Preview the Denizens and Characters of Talisman: The Cataclysm
Toxic, torrential rain had made travel unsafe, so the young boy had taken refuge in the tavern, along with seemingly everyone else. He was quietly eating his stew when a burly, drunken man sat down next to him. “What’re you doing here, kid? Where’s your mum?”
“Don’t have one,” the boy replied, focusing pointedly on his stew.
“Then you gotta learn how to defend y’rself,” the man said. “Here. Try an’ punch me.”
The boy smiled a little. He murmured a few magical words very quietly as he pulled back his fist, then punched the man in the gut, sending him sprawling across the room.
“Oh, I can defend myself just fine.”
The Cataclysm expansion for Talisman takes you to a realm still recovering from the apocalypse. Many of the Strangers who once roamed across the Fields, Deserts, and Forests are gone, either slain in the events of the apocalypse itself or fled to another land. Yet some managed to survive, and some of those who fled are now returning. Today's preview is your personal invitation to meet the tough Denizens who inhabit Talisman now, as well as a few of the Characters who aim to rule the realm during this time of renewal.
Denizens of a Changed Realm
Many things have changed in the realm of Talisman, but the City, Village, and Tavern have weathered the chaos of the apocalypse and the tumultuous years that followed. However, the people you used to reliably find in these civilized places—the Doctor, Blacksmith, Alchemist, and others—may be difficult to find, although rumor goes that they haven’t left the realm. The Chapel, meanwhile, is less a place of worship than a refuge for healers and priests. Some people have also made homes in the decaying Graveyard and at the Castle where the Black Knight used to dwell.
In The Cataclysm, when you arrive at one of these places, you draw a Denizen Card to see who you’ll meet there. Once they’ve appeared, Denizens tend to linger around in their favorite haunts. Over the course of the game the realm’s population will grow, and when you visit places inhabited by its Denizens, you’ll be able to choose who you interact with.
The Denizens of the Tavern, for example, include the Gambler , always up for a game of cards, and the Famous Brawler , eager to give some “fighting pointers” in exchange for gold. Meanwhile, the friendly Barmaid watches over tables and pours pints, serving hearty meals and getting her customers perfectly drunk. You might also meet a lonely Wanderer in the Tavern, eager to share stories about her travels and perhaps road-weary enough to sell you some of her equipment.
Some of the Denizens who frequent the Tavern can also turn up in other locales. In the Village or the Tavern, you might have a chat with the Village Mystic who can change your alignment or enhance your magical powers. Should you choose to visit the City or the Chapel, you risk running into an Inquisitor determined to eradicate all evil from the realm, even if it means harming a few good Characters as well. If you are, in fact, evil, you might visit the Graveyard in search of a Dark Being who can replenish your fate.
Some of the Characters who first sought the Crown of Command may undertake that quest again in this altered, post-apocalyptic world. Competing with them in The Cataclysm are five others who have never sought it before. Some of them have long inhabited the realm. For instance, the Black Knight has abandoned his castle in the Middle Region to claim greater power. He now rides through Talisman, forcing the other Characters he meets to give him gold or else he’ll take one of their lives. The Mutant has also lived in this realm her whole life, and also remained there through its darkest times, but she is not longer the human that she once was. Magical energies that flared and fluctuated during the apocalypse infected her body so thoroughly that her form, Strength, Craft, and fate have continually changed.
Others have no memories of what it was like before the apocalypse. The Scavenger grew up during the decades that followed and learned how to survive by staying in motion and collecting whatever Objects she could find. The most valuable ones she stashes away so that they cannot be stolen. Youngest of all is the Arcane Scion , born during the outbust of magical energies that transformed the Mutant. Unlike the Mutant, who cannot fully control her mutations, the Arcane Scion has harnessed those energies, using them to wield Magic Objects and cast Spells.
How Will You Transform Talisman?
In any game of Talisman, whoever seizes the Crown of Command gains the power to shape the realm according to his or her will. With The Cataclysm in play, however, you affect the realm from the beginning of the game. You populate the City, Village, Graveyard, and Chapel. You change the landscape, determining where new settlements take root and where new highways lead. No matter your Strength, Craft, alignment, or fate, your choices affect the future of the realm.
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