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I played Talisman back in the 1980s - I don't know whether it was the first or second edition. I enjoyed it.

Lots of years later I'm back into board games - particularly Catan, Dominion, Carcasonne.

I see that the latest version of Talisman is a 4th edition.

How does this most recent edition compare with the original game? What has changed?

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Welcome to B&CG! – Pat Ludwig Aug 14 '12 at 16:38
up vote 9 down vote accepted

According to the posters on this thread, the only changes between 1st and 2nd edition were cosmetic. Although one poster mentions slightly different wording on some of the wands.

The differences between 2nd edition and 4th edition are noted on this thread.

Cosmetic changes, including larger board, cards, plastic bits, and cardboard cutout characters.

RULES and GAME Mechanics

6) Major Difference - Craft can be gained for every 7 points of craft monsters defeated.

7) Major Difference - Spell Casting Limitations - In their turn, the maximum number of Spells a character may cast is equal to the number of spells, and whichever spells they possessed at the start of that Turn. A Character may only cast one Spell during another Character's Turn. This does not apply to the Command Spell. (If you ALWAYS have a Spell due to the Wand or Ability, you draw your 'new' spell at the end of your turn)

8) Major Difference - Mules are NO LONGER OBJECTS, they are considered 'FOLLOWERS' "The mule can carry an extra 4 objects for you while it is your follower. If you lose the mule, you will leave any surplus objects of your choice in the space you are in." I.E Mules can be 'Mesmerised' by the spell but NOT 'Acquisitioned' by the spell, hence if you win a character to character battle, you can no longer 'take' the mule, as its no longer an object.

Visiting the Villiage shops is not optional, Market Day allows everyone to buy from a market rather than trade with each other, Orb of Knowledge is no longer one use.

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The second link is dead unfortunately. – Thunderforge Jan 3 at 1:24

I played the new version earlier this summer. I had not played the original in more than a decade but game play was pretty much the same. The new boards and cards were beautiful, though. Some of the playable characters from the original were missing (the elf is one I can remember off the top of my head). Still, given a choice, I would definitely play the new edition.

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I assume that by "4th edition" you mean "revised 4th edition" as it's the most recent version and differs substantially from its non-revised predecessor.

Talisman was always a very random game with many effects depending on the die roll.
To somewhat counteract this, revised 4th edition introduced the Fate stat.
Spending a Fate point allows you to reroll 1 die, giving players some amount of control over the fate of their character.
In my opinion, this is the most important difference.

Many small changes address the balance issues from previous editions.*

Last but not least, the game finally** is more formalized.
For example, in the 2nd edition an effect might refer to a weapon, and the players needed to figure out on their own, whether a given piece of equipment is a weapon or not.
In the most recent edition if an item is a Weapon it is explicitly stated on the card.

*although 4th edition has it's own brand-new balance problems.
**to be honest, this might be already the case in the 3rd edition - my knowledge about that version is very small

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