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  • Writer's pictureJW

Travels of a Toad

My favourite game is Talisman. I've played the second edition when you all weren't even born yet, I own some boxes of the third edition and all of the fourth. Sometimes I can talk people into playing it with me. Nobody wants to play it twice. Some people stopped visiting me. Fortunately, I am a solo gamer. Friends are overrated.

This year I'll be revisiting Talisman: The Magical Quest Game (revised 4th edition, the Fantasy Flight one) a lot for Solitaire Times. I want to take a closer look at each expansion, as I just threw most of them in when I bought them, making this a monster of a game, with huge piles of cards, that can easily take a group six hours to play. On the other hand, I shelved some other expansions because of the new rules they added. Time to have a look where I spent all that money on.

I started this series three years ago on Boardgamegeek. But I lost my notes somewhere along the way and then forgot about it. So I'll first copy some old posts in the coming months, then play sessions with the expansions I have not covered yet.


There are fan made solo variants available. I'm playing my own very simple multiplayer simulation though, as I like the PvP aspect of the game.

Me: a spellcaster.

Opponent: a character focused on strength, that will:

  1. try to kill me until it's leveled up to 9 strength

  2. try to get a Talisman next

  3. go to the Inner Region to try and win the game at 12 strength

If the opponent dies, it will be replaced by a new character. If I die, I lose the game.

Is this fun? Are you kidding me? 😄

Of course not.

There will be times I'll be bored out of my skull. Let's face it, this is no game to play solo. You should play it with a group, drinking lots of beer, laughing at each other's misfortune, then roll a 1 yourself, get turned into a toad and see everybody running off with the stuff you managed to collect in the last two hours.

But when World of Warcraft started all those years ago, I spent the first six months just walking around, sightseeing at leisure. I have such fond memories of that time. In Skyrim I even walked around for seven hundred and forty hours, and I have absolutely no idea how the main quest ends. I'm that kind of person. So I'll survive.

And well, it's my altruistic nature. I will be playing this solo so you don't have to. Cool, huh?


I aim to post about an expansion every month (sometimes throwing in two small ones at a time), which should get me through 2021:

[edit - then suddenly we found ourselves in 2023]

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Nick Bolton
Nick Bolton
May 07, 2021

I still have my fully expanded second edition - yes even those expansions that only appeared printed in magazines like White Dwarf and you had to make yourself.

I bought it when it came out, after playing a friend’s first edition, and had many epic all night games with friends. It used to be my favourite board game in the late 80s and early 90s. It even survived a major coke flood.

No one will play it now, not even me.

I still keep it for the memories.


Jan 04, 2021

Oh, thank you for doing that!!!

As it turns out, I have never played a single game of Talisman.

Yet I hunted out all its expansions. Yes, yes, I have them all. Those you showed off on the picture are all in their rightful boxes somewhere in my stash of games. All new in shrink also.

Only the core game is not in shrink. I opened it to have a glance at the rulebook. I admired its cover, then put it back in its box. And went to buy all the expansions.

It actually feels quite rewarding to have the all-in of such a gaming legend.


Jan 02, 2021

Not sure if I'm more excited for the write ups or to see if you go crazy keeping up with the scheduled game playing. 😁

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