again for taking the time, Loudo! You're awesome. :)

Edited by Vendark

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Glad to be helpful. :)


Re: The Faceless One, be careful that no Spell limit means that if the Faceless One lands on a character who always has 1 Spell, such as the Wizard, he can potentially cycle through *a lot* of Spells (even during other players' turns).


Instead of having no Spell limit, I think this might work better:

> During your turn, you can't cast more Spells than the other characters in your space had when you ended your movement.

> During another character's turn, your Spell limit is 1.

Edited by Loudo

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I elected to just give him a simple spell limit of 3 during his own turns; it might occasionally turn out to be an advantage when he lands on the Wizard, but could also be a limitation if he's in a space with multiple characters, and it helps further give his spellcasting its own feel in play.


Thanks again!

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Some new characters for the new week, and, for now, I'm officially out of ideas. :)  I'm sure I'll come up with more in time, but this is the first time I don't have a list of new ideas for characters already staring me in the face.










A D&D inspired character; Battleragers are dwarves who go into a suicidal frenzy in battle, and to complement their fighting style they adorn themselves with blades and spikes to try to do some extra damage as they flail about.


This character is almost the opposite of the cliched "berserk" mechanic, where a character typically becomes more dangerous offensively but suffers defensively. The Battlerager is a bit less likely to win a fight while raging, as his suicidal rampage prevents him from spending fate, but if he builds up a few rage tokens he can spend them to shrug off wounds. If he's fighting another character and they roll particularly poorly, they'll get impaled on his armor spikes and lose a life before the fight's even resolved.









A cold-blooded professional who seeks to dispatch his opponents cleanly and efficiently, striking exactly where needed with the precise amount of force.


The utility of his feint mechanic might not be apparent at a casual glance; in summary, when he rolls well enough to defeat an opponent by a wider margin than necessary, he can store up those extra points to use in future battles. The precision token mechanic lets him spend exactly as much of his attack roll as he needs to to win (or to get a standoff if he prefers for some reason), and save the remainder. He can only store six tokens at a time though, and if he loses a battle, all his tokens go away.


The weapon limitations are there for theme; his fighting style is about precision, not force, so the most readily available of the games big hefty weapons are off-limits.









Unlike the game's existing criminal characters, the Footpad is neither pickpocket nor burglar; he's a mugger. If he thinks he can take you, he'll sneak up and give you a thumping and rifle through your pockets afterwards. If he can't, he'll just sneak on by and look for a softer target.


He generates stealth tokens by taking a small movement penalty; the major risk is that he'll roll a 1, in which case the only way he can avoid being seen is to not move at all, wasting his turn. Once he's got a few tokens he can use them to evade opponents, or to end his movement in spaces with loot or characters he can target. At Night, his stealth tokens get cheaper to use.









Another D&D inspired character, Hexblades are a variant of the spell-casting warrior, with a focus on cursing their enemies. This Hexblade is a bit light on the Spell-casting, but he's got a few abilities that help him out on the cursing side of things.


The major goal was to encourage the character to use dark fate, which represents cursing another character fairly nicely. He can use dark fate to reroll his own attack rolls, so he's putting himself less at risk against creatures by focusing on it, and he's got a small chance of replenishing all his fate when he uses dark fate.


When he's fighting another character directly, he can try to levy a heavier curse via his evil eye. The other character loses all their fate...unless they avoid looking him in the eye, which carries its own penalty.









Conceived of as the opposite of the Wild Mage, the Pattern Mage uses his magic to try to lock down his own fate and keep unpleasant surprises at bay.


He has a few abilities related to manipulating fate, but his major distinguishing feature is this: thanks to his magic, whenever he uses fate, he gets either a 3 or a 4; no roll. The result is always a little worse than average from his perspective, but it has the advantage of predictability. To help him use this predictability to its utmost, he can freely flip his fate by spending a Spell (and he can do the same to other characters he encounters), and he can use fate to take a look at the top card of the deck and get rid of it if it's not to his liking.









Sha'ir were Arab wizard-poets who were reputed to commune with genies; this Sha'ir has picked up a few other influences and is essentially a priestess of the elemental forces. Eschewing the Temples and Chapels of other Priests, she can pray in any wild, untamed place instead; in this case defined as a space where characters draw at least 2 cards. Her prayer rewards aren't as potentially powerful as those of the Temple, but they're decent, and she can access them in almost any Region.


She gets significant power boosts whenever any character draws an "Elemental" Enemy (that's Enemies with Elemental in their name, not Enemies of the Elemental type).









