You’re doing it wrong!

So today I realised I had been playing one of the cards in Talisman “wrong” for nearly forty years.

I first played Talisman back in 1983 when the first edition was released, back when there was black and white adventure cards. A friend in our gaming group back then had bought a copy of the game. 

Can’t quite believe that was 38 years ago…

We would play the game quite a bit and as with most games I played back then I was quite reliant on the interpretation of the rules so followed their lead.

When the second edition was released, which was a colourised version fo the first edition (and the game board was changed from a single folded unit to four interlocking pieces) I took the time to read the rules.

One rule was this one on gaining craft.

2.4 Craft can only be gained as a result of Encounters.

You could gain strength by “cashing in” Enemy cards and with every seven enemy strength points you would gain one strength. We would play a similar rule for gaining craft by “cashing in” Enemy cards where the enemy would use craft.

I am not sure if we changed our gameplay as a result and kept a house rule where you could collect enemy cards and cash them in for craft, as you could for strength.

I never understood why you could cash in strength but not craft, as this was a real disadvantage for those characters who were stronger in craft than strength.

Those who play Fourth Edition will know that is now the norm.

It’s funny how when you play a game, sometimes your interpretation of rules or assumptions you make become normalised and you don’t realise you’ve been playing it wrong. 

Playing Talisman today I realised I had been playing one of the cards in Talisman “wrong” for nearly forty years.

That card is one of the best weapons in Talisman, the Runesword.

This weapon would add one to your strength in combat and if you win the combat and cause a loss of life, you would gain a life.

Or so I thought…

I was playing the game today and my character, the Halfling, managed to pick up the Runesword. It was then reading the card that I realised I had been playing the card wrong for nearly forty years.

I had been playing that if I used the Runesword in combat against any Enemy (or a Character) and took a life, my character would gain a life.

However if you actually read the card it says:

2. When you use it in Combat to defeat a Monster or another player and then cause them to lose a Life, you gain 1 Life.

So in the second edition, the Runesword would only work against Enemy Monsters. You wouldn’t gain a life when fighting animals or dragons.

I have been playing it wrong all these years.

Leave a Reply