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Reedstilt

Talisman: The Restless Dead

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The dead do not envy the living. The vampire courts plot their bloody intrigues. The liches and baelnorns wage their silent, undying war. Spirits roam the night, occupied with their unfinished business. In time you will come to know what they know: death is only the beginning.

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This expansion adds new Undead-themed cards to your Talisman collection, including the ability to become a Vampire. This functions much like becoming a Lycanthrope in Blood Moon. Unlike Lycanthropes, however, Vampires usually don't have an NPC roaming the board to spread their condition. Instead, several Adventure cards will offer you the chance to become a Vampire or force you to become one. The above image is the back of the Vampirism card. Below is the text of the Vampire card, along with a few of the new Adventure cards that make use of this new condition.

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Edited by Reedstilt

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While you adventure through the land, disturbing tombs and waking the dead, you'll have the opportunity to re-discover remnants of a prior age. Several cards make reference to the Remnant deck provided by the Cataclysm expansion:

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Don't worry if you don't have the Cataclysm expansion though, because i'm also including 18 new Remnant cards. These are mostly useful grave goods and undead companions, but there are new Enemies as well. So be careful if you're planning on doing some grave-robbing.

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On 8/17/2018 at 11:00 PM, Earl Wynn said:

Fantastic! I'm excited! :)

Glad to hear it. There should be a lot of things you cannibalize for the Dark Realm if you'd like. 

Anyhow, I'm essentially done with this batch of cards now, but I want to do some more playtesting on the characters and endings sometime this week before sending it off to Jon. In the meantime, feel free to browse the set here. Feel free to leave any comments or criticism you have, especially with the characters and endings.

Edited by Reedstilt

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I got a chance to toy around with this batch of cards, plus the Reaper, Blood Moon, and Cataclysm thrown into the mix. The game involved the Baelnorn, the Devourer, the Reaper, and the Spirit Shaman vs. The Night Queen.

The Baelnorn did alright for herself, but never really took off. She had plenty of spells to get herself out of trouble, but never drew any that really gave her an advantage. Just the luck of the draw there. Her saving throw ability was only successful once - and even then, only with the help of fate. Still, it succeeded when it mattered most, preventing her from losing her last life until she could get to the Master Healer who had taken up residence in the Village.

The Devourer had a string of bad luck through the game. He kept drawing the events that flipped the Time Card to Night and summoned the Night Queen. He died once early on, but later had some trophies to spare. St. Josephine also saved him from the brink of death once. While he was doing well on Strength  (he was wielding a Great Sword and a Whet Stone soon after coming back from the dead), he was lagging behind in Craft. He also spent most of the game as a Vampire, for better or worse.

The Reaper had the best luck in the game. He found the Phylactery among the Remnants early on, which saved him from an early death at the hands of the Mummy King.  The Night Queen turned him into  a Vampire as well, and soon after he got his hands on the Reaper's Scythe. I'm probably going to have to do something about combination of Vampire with the Reaper's Scythe (or, since I also have the Digital Edition characters in my set, the hypothetical Vampire Martyr). The Scythe lets the character lose 1 life to automatically win a battle or psychic combat; being a Vampire lets them heal back immediately so they can repeat indefinitely. The combo was hindered by the Grim Harvest Lunar Event (even victors lose a life in battle or psychic combat),  which was out for quite a while.  But I can't count on something like that every time. I suppose the real counter is for other characters to aggressively hunt own a Vampire, since they can't use the Scythe when they're attacked by another character. But the Reaper got ferried to the Castle and spent a lot of time in the Middle Region beyond the reach of the other characters. 

Side note: does anyone else hate the Sentinel? It's always felt like an unnecessary hurdle to me.

The Spirit Shaman was pretty much a non-issue in this game. Other characters kept poaching the Spirits that came up, so she had to rely on her Objects and Followers to get by rather than her special abilities. She did end up with the a Crossbow and the Gilded Skull which let her win quite a few battles and build up her Strength. she was a Vampire very briefly, but lost a life at the Chapel to remove the condition. 

Appropriately enough, the game started going downhill for everyone when the Restless Dead Event from Blood Moon was drawn. This summoned the Night Queen onto the Devourer. At the time, everyone had a few weak Undead and Spirit trophies that were spread out between the City and the Ruins. On their own, they weren't so bad, but since the Night Queen was in their region, they were all getting a massive +11 bonus on their attack score from all the lives she had accumulated since then. There were a few other Undead scattered around the Outer Region as well, including a lowly Skeleton and Oozing Skull fighting valiantly for their queen. And with so many spaces occupied with nearly invincible Undead, it took forever to drawn an event so that Dawn could break.

I'm definitely going to have to tweak the Night Queen a bit.  The bonus to Undead and Spirits in her region will either be lowered to a flat +2 or removed outright. I also need to add some way for her to lose lives. Maybe characters can attack her before the final showdown. They won't be able to kill her, but they would have a chance to whittle down her lives a bit. I'm also considering having her lose lies when a Vampire character dies, but as it stands, characters are already motivated to hunt down her minions before going for her. Got to get rid of her Craft bonuses for all the other Vampires in the game, after all.

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Browsing thru the cards that I've downloaded on Talismanisland I noticed that some of them don't have their type written (for example: Holy Censer and Lost Crypt on page 4). Is that on purpose? Additionally I wish to ask what is the reason of introduction of Enemy-Undead. I noticed some Spirits have become Undead. Is there any specific mechanic related to this or just a flavour thing... ? Thanks.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/30/2020 at 1:08 PM, player1592559 said:

Browsing thru the cards that I've downloaded on Talismanisland I noticed that some of them don't have their type written (for example: Holy Censer and Lost Crypt on page 4). Is that on purpose? Additionally I wish to ask what is the reason of introduction of Enemy-Undead. I noticed some Spirits have become Undead. Is there any specific mechanic related to this or just a flavour thing... ? Thanks.

The lack of Card types on the Adventure cards with small image boxes / larger text boxes is a graphical error. I'll be sending an updated version to the site soon to correct that. EDIT: Updated version should now be available.

"Undead" as an Enemy type was introduced with the official Harbinger and Cataclysm expansions. I updated some of the old Spirits (like the Mummy) to be Undead where I felt it would be more appropriate and consistent. I did a similar thing in the War in Heaven with Demons, which was introduced alongside the Undead in those expansions. Former Enemy-Spirit like the Demon, the Lesser Demon, and the Infernal Legion got rebranded as Enemy-Demon for consistency..

Edited by Reedstilt

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