As wizards go, the Thaumaturge is something of a craftsman; by expending extra magic he can shape spells to hit an extra target, last a little longer, or stretch beyond their usual confines. To fuel his abilities, he gets steady spell draw with a higher than normal cap.

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They all seem nice characters, Vendark. I especially like the Duelist and Sha'ir.


The only one I have a problem with is the Thaumaturge. Besides his ability to "widen" Spells, he also gains more Spells than normal, and he has the ability to discard Spells (which for spellcaster is almost more of a bonus than a penalty). I think all three things in one character is a bit too much.


I would suggest changing his first ability in him having always 1 Spell and letting him search for the extra Spells to activate his special abilities.

Edited by Loudo

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Thanks Loudo! The Thaumaturge has been updated.


On an unrelated note, for those who are interested, I should have mentioned in the previous post that the Minister's Edicts have been updated to try and expand the number of useful and/or entertaining options. In particular, the Minister now has a couple carrots mixed in with all his sticks.

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A few more character ideas to share...







A pretty straight-forward character, the Corrupt Priest, while not exactly evil, is greedy above all else; his love of gold leads him to open the Chapel doors to all manner of riff-raff so long as they're willing to line his pockets. He's not at all concerned about practicing what he preaches, so he's as comfortable gambling and tippling in the Tavern as he is praying in the Chapel or the Temple.







Thematically somewhere between a druid, a priest, and a wizard, the Hierophant can invest mystic power into an untamed place and claim it as his own; his circle of power starts off in the Ruins, but he can move it as the game progresses. The main power his circle gives him is the ability to freely exchange the four main expendable resources in the game; he can magically draw life energy out of the earth (trade Spells for lives), or sell blessings to members of his cult of believers (trade fate for gold), or any other combination that suits him. He can freely end his movement on his circle if he passes through its space, and if he's not too far he can discard a Spell to teleport directly to it.







The Graveyard is a place of strange power in the Talisman world, and as its official caretaker the Sexton is a person of strange power beyond what we'd typically associate with a gravedigger. The thematic and mechanical opposite of the Grave Robber, the Sexton buries things in the discard pile to activate his main abilities. When praying in the Graveyard, he can bury a little material wealth with the deceased to improve his rolls, and if he's willing to bury a trophy instead of turning it in he can treat any space as the Graveyard for a short time. Burying the dead is his main job, so if any character in his Region has a corpse to dispose of, he'll make a little money off the event. His secondary job is keeping the Graveyard safe for those who wish to pay their respects, so characters in the same Region as he can visit the Graveyard without risk of losing a life.







Another simple character. Unlike the Pilgrim or the Paladin, who are servants of gods of good and who just happen to have duties that require them to take up arms, the Warpriest is a priest of a literal god of war. The act of praying ramps him up for his next battle; he can accumulate quite a large bonus this way. But he can't control when he unleashes it; whenever he can spend fervor tokens, he has to, so he might end up wasting a +8 bonus on a Strength 2 Wolf. Success in battle pleases his god, though, so any Strength trophy he has will improve his prayer rolls.







The White Witch's abilities are a combination of classic witchcraft tropes that haven't really made it into the game until now. She has a familiar that improves her Spell abilities, she can turn trinkets into good-luck charms, if she gathers a coven she can conduct rituals that give her excellent Spell draw, and if she's not careful she'll find that magic she uses on others will karmically rebound upon her (not three-fold, though; that'd be a little harsh, mechanically speaking!)

Edited by Vendark

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A new update (and belated thanks to Loudo for his feedback on the last one; I didn't realize I'd neglected to thank you last time! Sorry about that.)







The Bladesinger has synthesized swordplay, spellcasting, and artistry into a seamless whole; unlike the Swordmage (formerly the Mageblade; that character has been slightly tweaked), her fighting style aids her in both battle and psychic combat. Her neatest ability is her swift casting, which gives her a chance to spontaneously cast a spell off the top of the Spell deck in combat.







A Taoist wizard whose magic is based around internal and external alchemy. She has to maintain a strict code of behavior to regulate her internal balance, or she loses the ability to work magic. When she refines her internal alchemy to a higher level (ie gains a stat point) she gains a rush of magical power, but when her internal alchemy is disrupted (ie she loses a stat point) all her magic drains away. Her external alchemy lets her turn Spells into Potions, and she gets better than average results from drinking Elixirs (an excellent way to improve her internal alchemy).







