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The Gods

Talisman allows you to be a mighty hero, traveling the land, defeating monsters, and acquiring great treasures. But why be a mortal adventurer when you could be much more? Gods of Talisman allows some players to be great powers that use their divine might to affect the mortal world.

What are God Characters?

God Characters are divine forces that shape the land of Talisman instead of travelling across it. Players with God Characters (which we'll just call God Players) experiance the game very differently than standard Characters. They do not have a piece on the board and play cards from their hands.

God Characters...

  • ...have unique Special Abilities making each one very different from the others.
  • ...have Power instead of Strength and Craft which represents their ability to change the world.
  • ...have Divine Cards with which they begin the game. ...have the ability to draw and hold on to five cards (with the exception of the Waking Ancient's 1, Paragon Ancestor's 3, and the Queen's 7) and they do not gain Gold, Objects, Followers, or Spells in the same way as Characters.
  • ...have two entirely different Alignments: Guardian and Destroyer which are completely different from Good and Evil.
  • not have anything like Lives or Starting Spaces since they are Gods after all.

A Few Definitions
Mortal Characters are any non-Guardian (standard) Characters (Troll, Elf, etc).
Guardians are protective gods and favor a specific mortal character or characters.
Destroyers are destructive gods and seek to eliminate all the mortal characters.
Servants are mortal characters that are watched over by a Guardian.
Patrons are Guardians that watch over a specific mortal character.

An example: If Odin decides to watch over the Dwarf then Odin is the Dwarf's Patron and the Dwarf is Odin's Servant.

Victory and Defeat

GuardianA Guardian also wins if his Servant winsA Guardians loses if his Servant is destroyed
DestroyerAll Destroyers win if all Mortal Characters are eliminated.All Destroyers lose if any Mortal Character makes it to the Crown of Command.

Starting the Game

  1. All players pick a Mortal or God character but there must be at least one mortal character in the game except if there is going to be two or more Guardians and no Demons in which case the game needs at least two mortal characters.
  2. All God players take the Divine cards mentioned on their Character card any other cards mentioned from any other decks. The other Divine Cards are not used and are set aside.
  3. All God players take a dozen tokens or two die or something to indicate they have up to 12 Power.
  4. All God players with an Alignment of Choose must now decide if they are Guardians or Destroyers.
  5. All Guardian players select a mortal character to watch over and protect during the game.

Turn Sequence for God Characters

God characters do not have a character of their own to move on the board and therefore have very different turns from mortal characters. Their turns have three different steps: Gain Power, Draw Card, and Play or Move Card.

Gain Power
A God player increases his Power by one and draws a card unless he already has 12 Power.

Draw Card
A God player draws one card unless he already has the maximum number of cards he is allowed. He can still draw a card if he discards one he already has immediately. A God player may draw a card from the Adventure, Timescape, or Dungeon deck and does not have to show it to other players until it is used.

Play Card
A Guardian character player can spend Power to play one card in his hand on any character, space, region, or card on any board where that card could be normally drawn (i.e. Dungeon cards can be played in spaces on the Dungeon board but not the Timescape).
If played on a character then that character immediately encounters that card as if he just moved to that space and drew it. After this special encounter is resolved the game continues as normal.
Cards played by a God player do require a little power depending on the type of the card (see the table on the right).

Special Considerations
* Gods cannot give a Talisman card to a player. A God can discard a Talisman card to gain 2 Power at any time.
** An "all" card is a card that specifically targets only the character you select to directly lose all of something like the Raiders or Hag's Curse.
*** This is based on the monster's Strength/Craft when played so using the Doppleganger on a Dwarf with a Strength of 6 would cost 6 points. All the maximum needed to play any Enemy is 12 points.
Any Divine card that would normally go to a discard pile goes to the Divine discard pile. Note that certain Spells can be cast when it is not the casters turn (like Spell Turning), these may be cast by a Guardian whenever he wishes as well.
Type of Card
Magic Object*
All **
Power Cost
1/Strength ***
1/Craft ***

Move Card
If a God player does not play a card he can select one on a board, roll a die, and move it as if it were a character. A card moved into a characters space is treated as if the character just encountered it.
Guardians can only move Strangers and Followers.
Destroyers can only move Enemies.