The Kensai is a master of iaijutsu, the art of drawing and striking with his sword in a fluid motion. He has two stances he can alternate between; one is focused on moving and striking quickly, the other on patience, waiting and allowing his opponent to expose a weakness before striking. In game terms, one stance works better when he rolls high on his movement die, the other works better when he rolls low. To help him manage this, he gets a free reroll of his movement die once per turn.







Inspired by the Avatar animated series and the Pathfinder character class. The Kineticist has an innate magical/psionic ability to manipulate elemental forces, surrounding himself with auras of elemental power. His auras come in offensive and defensive forms; offensive ones trigger when he moves past a character, defensive ones trigger when a character moves past him. They can be quite strong, but his unrefined control means they only have a 1-3 chance of taking effect when triggered. He benefits a lot from movement enhancers like the Riding Horse; the more characters he can move through the more chances he has to activate an aura successfully.







The Samurai is an honorable warrior, but one with a heavy focus on material power and prestige, or "station." In game, a character's station is determined by how much gold, Objects, and Followers they have. The Samurai starts the game with an impressive kit and therefore a high station, but he won't demean himself by attacking characters of a lower station. If he has the highest station in the game he can leverage that into material power that can keep him on top; if he has the lowest station, his shame prevents him from spending fate.







This character is an ancient master of the martial arts, physically passed his prime but with many skills that enable him to hold his own against younger, sprier warriors. Like the Kensai, the Sensei has stances he can alternate between, but he has four instead of two, and he can switch to a new one at the start of a battle by spending a fate. His stances give him various ways to either make up for his low Strength or negate his opponent's advantages.







The Shugenja is a shaman/wizard who communes with kami, spirits both natural and otherwise. Central to her magic is a holy vow of poverty and ascetism; in game terms, her magic is strongest when she has no gold. Likewise, when she is fulfilling her vow the kami in their various forms will not seek to do her harm.


The Shugenja could just ditch gold as she acquires it, ensuring that her powers remain at their peak, but if she holds on to a little now and then she can engage in acts of charity for which the kami will bestow their blessings.






Another stance based character. The Sohei is a warrior monk with a focus on defense. His combat abilities improve as his confidence and inner calm grow; mechanically, these inner reserves are represented by his fate total. If he has a fair amount of fate, his first stance is the more reliable for securing victories; his second stance helps protect him in the event of losses, helps him replenish fate faster, and can give him a chance of victory against enemies he wouldn't normally be able to defeat.







Inspired by the old Martial Artist character. He has an enhanced version of the heroic leap ability, and he replaces the killer blow ability (which was useful, but felt too luck based for a supposedly skill themed character) with a few special attacks that trigger when he rolls well when fighting other characters.







The final stance based character. Another warrior monk, the Yamabushi leads a rugged, ascetic life in the mountains and channels that power and endurance into his fighting styles. His first stance is offensive, letting him turn high rolls into certain victories; his second is defensive, allowing him to shrug off any defeat if his opponent rolls poorly.

Edited by Vendark

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Fans of the Tome of Battle will love these. ;-)


A few comments.



BLADESINGER: I really like the last ability!


KINETICIST: I'm not wild about this one, tbh. 8 auras seem a bit too many, especially when some are clearly superior to the others (for example, I can hardly imagine a situation where I wouldn't want flame or metal as my offensive aura). Also, even with the 50% chance to work, flame and metal seem too strong. Any other character has only 1/6 chance to encounter another character, and even then he needs to win a battle to take a reward. The Kineticist essentially has the ability to gain a reward from another character any other round.


SAMURAI: I really like the mechanics, but I can't help but think that the character would be more faithful to the source material if he couldn't attack character with a higher station than himself. :-P


YAMABUSHI: Tiger Claw seems a bit excessive IMHO. Especially considering the vast majority of characters have Strength 3 or 2, meaning Tiger Claw has a 50% or 67% chance to activate.

Edited by Loudo

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Thanks for the feedback, Loudo! I am indeed a big fan of the Tome of Battle. :)



I really like the swift cast mechanic too. :)  I think there's some more design space to explore there, though I don't have anything in mind as of yet.


The Kineticist was actually set at a 1 in 3, or 33% chance to activate (5 or 6 on the die roll), so not quite as strong as it seemed. I like the wide selection of auras for this particular character, so to balance the options a bit more I've assessed a -1 penalty on the activation roll to the 4 auras that have what I deemed the best effects.