Sample Gods

Game Balance I: Mortal vs Mortal

Guardians give significant long term advantages to their Servant characters. For example in a third person game with two Mortal charactes and one Guardian character whichever Mortal character the Guardians picks as his Servant has a tremendous advantage over the other. To balance this out each Mortal character is given a Effectiveness Rank equal to 1 plus the number of Patron Gods he has. Then in is just a matter of giving benefits and penalties to each Mortal character that they all have the same Effectiveness Rank.

Strengthening a Mortal

A Mortal can be given any of these Master Character cards at the start of the game. Each one counts as +1 Effectiveness level for a Mortal Character.

Weakening a Mortal

A Mortal can be depowered by having a weak character class, items specially creatred to destroy him, or being stuck with a Divinely Cursed Master Character.

Since the Devoted Servant have no real special abilities at all it has an Effectiveness Rank of 0n r> The Nemesis Blade and Nemesis Charm are not normally shuffled into the Adventure deck unless a specific character is selected as their nemesis at the start of the game. The have magic abilities but these are greatly increased against their nemesis character. The nemesis character cannot use, destroy, steal, or directly effect either item both of which as indestructible. If they would normally by destroyed then they appear in the Hidden Valley space in the Middle Region. There can be many different Nemesis Blade and Nemesis Charms in the game, each one affecting a different one affecting a different on the same Mortal character. The Nemesis Blade and Nemesis Charm are both worth -1 Effectiveness level and are shuffled into the top half of the deck at the start of the game or the top quarter if there are more than 200 cards in the deck.
Cursed is like a Master Character class that a character cannot get rid of. It is worth - 1 Effectiveness level.

Affecting a God

We can also affect the Effectiveless Rank of a God. A God player can take a Lesser God character add now he is worth only 1/2 an Effectiveness Rank. A God player could instead take one or more Greater God or a Ressurect Servant card and each one gives him a +1 Effectiveness rank. Each Empowered or Recharge card gives him +1/2 Effectiveness Rank.

An Example

Six players get together and three decide to play Gods and three decide to play Mortals. God Player #1 and #2 decide to be Patrons of Mortal Player #1, God Player #2 decides to be the Patron of Mortal #2. So this is what we have:
Mortal #1: Base Rank 1 + 2 for Patrons = Effectiveness Rank of 3.
Mortal #2: Base Rank 1 + 1 for Patrons = Effectiveness Rank of 2.
Mortal #3: Base Rank 1 + 0 for Patrons = Effectiveness Rank of 1.
Basically Mortal #2 has a advantage over Mortal #3, Mortal #1 has a advantage over Mortal #2, and Mortal #1 has a huge advantage over Mortal #1. As long as each one has the same Effectiveness level then things are fair.
Patron #1 could decide to play a Devoted Servant while Mortal #3 picks the Merchant King making everything balanced between the Mortal Characters with an Effectiveness Rank of 2 for each but there are lots of different possible solutions.
Game Balance II: Destroyer vs Mortal

The Destroyers win only if all Mortal Characters are eliminated but the more powerful and protected they are the harder this becomes. For the Destroyers to have a fighting chance take the total Effectiveness Rank for all the Mortal characters divide by 2 and then divide by the number Destroyer characters (rounding up to the nearest half) to find what each ones Effectiveenss Rank should be. For example a seventh player joined our six players with the total Mortal Effectiveness of 6 then he needs to have an Effectiveness Rank of 3 which seems like it would maek him quite powerful but he does have 6 other players playing against him. If there were two Destroyer characters then each would have an Effective Rank of 1 1/2
There are also special God abilities only available to Destroyers. Empower Enemies, Enemies March, Enhance Enemy, Trickster, and Unholy Curse each give a Destroyer a +1 bonus to his Effectiveness Level. Destroyers can use Lesser God, Greater God, Recharge, and Empower if they so choose.

Two Characters

Three new Characters: one to fight the Destroyers, one to aid them, and one who hates Guardians and Destroyers alike!