Re: the Samurai, I thought about reversing the station restriction several times, but I ended up liking it better this way. This Samurai is a legitimately honorable guy and takes his vows to protect the commonfolk seriously. Since he's not a sworn vassal of any of the other player characters, he doesn't feel barred from confronting them even if they are of a higher rank.


I gave the Yamabushi's Tiger Claw a limitation that I feel nicely mirrors his Stone Dragon stance.


Thanks again!

Edited by Vendark

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A small batch of new characters to share:







The Beggar has a unique advantage in the City Region, coupled with a major drawback. Unlike other characters he can move freely in the City, clockwise or counterclockwise; living on the streets has made him better than almost anyone at navigating them. As a necessary balancing factor, though, he's completely barred from entering most shop spaces in the City, as an undesirable. In any Region, he's good at playing upon the sympathies of other characters, Strangers, and humanoid Enemies, whether it be to spare his life or enrich it. When he finds a lucrative spot, he's a little less quick than most characters to move on.






A straightforward character, the Mariner has several abilities related to Rafts. He can build them without needing an Axe, sail them to any space that touches the River, and while he's sailing he can use his spyglass to avoid potential dangers.







Inspired by the Saracen from earlier editions, but hopefully a bit more interesting. Once per turn he can attack a character he moves past (and he starts with a Riding Horse, so moving past other characters is relatively easy for him), but he does so at a small penalty and is limited in his choice of reward. On the plus side, he can steal followers that way, and his turn continues whether he wins or loses. At the end of his turn, he can try to exchange Followers for gold, but there's a chance that his brutal ways will kill them instead.







A sacristan is a priest in charge of a sacristy, a place in the church where vestments and sacred vessels are kept. The Sacristan character doesn't just keep watch over holy objects, though; he also makes them, carving, painting, or forging holy objects and images for honoring the gods. With these icons showing his devotion, he gets a boost in prayer scores, and the resulting favor of the gods can protect him from danger (although there's a risk that an icon might be destroyed in the process, the classic "bullet stopped by his Bible" scenario). He can even found a new place of worship by turning one of his icons into a shrine. But if he lets an icon get destroyed or stolen, he loses all of his fate; other characters are somewhat incentivized to steal them since they can be exchanged for gold in several places throughout the land. An even bigger risk may be that they just hold on to them; with only 4 "icon markers" in the game, if another character keeps one the cap on his special abilities will be lowered until he can get it back.







The Waymaker is a wizard who can treat Path cards as if they were Spells, casting them on himself or other characters as best suits him. He can also discard Path Spells to give him greater control over his movement. Paths can have pretty powerful effects, so as a balance the Waymaker doesn't get any special help with Spell draw after his first turn. 

Edited by Vendark

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Vendark, wow. These characters are as good as the official ones. 


How do you play with these characters? Do you have a list of them all, including the original Talisman characters, and use a randomizer to select which character you'll be? 

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Vendark, wow. These characters are as good as the official ones. 


How do you play with these characters? Do you have a list of them all, including the original Talisman characters, and use a randomizer to select which character you'll be? 


Thanks for the kind words, Jenna!


Yes, that's exactly what I do. I have an RNG app on my phone called Random Number, and all the characters on a list in a spreadsheet. I select Alternate Endings the same way, with one list for revealed endings and one for hidden.

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Vendark, wow. These characters are as good as the official ones. 


How do you play with these characters? Do you have a list of them all, including the original Talisman characters, and use a randomizer to select which character you'll be? 


Thanks for the kind words, Jenna!


Yes, that's exactly what I do. I have an RNG app on my phone called Random Number, and all the characters on a list in a spreadsheet. I select Alternate Endings the same way, with one list for revealed endings and one for hidden.


Thats a great idea I might just nick that :).


I like the Mariner but the spyglass ability is my only trouble maybe call him the Explorer. I don't like any others way to long special abilities I know its a going thing with characters now but the more confusing a character is the more I don't like it. Not that any of the characters now are confusing.

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I gotta say, you do some great work on these. Do you print them on real card stock?


Thanks, gatorcoffee. Actually, I print them on glossy photo paper, mostly because my printer came with a large supply of it that I never touch otherwise. They're thin, but they come out looking very nice, and since I use a randomizer it doesn't matter much if they match the feel of the official cards.

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Cool. Thanks.

There's a site I've found which prints one-off decks in linen stock, if you ever feel the need.

I'm debating having them run a deck of character cards so they'll be more durable. Kind of like the arkham horror series

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